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spln

IF-Sizzlerz

spln

Joined: 06 December 2007

Posts: 11036

Posted: 19 April 2011 at 12:00pm | IP Logged

 

 * d r u m   r o l l s *

... for the day has finally dawned upon us, in its complete glory! 

Party

Geek 27th April aka today, aka Tell-A-Story Day! Geek

A round of applause to everyone who participated - because come whatever results, the fact that you lot gave the challenge a shot with a tight time and no extended deadlines is no small feat.

That said, the response has been very encouraging. We have quite a few tales in our kitty to present to the IFians today - which are long, but I promise, very entertaining!


So wisely enough (GK fact for everyone: I am wise, when the occasion so arises Cool ) I chose to keep my blabbering-digressing-chatter at bay and let you all eagerly awaiting readers get to the stories already... (or wait, were you... no I mean, are you even reading this stuff?!)

Well you had better be - cause there's always something important in my post - something that needs to be fished out in all the redundant seeming much else.

Notes

~~ Entries have been posted in the order than they were received. No other criteria. ~~

~~ The excerpt sections used in all the stories have been Italicized and Colored for distinction. ~~

~~ There was no rule imposed according to which the given excerpts could not be split into several parts and used like that - so entries like that are entirely acceptable within the domain of set instructions. ~~

~~ Titles are included as and where they were included by the writers - and a corresponding award category is also in place. But since they were not made mandatory, their absence should not account for disfavor while voting in that sense. ~~

~~ If you enjoy reading the entries here - be sure to link the thread to your friends on IF. The idea of celebrating this day is sharing stories. The more, the merrier! Plus, writers have put in significant effort and time - best way to repay? Get as many readers as you can aboard! ~~

~~ For doubts, post your query on this thread, or PM me. ~~


(Pity, no riddance of rules really!)

* Vote for one entry only for each award category. If more than one entry is voted for, only the first shall be taken into account. 

* Votes are to be cast publicly, by posting a response on this same thread. Do not pm and/or spam my ID, or the CC ID with your votes. They shall not be considered while counting. 

* Voting is open until 3rd May, midnight (12AM) Eastern time (which is 9:30AM IST 2nd May). Any votes cast after that will not be taken into account. 

* While voting, strive to take into account quality of writing, grammar and general fluency, effectiveness of a plot line as per your taste and interest, best utilization of given excerpts, among other factors. 

CC members shall not vote. Participants can vote, but (obviously) not for their own entries. Also, if any of the participants are found advocating their entries in any form, they shall be promptly disqualified. With public notification of the same. 

* If any voting member finds any information about any rules for the contest being revoked in any way - please PM me ASAP. Action shall be promptly taken. (For records, word limit has been cross checked for all entries, before including them in this thread). 

*Please refrain from spamming this thread with unnecessary chats or complimenting comments. You can click the 'like tab' for whatever entries you especially enjoyed, or all, and let your votes say the rest. Of course you can add remarks in the reply post while you vote. 



 
Wherein you judge writing style, quality of language, dialog script etc...


The page turner, if it were a book. Or more simply, the un-put-down-able story!


The alpha guy who saves the damsel in distress and makes you want to date him in his fictional world Blushing


That lucky chick who steals your dream fic-hero! Angry - oh if you're a male reader, this phenomenon reverses for you, in terms of favorite character sketches. In most cases at least...


The kind which tempts you in a 'I-must-be-read' manner!


The non cliche. The kind you didn't see coming, when you first read the excerpts maybe?


Wherein the end came too soon. Like really, it's done?! No! I want more! ... Yes that kind...




Category Name:  {Entry number} 

eg. Most Unique Story Told: Entry # 13
.
.
. ... and so on for all categories.


.
.
.
And on that note, I shall take your leave. 
Get your reading glasses on, and get to task already! 
More the stories read, more the story day spirit spread...
(Wow! That even rhymed! LOL )

* B u c k   u p   R e a d e r s *
G o o d   L u c k   t   A l l   P a r t i c i p a n t s

[ P o s t   L a y o u t &  G r a p h i c s : S h i k h a ]



Edited by spln - 03 May 2011 at 1:09am

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spln

IF-Sizzlerz

spln

Joined: 06 December 2007

Posts: 11036

Posted: 19 April 2011 at 12:02pm | IP Logged


using Excerpt#3


THE SIXTH VICTIM


I was terrified.  The eyes behind the mask stared at me intently.  Were they angry because I had found the owner of the eyes in this particular situation?  Was I going to be the next victim?  I was hypnotized by those eyes and found myself sinking into oblivion.  The dark descended on me and enveloped me like a comfy, snug blanket.


When I woke up again, I found myself on a couch in some place which was not familiar to me. I struggled to sit up, and a man in the room helped me up and asked me if I was feeling okay.  I stared at him, who was this now?  I didn't know and somehow didn't want to know.

 

The man introduced himself as Inspector Graham of Scotland Yard.  "Are you well enough to answer a few questions, Ms. Smith?" he asked me. 

 

"Questions?  I haven't done anything wrong and how did I land up here?"

 

"We found you unconscious near the bushes at the western gate of the town cemetery.  There has been a murder and you were found a little away from the body of the victim.  It is possible you were a witness to the act.  Do you remember anything that might help us?"

 

"How do you know my name?  I have never seen you before," I asked, rather stupidly as I realised.

 

"Obviously, from the contents of your handbag, Ms. Smith. We had to identify you in some way."

 

I tried to remember what had happened.  Slowly it came back to me.  I was walking along the rather lonely shady road which went around the cemetery wall.  I had been working late, all night in fact on my thesis, at the library which was just a few meters away from the town cemetery.  I was not a nervous person by nature and was used to the road, but today, I was jittery and felt as if someone was walking over my grave.  I increased my pace and then as I rounded the curve in the road and came to the gate of the cemetery, my eyes widened in horror.  A masked and cloaked figure was kneeling near the gate and the hand was raised.  The hand held a knife which glittered in the starlight.  In front of my horrified gaze, he brought it down on a body that was lying on the ground, repeatedly in a frenzied manner. I must have made a sound though I did not hear myself scream because suddenly the kneeling figure turned his head and looked at me.  The face was masked and had slits for the eyes which burned coldly into my face.  They were a cold translucent hazel which turned steely grey and as they stared into mine, they darkened, or was it the darkness descending on me?  I did not remember anymore.


I repeated this to the Inspector stumbling and stammering and shivering as I went over the memory again.  He offered me a glass of water and listened to me patiently with an encouraging "yes?" or "continue, Ms. Smith" to help me along.  I came to the end of my narrative and sank back on the sofa feeling drained of all energy.

 

"Could you give a description of the man, Ms. Smith?  Our police artist can sketch the person from your description.  Would you give it a try?"

 

"I didn't see him at all.  He was masked and cloaked and there was nothing I could see of him to describe!" I protested.

 

"Describe whatever you saw Ms. Smith.  Describe the mask, the cloak, whatever you can remember.  You would be surprised at how any little thing might help in identifying the person."

 

He got up and made a call.  Another man in police uniform came into the room with sketching materials in hand.  He set up an easel and then turned to me.  I stared at him wondering how I was going to get through this.  He looked at me impassively with a tiny smile on his face and asked me whether I was ready.

 

"He was masked.  I don't know what his face is like except the eyes.  He was also wearing a long cloak that fell on the ground as he knelt there.  I don't know whether he was fat, thin, or medium built.  I don't even know if it was a he or a she!  I don't know anything!"  My voice rose in pitch as panic surged through me.

 

He held out the glass of water.  "Please Ms. Smith, try and control yourself.  You are safe here.  You say you saw his eyes. What colour were they?"  His eyes bore into mine intently as he watched my face.

 

I stared at him in stupefied silence.

 

"Tell me more about the eyes." 

 

Passing me the glass of water, he pressed me for details, without a trace of urgency or haste. It wasn't a gesture of concern, because coming from him, it was like a receptionist's smile - something he was boringly and obligingly accustomed to doing, as part of his job. 

I wasn't mindful enough of his lack of sympathy, just right then. Quite thankfully instead, I drank in a large gulp of the chilled water. Then I took in a deep breath, and closed my eyes to remember what I would have given anything to forget - the sight of those eyes through the face mask ... The translucent hazel that turned to steel when they narrowed to focus upon'  

 

My own eyes fell open with a start, a shudder passing through my spine. He sat looking at me intently, and the very distant comprehending part of my mind held onto the subconscious former belief - it wasn't out of concern, but routine. He was being merely patient with me, a crucial witness to this fifth murder case in the neighbourhood that had kept their hands full here at Scotland Yard, this entire awful week of rainy afternoons. In this weatherly respect, today was no different. 

 

"They were cold," I whispered. My voice had refused to come full volume ever since the incident early this morning, sometime before the inset of dawn. 

 

"Blue?"

 

"Nuances of grey ... they turned dark ... very dark when he ... when ... " I inhaled sharply and ran a hand forcefully through the tangled mess of my long tresses. If I'd survived the sight of that ruthless stabbing, surely, I could survive speaking it out loud ... ?

 

"I see." 

 

Any other day, any other time, this man would have driven me over the edge. Why here I was, at all my nerves' end, and all he offer me was an 'I see'  ... ? Sure! He could see nothing at all. Nothing! Unknowingly, I had worked myself into something of a breathlessness. Unknowingly also, I was scowling deeply, staring or rather glaring at him. Perhaps he sensed it, for he met my eye, interrupting his professional strokes on the canvas, sketching the murder suspect.


"Are you alright?" 

There it was, the water glass yet again, raised up for me. I wanted to scream the obvious 'no, I'm not!' right into his face; instead I held back and re gathered my dissipating composure. I did, however, reject his attempt to drown my extreme discomfiture with mere cold water - what was I, a flushing system? 

 

"They were quite like yours," I told him bluntly staring into his eyes, and momentarily, the revelation of my own words shocked even me. 


He stared at me impassively with no reaction on his face to my sudden outburst.  "Really, Ms. Smith? " he asked, staring intently at me.   He made a few more strokes on the canvas and then turned to me.  "Like this?" he asked, pointing to the eyes behind the mask on the canvas.


I stared at the canvas.  Panic was overtaking me again.  The eyes stared into my face, and as I watched, they seemed to darken, and I sank into oblivion again.


I came to with water being splashed on my face.  Inspector Graham was leaning over me.  "Are you better now?" he asked and helped me up.  "We will send you home now, Ms. Smith.  We will need to question you again, but we will do that tomorrow when you have recovered from your fright.  Please do not leave town and be available for enquiries anytime.  Would you like a policeman posted at your apartments?"  he asked.


I declined.  I lived alone but I was used to it.  I got up from the sofa, and he escorted me out to the car which was to take me home.


At home, I straight away went to bed.  I had dreams of cold steely grey eyes following me and spent a disturbed night.  When I woke up, I was soaked in sweat and the sheet and pillow beneath me felt damp.   I sat up shivering.  The small alarm clock next to my bed showed 8:45 and the open window told me that it was morning.  Sunlight flooded through the sheer curtains which were moving lazily in the slight breeze.   It would probably soon turn dark and damp with rain as had been happening in the past week in the afternoon, but right now, the day was bright and it helped me calm down.


I decided to get out of bed.  I had to be at the library by 10 a.m. where I had an appointment with my professor.  I got up and fixed breakfast.  I was still jittery from my experience the night before and wondered whether the whole of it had been a dream or not.  As I was dressing, the telephone rang.  It was Inspector Graham.  He wished me good morning and asked me if I was okay.  He again reminded me to be available for further questioning as necessary and that I should not leave town for any reason.  As I put down the receiver, I was shivering again.


My day at the library went more or less as usual although my professor did pull me up for inattention a few times.  I found it hard to concentrate, and my mind kept wandering, going over the events of that night.  I somehow managed to get through my work and decided to call it a day by 7 p.m.  I was feeling tired and drained and decided to go home and go to bed early. 


As I walked down the familiar road, I felt fear rising in me.  Was it safe to walk alone along this path?  But what else could I do?  I had no car and always walked to and from the library every day.  I gathered up courage and took the road around the cemetery.  I suddenly had this strange feeling that I was being followed.  Were those footsteps behind me?  Was that a twig that cracked?  I started walking faster fighting down the rising panic.  As I went around the curve in the road towards the gate of the cemetery, I heard a distinct footfall behind me.  I turned sharply and was stunned to see the police artist standing just a few meters away from me.  He was staring intently at me, and then started walking slowly towards me.  His eyes bore into mine and they looked just like those eyes, cold steely grey, and as I stared into them, they slowly darkened.  Was I going to be the sixth victim?  I opened my mouth to scream, and then there were sudden lights all around and voices.  I heard Inspector Graham say, "You are under arrest, Ms. Smith. "  He went on to give the standard warnings but I did not hear any more.  I was surrounded and handcuffed and marched to the police car.   As I neared the car, I caught sight of my face in the rear view mirror and jumped.  Cold steel grey eyes stared back at me, and as I watched terrified, they slowly darkened and I screamed.



Edited by spln - 25 April 2011 at 2:09am

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spln

IF-Sizzlerz

spln

Joined: 06 December 2007

Posts: 11036

Posted: 19 April 2011 at 12:05pm | IP Logged


Using Excerpt #3


"Tell me more about the eyes." 


Passing me the glass of water, he pressed me for details, without a trace of urgency or haste. It wasn't a gesture of concern, because coming from him, it was like a receptionist's smile - something he was boringly and obligingly accustomed to doing, as part of his job. 

I wasn't mindful enough of his lack of sympathy, just right then. Quite thankfully instead, I drank in a large gulp of the chilled water. Then I took in a deep breath, and closed my eyes to remember what I would have given anything to forget - the sight of those eyes through the face mask ... The translucent hazel that turned to steel when they narrowed to focus upon ... 


My own eyes fell open with a start, a shudder passing through my spine. He sat looking at me intently, and the very distant comprehending part of my mind held onto the subconscious former belief - it wasn't out of concern, but routine. He was being merely patient with me, a crucial witness to this fifth murder case in the neighbourhood, that had kept their hands full here at Scotland Yard, this entire awful week of rainy afternoons. In this weatherly respect, today was no different. 


"They were cold," I whispered. My voice had refused to come full volume ever since the incident early this morning, sometime before the inset of dawn. 


"Blue?"


"Nuances of grey ... they turned dark ... very dark when he ... when ... " I inhaled sharply and ran a hand forcefully through the tangled mess of my long tresses. If I'd survived the sight of that ruthless stabbing, surely, I could survive speaking it out loud ... ?


"I see." 


Any other day, any other time, this man would have driven me over the edge. Why here I was, at all my nerves' end, and all he offer me was an 'I see'  ... ? Sure! He could see nothing at all. Nothing! Unknowingly, I had worked myself into something of a breathlessness. Unknowingly also, I was scowling deeply, staring, or rather glaring at him. Perhaps he sensed it, for he met my eye, interrupting his professional strokes on the canvas, sketching the murder suspect.


"Are you alright?" 

There it was, the water glass yet again, raised up for me. I wanted to scream the obvious 'no I'm not!' right into his face; instead I held back and re gathered my dissipating composure. I did however reject his attempt to drown my extreme discomfiture with mere cold water - what was I, a flushing system? 


"They were quite like yours," I told him bluntly staring into his eyes, and momentarily, the revelation of my own words shocked even me.


And I need something stronger then this! I muttered under my breath struggling to control my temper.


I am sorry its Department policy, we cant offer you anything stronger then water or Tea...perhaps you would like some tea?? He replied with a glimmer of smile.


So he was human after all I thought to myself as I allowed myself a closer look at him.


Would you like a cup of tea? He asked again.


Errr No thanks...I replied somewhat guiltily.


But hey what the heck why was I feeling guilty. I was the victim, I had just witnessed a brutal stabbing earlier this morning hadnt I. 

I pulled myself up, took a deep breath and sat up straighter in the chair.

He could only admire the way the woman had pulled herself together.

Of-course he would have to get rid of her. 

It was such a shame. She seemed like a very nice person he thought to himself. But then it was all the nice people who always caused more trouble for him then they were worth.

Shall we continue? he asked indicating the half finished sketch. Where were we? Ah yes the jaw line. Was it like this? He looked at her inquiringly.


No No...erree a little squarer. Yes thats it. I looked up at him as he sketched what I had just described. Actually it was just like yours. Yes. Just like yours.

What about the ears? Big? Small? Flat?

Actually they were kind of nice. You know I have a thing about ears. You could say its a kind of fetish. I noticed that actually they were quite perfect. I said looking at the ears of the man sitting opposite me.

A sudden chill ran down my spine. His ears were perfect. Perfect ears are so rare, I should know. I have inspected the ears of every man I ever dated. My eyes settled on him. I stopped breathing.

Dear God! he had been the man I had seen this morning. My heart stopped.

Our eyes locked. Time stood still. The realisation that he had been the the man I had seen this morning clanged as loud as Big Ben in my ears.

Although he had been wearing a mask without me even realising my subconscious had noted the pattern of his ears.

I have to get out of here.

She knew. He had seen her face change from casual annoyance at having to do the ID sketch to terror at having recognised him.

For weeks he had been looking at the evidence. The detectives in charge of the case had come up with nothing, but he had. The department had all thought these were random killings. But he had seen the pattern of the killer.

It seemed to him that the killer only picked on low life. All the murder victims had been in some way connected to the underworld. They had all been involved in child abuse of the most serious kind. Where the child had been neglected, beaten, starved and sometimes sexually abused. But all those murdered had so far got away on a technicality, they had never been prosecuted and escaped punishment.

The killer had been busy in three areas of London so far which were next to each other. He had checked the database of all the criminals that fell into this category, thankfully there were not too many.

Thus he had made an educated guess and ended up at the scene of the crime this morning where he had stumbled upon the woman. 

She had been leaning over the murdered man with a look of abject terror.

