This Is Not A Love Story – And It Ends

“HE!!!”, you drew up the scalpel high in the air, and plunged down at his prone body.

NOOOOOOO!” That was me.

It was now or game over!

I lunged sideways at you and caught you below the knees just before you could plunge into him. We skid all the way to the end of the kitchen wall, and the impact loosened your grip on the scalpel, so that you lost it and it went skittering away in the darkness of the room. I knew I had to put all my strength into subduing you now or I would never have another chance.

Half of you was pinned underneath me, but you were struggling hard to get free. You tried to push me off your legs while I tried to scramble up your torso to pin your hands down, but it was impossible with you wriggling so hard. You grabbed hold a fistful of my hair in both your hands and, screaming like the crazed woman you were, nearly pulled a chunk of it out. The pain was intense. In sheer desperation, I swung a fist at you with all I had in me, not caring where or how hard I hit. My fist connected with your face with a sickening crunch. I think I broke your nose, but more importantly, I slowed you down a bit.

Another punch sent you falling face down on your side and I finally scrambled on top of you and pinned your hands down, while I screamed at you, “YOU’RE NOT GONNA KILL ANYONE ANYMORE!”

You laughed in my face, “I’m gonna kill you now!”, and you head butted me hard. And I don’t know why, but at that moment I had a flash back to that paper note you had left for me at the parking lot, and how it was folded nearly seven times over. You need a lot of strength to do that, or better still, equipment to press down paper that many times. Now I knew just how crazy you were. Your strength came from your crazed head, not from bench presses. You were like those psychos they show in movies. Animalistic, feral, a creature of passion who lived only to be consumed by them.

Your free knee ground into my groin. I doubled up in excruciating pain, loosening my grip on you for a fraction of a second. But that’s all you needed.

You wrung a hand free, grabbed hold of my face and bit hard and deep into my cheek. The searing pain made me lose all my control over you and that’s just what you wanted. You were free now. You got up and kicked me hard in my sides, just short of my sternum.

“Did you think you could overpower me so easily?” You kicked me again.

“Did you think you could kill me when these two couldn’t?” You stomped on my back and I fell flat on the ground, defeated.

I didn’t know what you were doing then because I was too much in pain and face down on the floor. But a few seconds later I felt the jab of a needle on the side of my neck.

Fuck, NO!

“I didn’t wanna do this to you….” you started rambling, “I love you, I really love you. WHY CAN’T YOU SEE THAT?! I’m not crazy… I just need…. time… and distance from this all!”

“I never wanted to hurt you…”, I said feebly. Whatever you had injected with me had started making me woozy. I had no idea drugs could work so fast. Or maybe you injected me with a very high dose. My breath was getting shallow and it felt like I had something wringing my lungs out. I was gasping for air.

You grabbed my hair forcing my head up, “Oh, you think I don’t know? You think I didn’t know that you wanted to ‘help’ me by turning me in? My spineless Father called me and told me you had paid him a little visit, inquiring about how I ended up the way I am, who was responsible for it. Oh, how touching, how sweeeet!”, you punched my face, sending me back down again on the floor.

“I don’t need people to help me out! I want them to leave me the fuck alone and be normal again!”

By now the drugs in me had started affecting my vision too. It wasn’t just blurry, it was coming and going. I knew was going to pass out!

Thud, thud, thud!

Someone banged on the front door and shouted, “Sushant! What’s going on inside? Are you two okay?”

Neighbors! But how could I scream for help? I could barely breathe!

You panicked and started scrambling backwards, away from the door, right into Sushant’s body. You stumbled over it and fell down. And then something miraculous happened…

Sushant lunged at you with a maniacal scream, scalpel in hand! I never thought he had it in him still to do something like that. He drove it in your chest and your combined screams alerted whoever was on the other side of the door, so that the thudding grew harder. It was now or never for me.

I mustered all my strength and began to crawl towards you two. It must have been only a few paces, the distance between me and the two of you, but it felt like I was crawling a mile uphill. My body felt drained, like I had no life, no blood inside me, so weak, and my vision had begun to blur out rapidly. There was a time when I lost it completely… It was all dark and I feared I was going. But I still had cognition enough to know that you two were still alive and fighting, even though your voices sounded like they were coming from far, far away. I willed myself to crawl towards the sound of you two.

