“She was trembling with fear. Never in her wildest dreams had she expected a gun aimed straight at her. She had underestimated the man. She had overlooked all the signs.” Yes, he was a genius, but he was a crazy genius.
Veronica loved the smell of new books. She spent most of her days in the library. She was searching for something different to read. Glancing at every section, she finally came across a leather-covered best seller. According to the release date, it had been published not too long ago. The title read “Intuition”. She bought the book immediately and headed home.
Walking down the streets, she had this weird feeling. She thought someone was following her. However, she quickly dismissed it as paranoia. Her nightmares had not ceased since that night. She shuddered at the very thought but, however hard she tried, she could not forget the incident. Just thinking about the sinful act she had committed made her want to die out of guilt. She feared that someone would come for her, seeking revenge.
Little did she know someone had already come.
She settled down on the windowsill, a cup of coffee in her hand. Her cup was a gift from her mother. It read “Darling, be daring”. What she had been was not daring, just plain cruel.
She started reading the book. The more number of pages she flipped, the more unsettled she had become. By the time she reached the 57th page, she was scared. Not the kind of scared you would feel when you are at the ledge about to bungee jump, but the kind of scared you would feel if a person was about to stab you. She re-read the pages over and over, but unsurprisingly, the content never changed.
It was as if someone had handed her life story on a silver platter to the author. The character in the book, except for her name, was exactly like Veronica. She loved the same colors, had the same guilty pleasures, loved the same chocolate, had the same favourite book, had the same kind of family and had the same past. The same past. Her nightmares were printed out in printed words right in front of her. What she had done was what Veronica had done years ago. If this wasn’t already shocking enough, her story, about her life up till now, ended on the fifty-seventh page. The book was 300 pages long. She scanned the entire book for the name of the author, but it was apparently anonymous. No surprise there.
She did not want to read further. She could not.
The next day, she returned the book. She wanted to forget that she had ever read the book but that did not stop her mind from imagining scenarios she had not even dreamt of.
She had moved to Pennsylvania to leave her past behind but here it was, haunting her. So many people had read the book, but none of them knew that it was not the writer’s imagination that inspired the book. She was afraid.
No, she was terrified.
She felt restless and curious. She couldn’t stop herself from going back to the library.
On her way there, she had almost reached the crossing, when she found two bright headlights staring right at her, moving towards her at a very fast pace. She jumped to the other side of the road. Her heart was in her mouth, out on the road, if that was possible. She kept telling herself that it was an accident, but somehow her intuition told her that this was no mistake. She reached the library and got the book again. The man at the counter was giving her strange looks: she had bought the same book twice, within two days.
As soon as she reached home, she turned to the fifty seventh page. For about twenty minutes, she was staring at the page as if it were some ogre. She did not want to turn the page but she did want to know if today was just an accident.
Turns out, her intuition wasn’t quite wrong. The book reflected her thoughts. It was as if the book was her personal diary. The only difference was that she was not the one who had written it. She kept on reading the book and stopped at the last chapter. She was not ready. She kept the book aside. This time, she did not want to return it. She was staring blankly at the ceiling. What she had read was horrible and it was too much to take in.
She wanted to know if the events that took place in the book, actually happened. Even when she was hesitant about wanting to know, she knew she did not have much choice.
They matched. Every incident, good or bad (though not very good) matched.
She was fired on Tuesday from her job, for no apparent reason.
She avoided stepping in the kitchen, but somehow when she returned from an unsuccessful interview, her little house was on fire.
She did not leave her hotel on Wednesday in the fear of a supposed accident, but she slipped from the hotel stairs.
It was as if her life had suddenly transformed from a normal one to a horror story. She longed to get her boring, mundane life back.
She read the last chapter:
“She was trembling with fear. Never in her wildest dreams had she expected a gun aimed straight at her. She had underestimated the man. She had overlooked all the signs. He fired.”
It was dated 23rd of June. Today, was the 22nd. She looked at the calendar in despair. Whoever had written this book was a genius, but he was a crazy genius.
The last chapter said she was going to die. She did not pity herself. She felt like she deserved it. It was about time. Her story wasn’t all exciting and she was not the victim.
She had killed a man.
She got carried away and had started dealing with drugs. The man had not done his job correctly. She was high and frustrated and the man’s action had cost her more than a thousand dollars. She took a knife and stabbed him. Why she did that, it was still a mystery. As soon as she did that, reality came crashing down upon her. She had killed a man. An innocent man.
She had to go through years of therapy. She realised that she had lost her senses under the influence of the kind of drugs she had taken. But that realisation did not reverse time. A man was dead. A child had lost his/her father. Someone was a widow out there and some one had lost a best friend. And it was all because of her.
She did not care if she died. That was one place where the writer had read her mind wrong. She wasn’t scared.
However, she did want to know that who had written the book and she would.
She waited. She did not do anything to avoid death.
It was the 23rd. At 6:00 pm, a man rung the doorbell. She calmly opened the door of her hotel room.
Her calm state of mind took a sudden turn. She gasped in shock. The man in front of her had a striking resemblance to the man she had killed. She put two and two together and assumed he was the brother. He nodded as if sensing what was going on in her mind. He aimed a gun at her. She did not tremble in fear and not just in her wildest dreams, but in reality, she had expected the murder. Other than that, it was exactly as he said it would be.