Mia41 mins 22.1K 41 mins 22.1K
I sit here in front of this grave, squeezing inside my overcoat, eyes red and swollen of excessive moisture. I feel the cold biting me, ripping me all the way as I feel the pain, that extravagant grief and the only thing invisible is blood. I endeavor to halt my contemplation at her name inscribed upon that gravestone by closing my eyes to get rid of this suffering that I heed my phosphenes are flashed or more probably replaced by her bright and beaming visage. I’m cold, despondent, demented although I now have in my possession, everything I ever wished, some of my most important dreams materialized. But I still don’t feel content, rather I feel I have hidden a killer inside me, who had killed her. Am I a murderer? Or perhaps it was never in my hands.
It all began when I was at the doctor’s place, and my wife, Roshni, was holding me as tightly as she ever could, as never letting go, as if clenching upon my soul. That bond was eternal, devotional and unconditional. The doctor had just showed up hose horrid reports in front of us and confirmed that my wife suffered from the second stage of cancer. I didn’t have any finances for a treatment like chemotherapy. Other methods happened to be orthodox for the second stage of the treacherous ailment. There was a top most oncologist in town, some Ms. Fernandez. But I couldn’t even contact her, as she was not in India, and no one knew when she would return. However, no matter how tight and firm was my wife’s grip, I knew that appall of her condition held her tighter, and far away from me. Yes, she was physically there, but the ominous terror that had stricken me, seemed as a reality, that she stood far away from me, and soon our distances would exceed the extent which no one can ever traverse.
On the way back home, I saw that horrid pallor of her face, those big round eyes, had lost their charm. I noticed her gait, almost lifeless, as if a dead body walking with me. She didn’t speak a word to me that day. Neither did I breathe a syllable out from that mouth which never got tired of chatting with that angel. I was so still, so wretched, all of a sudden it had all transformed, it had all been devastated. Suddenly it had become so hard to breathe. She remained laying still on her bed, shocked, staring at the ceiling, aimlessly, as mute as fish, like it was not my vibrant wife at all.
The whole night I remained in the other room, accompanied by silence, a silence that deafened me. I remember when my wife came sparkling towards me, clad in bridal attire and I embraced the vermillion vows as I concluded the rituals. I still remember the day when I first met her, in Berlin, in that grandiose hotel under that beautiful candelabrum showering its brilliance upon her bumpy cheeks and they soon turned crimson after a few moments of our prolonged conversation. She remained nodding and then lowering her thick lashed in reply. It was love at first sight.
We kept meeting from then, and I experienced my love intensifying. I still remember when I met her there, at that heavenly location, beside that beautiful waterfall. She was surrounded by a breathtaking arch of rainbow. She was playing with the sprinkles of water droplets, spreading as diamonds on her face, some sticking in her hair and some in her dark chiffon dress. She was such a fantasy. As those diamonds cherished themselves, by settling upon her cherry red lips the moment got enshrined with the purest feeling called love, when she looked at me. The curve of her vivid smile stretched more, and those diamonds melted upon her cheeks and lips, enhancing her glow, when she gleamed at me. I walked up to her, and engulfed her in my arms. She glided her hands upon my shoulder and then grew closer, closer than ever by then, and how ecstatically she rested the tip of her nose upon mine and we smiled. The time almost froze there, until, I asked her to look down at the trench. And she excitedly moved out of my arms and bent down to that river that suddenly she slipped upon the mire and tumbled forward. I quickly rose and grabbed her, timidly pulling her back. I clasped with her. Tears ran down my cheeks. She was laughing in my arms. I promised that I would never let anything happen to her. And you know what she said? – “And what if I died of some incurable disease?” I hugged her and assured that nothing like that will happen to her. But now, it had turned just the way I feared at that moment. I was so frightened at her little misbalance then and it was like death for me, when I knew that she was going to die. It was so devastating for me to see my love, a girl so lively, who filled magic in my life, who flooded bliss in my world, a girl who carved out a soul from of a biological machine, a girl filled with brio, vivacity and life, who used to spread joy and contentment everywhere, was now, going to die! It was like my paradise was now gonna turn into permanent purgatory, where I would have to live, dying every moment.
The next morning, however when I got out of my bed, I saw a completely different girl in front of me. My Roshni was changed; she was smiling again, twirling around the whole house and making special breakfast for me. She pacified me and said she just wants to live happily in the last days of her life. I denied that, but she smiled and hugged me. She assured me within a couple of days that she was content at her turmoil and was peaceful at heart. I denied, beseeched, begged, but she wanted me to join my work, and make life very casual and happy, not ominous, frightful and demented. She requested me to be very romantic with her because in the end days, all she wanted was my love.