Thankfully, he had thought a little far ahead and decided to wear a mask so as not be recognised if spotted at the scene. If he was seen at the scene of the crime he did not want to recognised.

The urgency in her voice interrupted his thoughts.

Errr I have just remembered an appointment. I have to go I said practically tripping over the chair in my haste to leave.

He looked almost relived as I made my way out of the door. I closed the door behind me and stood for moment trying to catch my breath back. It had been him.

But I had not seen anything in his face that worried me. In fact he was more worried about being caught himself.

I smiled to myself. What an idiot! He thought he had been so clever wearing a mask.

Ha Ha! I did not need a mask. But this one had been too close. He had come upon me so suddenly I hadn't had time to run.

No one thought twice about a woman looking all distressed and falling apart at the murder scene.

I walked out of the Scotland Yard with a wide grin on my face. The system doesnt work so well. Sometimes it's up to us the victims to clean the up low life ourselves.

Yes next time I will have to plan a little carefully. After all it wouldnt do to get caught leaning over another murder victim would it ...and end up in front of Mr Idiot DIY detective would it! ;)



Edited by spln - 25 April 2011 at 2:10am

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spln

IF-Sizzlerz

spln

Joined: 06 December 2007

Posts: 11036

Posted: 20 April 2011 at 11:25am | IP Logged


Using Excerpt #2

Falling In Love and Its Consequences



*CRASH*
 
Arjun choked, and gasped, struggling to get her attention as startled by the sudden loud sound she nearly strangled him with the noose of the tie she was helping him with.
 
"Oh my god," Kajal whispered, hurriedly undoing it and looking wide eyed as he rubbed his throat. "I'm so sorry, I just... what was that sound?"
 
"I don't..." he coughed, and cleared his throat rubbing it lightly some more, "It's alright. And I don't know. Let's go see."
 
"What's going on down..." he begun loudly, gliding down the stairs as she followed him.
 
 
*CRASH*
 
"Get the hell OUT of my kitchen!" 
 
They both heard Aisha's voice - his sister, her friend - presumably yelling at her husband, Jai - their common friend.  Just as the two of them made it to the bottom of the stairs, they saw the poor guy duck behind the wooden cutlery cabinet. And then they saw his attacking wife walk out, hands on her hips, murder in her eyes. 
 
"Why exactly are we being treated to this aggressive intimacy today of all days?" He asked them, more his sister, than her husband, out of a default sense of loyalty to old time fraternity.
 
"Bhai!" she half wailed through her obvious anger. "I hate him!" Folding her arms across her chest she glared at the accused man she otherwise, very often claimed to be madly in love with. Well, 'I Love You' were three over rated words anyways. The blamed and assaulted husband on this note, peeked at him from beneath hooded eyes, shaking his head with a sheepish guilt. 
 
"What did he do?" She, his own fiance and soon-to-be-wife in the next couple hours, intervened that moment.
 
"He ruined my biggest and best batch of cupcakes, when all he had to do was turn off the oven in the 10 minutes after I left to shower and get dressed." she said gritting her teeth and blowing at the curl over her eye in anger.
 
They looked towards Jai - she with the slightest frown of disapproval and he with a shrug of sympathy, both awaiting his explanation. 
 
"It was the Super Bowl final... I... forgot."
 
"The game was last night. They didn't even win it, your favorites! It was some rubbish news about the rival coach's great glory in having his boys win the big game which was his last with them as a coach. WHO BLOODY CARES!" There were two people in that room, who would have liked to disagree with her, the two men. But they heard the warning challenge in her raised pitch, and knew better than to be foolish.  
 
"Why didn't you just preset the timer on the oven?" Arjun tried, tentatively, not happy to be adjudicating this fight scene, but unable to forgo the brotherhood and target his mate already. His sister seemed too volatile just that second, or he'd have pointed out also, that Super Bowl was like, 'The' Super Bowl. And cupcakes were... well, just cupcakes.
 
"Are you serious?"
 
Uh-oh. That was his fiance. So much for sticking up with ones fraternity. "I've been telling you for a week that the oven's timer needs fixing, and you've been stalling it because you had 'countless other errands' for the wedding. But surely, you didn't forget?!"
 
"Look I'm sorry. Really. How about I go and buy some to make up? Every kind they have at the store." Jai said, re-entering the conversation with what he thought was a very generous offer. Too bad his wife didn't think so.
 
"I did Granny's hardest recipe. I've been at it all morning, because I wanted to do something special for my brother's wedding. And his favorite cupcake-cake at the reception had seemed like a plan. Until now." That did it. Both her husband, and her brother hung their heads low, dutifully.
 
"That was awfully thoughtful of you honey. Please don't let these two hopeless losers ruin your mood. I'm very touched, that you thought so much about it, and so is your brother." He nodded vehemently at her prompting, in his sister's direction, then went back to hanging his head.
 
It wasn't enough for redemption. With a last of disgusted and upset looks, the ladies walked out on them, first his sister, then her, and he didn't dare remind the latter, that she still had to do his tie. So much for having caught the chance to romance his gorgeous bride, and steal one last kiss of her before the priest officially pronounced her so, and allowed him the rights!
 
He was wise enough to know there was nothing to salvage in that opportunity now. Turning back to his mate of all ages, and brother-in-law of more recent times, he asked, "What was this news about the coach again? That good for nothing gloat is still going on about his..."
 
"I can hear that." It startled him so, that he nearly jumped out of his skin. Gosh indeed - had she really?! He waited, expecting more...
 
"Welcome to 'hubbyhood'." Jai whispered meanwhile, careful that it could remain strictly between the two of them. "You still have an hour to change your mind before we leave for the venue," he teased.
 
"Right. As if." Arjun replied making a wry face. Then automatically his expression turned softer. "I'd trade this day for nothing in a million years. Not after what its taken me to get here."
 
Flashback
Arjun was driving through the lanes of Mumbai one evening after work when suddenly his car broke down. Frustrated he cursed the car which he had once so lovingly bought. He then proceeded to curse God for bringing rain today out of all days. Though, he was used to heavy rain at this time of year, he was yet too scared to step out of the safety and shelter of his beloved car to go and find help from a mechanic nearby. Finally, he had managed to muster up courage to seek help by telling himself that he was a man and that men don't get scared. And guess what happened? He heard thunder strike and our hero turned into a scaredy cat once again.
So he decided that he might as well text his sister, Aisha, to inform that he would be home late. Damn, he thought. The signal was also weak due to the terrible weather. Bored out of his wits, he decided to look out of the window for some entertainment. There was nothing much to see. The road was empty with no breathing species other than him. All he could see were trees swaying from side to side in the wind and the rain still managing to pour down at the same rate as ten minutes ago without dying out even a bit.
Looking at this scene, he was reminded of the childish game Aisha used to force him to play with her when they were young going on long journeys by car. It was called "Tell a story". Basically, you had to look outside and use the setting to invent a story. He decided to play that very game now on his own. Well, no one was there to watch him speaking on his own were they?
He started:
"One night, it was heavily pouring with rain. The trees were swaying from side to side in the strong winds. There was this one lane, where the scene was pretty much the same. However, it was isolate. No inhabitants could be seen within a kilometre of this lane. Because it is haunted, one says when asked. There is an old story that this lane was once the home to..."
He looked outside for more inspiration as he couldn't think of a way to continue his story further. Suddenly, he heard a surge of laughter. He turned his view towards where the sound was coming from. And there saw her. Dressed in a blue chudidhar, she looked breathtakingly beautiful. He watched her dance about and sing in the rain, surrounded by half a dozen street boys. He watched her as she waved about her dupatta in the air as if it were a flag. He was mesmerized. Soon the previous track of his award winning story was forgotten as he continued the story in a complete different note:
"an angel. She was the most amazing creature on Earth. Everyone loved her. Despite all the love she got, she had her own heart set upon one man. He was a daring knight who had as much control over his horse as his looks had on young women. He was breathtakingly handsome. His perfect features and his caring, kind and heroic character got the whole kingdom wanting him as their son in law/husband. His name was Arjun..."
Suddenly, Arjun was jerked out his thoughts.
"I bet that is your name mister"
He looked up to see the girl who seemed to distant to him a few minutes ago, was now barely a metre away from him. She looked at him with a smirk. He also saw the street boys now laughing at him.
He looked around and realised that he had walked out of his car which he thought he could never do. Not in this weather. He cursed himself as he remembered her comment. Not only was he drenched but was also now made fun of for his stupid story. He was highly embarrassed now. He had to think of a quick comeback in order to save himself from shame.
Suddenly, the most absurd idea popped up in his mind. Without giving it a proper thought, he kissed her. Not on the lips or anything. Just on the cheek. But even that made his body shiver, more than it already was in the heavy rain. He chanced a look at her face and he saw her blushing. She looked like a tomato. He smirked at her as if trying to imply that he was danger. But that made it worse. Though her blush still remained, her glare must have been the most powerful glare he had ever seen. She opened her mouth to presumably chuck some names at him but it immediately closed as the shout of a man from a distance was heard.
"Kajal?! Have you bought the ice cream? Come quickly!"
"Yes, papa!" She shouted back.
Arjun immediately started laughing. Noticing her questioning looks, he answered her.
"Ice cream? At this time? In this weather? You are surely, mad girl!"
"Who are you calling mad? You were the one telling himself stories when it was pouring with rain!"
"OK, I admit it. I am mad. But that was all due to my sister's influence."
"Blame girls for it! Typical male attitude!"
"I blamed my sister! Not the entire female population!"
"Whatever" she said shrugging her shoulders and walked off licking the Cornetto that she was holding in one hand. He stood there watching her retreating figure. Wow, she's awesome, he thought. He knew she would turn her head back to sneak a glance at him. He mentally counted the number of seconds it will take her to do that. Exactly after 5 seconds, she turned her head around swiftly and smiled shyly as she saw him staring at her. She quickly turned back to face her father as if pretending that she never snuck a glance at him.
As soon as she left, Arjun leaped up in the air screaming yes like all teenage boys do when their crush has just noticed or talked to them.
An hour later, he arrived home. As expected, he got a good scolding from Aisha before he could even explain himself. Jai was standing behind her giving Arjun sympathetic looks. But Arjun couldn't care less. He stood there dreaming about Kajal. He knew he had fallen for her, the very moment he laid his eyes on her.
A week had passed since the incident and Arjun couldn't still take his mind of her. He had even started dreaming about her. Not only at night but during the day, he was often spotted day dreaming and he would often imagine her. One day, he came back home from work and he saw her dressed in a yellow chudidhar sitting in his living room. He brushed it off as one of his imaginations but was soon jerked into reality when he heard a shriek from her.
"You?!"
"Yeah, me..." Arjun started not knowing how to continue. He couldn't believe it. She was right there before his eyes.
"What are you doing here?"
"I should be the one asking you this question"
She was about to question him more when Aisha decided to come and make an appearance.
"Do you guys know each other?"
"Yeah! He is the guy I was telling you about! You know the womanizer..."
"You talked about me to my own sister! Seriously girl! And me a womanizer? It has been years since I've even dated a girl. I only gave you a kiss on the cheek."
"Aisha's your sister? OMG, Aisha, I feel so sorry for you! And for your information mister, I never gave you any right to kiss me like that!"
"Guys! Stop bashing each other! OK, let me introduce you properly. Arjun this is my friend Kajal and Kajal this is my brother Arjun."
"Your friend? How come I don't know about her?"
"Maybe because you were in UK for your project for the past two years" That was from Jai who suddenly made an appearance from nowhere.
"Oh yeah! I forgot! So how do you guys know each other?"
"We met at work. She is so sweet Arjun. She even talked to our parents for our marriage."
"Oh, so she is the "amazing friend" you guys were talking about. She seems a pain to me!"
"Hello mister. Believe it or not, I am amazing. If you are planning to convince your parents about your marriage to the one you love, the person to call is me. But then again, who will fall in love with you?!" She sniggered.
"Maybe you will!" Arjun inwardly laughed seeing the shocked expressions on all three of their faces. Especially Kajal. Feeling that the kick is not enough, Arjun proceeded to kiss Kajal on her cheek causing her not only to open her eyes wider but to also blush like a strawberry.
That's where it kicked off. The love story of Arjun and Kajal.
Flashback End
 
Arjun smiled at their stupid love story. But the real problem came when the dreaded parents came in. Kajal's family were seriously a terror. So much for Kajal acting as cupid for everyone else's love story. She couldn't even use her tactics save her own love story.
 
Flashback
Arjun and Kajal were madly in love with each other now. Life couldn't get any better for them. That was until Kajal's parents came to Mumbai to fix her marriage. Her parents being so old fashioned wanted her to have an arranged marriage with their family friend's son. Kajal was mortified and she had no way to escape from her impending doom other than to secretly call Arjun and tell him everything. Arjun, who was never the one for plan making had left the plan to Jai. And the brilliant Jai so brilliantly came up with a not so brilliant plan.
"So the plan is that you have to climb up all those pipes to her room and kidnap her!"
"Jai! That is eloping! There is no way I am doing anything against her parents' will!"
"Dude, now you are talking a whole load of nonsense."
"But..."
"No ifs and buts! Go and get your girl!" Hearing Jai order him so sternly, Arjun had no choice but to listen to him.
Arjun, who had never climbed up pipes in his entire life, struggled in his first attempt. It took him a good ten minutes to even get a grip on the pipes. Twenty minutes later, he somehow managed to climb up to her balcony. There he saw her dressed in her pyjamas sitting on her bed in deep thought.
"Kajal!" hissed Arjun
She immediately turned around to come face to face with the love of her life.
"Arjun? What are you doing here?"
"We are running away! No questions!"
Without even letting her say a word, he picked her up put her on his shoulders as if she was a sack. She tried to get out of his hold but she couldn't shout at him because otherwise he will get caught and that's the last thing she wanted to happen. He reached the balcony and was unsure of how to get down.
"Jai! How am I going to get down?"
"One minute!"
Five minutes later, Jai came with a ladder for them to climb down.
"There was a ladder? And you made me climb all these pipes?"
"Dude! You are normally the one for getting a kick out of something!"
"So why now the ladder?"
"Because girls can't climb down pipes, silly!"
"What?!" That was from Kajal who looked mortified at Jai's statement. "That was so sexist, Jai." And with that she slid down the building using the pipes within seconds.
"There, done" she announced rubbing her palms. She laughed at Jai and Arjun who looked mortified. Soon after they recovered, Jai pulled down the ladder.
"What was that for?" squealed Arjun
"Dude, even the girl used pipes; I am sure you can too!"
"What? No way! Bring the ladder back!"
"Arjun! I want to marry a hero not a wuss!"
Ever so reluctantly, Arjun decided to use the dreaded pipes. Due to his bad gripping skills, he fell down within a second giving the pipes no use at all. He landed on the grass with a bump.
"Arjun? Are you alright?"
"Do I look alright to you? You wanted to marry a hero and look now you going to have to marry a patient!"
"Arjun! Stop overreacting! It's just a small sprain!"
"Yeah, that's what you would say! You're not the one hurt!"
Arjun would have continued his drama but was interrupted by the sound of people in the distance.
"OK! Guys, lets fight later! For now run!"
With that command of Jai's, Arjun immediately picked up Kajal like a sack again and started running with Jai closely behind him. Kajal didn't complain. Who would if they got a free lift which meant that they didn't have to run?
Soon enough, Kajal's uncle had spotted them and seeing Kajal on Arjun's shoulder, he immediately concluded that she was being kidnapped. And guess what he did?
"KIDNAP! KIDNAP!"
And with that the whole family got alerted and they started running behind the trio. Jai ever so slightly turned around and was amazed to see that Kajal's family was as huge as a village. So much for family planning, he thought.
He quickly overtook Arjun as if telling him to follow. Jai took a route hoping to find a crowded place. Unfortunately, God wasn't on his side to today. They had reached a dead end.
Upon realisation, Jai turned around to look at Arjun who was currently glaring at him. He looked further behind and saw that the village, oops, family had caught up with them. The leader of the tribe came up to Arjun and yanked Kajal off his shoulder. He looked at Arjun and smirked. Arjun knew that this smirk meant the end of him. The leader then made a command.
"Boys! Make sure there are no limbs left unbroken in his body!"
Arjun gulped at this statement. He felt his head spinning when he saw hitmen from different angles starting to circle around him. He stood their frozen accepting his fate for falling in love with a girl too dangerously beautiful for him AND for listening to his stupid best friend.
Just then unexpectedly, Kajal out of nowhere came and stood in front of Arjun as if blocking him from any harm. Everyone was shocked. She spoke up.
"Grandpa, I love him."
"WHAT?!" The whole family was shocked.
"But Kajal, we thought he kidnapped you"
"No, Grandpa. We were running away because you guys had fixed my marriage with someone else."
"But you could have said."
"You mean..."
"Yes, we accept um..."
"Arjun"
"Yes, we accept Arjun..."
Without letting him continue, Kajal hugged her grandfather so tightly whilst everyone else was left amused. After the hug, the grandfather patted Arjun's shoulder and hugged him much to the mortification of Arjun.
"Welcome to the family!"
Flashback End
 
Arjun still couldn't get over shock of seeing such a terrifying goon change heart so quickly. But he didn't think too deep into it. At least he got back his Kajal. After all he had to do. He had went through getting drenched in the rain, climbing up terrifying pipes, getting hurt by falling, running through the streets with a girl on his shoulder and nearly getting killed by hitmen. If that wasn't enough to get a girl, Arjun didn't know what was.
He was brought out of his thoughts when he saw his bride dressed ever so beautifully a few metres in front of him She looked like she had cooled down a bit. Taking the chance, he went up to her.
"Honey, can you do my tie for me?"
She looked at him and then proceeded to do the tie without saying a word. He tried to slowly circle his arms around her waist until he was pushed back. He looked up to see her glaring right at him. He looked at his tie. It was done. He looked back at her, who was still in the same position.
"Stop trying to take advantage of the situation, Arjun!"
With that she stomped off leaving Arjun disappointed. His second chance was also blown away. So much for thinking she had cooled down.
"Women are so unpredictable," he mumbled to himself.
"They are man!" came a voice. Arjun lifted his head and saw his best friend, Jai chuckle at him whilst coming to sit right next to him.
"We do so much for them but we get no appreciation!" Jai stated as if it were a well known fact.
"True, mate"
"I mean, we even leave ogling other women for them..." Jai started until he was interrupted.
"I can hear that..." Aisha's voice hollered from the kitchen. Jai gulped. Arjun giggled at his mortified friend.
 When you fall in love, there is an equal role for both sides but as soon as you're engaged ready to get married, it's always the woman who is in charge. That's life!
THE END


Edited by spln - 25 April 2011 at 2:11am

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spln

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spln

Joined: 06 December 2007

Posts: 11036

Posted: 23 April 2011 at 11:59am | IP Logged


Using Excerpt #2

Miracle of Love


*CRASH*

Hugh choked, and gasped, struggling to get Jane's attention as startled by the sudden loud sound she nearly strangled him with the noose of the tie she was helping him with.

