Shadows of Prejudice




The picture remained nonchalantly tethered to the hook. It was clicked during one of Reina’s most acclaimed plays during her sophomore year in school. Her ruddy cheeks, almond eyes, intelligence and charisma made her perfect for the role of Cleopatra. The photograph with an azure bowl was taken just after she had delivered her ending dialogue of the play “The odds is gone, and there is nothing left remarkable Beneath the visiting moon.” But in reality, the ‘odds’ were just beginning to raise its nasty and vicious hood! The picture conveyed a ton of emotions even after a few odd years. The picture pained Elaine’s soul, but she yearned for that pain every second of every day.  “Same gender affinity wasn’t something that was easily accepted back then. I was told to channelize and examine my negative emotions so I could eventually let them go. But was it that easy, particularly when it was reciprocated?” Questioned a dejected Elaine to her court-appointed shrink.  Her alabaster skin and creased skin map of her face had so many untold stories hidden in its nooks and crannies. “So, what now, you continue to live like this?” grilled Elaine’s shrink Dr. Brentwood. “Okay… What do you miss most about your old life? Not from in here; she tapped her head- not ego. From here, she tapped her chest- heart. What do you really miss?  Elaine looked at the ceiling for what seemed to be like ages, before she blurted, “Of all the things God chose not to bestow upon me, she was the answer to it. She compensated all of my did-not-haves, though it was for a brief while. Society looked down upon us, shunned us, hurled abuses at us.” “Did that really have any solid grounds when compared to the love you both shared?” “Ughhh… well…” Elaine lisped with her eyes clearly giving way to her emotions locked within for years. “Dunno about that, but those outrageous judgements impaled our souls, we held each other through thick and thin. Together we’d staunchly refused to fuel society’s paltry mindset and archetypal thought process. We never knew we were fighting alone. A sense of learned helplessness started to nest within us. We tried searching for answers, we delved deep within but every time I thought of giving the society the upper hand, my Cleopatra stood in the way. Hmmm… my Cleopatra…my Reina…absurdly elitist and devastatingly smart. It was only love that we had which safeguarded us from the flagrant violation of law, as per the societal norms.” “Why do you blame yourself for everything that happened.?” Dr. Brentwood questioned while jotting down some notes. Elaine tried to speak, but nothing came out. If only the salty water had an ability to speak. Dr. Brentwood handed her the tissue box, and waited for an answer with a heightened sense of forbearance crossing her arms. Elaine wiped her ruddy face, and stood up smoothing her quavering, sweaty palms on her mucky dress with frayed ends. “Leaving a therapist’s office, ain’t a viable solution; answering my question can help you get right back on track. Life doesn’t tread the path we want it to. Things don’t get easier; you just get better at getting through it!” muttered Dr. Brentwood while gesturing Elaine to sit down by swiftly moving her brows and pointing at Elaine’s chair. “Had I not been out on that Christmas Eve, Reina would’ve been drawing the same air as I draw. Despite knowing she was at her all time low, after her parents disowned her because of our relationship, I ventured out. I was way too jaded handling so many things concurrently. I yearned for a breather. A sniff of crisp chilly breeze to caress my tired soul and evoke some hope to ease out my helplessness.” “That doesn’t answer my question, if you know what I mean!” Dr. Brentwood tsked. “I don’t know how to answer that. That Christmas eve, I came back to a hanging Reina. The azure bowl which was one of her favorites, held a piece of paper neatly folded. I was just 30, handling everything but still wet behind the ears. With trembling feet, I put her down, before dialing 9-1-1. There is nothing left remarkable Beneath the visiting moon In the onyx skies of a content night I’ll be shining near the dappled moon Loving, caressing you from afar Singing songs of peace and love Sans any fear of societal norms.”     Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!