I was giving a talk on child sexual abuse at the local university the next day, and mentioned this to my roommate, Reshmi.

Slowly, cautiously, we started talking about a mutual girlfriend who had come from a rough background. She had stayed with us recently. Anna’s father was an alcoholic.

“You know, there are a lot of similarities between people like us – who have either been sexually abused as children, or whose parents were alcoholics when they were young,” I was saying.

“As a child, you didn’t have much control over your life; you never really felt safe, so that behaviour continues into adulthood. I always like to put things back to their original positions after the maid has cleaned and left for the day. I like things just as they were.”

“I know, I noticed!” Reshmi grinned at me.

“When I was undergoing counselling, I made it a point to stop being such a control freak. I try, I try, even now!” I added, somewhat unnecessarily.

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(Photo credit: JewelPie)

“But you know, it’s possible to come out on the other side. We mustn’t forget that,” I continued. She nodded.

Today, I woke up feeling sunny. It’s a public holiday and the world has slowed down a pace.

I watered the plants on my balcony, taking pleasure in the blooms of the periwinkles despite its errant owner not being too regular about the watering. A money plant has also sprouted, and about this, I was also happy.

Reshmi had washed the clothes and hung it out to dry. I took over the folding of the towels, luxuriating in that lovely, freshly laundered smell. I ran my fingers over the terry cloth, admiring the feel of it, the texture.

I love the simplicity of ordered, domestic life with everything in its place.

A life no less extraordinary.