"Oh my god," Jane whispered, hurriedly undoing it and looking wide eyed as he rubbed his throat. "I'm so sorry, I just... what was that sound?"

"I don't..." Hugh coughed, and cleared his throat rubbing it lightly some more, "It's alright. And I don't know. Let's go see."

"What's going on down..." he begun loudly, gliding down the stairs as she followed him.

*CRASH*

"Get the hell OUT of my kitchen!" 

They both heard her voice - his sister, her friend 'Eliza, presumably yelling at her husband ' John, their common friend.  Just as the two of them made it to the bottom of the stairs, they saw the poor guy duck behind the wooden cutlery cabinet. And then they saw his attacking wife walk out, hands on her hips, murder in her eyes. 

"Why exactly are we being treated to this aggressive intimacy today of all days?" He asked them, more his sister, than her husband, out of a default sense of loyalty to old time fraternity.

"Jane!" she half wailed through her obvious anger. "I hate him!" Folding her arms across her chest she glared at the accused man she otherwise, very often claimed to be madly in love with. Well, 'I Love You' were three over rated words anyways. The blamed and assaulted husband on this note, peeked at him from beneath hooded eyes, shaking his head with a sheepish guilt. 

"What did he do?" Jane, his own fiance and soon-to-be-wife in the next couple hours, intervened that moment.

"He ruined my biggest and best batch of cupcakes, when all he had to do was turn off the oven in the 10 minutes after I left to shower and get dressed." Eliza said gritting her teeth and blowing at the curl over her eye in anger.

They looked towards John , Jane with the slightest frown of disapproval and Hugh with a shrug of sympathy, both awaiting his explanation. 

"It was the Super Bowl final... I... forgot."

"The game was last night. They didn't even win it, your favorites! It was some rubbish news about the rival coach's great glory in having his boys win the big game which was his last with them as a coach. WHO BLOODY CARES!" There were two people in that room, who would have liked to disagree with Eliza, the two men. But they heard the warning challenge in her raised pitch, and knew better than to be foolish.  

"Why didn't you just preset the timer on the oven?" He tried, tentatively, not happy to be adjudicating this fight scene, but unable to forgo the brotherhood and target his mate already. His sister seemed too volatile just that second, or he'd have pointed out also, that Super Bowl was like, 'The' Super Bowl. And cupcakes were... well, just cupcakes.

"Are you serious?" 

Uh-oh. That was Jane. So much for sticking up with ones fraternity. "I've been telling you for a week that the oven's timer needs fixing, and you've been stalling it because you had 'countless other errands' for the wedding. But surely, you didn't forget?!"

"Look I'm sorry. Really. How about I go and buy some to make up? Every kind they have at the store." The husband said, re-entering the conversation with what he thought was a very generous offer. Too bad his wife didn't think so.

"I did Granny's hardest recipe. I've been at it all morning, because I wanted to do something special for my brother's wedding. And his favorite cupcake-cake at the reception had seemed like a plan. Until now." That did it. Both her husband, and her brother hung their heads low, dutifully. 

"That was awfully thoughtful of you honey. Please don't let these two hopeless losers ruin your mood. I'm very touched, that you thought so much about it, and so is your brother." He nodded vehemently at her prompting, in his sister's direction, then went back to hanging his head. 

It wasn't enough for redemption. With a last of disgusted and upset looks, the ladies walked out on them, first his sister, then her, and he didn't dare remind the latter, that she still had to do his tie. So much for having caught the chance to romance his gorgeous bride, and steal one last kiss of her before the priest officially pronounced her so, and allowed him the rights!

He was wise enough to know there was nothing to salvage in that opportunity now. Turning back to his mate of all ages, and brother-in-law of more recent times, he asked, "What was this news about the coach again? That good for nothing gloat is still going on about his..."

"I can hear that." It startled him so, that he nearly jumped out of his skin. Gosh indeed - had she really?! He waited, expecting more...

"Welcome to 'hubbyhood'." His friend whispered meanwhile, careful that it could remain strictly between the two of them. "You still have an hour to change your mind before we leave for the venue," he teased. 

"Right. As if." He replied making a wry face. Then automatically his expression turned softer. "I'd trade this day for nothing in a million years. Not after what its taken me to get here." 

Hugh was transported through his memory to a day a month ago' the pageant of memory paraded before him'

                              ********************************************

Hugh glared at his watch for the fifth time in one minute. His sister Eliza and his best friend John, who also came to be Eliza's husband, were to arrive back from their honeymoon in an hour and he was supposed to be there picking them up. Instead he was struck with his senior doctor Henry , waiting for some patient.

He again wondered how difficult it was for a doctor to manage professional life and personal life. He had reached to such an extent where he frequently announced to his sister and brother-in-law that he wont ever get married. However his announcements fell on deaf ears as both of them just smiled at him as if he was a child refusing to go to school. It was not their fault. Newly married; they were rejoicing in their happy, love filled married life. A smile appeared on his face.

" Are we ready Dr Hugh?"

Hugh who was lost in his own thoughts blinked and replied with a blank expression.

Dr Henry raised and eyebrow and asked again, "Are we ready?"

Hugh: "Yes perfectly! However we need a patient'"

" Somebody seems to be looking for me?"

Both men turned in unison to greet a young girl of around twenty three. She was smiling broadly and said to Dr Henry, "Hey handsome!"

She winked at him and Hugh saw something he had never thought possible. Dr Henry grinned, opened his arms wide and replied , "My sweetheart!" the girl ran into his arms and they both hugged each other.

Now that she was only a foot away from Hugh, he saw her face closely. It was then that it struck him ..he knew that girl...

                                     *************************************

 

Pageant of memory paraded before him and he remembered the wedding day of Eliza a few months ago. Hugh had been John's best man and Eliza's best friend her best maid. She was an extremely lively and friendly girl. Not to forget extremely beautiful. Hugh was attracted to the girl. Her long hair, beautiful eyes and disarming smile were successful in creating a spell on him and he was sure to fall badly for her if it wouldn't have been for her early departure from the marriage venue. Coming back to reality, Hugh saw her talking with Dr Henry in a very informal way. She was a patient? Noway! She was too healthy and lively to be suffering from any ailment. Besides if she was a patient then she must be'

                                 **********************************

Dr Henry: " Jane meet Dr Hugh. He will be assisting me in your 'errmm'"

Jane: "In my cancer treatment."

She looked up at Hugh and smiled. Her expression told him that she had recognized him. However what was going on in Hugh's mind was' Dammit ! This girl was a cancer patient? How could it be ?

As usual Dr Henry was quick to notice Hugh's expression.

Dr Henry: "Hugh, Jane is suffering from brain tumor. Second stage."

Hugh looked up at him, who simply nodded back.

Still unable to believe it Hugh looked at Jane , who smiled at him, " Nice to meet you Hugh! Although I guess we both would have preferred our second meeting in a better place."

She went on telling Dr Henry about Eliza and how she had met Hugh.

Dr Henry: "Oh I see. Anyways Mr. Hugh, Jane will be under observation from now onwards. She is still on second stage and we have high hopes of.."

"Getting my brain back into senses.."

She grinned and her grin was so infectious that both men smiled too, but with heavy hearts.

Dr Henry: "Exactly!" he hugged her and Hugh saw the resemblance between them. Nevertheless his mind shifted to more pressing issues. He needed more details of this case. Somehow , somewhere in his heart both a doctor and a human had reconciled and unlike normally, they wanted to work together to save this girl'

                                  ***************************************

 

It was two days later when he saw her again, but his mind was throughout thinking about her. On her request he had not told John or Eliza about her disease and was most of the time busy with Dr Henry in finding out all the treatments necessary for her' "with least pain" as Dr Henry kept on repeating. His eyes turned all dark when he talked about it. It was obvious that he was very fond of her and after knowing her history it was obvious too. At the age of 5 she had lost both her parents and since then was with her grandmother, her only other living relation being her Uncle Henry.

That day Dr Henry had to leave to meet a cancer specialist while Hugh was left to welcome Jane into the hospital.

Hugh was getting her room ready when he heard her enter. He turned and was greeted by the beautiful sight of Jane. She had left her hair flowing and her eyes were shining and her disarming smile was back into action with further advantage of those dimples.

He shook himself. She was his patient and he couldn't let his thoughts go in whichever direction they like.

Jane: "Hello Dr Hugh."

Hugh: "Hello Jane."

She smiled at him and sat cross-legged at the bed in the middle of the room.

Jane: "So this is my new room. Not bad I must say!"

She got busy admiring her new surroundings while Hugh admired her. She was unlike anyone Hugh had ever met. He had seen what cancer does to it's victims. It destroys their will to live and he had seen many of them embracing death , even wishing for it by the time cancer is done with them.

But somehow Jane was different. She had the spark in her.. the wish to fight the enemy breeding inside her. Nevertheless Hugh knew what was to come while Jane was unaware of it, or so he thought. The pain was yet to come'.

Jane: "Is it customary of you doctors to think too much or is this a result of spending too much time with my uncle?"

Hugh (grinning) : "I have been wondering about the same thing!"

She smiled and her beauty again caught Hugh.

Suddenly her expression changed. Pain streaks got etched all over her face.

                                        **************************

Jane felt it again.. the over-whelming pain engulfing her.. she felt the same suffocation and tightness in her brain.. as if a tight hand was gripping her.. and its grip was getting tighter and tighter and'

As usual she bit her lower lip to avoid the throbbing in her brain but today it won't help. She held onto her lips for too long, too tightly that blood started oozing out.. she felt it and a thought struck her' maybe even her blood was no longer ready to stay entrapped with the monster'

She felt cold hands touching her face ..she looked up trying to focus but her eyes were all blurred because of the tears in her eyes.. she blinked twice and finally made his outline but her memory refused to recognize it.. until her heart whispered his name'

"Hugh.."

                                    **************************

 

Hugh called out her name many times but Jane was in too much pain to register anything and he could see it' only see it. Do just nothing' her disease was such that pain had no cure. No medicine.. Pain becomes a part of the body and' soul'

Hugh: "Jane' Jane'"

His voice finally fell on her ears and she looked up' she wiped away the tears and finally her world came back into being.. The pain was subsiding on her face but its chronicles were evident'  her eyes seemed haunted'her hair were a tangled mess because of running her hands through them in pain' her smile.. there was no smile on her face..

Finally Jane looked up at him and tried to smile but her muscles were too sore for that. She realized all her body parts were protesting.. they just wanted to give in to the pain and let cancer take over.. but Jane wouldn't let that happen she will have to fight. Cancer may have taken over her body but her soul was still free and will stay so until she lived!

 "Oh you are already here?"

Dr Henry entered the room but their faces told something was wrong.

Dr Henry: "What happened?"

Hugh: "She just had an attack."

Both doctors shared knowing glances.

Jane: "Not again! Besides I am hungry!"

She got up with visible pain.

Dr Henry: "Yes my child! Your boiled vegetables soup is all ready!"

Jabe: "Now that was not in the contract!"
Dr Henry  "It was dear! Besides me and Dr Hugh will be joining you!"

He smiled, Hugh blinked and Jane laughed.

Jane: "Get ready for the treat Dr Hugh!"
                                        

*******************************

The days passed and inspite of the hopeful doctors, the pain strokes were increasing too. Hugh saw her suffer from attacks and felt her pain in his heart but was unable to find the reason. They were friends yes.. but Hugh never realized that their relationship had gone beyond friendship.. she was taking over his heart..

  That day Hugh was checking Jane's reports while she was busy chatting with the nurse. In just two weeks, her nature had made all the staff members fond of her. She was never alone . Someone was always there to talk with her. That day she was just chatting away when suddenly she stopped in mid sentence. Hugh immediately looked up and saw her yet again in the same pain but something was wrong this time. Jane was not moving or fighting with the pain. She just closed her eyes and lied down. Tears kept on falling from her eyes while she just sat there' lifeless' and that was when Hugh felt the pain.. It was as if her pain radiated through him.. The thought of her being dead made him berserk' it was something he realized he would never be able to bear'

Hugh moved forward to her and hold her hand, " Jane'"

She just fluttered her eyelids but it seemed they were too heavy to lift.

Hugh called her name out again but still the same reaction. The nurse standing beside him went to call Dr Henry and when he came back, he saw Hugh standing beside a still Jane holding her hand and ' Dr Henry blinked and saw that Hugh had tears in his eyes. However he had no time to ponder over that. He quickly moved forward to Jane and checked her pulse and other vital signs.

Dr. Henry: " Hugh.. (He had to call out his name again, louder) HUGH!"

Hugh pulled himself together and looked at Dr Henry.

Dr. Henry: "It's bad news Hugh. Her pulse is too low. Go call Dr. Abdullah immediately. We need him."

As if in a trans, Hugh ran out of the room towards Dr Abdullah's office. Without knocking, he entered the room and was greeted by a worried old man surfing through documents.

Hugh: " Doctor! Jane..Her pulse is very low.. Dr. Henry asked me to call you.."

Before he could say the last words Dr Abdullah was already up and ready to go. Somehow Hugh felt a respect for this man and followed him out of the room.

                                        ***********************************

it was late at night and the doctors were still in the conference room , discussing Jane. On the other hand Hugh was still with Jane. She was back into her senses but unlike other days she was no longer back to her normal self.. Her eyes were still haunted and she had not moved at all since the attack. Hugh just sat besides her, staring at her pale face, holding her hand and applying pressure now and then to assure her of his presence. She had her eyes open looking into space.

Jane mumbled something but her voice was too weak for Hugh to catch it. He moved closer to her and was able to make out only one word, "Water."

Hugh quickly got up and gave her some water to drink, which she devoured on it as if she was thirsty since too long. Hugh's heart was crying for her. He wanted to hold her and wipe away all the pain so evident on her beautiful face but he knew it wont help.. The doctor inside him knew there was no way and with each passing second the enemy was gaining strength and Jane was losing it'

"Dr. Hugh'"

Hugh looked up to see a nurse calling his name. His own head was hurting badly after all the commotion and so he was unable to recognize the nurse.

Hugh: "Yes.."

Nurse: "Dr Henry is calling you in his office."

Hugh: " Okay thanks' errrmmm ' sister.."

" Sister Sarah.."

It was Jane's voice and they both turned to her.. she was looking at the nurse blankly and the nurse came forward to touch her cheek and say: "You will be fine my child'"
and before the tears could break free she left the room.

Hugh just looked at Jane and then got up to leave her but she held his hand.

Jane: "They say you forget everything' I won't forget you'"

He bent and kissed her forehead , "Nor would I' ever.."

                               *****************************

" Dr Henry you sent for me?"

Dr Henry and Dr Abdullah looked up at him. Dr Henry was sitting in a corner and his eyes had evident traces of tears.

Dr Abdullah: "Yes Hugh' there is a bad news. The disease is taking hold much faster than we expected."

Hugh felt all his blood drain out of his body..he looked at Dr Henry and his expression confirmed it.. his own words were struck in his throat and so he waited for Dr Abdullah to continue.

Dr Abdullah: "We have no other option but to operate."

Hugh felt as if something heavy fell in the pit of his stomach, "But operation means'"
 "It means that the cancer is moving towards it's last stage'"

Hugh heard the shaky voice of Dr. Henry deliver those last words.

                              **********************************

Hugh was sitting with Jane. She already knew about the operation but still had not said a word since the last attack. However Hugh had had enough of the silence and so he was telling her stories about Eliza and John. The one topic they both could talk on.

Hugh: "Do you know, just this morning Eliza had a fight with John and instead of the "I love you session" I got to have accustomed to - I hate you session!"

Hugh tried to grin but his eyes must have shown it because Jane said: "You are not a good actor Hugh!"
she winked at him and passed him something very closer to a smile at which Hugh finally smiled after ages and with that an idea struck him.

Hugh: " Jane how about I take you to meet Eliza and John? "

Hugh realized what he had said and worrying she will take it in a wrong manner, " I mean' just as friends.. ermm.."

Jane actually laughed but her laugh was interrupted by her coughs.

Jane: " I know what you mean Hugh! Although I would have preferred a date you know, cause it would have been my first and last one.."

She tried to laugh it off but the bitterness behind those words was pretty evident to Hugh.

Hugh: "Then it's a deal?"

Jane: "It is! But remember.."

Hugh: "I won't tell Eliza the truth but you think she wont notice? Look at yourself'"

Jane: ( averting her face) " I don't want to cause her pain."
Hugh: "You will cause her pain when she will realize that her best friend never told her the truth'"

Jane looked up at him, "You are right' but will you tell her? I can't do it  myself.."

