January 9, 2007

Ana - Aide-mémoire (Chapter 2)

Ana had many visitors. Too many. It seemed like they came to witness her state, like she was a freak. Many of them came only to witness the transformation. The emotions they showed ranged from grief to pity. Disbelief to mourning. Some held her hand, some hugged her shapeless body, some spoke to her and some even sang.
Her mother came everyday. She usually left hurriedly; but always came back. Every visitor had one thing in common. They all left in a daze. Ana never said a word to any of them. Nurse Anita watched them come and go. She was angered by the fact that nobody seemed to leave the poor girl alone, but was also touched that so many people cared. If so many people did care, what could have led to this girl losing her mind? Or losing herself…

Among Ana’s many visitors, Niam and Sue were most frequent, apart from Ana’s parents and brother, of course. Niam, who didn’t seem much older than Ana came every weekend at four p.m. On his very first visit, he was inconsolable. “A Lover”, thought Nurse Anita. “Ana must have meant a lot to him.” She was wrong. Ana was everything to him.
The Institute gave him chills. He couldn’t imagine people being here, living here. As he walked along the corridors of Shorewood, Niam was overwhelmed with invisible sadness. He didn't know where it came from. The walls were all grey. The buildings gave a distinct aura of neglect, with plaster peeling off some walls. And that eerie lake that seemed bottomless somehow. 

He watched the inmates stare at him, like he was an oddity. Warden Vera accompanied him to a room with a yellow door. “You can wait here,” she said. Niam had goosebumps. The room was surprisingly warm, with peach interiors and a plush couch against the wall. It also consisted of an old television set and some magazines. "I wonder how many people have come in here, knowing they’ve already lost people they’ve loved," he thought.
A faint scraping noise startled him. Niam watched her being led into the visitors lounge. He let out a mute gasp. “It must be some mistake. A sick joke.” he thought. This wasn’t his Ana. Ana would never let herself go like this. She was much too strong, much too capable! He stared in numb disbelief as she sat down awkwardly, playing with a piece of string. Niam studied her softly… Her once glossy hair now seemed dull and matted. He noticed her hands were shaky and her feet looked tired. Her eggshell hospital gown added to her derelict form. She seemed smaller somehow. Frail and helpless. Niam held back tears that nearly choked him.
He sat next to Ana and took her hand in his. “Ana…” he called, his voice quivering. He tipped her chin up and looked at her. Her pasty skin and hollow cheeks gave her away in an instant. He held her soft face and forced her to look up at him… Her glassy eyes, they saddened him. He had watched these very same eyes light up with excitement every time they'd met. He’d seen anger flash in them when Ana was mad at him! The laughter that had danced in them when she was happy. The many tears she had cried for him, for them. And now she was reduced to a tearless rag doll.
He had reduced her to this state. “Oh, Ana!” he cried out aloud without meaning to, as he caressed her skin, almost begging for a reaction of any sort. “What I wouldn’t give, to have you talk to me again.” Tears rolled down his cheek, as he broke down. He watched her gaze at him, as if asking if he were happy. Taunting him. You see, Niam was a tad dramatic. Dramatic, but never exaggerating. Ana hadn’t even flinched at the sight of him. She went back to playing with her string, which she found more amusing than the man whom she was in love with… once.

21 comments:

TS said...

Please let this be a happy ending. I'm so sad...

I like the way you've ended both the chapters... and I'm glad you've described the asylum. Creates a lucid mental picture.

- One correction: Dramatic, but not exaggerating (exaggerated).

Fat Pony said...

The reason I was using present continuous is because there's more to Niam. This visit isnt over yet.

And I cant promise a happy ending T.

Anonymous said...

what a rip off!
are you the fat phoney or what?

TS said...

Oh, ok. My bad.

And about the happy ending, pretty please?

Fat Pony said...

Ms/Mr. Anonymous... if only you were brave enough with your identity. tsk tsk

the stygian sailor said...

does it even have an ending?

Anonymous said...

will you give me an award the size of a pancake if i do? for the bravery?

Sahil Jatana said...

chapter 3 kahan hai?

Anonymous said...

Very well written! Next chapter, please?
nice name, i must add....Niam...!

Fat Pony said...

Patience... is a virtue.. :)

ps: I just may Mr/Ms. Anonymous.

the stygian sailor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the stygian sailor said...

pony,,chapter 3?? i get the feeling you are lost for ideas ;-)

cunfusion & marmalade said...

sees it..reads it....falls in love with air of creepy silence the story expells.... paints a clear picture a sad picture...walks to a yellow door....expected end....a good one yet...three men in a boat only one gets to the shore !!?

Anonymous said...

Is she you? Is that the way you would like to be treated or seen...


An(a)onymous

Subodh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fat Pony said...

Wow.. Im not sure of Manifestation yet.. you guys will have to read on.

Im a bit tied up with a play at the moment. Chapter 3 is on its way though.. Sorry guys..

Cheers!

MusicManiac said...

Instead of praising and being at a loss for words.....It's awesome. Keep it up girl! :)

Anonymous said...

i love the way you have given so much importance to the finer details , its just adds on to the mood of the story ... feel bad for Niam .. the pain he goes through is horrible .. its so well written .. you actually go on reading this hoping that nothing would disturb you while your doing so:P

‘I wonder how many people have come in here, knowing they’ve lost people they’ve loved.’ i wish he believed that he would get back his Ana , one day. i wish he didn't believe that he had lost her. 'lost' is a strong word. he'd never know what's going on in her mind. maybe she does remember him, maybe not. still , he can can hope to get her back one day . after all, he loves her. no matter what .

one small thing, why do i feel I've read this before? or something like this... anyway, I'm pretty sure you've written whatever came to your mind. and its amazing ! :)

hey, i feel a happy ending would just satisfy us , and not the story . it would be like one of them films . that is what i feel .

keep up the good work fat pony! :)

Fat Pony said...

Umm. Niam is very close to my heart. His character was the most difficult to describe. For me its been a journey with Niam. And although its painful for him.. don't judge his pain too soon.
In case you havent noticed, he is a bit of a drama queen! Lol.

Jokes apart. Niam thinks he truly lost her because thats him. Somebody who gives up very easily. He never persisted enough. And maybe thats what drove Ana to a state of delirium. But I'm not going to give anything away.

Chapter 3 is very gripping. And possibly the longest I've written. I hope evrybody hasn't gotten fed up of waiting. :)

Thank you Mr./ Ms. Anonymous. Your comment pulled me back from the edge. I was actually stagnating with a certain bit of Chapter 3. But Ive got a move on now.

Much Love. :)

Anonymous said...

your welcome! :)

mad*

pure said...

oh, meano! :-D