"Whatever has happened once, will not happen again..but what has happened twice is bound to happen for the third time..." - Paulo Coelho from "The Alchemist"

Three is a Crowd

The door bell rang. The notes of Beethoven’s unfinished symphony rang through the house. How I hated that sound & how much she loved it.
I crossed the kitchen where the last of yesterdays frozen pizza was inviting me to have my delicious dinner for one and to wash it down with a chilled beer. As I passed through the living room, my eyes fell on the half finished pack of Marlboro’s finest tempting me to take one quick drag. But I couldn’t. How much I missed my smoking days. How much I used to devour it & how much she hated my this one habit. He must’ve left it here. I felt nostalgic. Him, Jaianand Yadav, JaY, my best friend, my erratic, eccentric pal, the younger brother I never had.

The door bell filled my duplex with that unbearable cacophony again.
“Wait, I’m almost there” I said.

I opened the door & saw two men facing me with police written all over them. There couldn’t have been a more chalk & cheese kind of a couple then this lot before me. One of them was huge, round & chubby. He had a pink face and wore a black dirty jacket which failed to hide his unmistakable bulging beer belly. Small eyes peeped at me through his fat face as light reflected from his bald dome & the bushy rat beneath his nose moved as he offered me the most sadistic smile in this part of town. The other one was tall, thin as a rod and wore a very intimidating expression on his long, gaunt clean shaven face. He had the thinnest lips I’ve ever seen & the most penetrating stare I ever had to go through.

It was almost two years ago that JaY returned to my life. We’ve stayed in touch through the not-so-marvelous devices of the modern world during this period of absence. He came back with his boyish charm intact, his easygoing laidback attitude still in place and that academic humour of his still brewing. It was a fact well evident from our college days that girls flocked him & for guys, he was their favourite punching bag. He was that cute little baby every girl wanted to take home, tuck in bed tend to, hope for a little luck to lay him and rape his innocence, which was all a façade actually because it was he who was the predator and not the innocent rabbit every girl assumed him to be. But he devoured much of his energy in books and academia then pursuing the pleasures of the flesh. In spite of his finesse as a master seducer he used to consider it as his secondary worthless ability, something that came naturally to him so was in fact an accepted part of himself, not to be made a big deal of. He was three years junior to me & maybe because of the way he used to be ridiculed at by the boys, I had taken pity on him and taken him under my wing and in return had gained a follower who worshipped me.

“She’s asleep, after such a long time. Please keep your voices down”.
“Off course, my apologies for disturbing you at such odd hour but well…I’m Inspector Raghav Chandra and this is Inspector Joy D’souza…well he doesn’t look jolly but her mother thought he did so…hehe” said the chubby face as he dangled his ID.

I met Sachi on 24th August 2005, we were in bed a week later and she moved in with me a week after that. She was a bit younger then I, 22 at that time while I was touching mid forties. Appearance wise she hardly looked over 16, with smooth flawless skin and a slightly built frame but emotionally, mentally she was fragile. She was soft spoken and hardly ever raised her voice but she was passionate and had a sense of character which made her more attractive then she actually was. I never asked her about her earlier life and she didn’t mention it, we were in love but we gave each other space, making each other not our lives but a part of it. In bits and pieces I learnt about her broken home, her numerous lovers, her tryst with peace rallies, NGO’s and the wretch of the society. And her passion for music that surpassed everything. We have been to so many plays, theatres, musicals, concerts to feed her artistic appetite and all of them which I could not tolerate, yet I suffered through them all just to see her smile.

“We have been assigned to the case Sir.” the fat face was saying. “And there are some things we would like to ask you”
As the gaunt face took in the apartment, which was very neat and tidy all due to Sachi’s effort, I made my way towards the bar to pour a scotch for myself. They were uninvited guests, and even at that, rotten corruptible policemen. I didn’t need to follow any rules of decency yet they were assigned to the case so maybe…

“How well did you know him then?? You were at college with him right?? Everyone said you and him were very close friends. Is it true?? Any strange dealings he was associated in?? Anything irrelevant you will wish to tell us that you think won’t help us with our investigation??”

The moment I introduced Sachi & JaY I knew they will get along great. Finally JaY had found someone who would hear all his ideological crap, with whom he can discuss all the shortcomings & wrongdoings of the world, preach what ought to be done to make this earth heaven and in short had recruited a loyal follower. Sachi on the other hand discovered someone, something to believe in. I knew she was tired of taking solace in music and tried to understand her concern for the world but I couldn’t. I never considered myself responsible for the world’s ills, not causing them, not for curing them. Most of the world was a jungle overrun with savages and facing problems which were mostly insoluble and frankly for me my quiet corner was a heaven wrested from the jaws of hell and that was the only thing that mattered. I gave them both my blessings and soon JaY became a part of our lives. He would drop by whenever he pleased, when we were in a middle of a fight, watching our favorite movie, cooking dinner, lying lazily or making love. He had a habit of not calling up and doing whatever he would like. He wouldn’t call up for weeks and sometimes a month and Sachi would fret over this fact while I would try to cover my jealousy. And there were days when he would stay with us, sleeping next door and these were the times I really hated because I knew that Sachi was with me in bed but the hands which were caressing her were not mine.