                               ***********************************

 

Dr. Henry: "Have you lost it Hugh? You have seen her! She cant even move , let alone be taken out'"

Hugh: " She needs it Dr Henry' she is losing her will to live! Can't you see it? Please Dr . Henry! Try and understand! Besides I will take good care.."

Dr. Henry: "Take care? It's not that easy to take care of a cancer patient sir! Or are you confusing it with a date with my gorgeous niece?"

Dr. Abdullah saw the tell-tale embarrassed look on Hugh's face and the anger on Dr Henry's face. He knew it was time to intervene and steer the argument out of hot waters.

Dr. Abdullah: "Henry relax' I think Hugh is right. Jane needs it if you ask me.. besides we are having her operated two days later and after tomorrow she will be completely under drugs to minimize her pain during the operation. Let Hugh take her out.. maybe it will give her the strength to fight cancer.."

Dr Henry stared at Dr Abdullah but said nothing.

Dr Abdullah: "You can take her Hugh."

Hugh left both men with a heavy heart, the last words had induced.

After the door close behind him Dr Henry said: " I still don't think it is a good idea. What does Hugh knows about her'what does he care?"

Dr Abdullah: "He cares enough to have given himself completely up for your niece or have you not noticed it yet?"

Dr Henry sighed, " I hope they have fun.."

Dr Abdullah: "And meanwhile we can work out the operation system' you know we have hope Henry! And we won't let her go so easily."

 

                              *****************************

Jane was waiting for Hugh to arrive with her back to the door. As soon as Hugh entered the first thing he saw '.

"You had a hair cut?"

Jane turned to him and smiled meekly, " Dr Hugh, as you must have been taught cancer treatment makes the hair fall .. they were falling too rapidly because of the length so I had no other option but to get them..( she touched her hair and Hugh saw the loss in her eyes..) you know my grandmother loved my hair.. she always use to oil them and say they were just like my mothers' my hair and my eyes' I feel as if I lost both the things my mother left me.. my eyes are no longer the same and hair too.."

Hugh had moved to sit beside her and making her turn towards him he said, "You forgot that your mother left you to your grandmother and that is what she cherishes the most. Your hair and eyes wont matter.."

She looked up in his eyes and saw the tenderness and kindness apparent there.

Jane: "Thanks Hugh'"

                                 *****************************

"Jane!" Eliza shouted as soon as she saw Jane step into the house.

She came running towards her but stopped in mid stride when she saw her closely. Jane looked everything ' a patient. Hugh had already told her but still she wasn't prepared for the sight she saw.

Jane: "If this is the way you greet your guest , stare at them, no doubt your mother-in-law and sister-in-law never make it to your place!"

"Ha ha! well said Jane! You know I think that is exactly the reason!"

John came forward and hugged her.

John: "How are you Jane?"

Jane: "How do I look?"

Even the always prepared John was left at a loss to what to say for a minute. However Eliza had pulled herself together and said, "Gorgeous as usual! After all you are my friend."

"But in that case , she would be '"

Hugh said entering the hall.

John: "She would be an emotional.."

Hugh: "dramatic'"

John: "tantrums thrower.."

Hugh: "a high pitched shouter'"

John: "and a'"

Eliza: " I hate you both!"

Hugh: " a'" completely ignoring her.

Jane: "sweetheart!"

Jane hugged Eliza while Hugh and John laughed.

Eliza: "Let's leave these two losers and go inside the room. I have so much to talk to you. and I have a good news for you which I wont be telling to these'these'"

Jane: " heartless.."

Eliza: " idiotic'"

Jane: " errrmmm'"

Eliza: " MORONS!"

John and Hugh were still laughing when Eliza and Jane left the room.

                                    *****************************

 

 Three hours later when Jane and Hugh left the house, they were completely different people. Eliza had told them that she was pregnant and they had laughed , danced, and rejoiced fully.

Jane: " Thank you so much Hugh! I am so happy! But unfortunately I wont be able to see the child'"

Hugh blinked.. the last three hours had almost completely erased the past weeks from his mind. The idea of Jane's disease and of losing her never came to him.

Jane: "You know, Eliza said she will make me the baby's god mother and you god father. I will miss it but I am sure you will be a great god father'"

Hugh stopped the car and turned around to her.

Hugh: "You are not going anywhere Jane'"

Jane: (she pointed towards the sky) " I wish I could pretend that airplane in the sky is a shooting star' I could really use a wish right now'"

She smiled at him and he hugged her.

Hugh: "Nothing will happen to you Jane.. I won't let that happen'"

Somehow Hugh's patience had finished. He could no longer accept the fact that Jane was going to leave him , specially after he had accepted the fact that he loved her.

Hugh: "You can't just leave me. You can't just leave Eliza and John and you god child!" he was hugging her too tightly now.

Hugh: " I wont let you go away'"

Jane: " Hugh'"

Hugh: " I love you Jane'"

Jane just sat still, "I have no answer for you Hugh. I wish I could just tell you that I will be fine and we will be happy but'"

Hugh : "But I don't need that answer.. I already know you will be fine.. what I need to know is.. will you marry me?"

This was happening all too quickly for Jane . she liked Hugh a lot but replying to such a question? For God's sake, she even didn't know would she be alive two days later or not? How could she answer him? And what was he thinking about?

Jane: "I want to go back Hugh'"

Hugh wanted to argue but then he checked himself and without saying a word throughout, he dropped her back to the hospital.

                                    ******************************

 

The next two days passed in a frenzy. Everywhere there was a hue and cry as everyone wanted it to work out . Dr Henry , Dr Abdullah, Dr Hugh along with 10 other cancer specialists from different hospitals were present in the conference room and all they did all day was discuss how to get Jane alive out of the bloody operation.

Hugh was suffering from nerves. Something he had never suffered throughout his life. Specially the last day when they were to take Jane to I.C.U. and drug her. He wanted to stop the time right there. He had no idea will he ever see her alive again or not and the thought itself was enough to kill him from inside. He wanted to say something or hear it but he could find no words. Just before they were to take Jane to the I.C.U. , she called him.

Hugh felt nervous going to her after the confession but he felt elated too. She had called him afterall.

Hugh: "Hello Jane."

Jane turned to him, "Hello Hugh'" a nurse was there getting her ready for I.C.U. .

Hugh: "How are you?"

Jane: "Sister Sarah says I will be perfect!'

She smiled at the nurse who smiled back and continued working.

Hugh: "That you will be!"

Jane: " Hugh'"

Hugh: "errmmm.."
Jane: " I was thinking about what you said on our way back from Eliza's house'"

Hugh felt his heart beat quicken.

Hugh: "Jane ' I still stick to whatever I said'"

Jane: "You know my grandma always says' someone who accepts you at you worst , deserves you at your best.."
Hugh: "Wasn't it the other way round?"

Hugh bit his tongue as soon as he said that, " I mean.."

Jane: (sighs) "I wish Eliza was here! She would have given you the right name!"
Hugh: "That she would have. But am yet I to understand that '"

Jane: "All you do all day is think so I thought I will give you something worth thinking before I leave.."

She winked at him and Hugh grinned back.

Hugh was about to leave the room when he turned back and said: "I will wait for you love.."

And he left the room leaving a blushing Jane and a grinning sister Sarah.

                                ************************************

 

The operation started and Hugh was right there beside his love always. All he wanted from life was to see that still figure lying under the white sheets get up and smile at him. He wanted to see those shut eyes, open and sparkle like before. He wanted to see those dimples again.

He was always by her side, until the anguish was too much to bear and he needed to cry out for her - only then he left the room.

Even on the operation day he was right beside her, holding her hand and whispering to her..calling her name and asking her to come back to him.

                                 *******************************

 

It was 2 am in the next morning and the doctors were finally able to remove the cancerous pat from the brain. They even had high hopes for her survival. Suddenly something went wrong. All the machines started blinking and her pulse rate became almost undetectable. Her breathing was getting shallow and it felt the cancerous part won't die alone'.

Hugh held her tightly..he no longer cared about anyone but her, he was shouting her name and telling her she has to fight.. reminding her of her grandmother, of Eliza, of John, of their future godchild.. of himself..

He held her in his arms' her still, lifeless body..he wanted to bring her back'back to life.. to light' from that unknown darkness.. he wanted her to come back to 'him'

Hugh: "Jane! Jane are you listening to me? You can't leave me? You can't leave us all alone and just leave like that! Do you know sister Sarah is fasting and praying just for you.. Dr Abdullah is constantly in Sajda crying and begging Allah for your life! Your uncle Henry? He has eaten nothing since you entered this room! And me? What about me? How will I ever live without you? Jane! Jane please don't leave us! We need you! please!"

His tears dropped on her face face and her eyes'fluttered' he thought he was imagining but her hand moved slightly too' he immediately called back all the doctors'

After five minutes Dr Abdullah hugged Dr Henry , "She will live my friend! She will live!"

                                  *************************

"Hello! Gosh, Jane is right ! You think too much mate!"
Hugh was brought back by the sound of John yelling in his ears.

"I always told you there was something wrong with his mind!"
Jane had joined them.

"And I always told you they are MORONS! My cake!"

The three of them looked at Eliza and burst out laughing.

Hugh: "Now what will you call that sweetheart?"

He pulled Jane closer and hugged her tightly.

Jane ( blushing) : "That is called flirting!"

John: "Woooaaa! Now I guess Eliza we should leave the love birds alone!"

Eliza: "Now that is the first right thing you ever said!"

Eliza and John left the room hand in hand , grinning form ears to ears.

Jane: "So what are we doing now?"
Hugh: "I have a lot of things planned up but I will leave them for our wedding night!"
he chuckled at Jane's blush.

HugH: "And for now '"

He leaned in and kissed her' a kiss of love and of a promise' of always staying together'a promise that nothing will separate them..ever'

 

 I'll be the one '.

Who will make all your sorrows undone '
I'll be the light' 
When you feel like there's nowhere to run '
I'll be the one... 

To hold you and make sure that you'll be alright '
'Cause my faith is gone '.
And I want to take you from darkness to light '.

There you were, wild and free '
Reaching out like you needed me '
A helping hand to make it right '

I am holding you all through the night '.



Edited by spln - 25 April 2011 at 2:12am

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spln

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spln

Joined: 06 December 2007

Posts: 11036

Posted: 24 April 2011 at 12:36am | IP Logged

Using Excerpt #3

A/N: The story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any story/character is completely coincidental. The places and characters are made up/ fictional.

Killer Eyes

     A little teenage girl was standing in her pink pajamas bare footed at the edge of the back porch, the kitchen door slightly ajar giving a glimpse of the kitchen behind. Her eyes were wide open with fear for the sight in front of her send shivers down her spine. Breathless she stood glued to the porch unable to move or make any sound even as the knife came down for the third time. Then the eyes moved onto her and held her gaze. She stood there feeling paralyzed under his watch. There was a strange glint in them. Satisfaction. He seemed satisfied with what he had done. His eyes smiling looked at her for the last time before turning away. And rising the knife again ready to strike.


I got up gasping for breath and looked around. I was in my room. I tried to control myself and looked at the clock on my night stand. 3 am, still time before dawn and before the daily grind. I took the glass of water from the night stand and took a huge gulp. 13 years. Good old 13 years had passed but still the nightmares continued. I was now a grown up lady of 27 years, Det. Julianne Morse working in the criminal investigation department of Scotland Yard but it seemed nothing had changed over the years. I laid down again ready for a disturbing sleep.

*

"Good morning detective."

I looked up from my desk where I was working. And a smile appeared on my face. Richard was standing in the door way in his not so white shirt, grey worn out pants and very red tie. He was the junior assistant cum sectary cum everything. He had only recently joined the Scotland Yard, Criminal Investigation Department but soon had become a person on whom I could rely on.

"Good morning Richard. Anything important?"

Richard looking down at the files in his hands, "Yes these are reports over the Belguveria neighborhood murder case. They came in just this morning."

Taking the files from him I thanked him and he went away. I pondered at the murder reports. So far four murders had been reported in the peaceful neighborhood of Belguveria. A place which was famous for its peaceful environment and safety was now the site of murders all committed in the short span of past one month or so. More importantly it was the same neighborhood where I lived. And to think that a murderer had been committing such heinous crimes right here was enough to fill me with more determination to catch this guy. As a junior detective in the homicide department I did not expect to get this case but still looking at my past performance they had given the job to me. So far no solid clue or witness had been found. Except the fact that was obvious from the killing style that there was a serial killer on the loose.

*

My phone rang waking me up from sleep. I hadn't realized when I had fallen asleep over the files on my desk at home. I looked at the time it was seven in the evening. I quickly got the phone and pressed the call button.

"Hello?"

A familiar masculine voice greeted me.

"Hey gorgeous! Where have you been hiding? Chasing another poor soul who just happened to have a bad day?"

I smiled and replied, "Nathan it's you who are having a bad day it seems. Why are you calling?"

"Now is this the way you talk to friend who just got back from a long flight after a weeklong torturous meeting with some clients and as always managed to get the deal! Yes I nailed it again and I wanted to celebrate the happy occasion with you. Would you give me the pleasure of your company for tomorrow night at dinner party?" He said in a playful tone.

"Party? You know I don't like going to parties."

"I know but please just this time. I promise I won't let you get bored. You know I don't ask for any favors but this time do it for me. Pretty please? "

I inwardly smiled, he could be awfully convincing at times. So I thought one party won't hurt; besides I enjoyed his company.

"Ok so I guess I'll be seeing you tomorrow."

"Really? Thanks you my madame! See you at eight. Bye."

As I disconnected the phone the image of a smiling Nathan, running his hand throw his set dark brown hair, wearing one his expensive suits sitting in his luxury car driving back home came into my mind. I could see his chocolate brown eyes shining with a grin on his lips, perfectly placed on his handsome face.

I and Nathan had been friend for past six years. We met through a common friend and soon realized we had more in common than just that. But I being an introvert kept my distance. Nathan had liked me and always had been open about it but never made me feel uncomfortable. After a while he stopped trying but always was there whenever I needed a friend. And the occasional dinners had become more like a friendly reunion after his month long trips.

*

The next day I woke to sunny morning hoping today will be different from the previous rainy days. But as unpredictable as it is the sun soon disappeared behind the clouds casting a gloomy outlook. But for some reason I was really looking forward to meeting Nathan today and did not let the weather affect my mood. I left office early and started getting ready for the dinner.

It was quite unusual for me. After what had happened all these years ago, it had left a deep scar on me. It was difficult to move on from that point forward and I knew life would never be same again. I was 27 but never had a boyfriend or at least not a stable one. But today was different, I wanted to dress up, look beautiful.

For the party I decided to wear my navy blue silk dress that hugged my figure perfectly and brought out the green in my eyes. Quickly slipping into it I moved on to doing my hair and makeup. I had medium length dark black hair with soft waves just like my mothers. I decided to let them hang lose falling on my shoulder. I had clear milky skin another thing taken from my mother and hazel eyes with hint of green like my dad's. I put up little mascara and light color lipstick to go with it. I was never keen on too much jewelry so I opted for a small pair of pearls. As I looked into the mirror I liked what I saw. Putting on my black stilettos I walked out of the room just when the doorbell rang. I looked at the clock and smiled, like always he was right on time.

The dinner and party was unexpectedly good and the conversation flowed as the wine did. For a change I really enjoyed myself and lost the track of time. It was quite late and my house far away so I asked Nathan to drop me home. The car drive was even better than the dinner.

I didn't even realize when he stopped the car in front of my one storey small house. It was almost like a tiny apartment, the smallest one in the neighborhood but enough for one person. I lazily got up to leave and turned around to thank him for the dinner. Don't know what got into me at that moment I leaned forward and placed small peck on his cheek. He looked at me pleasantly surprised.

I said bye and stepped out. I stopped at the porch and waved good bye before turning away to put the key in the front door. While searching for the key in my purse I heard a crash sound as of metal falling and hitting the floor. I assumed must be the cats looking for late night snack. But there it was again. Another crash this time accompanied with a growling sound. Like a man in great pain. I stopped what I was doing and listened. It was coming from the back yard. I quickly stepped down the porch and went around the back of the house. The sound was coming from the left neighboring house backyard which was separated by a hedge only. 

I quickened my step but the pointed heels of my shoes kept digging into the soft muddy ground thanks to the rain in the morning making it difficult. I peered over the edge to see what was happening and what I saw left me panicked.

A man was fighting with a dark silhouette of a man who was holding something shiny, metal.

When I strained my eyes to get a better look the man in black also looked at me and our eyes met again.

*

The same pair of steel cool grey eyes that had once left me paralyzed, they were ready to strike again. History was repeating itself as I stood there my legs unable to move. I wanted to scream but no sound came out. I should have called for help, went over the edge to stop him. I was a cop for Christ sake! But no the eyes...the gaze again left me hypnotized and right before my eyes the sharp blade came down and ripped apart the shirt and flesh digging into his heart.

Three sharp strikes like before.

The same glint in his eyes. And before I could react he quickly disappeared into the shadows leaving behind no mark.

I was brought to reality by ringing of my phone. I looked down as I was holding the purse with my cell ringing. I looked up in shock and terror of what just had happened. I quickly got the phone out. It was Nathan I told him to call police. It was an emergency.

*

The Senior Detective Constable Thorne of Scotland Yard had also arrived and now sitting in the comfort of my home. He looked at me and asked what I had been trying to avoid.

"Morse he was within your reach and you didn't react?" he narrowed his eyes at me and continued, "I know you Julianne... I know what you are capable of and frankly didn't expect this from you."

I lowered my head. My voice which had failed me earlier came out weak and low as I replied, "Yes sir I know. I even surprised myself but'"

I let my voice trail off. How can I explain to him what I went through in those few minutes? I closed my eyes as the bloody images raced through my mind.

