Will You Still Love Me?

Will You Still Love Me?

Mahi shuddered, horrified, staring at her reflection. She had known what to expect but wasn’t prepared enough to face this hideous look.

The scar that covered her left cheek gaped at her like a blotch of ink on an otherwise perfect painting. She touched it slowly, dreading Anay’s reaction.

Anay was in London for a fourth-month onsite assignment and would be back on Saturday.

They had met in the first year of college.

With her flawless skin, almond eyes and a figure to die for, Mahi instantly became that girl on whom half the male population of the college had a crush on. Two months into the first semester, more than a dozen guys had proposed to her.

She was bored with men singing praises of her beauty. When Anay complimented her for her brilliant debating skills and sharp intellect, he came like a breath of fresh air. They became good friends and by the second year, he had confessed his love.

‘Would you still love me if I wasn’t good looking?’ she had teased him.

She had no doubt that he would. Wasn’t that what made him endearing?

‘Mahi, I love you for the beautiful person that you are, kind, smart and intelligent. Trust me,  looks never were a big deal for me. I’ll love you even if you’re the ugliest girl in this world.’

His words had sounded like the most honest words she’d ever heard.

On Saturday, Anay called from the airport to tell her that he would be seeing her in an hour. His eagerness seemed to radiate from the lifeless cellphone. Mahi hated doing this, but it had to be now,  she couldn’t put it off any longer.

‘What the… .’ Anay bit his tongue suppressing a swear.

‘I mean what happened?’ he managed to say as the scarf slid from her face.

‘So this why you said no to video calls, I thought it was about making the heart grow fonder.’

‘Anay,  I couldn’t do this on the phone… ‘

‘You could have told me.’

‘I wanted to, but I didn’t want you to worry… ‘

‘Will you at least tell me what the hell happened?’ he said, his growing impatience visible in his irate tone.

‘I accidentally spilled a cleaning chemical while fetching it from the bathroom shelf. But the dermatologist says it can be corrected, there are advanced procedures… ‘

‘To hell with the procedures, how could you be so careless?‘

‘But you said looks didn’t matter to you…’ tears welled up in her eyes. She hadn’t expected this.

‘I’ve got to leave, see you later,’  he stood up.

Clearly, it was over between them.

She washed her tear stained face and faced him.

He stared at her, befuddled.

‘Is it some kind of a joke?’

‘It was. Our relationship was a big joke’, she said, revealing her true face and his.

Her face was as flawless as ever,  It took just a little prank to reveal his, the ugly face of a fast talker.

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Shailaja Pai
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