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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

ketaki patwardhan

Drama Crime Thriller


4.7  

ketaki patwardhan

Drama Crime Thriller


The Life Of Myra - Chapter 14

The Life Of Myra - Chapter 14

10 mins 803 10 mins 803

What!

I can’t speak. If this is a joke, it is a really, really sick one.

“The messages you have been sending to Mayank’s number… are all one-sided. You message him, and you reply yourself,” he says.

“How do you know that?” I ask in a voice that is barely audible even to me.

“Because the person who now has the number contacted us, and has sent the screenshots of the conversation,” he says.

I can’t believe this. I have been chatting with him since…I don’t remember how long. And he was here this morning. In a bloodied uniform.

In a bloodied uniform.

“Myra, you had not taken Mayank’s death well, and that trauma was the beginning of all the symptoms you eventually developed. You were very close to him, you were the only one who knew about the girl he loved, he had spoken to you a day before he was killed and he had told you he was going to break the news to his parents. The next day when you received the news, you went into denial. You wouldn’t accept that he was dead, you wouldn’t let them take his body. Initially, we thought that was your way of expressing grief, but it continued. You kept having imaginary conversations with him. That was the first time I had to treat you, Myra, I am your psychiatrist…”

“No, Dr. Siya is my psychiatrist,” I blurt out. I don’t even remember how I know Rishi. How can he be my psychiatrist?

“No, Myra, Dr.Siya was Abhinandita’s psychiatrist, not yours. I have been treating you for past four years. I am the psychiatrist at the same hospital where you work…”.

I am shaking my head. This can’t be true. This is impossible.

“When I first treated you, you showed good signs of recovery. Anish was with you then. I evaluated you, kept you under observation, and allowed you to join back for work under my observation. Everything was good for another year, and then, slowly, you started to relapse.”

“You began reading the story of Abhinandita. In that story, Abhinandita is a woman who faces a severe form of domestic abuse at home, at the hands of her psychopath husband, whom she eventually kills. You started believing that Anish was your husband, who abused you. You began picking unnecessary fights with him, blaming him for things that never happened. Except we didn’t know at that time that those things had happened in Abhinandita’s life. You stopped recognizing me then too, claiming Dr. Siya to be your psychiatrist. It took us time to figure out what exactly was happening to you. And by the time we realized, it was too late. If not for Anish’s presence of mind, he wouldn’t have been amongst us today. He escaped when you attacked him that fateful night, just the way Abhinandita does in the story.”

“We found out about how Abhinandita came in your dreams and guided you to kill Anish from the dream diary which we found in your house. We all, me, Anish, Mahika, your mom, everyone wanted to help you. But for Anish, it was too much, and your wedding got canceled,” Rishi says.

I am stunned at what I am hearing. Because I don’t recall any of this happening! I look around at the faces of the spectators in the room. All are watching me intently, and maybe with...trepidation?

“Who are you Rishi? How do I know you?” I ask him finally. Why is he so involved in all of this?

Rishi smiles a rueful smile.

“Myra, I am your school classmate. We have always been friends. I got you the job of a nurse at the hospital I work, and the two times you joined back on duty, have been on my approval for fitness. I have been treating you and you have been coping up very well, at least till you were taking the medicines I prescribed. Are you taking them now?” he asks.

Which medicines? I have really no idea what he is even talking about.

I suddenly remember something.

“You…you called me Myi. Why?” I ask.

Rishi looks at me, his eyes as if searching for something within me.

“Myra, we were…we have been together…since past eight months…do you have absolutely no memory of that?”

I close my eyes and massage my temples. If he is playing a mind game with me, it is bloody ridiculous and sick. But if what he is saying is true…

“Then…how did you know…?” I stammer. I can’t phrase the question I have in my mind, as now my mind is a whirlwind of so many questions!

“You have been okay since the last time we treated you. Which was three years back. You shared cordial relations with Anish even after your breakup. You understood your own psychiatric illness and were willing to get over it. We have been observing you, not just me, but everyone around you, your mom, sister, colleagues…and I had started considering the option that you were in a good long-term remission. But just in case, we had asked all the people in daily touch with you to keep a watch on your behavior, and immediately report any abnormality or inconsistency in your behavior. That includes Rosy, Reeya, Dr. Shantanu, the watchman of your building…”.

I shake my head.

“Myra, you are a very punctual person, dedicated to your job. You are never late, you never ditch your colleagues for nonsense reasons, and you never lie blatantly. So, the first red flag was raised by Rosy last Monday, when you overslept, missed relieving Rasika, missed your shift, and gave some lame excuse for the same. The episode with Anish had also begun in a similar, though subtle manner. Your…your entire personality underwent a change, very subtle, but definite. You became unempathetic, unreliable, and unpredictable, for starters. You began lying.”

