Pregnant

“For the first time I thought it was love. For the first time I thought, I belonged to someone else. I was twenty four, young and full of life. Studying law, and then I met him.”

“Yeah! the baby is in great condition Mrs. Grewal. Your reports are perfect and I can see the baby making movements,” said the doctor with a perfect smile on her face. She looked satisfied after monitoring the ultrasound screen.

A smile appeared on my lips as I rubbed my stomach. I was always worried about my appearance and I religiously did my workout and made sure never to put any extra pound of flesh. And here I was, for the first time, feeling euphoric for gaining weight. I loved my huge baby bump.

“I cannot see your husband Mrs. Grewal. Since you are in the sixth month of your pregnancy, I expect your husband to accompany you.”

No sooner did she say that than my eyes welled up. My hormones rushed in and from feeling happy, there was a drift in my emotions. Words won’t be enough to express my feelings.

And there I was, sitting in the cafeteria, with coffee and my laptop in Punjab. I was working rigorously on my assignment when someone interrupted my attention. And that interruption had a long way to go.

“Hey ! Can I sit here?” A tall and dark skinned guy, with a sharp nose and strongly built, said to me. And yeah, I still remember what he was wearing. I can clearly remember that even today. A semi formal cream colored pants paired with a black shirt with mandarin collar. And camel colored loafers. And yeah, his wrist looked even more remarkable with that leopard print watch.

“Sure!”

I felt something in my stomach. This was an unusual feeling. Maybe what they call love is? Or maybe just attraction? Or what? This was the first time anything like that happened to me.

“So what are you doing?” he asked me. “Ahh! Actually, I’m working on my assignment.”

His voice did something to my ears. I don’t know what was happening to me. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I felt an ache in my heart. I just wanted to freeze that moment with him sitting in front of me and talking. Yeah, he was just a stranger, whom I had met a few minutes ago.

“Mrs. Grewal, you didn’t answer me. Where is your husband?”

And the most wonderful journey of my life began from that cafeteria to the court. From complete strangers, we became each other’s everything. And we were happily married. Without him, I couldn’t imagine my life. I fell for him. I was in deep love with him. And he was in love with me. He is the best thing that happened to me.

I clearly remember the day he proposed me for marriage, he had invited me to a dinner in Punjab. A state in northern India. And the beauty of the place is marvelous. It was not a restaurant, or a bar. It was an open agricultural field full of grasslands and greenery. He had arranged for a table with two chairs in the open. There we were, both of us, beneath the stars, surrounded by the nature.

And yeah, the taste of butter chicken and Indian bread still sits on my tongue until today. Yeah that was my first time. And we had kheer, a famous punjabi dessert.

And then, he held my hand and said,”Will you become Mrs. Samarpratap Grewal?” And tears rolled down all the way through my face. Those tears were out of happiness. I couldn’t stop staring at his face. And as soon as I said yes, he pulled out a ring out of his pocket and placed it on my ring finger, and kissed my hand. And I hugged him. That day, I thought that I was the happiest person alive. I thought that how could I be so lucky.

I always believed that love stories were just stories. And that people fell in love only in fairy tales and not in reality. But that day, I was proved to be wrong. It happened to me. It happened to him. And our moment was nothing less than Cinderella and her Prince.

“Mrs. Grewal! I think you’re not okay. Make sure you don’t take any stress because it’s not good for the baby,” said the doctor.

And I walked out of the room thinking about Samar, my husband. Somewhere deep in my heart, I still love him. How could I not? He was the only weakness of a strong independent woman like me.

As soon as I was out of the hospital, I drove to a sikh temple, a gurudwara. That is what we call it. A special temple where it all started. I went in and folded my hands and closed my eyes. As per in sikh religion, every time we go in, we bow down and kneel before our holy book to seek blessings. But, I didn’t kneel down due to my pregnancy. After seeking the blessings, I sat on one of the chairs which was placed for pregnant and old people. I sat there in solitude. And I could picture everything that happened here five years ago. Same place where I was dressed as a bride and Samar as a groom. Everyone was elated and everything was perfect. Me and the love of my life got married here.

As I closed my eyes, Samar came in my mind again. I missed him so badly. I wanted him to be here with me. I wanted us to raise our baby together and obviously, I wanted to spend my whole life with him.

It was the January of 2019, right six months from now, when Samar and I visited our gynecologist, and she confirmed that I was pregnant. That feeling was even better than when Samar had proposed me for marriage. One thing that I always wanted was to raise was to raise my own kids. Samar was happy too. He congratulated me and drove back home.

