In their Beginning I see my end
By Saborna Roychowdhury, HF Guest Writer
I have a strange relationship with my twin daughters. They are only ten months old and beautiful… big brown eyes full of mischief, chubby rounded cheeks and mouse like front teeth. When they smile, my heart melts. How did I create something so beautiful? I stare at my own creation day and night. Their skin glows, their hair shines, their teeth and nails grow stronger everyday.
My skin is losing its luster. My hair is no longer thick and shiny, darker shades circle my eyes. The pregnancy fatigue is visible all over my body… the skin folds and bulges, my knees ache and threaten to crumble and heavy breathing follows every exertion. In their beautiful beginning I am starting to see my end.
The twins flash their teeth at me… tiny, inviting, endlessly mischievous. They are crawling these days; their curiosity grows with every step. They want to grab things and make them their own. They lick, they touch, and they feel. Their enthusiasm for life grows everyday. My twins are hungry, they like their world, and they want to own their own world.
My enthusiasm is waning. To me everything looks the same as if I have seen them a thousand times. I know I am not winning a Pulitzer for writing my book or going to Hollywood to be an actress. Human behavior in general has disappointed me and I know that there will always be war and inequality. The sunrise and sunset, the long walks and the beautiful poems all look and sound the same. The novelty is dead. In their beautiful beginning I am starting to see my end.
When the twins go to the shopping malls in their stroller, they get mobbed each day. People want to hold them, touch them, and feel the new life throbbing inside of them. Old women, sick women, women in wheel chairs reach out to them. They squeeze their cheeks, murmur in their ears. Children run after their stroller. They want to take the two big sized dolls home with them. Their parents admonish them gently and then turn around to congratulate me. I who have created such beauties then bask in the warmth of their compliments.
Men don’t look at me the same anymore. The meaningful eye contacts, the brief nods, the hasty smiles and accidental hand brushes are no longer there. No one offers to carry my heavy suitcases or give me a ride on a rainy day. I no longer get my free coffees, my usual discounts at the bookstores and anonymous phone calls from secret admirers. I walk down the streets unnoticed as if I am invisible, as if I have seized to exist. I am now a mother, a mother of twins. In their beautiful beginning I see my end.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Calcutta, India, and moved to the U.S. for her undergraduate work in chemistry, Saborna lives in Massachusetts, and teaches at the Swampscott High School. Her short fiction has appeared in New York Stories and Quality Women’s Magazine U.K. and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Saborna is also the author of the novel The Distance, published in 2009 by Mindscape.