“The same evening, Dr.Shantanu called me up. He too had noticed a subtle change in your behavior. It was the way you looked at him.”

“You have always respected and idolized Dr.Shantanu, for his knowledge, for his skills as a clinician. But this time, the adoration in your eyes was different and he was alert enough to notice it.”

I look down at my fingernails that are digging into my palms. I am feeling my ears turn hot. Was it so obvious? The way I looked at Dr.Shantanu?

“The same night, nurse Reeya saw you speaking to your own self in the pantry when you think you were speaking to Saloni. You began seeing Saloni whenever you were distressed. All of your imaginary characters also agreed to your version of events”.

“I decided to tread carefully and keep a watch on you. I monitored your online activities and realized that you had deleted your own social media accounts on Sunday, and created another online profile named Lisa K. This profile had sent friend requests to Anish and Madhumita. I called them up and asked them to accept the same because we needed to know what was going on with you”.

“Then why didn’t you confront me then?” I ask.

“Because you hadn’t done anything yet. Though I knew you were relapsing, I had no idea what form it would take or how far you would go. I wanted to be very careful. My doubts were confirmed when you stopped replying to my messages and calls. I had gone for a conference in Delhi last Friday and from the time I reached there, I had noticed the subtle change in your demeanor, from our calls and the messages we exchanged. Your responses were initially monosyllabic, and from Sunday onwards, you just stopped replying to my messages. You wouldn’t receive my calls. Tuesday morning, you passed me in the corridor but you never registered my presence.”

“Monday night, you had also chatted with Mayank. It was the same night I received messages from the guy who now owns the number. I spoke to your mom and Mahika about all of this, and your mom immediately rushed to Mumbai when she got to know. She has been staying with Mahika since”.

This is too much to take. Even if whatever Rishi says might be true, I know how my mom and sister are, and whatever drama of caring for me and loving me they might put up in front of the world, I know how they really are. They both must be enjoying this, my humiliation.

“They don’t care about me,” I state flatly, “All Mahika ever cares about is outdoing me, belittling me, and proving her superiority. It was me who studied so hard, yet she enjoys the life of being the rich man’s housewife. And mom loves only her. She has no feelings for me,” I say bitterly.

“No, Myra. That was Jigyasa’s mom and sister. Her sister was the party goer, pampered brat who married a rich businessman to enjoy the life of being a housewife with servants at her beck and call. It was her mom who loved only her sister and never loved her. Try to remember. You are very close to your mom and Mahika. Mahika is not a housewife. She is an architect. Her husband Shashank had lost money in gambling a year back. It was you who supported them financially and gave her moral support at that time. You both are inseparable, and you are her pillar of strength.”

I can’t believe any of this. Because I cannot recall anything, anything of what Rishi is saying. I look over at Mahika, who is nodding, tears in her eyes. So, is this also true?


Is my entire life, the life I am living, the life of Myra, just a lie that I weaved myself?

“The next day, your mom called you. Our suspicions were certified to be true from the way you spoke to her. By now, I was certain you needed help. But we couldn’t just ambush you. We wanted to plan everything strategically to make you realize what really was going wrong in your life, unlike what you thought. I had my driver Nishant trail you in a blue Innova, which you noticed at some point.”

“I was monitoring your activities on social media under the false profile of Lisa K. You were following Madhumita’s updates. That afternoon, you went to the place where Madhumita had announced she would be going. There you met Dr. Shantanu. Whom you imagined being Viraj.”

Wait, what? Viraj…is also my imagination? Is that why he resembled Dr. Shantanu so much?

“Because in this state of mind, you had developed a liking for him. Or maybe because Jigyasa meets a man called Ranbir, and you needed someone to fill that void in your life. The life where you were leading an imaginary life, that wasn’t the life of Myra, but the life of Jigyasa.”

“In reality, Dr. Shantanu just greeted you and went away. But you kept on speaking to an imaginary Viraj. Who vanished when Anish and Madhumita confronted you. and appeared again once you were outside the hall. We know because we have seen the CCTV footage that shows you talking to yourself”.

“After that, you are seen in the CCTV of the CCD, on the same road, again talking alone, probably imagining Viraj with you.”

He is right. Viraj did look like Dr. Shantanu. And I do like Dr.Shantanu. But how can a person I met, spoke to, exchanged numbers with, be my imagination? Can he?


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