The door creaked slightly. A light crept through the crevice and established its presence on the young eyes. Being a light sleeper, the discomfort settled in pretty easily. The sleep was so overwhelming that after a bit of restlessness, the sleep took over. The sense of security in the form of Ma, Pa and uncle mama helped a lot in this aspect.
Minutes later, a faint smile crept up on those innocent lips when a very familiar set of lips made contact with the forehead. The heart was filled with warmth and love. The feeling of being loved was unparalleled. The first and probably, the only true emotion anyone ever feels.
The length of the smile slowly reduced when there was a heavy breathing in the vicinity. The touch that was usually related to care, affection and ‘love’ was now hurting. It was hurting physically and there was this indomitable feeling of scars being made in the heart. The hands were crawling towards places that Ma had referred to as ‘fry…ate’ parts or something. I remembered her laughing when she heard me say it out loud.
The smile reduced further when there was a zipping noise and immediately later, a sudden surge of indescribable and unfathomable pain shot through. I thought I was going to die. I almost started screaming, but those familiar ‘lovely’ hands clasped my mouth.
The smile vanished completely when this was going on for quite a long time that night.
The doctor woke up with a start and shouted out. There was profuse sweating and the dress was clinging on to the body. The sound woke up the musician, sleeping in the adjacent room.
“What happened??? Is it that dream again??” the musician asked the Doctor
“Yeah, it’s becoming a daily recurrence. The pressure is killing me.” The doctor heaved a sigh of exasperation.
“Just one more day Doc, if everything goes right today, then there’s nothing to worry” the musician covered the doctor in a blanket and went back to bed.
“Yeah, just one more day” The doctor thought and set the alarm at 0500. There was a schedule to be followed and it was something`that couldn’t be missed.
The doctor got ready, left home and was in the hotel lobby already. The doctor waited for all the arrangements to happen as planned. The doctor met with the Lady and informed her that come what may, the meeting must go on as discussed earlier. There was no second chance and she had to put her best foot forward.
The lady looked into the Doctor’s eyes blankly. She knew that this was the moment for which the entire struggle took place. This was a culmination of the process that made her test her own ideals and morality. She couldn’t help but think of the path that brought her here. She had to walk back through the entire ordeal one more time, to prepare herself for the final step. She checked her bag to see if the ‘item’ was still there.
She met the doctor for the first time on the 04th, which was almost a month back. They spoke on a lot of topics. The doctor seemed well versed with all the religious books and could quote scriptures and excerpts from them very easily. Being a devout theist, this helped her in opening up to the doctor. They spoke about her various childhood insecurities, her successes, her failures, her strengths, weaknesses, her personal choices and even her favourite perfume. Talking to the doctor made her feel lighter and more enlightened.
She rediscovered herself and found a purpose to her existence after interacting with this exquisitely intricate Doctor. Not surprisingly, she hardly got an insight into the Doctor’s mind. All that she could make out from their heavily layered conversation was the fact that the doctor was suffering from a major mental trauma and there had been no form of recovery. Emotionally.
A couple of weeks after meeting the doctor, she received a call from one Mr.Sahay.
“This is Rob Sahay. Hello Mrs…”
“Mr. Sahay, actually, it must be hello Ms.”
“Am sorry Ms… In accordance with the mail you sent, your resume has been short-listed for the last round of the interview. You’ll have to come for the interview on the 6th to the Hotel ‘The Palace’… Do you know where this is”
She said “Yes. I do.”
“Be there at 1430 sharp Ms…”
She was elated and started jumping here, there and everywhere… She needed this job. Being the sole breadwinner took its toll on her petite frame. She got ready and took the bus to ‘The Palace’. She first checked her out in the mirror and was taken aback when she saw herself. She was naturally beautiful and this look gave her beauty a bit of enhancement and retained the classiness in her.
Mr. Sahay met her at the lobby and guided her on to the penthouse suite. It was occupied by the CEO of the company, a dashing gentleman in his mid thirties. Her heart skipped a beat and she gave him the most endearing smile in her armour. She saw him noticing that and her smile widened. Sahay then left the room noiselessly with this head bowed down.
She couldn’t help but admire the kind of power he wielded amongst his subjects. She suddenly had this conflicting emotion of being sure of wanting to work for this guy and being sure of running for her dignity and save herself from this freak of a boss.