I knew that Sushant may have hurt you bad, but he was way too weak to hurt you much, and for good. That scalpel could not have made a deep wound, unlike a hunting or skinning knife. It was good enough to slice skin, not stab someone. Once the surprise element wore off, you would overpower his weak body and finish him off for sure. I couldn’t let that happen. I had to have you both alive. I tried crawling faster. Thankfully, my vision came back to me, hazy and dim, but it was something.

I could see you were desperately trying to get away from him, but the weight of his body over your legs was pinning you down and he kept stabbing you in the back with the scalpel, as your crazed screams rent the air. With one final pull you wrenched your torso free, swung to face him, grabbed his head in both your hands, and drove it into the wall on your side. Crack! And he went silent.

I heard that loud and clear! 

You wrenched his head back and drove it into the wall again, the impact painting a grotesque picture of blood and brain matter on the wall. He went limp. He was dead.

You were in kill mode now, careless, vicious. Bloodlust shone like an all- consuming fire in your eyes, feeding your insanity. You hit his head on the wall, again and again. I don’t think you realized that he was dead already. You just wanted to let out all your rage and anger and smash his head into pulp.

If I had to do something it had to be now when you were oblivious to everything else around you. I spotted the scalpel beside your foot, pounced on it and swung with all I could muster into what I hoped was the side of your neck. It didn’t even register with you, my jab. You drove Sushant’s now pureed head into the wall again. I freed the scalpel and jabbed it deep into your throat this time. That stopped you.

From this close, I could see you clearly. I noted your eyes. They bore into my soul. They had disbelief, betrayal in them.

I twisted the scalpel around in your throat, lodging it even deeper, shredding your throat. You gripped at my hand but you were too weak to pull it out. Your last sounds were guttural noises, mixed with the squelches of your hot blood oozing out onto my hand. Your eyes were still locked with mine as I gently lowered you onto the floor, still grinding the scalpel around in your neck, ensuring that your throat was shredded into smithereens.

“Die, please… let it go…”

Was that relief I saw on your face just before it took on the pallid stillness of death? Were you finally at peace at last? I watched your pupils dilate into two dark voids, eating up the beautiful molten bronze of your irises, the color I loved so much. Your hand slipped from mine, just as I slipped into my own void of nothingness.

≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡

They told me when my neighbors found me I was lying, nearly dead, over you, in a pool of blood. It was almost an embrace. So romantic!

If only they knew this was anything but a romance.

When I came to and could talk enough, I confessed to the Police that I had killed you. My lawyer pled self-defence. He won, the asshole! I told that police officer who you and I knew, all about what had happened to you. It kicked up a storm. Those same people who called you a whore were now out on the streets screaming ‘JUSTICE FOR PAYAL’…. Bigots and hypocrites! Your father was found dead a few days after you died. The MLA was blamed. He’s lost everything now. At least some good came out of all this mess.

I was diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Apparently, I was hallucinating about you so much for a while that I had convulsions and nightmares about you. I have no memory of those periods now. Talk about hating complicated, hunh? I  have become a complication now.

Now I’m siting here, in this stuffy office in the grimy building they call a psyche hospital. Only I know what it really is  –  a jail for loonies like me. I’m never getting out of here, I know. I don’t want to either. There’s nothing for me out there.

I’m waiting for my shrink who understands shit about me and my ‘condition’. He’d assigned me the task of writing about you. It’ll help you emote and relieve the pain inside, he’d told me. So I wrote it down, and as I write the last words onto this sheet, he enters, and looks at me through his bespectacled nose, “Mr. Pradhan! How’re you doing today? I hope you’re done writing your love story.”

I am now.

“Please, just call me by my first name. Rajiv… and… this is not a love story.”

 

THE END

 

(If you wish to read the previous parts of this Novella, click on this link – ‘Novellas‘, and you’ll find all the parts there, in reverse chronological order.)


Copyright ©2017 by Pradita Kapahi.

All rights reserved.

