Game of love

“You see the devil in her eyes and the darkness in her hair.But she had the smile of an angel.” – No one

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[ Photo by Olenka Kotyk on Unsplash ]

The dark night was a gift to him from his love. He was about to find that out soon. He slowly strolled across the railway station. His eyes never looked sideways. But he could feel the movements of the beggers sitting on the bench.
He was very cautious this time. This time, his life was on gun point. He never knew, his harmless game could turn this way. He didn’t know what she was upto. It was a long walk along the empty platform. He was shit scared. But he was in love and hence the game.
The game.
It all started 4 years back. She was a Crime branch officer and he was a chef. Everyone thought they were a perfect couple. And for a while they were. Ajay loved Sia’s compassion towards her work and how thoughtful she was towards the general public. It was one of those evenings when they used to meet outside the coffee shop. That day they made a pact that he will cook whatever she wants and she will take any dare he gives. She said “Yes” to the pact and also to his proposal when he went on his knees. They got married within a month. She was known for her sharp intellect which made her famous in her department. She had a knack for the murderers. Sometimes Ajay would think that she is going crazy after the cases. He asked her every time what was wrong whenever she got burns on her hands. She used to smile a bit and tell a tale that he knew was a lie. Until one day when he caught her live in action when she was hurting herself with a hot saddle. When he forced her to answer why she did what she did, she told him with a half smile on her face that she just wanted to feel the pain of the victims. That was the moment he realized that he was losing her. Piece by piece… He tried a lot to help her out.

He booked appointments for her with the best psychiatrists. She knew it was for her own good but something told her he was doing that to get rid of her.

She grew more aggressive. She gave him dares to complete to make her feel normal. He used to follow her orders obediently. He never used to remember what the dares were on the next day. May be she asked him, to take some pills. .. May be she asked him to drink till he blacked out. He always used to ask her the very next day what was the dare she gave and she used to ignore the question and keep looking out of the window.

He tried to be around her most of the times by talking to her but she used to ignore him and talk to him only when she had a dare in her mind. He was getting weary day by day. He suggested that she take up an early retirement and be at home. She thought he must be joking because according to her, her work was the most sane things in her life. She started distancing herself from him after that discussion. She wanted to feel the love and the pain at the same time. She used to go on long walks to keep her mind in control and turn up late at home. To her surprise he wasn’t nagging her much. With an occasional “Where were you, I was waiting?” questions he would go into his room and immerse himself in his book. Their conversations were cut to 2-3 sentences a day. She knew it was over and the time was near. One night she decided to let things go and confronted him about their relationship. He replied that there was nothing wrong and her pills were taking a toll on her mind and hence the insecurity. She asked him for one last favor. He was confused. But he listened to her. Sia asked him to go to the city morgue with a gun. He was shocked but he knew what was coming up next. He never felt this nervous but he had an urge to keep listening to her because of the pact and their FOREVER promise.

He sat on the bench on the railway station and kept thinking why hasn’t she sedated him till now or instructed him to be drunk. He then settled for the thought that she might want him to feel the pain. As he was pondering on the ifs and buts, the train arrived. He hopped on to it. There were 2 passengers inside the train. He ignored them and took the farthest seat and kept looking outside the window. For the brief moment he remembered how his beautiful wife, Sia, used to love to spend her time looking outside the window of their home. In an instant, the train came to a halt and it was the last station. He got down and looked for his fellow passengers. He couldn’t find them. He kept walking and crossed the platform to enter the city’s morgue which was just outside the station. He went to the second floor where all the bodies were kept. He slided a 500 Rs note to the guard, the guard was perplexed but he didn’t stop him. He stood in front of the huge ice drawer and pulled out his gun from his pocket. He opened the drawer. The body was covered. He was doing everything as if he knew where to look. He uncovered the body and tried to recognize the face. He couldn’t. He put the gun on his temples and put his finger on the trigger. With his other hand he uncovered the drape on the body’s hand. There was a dark patch. He was trembling. He wanted to rewind back in time and unsee what he saw and kept opening and closing his eyes. He closed his eyes for the final time and clicked on the trigger.

He heard something. Something soothing. Something calming. He realized he was free. He opened his eyes. And saw himself….

Still in the dark morgue. He was shocked… Didn’t the gun work? Is he dead? What is he supposed to do next? Why he is so unsure about the future now? What is the familiar voice he is hearing. The voice was of his wife’s. The gun was not a gun but a recorder with his wife’s voice in it. The recorder was gifted to him by his wife on his 45th birthday which had a message from her and which she insisted to be heard by him only after she died. . . . The body .. the dark patch… was his wife’s. The 2 men on the train where the ones who took him to the hospital when she was shot down during the cross fires with one of the criminal gangs. Her last words were “listen….. tape . I love you”

His memory was coming in piece by piece. His pills, the game.. the game.. what was that about… that was him dozing off in the middle of the night to get his sleep. But who told this to him… she was there…this cant be true….. he fell down on the ground. The guard came in and took him to the hospital.

When he opened his eyes. He could see her. But she couldn’t be touched. He cried. She looked at the tape. He quickly got up and pushed the button. “I might leave you soon. Not because I am going crazy but because my work might consume me. But I love What I do. And I have been in love with you for the respect you gave for the dedication to my work. You have been brave. Now you have to be brave for our kids. Be with them. Don’t alienate yourself. I know how you are feeling. I am right there with you and I am smiling. I will help you find you even when everyone else is thinking you are going crazy.”

He now understood why the sleeping game was not working. He had the thought of her being alive IF she hadn’t been in that profession. BUT it was the very foundation of their love. Her dedication. Her passion. He fell in love with the women of immense power. It was shaken by the misery he was going through. And hence he needed that push. He needed to hear the truth from her.

He cried but he knew she was there. Their kids came in with their grandma and embraced their father. But he was still looking outside the window where he saw her… smiling, feeling the cold breeze, with her hair flirting her face, her dimple making a special appearance every now and then. He knew she was there. In life and death. Always and forever.

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