Days went by. Thea and Sam continued to talk through their only medium. Thea told him about how great technology had become, from cell phones to fingerprints, DNA, and what not, while Sam could not actually believe all of it to be true and asked her to stop teasing him. While they got close, they discussed their work lives, complaining about it, and the hilarious part of it was that none of them could actually understand the other person’s problem.
Sam told Thea about the murder case they had not been able to solve for the past few months. Did Sam feel guilty about seeing Anand at the same park every two weeks and not doing anything about either apprehending him or talking to the man like any interested person would? Yes, yes he did. Thea understood his dilemma and decided to help him. Asking for all the details he had available from the crime scene, she got to know that the dead man died due to continuous stab wounds.
His family accuses Anand of the murder, and the motive being that the victim had heard and seen something happening behind Anand’s clinic. The victim had come home that day from his appointment with a pale face and a shivering body. He was found dead near the bridge with stab wounds and it was supposedly an attempt by the victim to escape by climbing up the railing to jump into the stream, but hadn’t been successful.
When the police inquired about Anand’s family, they were least interested in telling his whereabouts and asked the police to keep him if they found him. What Sam found was that Anand was a rich man. Due to his profession, he treated many important people who would thank him in one way or another, that way sometimes being by gifting him land or livestock. His family was a proud one and used to adore him, but things changed suddenly and no one knows why. Thea could feel from the tone of her writing that Sam felt bad about it.
She knew she had to help because nobody else would. She asked Sam to talk to Anand, though he denied it as immediately as her statement from the page of the diary vanished. “I know what you feel, talking to someone you’ve just been looking at from afar and sometimes just a breath away, having wishful dreams of something you think you can’t have. But you have to do it, do it because that would be one way for you to stay connected to that person without the guilt you think is the right way to feel, “Thea said, hoping that they could be together even though she knew it wasn’t the right time. Sam relented and told her he’d talk to her after he meets with Anand, hopefully on Friday, which is the usual day he comes to the park.
“It was seven at night on Friday, the usual time when I could see him enter from the park’s gate, the golden light of the setting sun shining on his face, making his hair look golden brown, while his eyes looked like the sprinkle the sun showers its light on the vast ocean I’d crossed to reach this place. Looking at his face once every week made the sacrifice of leaving my homeland a little less painful. I waited and kept on waiting, but there was no sign of Anand. He’d never been late, not once in these 2 months. Oh, how I had eagerly waited for him every day since the first time I met him in this same park. He didn’t come that entire week and finally, on the Friday when I had lost hope of seeing him again, he arrived, a hat on his head, a perfectly trimmed moustache and an almost non-existent smile when he saw me on that same bench.
Maybe it was my wishful thinking that he was as happy as I was to see him.He wasn’t disappointed when he kept coming every Friday, and I would like to believe that it’s because of me. But today, it was going to be eight, and there was no sign of the man I looked forward to seeing. As I was going to leave, ten after eight, I saw the silhouette of a man, limping towards the dark end of the park. I paused. It couldn’t be him, I hoped, because the man was not only limping, he looked like he was dragging himself. I increased my pace towards the man who was supposedly trying to hide.
As I neared, his back came into clear view from the light of a lantern outside the park. I held my breath, and with a shaky voice I called out “Anand”. His name felt beautiful even though I had my accent, but it wasn’t the time to ponder on that thought. He stopped and slowly turned with caution. I think that was relief from what I saw on his face.
He limped, or to say, leaped towards me, and I held my ground before both of us could fall. We sat in that dark corner, with him slouched on me, breathing heavily. “I…”He was killed so brutally… He shouldn’t have. I wish I could’ve stopped it. I wish I knew. “Anand breathed sharply, and I understood what he was talking about while I made plans to take care of him because his sharp breathing reminded me of his injuries. Anand was too exhausted to speak. I had a decent build. I put his hand over my shoulder and took him to my place.
Placing him on the bed, I cleaned his wound. I winced at the wound on his knees and thighs. It looked as if someone had intentionally hit him to restrict his movement. I know this because that’s how some prisoners were treated here.
Anand woke up the next day. I gave him water while he stared at me with a look I couldn’t describe. Then he gave me a small tired smile.
“Please sit down, I need to tell you something.” He said, with a hoarse voice. I sat down. He took a deep breath and told me something that left me stunned. Vikram, the man who died a few months back, the murderer of whom I have been accused, had come to visit me the day before he died.
He was the man I had chosen for my sister, not from our religion but a good man. I hadn’t talked to my family, but I had told my sister that she liked him and he liked her as well. That day, after his check-up, I told him that I was going to inform the family members and that he could come home for lunch. I waited for him the next day and told my family I wanted them to meet someone for Fatima, but he never came and the next I heard was the news of him being killed and I was accused of it.
“I have been on the run for so long, coming back to town only with a wish to see someone,” Anand said, giving a side glance at me when he said the last line. I was caught yesterday. I should’ve stayed alert but was caught unaware. I was caught, not with the intention of ransom or blackmail but because they wanted me dead for two reasons: I was the one they originally wanted dead and second, I caught hold of Vikram’s last letter to me. ” I sat there stunned. We both looked at each other and I, on instinct, held his hand in mine. The only way I could think of to comfort him, get his head out of the flashbacks. He leaned to my side as if in a trance and clutched my arms with his other hand, pulling me close.
The two of us sat there in our own space, which was now one; the ticking clock, the pages of my diary flipping due to the breeze from the open window, and our breathing mixing with it, was the only sound. Thea had a lot of work to do. It was June and she couldn’t help but think about Sam,and about the man she knows he’s attracted to. How their life would be different if they were born in this time, a time lot more accepting of him being who he is, the person he himself would have a hard time accepting.
Maybe it would have been easier for him in present to accept himself, finding that everyone’s the same. She hoped she could imagine a better life for Samuel and Anand, the one which ends with a lifetime together with children and grandchildren
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I am a law student and a content writer here, who appreciates harmless sarcasm.
I write about whatever my brainbox (or yours) fancies. Writing something other than research papers and assignments makes life a little less chaotic, for it gives a sense of unwinding your emotions. I like exploring and talking over ideas and thoughts (and an open political discussion).