Breaking Dawn by Dilaksha Sanmugarajah

The fiery ball in the sky was scorching and the vehicles travelled swiftly passing the woman standing with disheveled hair, wearing a dull, dirty maxi, carrying a boy on her hip.  Her bare feet went towards the well.  She pulled a towel off the peg and covered the boy’s head.  The boy wiped her face but the tears streamed down her cheeks.  A voice yelled.  Two legs danced unsteadily out.  A hand pulled her home.  The boy turned his face away.

He scolded her.  “I want food.  Quickly.  I am dying of hunger.  You idiot.  You didn’t prepare my food and you are watching the road.  You are selfish.”  He settled down at the dining table and waited.  His eyes flared red.  She served him rice and poured plenty of curry on top dutifully.  He began to mix rice with curry and ate like a hungry dog.  He started vomiting. She took a towel and wiped the vomit off.  “Hey, I want more,” he roared.  A tinkling sound came from the kitchen.  She scooped up the last spoonful of rice and served his plate leaving it in front of him.

He threw the plate at her.  Tears sprang into her eyes.  Closing his eyes, the little boy screamed.   He ran into their bed room and closed it forcedly.

The man rebuked his wife “You bloody idiot.  Is he coming tonight too?  I will murder him. Why did you cheat me?  I earned enough money but you needed more.  Doesn’t your mother teach to you to cook delicious food?  She only taught you to cheat your husband, make your lover happy.”  Logi remained silent.  Siva left the house.

Logi went to their bed room.  She lay on the bed on her belly.  Four years before she was a teenager.  She was gorgeous.  She fell in love with Babu.  He was handsome and working in the private sector.  They went out secretly for two years.  But one day her parents saw Logi with Babu.  They didn’t approve but she fought fiercely.  Her parents locked her up.  She couldn’t contact her boyfriend for a month.  They scolded her.  They insisted she forget Babu.  Her mother said, “You are my sin.  Why were you born to me?  I sent you to school only for learning not for loving someone.  We believed you. You cheated us.  Go and strangle your neck.”

“Magal you have two younger sisters and I want to marry them off too.  If you marry a low caste boy how can I arrange a marriage for them?  I am just a school teacher.  If you marry him how can I advise my students not to do this to their parents?”  Her father stroked her hair and spoke to her gently.

“Appa I know him.  He is such a lovely boy.  He will make me happy.  Appa, I beg you please allow me to marry him.  Just think about his character instead of his caste”.

“If you think caring is love that’s not love it’s called attraction.  You don’t have brothers, that’s why you thought his caring and support is love”.

“No Appa, I knew the difference between love and affection.  If you love me please arrange a wedding for us.”

Her father knew that Logi was determined.  He finally said “Magal if you want to marry him, I will arrange your wedding but I will die before your wedding.  Now the decision is yours.  You will choose four people or one person.  It’s up to you,” he wiped his cheek of tears and went out of the room.

One week later Logi said, “Appa I have come to a decision.  Please let me meet Babu.”  “She is planning to elope with him,” her mother warned, but her father said “Ok Magal”.

Logi met Babu at Rio at 5.p.m.  They ordered four rolls and two ice creams.  Babu was exhilarated because he thought Logi was willing to come away with him.  She licked the ice cream.  She said, “Babu it’s our misfortune that we have to break up our relationship.  I want to think about my sisters.  If we get married we will be isolated by others.  Our children will also be affected by this issue.  It’s better to end our relationship.”  The news burnt his heart like the hot and spicy rolls he was eating.  He asked her, “Is this your final decision?”  Tears formed in his eyes.  She said, “I have to leave,” and rushed out.

Logi locked herself in her room for days.  She cried a lot.  She burned all Babu’s letters and photographs, threw her mobile, broke her SIM card and tried to erase him from her memory.

She spent her days in bed looking at the roof and crying silently.

A month later, her younger sister ran to Logi’s room.  She said, “Akka, Appa arranged a proposal for you.  His name is Siva.  He looks like Surya.  Your horoscope perfectly matches with his horoscope.  They will come to see you today.”

“Kuddyma, please talk with Appa for me.  I don’t want to marry.”

“Akka past is past.  Don’t spoil your life for a page.  Whatever you say to Appa they will come.

Appa will choose the best for you always. ” Finally, Logi said “Okay.”  Siva and his family came and saw Logi.  They were jubilant.  They arranged the wedding in a grand manner. They booked “Rajeswary Hall” and bought new dresses.  Siva and Logi got married.