From that day on, I began seeing her dying; I saw her face getting paler, her eyes getting sunken into their cavities. But she pretended to be ignorant and alright. I sometimes used to steal into her dressing area, and see that bunch of hair, which she dumped beneath empty crumpled papers. She used to get tired frequently but then acted like she was just kidding. At mid nights, I used to wake up and stare at her. Every time I saw her sleeping, an awful dread killed me, as her pallor intensified, as her lips got colorless and chapped and her sunken eyes didn’t open, I felt like the time has come, but every morning, I too pretended like sleeping and she used to wake up choking, but never did she ever fail to rise and give me a good morning kiss. All my sentiments were crushed and fear and grief had replaced all my feelings.
After a couple of days, I saw her going bald. It was the day when I couldn’t hide my tears anymore. She again smiled and said funnily.
“Oops! You got me! I thought I could hide my hair fall, you get me another shampoo this month.” And she laughed, breaking me into pieces. Her voice strewed goose-bumps all over my body, her words were like farewell to my ears and I clasped with her.
One day I got a letter from my heads, they wanted me to go to Berlin, to attend a business meet. It was a week’s mater and I got to go there for the twenty percent turnover that the company was going to honor me with. I would have accepted the offer with the blink of an eye, but my wife needed me, and at any cost, I couldn’t leave her. I couldn’t miss any chance of staying with her. My fears well overpowered my counterpart business spirits. But that day my wife saw the letter and she asked me very casually, as if nothing happened, “So when are you going to Berlin?”
I shook my head in a brisk disapproval but she shook hers much vigorously. My wife, who became completely weak and bald, asked me to go to the meeting and stay there for a couple of days so that I could get a bit refreshed. I tried to convince, then rebuke, that I couldn’t leave her, and she was not fit for travelling. But then she was so damn stubborn! At last her request turned into argument and I finally agreed. Leaving her, I felt like dying. I left her with tears in my eyes.
That day I reached Berlin, with two of my assistants cum friends, Neeraj and Arun. I attended the meeting at the first day itself. I came to know that due to some reason, other proceedings were postponed to the end of the year. The rest of the days were free. I checked the flights back to India. I thought the heavens were merciful and I could go back to my Roshni. But soon I unraveled that they had nothing close to mercy left for me. Due to a sudden change in weather, a stormy weather, all the flights were cancelled. So there I was, in Berlin, where I first met Roshni. All the phone lines were also interrupted and I couldn’t even talk to my wife for more than a few seconds.
However the next day, I decided to go the same waterfall which contained my feelings in its vicinity. I reached there in a storm.
The sky was painted dark and obscure. There was no azure background, no fresh breeze and no rainbow this time, just enraged thunderstorms roaring horridly, gales wreathing upon that corner most part where she once stood waiting for me. I was endeavoring to withstand the gusts which tried to push me back. I considered myself all alone in that horrid ambience, but then I heard something which broke my engrossment with my own feelings. It was a voice of a girl that sounded much like my wife’s. I looked back at that part where I met Roshni. And to my surprise, there was a girl standing there; not in front of clear blue sky, but thunderstorms, her figure not surrounded by any rainbows, but flashes of bolts in all kinds of crazy angles, not sprinkled with water, but completely drenched looking up at the sky and yelling out cheerfully. I grew closer, mystically appealed by her. She was Indian. I soon reached just behind her, and she still didn’t notice as she was riveted in her adventure. The rain water cascaded down her beautiful black gown that skimped against her body, defining her curves. She wore heels yet stood on her toes. And then suddenly, the heel slipped in the mire, and she tumbled down to almost the trench. She screamed, and I leapt forward as fast as I could, and held her waist. I began pulling her up and she was shocked. After a second or two, of a quick tug of war between me and gravity, I pulled her back up. She was amazed, but that stupid woman was still smiling, just like my wife did.
“Is it funny?” I shouted at her. She stepped a bit closer and said in a very deep but melodious voice.
“It’s beautiful.” And then she broke in a laugher, a laughter that sounded much like a sweet mountain’s brook. I sighed and moved back.
“Alright then, goodbye miss!” I began going back.
“Oh no never!” She called and made me swirl back to her. She grew closer and said in a sensuous manner. “Never say goodbyes!”
“Say, will meet again.” she bowed to me and gave me her name in the most sugary voice I ever heard,
I turned back and began moving on, finding actually no reason or importance of giving my name. And walked quite slow and brusque, and soon reached the exit of the location. But then suddenly I felt like someone was following me. And there she was, behind me, smiling, quite reasonless. I was a bit surprised.
“Hey there! You ended your adventure right?” I asked casually, but her reply was not the least of casual.
“The real one had just started Herr.”
I cleared my throat as if to say something, though I happened to stay quiet at that. I left her walking very fast this time and got in the taxi where Arun was waiting for me.
