She sat down in the porch, a glass of sparkling water in hand. The only surroundings were the night’s solitude and reminiscences. Though she thought about him everyday, but more so today. It was his birthday and he was not here. The cold dreadful night of September 23rd 1999 still sent chills down her spine. “This was the night my husband passed away.”
“If only…” but she restrained from going into the past. Her AA sponsor had advised against it. But how could that night not come to mind when he died at her hands.
It was beginning to get a little stormy, so I decided to go inside. The deep thunders and rumbles in the dark sky came from somewhere within. Just as I was sliding shut the glass doors I heard my phone ring. I paced across the Modern Victorian living room. It had a beautiful valance andfloor to ceiling windows. All of it done by me when we got this house. As the door shut close I grabbed my phone which screened an unknown number.
“Speaking. May I know who is on the line?”
“I know you killed your husband”
“Who’s this and what kind of a sick joke is this?”
“Swift as a cat, sneaky as a jackal look around the house and see if you can find me”
Panicked, I disconnected the call.
“W-who’s there?” I faltered. There was no answer.
“Who’s there?” I shouted, this time with bravado in my voice. It was still dead silence.
I thought of calling the number back but was too terrified to do so.
What if something worse would happen? I sat down thinking on the dusty rose pink couch with throw pillows. Little beads of sweat trickled down my body.
“Ritu, kahan ho?” I called out my domestic help,as it struck me she had the day off.
I lily-livered my way to get water. Suddenly I felt a pair of eyes on me. Turning around, I realized they were garnet eyes on the pair of beautiful diamond swans with fire opal beaks which Yuvraj had given me as a Christmas present.
He knew I was lusting after them. As I stood in the kitchen admiring; tring tring. Brought me back to reality. It was my ringtone.
“Those glass swans are beautiful, aren’t they? Yuvraj should have gifted them to someone worthy. Not a drug addled woman.”
Terrified I looked around.
Laughing a deep devious laugh. “How would you feel if this dirty little secret of yours was out?”
“Krysh, this is you na? This is such a terrible joke. Please stop.” Koèsha replied in a low voice.
“However much you wish it’s your spoilt rotten brother. It’s not. The clock is ticking. Go confess to the police.”
The line went dead.
I slumped down the kitchen floor in a sudden, overwhelming surge of anxiety and fear. My heart started to pound and I couldn’t breathe. It felt like terrible foreboding. I knew I was having another panic attack. Thankfully there was some Prozac lying around in my jeans from the last time I had the medicine.
Thinking straighter now I decided to ignore the threat call. It’s probably someone playing a prank on me. No sooner I had this thought; my phone rang again. I decided to ignore it. Next thing I heard my landline ring. So, I ran out the kitchen and up the stairs into my bedroom to answer it.
“You have just 10 more minutes to report to the police Kilachand. Or else….”
“I know this is some prank call. I do not have time for this bullshit so please go and waste someone else’s time.”
“You think this is a joke? Haha. Oh,Koèsha you are in for a surprise.”
Suddenly the lights went out. It was pitch dark.
“I didn’t kill him on purpose. It was an accident.” I cried.
“It’s time to pay for your sins.”
And the line disconnected.
“I didn’t kill him as such. Please believe me. I could never do that to him. I loved Yuvraj. It was an accident. It wasn’t on purpose. It wasn’t on purpose.” I screamed and burst into tears.
I sat down. Not knowing what to do. It all seemed so hopeless. After a while I calmed myself down and took a few deep breaths. It was pitch dark but I managed to get up and find my way to the bedside table to have some water. Feeling a bit relaxed I again thought of calling the number back. I dialed but disconnected after a few rings. Fear took over me. I mustered some courage again after a while. My curiosity got the better of me and I dialed the number again. Nobody answered so I dialed again. This time after a while someone picked up.
“Hello. Lodhi Garden Crematorium.”
I opened my mouth but nothing came out.
“Hello? Is anyone on the line? Hello?”
The line got disconnected.
This was the crematorium my husband was cremated in.
- Kunalika singh