“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.
“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.”
(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