All the way, while he was driving home, he had decided everything. From the name of our son to which school he will go and what clothes we would buy for him. He was so excited to become a father.

“But what if the baby is female Samar, we need to think of a different name then,” I said.

And he didn’t answer me. Maybe he didn’t hear me or he was busy with his own thoughts day dreaming about the kid. But, he didn’t give any answer.

Samar took great care of me. He wouldn’t let me do anything but yoga. As yoga would help in making a healthy baby. He would get up early every morning and would serve me a healthy breakfast and motivated to me to go for a walk.

It was the sixteenth week of pregnancy when one evening, he called me up and told me to get ready. I asked him where we were heading out, he said nothing but told me to wear easy clothes. I got a bit excited thinking that maybe it was a surprise date. I put on some makeup and a red colored traditional outfit.

“Where are we going Samar?” “You’ll know soon.”

And we drove out of the city. He played on my favorite music and again told me how much he loved me. I was enjoying the ride. The lush green fields of Punjab brings this place to life. It attracts you closer to the nature. And on that Tuesday evening, the cold winds were blowing, those winds drew me even closer to the nature.

It was all perfect. My husband was perfect. Our playlist was perfect. Car was perfect. Place was perfect. And the weather was utterly romantic. The winds purified my soul. All I could see was green all around me whilst we past those grasslands.

After around an hour’s ride, Samar stopped the car. And all I could see was a white van parked on the side. The place was abandoned, far away from the city. All I could see was fields around me and a white van. No other person. No other vehicle. Anyway, it was beautiful.

“You need to go into the van Mrs. Grewal,” said Samar. “Oh! I see, you still have the habit of giving me surprises.” I smiled and thought that the van would be decorated with balloons and maybe there will be dinner table set inside for us. Samar always had different type of choices. Instead of enjoying in a busy night club or some extravagant restaurant, he preferred nature, and always arranged for different kind of dates for us.

I adjusted my dupatta and walked into the van. As soon as I went in, I felt a little uneasy. I was confused. It was nothing like I had expected.

“Welcome Mrs. Grewal, please sit on this bed,” said the lady wearing a white coat and her mouth covered with a mask. She had stethoscope hanged around her neck. She was a doctor. As soon as I sat on the bed, one of the nurses pulled out a blood pressure machine and started monitoring my blood pressure.

And the other one stood there and looked at me. The van looked like a perfect mini operation theater. I was so confused about what was happening with me.

“What is this about doctor?” I finally asked.

“After taking your readings, we will determine the gender of the baby,” said the doctor with a smile while she pointed towards the ultrasound scan machine.

Hardly had she said that when I flew into rage. My cheeks became red with anger. I threw away nurse’s arm from the blood pressure machine and quickly got up from the bed.

The three ladies looked shocked. I picked up my dupatta and walked out of the van.

“Samar, what the fuck is going on?”

“Didn’t they tell you, we are here for a sex determination test of the baby.”

“And why is that important?”

“I’m sure we will have a son, but what if one percent , the child is female?”

The moment he said that, I had goosebumps on my skin and for a moment I was numb. Everything seemed disgusting to the moment. I couldn’t believe my Samar could say a thing like that. This was the man I married and I couldn’t believe that he put me into this situation.

“Yeah, so what if the child is female Samar?”

“So, we’ll have to go for an abortion, right?”

As soon as he said that, I couldn’t control myself. I burst out into tears. I started crying. I loved my husband so much but I could no longer live with such a person. The reason I started practicing law was to fight for justice. And here I was amidst this situation with my husband suggesting me a sex determination test.

That day I found courage and discovered that my morals were greater than my love for him. And I left Samar. I left him. And I cried a lot. Samar was the best thing that happened to me.

And here I am, sitting in the sixth month of pregnancy in this Sikh temple alone, where Samar and I got married. Where our beautiful love story started. I still love him and will always love for the rest of my life. But, for me justness is greater than my love for him. I know this journey of raising a kid alone will be difficult. Very tough. But, I’m tougher than this. I’ll raise my kid alone irrespective of the gender of my kid.

Yeah! this is my story. Story of Mrs. Grewal.

[Note: This story is inspired by true events. When I came across this event, I was deeply touched and felt the urge to bring this into light. Female foeticide is still prevalent in a lot of parts of the world.]

Blood~ A love story Part 2

For the first part click on this link https://writingsbynoorsekhon.org/2020/04/01/blood-a-love-story/

Karan and Nandine were sitting comfortably in the hospital room. Their eyes were glued on the television screen. The latest news ran on the television with the headline ” ERONICA STATURES GOES MISSING FROM THE EVENING OF 5TH OF DECEMBER !! , Mr. Statures is an influential businessman who owns major oil firms in greater Vancouver.”

