In The End
In The End
Sunrise - never missed in the last 4 years of my life. Initially, it was difficult but it was one of a kind. It was a life turning event. Although I hated early morning job, I still gave into the rules of the firm I worked for. Very soon, however, I started loving the job, after all, Philippa worked at the same place and if there was anything that motivated me for the next day - it was her. In fact, even the sole reason I joined the firm was her.
We got married eventually and both of us decided to quit the firm and be our own bosses. Looks like we’ve never failed in it. She became a famous Chartered Accountant in the city and I was positioned as the Chief Commissioner of Darjeeling. We led a very happy and a comfortable life without any controversies although being one of the most respected families in the town. But life had a different course for us.
It was winters and it was very cold – after all, we lived in the Himalayan belt. One day, I woke up as usual at five in the morning. I woke up Philippa too. We both loved to spend time with each other first thing in the morning. It was a part and parcel of our life to spend the initial hours of the day with each other. No phones, no work, no worries. It is maybe because of this that we had a great married life and loved each other a lot.
We then went out for a jog and halfway through Philippa expressed a desire to return back home and looked a little tired.
“Ok dear, maybe you overworked last day. Maybe you should go get some rest,” said I.
“Yes! You are right. I will go back,” she replied.
I wish I had returned back with her so I could have stopped her from what she did next. But I continued and I returned back home after I finished all my morning errands. I stepped into the house and immediately our daughter Rose ran towards me. She usually wishes me good morning with a kiss on my cheek. However, today she just pulled me towards the bedroom and asked me to step into the bathroom.
“Holy shit,” I said, I wonder what was wrong with Philippa. She held a shaving blade, cut her veins on the hand and very coolly slit her throat with it in front of the mirror while I saw the reflection of her cutting her throat.
“What are you doing Philippa?” I ran towards her and held her hand and stopped her from harming herself anymore.
“Hahahhaha,” she started laughing loudly and suddenly closed her eyes and lay in my arms. For a moment, I thought she was no more and I started recollecting all the memories I had with her. But a million thanks to the almighty, she was still breathing. I immediately took her out of the bathroom and laid her down on the bed.
I consoled Rose and told her that her mumma was alright and it was just a little scratch on her throat and on her hand. She was just 8 and I didn’t have a better way to console her. While I tried to console her, I simultaneously called the doctor and ordered him to quickly come over to my home. I was then cleaning out the blood on Philippa’s body and in no time the doctor arrived. He examined Philippa and informed me that the wounds were not deep enough but a few stitches would be necessary.
The doctor did his duties and he did some extra duty of informing the police that my wife tried to commit suicide. The local police quickly arrived at my home asking about the incident. It is a crime to commit suicide. Since I was the commissioner, the local police hesitated to interrogate me but eventually, they got over the hesitation, pointing fingers at me for Philippa’s suicide attempt. They didn’t understand that I loved Philippa a lot and I would even choose to end my life instead of hers if the need arises.
The police left after a brief interrogation. The next thing was the media. I don’t know if it was the doctor or the police but either of them told the media that I tortured Philippa and physically assaulted her at times. I wonder how did anyone come to such a conclusion. Anyways, I didn’t care. All I wanted was Philippa to be alright and nothing else.
The doctor had told that Philippa would gain consciousness in a few hours and she would be alright. The entire night passed and Philippa never woke up. The next morning, when I woke up, I saw a disgusting image of Philippa eating a dead rat.
“Philippa” I yelled at her. Seeing me, she ran towards the bathroom. Fearing she would again harm herself, I rushed to the bathroom and held her tight – tight enough that she fell unconscious. I brought her back and laid her on the bed. I noticed something strange in her body. The right part of her body seemed rotten and looked greyish in color.
I was shocked and I didn’t know what do to or what was happening with Philippa. I sat beside her and started talking to her.
“What has happened to you Philippa? Why are you behaving like this?” I was literally sobbing while I told this to her. I held her hand and kept my head on it and then I felt a sudden shock wave pass through my head. I instantly figured out that something was wrong. But how did I feel that shock? It is maybe because of the meditation I do every morning by which I could sense invisible forms of energy present around.
Although I didn’t believe in such a thing as an invisible or supernatural power, the live proof of it with Philippa made me have a second thought. I still lay holding Philippa’s hand and I could see that her wrist was rotten more than any other part of her body. I wondered what was it.
I started examining her hand and noticed that our marriage ring on her hand had lost its shiny and glossy finish. I just thought it might be because of the years of marriage we have been in. I was proud for a moment that our marriage lasted so long and we were connected not just emotionally or physically but eternally too. I just looked through it again and I realized that it not only had lost its glossy finish but had been deteriorating too just like her rotten hand.
I figured out, something was fishy. I had a strange feeling that the ring she wore is not the same one which she wore on her wedding day. With the suspicion at hand, I removed her ring. For a moment, Philippa’s body started shivering and it continued on for a minute. Being perplexed I stood away from her. I decided I couldn’t just keep watching her and I had to do something.
