Zara, the protagonist of the story follows her dreams and becomes a successful theater actor. However, her success becomes the reason for the fall of a three year long relationship with a man she once deeply loved.
“It’s hard, it’s hard to erase that image from my mind. It has occupied a place there and now when I look at you, that image is all that appears in front of me. The truth is, I gave myself wholly to you. I loathe that woman, but I loathe you more. All those promises and all that love that you have for me, all that love you proclaim to have for me, all seem empty to me now.” He walks toward her and pulls her toward him. She pulls away from his embrace and takes a step back. “No, don’t hold me. It’s not going to fix anything between us, not now, not ever.”
The two were facing each other, they remained frozen in that position and in an instant the spotlight disappeared. There was darkness for a few seconds and in no time the auditorium was dressed in light.
Zara walked down from the stage and occupied a seat a few rows away from the rest. She sat there sipping her mug of coffee and observing the people sprinkled all over the auditorium, as if she were watching a movie play in front of her. She liked being by herself. Not having close intimate relationships made her life less complicated.
Her eyes shifted back to the stage. She found herself going back to the time when she watched her first play on her 15th birthday. She had read a decent amount of Shakespeare and few other plays by then and was eager to watch a live performance of a play. After a lot of trying to convince her parents to take her for a play, Zara’s parents surprised her on her 15th birthday. They took her to watch her first play which was a modern rendition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. She fell in love with the passion with which the actors performed. Their acting seemed so effortless, it came so naturally to them as if they were all born actors. In that moment she realized how much she wanted to be there, how much she wanted to do exactly what they were doing. Both of her parents being renowned professors themselves, were not surprised when Zara proposed to them her intention of wanting to become a theatre actor after she finished with her High School education. To her surprise, they were very supportive of her choice and encouraged her by making it a point to attend as many plays as possible, which she was part of.
She put down her mug of coffee and lifted the manuscript of the play, to read her lines. As she began reading the lines, her mind slowly began to drift away to eight years ago when she fell in love with a man, who was a theatre actor himself. She loved him and every part of him, with all her heart. She was mesmerized by every minute detail that made him who he really was. His so called love for her lasted until jealousy began to wipe out all the love which he had for her. As she began to climb the ladder in theatre, cracks began to form in their relationship. The larger the cracks grew, the more jealousy began to occupy its place between those cracks. He became bitter towards her and started resenting being with her. She realized how important it was for her to get away from him, although a part of her still wanted to give him another chance. It had been five years now, since she put him out of her life. But the wound of that relationship hadn’t healed. When she lost him, it was like she’d lost the ability to love anyone, to let herself completely for someone. She couldn’t see herself being that intimate the manner in which she was with him, only to get hurt all over again. Through the years she grew and grew and as she sat by herself, looking at the stage, in the present moment, she realized she achieved exactly what she always wanted but at the cost of losing one of the few people she considered a big part of her world.
Suddenly she felt someone’s palm on her shoulder. She looked up to see the director of the play standing beside her. We need to start right from the top, was what he said to her. To which she replied I’ll be right up!
She walked back to the stage. The director raised his voice asking everyone to remain silent. She looked at the empty seats in front of her and imagined all the people who would come and occupy those very seats, for tomorrow’s show. She could imagine her parents and her best friend, the only people in her life she lived for, sitting on one of the front row seats. All three of them watching her as she performed and only a sense of delight left in their eyes for her. She smiled to herself thinking of this image. Zara, are you ready? Yes, I am.
Silence filled the atmosphere. The lights went off and the spotlight fell on Zara, once again.