Muse- Short Story

She was a star. Everyone loved her. Her looks could melt anyone’s heart. It was no wonder she had 10 million followers.

An actress by profession and a singer by choice, Tara was every director’s dream. She had been acting from the age of 15, so she knew the long hours took a toll on her, but she had me and I didn’t care about the laugh lines and the worry lines.

It was an award night and she was nominated for the Best Actress award again. She had one live performance as well. She came running to me. She had been crying, as she didn’t win the award. She cried not only because she lost the award but also because she had given up her love yet again, in pursuit for the prize. Now she was left with nothing but me.

I saw her again the next day, without a trace of the angst of last night. But her eyes never lied. As she looked at me with eyes wide open, all I could do was be lost in them. I understood her. I relished those lips that she offered to me, her lipstick doing no justice to the already pink lips. Her cheeks were as white and rosy from the winter and her breath on me gave me the warmth I needed. She had to run; the director was waiting for her.

Tara loved all things bright – bright clothes, vibrant cars. She also loved not so bright men. Every hero in the industry, married or unmarried had made passes at her. But she was smarter than them. She used them to get the juicy roles, leaving her contemporaries biting their nails. She knew how to twist her hero’s ego, without giving them what they wanted. She laughed and told me all her secrets. I loved her even more.

Then one night she came to my house, badly bruised. She had been in a fight with her current toy-boy and he had slapped her, leaving a mark from his ring. This was the first time I saw her scared. She tried to run away from him but he had grabbed her and tried to hit her again. She hit him in his groin and ran for the door. I wrapped a blanket around her as she narrated the incident, her shivering body felt at ease.

She said “Look at me; I can’t go out like this. I can’t let the world see Tara like this”. She felt broken. The bruise was swelling; I applied some ice to her bruises.

I hugged her for the first time and told her “Tara, I love you but I can’t heal you this time”.

“What do you mean?” she said.

“Tara you need to make a complaint, he has been hitting you far too long. You need the world to see this. He has to be punished.”

She cried. Without a word I grabbed her face and told her “You are beautiful, my little one, but you need to be strong”. She held me close for a long time and finally drifted off to sleep on my sofa.

The next morning as we were heading out to work, Tara held my hand and said “I don’t know how I can ever repay you; you are more than my make-up man. You know me inside out. You hide my bruises but you can see my pain; you wipe the tears from my eyes but it’s you who cries inside. I looked at her and interrupted “But, I know you have to keep up pretenses’, you have to play your part. You can talk to me about the men that you are dating but you can never be mine. Correct?” She smiled back.

I will always love her. She is my muse and I am her slave and we will remain forever entwined.

Muse

K

6th January 2014.

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