“Philippa,” I shouted and approached towards her trying to stop her from shivering. She suddenly held my hand trying to stop me. Then, she put her head down covering her face with her hair. She then suddenly raised her head with a shrill and loud cry – “Yaaaahhhhhhhhh”. It was so loud that all the windows panes shattered into a million pieces. She was then back to her own senses and told me, “Allen, please save me, please,” while she was breathing heavily.
“Calm down Philippa,” I replied and running to fetch some water. But she held my hand tight and replied, “No. Come here and throw that ring away.” She immediately fell asleep.
I was now sure whatever was wrong with Philippa, it was because of this ring. I looked at the ring and my goodness, my palm also had a black tinge which did not exist before I took out the ring. Adding to the interesting turn of events, Philippa spoke again. But this time, I was sure it wasn’t the real her but something else or probably someone else.
“Listen, you, son of riff-raff, I will take her away with me, Thank God you removed the ring only after I had completely possessed her.”
Whatever it was that spoke to me, one thing was sure that there was nothing greater than God. Even that petty thing had to thank God at the end of the day for the help. It was useless to converse with Philippa or any other counterpart of hers which exist inside her. Sure that there was something wrong with the ring, I had to figure out what was it actually to come to a solution to everything that was happening. I took the ring, put it in a box and walked to the prayer hall of our house and kept it there. New to such experiences, I didn’t have any better idea.
Thinking about my next course of action, I lay on the couch. Suddenly, someone was at the door. I honestly didn’t want to open it because I was sure it was again some other media people who wanted to broadcast the dramatic events of my life without knowing what was actually happening.
“I don’t want to answer any of your ques...” – I opened the door and to my surprise, Shafana stood at my doorsteps. She was a really good friend of mine from college days. More precisely, a sister from another mother. The biryani was always my favorite. If there was anyone with whom I shared all my joys and sorrows, it was her.
I didn’t know how to welcome her. I already had too much to deal with. I, however, asked her to come in but she only asked: “Where is Philippa?”
“Why? What’s the matter? Is everything alright? Why are you asking abou…?”
“NO! Nothing is right.”
“She is sick.”
“No, I mean she is possessed. Come in quick and explain what is wrong.”
We both went in and Shafana insisted that she sees Philippa. She sobbed looking at the sight of Philippa and I couldn’t resist either. It was at this time that I ever loved Philippa the most. I just wanted her to be back to normal. Then, both of us decided to work this out instead of just sobbing.
She started explaining, “I had a dream last night. Philippa slitting her throat with a shaving blade. Is it true?”
“Yes. But how did you get a dream about it?”
“Forget it. Listen to me. My dream just didn’t stop there. Apparently, my Shohar (husband) exchanged a ring of Philippa. I thought it was just a dream but when I woke up, I found my husband dead and I searched through my house and found a ring. It had Allen written on the back of it. I don’t know for whatever reasons Hamad did this but Allah has probably sent him to the right destination. I loved him a lot but he never reciprocated his love and I feel like I should have never introduced you and especially Philippa to him.” She started sobbing and I tried to console her. “I thought,” she continued, “I should at least save the two loved ones if not my Shohar.”
“But, I am confused. Why would he do any such thing to Philippa?”
“He.. he.. he was an asshole. Always yearned for other’s wives. You remember the last weekend when we all with a few other friends of ours met at The Patty’s Café and then we all went to our hotel?”
“Yes, I do.”
“It was then that he asked for sexual favors from Philippa. I didn’t know initially but a few days later, I happened to check his phone and found his texts to Philippa. I thought Philippa would have already told you about the incident and you’d be acting against it. I am sure he replaced her ring while you were at your hotel just so he could blackmail her and get what he needs.”
“Bloody hell. These maniacs I tell you.”
Shafana was still sobbing while she explained all her story and lay on the couch. I didn’t ask any questions further. I am sure Hamad would have contacted some kind of a black magician or someone alike to seduce women and he used this as bait.
Leaving the history apart, I decided to think about the future and to save Philippa from the clutches of whatever possessed her. I resumed speaking to Shafana.
“Did Allah tell you how to save my Philippa?”
“No” – and then suddenly, there came a voice and it was in a strange language. I didn’t understand but Shafana seemed to acknowledge whatever the voice said. It was now not difficult for me to understand that it was in Arabic and Shafana being a qitaba woman, understood The Quran very well and so even Arabic.
After a while, the voice stopped and Shafana’s begun.
“It was the sacred voice of Allah. He gave me instructions to save your Philippa. I will say a few prayers to control the evil spirit inside Philippa and you meanwhile, take this original ring from me and try to put it on Philippa’s finger. It sounds simple but that evil spirit will never let you reach out to Philippa. I will use my full potential to stop the evil one. Here take the ring,” she handed me the ring.
“What about the exchanged one?”
“You have done the right decision to place it in God’s shelter. Whatever it is that has possessed can’t invade God’s place.” And then I thought to myself, that is why a little while ago, that evil power had to thank God ultimately.
