She went back to rehearsing the play. Heathcliff was the imagination of a lonely tuberculotic, febrile patient in an asylum. Who knows if at all he had married Catherine they may have had four children and lived unhappily ever after.
“Now to that name my courage proves my title! I am fire and air; my other elements I give to baser life. Have I the aspic in my lips? If thou and nature can so gently part, The stroke of death is as lover’s pinch, which hurts and is desired. Come thou mortal wretch with thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate of life at once untie”
She repeated these lines, once to memorize then to emote.As she was emoting the lines passionately her voice rose and trembled, she undid her hair band to add to the wild look or may be it was the only tie she could undo just then. And she started from the beginning; she did not notice Mrs Indira peeping at her from behind the large red hibiscus bush, planted in the narrow stretch of the land connecting the front lawn and the backyard. When she fell down pretending to die from the snake bite, her nightie got caught in a long spiny process of a weed, her dry legs bristled with the static electricity generated by the sudden movement of the polyester fabric, she looked up to see Indira looking at her with concern. She was thoroughly embarrassed and stammered “I was only pretending, nothing happened”
Indira smiled maternally helped her untangle herself, “When you pretend so well, even hurt becomes real, is this for a college play?”
“No, for a mono act competition in the inter college cultural festival, I am rehearsing the lines of Cleopatra before the final act of suicide in Antony and Cleopatra”
“You will walk away with the prize, I am sure”
She warmed up to this woman, she was accustomed to either criticism or jealousy by the members of her own sex.