The next day, to refresh my memories again, I went to the place where I met my wife for the first time. It was this great hotel, near the Brandenburg gate. Arun was sick so he didn’t come that day; rather I insisted that jerk to stay away from me for those days so that I can feel the magic of the memories, all alone. But soon sitting within the sparkly walls of the hotel, embellished by the soothing aromatic German seasonings in the air, I unraveled that I was not really alone. Through the brisk glare of the candelabrum which embraced the first proximities of me and my wife, emerged another face, a familiar one. She came spontaneously ticking upon those pencil heels and bedazzling my senses by those sparkling fair legs exposed by that short red dress she wore. Her eyes were glued on me and she was getting nearer and I remained gaping at her till she stood upon my head. She tapped the table twice and I got my eyes off her, pretending I didn’t notice how gorgeous she looked.
“May I sit here Herr?” she asked gracefully. I didn’t actually know what to reply. I was baffled as I noticed most of the people, especially men, were looking at us, probably at her through their turned heads and lowered lids. I decided to agree for a while and eventually try and get rid of her. I moved my head up to agree letting her join, that I saw she already occupied that seat in front of me. She smiled and bent forward.
“Wie ghet es dir?” She asked with emotions glittering in her eyes, and that was when I actually noticed her for the first time, her perfect visage of long eyes, a bit grayish, her curly vintage hair covering half of her forehead fancied in a side partition, her slender pointed nose, a bit crimson at the tip, her lips as red and wet as fresh rose petals, scarlet, and seemed like they contained some magic spells. I moved my head down and nodded in reply to her question.
“You won’t imagine I was just returning from the mall and I saw you, uh, wait, I didn’t get your good name?” she said with a slight chuckle. I rubbed my forehead and said with a slight smile, “Raj, Raj Roy.”
“Okay Raj, I hope you remember my name?” She asked excitedly. And her name gushed out of my memory and ushered out from my lips, I must say, very involuntarily,
And she almost jumped at that. She broke into laughter, and I couldn’t imagine how happy she was! She bent forward again but somehow, I managed to move myself at the back of my chair without getting noticed.
“So may we order something?” she asked vividly opening the menu.
“No I’m fine, but you go ahead.” And she folded the menu and kept it back at its place. She then arranged her chin on her knuckles and commenced a conversation, from which I tried to escape.
“So Raj, what do you do?”
“I’m the zonal manager, in Mahogany Enterprises.”
“Oh here? In Berlin?”
“Oh no, not here, in Delhi, India! I came here for a business summit, well it’s over now. I was planning to go back but the flights were all delayed.”
“Poor you! But either way, its good, you almost saved my life yesterday, we got a chance to meet and we are here…nice place isn’t it?”
“And so are you.” She said it with a blend of seduction. I stared at her a bit tentatively. And she smiled and shook her head.
“I’m sorry.” She said. “Ah well! There you are at a place where you can showcase this moment for a lifetime, at least I will remember! Everyone has memories to cherish, don’t they?”
Her question somehow propelled me to give away my little tale of massive love and intense pain. And so I very naturally told her about my wife, after which I felt like she would keep herself decently distanced from me.
“I met my wife here” I began. I noticed her head moved out of her hand and she sat straight and serious. “Roshni is her name! You are right! I have that sweet memory to cherish, but I wish cherishing it alone. Would you mind to please leave me and my wife alone, I mean virtually!” I said quite spontaneously. I felt I was rude. She smiled very effortlessly however. She stood up and glided her hand upon my shoulder and went away. It was the first time I sensed her so deeply. That touch, through the crease of my shirt, and through my skin, penetrated straight into my heart, somewhere near the core. The whole time, I sat thinking about her and I couldn’t engross myself in the memory I was supposed to refresh and that made her walk away.
In the following days, I went to all those places where I used to roam about with my wife, but very bizarrely, everywhere I met her, Mia! She followed me everywhere and I tried to escape from her. Finally she got me at the checkpoint Charlie, and began in her coquetry manner,
“Raj! Aren’t you staying with me? Just till twilight?” She insisted. I shook my head in a sheer disagreement and moved on. She kept following, kept smiling and somehow managed to stay with me the whole evening.
The next day, I went to the waters of Spree, which were enraged and torrential when I reached them, complementing the thundering skies above. She again stalked me there, yes; ‘stalk’ is the word! She got in my boat and kept on finding chances to move in closer. She again requested that day, “Raj! Stay with me till evening.” I shook my head annoyingly, and I knew that I was being uncouth, but I also knew that she was stubborn and she would make it. She played with the strong stormy winds, and cavorted upon the waves that billowed all over the Spree. She loved frisking and simply ramping with nature, especially the enraged one, like the one in which I met her, stormy!
She then met me in Grunewald. Within the emerald green serenity of the wet garden, she appeared even more mystical through that mist. The petrichor was as if fragranced by her perfume. There was hardly anyone except me and her. And somehow in that mist, she appeared much like my wife, so vivid, so lively, and so enchanting. And that day, her enchantment, exceeded some limits which it never would have even touched.