No sooner did Nandine gave a deep look to Karan than there was a sharp knock on the door.

“Mr. Karan, the doctor needs to see you alone,” the nurse said.

“I’ll be back honey!” and Karan followed the nurse to the doctor’s cabin.

“HEY Mr. Karan, have a seat please.”

“Thank you doctor.”

” YEAH! So tell me what happened exactly with your wife.”

“Okay! So, it was 5th of DECEMBER, it was the evening of our wedding anniversary and I had planned a surprise for her. And when I reached home, she was lying down unconscious on the floor in the study room.”

“Okay Karan, did you notice anything strange about your house’s condition?”

“Absolutely not sir. There was just my beautiful wife dressed in a pretty evening dress lying down unconscious on the floor. All my books, journals, and my files were in a perfect place.”

The doctor extends out a piece of paper to Karan and says, ”Here, when I talked to your wife, she told me that she saw blood. She was certain that she saw blood in the room. On further questioning her, she told me a bit about her past experiences. And after having a conversation with you about that evening, now I can confirm the diagnosis. Your wife is suffering from delusional disorder. This is a rare mental condition in which a person hallucinates and starts to imagine situations which are not real. This could have arisen from extreme stressful and anxious situations which she may have produced in her head. This could be due to her extremely sensitive behavior. Therefore, I’ve put your wife on medications and the good news is that you can take her home now.”

“Yeah! my wife is extremely innocent and sensitive. She gets emotionally involved in the things and is extremely sensitive about it. Thank you sir, I really appreciate you for treating her.”

Taking the prescriptions from the doctor, Karan walks through the white walls of the hospital corridor to Nandine’s room. And when he opens the door, he finds her eyes glued to the television. She looked so innocent and beautiful while watching ERONICA STATURES’ news.

“Hey honey! I have a good news for you.”

No sooner does she hears his voice than she turns off the television.

“What is it?”

“We can go home now. You are discharged.”

“Wow! I’m excited to leave this hospital.”

And then he helps Nandine to the car. He opens the door for her and she sits. He starts to drive and both of them sit in deep silence. Nandine looks out of the window and admires the beauty of night. She constantly stares out of the window. He looks straight on the road, completely lost in his driving. Both of them don’t exchange any words. The roads of the Vancouver looked extravagantly beautiful at night. The roads reflected with vibrant colors due to frequent raining in the city. This city had a different aura. A place of undefined beauty.

Both of them are sitting in deep silence until Karan stopped the car.

Nandine is staring outside of the car, completely oblivious until her husband says, “Here, take this, I grabbed coffee for you.” She takes the coffee and is still staring outside the window.

Karan is also lost in drinking his coffee.

“Something is bothering me. I want to ask you something.”

And his he keeps his coffee on the dashboard of the car. His attention completely shifts to his wife. “Yeah! Go ahead and ask me whatever you want to.”

“Do you love me?”

And he feels little confused and is little troubled when his wife asks him such a lame question to him.

“Why do you think I married you? Of course, I love you. I have loved you more than anything else in my life.”

“Okay, so would you leave me now because I have a delusional disorder?”

“Who told you that you have delusional disorder?”

“Doesn’t matter. Just tell me would leave me now?”

“NO!! I WOULD NOT LEAVE YOU!” shouted Karan in an irritated voice.

“Why not?”

“Because I love you.”

He gets irritated when she asks him such questions but then he remembers that she has just been discharged from the hospital. So, he calms down and says,” Look Nandine, let me tell you, that I LOVE YOU, and I would never leave you. Do you get it.?”

“Okay,” she says and then she smiles. Karan continues to drive home.

She looks lost. Lost in her thoughts. It seems something is troubling her.

Karan was a different person. He had always been different from other people. Dedicated and determined. Another trait that made him stand apart from the crowd is his justness. He always took a stand for what’s right. He always stood up for honesty fearlessly. He valued people. He valued morals. And he never compromised with his morals and ethics in his life. That’s the reason people respected him so much. He never took success to his mind. He was a role model to a lot of people not only for his professional success but also for who he was as a person. A person who never thought twice before standing out for something that was right. He was very unbiased and impartial.

Soon, they reach home. Eleanor opens the door for them. He has flowers in his hands and hands it to Nandine and says, “Welcome home ma’am. I’m so happy that you are well now.”

