Abhay pulled up his trousers for the umpteenth time like every day. He almost did it subconsciously like it was akin to breathing. But he never wore a belt. Wearing a belt brought back painful memories.
Those of his father. Of the putrid smell of alcohol mixed with smoke. Of his towering, overpowering presence in their shanty. Of being thrashed mercilessly. Of the blue and red strips on his back and hands and legs and face. Across his ears. Yeah, that incident had left him partially deaf. And partially blind. He remembered withering away slowly. The years of wetting his bed after evenings of whippings. The feeling of sleeping on a bed of thorns. The ache penetrating every nerve ending in his body.
Beads of perspiration began to form on his forehead as he thought about them. He felt a pool of water forming at his feet. His trouser soaking in the warm wetness. His slippers starting to smell.
The silver cold metal against his warm hands. Before he could realize, his fingers slid effortlessly into the groove underneath. They landed a string of six messengers of death into his father’s head. The smell of burnt flesh pervaded his senses as he bent down to feel his father’s pulse. There was no sign of life. He removed the ragged belt snaking around the rotund belly of his tormentor and fastened it around his neck like a noose.
Just to be sure.
He smiled. And pulled up the trouser weighed down by the wetness. The smell didn’t bother him any more.
The brown belt. It was no more.
They were now just memories.