That day too, she called me towards her clasping sensuously to a tree. I don’t know how I reached closer to her. But I remember at a decent distance, I stopped and said, “Please, leave me alone!” I cried closing my eyes. I was dying of a pain, the pain of losing my wife, because this woman was reminding me of her. And my mind was filled with her, my wife, my love; it was her, all over my senses. My heart had suddenly grown that passionate, that desiring and so lusty that I lost control over my senses, over myself. She didn’t go away, rather she grew closer, but my eyes were still closed, closed hard. She glided her hands upon my shoulders, just like my Roshni did, and then the tip of her nose touched mine, and I dived into the past memoires with my eyes still closed. I immersed in the deluge of thoughts. Something was so charismatic about this lady that it all stirred a baseless absolution inside me that nothing was changed, that moment still stuck where it began, it was all there still there, as it was, from where it incepted. It was all fresh and beautiful, filled with youth, flair, romance, bliss and love! It was all just the way I had descried before, and it felt like I was living it all over again!
It was only when her hot breaths cooled down my face, and I was about to move my arms round her waist that I stopped! I realized that past can never come back! It’s bygone, quondam. Whatever I was experiencing that moment, was love, but I didn’t feel it the way I felt then. It was something else, for that was a purest feeling, but this time whatever was going on had something much like fear, adulterating the emotions. That instinct evolved from the complexities of my heart! And then, I opened my eyes, and observed her face; quite the same manuscript but the folio was changed, the same emotions but the face was changed, she was not my wife, and that made all the difference. I shook my head and gently pushed her back. She opened her eyes too and advanced towards me again,
“What is it? Aren’t you desiring it?” she said with honey glutting in her voice.
“I feel the love, but I don’t feel that way!” I affirmed totally breathless and awry.
“I told you I had a wife but you didn’t listen!” I said in a flow.
“You had?” she questioned with a chuckle! And I almost died of terror and shame. Broken, I fell on my knees and slammed my forehead. Tears tumbled down my cheeks and I corrected myself in a heavy and choked voice,
“I have a wife, my wife!” I kept on uttering her name and I didn’t know after how long she parted away. Soon I was escorted back to the hotel by Arun.
The next whole day I remained inside, I didn’t dare to come out of my room. Suddenly around evening, the room’s phone rang. And the room service informed that someone had come to meet me.
And to my horror, it was Mia! She was waiting for me in the lobby. However she looked at me and smiled over amiably and effortlessly. I had no option to go on further and beg her to leave me alone.
“I want to be alone Mia, I want to be alone.” I said in a meager tone, I implored. She smiled, obviously.
“You sure will be alone.” She paused and noticed me as I nodded. “Tomorrow you’re leaving and I’ll be alone.”
“Thank goodness I’m leaving!”I muttered to myself. She grew a bit grim at that.
“I came to know that you’re wife is suffering from cancer?”
“No! No! Never Mia! Not a word about my wife!” I raised my voice hastily upon this girl who had destroyed my remaining peace in just a matter of days.
“Did I say something?”
“But before you say anything that would hurt my sentiments!”
“Can I ever say anything like that? Or your narrow mind is still stuck upon that same thing?” she said in her sugary voice, clearly disparaging me.
“Oh well you can, you’re a woman like that, lusty. Your kinds of people can never understand what love truly is…” I stopped myself minding I shouldn’t go too far. But she turned very serious at what all I said. I knew I hurt her, and I saw an objection in her eyes. But she still smiled for me and turned around. However when she was about to leave, she turned back and stated quite matter of fact-
“You’re the first person I really fell in love with, and I’m not a girl like that!” she stormed out of the gate and I kept gawking at her till she disappeared in the farthest stretches of horizon.
The whole day I kept thinking about this girl, and now that I was going back I felt so cold and changed. I don’t know how and when she became so important, but she certainly had something that drove her inside my brain and soul. The next day, I was prepared to leave with my colleagues.
Around noon, I reached the waiting of the airport. She was there, waiting for me. It was half an hour for the flight, and so, imagining for the last time, I sat right next to her arranging myself well apart and distanced in my seat.
“I couldn’t resist myself from being here.” She said with her perpetual smile. Her face glowed extravagantly in the glare of the silver ceiling lights.
“I was prepared for you.”
“You see all my life, I imagined a guy just like you, but I didn’t get the bliss I always yearned for. I was married twice. The first one turned out to be a homosexual, and the second one was a devil. I always craved for true love, but I was always afraid that I would never get it, and I now know that fear was legit.” She said in a low depressed voice. Softness spread in my heart for her. But I got to clear myself.
“But I have a wife and I love her.”
She smiled exuberantly at that and said, “I know I’m late. But that love you always talk about is something I had spent my life dreaming of. That’s why I get so damn mushy on you.” She winked and cackled. I shook my head at the frivolous and lively attitude she retained.