Taking the flowers from Eleanor, Nandine thanks him and walks to her room. At other times, she would always ask about Eleanor’s family and well being. But, today she didn’t ask anything. She was cold in her behavior. She walked straight into her room.

As usual, Karan went to the study room to do his research for the next day. While searching for his file, he came across a white envelope in the drawer. No sooner did he open it than he was awestruck. He was shocked. He couldn’t understand anything. He was trying to make out the sense from the photographs that he saw. He was confused.

“NANDINE !! NANDINE!!” he shouted her name.

And when she came into the room, she saw him standing there with the pictures. She didn’t panic. She was not ashamed. She was not scared. She stood there calmly.

” I want to tell you something. After listening to what I have to tell you, I know you’ll leave me. I know you’ll hate me. I know I’ll be in a terrible situation after I tell you this. But it’s okay, I cannot keep secrets from you anymore.”

Karan patiently waits for what she has to tell. He looks very tensed and troubled. His heartbeat increases and he starts breathing heavily.

” Those photographs that you have in your hand. I killed all of them. I killed ERONICA STATURES. People think that all of them are missing till date, latest one is Mr. STATURES. I did all those eight murders and their body is in such a place that nobody could ever find it. So, the government had to close all these cases that just says MISSING on them because they didn’t even find the bodies to declare it as a murder.”

On hearing this, Karan was dumbfounded. His eyes became wide opened and he felt something unusual happening in his body. The envelope fell from his hand. He couldn’t believe his ears. He was completely shocked.

“So, this innocent lovely wife of yours, is a serial killer Karan. I’m A BLOODY SERIAL KILLER!!” Nandine shouts this and starts crying loudly. She couldn’t contain herself. She loved him so much. But, she could see everything going away from her. The only positive thing she had in her life was her love for him. And now she knew that he would leave her. Because he was such a just person. There was no way that now he would live with her.

On hearing this, Karan had tears in his eyes. He felt so bad and struck. He felt helpless.

He wipes his tears and walks towards his wife, he held her hand and says, “Look Nandine, I don’t know what to say. I will not even ask you why you did it and why you kept a secret from me. But what I know is that this is not right. Taking someone’s life is not right. But, look what you have made me. I can’t believe this. I know what you have done is extremely wrong. This is just not acceptable. But, the thought of leaving you scares me even more. I love to this extent that I have decided to given up on my justness and morals. Had there been anyone else but you, I would have reported to the cops. And now, I’ll become a part of your crime by keeping it a secret. I love you and I will not leave you Nandine. I don’t care if you are a serial killer. I’ll drag you out from all of this. I’ll protect you no matter what, and that’s my promise.”

On hearing this, Nandine cries and hugs her husband tightly.

BLOOD~ A LOVE STORY !!

It was the evening of 5th of December,2018. It was Nandine and Karan’s first wedding anniversary. No sooner did the needle of the clock struck five p.m., than Nandine got up from her office desk. She felt so blessed that it was their first anniversary. She rushed to the CF Pacific Center, a grand mall in the downtown of Vancouver.

“YEAH! this one looks pretty on me”, Nandine thoughts to herself in the mirror. She wore a bright sparkling green, halter neck evening dress. She couldn’t stop admiring herself when she looked taller with the jade colored block heels and a sparkling diamond choker. She got ready for the evening. She bought a cake, a watch and a bouquet of red roses for the evening.

It was already six by now. Walking down the road, Nandine was thinking about how she met Karan, one and a half years back, at a pub when she was partying with her friends. And after six months, they became man and wife. Ever since then, it had been fairytale romance for them. Both of them had been living a perfect life since then.

With excitement in her heart and with the presents in her hand, she opens the door of their bungalow. “KARAN! HEY honey, Where are you?”

The bungalow was completely empty. Their was utter silence. She got a little anxious on not finding her husband in the living room. Neither was he in the kitchen. And today, she looked way more beautiful than she ever looked before. Her blue eyes sparkled. They were anxiously searching for him. She had spent her valuable amount of hours planning their first anniversary.

“Karan! I know you are doing this to surprise me. Please! Don’t hide. It’s already seven and we need to celebrate our first anniversary.” shout Nandine.

She becomes little confused on the smell of something vague from the study room. Her head starts to spin and she starts feeling dizzy.

Karan had achieved so much for his age. In twenties, most of the people start their career whereas Karan had an award of ‘EMERGING ENTERPRENUER OF THE YEAR’ to his name. Not only was he successful in his professional life but also his love life was great. The first time he saw his wife, he fell in love with her. The night he saw her at the party, he felt a connection with her. Somewhere, deep down his heart, he knew that this girl would become his life one day.