"Detective I understand everyone falters at some point. But important thing now is that you are the prime and only witness in this murder case and from the looks of it, it seems it is the same Belguveria murder case. So you have to be more careful. So for your safety I'm putting you off the case."

 I looked up to protest but before I could say anything he put his hand indicting no arguments. I had no choice. Everyone knew you don't mess with Thorne. I bowed my head in agreement.

"Tomorrow morning first thing you need to do is give a sketch of that killer. We need to get this case wrapped up fast."

 With this he moved out of the house and slowly the all noise died down. Everything seemed back to normal expect the fact that nothing was normal. It was almost 7 am. I realized I hadn't slept even an hour. I was still reeling under the effect of what had happened. I slowly got up to dress for work.

As I looked into the mirror a pale face with hollow eyes stared back at me. I couldn't even recognize myself.

*

As I walked into the office all the eyes turned to me like I was an alien straight out of the space ship. I put my head up and quickly moved to my little cubicle. I was settling down when I heard light knock.

 I looked up to see Robert standing there in his crisp white shirt, freshly ironed dress pants and smooth leather jacket. His sun kissed light hair as always in place. He was a good looking man by conventional standards and sadly was well aware of this fact. For some reason Robert had always given me cold vibes from the day I had joined office, I felt he had something against me. What I did not know. I always had kept my distance from him to avoid any future confrontations.

Now he stood there looking at me with the cool blue eyes from behind those steel frames and said, "Julianne...we need to that sketch thing."

It was a regular procedure. Every witness had to go through it. I had seen dozens of such cases everyday but never though one day I would be sitting in their place, it felt quite weird. I was a strong women and over the years had learned how to control my emotions but today was different...I was in a vulnerable state.

I took a deep breath and told him to come in and have seat. I started off by telling him that I couldn't see much because it was night and there was hardly any light expect that coming from street lamp, besides the man's face was covered by a ski mask. And only his eyes were visible. He didn't say much except for an occasional nod. I wished he would say something. His silence made it even more difficult for me to continue. For the images of last night were anything but pleasant and brought the painful memories back. I took a sip of water from the glass placed on my desk and continued describing the man.

I was fidgeting with the pencil in my hand clearly showing my nervousness. Robert raised his eyes at me and then down at the pencil in my hand and calmly continued with the sketch.

"Tell me more about the eyes." 

 

Passing me the glass of water, he pressed me for details, without a trace of urgency or haste. It wasn't a gesture of concern, because coming from him, it was like a receptionist's smile - something he was boringly and obligingly accustomed to doing, as part of his job. 

I wasn't mindful enough of his lack of sympathy, just right then. Quite thankfully instead, I drank in a large gulp of the chilled water. Then I took in a deep breath, and closed my eyes to remember what I would have given anything to forget - the sight of those eyes through the face mask ... The translucent hazel that turned to steel when they narrowed to focus upon ... 

 

My own eyes fell open with a start, a shudder passing through my spine. He sat looking at me intently, and the very distant comprehending part of my mind held onto the subconscious former belief - it wasn't out of concern, but routine. He was being merely patient with me, a crucial witness to this fifth murder case in the neighbourhood, that had kept their hands full here at Scotland Yard, this entire awful week of rainy afternoons. In this weatherly respect, today was no different. 

 

"They were cold," I whispered. My voice had refused to come full volume ever since the incident early this morning, sometime before the inset of dawn. 

 

"Blue?"

 

"Nuances of grey ... they turned dark ... very dark when he ... when ... " I inhaled sharply and ran a hand forcefully through the tangled mess of my long tresses. If I'd survived the sight of that ruthless stabbing, surely, I could survive speaking it out loud ... ?

 

"I see." 

 

Any other day, any other time, this man would have driven me over the edge. Why here I was, at all my nerves' end, and all he offer me was an 'I see'  ... ? Sure! He could see nothing at all. Nothing! Unknowingly, I had worked myself into something of a breathlessness. Unknowingly also, I was scowling deeply, staring, or rather glaring at him. Perhaps he sensed it, for he met my eye, interrupting his professional strokes on the canvas, sketching the murder suspect.

 

"Are you alright?" 

There it was, the water glass yet again, raised up for me. I wanted to scream the obvious 'no I'm not!' right into his face; instead I held back and re gathered my dissipating composure. I did however reject his attempt to drown my extreme discomfiture with mere cold water - what was I, a flushing system? 

 

"They were quite like yours," I told him bluntly staring into his eyes, and momentarily, the revelation of my own words shocked even me. 


I looked at him ready to hear some sarcastic comment but to my surprise he didn't say anything. His face showed no emotions but his eyes were saying something else.

He looked down to his sketch book and said, "Ok so I guess that will be enough about the eyes. You said you got a good look at the weapon used? What was it like?"

I was glad that he diverted the discussion but still in shock over the past events and my own behavior I slowly continued avoiding his eyes. When I was finished describing the weapon Robert showed me the sketch he had made. As I took the sketch form his hand and held it close to my eyes a shiver ran down my spine.

That blade, the sharp pointed edges that gleamed like little silver pyramid in the moonlight, that... all that I had seen before. I had seen that same blade before ripping apart some apart someone's heart. Roberts's voice brought me back to reality. He looked at me concerned eyes and asked was I ok?

I looked down at my trembling hands.

Trying to gather myself I replied in a meek voice, "I'm fine. It's just that...that blade. I have seen it before."  I continued in a firmer voice.

"It looks so familiar. You should send those sketches to Senior Det.Thorne right now so the work on the may start with immediate effect."

He looked at me with an expression I couldn't really read.

"Yes I'll do it as per orders of Det. Mathews."

 There was an edge in his voice, making me realize that I was no longer associated with this case.

I gave a nod and not losing confidence replied, "Yes you should do that."

*

Later that evening as I sat in my cozy little home the brutal images of that fateful night crossed my mind. I closed my eyes as a single tear rolled down my cheek. I was lost in the storm of thoughts when I heard the ringing of phone. Slowly picking it up hoping it won't be another reporter asking me about the murder I answered it. It was my aunt Marlene. I was pleasantly surprised to hear her voice.

"Aunt Marlene! So good to hear from you. How have you been?"

"Julianne! Oh my little darling, how are you? I heard about that murder last night on TV this morning and was so worried. I hope you are doing well."

"Yes aunt. Things are better now."

 We talked for a while then ended the call with me promising aunt that I'll take care of myself. After dad died aunt Marlene was the one who took me in and took care of me as her own.

Thinking about past days I didn't even realize when I got up and when to the cupboard in the back room where I had kept all the old things. Pushing away some boxes I took out the old family album. As I lifted the pages old memories came rushing back; mom and dad on their wedding day. How happy and in love they were. Then me as a toddler holding moms hand as she smiled into the camera.

Warm tears wetted my cheeks as I remembered the time when I got the news that my mother had gone never to come back. She had cancer and I was only five when she left me and dad forever. After that, dad had been everything to me. He was my father, my mother, my friend, my confidant, my buddy. He was my life. And I was his. I was really daddy's 'little girl.'

We had been living in a large country house the same place where mom and dad had come to live after marriage and had decided to settle there. But then one fateful day everything changed. The person I loved the most was taken away from me. My whole world had came crashing down. I closed my eyes as the memory was too painful to relive.

A 14 year old me standing in my then pink room in our old house, humming a light melody to myself unaware of the terror that was about to strike. I was busy packing for the vacation that we had been planning for so long just when I had heard a loud crash from down below. Ignoring it I continued packing. But another crash came followed by a moan that definitely was human. I rushed to my bedroom window which over looked the garden in the back. It was very dark outside so I could just make out two figures struggling. My first thought was a burglar had broken in. I ran down the stairs calling dad but when there was no answer I panicked and went to the kitchen and tried to get a look outside. There I saw my father fighting with another man all dressed in black. I was panicking but calming myself I went to call police and then quickly ran to the kitchen. I quietly opened the kitchen door and stepped outside. The sight in front of me sent shivers down my spine. There was my father lying unconscious on the ground with a black figure hovering over him with something shiny and sharp looking in their hand. The figure raised the metal up and right before eyes plunged through the shirt, ripping apart the flesh and digging into his shirt. One, two, three. Three strikes. And then he stopped and looked directly at me. The cool grey eyes that seemed to glint like the metal. It seemed he was enjoying what he was doing. Terror gripped me as I stood there paralyzed. The time came to halt. And then even before I could run or scream he disappeared into the dark. As I got over the initial shock I ran to my father whose lifeless body now lay sprawled in a pool of blood and sat beside him. I let out a painful scream and gathered him in my arms and let the tears flow. After that everything was a blur mixture of red lights, noises and men in blue uniform.

Aunt Marlene came and took me with her and later sold the house. The investigation didn't go on for too long; after about five months they ended concluding that it was a burglary case and my dad had just gotten in the way. The only problem was that it wasn't just a burglary case. It was a murder. That man wasn't there to steal anything he was there with intent to kill which I had seen in his eyes. But why? I still don't know. That's why I later joined police force so one day I could track him down. And now with the latest murder where I was again a witness the killer seemed almost in my reach.

I sighed deeply and closed the album putting it back. I need to clean up this place there was too much dust gathering there. Just as I was putting away the boxes a file out from one the boxes. It was old one covered with a blanket of dust. I brushed aside and read 'confidential' written on it in bold letters. Inside were some legal documents with name Jeffery carter along with my dad's name. I was trying to understand what it was when the door bell rang. Wondering who it could be I quickly put it away making a mental note to check when I got time.

It was Nathan at the door. He had come to check upon me. The rest of the evening went away in Nathans trip stories and Chinese home delivery.

*

 Almost a week had passed since that cold October night. I was sitting on my desk in the office completing some paper work just when I heard Det. Mathews talking about Belguveria murder case. I couldn't help but over hear. And was shocked to hear that another murder had taken place just this morning and apparently some evidence had also been retrieved from the scene of crime.

I went over to Mathew to ask him about the case. At first he refused but I gave him I-was-with-this-case so he told me that another fifty-nine year old white female had been found dead in her house by her niece this morning. Some blood sampled were collected that may belong to the killer, also the weapon that I described was found to be some unique kind of dagger that only a handful of shops displayed. And most importantly the dead woman's neighbor had seen an old black Chevy roaming around the neighborhood around night particularly around Mrs. Phillips house. She had a habit of peeking through her window at night and today her habit got some useful results.

She had seen the face of the driver.

According to her description he was aged between 30-40, white had sandy brown hair with light graying at sides. Tall, good built and had blue-gray eyes. She hadn't been able to get good look at cars number but now at least they had a face to those eyes.

"So I can safely soon he will be behind the bars."

Nobody could have been happier than me to hear that. With every passing moment my belief that he was the person that killed my father all those years ago got stronger. It was payback time.

*

Ten days had passed and no recent development was made on the case. We were so close to him and I couldn't let this chance pass away. I was lost in these thoughts when I heard urgent voices and orders being given. I looked at the time it was six in the evening. Wondering what the emergency can be I quickly got up from chair and ran outside to see a hustle bustle among everyone. My first thought was another murder, but what Robert told me brought me some relief.

They had got him.

Someone had seen the described man outside a bar and was seen getting into a black car.

I ran to Senior Det. Thorne and asked his permission to accompany the squad. He refused at first but he knew what I was capable of and I was associated with this case from start. Perhaps he saw the determination or desperation in my eyes and granted me the permission to go.

As we neared the location that our sources had told us about a strange feeling over whelmed me. Fear or anxiety I wasn't sure.

"Detective...detective?" I looked up to see a junior cop calling me. "We are here."

I looked around it was an almost deserted place with large trees almost covering the area. He is there one of the officers said pointing to the old building. We quickly took places and got ready to attack. One by one we searched the rooms but there was no sign of him or any life for that matter. Losing hope we all went outside. Det. Mathews gave orders of returning. But I had this feeling that we were missing something. I told him, 'he is there inside. I can feel it.'

"Det. Julianne I think you need some rest. We checked every room there was no one in the building."

I felt a bolt of anger but controlled myself.

"Well yes but I still think there he is and if you don't want to go I will go by myself."

 With this I turned back on my heels and went to the back of the building. I took a quick look back to see one of the police squad cars already on its way back while others were settling down. But nothing could stop me now. I had to get him.

As I stepped inside the building the same feeling came over me. Dismissing it I kept moving forward. I went to the backside there was a small door in the corner almost in hiding. I quietly moved there and opened it. Stepping inside I saw a small filthy room with an old worn out mattress lying on the floor and some magazines and clothes strewed along. Holding my gun upfront I took a good look around.

I was about to call for a help just when a hand came over my mouth shutting my voice.  And his other had held my hand holding the gun. I struggled to get away but his hold was tight.

He breathed on my ear and whispered, "Sshhh honey. Don't struggle it won't help."

 I stopped struggling and stood still.

"Good. You always have been a good girl. I remember how scared you were when I stabbed your father. I motioned you with my eyes to stand still and you did. Such a good girl you are. You know it was one of the best ones I had done"

I could feel tears forming in my eyes. He continued with more zeal.

 "The look of fear on your face was pure satisfaction. Ah it was pure pleasure to stab your father's heart out while you just stood there like a little chicken."

His words pricked me like anything. Biting into his hand I gave him a blow in abdomen by my elbow and ran to get my gun that I had dropped. But before I could get there he grabbed me from behind. We struggled and fell on the floor.

"It's no use you are going to lose." He said looking me in the eye but I didn't let history repeat itself. I stared at him back with fierce in my eyes.

"No you are wrong. It's you who are going to lose!"

With this I pushed him aside and went for the gun but he pulled me down and got to the gun before me. I stood there breathless but not losing hope.

"Ok so you win but before I go just tell me...why? Why my father? What did he do?"

"Nothing. Oh honey, don't take it personally. It was just a deal. What you still don't get it. I'm a contract killer. I kill for money. For passion. And now it's time to say goodbye."

"No wait who...who gave contract for my father. Please I need to know." I almost begged him.

"Sorry it against my rule to give my clients name." he said with grin.

"But for you I'll make a comprise. His name was...Jeff- "

A load gunshot and everything went blank! I screamed no and ran to his side and held him by the shirt.

"No tell me tell me who? Who?!" I cried as his lifeless eyes stared at me. Strong arms took hold over me and took me away.

The killer caught, case over, everything went back to normal. But I was more restless than ever. I closed my eyes that half name going through my mind. I felt I had seen that name somewhere.  It looked so familiar. But where?

My phone rang distracting me from my thoughts. It was Nathan he wanted to take me out to take my mind off things. I agreed.

"And then my secretary gave me the red file instead of the orange one saying sir it went better with your tie. It was hilarious! Thank God my client Jeffery isn't the type to get angry in such things or else- "

"What did you just say?"

"What the file?"

"No, the name...your client?"

"Oh Jeffery Phillip. He is my client. We are doing a project together."

The name ringed a bell. I had heard or read that name somewhere. Suddenly it hit me where. The old file in the cupboard.

"Please take me home. I have some important work to do."

 Nathan looked at me confused but understanding he took me home.

*

"Nathan I need the address of your client Jeffery."

"But why?"

"Just do it for me. Please."

*

Finally the moment had arrived I had been waiting for. At exact 7 o'clock I reached Jeffery's apartment and ringed the bell. The door opened and there stood a man in his sixties wearing an expensive suit. Broad shoulders, gray hair, dark eyes with a look of predator in them.

He looked at me and a familiarity passed in his eyes but just for a moment.

"Hello Mr. Phillips." I said extending my hand, "I'm Miss. Collins."

He shook my hand with an element of uncertainty in his eyes.

 "What are you here for?"

"Well I'm here to discuss about some property that you bought around fourteen fifteen years ago in the west side of London off the country side. Now commonly known as West way Paditon. I'm here to ask if you still own that piece of land if so we would like to make you an offer."

Jeffery's face changed color he looked directly at me in the eye and replied, "You are mistaken Miss. Collins. I haven't purchased any such property. Now would you excuse me I have a party to attend."

"You are Jeffery Phillips right?"

"Yes then?" he asked in an impatient voice.

"Well then I'm not mistaken, the man told me that he made a deal with you and another man what was his name...I can't remember exactly. "

"Look miss I don't what you are talking about. I have never been at that place let alone purchase some property now please leave my house."

"I'm afraid I can't do that. I know you purchased that property and made a deal with Mr. Morse. He was your partner; you both bought that land to start a company. Then what happened? He was the initial investor so he was supposed to get 60% share. But that never happened. Because you backed out. Why? You wanted more share and then a year later Mr. Morse was found dead. Did you have anything to do with his death?"

"This is insane. What are you talking about?"

"Oh I guess you know. You also knew that property was illegal but you still insisted to buy it and after Mr. Morse refused to do so you killed him."

"I don't know and who are you to accuse me like that? Get out of my house right now. Or I'm going to call the police. "

"Oh please do so. I'm glad they will like to hear your story."

He narrowed his eyes at me they were almost black now with anger. "Who are you?"

"I'm Julianne Morse. Morse's daughter.

Ha gave a laugh. "Oh you silly girl and here I thought...never mind. Hm good work I must say. How did you find my address? Oh well now that you know let's clear the facts before we proceed; yes I killed your father. That son of- please excuse my language I should know to behave in front of a lady.

Well you see your father was too right a man he didn't want to do anything illegal. So I had to cook up a little story of the land. What did he know about life anyways? He was a spoilt rich kid; I was the one who needed the money, the land the business. Everything was going according to plan but somehow he got wind of the illegal property and backed out at the last moment. I lost everything because of that. Even my fianc left me.

All because of him and his morals! And then all he had to offer was a 'sorry'.

A sorry after everything was ruined! I knew I just couldn't sit there and watch it happen. I worked and got together with some real good people who understood what life was and didn't really teach lesson about morals. Earned enough and got that moral preacher killed. Yes I killed him."

