Over the last three years, he’s worked to undo me. I never ask him to love me, and I never ask him for his time, so he buys me an apartment, and furnishes it. I continue to work and dance, and show a glimpse of human when I slip of my Mata Hari bra, so he buys me a cell, and asks to take me away. The clientele is exclusive, all city, and they have a thing for the exotic. Being Indian works, and I play it well.
They buy us drinks, so he takes me for walks along Southbank. They want to take us to dinner, so he invests more time. He asks about how I know the book market, and, engrossed in a copy of Evolution of Ethnicity I let slip that I visited it a lot whilst at university. He asks what I did, and why I dropped out. I tell him about trying to get back, and the loopholes that kept me away. I don’t tell him about threatening the administrator with a gender-race lawsuit, Because I wonder, if I was male, or even white, would you make an effort let me back?
He tells me I look sad, and that I don’t have to this anymore.
It takes him three years to undo me, to pick apart a cold and calculated actress, playing the only part that gives her power, and to say, I’ve got money, you can go back to uni, or whatever. We can go away. You don’t have to do this.
I don’t tell him that it’s in my blood, to reject everything that is normal because it damages me. I don’t tell him I’m too far gone, having inherited a world of inequality and powerlessness since years before I was born – since my grandmother was burnt alive for being a woman whose husband had died. I tell him that I will meet him at his home, and I head towards the airport, mapping out a life in a place where money and sex trump everything else.