My hate smells of Vicks.
It fills that space you refuse to keep between you and me when you barge into my room that has been firmly shut. It swims up when I hear your bathroom door yawn at 3 AM, and I hear you piss loudly into the pot. It rushes at me in the long silences that happen behind your door, where I imagine you are crisply cutting your curly down-hairs. It wafts when your voice, rising to keep up with your dimming ears, caws my name, calling me for dinner that I no longer have appetite for.
My hate is the commitment my husband did not show either of us. My hate is as present as his absence.
Both of which you, and your thick plastic spectacles, are oblivious to.
Why do you insist I give you the title of my dead maa, when the most charitable thought I can spare you, is cyanide in that jar of Vicks, arsenic in the handkerchief you have hanging out your collar?
You, hunching to barely 5 feet, have skewed my 30×40 home. You, who made me throw away my baby crotons, because you don’t like colour. You, who are allergic to my cats, my bags, and my phone calls. You, the frail old mother who lost her son. I, the privileged ex-wife, bestowed with the follies of youth at a fast approaching forty, slim with my barely visible still-womb, licentious and loose with my null, dull red hair-parting.
How shall I conduct our obligation?
Where did you come from, why are you here, like the living appendix of a corpse marriage?
How many more tears shall I rend my crossed arms with, while I quietly listen to your babbling? How many lumps in my throat shall I shoulder like Atlas, never giving you the pleasure of buckling under? When will my incalculable, insurmountable, throbbing rage escape its reins, and snarl with shining incisors at your willow face crowned by your cotton hair?
Black clouds have gathered over my home. The lone coconut palm by our house jerks like a body electrified. The rain ravages its fronds, and whips our windows. Glass shivers when cracks of lightening split the sky. Coconuts fall in succession like limp bombs. The compound has ruptured, a side-long peephole has opened.
We are both huddled on the living room three seater. Two ellipses, with one missing in the between.
You have lit one lamp. And now, you light another.
We look at each other, and say nothing.