Turning his attention to me, "And now my little darling it's your turn. You know the minute I saw I though you looked familiar. The same beautiful hazel green eyes.  Too bad they won't be of any use after you die."

With that he lurched forward to attack me but I ran and took out my gun pointing to him.

He gave a soft laugh, "oh come on girls like aren't supposed to play with these." And again move forward.

"You are wrong; men like you didn't deserve to live!" And then there was a shot. Again sirens, voices and men in blue.

*

I woke up and smiled at the sun. It was a bright sunny morning after a month of heavy showers. Strange but it happens. And for the first time in 13 years I had a sleep without any night mares.

I lazily walked into the kitchen and picked up the newspaper that Nathan had set out for me at the breakfast table. It read after 13 years case solved. Killer caught. Finally it ends.

Nathan gave me big smile and in a cherry tone said, "Good morning sleepy head. "

I smiled and replied, "Yes it is a good morning."

***



Edited by spln - 25 April 2011 at 2:14am

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spln

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spln

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Posted: 24 April 2011 at 12:43am | IP Logged

Using Excerpt #4

A/N: The names of the characters "MAYANK" and "NUPUR" are from show MILEY JAB HUM TUM. Cheers!

Made in heaven

"Hello!! mayank!! HELOOO!!"

This was the way my mornings used to start, with a loud scream from Miss Nupur Bhushan.

"nupur I am NOT deaf", I made her clear, sinking deep in my blanket.

"did I ask?'

Damn her sense of wit!

"FINE!", what did I forget today?", I inquired as I knew my memory very well.

"Nothing",

Did she really say that?

"Then why the hell are you shouting in my ears on a Sunday morning", I barked, ignoring a little whimper I felt with her soft voice.

"that is because", her voice was still soft, but this time she paused, "YOU ARE IN DEEP TROUBLE FOR REMEMBRING ME LAST NIGHT!!", and the soft voice vanished.

I took a minute to encode her meaning, what did she actually mean?

Remembering her last night?. Last night I was in the Pokio's club, yes I was, I clearly remember fighting with that parking man, and  then I got high on wine with the smoking hot Clara, *sigh* her legs and..ok..wait dude!, nupur is on phone!

"what do u mean?", I tried sounding stiff, but unable to hold the confusion.

"You were to take clara shopping this morning?", she sounded like a FBI officer!..but wait..how come she is talking about Clara??

"How come you..",

"Wait a minute partner", she said with faked sweetness and the very next moment I heard Clara shouting, "babyyy, u gave me your card and I came for our shoppingbut here is this girl, babyyy", she whined and I had to place the phone on arm's length.

DAMN IT!! How did she ended up at nupur's apartment??..urghhh!, Hey wait!, I wrote nupur's address on her arm, instead of mine..HOW COME??

"hey hey clara!!, relax baby!..i guess I just got confused last night, lets meet at the Eaton Centre in half an hour and then we can shop whatever u want!", I made use of my typical sweet gesture and WHOA!, she agreed, well I had no second thoughts on that.

"ok baby, missshhheed you sooo much, come soon"

missing me after having spent just two hours together, that too totally drunk! Foolish woman!

"awww, I missed you too baby, now please u quickly reach the Eaton center and give the phone back to nupur",

I knew she was making faces standing there,

"ok baby," Clara said and the next voice I heard was of nupur!

"what??', she was straightforward.

"listen, I am sorry for the trouble, i.."

"it's ok mayank , I am quite used to it", she said and I could sense her smirking, "Shut up!, she left?", I tried changing the topic.

"no, I have asked her for a night-stay!, OF COURSE SHE LEFT!", she shouted again and I realized my mistake..wrong question!

"by the way she was Hot!", she said and I got a chance to get back on her, I broke into laugh., 'now don't tell me nupur that you are experiencing some hormonal changes", I was still laughing, imagining her frown

"What the..",

"well I always wonder you don't have a partner so may be.."

"SHUT UPPP!!,",She shouted and my laugh became more loud, "by the way currently you also don't have a partner", she said lowering down her tone.

"hey hello!!, I think u are forgetting clara",

"no no!, I am not!, u are forgetting that she is in the Eaton center and u are still in your bed, and no matter how much u apologize , she will not forgive you this time, u dumped a shopaholic in a mall!", she spoke in go with a smirk  and I realized how right she was.

"very funny!, now let me sleep!", I hung up the phone before hearing to her any mean laugh.


Perhaps it wasn't just a strange coincidence, how at the bottom of all seeming facts, was this real one - she and I were living our days in a similar trend.

She had not a lover in life; I had too many but one. Conclusively, we were a single heart apiece.

And if irony had to find a situational synonym - it lay in the fact, that she and I, were professional match makers.

As partners, not rivals.

How kickass was that!

From our initial days of bonding (or not?!), we were spotted 'together' too often to not prompt gossip. Luckily, our peers were a lot of bright people who soon figured we were the case of 'plain opposites' not the proverbial 'opposites that attract'.

As soon as the every-town-has-its-share-of snoopers were jaded and convinced we were not the next epic-love-story-in-the-making, we were left alone.

She, to her unbelievably boring life of routines and deadlines. Oh and, being good!

I, relieved at reestablishing my single-to-mingle credentials, in continuing to turn heads, for this newer, better reason.

Divine conspiracies, unlike the rumored divine grace, are not a myth. I speak from personal experience.

How else would one explain the uncanny concurrence of our lives?

Cause hello, this is my story.

But she has to, as a rule, barge her way into every notable aspect of it.

It sure beats the hell out of me... how she does it. All the damn time!

***


"again late", she normally said highlighting something on the paper, as I entered the cabin. "today  just 15 minutes", I proudly announced, adjusting my blazer over the back of my chair

"15 minutes or 150 minutes, late means late", she chewed the rubber on her pencil and busted my pride bubble with a sweet smile.

For a second I got lost in the curve of her lips, It wasn't that she smiled very rarely, but every time she did, it made me go in a trance..but hold on dude! I hope u remember that she insulted you, YES! - but I have no answer to her. She is, as always, right.

"alright nupur! I am late! Happy?", I taunted her, switching on my laptop, to revise my assignments. She gave no answer.

Today was again a typical morning of our office - Made in heaven - The eternal Matchmaking site.

***

"hey nupur!,u heard about Jennifer and harry", I said going through their profiles while nupur was busy writing something.

"yes I did!", her voice was plain, but somehow I could sense something else. I looked up at her and she was still writing, but her hands were wiping some water droplets near her eye-pockets. Her huge brown eyes, seemed like filled with water, her eye-liner was on the verge of being smeared, and the water traveled down her cheeks ..but how come water in eyes..i mean water?...oh FREAK!...It's TEARS U GODDAMN FOOL!

"nupur!", I almost ran to her desk , while she quickly wiped of every trace of that water..i mean tears.

"just excuse me mayank", her voice was shaking due to tears and she grabbed her bag and rushed out of the cabin.

"damn it!, I am a big big fool!", I made  a confession to satisfy my guilt.

***

Jennifer and harry had a divorce last week. They were our clients, so consequently I felt bad. Seeing your recommendations go wrong always hurts, but I knew for nupur, this was much more than a work assignment.

Although the success rate our company was almost 95 %, people getting married through us were leading a blissful life, truly made in heaven, but the 5 % who part their ways, used to leave a deep mark on nupur.

Nupur grew up in a broken family, her parents had been living separately since she was 5, and after 18, she was living alone. Her parents were on the verge of being divorced, but maybe nupur's pleading kept them for not breaking the relation, they could never fit in a definition of a made in heaven couple.  So, seeing all this since childhood, she decided to fill in the void by bringing couples together, to bring couples made in heaven together, and when someone, she brought together was not made in heaven, she used to go back to her childhood and most of the time it was ME who used to push her there..just as today!.

***

"nupur..'

"I miss them mayank"

Her voice broke and she hugged me. 

If it would have been someone else, then i would have pushed her away for almost spoiling my Versace shirt, by gripping it's collar so tightly, but this was different.. this was nupur..and..HOLD ON! No further thoughts on that! Get back to console her, u have spent an hour finding her!

"I understand nupur", I softly rubbed her back, with my hands almost slipping down her silky brown hair.

She kept on crying, and I kept on rubbing her back.

It was not very often that she hugged me, but whenever she did, I just couldn't ignore that tiny rush of blood in my veins, that something my heart used to tell my mind and my mind used to ignore shouting..SHUT UP!!

***

Ok, so I guess this was MY story, so getting back to ME!. I am Mayank Sharma. A  26 years old, graduate in political sciences and human relations, with human  physcology as a minor subject. I am an orphan, grown up in the Central orphanage of London. And now please I am not going to complain about how miserable my life was and how much I miss having a family and all! Duhhh!. I am satisfied with my life. All I know about my roots is that I was brought in the central orphanage of London at the age of 3, and I knew my name which consequently decided my religion. I do feel sad and lonely sometimes, but well, my activities don't let me feel that for long. I am a self made man and proud of myself. I am the talk of the town, the current heart throb. My work requires a lot of dedication, which I make sure I give, EXCEPT for coming on time to office. I just cannot wake up early.

As for my friends, I have a lot of them, and when I say a lot!, I literally mean alot!, Unlike nupur who ..URGHHH!..AGAIN NUPUR!  

***

"mayank I don't want to attend the function, it is.."

"I know..so damn irritating and very boring!, I know!", I completed her sentence and she nodded in approval.

Sometimes she was just too cute, not to forget that she is very irritating and can compete with hitler in strictness, but when she was cute, she was too adorable to resist.

Now yes again I am drifting to nupur, well frankly, all I have exciting is coming to office and all the arguments I have with nupur, rest it's all boring, so back to what I said to her back.

I stood up from my seat and sat on her desk, a saw a frown appearing on her face but I ignored. "Listen nupur!, I don't understand why do you  always want  to stay alone?, why..

"I don't like to stay alone!, we both do go out", she insisted, as if shocked by my taunt,

"Exactly, we both go out once in a blue moon, that too to meet clients! Why don't you behave like normal girls? WHY?", I looked in her eyes straight and for a moment..it was complete silence around.

Her huge brown eyes were staring straight in my eyes, or more appropriately, I was staring straight in her huge brown eyes. I had seen her eyes before, I see her every day!, but looking IN eyes and looking AT eyes - MAN! It's a hell lot of a difference.

They were deep, intense and spoke volumes. I remember saying all this to so many girls, almost every day, but today for the first time, I didn't spoke them, just felt.

"ok!, no need to fly so high!",

She broke my spell, turning her eyes away. I jumped off from the table, as of to direct all my emotional upheaval in a physical activity.

"I will go to the function, we will meet at the party straight!", she rushed out of the cabin and I was still trying to control my beats.

***

I have this niche to let go off things very easily, but that evening, while driving back home, while dressing and while driving to the party, I couldn't let go off her eyes. I tried, but still I couldn't. and I knew this was serious.

***

It was  a high class  party in the town, a business party and good for contacts. I had been attending such parties for a while now and it did benefit our business, and that is why I insisted nupur to accompany me this afternoon which led to that eye-lock *sigh*. I still can't get over that.

It was a typical party, boring snobbish people, and some hot looking girls. Like every party, this one too had some interesting corners and some very boring table talks.

I was being the courteous myself. Dressed in a black and grey suit, I knew the eyes following me and the sighs echoing. Any other day, i would have gone back to flirt, but today it was something changed, I was waiting for Nupur!. She was coming, if she said, then she meant. Somewhere I was so looking forwards to meet her.

It was almost 3 years since we met, and during these years I had just seen her in those boring jeans and Ts, or sometimes skirts, today she would dress formal, THANK GOD! and I just couldn't wait and I realize this getting out of control.

***

I had now tasted almost all the starters and two rounds of wine, but still nupur wasn't here. I took out my cell phone for calling her, but it was not needed. The screen flashed with her name already

"nupur where the hell are you, i..

"mayank.."

I thought my heart would pump out that moment, I never heard her voice like this.

"what nupur..

"they are finally divorced.."

***

Those were the words she spoke and the next I was in my car, driving at a super speed of 120km/h. I rushed through the stairs in her building to her apartment.

I barged in and saw her gazing at a picture intently, dressed in black gown. She was getting ready for the party, for sure, but in between she must have got this news.

I slowly walked towards her, "nupur.."

And the frame fell from her hands and the glass broke into a million pieces. She followed the path of the frame spontaneously, sitting down on floor, and was about to collect the scattered pieces of glass,

"nupuuur!!', I rushed at the lightning speed to grab her hand which was about to make contact with the glass, "it'll hurt!", I cried staring at her in astonishment as if how could be she so stupid to pick up glass pieces.

"nothing will hurt more mayank..", she spoke with tears trickling down her chin in gushing speed, "nothing", she was gazing at the picture of her parents, which was now broken, "nothing", she repeated and I encircled my arms around her. Sensing a grip, she tucked her head in my torso, and cried her heart out.

I kept my arms around her the whole night, and her tears were falling on my chest the whole night. I didn't let any thought cross my mind, except for this that how come I was so deeply affected by her pain. She was not even a friend. She was just a business partner. 

They say that sleep can engulf you even a on a death bed, but here she was secure in my arms. I felt her sobs fading and I could sense her falling asleep.

Once I was sure that she was asleep, I slowly tried removing my arms, but she grabbed by coat tightly. I carefully slipped my arm beneath her knees and picked her up. On being picked up, her face was buried in my arms, and I couldn't help noticing how perfect she looked in my arms, as if, made for me..made in...

Before I could complete the thought, I led her to the bed, took off her shoes and wrapped the blanket carefully around her. During all this, I kept looking at her face, frequently. She looked so child like, so innocent, a scared girl who had lost something so precious.

Once I was sure that she was securely in her bed, I thought of leaving, but seeing her face, it felt as if a magnet attracting me. I sat beside, just plainly staring at her. I could see the frozen tears near her eyes and a few on her checks, I rubbed my thumb lightly over them, and the marks faded. I don't know why was that, but I felt like erasing every mark of tear from her face. Those impressions of tears on her face were embedding in my heart.

I sat very near her, slowly ruffling her hair, I thought maybe this would make her slumber more deep, and I was right, feeling more comfortable, she  turned her side, placing her arm around my stomach, with her head snuggled near my waist. I felt a twinge in my body, but it soon settled, giving me a content feeling. I kept on ruffling her hair till I remember, after that maybe I fell asleep, afterall her closeness was acting like a slow drug on me too!.

***

Next morning I woke up in a warm blanket, my tie was not in my neck and my shoes were off. I remembered sleeping while sitting, but here i was lying. I opened my eyes with an alarming thought of where is nupur?, but she was standing by the window of the room. I breathed a sigh of relief and slowly got out of the bed.

She was dressed in the same clothes as night, just her hair were tied. I slowly placed my hands over her shoulder, "nupur", I was amazed at the softness of my voice..it was never like this before.

She turned her neck, and I saw her huge eyes filled with tears again, "awww..nupur u are still crying?", I pulled her in a hug and wrapped my arms around her tightly.  I could feel her relaxing in my arms, she threw her arms around my neck and hugged me back. Equally tight.  I was taken aback, but didn't let this thought over whelm much. I just kept on hugging her, making sure the grip of my arms wasn't loosened for a second even.

I lost track of time for how long were we standing like that, but as I sensed that she wanted to move away, I loosened my arm grip, still not leaving her.

She raised her head, blinking her eyes twice. I looked into them and they were swollen. "u are okay?', I asked in a whisper, she nodded and lowered her eyes. She removed her arms from my neck, and I opened my arm grip. She stepped away, making me experience a strange incompleteness.

"I was so silly mayank ,all this was meant to happen, one or the other day, they both had to separate but still I was being so stupid.. I am really sor..

"don't u dare", I cut her in between, glaring her in anger and her lips broke into  a curve, *sigh*. Her smile is a slice of heaven.

"ok, I won't,", and the curve became more wide, " coffee?", she said gaining her composure. I smiled and nodded. She left the room and I followed her . I didn't want to leave her alone for a second even.

"u were sleeping very uncomfortably", she normally said, dropping in coffee beans in the coffee maker, and I was just plainly staring her. "so I just took of your shoes and tie and made  u comfortable", she switched on the machine and smiled at me.  I was so lost in the pleasure I was experiencing in seeing her normal, that I didn't even return the smile back.

"here", she handed me the cup and we both our way out of the kitchen. The coffee was in silence from my side, but she kept on blabbering about our assignments. She was strong, I knew it, but  I was amazed at discovering the extent of her strength.

"ok nupur, now I'll leave..", I left my words in between.

We had finished the coffee and I couldn't think of anything more. She looked at me and I noticed a tiny flicker of disappointment in her eyes, but she tried covering it with her smile, "ok mayank, sure",.

I thought she would say something else, but well.. .

We both got up from the table. I headed towards the main door, I didn't want to leave her but I had too, so taking a  deep breath I was about to head out, "mayank.", her voice placed breaks in my feet. I immediately turned, as if this was the only thing I was wishing.

She slowly walked towards me and placing her palm on my cheek she slowly brought it closer, pressing her lips onto it, "thank u for everything mayank".

I don't remember if I ever felt such bliss before. It WAS heavenly. In the true literal sense of meaning. I closed my eyes as a reflex action, her nails were slightly digging in my cheek skin and I could smell her sweet fragrance. Slowly opening my eyes, I found myself under her soft gaze. I smiled back and left her apartment.

If I had been there for even a single second more,  I would have pulled her in a hug and kissed her, surely. I knew myself very well. 

***

Things were surely changing, and most alarmingly, without my consent.

I started to feel something for nupur, something which was not there before. It was something strange, something warm, something divine, something beautiful, something undeniable, something eternal, something like..something like Love.

***

I have this rare advantage of my heart and mind being on good terms. They could surely discuss things, without fighting, and so my heart clearly told my mind that "dude, u love her", and my mind..well..