Image Credits: DarkSouls1 at pixabay.com

 

 

 

53 thoughts on “This Is Not A Love Story – And It Ends

  1. Wow..the climax, loved it dear. So wonderfully narrated. The molten bronze of the iris, the colour I loved so much..💓💓 but Payal was cute in previous episodes..the change over here is unbelievably good. I like the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bonsoir ou bonjour

    Une belle amitié
    C’est deux mains sur un clavier
    Le passage sur un profil

    Une image que l’on dépose

    Sur une personne que l’on apprécie
    De quelqu’un gentil et sage
    On dépose des petits mots bien placés
    Dans ce joli petit monde
    Moi je suis toujours là pour faire sourire
    Et cela me fait toujours plaisir
    Au fond de mon coeur
    Je t’offre ce bonheur
    Je te dis bonne nuit ou bonjour

    gros bisous

    Bernard

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bernard, you’ve become my very own poet, who leaves me these wonderful lines in the comments section. Little else do I know about you except that you are form France and that you love spreading love smiles and blessings to everyone, including me. Please accept my gratitude and know that this gesture of yours always makes me smile. Have a great day 🙂

      Like

  3. So, finally you have finished this! Congratulations on your perseverance and dedication. Despite the myriad problems, you kept going. 👌👌👏👏

    I had not read the last 4 parts but saw the title of this one and felt I could now. So I went through them one by one.

    If you remember, I did tell you some 5-6 episodes back that I have an idea who the killer is. And yes, I was talking about Pihu/Payal. Although, to be fair, I had no idea of what made her kill. Credit to you there.

    The way you wrote the last two episodes was terrific. Especially the climax, which, despite some predictable twists, was described in vivid detail, with the reader getting a sense of the dread that our hero felt.
    I must say I didn’t quite like the way the story ended. Our hero was the one purely good person in the story (apart from Suhana to some extent) and you threw him in an asylum. With so much poetic justice and tying up of loose ends through the climax, why couldn’t he have a better life? Maybe he turned a writer to come to terms with the PTSD. Maybe he was writing that story at a resort in Shimla, creating his next bestseller? Although, yet again, in his present frame of mind, maybe he thinks exactly that.
    I think the addition of medical terminology in these final few episodes served to make the story smarter. Goes to show that you have done your research.
    I found Pihu’s claim in this last episode paradoxical. Psychopathic or sociopathic (can’t tell the difference between them) killers don’t think they have to become normal. Their state of mind makes the twisted reality the new ‘normal.’ So Pihu should never think of getting normal by staying and being alone. Or maybe that’s just stupid, old me.
    Also, you could focus on two things.
    One, lesser use of italics in the story and absolutely no use of looooong-type words to create the effect. When we use too many ooo or eee, it kind of works against the genre. Let the reader feel that herself, the emphasis on the words.

    Two, as hero started piecing together the clues, a lot of times he used the ‘maybe you did this’ trope. He is reaching for conclusions. Gut feel is good once or twice but if he is making connections, he mustn’t have too many ‘maybes.’
    And oh, one other suggestion. Since you told me that people mistook this for a romance series, maybe don’t use the word love in the title of your next series? Unless it is a romance series, of course. 😝😝😂😂
    There was some predictability, yes, but by and large, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series, far more than the earlier one. I can honestly say that your writing has grown by leaps and bounds. The art of atmosphere setting, you have got better at it. And also, crime. You could maybe keep the love parts of your story as a side-thread, focussing on the crime and killing more (like that Goat story with Hindi dialogues you did early on).😂
    But yes, in conclusion of this short article-y comment on your novella, Ms. Pradita, kudos! May your writing keep growing! And may we get to read your own novel soon. You could publish this on Amazon, remember?
    Good luck on the next novella (if you publish that here 😝).
    Apologies for the looooong comment. 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all… Please dont apologize for writing the looooooong feedback… I love feedbacks… Honest ones are even better. And you’re about the only one among all the readers who cares to tell me straight where I should improve. We’ll there’s two others and they’re just too sweet with their words.

      You’ve rightly pointed out just how predictable the end was… Anyone who had been carefully following the story would have understood that it was Pihu. And I knew you’d already guessed but I didn’t want to spoil it for others too.