After three days, Logi and Siva came to Logi’s house which was given to her as her bride’s price.  Siva took Logi for a honeymoon for a week to the hill country.  Then they began their life together.  Siva used to hug her and kiss her passionately when he returned home.  He said, “Bujjikuddy I love you, I want to be with you forever, shall I get leave today? Poosan come, I will feed you.”  She would say, “Appakuddy, I miss you.  I am eagerly waiting for you. I just thought about you.”  They led a lovely life.

But now their life changed entirely.  Siva loathed Logi.  He didn’t speak even a single word to her.  Logi wept.  She sent text messages.  She called him. B ut he didn’t reply.  Logi tried to find a solution.  Unfortunately, she failed.  She cried from pain and sorrow.  She wanted to be with him forever, but he started to avoid her.  He said he was busy in his office.  The gulf between Siva and Logi grew larger and larger.  Siva came home late in the night and left home early.  He worked on his laptop all the time.  Later, he started to drink liquor.  He went to the office and fought there.  The administration suspended him.  He stayed at home. Siva’s savings dissolved into nothingness as he spent a lot of money on liquor.  Logi pawned her jewels to run the family.

Siva began to reprimand Logi.

She tolerated his idiosyncrasies.  His torture increased day by day.  He inflicted cigarette burns.

He kicked her ferociously and relentlessly.  He absolutely had no feelings for her at all.  Logi was locked in a room.

“Hey, you are a slut!” He roared.  He grabbed her and threw her off the road onto the sidewalk.

Thrashing her mercilessly, he spilled out a stream of swear words and blamed her for having illegal relationships with others.  Logi didn’t go to her parents and in-laws.  She bore all these for her family and Siva’s affection.

Siva used to say, ‘If you love me prove it by sex.’  It was a wonderful method Siva used, to take Logi back home.  Siva smelled the bed.  He said, ‘I can smell others odours.”  Logi couldn’t speak to anyone.

Siva had changed badly.  Why did he change?  What happened to him?  Is Logi in a relationship with another man?  Two years ago, Siva wanted to celebrate their son Aathy’s birthday party grandly.  Siva invited his friends and relatives.  He ordered chicken biriyani and rich and spicy chicken gravy, mouth-watering faluda and fruit salad from Green Grass Hotel & Restaurant.

After the ceremony Siva chatted with his friends.  Logi, her mother and sisters were busy in the kitchen.  Logi’s sisters served delicious cake and yummy pudding.

Ravi, one of Siva’s friends, could not attend Siva’s wedding.  He was eager to see Logi.  Ravi shared his wish with Siva.  Siva called Logi.  As she was busy in the kitchen, Logi’s younger sister came out.  Siva introduced his sister-in-law.

Hearing Aathy’s wailing, Logi rushed into the hall and fondled him.  Spotting, Logi, Ravi asked astonishingly, “Machchan is she Logi?’

Siva replied “Yes. Machchan, do you know her?”

“She was my friend Babu’s girlfriend.  Babu was disappointed and he went to London last year after her marriage.  He could have met her before he left Jaffna.”

Hearing this news Siva got angry.  He felt his throat close tightly and his muscles began to tighten.

Siva began to doubt Logi.  He secretly scrolled through Logi’s phone book.  Siva found a London phone number.  Logi had spoken to that number last night too.  Siva strongly believed the number was Babu’s.  But it happened to be her best friend’s number.  He grumbled through gritted teeth.  His blood began to boil with rage.  Suddenly, Siva remembered his aunt’s comment.  “Hey Sivu, Aathy does not resemble you or Logi.”  Siva replied smiling ironically, “He looks like Surya. doesn’t he?”

Now, Siva was sure.  Aathy was not his child.  Logi cheated him.  Siva did not want to know the truth.  By nature, he was stubborn.  It was extremely difficult to change his opinion.  Siva started to neglect Aathy too.  He began to drink more heavily.  Aathy began to cry and shudder with fear whenever Siva growled in the nights.  The sight of Logi and Aathy vexed him.  He began to harangue them.  One day Siva grabbed Aathy and threw him up and caught him recklessly.

Aathy fell down to the floor.  His shrill shriek came like a death note to Logi’s ears.  She rushed out of the room and caressed Aathy.  With an inexpressible sadness mixed with anger, her face turned red as scarlet, her eyes riveted upon Siva and a burning sensation passed though her body.

“You’re a wretched monster, a devil in human incarnation.  You’re not a man.  I feel ashamed to be with you.  He is a baby.  How dare you beat him up?  Senseless dog, you have venom all over your body.  I can’t live here.  You will kill my child.  I am leaving.” She shouted furiously.  She took the baby and walked out of the house.

She calmed herself.  She decided to educate their beloved son.  “My son will grow up and teach his father a good lesson”, she said to herself as she walked towards the shop Kingdom of Flowers to get the job to educate her son.

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