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“He’s younger?” Mom whispered amidst tears.

“Yeah, two years.” I clarified.

“So he won’t marry you?” Dad almost shouted in anger.

“He’s okay with marriage, I’m not. I need more time.” I answered again.

“What about the baby then?” they enquired in unison.

“I’ll take care of the baby, but what is this, some kind of an interrogation? You didn’t ask me or seek my opinions last time around.” I retorted.

“Shameless.” Dad hissed, “How do we show our face outside? Our daughter, brought up in a respectable family, leaves her husband to live in with a younger man. Is this how we raised you?”

“Trust me Dad, it’s exactly because of the way you raised me.” I looked him straight in the eye, perhaps for the first time.

The Muse of the Month is a monthly writing contest organised by Women’s Web, bringing you original fiction inspired by women. This story is one of the winners for the May 2021 Muse of the Month. The juror for this month, Trisha Das commented, “A subtle, poignant story about a woman who breaks from the invisible shackles of society. I liked the writing and internal monologue. Could have used more dialogue.”

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