***

After listening to these shocking revelations by my heart, my mind started working strange. My whole lifestyle was changed, there was nothing left in clubs and girlfriends anymore. My mind was just entrapped in her thoughts; the whole perspective of viewing nupur was changed. Things which never came to my notice started to gain importance, like how lovely her diamond chain looked swinging in her delicate neck. How lovely did that black eye-pencil looked around her huge eyes, making them more prominent and beautiful. How often she used to run her slender fingers in her silky brown hair, how she used to bit her lower lip on every mistake, how beautiful a pink color looked, which started appearing on her cheeks whenever she used to hear her praises. How cute she looked chewing pencils in confusion and how beautiful she looked every time I used to see her.

 I noticed after that incident, she got more serious in her work. She used to stay quiet, she used to cry sometimes while talking to her parents, but according to them it was no big deal, they never understood what difference it had made to her. I understood.

***

"mayank I think we should just complete all this  tonight, I need to submit all these tomorrow".

We had got to submit the details all the immigrant couples in our agency to the immigration office.

"Yeah sure, we can work in office till late", I said normally.

 I had stopped arguing with her, just didn't feel like being rude to her anymore.

We both were combining details of all the couples, there were lots of them. Nupur and I were sitting on our own tables. Typing down details. Well I surely did keep on stealing glances at her, but she was deeply engrossed in her work.

"nupur", I said as I had caught her yawning,

"hmmm", she said,

"coffee?'

She raised her eyes, as if surprised by my offer, "yeah sure", she said.

I wnet to teh office kitchen, and came back in about 10 minutes with two mugs of coffee and she was still typing. I placed the mug in front of her and closed the laptop. "mayank", she started at me in disbelief.

 With her eyes widening, I felt my heart skip a beat, I leaned a bit onto her chair, " we can take a half an hour break nupur, let's go on the terrace", I said with looking in her eyes straight, and with my voice so soft, I felt her going at a loss of words. She lowered her eyes and nodded and without looking at me again, she grabbed the cup and went the terrace. Smiling, I followed her.

The weather was cold, and with the city shining with neon lights, the small terrace of our office seemed a peaceful place. Sitting on opposite chairs, we both started sipping coffee.

Fading sounds of   traffic were frequent, it was almost midnight, and I couldn't ask for anything else. Nupur was sitting in front of me, her hair open, flowing due to wind, and she was trying to manage, "let them sway", I held her hand as she was about to pin up, my action was so sudden that she just started at me and then looked at my grip over her wrist. Again looking in my eyes, she placed the clip back and started sipping coffee. I smiled seeing that she got confused, I don't know why but I was enjoying her confusion.

"Mayank", she said as she finished her coffee,

"hmmm', I was intently staring at her and she was looking at her nails, "I think something is wrong", she was still playing with her nails

"with you?", I got worried and she raised her eyes, "no, it's with you", She replied stiffly, looking at me with angry eyes .

"nupur what..."

"mayank there is surely something", her voice was stiff and plain and I got more tensed.

"nupur I am not getting a word u are saying?

"I don't get anything about your behavior, what has happened to you?", her eyes were blood shot and there I understood her confusion.

I took a deep breath and walked to her chair, and sat on my knees and she was constantly staring at me . "what is it nupur?"

"u tell mayank!, WHAT IS IT?, you are not the one you used to be, u have changed, completely, ", she was saying all that with her eyes helplessly searching my face for answers and I decided to let her speak, "you don't behave the way u used to, you don't fight with me anymore, no arguments, no clashes, you have started agreeing to everything I say, u have stopped going to night clubs, all your list of girlfriends is not prolonging anymore, u  don't taunt and tease me the way u used to do, all you do the whole day is..", she paused in between, realizing how intently I was staring her, she turned her neck away and tried to  speak in the same flow, but I sensed her blush, "the whole day u stare at me", she said and got up from the seat, rushing towards the railing.

 I just took a deep breath, "damnit I love her!", my heart and mind spoke in chorus.

Without wasting any time I walked towards her, I was confused at how to talk to her, should I question or should straight away shower my love on her.

Well, knowing her so well, I slowly hugged her from back.

I felt her sharp intake of breath, she tried turning her neck but I hugged more tightly, "I stare because you are beautiful", I whispered, following by a slight blow on her cheek and all I could sense was her slight shiver in my arms. I loosened the grip, and  she turned in my arms to face me, with disbelief evident in her eyes.

"what?", I softly caressed her cheek with the back side of my palm, but next I observed her eyes sparkling with tears, "what do you want mayank?, she asked in a broken voice, leading to a shiver in my heart.

"nothing, except you, i..

"stop!", she pushed my arms away and was to rush inside when I grabbed her arm and pinned her against the wall, holding her wrist., while her tears  had traveled outside her eyes, "why should I stop?', I decided to say things clear and cut.

"because I won't be able to tolerate when u will dump me after 3 months, so better back off", her voice was weak, but the expression I saw in her eyes made me feel so low about myself, "nupur u really think I will.." it was now my turn to get shocked

"yes, you do it with every girl", she said with looking straight in my eyes, "no nupur, you are not like every ordinary girl, u are special..", I wasn't planning any of these sentences, they were coming on their own, instigated by the mistrust I read in her eyes, "I love you nupur", I had no further assurance to give her except for accepting my love. I saw tears again forming and wetting her face, "u say this to every girl", the doubt was still there in her eyes and I moved more close to her, cupping her face, "may be, but for them , my mouth speaks and  for you, my heart is speaking nupur, I really love you", I  gently kissed the left corner of her lips, and tasted her tear, "I really really do",I kissed the left corner again, "trust me nupur, the day u fell asleep in my arms crying, I just couldn't move on from you. Your pain affects me, your smile enlightens me, your tears hurt me, your dreams make my nights beautiful, your presence makes my life worth living", I looked at her, her eyes were firmly closed, but her lips were curved slightly, "I really love you nupur, I don't know how to prove, i.." before I could complete my sentence I saw her slowly opening her eyes, she looked into my eyes, and I so prayed to God that please let her read my true feelings, let her trust me, oh God please..

"I don't believe this".., she said shaking her head and my heart was caught in a fist, "what?, I asked, sensing it is finished, but she smiled, "u have actually fallen in love with me, I don't believe this", she said and hugged me tightly. 

For a split second i thought it was a dream, I didn't want to move, but when I sensed her gripping my collar tightly I was assured that its my NUPUR hugging me, and I hugged back, as tightly as i could, just making sure she wasn't suffocated. I moved apart and saw her eyes twinkling, "so u were waiting for my confession?", I said slipping my arm around her waist and she threw her arms around my neck , "I was waiting myself to trust you", she said with a smile and I leaned to kiss her.

For a moment it felt as if the world stopped, sensing the velvet warmth of her being made my heart flicker with a strange feeling. I had kissed so many girls before, but what I felt today was unexplainable. It was love. That moment I understood what happens when u feel the physical closeness of the person you love. It felt as if the emotional bonding we had developed in this 10 minutes or so was being exhibited by this gesture.

 "and I never thought it would be so easy trusting you",  she said  pulling back, with a smile and I kissed her back.

"u don't want my confession", she asked giggling, moving her neck away again,  as she sensed I was heading towards her lips again, "some other time", I said plainly and laughing, she kissed me again.

We were kissing endlessly when she again pulled back, I was about to capture her lips again when she slowly whispered, with irregular pattern of breath, "I love u mayank", and I felt as if it was music from heavens. I looked in her eyes and never did I saw this shine, I just smiled, kissed her forehead and hugged her, "I love u too"

"I was right mayank, u do love me", she hugged back tightly and I  don't know why she said this again, well i didn't want to know even, the feeling of hugging her was so overwhelming.

Well after that..after that we completed that stupid work and I dropped her home, kissing her many times again of course. She called me upstairs, but I refused, I didn't want to take any risks being alone with her. I wanted to make our marriage special for her, because I knew what marriage meant for her.

***

"mayank we are made in heaven na?", she asked as I picked her up, as Mrs. Nupur Mayank Sharma, to lead her in our home, "I don't know, but we will make our own heaven" I replied.

***

And after this do I need to explain what an exciting, full of fights, passion and an amazing,  blissful life we are living?. I don't think so. I know reading the first lines u all must have thought that they are going to end up together..well yeah..here we are..in love..married..together..made in heaven.

***



Edited by spln - 25 April 2011 at 2:16am

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spln

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spln

Joined: 06 December 2007

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Posted: 24 April 2011 at 7:11am | IP Logged



Using Excerpt #3


A/N:
The character's names in this story, Shravan and Saachi are from the serial Baat Hamari Pakki Hai(BHPH), which was telecasted in SONY TV. The title name is only coincidental as some stories or novels may exist in that name. But rest assured, the story from the continuation of the excerpt is my own imagination and creation.

 
 The  Incidental  Love

CHAPTER ONE

"Tell me more about the eyes." 

 

Passing me the glass of water, he pressed me for details, without a trace of urgency or haste. It wasn't a gesture of concern, because coming from him, it was like a receptionist's smile - something he was boringly and obligingly accustomed to doing, as part of his job. 

I wasn't mindful enough of his lack of sympathy, just right then. Quite thankfully instead, I drank in a large gulp of the chilled water. Then I took in a deep breath, and closed my eyes to remember what I would have given anything to forget - the sight of those eyes through the face mask ... The translucent hazel that turned to steel when they narrowed to focus upon ... 

 

My own eyes fell open with a start, a shudder passing through my spine. He sat looking at me intently, and the very distant comprehending part of my mind held onto the subconscious former belief - it wasn't out of concern, but routine. He was being merely patient with me, a crucial witness to this fifth murder case in the neighbourhood, that had kept their hands full here at Scotland Yard, this entire awful week of rainy afternoons. In this weatherly respect, today was no different. 

 

"They were cold," I whispered. My voice had refused to come full volume ever since the incident early this morning, sometime before the onset of dawn. 

 

"Blue?"

 

"Nuances of grey ... they turned dark ... very dark when he ... when ... " I inhaled sharply and ran a hand forcefully through the tangled mess of my long tresses. If I'd survived the sight of that ruthless stabbing, surely, I could survive speaking it out loud ... ?

 

"I see." 

 

Any other day, any other time, this man would have driven me over the edge. Why here I was, at all my nerves' end, and all he offer me was an 'I see'  ... ? Sure! He could see nothing at all. Nothing! Unknowingly, I had worked myself into something of a breathlesness. Unknowingly also, I was scowling deeply, staring, or rather glaring at him. Perhaps he sensed it, for he met my eye, interrupting his professional strokes on the canvas, sketching the murder suspect.

 

"Are you alright?" 

There it was, the water glass yet again, raised up for me. I wanted to scream the obvious 'no I'm not!' right into his face; instead I held back and re gathered my dissipating composure. I did however reject his attempt to drown my extreme discomfiture with mere cold water - what was I, a flushing system? 

 

"They were quite like yours," I told him bluntly staring into his eyes, and momentarily, the revelation of my own words shocked even me.


"What! Come again?" he suddenly sat straight. His eyes seemed to pierce the very inner core of me, trying to measure me and my sanity. 'Ahem.. Ahem" he coughed and cleared his throat. This time it was his turn to take a sip of water from the glass.


As soon as he was composed, I plucked up all my courage and said "Yes am sure of it. It was hard, cold and steel eyes. Taking absolute joy in the action his hands was doing and his mind reveling in the pleasure of such inhuman behavior"  I said a little too fast, wanting to get over this enquiry as fast as possible and also to escape those  inquisitive eyes.


He seemed to sense my predicament. He stopped his fiddling his pen and suddenly smiled at me. It was a revelation. Oh my God that face! It dazzled the daylights out of me.. Suddenly I felt like a magnet drawn towards it. But something stopped me. It's not right. He is a policeman doing his job. You are a witness to a murder that happened just across the street, in the apartment opposite yours. Collect yourself Saachi", I told myself, taking a deep breath and rearranging my composure and thoughts.


With a false smile plastered on my face, I filled in the gory details how that old woman was killed by that ruthless stabbing. A life ended in a horrible way. While saying this I almost choked with emotions. I had done a good job of keeping them under control so far, but sitting across him and reliving those moments, opened a dam inside me, the tears now flowing freely.


A kerchief was thrust under my eyes. "There, there. Its over now, no worry and no more questions. ahh for now, at least" he said as an afterthought. The action was gruff, but his voice was gentle. Accepting it, I blew my nose and contemplated of giving it back to him, but decided he wouldn't want a soiled one inside his pocket.. I looked up and saw the gentle yet, scrutinizing   glance he was giving my troubled self. I felt like laughing and trying to reach out to him..It was ridiculous. Have I gone mad...This Man is evoking more myriad of emotions inside me, churning my inner sanity.


"Thank you" I said my voice shaky and almost a whisper."Am ok now". I smiled bravely. A giggle escaped from me. I quickly choked on it; it led to a fit of hiccups'Now he knelt before me, tenderly handing me the glass of water again..I felt like he was proposing with that damn glass..Jerking myself, I suddenly noticed the hiccups gone..

 

His posture was the same. I slowly looked up, meeting his eyes..Now they seem to smolder and inviting me to join in that glorious heat it was emanating. The black eyes spoke volumes while both of us were silent'The minutes passed , the flapping of his notepad's papers making merry sounds, the tick tocking clock in the background proving the oh laa laa music.. A crazy notion of the ever dreamy self of this novelist..Yeah that's what I write in my novels and now experiencing it in real life!

 

The incessant ringing of the door bell broke the spell. He too must have felt something .I thought, for suddenly he straightened up and like a guilty child, gave a furtive glance all around my apartment. Slowly with his hands brushing his hair behind his head, he walked on to open the door. My door! How ironical. Here Iam the host and being inquired about this murder and here he was, a cop feeling totally at ease and walking casually, like owning this place, towards the door to open it.

 

His Deputy from the yard breezed past in, his overcoat dripping the rainy water all over my foyer's carpet.  "Shravan Sir, are you finished? There seems to be some lead from an anonymous source. The yard is now buzzing with this, serial murders. Our number One is asking for you. So you go ahead sir. I will take care of things here" he said in an officious manner.

 

Oh so this Man's name was Shravan. Well a nice name that had a ringing tinge to it. "No Sam. It's all finished here..at least for now " he said eyeing me with knowing look. Anything more I can always drop in and update myself" ..he glanced around once again and  almost pushing his deputy said " Let's go. The yard awaits us'. With a final look he went out into the cold rainy afternoon.

 

As soon as I was about to close the door on them, he materialized from nowhere and put his hands on the doorframe." Ma am, I would advise you to get someone trustworthy to be with you at all times. Never leave your house unlocked and while going outside make sure you inform us about your whereabouts. Better still get a chaperon, avoid going out alone" and then as last parting words said "Take care".

 

I was left at the door fretting and fuming at his words. Well! Am I not a grown up woman, an adult, living in London, perfectly capable of managing my affairs and talking care of myself? How dare he talk in a patronizing manner!  But then soon my anger and indignation gave way to cold logic. Yes I was shaken badly by the turn of events. Being a witness to a murder doesn't give you much choice of freedom, while the criminal and murderer is still at large. A cold shiver ran up my spine enveloping me in an unknown fear.

 

But then however much Shravan's words were true, I still felt an unreasonable anger towards him. "What's this dichotomy of feelings towards him" I wondered aloud. Calling my close friend, I made arrangements for her to stay with me for a day or two. Reassured I walked out into the street unmindful of the chilly and rainy weather.

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

My legs carried me, involuntarily to the apartment opposite mine. Even though the police had taped off the flat, I managed to duck under it and enter. A lone cop on security duty nodded to me, as though I had been given the authority to enter.. Being a witness seemed to be a passport for unlimited access to cordon off areas. The old widow, who lived here, was decently rich. The furnishings and, the dcor and the curios, all radiated the wealth and comfortable living of the deceased. Peeping out through the windows I saw my flat directly opposite. Standing in this very living room, I tried to picture how the scene must have been.

 

Earlier that dawn, after a night of feverish writing, I had a cup of steaming hot coffee. Glancing out of my windows at the expanse of a clutter of apartment blocks, a movement had caught my eye. Looking up I saw a masked man doing the unthinkable of ending the helpless woman's life. He was so engrossed that he hardly gave a glance elsewhere. When my silent screams and frantic waves caught his attention, he turned slowly towards me. His masked face except for that slit for his eyes and the rest of the body clad in black was a picture of a savage panther going through with its kill.

 

 

I vividly, remember the hazel eyes that had turned a cold steel grey on seeing me and enjoying its kill. It mocked me as though it didn't care about someone witnessing this gory act. Then in the blink of an eye, the figure vanished and all that was left was, for me to call the cops. Even now standing here, I couldn't visualize clearly what happened afterward. Everything was a blur and I had almost swooned due to the hectic happenings around me. But thankfully I kept my head above the din and the cooperated with the cops. The last of which was the arrival of Mr. Shravan, the chief constable, which really rattled my composure.

 

 

Returning to my pad, I tried writing... But no words formed, everything was dried up, my thoughts of Him constricting my free flow. Switching on the TV resulted in a desultory changing of channels, nothing catching my attention. Trying to eat an early supper only helped in losing my appetite. The hours passed in a tedious boredom. Walking inside my apartment like a caged tigress helped me in doing something worthwhile, burning my calories and pent up energies.

 

The hours passed by. It was getting close to 10 pm. No sign of my friend so far. Getting a little concerned, I called her up, only to receive a message that she was out somewhere and will revert later. Was she on her way here?  She was supposed to be here for dinner. But in my own anxiety and preoccupation, I didn't pay much attention to her lateness. An hour or so later yielded the same reply on her phone and her cell was switched off. Damn it! She can't do this to me, not now when I needed her the most.