Suddenly Arun passed by me and something flew off his jacket, something like a photograph. Mia stood up and went for it, but then I saw her freezing the moment she held the piece of paper in her white hands. There was a shocked expression on her face and she went breathless. I hurtled up towards her and asked the matter. She didn’t reply. I asked her yet again, but she didn’t reply and kept looking at the photo. Finally I snatched it from her hands. Well at the first sight, I fainted, no, I died! I was shocked till my soul. It as a photograph of me and Mia together and really close. Someone had clicked it when we were in that park and we grew a bit too close. However, only I, Mia and the one who clicked it knew that nothing happened after that. But in the snapshot, we both were intimate, our eyes were closed, and it looked like we were up to something wrong.
I looked up to Arun who was in a store. I ran to him and held him by his collar as I knew that it would have been him and only him to click it. He gave an angry look to me while Mia showed up the photograph.
“What the hell is it?” I yelled at him. He suddenly drew my hands off him and pushed me back. He was changed, and he yelled back at me, quite louder.
“Shouldn’t I ask you that instead? What the hell is it?”
I went baffled and couldn’t think of any replies. I was out of my voice and devoid of words.
“You think you can betray your ailing wife, who’s about to die? And you can have fun with this lady and nobody will notice?” he said pointing towards Mia. She grew furious at that, and that was the first and perhaps the last time I saw her angry.
“You know nothing has happened between us! And you still clicked a photo like that!”
“Yes, because I know that you both won’t stop here, this will continue as Roshni is gonna die and you’ll set up your own new world, but I won’t let that happen.” Arun said the last words with a wicked grin that mocked our sentiments.
“What have you done?” Mia asked doubtfully moving closer to him.
“I have sent a photograph to Roshni yesterday!”
His words were knife stabs to my ears; they tore me apart in millions of pieces. I wanted to kill him at that moment, but I couldn’t move a step ahead as I was shocked, moreover, I was scared. The only thing that struck my head was to rush back home and explain my wife certain things she would get wrong. I rocketed out to the plane but before that I remember I gave a tight slap to that jerk Arun.
I left the scene in a hurry. I forgot about everything for the only thing in my head was my wife. I literally cursed Mia for coming in my life and then sticking to me. I was empty at heart and soul and was shrinking of fear and anxiety. In the complete air conditioned ambience I felt myself burning and melting. I could hear my heartbeats up till my ears and I was terrified. I knew Roshni loved me more than anything else and all she ever wanted was me. I feared that photograph would kill her. But I was assured that if it killed her, it would certainly kill me next, as I will commit suicide.
After a few hours I was back to my home. Those were not hours, those were centuries. On my way back home in a taxi, I saw a group of people leaving for a funeral, crying and lamenting. I endeavored to assure myself that nothing would go wrong. Soon, I stood in front of my house, breaking from within. I got in, slowly. I was tormented. I opened the gate of her room, and there, I saw her! She was sitting on the bed, weak and fragile. I came to her with tears tumbling down my cheeks.
“Roshni!” I called her. And she looked up. She was alive, but was lifeless. There was a silence spread between us, a silence which was not that silent. She was quiet, or perhaps she was quieted. I looked down at her hands which carried the photograph. And that was it! I first gaped at that, and then gasping with dread I came closer and sat down on my knees beside her bed. She was expressionless, blank, mute and pensive. I knew that she was shocked. She didn’t say a word to me and kept staring all over my face. I noticed her, so weak and pale. Her sunken eyes were gleaming from those dark cavities, her bald head had gone grayish and her lips were all white and chapped and I noticed some dried marks of tears on her blanched cheeks. I waited for her to speak while my tears kept flowing. But soon, I couldn’t endure her silence, and so I broke in a series of explanations.
“Roshni! I promise nothing happened after that! This photo is full of hysterics, trust me, I am innocent, I have done nothing wrong, I am not a cheat. I was well distanced from this girl. I swear Roshni, please! Please, listen to me! Please trust me! Please!!!” I broke down weeping. Yet, not a single emotion appeared on her face. Her silent eyes kept staring at me, studying me rather ripping me. Her ogle was intensifying my abhorrence. Her blank pallor assured the end of my mental and emotional realms. I finally collapsed of fear and guilt and broke in the last ounce of my courage.
“Speak up Roshni! Don’t remain like this.” I trembled throughout as a ghastly chill of dread and guilt had stricken me. I lowered down my eyes shedding tears of love. Suddenly I heard her voice, changed and hoarse, but I was excited. She called my name. I was so content at that. But then what she said afterwards, shattered my heart into pieces, but shattered it to just reunite into something that was unbreakable.
“Raj!” She said, “You can marry that girl.” And a smile replaced her pastiness. As her eyes blinked and her head moved towards me, I was shocked! And I couldn’t believe what she said and how great she was!
“I am happy for you! In fact, I wondered that after me, someone should be there to love you, take care of you and fill up my part…” I couldn’t control myself and I stopped her as she was slitting my soul by those words.
“Are you crazy? Fill up your part? Your part? No one can take your place! You’re my wife, my love, my life!”
