Now that I look back I don’t even know why we separated. It was not as if we hadn’t been with other people, in our relationship. I had been seeing Mitchell for over a year now. But Trope … was just bad news.
The one thing that the leaders of Little Lesbos had not foreseen was that while it was important to tighten rules around psychiatric and psychology practices, one should have also focused on mitigating the growth of what had been known for centuries as the psycho-dyke-cult. Of course, they would say that tightening the rules and producing many mental health professionals was the only way to control psycho-dykes but I think it was a lazy excuse. The rate at which jealousy crimes were on a rise, it was obvious that some laws were not working after all. Trope was part of one of the several sects of psycho-dykes.
The evening that Trope visited her clinic, Terry changed. She was edgy and did not let me out of sight, even for a minute. I had never seen her like this. While I had known her to be attracted to many women but her attraction to Trope seemed to be on a complete different level.
And from there everything went downhill. Trope did not make it easy for her either. Terry tried to keep it a hush-hush affair but the number of sessions Trope was having with her rose suspicions amongst authorities. She tried to explain that Trope was a special case that needed more attention and they would have bought it. They knew Trope was a prime suspect in several jealousy crimes all over. But Trope did not leave it at that. She told the authorities that she was in fact in love with Terry and that Terry was the best screw she ever had.
Terry’s license was revoked immediately and she spent most of her days sulking at home. In the meantime, I had started my diner with a friend so I did not mind her being unemployed. But her sulking and the knowing that Trope would be at home with her while I was at the diner roused feelings in me, I had never known. Seven years of being together and one Trope had screwed both Terry and me.
One night I got home and Terry was gone. Just like that. I knew why she had left, though. She knew how it made me feel. She thought she had screwed up so much that the best thing to do would be to move out of my life. Mitchell’s visits increased soon after and she had also decided to work at the diner.
A year later, the laws that had once seemed utopic had given rise to the uprising of mental health professionals. All mental health professionals had lost their license one by one. There were underground groups being formed and slowly we saw people gathering on the street protesting.
When they realised that peaceful protests did not make a difference they took to guerilla warfare. Cars got bombed, shops got busted. ‘Isolated incidents’, the media informed.
I hadn’t seen Terry since had left. She came once in a while to pick her stuff up when I was not around since she still had her key. I let her keep it as I still lived alone and I did not change the locks either.
When Terry walked into the diner and shot me we were in the middle of our first full-fledged civil war. By then, incidents of crime had become the norm and no one really cared any more. But I cared. For Terry. She looked different. She looked like what Trope did when I first saw her. Diffident. Crazy eyed. Yet placid. I had to find her. I had to look for her.
I left the diner early to figure out if any clinics were open to fix my thumb. But the drive home was different today. There were more people on the streets than usual, more streets bombed than usual. Houses were untouched (homes were untouched even if front porches were cratered with shells).
I drove into my parking spot where my house and street were left untouched and I knew I would walk in to find Terry.
Suddenly the loudest explosion I had ever heard rocked my ear drums and threw me off my feet. Terry ran up to me from inside and picked me up and helped me inside. She quickly bandaged my thumb without saying a word except she had a grave expression on her face. I looked at her a bit befuddled both from her being there and from the explosion that had mildly numbed my mind and fuzzied my hearing. It seemed though like several bombs were going up one after the other somewhere far away from us.
Terry wrapped me in a blanket and laid me on my bed. I realised then that she had changed her clothes into those that were familiar to me. She climbed into bed with me and spooned me while she whispered ‘It’s all over now. The war has just begun and everything is going to end soon. It’s all over now.’
And just like that we drifted off into slumber holding each other.