Shafana sat down, “Go quick, the evil spirit would have heard whatever Allah spoke through Philippa and they are better translators than humans.” She then looked out of the window and told me that I had to do this before sunrise. It was too dark now, Shafana and I never realized this while we were figuring out how to save Philippa. She then started reciting prayers.
I went to the bedroom where Philippa lay. To my surprise, she wasn’t there on the bed. “Philippaaaa,” I shouted. The lights started blinking and there came a loud laughing voice – “Hahhhahhaah” – and the lights quickly went off and I heard a distorted voice of Philippa. “The Commissioner right, find out your wife if you are truly one. Haahahha,” the lights resumed and Philippa vanished.
It was a huge bungalow, my house, Philippa might be anywhere. She might have fled out of the house too. But I hoped that Shafana locked the evil spirit from running out of my house. I went into the kitchen and happened to see the shadow of Philippa floating in the air through a window curtain. I pushed the curtains away and to my disgust, Philippa’s body had taken a weird shape – her back was bent totally backward, her neck twisted towards her right and her feet completely twisted perpendicular to her legs. I tried to hold her when she suddenly flew away somewhere.
I looked at my watch and realized there was only an hour left to sunrise. “I have to hurry,” I told myself. I heard something broke in my living room. I realized that the evil spirit was trying to stop Shafana from reciting her prayers and I quickly ran to the living room. I saw there that Shafana was not being disturbed at all. Instead, Philippa lay in front of the prayer hall, trying to enter it to take back the original ring but she couldn’t enter it because of its sacredness. The prayer hall was right adjacent to the living room. Philippa saw me enter the living room.
“Stop,” the spirit said, “Stop your friend else I have to harm your wife.”
“I can’t,” I replied.
“Oh! Here take this,” and it stabbed Philippa on her thigh real hard.
“Ahhhhhhhhhh. Alleeennn save me please,” replied Philippa. The spirit kept on stabbing her leg and Philippa didn’t stop crying in pain. I ran towards her and held her hand prevented her from stabbing.
The spirit pushed me away and climbed onto the wall on the other part of the living room. Then, it did some kind of an eye movement and made the huge wall clock of our house fall on Shafana. I noticed it quickly and pushed Shafana away saving her from any hurt but also disturbing her from chanting her prayers. Even though I pushed her, she still hurt her forehead and she started bleeding. She said she was alright and asked me to concentrate on Philippa first.
“Now that she is here, lock her down in the prayer hall. God’s power will diminish the power of the evil spirit and then you could restore Philippa’s ring back to her.” And she locked the doors of the living room.
Both of us ran towards her and held her hand. As we started pulling her towards the prayer hall, Philippa shouted a shrill and a loud cry shattering every other glass items in my bungalow. Our ears almost burst and started bleeding. It was then when the spirit started biting my ears and I started crying out in pain.
“Allen, don’t give into the clutches of the pain, it is just a way of distracting you,” replied Shafana.
Overcoming the pain, I dragged Philippa along with Shafana and dragged her into the Prayer Hall. It was a difficult task. The spirit resisted a lot, pulling us away from the prayer hall by hitting and kicking us. With great difficulty, I somehow managed to put only the right hand of Philippa into the prayer hall and immediately took out the ring and put it on Philippa’s finger.
“It’s over,” Shafana replied. Some kind of fumes went away from Philippa’s body and Philippa acted in a weird way for a minute and then fell on my arms. I hugged her and kissed her and offered a million thanks to the Almighty and to Shafana for saving Philippa.
Philippa woke up and asked if I was alright. I told her that it was I who had to ask her that question. “He told me that it was you who he targeted and he would do something to you,” she told.
“What?” said I. “Yes. I tried to figure out what he was trying to do to you. He also threatened me that if I told you anything he would use the evil power to kill you. So I never told you anything and I thought I would figure out what he was up to and then get you rid of him,” she replied.
I clearly knew what was the confusion about. I was pretty sure that since he saw my name on the ring he exchanged, he assumed it to be mine. It was the usual custom for couples to get a ring with their partner's name (instead of their name) on it to put it on their wedding day. So he mistook Philippa’s ring to be mine and threatened her wrongly. Hardly did he know how much we loved each other that contrary to the customs we preferred to wear a ring with latter’s name on it instead of our own so that we both stay at each other’s fingertips.
“Let bygones be bygones. You take rest and get well. We will talk about it great detail later,” I replied.
I had one last question. I wondered how did Shafana find out the way to my home. She replied, “The Almighty Allah showed us the way to save Philippa’s life. I guess the way to your home was nothing.”
“Alright,” and we giggled a little. I told her to take rest and get well soon too. She told Allah is always with her and I need not worry and she left. As soon as she left, I received a letter – suspension letter until all the accusations that media claimed against me were properly investigated. I didn’t care. All I cared was for Philippa and no one else.
I went inside my home and received a call stating that there seems to be a murder case and I had to come to investigate it. I asked for the victim’s names without realizing I was being suspended.
“Sir, it looks like the wife killed her husband and then killed herself. Names on each of their Identity cards read Shafana and Hamad.”