“And that’s what I’m saying, I am dying! And I can’t let my demise end up your life as well! It’s only when old leaves wither away, that there is room for new ones to come, and that’s how life moves on.” She stated with moisture in her eyes, but peace in her voice.
“You’re not any old leaf that would wither away, you’re the root of my life and I cannot live without you. I don’t care what the doctors say, I won’t let you go anywhere!” I proclaimed to which she smiled in a sort of giggle.
“I won’t go anywhere. I’ll be here in your heart, but at least my body will go somewhere in the rivers so….”
“No! You’re not going anywhere!” I yelled trying to lower down my own fear and anxiety. But suddenly I heard another voice of a woman, quite familiar, just from the back, and I turned around in amazement.
“You really won’t go anywhere!” cried Mia!!! I stood up and I observed that my wife was surprised too. I was so furious at her presence, that all my fear, love, emotions, turned into wrath, a boundless rage that I couldn’t myself believed was there in me. I walked towards her and roared at the top of my voice.
“Get out Mia!” my voice echoed in the whole room. I frightened up both my wife and this lady. She sighed and began,
“Listen, I can explain things to her…” she said looking at my wife.
“No, don’t even dare to look up to my wife!” I yelled again and I grabbed her by the arm and dragged her out of my house. My wife was crying for me to stop, endeavoring to come out of her bed, but I took no notice. At that point of time, my hatred for Mia overpowered my love for Roshni. Soon, I dragged her to the main entrance and then threw her out of the house. I pathetically insulted her. While I threw her, her foot got twisted and she fell on the ground. I didn’t notice and shut the door on her face. I was awful at that time.
I came back to Roshni and I helped her back to the bed. I arranged her cushions and blanket and made some tea for her. All the time she kept on arguing with me to bring her back. But this time, I could perhaps hurt her, ignore her, but I was definitely not going to accept her arguments. After some time, she fell asleep, and I kissed her forehead. While I moved all over my house, I recalled how appalling the way I shouted and threw Mia out was. After all she was a woman, and I shouldn’t have treated her that way. And so I decided to go out and make some efforts to apologize for my behavior.
I came out and saw her at the bench beside the boundary of my house. I walked towards her and she stood up immediately, with a smile, that same stubborn smile, that seemed like could never abandon me.
“Didn’t I tell you, never say goodbyes, and see we met again! Hello!” she half bent in a bow. I noticed her foot wrapped in bandages.
“So why are you back?”
“To help” her face brightened up. I rubbed my forehead and asked again, “How in heaven’s name?”
“Yeah, sure I can! Well, you must be thinking that I came back for you, but no, I returned for your wife, for your love you see, completely for the purpose of help.” She paused, cleared her throat and began again. “Firstly I thought that friend of yours would have ruined it all up, and your wife would be in frenzied condition. So to pacify and make her see things clearly, I came here, urgently. But that’s just one reason, the main motive is that I am looking forward to treat your wife, who’s I suppose in the second stage of cancer.” She said in a flow, but her last lines astonished me.
“Wait! I didn’t tell anyone that Roshni’s suffering from the second stage of cancer! How did you know?”
“Because I’m supposed to know, you see I just came to know by only seeing her. I am an oncologist you see?”
I was stunned for a while but then I revived from the sudden surprise.
“What are you?” I asked again, moving closer.
“I am an oncologist.” She said with a beam. I couldn’t believe my ears.
“Oops, I am sorry! I forgot a formal introduction! I am Mia, Mia Fernandez!”
I kept looking at her in an ambush and amazement. “Dr. Mia Fernandez” I muttered to myself in a sheer state of shock and my eyes almost bulged out. I couldn’t believe that. I ran back to my home and searched for her on the net. She was one of the top most oncologists in Delhi, and she was quite famous in her field. She had rescued seven people out of the second stage of the chronic ailment. Her articles and reports blew my mind off. I initially tried to contact her and wished for her to treat my wife, but I never would have imagined that my wish would materialize like that.
I returned to her very early in the morning. She was staying in an elite hotel. I called her from the reception, quite in the same way she did in Berlin. We strolled to the garden area. We were quiet. But I soon began, entreated probably. I loved my wife, and I wouldn’t let that golden opportunity slip away from my hands. Her eyes were raised to me like never slept, like she never closed them since ages, they were red, swollen, surrounded by smothered patches of eyes makeup. I began a conversation, rather a deal.
“Mia! I need your help.”
“That’s what I offered!” she replied swiftly.
“Please save my wife, take whatever amount you need, I can sell off my house, funds, whatever, but do save my wife…” my lips trembled and I broke down in tears.
“I don’t need money, I don’t care about that.” she paused and sighed. “How can you exchange money for a life, I need a life for a life.” Her words were beyond my comprehension.
“What do you need?”
“I need you!” she demanded with a smile.
“And so do my wife! She’ll die anyway!” I stated wrathfully and turned around to just leave her forever. But she called me back, laughing, yes she was actually guffawing.
