The cheery yellow walls and spotless tiles mocked me, sneering at my very existence. The soup boiled joyfully, splattering and scalding my skin and the sun beamed through the fresh windows, darkening my ashen skin. The walls seemed to crawl towards me, crushing me like a fly.
I brushed my hair back from my swollen face, once beautiful and sought after, now distended and sweaty. I bent further over my mop to catch my breath, then, continued to whiten the already sparkling tiles.
This house had been my prison for two years now and it was taking its toll. My skin was sickly and pale from the lack of sunlight, my hair straggly and long. I was only seven when Jasbir entered my life. We were childhood friends who played together in the sun. Nine years later, he asked my father for my hand, and he accepted. At first, I was as any bride to be; flighty and overjoyed. My heart soared to think that I was to be married, the first out of all of my friends too; how jealous they were!
The engagement and honeymoon were bliss. He seemed to be constantly by my side, gazing into my eyes. “I love you, you are beautiful” That was his favourite phrase, he told me everyday.
About four months after the wedding, I began to notice anger in his once gentle chocolate eyes. He no longer told me he loved me and especially that I was beautiful; in fact he told me the opposite. “Parina, you are getting fat. You should stop eating” or even, “Why did I even marry you, you disgusting b****”.
I sank into despair, the man I loved was repulsed by me. I became depressed and withdrawn but this only made matters worse. One day, when he came home from work, I was cooking his dinner quietly. He stormed in and I could tell from his sour expression that he was in a foul mood. I had become cautious of him and simply greeted him then returned to the cooker. Moments later, I fell to the floor, my head spinning. His fist struck me onto the corner of the stove. I slipped to the floor, defenceless as a rag doll, cowering in fear. I dared to glance up at him, towering over me and his eyes penetrated my skull, my very being, his searing vision made me twist and turn as if in a trance.