You Know Me!
Whats right? Whats fair? Nobody knows...yet everybody says. We all know whats right for someone else. Yet when we are in trouble, we forget whats right. This is my story. A story where I was stuck between right and wrong. I wouldn't say wrong because for me that wrong was desirable. So the fight in my head was between right and the wrong desire. I made a choice. Right or wrong, it was my choice and my choice alone. Can we say that what we do is what we wanted to do? Not really! Coz, believe it or not, there are so many factors influencing our right and wrong.
Heart-broken, I was still happy. Happy because I felt relieved. Some sort of relief that you feel when you get back your freedom. Now I don't need to inform her my whereabouts. Now I needn't do things to please her or convince her the things I do to get her approval. Her nod is no more important to me. I am sitting on the park bench watching lovers all around me, smilingly. I am actually laughing on their follies...on their promises to be there for each other and expecting a shoulder to cry on when actually it is they who make you cry - the lovers! Sigh! Let them enjoy this blissful moment as much as they can, for as long as they can. Coz reality will be out soon and then these moments of lies will make you heart-broken, like me.
But my faint smile disappeared as soon as I said that to myself. There was a vacuum inside of me. I missed her. I missed those irritating phone calls every now and then, that shouting of her on the phone asking me to be home early. While I used to cook up stories to tell her when in fact I was just having some time off, sitting by myself, with a bottle of alcohol in my hand. I felt futile. I felt the pain when I saw my phone screen and didn’t see her number flashing there. I felt she doesn't need me anymore. I felt the pain in her not needing me anymore, not caring about me anymore.
It was just yesterday when everything was going smoothly, or rather roughly, in my case. Everything was, as usual, her nagging and all that noise but today it is all replaced with the voices in my head. I hear her loud and clear in my head only that I cannot hear her anymore in real.
The peace that I experienced a moment ago is vanished by these disturbing thoughts. I pluck a flower and now I am walking homewards again. I reach the street and I cannot bring myself to say sorry for the last night when I had yelled back at her saying ENOUGH! The lump in my throat is hard to swallow but I do so. I felt like I feel, when the guilt in us surfaces and keeps rising high until it reaches our eyes and wells them up with what looks like water but is called tears. I guess that's because it really TEARs upon your heart and brings the reality in front of your eyes for it to be seen unmistakably. I wipe them away because I live in a society where men are supposed to be tough and not cry. But was I? Was I really that tough...probably not! That's for her to say. I walk with heavy steps and heavy heart towards home. In my mind, I am thinking what should I say and will she say something first and will it always be like it was - her nagging and all...or did this happen only to change things and that their relationship needed this jolt. Everything I was unsure of other than my love for her, other than the mistakes I made.
I guess regular life does this to regular people like me. The sight of a beautiful flower awes you but not for long, until you finally put it in a vase and then forget about it. It's only when you’re in deep thought and you watch it on your table that you see and realize the beauty it holds and how it makes your silly choice of a silly boring vase look beautiful. She is that flower in my life, I now think I ignored.
Remembering about the flower, I looked at the flower in my hand that I had plucked from the garden at the park. Its pale and has lost all its color. I smile sarcastically to myself and think it's because it is in my hand that it has lost its beauty and has withered away like my wife did. Or didn't it realize it was never a beautiful flower in the first place? Is there anything like a not-beautiful-flower? It's just me. It's always me...I end happiness. I am the reason why a beautiful flower like my wife has lost herself to age even before her old age. I am the cause of all her worries and wrinkles. Thinking so and glad that I could bring myself to think so deeply and so rightly...I open the door with keys only so that I don't alarm her and can find her sobbing too, sitting on the bed. I open the door and sure as heaven, she was perched on the bed. She was all dolled up for me in her pretty pink saree...the color of rose, the color of her cheeks. She somehow knows I am home. She turns around partially with a nod. And I can see her smiling lips, the half of it facing me. I am confused yet happy. I wanted to know why was she doing this? Last night, I told her it was over between us and yet here she was...inviting me to her, waiting for me to get back to her. I call out to her and rush towards her, bending on my knees, facing her, holding her hands and kissing them briskly. I apologise for my unfriendly, unkind, unsympathetic behavior. All she does is smile in return, plays with my hair and says her usual dialogue, “Lets start afresh!” she always does this. She always starts anew. She keeps giving me chances. I realised how lucky I am. We spent quality time together. I got a call from my workplace and had to rush to attend to some business. I came back home late in the evening. I had missed 20+ calls from her and she seemed dead worried to know my whereabouts.
Every friend of mine, whom she knew was worried and looking out for me. I received stares from my neighbours with a ‘tch-tch’ expression from many; nodding in despair, and the disappointing look in their eyes, made me feel so evil and villainous towards my own family. As if I am an irresponsible man who doesn't care much about my loved ones. I was so furious at my wife for putting me through this. I felt like I am in some wanted list of people. I wouldn't be surprised if the police was out looking for me. I reached home somehow trying to hide my face, as much as possible, and taking quick steps and sometimes leaps. The door was left ajar and I saw my wife standing there, wide-eyed! Staring at me! Before I could say anything, she yelled at me and created a scene. Every neighbour stood outside their home to see the tamasha.
While her eyes were frantically looking for solace, mine were looking at the popping heads of neighbours in the narrow street of my colony. I was raged. Couldn't she have waited for me inside the house? Though late, I would have come home sooner or later. But no! She has to play the victim card all the time. She could have made a few more calls and I could have missed a few more calls...so what!? I know she was worried sick but I was too furious to comfort her.
I closed the door behind me and while she continued with her ranting, walking towards the kitchen area in our small hut to fetch water for me, I ran past her and took the knife from the shelf and stabbed her 4-5 times. All of this happened in such a hurry, I didn't realise what I was doing. I was tired of the embarrassment, I wanted her to mute. I couldn't take another word from her foul mouth. It all happened in a few seconds and not even a minute ago she was ranting and her noise was getting unbearable for me. Her shrieking voice was reaching my ears like a pointed pin, piercing me and i could feel my ears bleeding. But that was just my imagination. Yes, my ears were now warm but not with blood but with guilt. My shirt was stained with actual blood - her blood, and I could never wash away these stains, my sins...not from my shirt, not from my heart. The bloodied image would haunt my mind forever. What did I just do? I had come home drunk like always.
In the spur of the moment, I had killed my wife. The wife who loved me and the wife I loved dearly. I know it's hard to believe, even for me. I am insane. I wail loudly releasing my loss. I look at her now still body, the silence outside was actually echoing my insides...I was left speechless, heartless. I was losing it. I had already lost it - the hold on me, the control on my mind. No, no, no! This is not happening. I shout out her name aloud, wanting to hear her irritating voice. For once, that voice would soothe me. For once, I was dying to hear her. She was worried about me because once in the near past, I had escaped death while I was walking on the road, all drunk. This was what worried her the most. She wanted me to come home early and then do what I desired to ensure I am safe around her. And this is her reward. I desired her end.
Who am I? I'd say you know me. I am one of the many people you see around you. I am not just a slum inhabitant, I am also a person you know who lives in the Midas land. I deserve no introduction other than an ‘alcoholic, an abuser, inhuman, undeserving and a beast’.