“No…no…” she said reviving from her laughter pressing her belly. “No, I don’t mean for a lifetime. I can’t possibly have you for the rest of my life…my wish…but that’s okay. I can bring back your wife and I will, although I feel the ailment have amplified quite a lot. All I need is, ‘the day when you see your wife just the way before, perfectly fit and fine, I want you to dedicate that day’s night to me. Just one night with me. Say, agree?” She demanded with a cunning smile. I was now under that hellish Damocles sword, where I would either lose my wife or my self-esteem would get ripped. I was in the ultimate dilemma where I was collapsing of confusion. I just shook my head bounding everything in my sudden diplomacy.
“You’re such a bitch! Such a whore! And I spit on your lusty dreams…taking advantage of a helpless person! I really wanna kill you. I wish you were dead, in place of anyone else!” I abused her till my heart content, and she didn’t say a word to oppose it all. She was silent and was slightly smiling. However, there was something like moisture sparkling in her eyes but I kept on bitching her. I thought it was the best way possible to escape for the time being, by not clearly agreeing and not straight away disagreeing.
After that I went back to my home, where Roshni was asleep. I bent down and kissed her feet, so feeble and skinny, as if would perish any time.
I kept looking at her, for hours, till someone else stole inside. She came and stood right behind me. As the sun rays kissed my wife’s pallor, and she woke up, her eyes creased and sunk deeper in their sockets. She choked and I held her tightly. I helped her sit up, arranging the cushions at her back. She looked at Mia and then at me and then smiled. Finally she called Mia closer and held her hand. I was bewildered what she was going to do. She then closed her eyes and said in a deep voice, “Take care of him!”
She then hardly opened her lids and bent towards me. She held my hands, and I felt that dry, chilly and skinny touch all over my senses. She dragged my hand and hers too and made us hold each other’s. I tried to resist myself, but before I could do anything, Mia broke into a sudden insufferable giggle. She pulled her hand back, and instead pulled my wife’s hand and then did something I never could have imagined. She took my hand and my wife’s and then made us hold. She patted her palm on our contact and then caressed the back of my wife’s head.
“You were born to be together, and you will remain together, I’ll take care of that.” she said smiling and giggling. She then left the room, leaving me and my wife hand in hand. I wanted to stay like that all my life. I desired that moment could stay forever. I couldn’t let go of my wife and I was ready to give anything it took for bringing that goddess back in the temple of my life.
The next morning, I woke up late. I was in the other room, emailing Mia the details of Roshni’s medical reports. But I unraveled that Mia was in my house, in wife’s room. It was locked from inside. I banged the door, and called for my wife and I heard Mia’s sweet voice in reply,
“Wait outside! I am on with the treatment.”
I also smelt a sweet fragrance of herbal essences, fresh turmeric and tamarind. I waited patiently outside as I knew that no matter how pathetic she was as a person but she was a phenomenal oncologist and I knew she would make it. I had in my mind that somehow, this lady would certainly heal my wife.
So in the next days, she got totally indulged in her job. She got completely indifferent towards me, real ignorant. She lived for sometimes in the hotel, and sometimes in a room I gave to her in my house. She kept spending hours in her studies, reading those thick encyclopedic piles of books and searching her laptop all night. She wouldn’t let me see Roshni; she said it would spoil the surprise. But I remember one day I caught hold of her and enquired was she doing anything wrong to my wife, so she could die sooner or later. But then she shook her head and didn’t say a word. She was very upset after that. She hardly looked at me. I quite criticized myself for that and for seeing her every time with hatred, suspicions and fury. If she really wanted my wife to die, she never would have returned and would have let my wife die. I knew she had no wrong intentions, but maybe, it was because I hated her so much, that I never missed a chance to insult or mistreat her all throughout.
In the next few days I realized my wife was transforming. My room was filled with medicines that emitted a pathetic medical stench, but my wife’s room, was filled with her favorite French camellias, her favorite fruits, and simply everything that cheered her up. She brought DVDs of her favorite films, comedies, and laughed with her as I heard from behind that closed door. She even sang for her. In those three months, I saw her becoming a boon for me and my wife. But somehow, I had that dread killing me inside, that I had to betray my wife, the day she’ll be completely alright. But I had to hold on. And the whole time I mentally prepared myself for that night, and every time I failed, as I cried, I groaned, and just rebuked with those thoughts.
On the first day of the fourth month, I distinctly remember, Mia escorted me to my wife’s room. That day her beam was the brightest. Her face had a strange glow. She opened the door and asked me to get in. I had just raised a step forward that I saw her going back. I turned back and asked with a frown,
“Where are you going?”
