It’s the 90s. A Summer afternoon. A rustic place. “Nothing can change nothing.”
“No dear. You are not me. You can’t be me.”
His eyes were glowing like fire. His words represented the fire in his eyes. She hugged him and whispered, “You never believe me. Just do it for once. You won’t be disappointed.” He heard footsteps of children coming towards them. Silently he withdrew from there after planting a kiss on her forehead.
### ##### ######
Joseph was waiting for Annie at home. It’s his birthday. Generally on birthdays people get surprizes but Joseph believed in surprizing others. He had thought of an intimate dinner party with Annie at their terrace and accordingly had arranged everything… Candles… Flowers… Cushions… Soft music. He had made spaghetti and sizzlers for her which is her favourite. Everything is perfect. Annie doesn’t know anything. She thinks he’s working late today and since he never had any birthday celebration so she hadn’t also arranged any. After Joseph had done every preparation he checked the watch. It’s just 15 minutes to go and Annie will be home. She must had a very tiring day and this surprize will make up for her…He made the last minute changes and waited for her.
The doorbell rang. Joseph rushed to open it. Annie was not there. No one was there. Looking here and there just when he was going to shut the door he felt someone to be behind him. Instantly he turned around. To his utter dismay there’s the sudden power cut which left everything blank. It’s just two days since they’ve moved to this new place so in pitch dark he couldn’t find the way to terrace where he’s lighted all the candles. He could feel a stout male body moving with him. He could sense the heavy breath against his face. Unable to do anything he just lurched around here and there and suddenly he felt that he’s nearing the dining table. In that dark also he saw something glittering in the left hand of that man. Focusing on that he picked the knife from there and tried to force himself upon the stranger. But then the light came back and Joseph found himself alone in his home. No one was there. The front door was open. He looked everywhere in the house but there was no suspicion. Perhaps the stranger had ran away.
### #### #####
That day Joseph went to post office to do his particulars. He noticed that there was a sealed envelope with his address lying on the desk waiting to be posted. The thing which grabbed his attention more was the name of Annie with a different surname while the address is that of Joseph’s. Without any further introspection he slipped the envelope into his pocket without the officer’s notice.
Annie found a note on her desk after reaching office. After reading that her happiness knew no bounds. Finally the day had come. She couldn’t be more happy. She just waited for the evening.
Annie reached the venue she waited for the whole day. There were bunch of roses on one of the benches of the park. She instantly picked it up.
### ##### ######
The policeman asked him, “So your wife was killed before your arrival?”
“Tell me in detail.”
“When I was returned from office I saw the front door open. I was terror struck. Coming inside the house I saw everything in helter skelter. There was only a bloodstained knife that drew my attention and there was she in a pool of blood… Half of her body was on the bed and from waist to head her body was hanging from the bed upside down. ”
“Do you doubt anyone?”
“We’re common people with simple life. We don’t have any enemies. Why would someone do that to her? ”
Just then one of the constables came with a golden bracelet and handed it over to the inspector. Joseph was stunned at seeing this. The night when he was waiting for Annie he saw the same glittering thing on the stranger’s hand. It was crystal clear now. He confessed the night’s tale to the Inspector.
After some days the Inspector called for Joseph. In the police station he was told that the murderer of Annie is arrested and he’s no other but a distant relative of her who often came to meet her in her office as per the statement of her office staff. They believe that he wanted money from her to conceal something of her past. But the secret is yet to find. Joseph was shown the way to meet his wife’s murderer just to know if by any chance he knows him.
### ###### ######
“You expect me to yell at you or sob before you that why did you do this to my wife? ” Joseph asked the accused.
” I don’t expect anything from you. You’re not the kind of person who fulfills expectations. Annie has made me aware of that before. ” Confronted Williams.
” Yeah. She must have. I saw that is those pictures of yours.”
“What pictures? Wha……. What! You saw them? How? ”
” It’s as simple as that. Mr. Williams Jeffers. You ought to know that girls’ surnames change after their marriage. They don’t carry their maiden name anymore. When you send a post in my address you ought to mention my name or my surname. Not my wife’s name combined with your surname to fulfill your childhood wish of marrying her. ”
” How can you know possibly know that? Nobody knew it. ”
” Well. When you think yourself to be too smart you ought to make some mistake. You both loved each other. Why did you trap me? Just to have my money? So there you are. Wealthier than me. Enjoy it with your lady love who’s possibly watching this from the gates of hell. ”
” Joseph… She was your wife. How could you give her such horrible death? ”
” Okay. That hurt! What! I just fulfilled the thing both of you planned for me. Calling me to the park… Making me feel surprise… Playing the game of treasure hunt… Reaching the house at the end… Some more surprises then bam…. The death. Everything is just the same. I just changed the characters. ”
” You moron… You can’t do this to me. You can’t do that to her. ”
” I did everything I just said. For God’s sake I loved her. And she wanted me to kill. Well… She paid for it. You’ll also pay. Cheat the one who loves you and kill the one who cheats you. Enjoy your long stay. ”
Picture Courtesy: queerscifi.com