Julie looked at the old typewriter in front of her and gently ran her hands through its dust-covered keys. She usually avoided looking at it because it reminded her of all the things she could have done and all that she could have achieved; it reminded her of all the times when she had tried to escape from the menagerie she was trapped in, but had failed miserably. Hence, she kept it covered with a piece of cloth in one corner of her bedroom. She sighed, wiped away the tears rolling down her face and looked out the window. Dusk. She liked this time of the day. A couple of hours to herself before her husband returned home from the bar. Today was their tenth anniversary. And she knew Neil didn’t remember it…just like the past nine years that had gone by in the blink of an eye. It was just a another day for him. He would come home, drunk, and collapse on the bed …like he had been doing for the past few years.
She had met Neil when she was just sixteen years old and he was twenty. For some reason, he had taken a liking to her and was charming enough to sweep her off her feet. He was like a breath of fresh air in her life. She remembered feeling that he was exactly what she had been waiting for… her ticket out of the tiny, dusty and dilapidated town which was her hometown. He promised her a life of comfort and happiness …something that had been a mere dream to her before he came along. They had had a fairy tale romance and after two years he proposed. A year later they got married despite the many protests and warnings of her parents.
But not all fairy tales have happy endings, do they? Neil was in between jobs when they first met but what Julie soon realized was that he not a tad bit interested in finding a job to support his new family.
Julie had always wanted to be a writer. Her parents had gifted her a Godrej and Boyce typewriter on her sixteenth birthday which had belonged to her grandfather. She hoped to write something someday that would have an impact on the lives of others and make a difference. When Julie got married, she thought that she would get to stay at home and concentrate on her writing while Neil would find a decent job like he promised. But that was not the case. Julie had to abandon her typewriter and her dreams along with it when she found a job as a waitress at a small restaurant nearby. But the meagre salary was not enough to support her family which had now grown by one. She could not afford to give her infant daughter the very life she had tried escaping from but failed. Neil on the other hand found comfort in whiskey. He barely even looked at his wife or his daughter now. He would leave in the wee hours of the morning and return after midnight.
But Julie could not bring herself to leave him. She had really loved him once upon a time and that, to her, was enough to make her stay. Also, she knew that if she left Neil, he probably would not make it. Who would change his clothes after he passed out, drunk? Or clean his wounds when he came home covered in blood after bar fights, which was a frequent occurrence nowadays? But that didn’t mean she had never wanted to. There was one thing that she had learnt and had learnt it the hard way- no matter how much you try, or how much you want it…you cannot escape. A life of comfort and happiness was indeed a mere dream for her. The life she thought she had left behind had come back to haunt her.
There would be days when Julie would pull out that typewriter from under her bed and stare aimlessly at it…days like today. She heard the front door creaking and sighed again. He was back. Very carefully she covered her only prized possession with the cloth and put it back where it belonged. She thought to herself, “someday”…
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