“Please, send him on time. Please God.”
She opened her eyes and looked around.
He was fast asleep and his phone and wallet were lying on the side table.
She tiptoed towards his side of the bed and picked up his phone.
From the home screen to the message folder, whats app and finally to his mailbox, she let her deft fingers embark on every night routine. Today also, there was nothing.
She walked out of the bedroom, towards the kitchen and opened the cabinet. Her eyes scanned numerous bottles. Guided by instinct, she pulled out a small one and popped two pills. Standing there, letting the medication soothe her nerves, she inhaled deep. Stale apartment air filled her lungs.
Overwhelmed by acute suffocation, she hurried towards the living room. It was a well-furnished space dotted with artifacts and antiques. She looked at the clock. It was three am. She cursed herself and walked towards the sideboard.
Every night, for more than six months she had been following the routine. Waiting for Neeraj to fall asleep, getting up and checking his phone, wallet, laptop and his office bag. She was not ready to accept that he was not cheating on her and the bigger problem beingthat she was not able to catch him. After all, she was the Wharton alumni, a winner, who did everything right till she decided to give it all up for enjoying something worthwhile; motherhood.
Life as an expectant mother was an absolute bliss.
Neeraj pampered her, treated her like a princess. He did things she never expected him to—cooking breakfast, taking her for walks, reading out books, brushing her curly hair, painting her toenail and so much more.
And then one day it all came crashing down.
Her miscarriage snatched all that waited at the end of ninth month.
Her failure to accept fate’s cruel twist made life tough and acute depression gripped her. In no time, the slender, petite woman bloated. The more weight she gained, the more she took to binging. It was a vicious cycle. Few months back, mirror filled her with disgust. She covered them all, even got the landline and her mobile phone disconnected.
Everything changed, but for Neeraj, her live-in partner.
She could not accept that he was still the same—loving, caring and giving her every bit of his time and attention.
Every time she looked at Neeraj she could not believe that he was still with her, an ugly blob of flesh. Was he up to something? Was he seeing someone? What started as an insecure moment soon turned into a compulsive disorder. Every night, she snooped on him, looking for clues.
The mere thought of Neeraj leaving her created panic.
She could not let him go. She had to make him stay with her, forever.
She could not share him, with anyone. Not even with his mother, sister, colleagues or any other women. She wanted him only to herself.
The pain of everyday trauma was getting too much. She wanted a permanent solution. And she wanted it now. Yes, she was convinced to embark on a road, which would lead her to a permanent solution.
**** **** ****
Morning drizzle had washed everything—cars, road, trees and thoughts.
She was out with Neeraj, for her morning walk. Poor him, despite being tired, in need of sleep, he always ensured that she came out everyday for a thirty minute walk.
It was 5.45 am. The road was deserted and her calculation was precise. Eight and a half steps to cross the street, one to cross the divider and nine and half to cross the other side of the road.
She looked towards her right and could see a spec moving towards them from the left side.
Eight and a half steps.
The spec was getting closer.
It was a DTC bus, the first one to roll out of Dwarka Depot.
She smiled and grabbed the hand of Neeraj.
“Are you cheating on me?”
“Yes, you are and I can’t find it.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“Look at me, you cheater.”
The Bus was getting close enough.
She pushed Neeraj in front of the speeding bus.
“You will always be mine, only mine.”
She took nine and a half steps, crossing the road to see the bus screeching to a halt some twenty meters ahead. Before she entered the park ,she stopped and looked up.
“Thank you, for sending him on time.”
**** **** ****
Cover Graphic : Romanch Soni
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