“Somewhere like nowhere else, Goodbye!” she said with a wink and I shook my head. I ignored her and rushed in the room. I saw the most beautiful thing my eyes could ever see, I saw life wrapped in human skin, I saw love sparkling in two bright eyes, I saw bliss blooming in a rosy blush, I saw joy blowing in the strands of those hair, I saw ecstasy resting upon a vivid smile. Yes, I saw my wife, just as beautiful as before, as alright as never ailed, staring at me, lovingly. The distance between us was pleading to end it and the silence between us was screaming to be heard, to be turned into relentless words of deep affection. That daunting longing at its very end, appeared so short, as I was seeing my wife like that, it felt like nothing was ever changed, like nothing had ever happened and it was all as before, perfect and beautiful. I literally ran towards her and filled her in my arms. I lamented, I cried and my voice echoed with her slight cackles. She tried to console me with those tear diamonds sparkling on her cheeks. I caressed her, kissed her and just held her like she can never part, and I knew that she was never gonna part now. She was reborn, and she was so blessed to be back again. But as soon as she named Mia in front of me, thanking her for everything, my head was struck back with that woman, who wanted my life in exchange. I turned back reluctantly and tried to find her in the gateway. But she was not found.
However that whole night, which was supposed to be the night of her lust, bloomed with my wife. I loved my wife instead, and didn’t even give her a second thought. However the next morning, I tried to find her and so did my wife. But we couldn’t find her. I finally came back exhausted to the room I had given her. Unexpectedly, I found a letter on the bedpost. I rose and collected that big piece of paper. It was a letter from Mia –
It’s me, Mia, I end up with my responsibility now, I promised to bring your wife back, and she is there. I know you would have found it strange that I was not there. And nor would I be there now. I am going forever. I am going to a place from where I can never return. I have not accused anyone for anything, no one is responsible, not even you, in fact you were something more than love for me. Whenever you recall me, just look at your wife, feel me within her. But I know you would never like to, yet, I believe somewhere in your heart, I have possessed a space, smallest one maybe and it’s more than enough. I can now depart peacefully. I had given back your wife to you, your happiness, and taken away your fear and tensions, that was me! Wasn’t I? Isn’t it funny? Or I should say complicated. But I never endure complications you see, so I preferred making it easy for you. So, Auf Wiedersehen!
Your tension, fear, dread and hatred.
I couldn’t recover from that shock I just got that my wife came running towards me, panicking about an exclusive news report, breaking news that the police has found Mia's corpse in the hotel where she stayed months before. We rushed to the hotel and saw the dead body of Mia. She had jumped from the terrace. The police was covering it up and my wife begged to let her see the dead body. However, I couldn’t dare to see her, face her, no matter she was dead. It felt like I had fanned the flames of all evil of the universe. It felt like I was a devil that had furthered the horizons of purgatory in this world. It was horrible for me to accept the way I treated her. My wife was wailing, and I somehow tried to console her.
Days past from her death, I sit here, in front of her grave, cold and lonely, and I feel like I was so insensitive, so awful, that I kept on bitching her on her face, and never noticing that moisture in her eyes. All this time I kept on abusing her, maltreating her and I didn’t feel, even a speck of the pain she had in her silence. Why didn’t I perceive the depth of her grief when I heard that woman who never believed in parting, said goodbye? Why didn’t I stop her there and then, and now when she had parted, when she had gone away, I am still stuck in the same situation, in that dread, in that pain, now with an additional sentiment, guilt, which is far more colossal than anything else. She designated herself as my tension, dread, fear and hatred, but I know she was never anything like that; it was my own impatience, my narrow mindedness, and perhaps a criminal inside me. Am I killer who had killed her? But then, I think she had actually taken my life with her, executed that deal she desired, as now I still breathe but the breaths had lost her their warmth, I can hear my heart still beating but it doesn’t have any emotion, I continue to survive but I no longer live. I see my wife surrounding me just the way I imagined, I don’t have any Mia around, just the way I imagined, but still it had all gone the way I feared, the way I now get killed. No one knows how high my emotions had reached when she was with me, but still I feel like, subtly, everyone knows, every bit of this world now condemn me, and I’m even isolated from my own self. These chilly winds tear me apart, these trees grunt in noises that sound like curses to my ears, that gravestone peers at me like Mia herself as if she sits there, with her arms stretched towards me and longing for me to come to her. I couldn’t ever, or should I say I am not worth to fathom that boundless love, or that pain she gone through. I know she is not here, she’s gone, and it all had turned the way I wished, she had materialized all of my dreams, but then still, I can feel her presence with me. She guessed that she had acquired a little space in her heart, but I know she had possessed my soul. She had succeeded, in reviving my wife, in making dreams come true and even in possessing me, and I think that’s what she wanted, that’s the way she wanted to possess me. Physical lust was something so meager. I know that her dreams were bound to not to materialize, nor could have I done anything for them, but the way I insulted her every time, suspected her, the way I hated her, had given me a huge remorse, something that I had to live with, all my life, and I now long, no I die, for that one day when perhaps she would call out from my depths, where she now resides, and say, “will meet again”…