She chose wisely. Sometimes hunger in the family takes precedence over self respect.
The interview was more like a conversation and she was asked to work from the following day. The work seemed pretty straight forward and her mind raced back to her home. She couldn’t wait to let her family know about this latest development and how their burden would be eased, albeit a little bit. She drifted into her world, reminiscing about her failed relationships, broken promises, unfulfilled wishes and unnerving monetary burden. She was smiling at the finality of his tone when talking about her working for his company. She knew this was her big ticket out of the doldrums of poverty.
She was in a reverie that was broken because of his hand that was now on her thigh.
She shook her head a couple of times and squirmed in her seat half expecting him to remove his hand. She wanted to go back to her utopian world and catch hold of this golden ticket. She wanted his advances to be purely accidental. She knew otherwise, but she hoped.
His hand was firmly placed on her thigh and he gave it a squeeze. One that was hard enough to ensure she was broken off her ‘dream’ and one that he might have felt helped him in establishing his supremacy over the impoverished opportunist.
She had two choices. She could either shun him and go back to her meagre excuse for living or she could stay back and . . .
She chose. Sometimes even hunger in the family doesn’t take precedence over self respect.
Shrugging him off, she walked towards the door and was just about to unlock it, when she found herself being lifted and thrown away from the door.
The events that followed were horrific. Her constant cries for help fell on deaf ears. No gods that she prayed heard her muffled screams. None of those good Samaritans she had seen in movies kicked open the door to save her from this horrendous ordeal. The beast was enjoying the violence erupting from something that she considered to be a virtuous act that had love at its heart. She tried her best to not resign to his whims and fought against him. But there’s a breaking point for everyone. Especially when they are tired, hurt, tied, gagged and in pain.
After what seemed like ages, he was done with it. She felt violated, but she knew technically he couldn’t do what he wanted to. Probably that is why he resorted to such antics.
He cut off her ties and gave her ‘freedom’. She stood up on her feet, put on her dress that was strewn across the room and looked at him with all the malice and anger that she could muster. She wanted to pounce and kill the low-life with her bare hands. She couldn’t forgive him but she was tired and exhausted.
This was a battle for a later day.
Just as she was walking towards the door, he called out to her.
“You start work from next week. Go home, freshen up and come back tomorrow. I am not done with you. Yet”
The lady spoke to the doctor the same day, and the following day, a plan was arranged that wasn’t exactly foolproof, but was adequate and completely ethical. The necessary arrangements were done as per the orders from The Doctor..
She went up the elevator and walked up to his room. The door was kept open and she found her old dress being strewn all over the place. The Doctor was at the doorway with an unconscious Mr.Sahay. The Doctor instructed her to firmly hold the ‘item’ in Mr.Sahay’s right hand. She then cleaned off her prints from the entire room.
He was lying in a pool of blood near the bed, tied up in a way similar to her predicament a few hours back. She went near him and found that he was still breathing. She took the ‘item’ and used it violently across his entire body. There was a spattering of blood everywhere. She had never seen so much blood. There was a sense of vindictiveness and exhilaration. There were tears streaming across her face, the tears which were never shed during that arduous phase.
She slashed him for a long time. She slashed at him till there was no breathing. Then, she continued wielding the ‘item’. She continued to use the new found rage and resources to do the unthinkable. He was in a mangled state with the probability of him being recognised by his own family becoming unlikely.
The doctor didn’t ask her to stop till she was done. There was a sense of pride and satisfaction in the doctor’s eyes too. She was asked to go down to the nearest coffee shop with the ‘item’ in her hand and take a break.
The doctor did some last minute touches and cleared all the tracks of the Lady.
She went across the road and settled down in her chair after ordering a cup of coffee. She sat in the Starbucks café, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf. She heard the sirens and saw police vans rushing into the hotel. After a couple of minutes, she slipped off from the Starbucks and went inside the hotel through a predetermined obvious hiding spot and was waiting for the police to find her.
She was now ready to take on the role of the damsel in distress.
The following morning, the musician asked the doctor about the highlights of the previous day.
“There were two important things that happened yesterday.
1. When she walked out of the Starbucks with the blood stained knife, I Said “CUT” and the entire unit clapped for ten flucking minutes
2. I had a dreamless sleep after ages. “