short story #5: Verisimilitude

verisimilitude (noun): the quality of seeming true or of having the appearance of reality.

The funny thing about life is that things are never quite what they appear to be. Humans are the most intelligent and resourceful creatures in this planet. It’s no wonder that they are also extremely skilfull when it comes to covering up the ugly facets of their lives. Sonu and Ria were no exceptions to this rule.

To anyone from the outside, Sonu and Ria were living the dream life. College sweethearts, happily married, proud owners of a luxurious 3BHK home in the heart of the city, spontaneous adventurers who managed to blend work and life impeccably. They were the perfect couple in everyone’s eyes. Their married friends secretly envied them, and their single friends wished to find a love like theirs. But for Sonu and Ria, life behind closed doors was an entirely different ballgame. The fancy dishes and linens filling the table didnโ€™t tell the full story of the current reality of their lives. Nothing about them, in fact, gave anyone any clues as to the ground reality that was their life.

Life had changed a lot, for the couple, in the many years that followed their marriage. Sonu was no longer the sweet, kind-hearted college boy who had managed to sweep Ria off her feet. Sonu had turned into a mere shadow of the man who he used to be. Frustration at not being able to meet his over-ambitious goals drove him into the ever-tempting, welcoming hands of alcohol. Drunk Sonu was a complete antithesis of his sober self. Drunk Sonu had no qualms over beating Ria black and blue. His evenings were spent venting out his frustration on poor Ria, who didn’t even try to defend herself against his violent tantrums. Blinded by her undying love for him, she suffered through all of it, with her mouth sealed dutifully. Her ever-faithful concealer covered the scars immaculately… yet they couldn’t cover the deepest and ugliest of scars left behind in her heart. Every morning, Sonu would be overcome with regret and remorse once he managed to shake off his drunken stupor. Yet, that didn’t hold him back from repeating it all over again. Day after day, week after week, month after month. Ria had tried and failed on multiple occasions when it came to getting him into rehab.

Ria wished she could put an end to the hell that her life had turned out to be. But her strict conservative upbringing held her back from even the very thought of divorce. The fear of “what people might think” gave her the courage to put up with all his drunken antics. And despite all of it, she still couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him. Occasionally, he would morph back into the very same person she fell in love with. And those days increased her resolve to stay with him. When the ones whom you love the most are responsible for your misery, it’s hard to put an end to it. Sonu even threw a lavish party celebrating 10 years of marriage and managed to be every bit the lovable, responsible husband that he used to be. Ria, for her part, played the ever-charming hostess… the perfect aide to her husband’s charade.

To everyone else, they had a perfect life. They managed to keep the charade going for a few years. The truth about their lives wasn’t revealed until much later. By then, it was too late to save Ria. But then again, she was finally free…

Author’s Note:

I know. That was one hell of a tragic post, especially considering the fact that I haven’t written in ages. While I strongly oppose what Ria did with every grain of my being, I wanted my story to emphasize this attitude of hers. This is just a story, but the reality is that there are several Rias in our society. Women, who silently bear the brunt of domestic violence, either because they are too scared and/or because they are entirely dependent on their husbands (read: abusers) for existence. That being said, I do not mean to say that all men/husbands are like Sonu. Men like Sonu are part of a minority, but they are indeed a disgrace to their gender.

P.S: I totally tharoorified (Yep, I just coined that word! ๐Ÿ˜› ) my title. ๐Ÿ˜€ But that’s an actual word. Here’s the meaning, just in case, you missed it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
verisimilitude (noun): the quality of seeming true or of having the appearance of reality.

****

This post was written as in response to the Write Now Prompt.

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19 thoughts on “short story #5: Verisimilitude

  1. Too late to save her? Is that left to reader’s interpretation or is the intended meaning that she is no more…
    Great post, Shweta. Been so long since I read a short story, this is such a realistic one. “what will people think” ruins so many lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the intended meaning. But you are free to interpret it your way.
      Also, it’s been a long while since you read one of mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, “what will people think” has and still is ruining many a life. Thank you so much, Paro!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the word ‘tharoorified’, Shweta, more than ‘verisimilitude’.;)
    As for the story itself, it is sad, very sad but an unfortunate reality. Does life only revolve around – ‘ What will people think’, why cannot it be – ‘what is best for me’. Is it not okay to be selfish at times, for your own sake, in the least!
    It is all about how much you choose to take it in your stride. It is not easy but definitely not impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I made that word up. Glad to know that you loved it. Let’s hope Oxford dictionary picks it up before long. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚
      It is an unfortunate reality. When I started the story, I thought I’ll end on a positive note. But that just didn’t seem right. The writer in me wasn’t at peace with it, and hence the story is in the way it is now. We can’t let the thought of what people might think ruin our lives. We owe it to ourselves to be happy, no matter what people say. We really don’t have any control over what others might say. Ergo, you shouldn’t live in the shadow of that fear. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your valuable insight, Nitha! โ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

  3. It was nice learning a new word Shwe. I wish she had the courage to come out of this Abusive marriage and giver herself a chance at happiness. The kinds of abuse women go through vary sometimes itโ€™s physically abusive and sometimes mentally. I strongly believe itโ€™s not a small number

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to be of service, Aksh! Yes, it’s not a small number. The kind of abuse that some people have to put up with is unimaginable. Sometimes it’s hard for them to get out of that situation. It’s mostly because the ones they love are the very same people who are responsible for their misery. Then of course, we have the whole “what’ll the people think” dilemma. I just hope that more people get the courage to speak up, defend themselves and put an end to their misery.

      On a positive note, My Random Ramblings turned three last week and I’m hosting a blog party. So please feel free to add your link to the link-up tool. And do spread the word. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good one. Made me a tad bit sad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but very well written. Kudos for taking up this topic,first of all. Canโ€™t help but think of all the Rias in our society. I hope some Ria reading this story would choose to stand up and speak for herself.

    And tharoorified ?! Haha..heard thereโ€™s an opening at Oxfordโ€™s Dept. of New Words. Interested ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s true beauty in tragedy, I’m telling you. I’ve learnt to appreciate that. Pandu veruthe Shakespeare chettane kuttam paranju. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™Š If this story inspires anyone to take control of their lives, I’ll be extremely happy. Not that I’ll know about it if such a thing happened, but nevertheless, that’s a very comforting thought.

      Haha. Oxford, you say? Oh really? Sure thing. Count me in. Now I guess Cambridge will finally give me the raise I’ve been asking for. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

    1. Well said. Self love is not selfish. You have to put yourself first at times, and that’s not selfish. Unfortunately, some are too blinded by their love and emotions that they fail to wake up to see the reality. Thanks for dropping by.

      Like

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