The Bollywood Bride (Bollywood)

But you know what else I figured out? That there’s more to life than chasing shit. That I didn’t have to achieve things to be someone everyone wants me to be. “Oh,

Her eyelids had turned into screens that played her memories on a loop.

He was hungering for the fight they had never had. The one she owed him, but could never give him.

How so much pain and such happiness could fit in the tiny space inside her, Ria didn’t know.

I don’t have to be here to do this, she had told herself, and then she’d let her body become whom it needed to be. Unlike

In her year without words, a well-meaning art teacher had given her a brush and paints. And for one precious hour, it had set her free.

It was paranoia and it was part of her special gift of depression, along with sadness and fear.

Once the tears started she didn’t know how to stop them. Words and tears—they were the twin gauges of her mental health that took over when she lost control, one drying up, the other oozing from her without consent. She

Pain was best left in the real world where it belonged, where it burrowed so deep you needed a multimillion-dollar industry to escape from it. “Babes,

She had learned to use her silence as armor and her memories as escape from the sniggers and name-calling.

She had spent a year not talking even as everyone tried to pry words out of her. Not being able to talk was about fear, about being terrified of what might come out, of what you might expose.

She wanted to bury what was inside her deeper where it would stop haunting her.

Sometime soon she would work her way up to being upset. Right now she was just glad to find the strength to go on chewing. As

The last thing she wanted to dig into was herself.

The strangest things in life were precious. Someone to tell you when you were wrong was one of them. “I

They were surrounded by people, seemingly enjoying the company, but they kept stealing glances at each other as if everything else were just a distraction. It

When he threaded his fingers through her hair and tugged her lips to his, she had melted in his arms, crumbled into infinite pieces, and allowed every single one of them to merge into him. Her

Yoga made her mind race all over the place instead of centering it, which made all that breathing and stretching pointless.