      As for Rajiv being chucked into an asylum, see chronic PTSD takes a long time to go and needs hospitalization. Plus the bloke was involved in three murders and was estranged with his family already. What was he gonna do outside immediately after this incident? And he did write the story, didn’t he? Maybe he will change it into a book. Maybe he has more guts than me in that department. Who knows? But that is not something I wanted to write about. And besides I wanted a tragic ending. So there 🤣

      As for your very astute and helpful tips about italics and looooooong words, duly noted boss. Actually, I’m well aware that in a book one shouldn’t do that. But here it just makes the text a little interesting because online it’s as easy as a click of a button to stop reading and move onto something else. But I do agree with you that matured and professional writers shouldn’t do that too often. Thank you for that!

      Lastly, about publishing this. God no! This story was riddled with holes. And you’ve been kind to me but other critics may shred me apart for the liberties I’ve taken with the story, the plotline as well as the reader’s intelligence (no offence). Some of the mistakes I realised only when I’d already published (like the phone number being with Malhotra. Yes that was a mistake. It’s another thing it worked to my advantage). I couldn’t have gone back and amended the text.

      Honestly, this was an experiment for me to see if I could handle thrillers. I’m pleased with the outcome and the reception, but I dint think this novella merits publication. This has though taught me a valuable lesson in how to write, research and develop a character. But there’s so much more I need to do.

      Thank you once again for giving me that lovely feedback. It has me grinning from ear to ear. Honestly.

      BTW, how’s your prep going?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m happy to be of help. 😊
        Rajiv? Is that what even you’ll call him now? Because as far as I think, he isn’t that Rajiv (the MLA’s son), is he? Regardless, you got the ending you wanted. That is what matters.
        Well, yes, the italics and long words aren’t big issues on the blog.
        I didn’t say publish it as it is. Make some adjustments and revisions till you feel it is decent enough. Then put it up on Amazon as a serialised novella. You know, the eBook market. The fact that it isn’t as perfect as you would like is the reason why you should publish it. Do that, gauge what the online market says about the book, see how it works, see which areas you should focus on when you finally bring out your A-work. You have a finished work in your hands which you can use as a test run. If it succeeds, all the better. If it doesn’t, at least you’ll have invaluable experience.

        That line about grinning from ear to ear brought a smile to my lips too. I’d be glad if even one of my suggestions could help you get better. 😊

        Preparation? Well, running and stumbling and running again. 😂😂😝
        Only the exam would tell how I fared. Till then, I’m trying to run. 😝

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, Rajiv was his name and that is why she got interested in him. If you remember she had read it on his breast pocket when she first visited the salon. So maybe Pihu was looking for a redo. Whatever… Anyway. Your idea about redoing it and then putting it up on Amazon appeals to me. But lord, I know NOTHING about self-publishing. I have been looking at some online magazines though who also publish novellas and other complete manuscripts. But maybe that’s not for already published works. Lets see.

          Every exam is like that. You think you know things and then that question pops up and you’re like ‘Oh God! What the heck is this even about?!’ and then it’s all back to square one. I’ve never been a fan of exams or exam time. It used to be one of the worst times for me.

          I hope you handle it better.

          Once again, thank you and all the very very best to you.

          Btw, I do hope you received my note that your site has been featured on my ‘blog i like’ blogroll. Just scroll all the way down and look for it on the right bottom side of the page.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Superb…. i was eagerly waiting for the end.
    Climax was written with a lot of intensity and twists and the scenes were so vivid. I almost placed myself as though i am watching it happen.
    I must say its terrific… you written this too well to find flaws. And I still couldn’t guess who the killer is until i read part 21.
    Hope you will write another series. Waiting waiting..
    All the best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwwwww thanks a lot. I hope you’ve been very honest in writing this feedback, because I would genuinely appreciate if someone could tell me the flaws. It’ll only help me grow. Thank you so much for staying with me till the end, Inspite of all the delays. As for other series, I may write but not this long anymore. Btw, what did your colleagues think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • we just finished it reading together some time back and they were like awesome… infact one of them has taken out prints to read it at home in peace.
        I read it last evening and there wasnt much time for all of us to sit and read.. so we did it today morning.
        The violence part is something i don’t enjoy or rather like, but as the title was Its not a love story towards the end i was expecting some murder, death and of course revenge.

        Please do keep writing.. whether long or short I am game..!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lol! Now that you’ve mentioned it, yes Kajol was a psycho in that movie. 😂😂😂 I don’t know if the novella will come out, but here’s hoping. Thanks for staying with this story till the very end. 😊😊

      Like

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