The gaunt face never said anything as Chandra kept on hurling questions and writing in his notepad. I knew both of them were sharp and intelligent. I’ve seen the world enough to know that appearance can be deceiving. Chandra might look a soft bumbling happy character out of a B-grade movie and D’souza might be more at ease as the evil henchman of a C-grade flicks villain but they were good policemen in the end.
“If you don’t mind me asking, how long have you been staying here?? Both of you that is??”

I was helpless. There was nothing I could do but see their romance unravel in front of me. My sense of false pride and the sense of freedom I had given to Sachi forbade me to confront her and I knew JaY would laugh out loud and put everything on my overimaginative mind and to the insecurity of my age yet I knew I had become just another piece of furniture in their lives, a mute spectator who wasn’t worthy of any attention. As I fumed and got hurt never once did I hate Sachi. She was just a poor young girl who was being pulled into a vortex made by a womanizer. She was very simple and innocent and had no idea what bastard rested inside the assured self of JaY. I hated his very existence. Hated the fact that every day he used to win Sachi from me. Every night she would go to sleep thinking about him. Not a moment passed when he would leave her mind. It was as if he had become the part of the house’s air, part of our conversations, our world rotated around him. She had become his mother, his wife, his lover, his companion and I have been reduced to a long forgotten old song. I hated myself because it was suppose to be me who should be loved by her, should be worshipped. Wasn't I the person who had given Sachi the life she's worthy of?? Didn't I give her enough luxuries, comfort, care & love?? I ought to have been her protector yet I was the one who had failed her. I had driven her into his arms, introduced them, and not tried to stop them. I despised myself for lacking in courage to do anything about it. Untill two weeks ago when I took out my gun from the safe and decided to end my tormentor once and for all.

“Well Sir we must take your leave now. Here is my number. Call me whenever you remember anything. We will be back, we need to question her too…I know it’s bad but there are these damn procedures. By the way how is she doing?? It has been two weeks since he disappeared and as you told me they were quite close.”
“You play that??” asked the gaunt face for the first time looking at the violin.
“No, she does but hasn't since he disappeared”

I saw them go out the door, the chubby one first and Joy after him, mumbling Good Night or something.
I remembered the night when I finally had the courage to face JaY and listen to his half drunken audacity. I might've had forgiven him if he hadn't put his charming unassuming smile and said to me "I stole your woman brother, I'm sorry but I did, I stole her because I love her and she gave herself to me because she loves me too". As soon as the predator said this from the lips of my drunken academic best friend, I hit him. I hit him with all my heart, with all my pain, all my suffering and all my love.

As I entered the bedroom I saw her sleeping like a baby. Her nightdress riding up revealing her white thighs, her breasts rising when she breathed, her black hair on the pillows and her soft pink lips which drove me mad. I wanted to love her right at this instant.
“They gone??” she asked as she woke up from her half finished dream.
“Yes baby, they will come again to talk to you but don’t you worry. It’s gonna be fine” said JaY as he went down to kiss the lips that should’ve been rightfully mine.

I backed out from the door as she started to moan. If only I hadn’t lost my nerve that day and shot him, it would’ve been me instead of him besides her.
As I descended the stairs I tried to remember whether it was him who had shot me that night or whether it was her who had poisoned me after I got home or whether it was me who had jumped into the sea in the early hours??

That is the trouble with death, you can’t recall your last moments.


Sakshi said...

You know what...this is your best piece ever. Proud of you for writing it.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, dude.
Really great of you to think one like this and keep changing the plot.
Seems as if you've experienced something similar, its not quite possible otherwise to put it down with this much feeling.

Antriksh Satyarthi said...

thnxs...u better should read "a tale of two mothers" too...

@Monk E
its always good to feel appreciated..and it's one of those things which keep inflating my obsession with 'ME'

nah..thankfully such a thing never happened to me & neither i saw such a scenario unfold in front of me....
it is pure 100% imagination just like my other two short tales...am not a serial killer nor i'm a hunter...u haff ta read the other two to understand this...lol

welcome to the blog dude...

Aastha said...

You know my reaction over this one....

thats all I could come up with :|...
Btw you know if only my school texts had such stories I would have topped in District(in Engish) for sure...
Meh kids out there are missing something bigtime...

love and hugs...

Bawa said...

Dude, you have the gift. Keep on rocking and don't stop.

Yours Truly.

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Like a true gemini i've got a multifaceted personality. can't write about each of them so one will have to discover through the layers