 

My fear started to raise its ugly head. I felt my home not radiating its usual warmth, but an uneasy chillness. With my stomach churning, leaving me in a dreadful state, I gulped a glass of water, trying to get a hold of my nerves. Looking at the glass, I was suddenly hit by a brainwave. Oh!  What a fool I have been (which is the usual case, most of the time). Scurrying like a mouse towards a piece of cheese, I zeroed in on the card Shravan had given me (incase I wanted any assistance). Feeling elated already, my fears vanished. I raked my brain as to what I should say, when he answers my call.

 

With   sweaty hands, I reached for my phone and dialed his number. My heart beating faster, I waited impatiently for his voice..When it came after the first two rings, I was at a loss for words. It must have sounded crazy for him to hear a deep breathing and no sound from the other end.

 

"Hello, Helooo" he repeated again. Then realizing the caller, he said" Uggh, Is that you Saachi? Are you alright? What happened?" he fired away the questions like his rifle.

 

"Hmmm..Ahhh. Yes Hello. How are you? How was your day?" I asked. Ridiculous it was. Here Iam, calling him up asking for help and Iam making small talk. Have my screws of brain got loose?..

 

Guess he must have read my situation correctly. His voice was gentle and he asked again what was troubling me. I immediately briefed him and wondered whether he could help me. Actually I wanted him to come over again and dispel my loneliness and be a guard for me at the same time. He must have read my signals right, for it was quite loud and clear.

 

"Oh well. Don't worry. I will come over shortly. Till then lock yourself securely and don't leave any windows or outside doors open" he said being the policeman first.

 

"Yes I will. See you soon" I said too quickly, trying to hide my relief and joy. I could even hear a faint trace of chuckle from the other end, but then I didn't care. Somehow I felt am safer now.

 

Soon enough, I heard the doorbell ringing a little later. Without even thinking I opened it, only to find an angry and concerned Shravan. For a moment I was confused. What provoked him to present a face like this? I wondered.

 

"Well, in spite of warning you still opened the door without asserting who's on the other end? Don't you have any sense? After undergoing all that, you act as though you don't care anything" he said, now his voice more of a concern and showing traces of indignation.

 

I reeled back at his words, but realized my foolishness. This man makes me forget all my worry and problems; my sanity and being. Yes I thought. Standing in my foyer, looking at him standing just inside my door, I realized I had fallen flat for him. Yep. Yep. I almost yelped in joy. I was in love with him. A love that I realized hitting me hard and strong, making me fall head over heels in love with him.

 

The French call it Coup de Foudre - a falling in love so obsessive, it obliterated everything else. I was feeling it now. Oh! Here I am a sane and practical person hardly knowing him till today and like a thunderbolt, I have fallen for him. It was a kind of insanity, a love so intense it transmuted the ordinary into sublime.

 

Hiding my red face, partly due to the fact he ticked me off and partly due to my sudden realization, I invited him. He made himself at home. A casual sense of belonging,  a man at complete ease, at whatever he does.

 

Over the next few hours and over endless cups of hot chocolate, we sat facing each other and talked. Well I did most of the talking, while he listened. I spoke at length about my journey of life so far. My struggles and strives to become a journalist and then a novelist later. My parents' unrelenting support , in spite of being based in India still, giving me the strength and courage to tread on a path of thorns and roses.

 

 

As the time passed I found him opening up too. Initially he talked about some vital clue and lead about these murders. "There seems to be some common thread between all these murders. Am very close to untangling it and hopefully will be able to solve it soon" he seemed confident and positive.

 

Just when I thought of congratulating him, he brought me crashing back to reality." You are the only one to witness this murder; A prized asset to us. So do take care of yourself and never be alone" he spoke, his voice slightly quivering, betraying some sort of emotions that he must have felt for me, Iam sure.

 

He slowly warmed up either to the chocolate or to me, I never know. But he talked at length about his family, his aspirations and his goal of becoming a cop much against his family's objections and business interests and much more.

 

 

The time passed and suddenly we realized that much was exchanged and we both had crossed our personal space and now truly and well settled into each other's mind and heart. No words were required to be said. It was implicit and loud and clear. Both felt a strong attraction for each other. Only I was in total love with him. Hook, line and sinker! Did he feel the same way? I strongly suspected, but not sure of it.

 

In the wee hours of the morning we managed to get some sleep. Me, in my bedroom and he,  on the couch in the living room. Somehow I felt at peace in a long time and slept immediately and soundly.

 

CHAPTER THREE  

 

I woke up to the strong smell of aromatic and inviting filter coffee. For a minute I was dazed and clueless. But all was cleared like the sun cleaning up the mist.  Tightening my robe, I gingerly stepped into my kitchen. I was amazed to see Shravan brewing a wonderful coffee, which I had never been able to get it right and there was a delicious yummy smell of Aaloo Poha accompanying it.

 

He apologized for invading my kitchen and poking with the pots and pans. "After all a man has to eat and being away from my family all these years had taught me the nuances of the art of cookery" he volunteered. I was dumbstruck by the sight of him. His shirt unbuttoned, his sleeves rolled up, hair tousled, wearing my apron around his waist; he presented a perfect picture of a domesticated man, a good husband material. A tall and hunky, cool and sexy cop cooking breakfast for me! The delicious smell wafted from the kitchen, inviting me with its open arms.

 

Well!  Well! This man never ceases to amaze me. A cop,  a companion and almost my man and now a cook. Indeed when this whole mystery was solved, I will headlong straight at him, with my magic wand waving and weaving him in my heart's love for him. I will woo him till he forgets himself and declares his love for me. Haa,  haa.. There! I had decided.

 

 

With my lips smacking at that prospect I entered the kitchen. Shravan for his part, thought that I was hungry and impatient for the breakfast he had made for us. Ohh, my mouth was already watering. But my drooling for him should have been obvious like the Taj Mahal. Alas, if he was aware of it, he either chose to ignore it or didn't know how to react to this truckload of my love, hitting him.

 

The breakfast was eaten in a companionable silence, both keeping to our own thoughts and devices. While leaving for the day Shravan   warned me to be on my guard and informed that he would make arrangements for someone from the Yard to keep a 24hr vigil over me. Feeling somewhat glad and sad at the same time I bid goodbye to him, sure of seeing him in the evening; For after all it was only a matter of time before we confessed our love for each other.

 

 

"Are you sure its love? Or is it infatuation that you have? Or is it your wild imagination?" you may ask me. Being a journalist turned novelist, I know this gut feeling. What I have felt am sure and confirmed about and what he feels for me is the same, but he's yet to realize it. Watching him the previous night, I could observe all his body language and the subtle signs emanating from him. The signals' he was sending me unknowingly was captured loud and clear by the antenna of my heart and brain. Well here I go again, blabbering, my thoughts to you all. In short I could feel it in my bones of his love for me. It time soon, we both will sail on the boat of love towards an entangled destiny.

 

Ringing my friend again yielded no result. Either something serious had come up or something was wrong with her phone. After my morning ablutions, I found a constable waiting at my door on security duty. Feeling immensely reassured, I had a quick lunch. Suddenly an idea struck me. I thought I will investigate what is wrong with my friend.

 

 

Much to the chagrin of the police man and his objections I wanted to get out. But being a cop from the yard, he was immune to my pleadings and reasoning to step out of the building without proper permission from Shravan. Oh well I thought; I mustn't step out the side the building, but I can always visit the landlady who was ever so sweet and motherly towards me. So with great cajoling and coaxing, I managed to get out of my flat to go downstairs to see her.

 

As I entered the elevator, I saw a pizza delivery man, just entering as the door was about to close. With a cursory glance and nod at him, I was preoccupied with my thoughts about Shravan and how he had already started making my life difficult. Well all in a good sense I suppose.

 

 

Suddenly I felt a gun thrust at my back. With trepidation, I slightly turned around, only to stare at that, cold and steel hazel eyes of the murderer. The revelation hit me. Here I was trapped in a lift, with him and no one was aware of it. A witness to a murder was now under the mercy of that murderer.

 

 

"Don't ever think of stopping the elevator or, screaming out for help. If you cooperate with me, your life will be spared, at least for now. Otherwise I can't promise anything'' he said in a menacing manner.

 

 

Fear and despair overcame my speech and even the breath of air I tried to inhale.  What a foolish mistake I had committed. Being brave was one thing, but being reckless was an all together different matter. I realized it for the first time in my life. Irrespective of whether he will spare me for now or not, I was doomed anyways. A witness to a murder, who could easily identify the killer, was always a liability to the criminal. And here I was presenting him with the perfect opportunity to do away with me.

  

With the gun still pressing at my back, we entered the ground floor lobby. Even before the doors closed he dragged me towards the service exit at the backdoor of the building. Hardly a sound was heard by anyone. The muzzle of the gun at my back, refrained me from making any noise but to play along with the criminal. As soon as we reached the street outside, I was pushed into a nondescript car, with darkened windows. When I bounced on the seat, he covered my face with a balaclava cap and handcuffed me. All this happened in a blink of the eye and hardly anyone on the street noticed it.

 

 

Alas I was truly and well doomed, with no chance of escape or alerting anyone. We travelled for some time, on smooth and later bumpy roads. Time was no matter or essence as I was already groggy with pain on my hands and found it difficult to breathe too. I almost passed out tired of my efforts to keep up my sanity.

 

The car skidded to a screeching halt. I was shoved and pulled outside. Holding on to him for balance, I felt the chill air of evening hitting me. Undoubtedly it must have rained, for I could smell the Petrichor (smell of fresh rain on dry ground) and feel the wet earth beneath my feet. A door was opened and I was pushed in. Slowly my mask was taken off and my handcuffs removed.

 

 

Rubbing my bruised wrist and blinking frequently, my adjusted eyes, saw that it was a warehouse of some sort. My kidnapper pushed me through the expanse of the space and welcomed me to enter a tiny windowless room at the corner.

 

 

"This madam, will be your home for some time. If all goes well and according to my plans, I may be magnanimous in releasing you. Else, it's your bad luck'' he laughed at his own cruel joke and banged the door shut leaving me alone and helpless. How I wished I had stayed at home and not ventured out at all. Now this predicament was eating my mind out. I felt very bad in letting down Shravan. We had something started and now my foolishness had ruined it. For the first time, since the incident I felt like crying.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

Shravan received the call from the constable. He was shocked and angered that, in spite of his best efforts to protect his precious witness, she was snatched away, from under the very watchful eyes of the Yard. A frantic call from the cop set the pace of this furious search for Saachi.

 

Sometime between yesterday and today the thin line of professionalism and personal entity of his life, had crossed over and merged. Never had he harbored such a feeling for woman. She was troubling his very composure and carefully built facade of professional aloofness. He closed his eyes and images of her captivating eyes, her laughing face, her quaint perfume and glorious and shiny hair, her sensuous figure all rolled past him, unbalancing him. The wall seemed to be crumbling by the minute. He was helpless and itching at the same time, to get some action done. The sooner Saachi was found, the better for him. He was sure, the murderer was the kidnapper.

 

 

Sitting in his cubicle, thinking logically and analyzing all the inputs about the previous murders, he came to a conclusion that all these five murders had a common thread. The beneficiaries of the deceased's will was all pointing to an orphanage. Somehow this glaring clue was overlooked during those investigations. Now it was hitting him on the face. In the mean time, a little enquiry about Saachi's friend, gave him the missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle he was trying to put together.

 

The lady informed him that, previous evening some police officer had called her saying, Saachi had been moved to safe place and there was no requirement of her to come over. She was even asked to switch off her cell and leave a message on her landline.

 

 

Well all this surely pointed, that the killer had planned for each and every contingency and made his moves cleverly and carefully. So all that was left now was to make discreet enquires and a round the clock vigil of that orphanage. Feeling slightly better and confident that the case will be solved and Saachi would be released soon, Shravan relaxed a little.

 

There after things started moving like a well oiled machine. On investigation, the orphanage seemed to be genuine, and never was involved in any shady activities. On the surface everything seemed aboveboard, but something about it didn't ring true. A gut feeling, that something sinister was buried deep.  

 

 

With his assistant in tow, he waylaid the man in charge and running the orphanage. A few sterner tactics yielded the desired result. The man was only a front, the real brain and power behind it was someone else. This wasn't just an orphanage and an adoption centre, but it was also involved in a couple of underworld activities like human and drug trafficking.

 

"Children from Third world countries, mainly from India, were carefully selected and kidnapped. Once they reached Britain they were sent off as trade commodities, to discerning members of the rich world. Inside their bags and sometimes even inside their bodies, packets of opium and marijuana were smuggled to those needy countries. The operations and dealings was all, supervised and carried out by the man behind all this, whose identity am unaware of. I am just a front man for this organization. I don't really get involved in any of these activities." the weasel pleaded evoking disgust from Shravan.

 

Though shocking it was useful information. Shravan, the ever logical, then proceeded to investigate the five different legal firms who had prepared the deceased's wills. A little coercion yielded the desired effect. The fingers seem to point at one person, an anonymous, who had gently lured these firms to suggest the name of the orphanage as their client's beneficiary. In turn, these not so popular legal firms stood a lot to gain from him. Greed overcame honesty.

 

 

"Now all that was left was to zero in on the Mastermind. Automatically the case would be solved and Saachi released. And then' Yes it was time to settle down in life" Shravan thought gleefully.

  

A thorough reinvestigation of all the previous murders was done, least any minute and minor clue was overlooked. One of the deceased and scribbled a name inside his telephone directory, that was somehow how overlooked before. "Rajiv Shah, orphan ,.. child' man'.'' The piece of information, a vital clue, set the balls rolling. The Yard always famous and thorough in their approach to each and every case, proved their worth.

 

Within the hour, shocking and horrifying information about Shah started pouring in. A diehard criminal he seemed to be a highly respected man among the immigrants. "It is always like this'' thought Shravan, "these vultures and eagles always chose their prey carefully and when least expected pounced upon them"..

 

 

Now, armed with an arrest warrant and proper reinforcements, Shravan, stormed into Shah's palatial house.  After a little cat and mouse chase he was captured, with minimal gun fire. Holding him by the collar and hand cuffing him, Shravan asked "Where have you kept Saachi? What have you done to her?" he asked gruffly.

 

 

The man smirked and laughed. His hazel eyes turning to steel as he realized that they had still not discovered his warehouse. "Good let them do it themselves" he thought "no cooperation or opening of my mouth.

 

 

Shravan saw the message his cold and gleaming eyes was radiating. "Well, you think, you are clever and can get away. You are mistaken, you gutter rat. My men will soon unearth all the details of your complete criminal activities. Just wait and watch" he spoke loudly, his voice now brimming with confidence and pride.

  

CHAPTER FIVE

 

I had completely lost the sense of time. A thorough weeping of my pent up feelings and self pity, had only made me more depressed. Here, incarcerated in a tiny windowless bare room, my despair was growing strong by the hour. Getting angry over self and hitting on the head resulted in only increasing my ever growing headache. The prospect of being found and released didn't sound good at all. While I was wallowing in misery, I suddenly saw the door bursting open, crashing with splinters all over.

  

I sat transfixed and rooted to my spot. There he was, my savior, standing behind the cops who had busted the door open. Like a beacon for weary travelers, a Knight in the shining armor, Shravan stood stoically, though his face reflected a myriad of emotions, his hands clutched at the sides, his appearance disheveled, all betraying his deep feelings for me.

 

 

Like a bullet racing out of the gun, unmindful of the fact that there was audience, I just flew across the tiny space and hugged him tightly, almost knocking him down. Tears flowed freely from my eyes, but I didn't care. Enclosed in his embrace, I felt safe and secure.

 

Later after some composure and sanity returned, Shravan explained, the whole incident. "The hazel eyed man is Rajiv Shah, a crook roaming in the cloak of respectability. His modus operandi was to identify old and lonely persons, who had money but hardly any family. He would call on them and play the card of orphanage and funds needed to run it".

 

"A lawyer would later approach them and prepare their wills, with gentle pushing of naming the orphanage as their beneficiary. Then after some months, Shah will do away with them and the result, more money for his shady activities."

 

 

Hearing this, a shudder passed through me. But still there was more to come."The old widow, residing opposite your flat, discovered by accident, that the orphanage was not what it seemed on the outside. She warned Shah and said that she would change her will".

 

"Shah panicked and thought that she will make a connection to the previous murders and inform the police. That's why he killed her much earlier than he planned to. But unfortunately for him, you saw the murder and became a liability for him.  In any case, he was planning to do away with you as well, as he didn't want your existence hang like a sword of Damocles over him. But thankfully, the Yard was able to solve this case and locate this storehouse." Shravan finished talking and took a deep breath, but still his voice betrayed his deep feelings for me.

 

 

I knew in my guts he cared more than he cared himself. Call it a woman's intuition, but I know it was now a matter of time before he confesses his love for me. For my part, I was extremely relieved and happy that this ordeal was finally over. The criminal was arrested and his due comeuppance awaits him.

 

Later in the wee hours of the night, when all was over, we headed to my flat. With a glass of water in my hands, I offered him not just water, but also my love. My eyes and face reflected my heart's deep love for him. "I love you Shravan" I said softly but firmly. Looking into mine his eyes radiated happiness   and spoke of his own feelings for me. "Yes Saachi. I too love you. I love you more than myself and am sure you will complete me in all aspects" he replied emphatically but with tenderness and gentleness. I didn't realize it at first, but your kidnapping snapped the self imposed wall around me".

 

 

There was nothing more to be said. Only two hearts united as one, beating the rhythm of love, loud enough to be heard by the whole world. A murder happened; the witness and cop fell for each other. A romance bloomed emitting the wonderful and divine fragrance of love. The murder resulted in an incidental love, but paved way for a permanent relationship. The witness married the cop and lived happily ever after.

 

~~~~~THE END~~~~~

 

 



Edited by spln - 25 April 2011 at 2:17am

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