Palatinate Prose: Jack and Jill

by Namrata Menon 

I remember you by your beliefs, for you were a man of many. One of them being, that when we wanted to look back, we wore retrospectacles because “the tricky thing with the past is, objects in the mirror are farther than they appear.” People with vision problems mostly fall under two categories: long- sighted or short-sighted, but you created the third: of the hind-sighted. Another belief was if you cut open yourself, you’d find not blood or tissue, but me, nestled inside like a Matryoshka surprise.

But my favourite way to remember you by is the day we sat on the hill. Beneath us, trees shrugged their shoulders, and autumn collected in russet pools at our feet. We cradled cars and birds and people in our palms—because we were so high up and so large, and everything below was so insignificant, so infinitesimal. That was when you believed your last belief: that atop the hill, we would rewrite Jack and Jill. You wanted to re-write rhyme. I wanted to re-right wrong.

Wrong from the years I felt like a cheap palette, stabbed over and over with your brush and made to change colours faster than I could change my mind. You’d have been better off with a chameleon.

Wrong for the times you made me feel small, because you wanted to be the goddamn elephant in the room.

Wrong for the times you ransacked my happiness, that when tears streaked down my face, you called me a happy mess.

You stood up and shielded your eyes against the sun, your silhouette that of Icarus before he took flight. My fingers splayed across your back and all it had taken was one push, to forever tip the scales in my favour.

Atop the hill, we rewrote Jack and Jill.

For none knew Jill could kill.


Image: Pexels via Creative Commons, Google Images

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