He spent most of the time in his study room researching and planning on his various business strategies.

No sooner does she walks into the study room than she screams. She yells loudly and then faints. She becomes unconscious.

“YES! She is in her senses now. You can meet her. But, don’t talk to her about anything that makes her anxious.” said the Doctor.

“This way sir.” said nurse guiding Karan to his wife’s room.

Karan was a proper asain guy with blunt indian features and a remarkable voice. His personality was exceptionally influential. People couldn’t stop gazing at him while he walked.

“Thank you ma’am for escorting me.”

Karan opens the door and sits beside his wife, and looks at her. She looked even more beautiful in this hospital dress. Ever since he married her, he has been falling in love with her every single moment. She was his life. He couldn’t stop staring at her. She looked way more beautiful with her eyes closed. She looked so innocent and serene.

“Nandine” whispers Karan whilst rubbing her forehead.

On hearing his voice, she opens her eyes. Hardly had she opened her eyes when she burst into tears. She screamed loudly ‘KARAN!’.

“Hey honey! why are you crying? everything is alright.

She couldn’t stop crying and hugs her husband tightly.

“I thought I would never see you again.”

Both of them looked madly in love whilst sitting in the walls of that hospital room.

“Why would you think that you’ll never see me again?”

“That day, in the study room, I saw a pool of blood. There was a lot of fresh blood there.”

“No Nandine! I think you are not okay.”

“No Karan, I’m telling you I saw blood and maybe there I saw a dead body as well.”

“No Nandine. That can’t be true.”

“Yeah! that is true Karan. I clearly remember I saw blood and its smell, I couldn’t take it. The smell of the blood was the worst part.”

“Hey look! On the evening of fifth of December, it was our anniversary. I was busy planning a surprise party for you at Marvel’s resort. When I drove to our home right around seven, I was looking for you. I called out your name a several times. I searched for you in the kitchen and in the living area. And I was shocked when I went into the study room. I found you lying down on the floor unconscious. I quickly picked you up and I brought you to the hospital. But, my love, there was nothing that I found suspicious in the house. And there was no blood. The floor was perfectly clean.”

On hearing this Nandine gets restless.

“Karan! Do you think I’m lying. I can clearly remember that there was blood and maybe there was a body too.”

“No baby! I think you need rest.”

~ TO BE CONTINUED….. PUT IN YOUR EMAIL IN THE SUBSCRIPTION BOX TO GET A NOTIFICATION.

The Greatest Secret

“Goodevening ma’am! How was your flight?” said Noder presenting a bouquet of fresh roses to Sargun. Noder loaded the luggage into the black Lamborghini and held the door open for his boss Sargun. She slayed in her dress. Her tall legs and fair skin complemented her attitude even more. “Straight to the office.” “Sure ma’am.” No sooner does she reached the office than she ordered everyone to leave her alone in her office. She cried. Weeped more when she glanced at the nameplate of their company reading ‘NOOR&SARGUN CO.’ Her frustration and agony led her to throw away the files from the table. She cried harder. This company, both of them had started together. It had its good and bad times. But, the girls kept faith in themselves and worked hard. And here she was, owning everything. They had name and fame. Both of them were put on the Forbes list of ‘TOP 10 RICHEST PEOPLE’ in the North America.

Sargun now felt cheated by god that Noor left her. Never in her wildest dream did she ever think of something like this. Noor looked after the office in India and other asian countries. The offices of the company were extended to twenty four different countries. Their company was awarded several times. Sargun couldn’t control her emotions. She felt weak and lonely inside but didn’t want to show her pain to the world. Hence, she dressed up so elegantly and behaved normally in the outer world. Her heart was broken into numerous pieces. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. “Sorry to disturb you ma’am, but this parcel arrived few days ago while you were in india.” “Thanks for the parcel and cancel all my meetings for today.” “Sure ma’am.”

“And mark my clear instructions, I don’t want anyone to disturb me today.” After the employee leaves, Sargun glances at the packet. It had her name on it and Vancouver’s address. The postal address was from India, somewhere in Punjab. The sender’s name was not there. She put the packet aside as she wanted to grieve for her friend, for her other half. She sat alone in silence, dejected and depressed. She just wanted to grieve in silence but the white parcel on the table became a distraction. Her curiosity to open that parcel grew more because it was sent from Punjab, where her beloved friend died. Also, a place which made her a killer. The packet grabbed her attention so much that she felt the sudden urge to open it.

As soon as she opened it, it had a note which read “I worked as a RAW AGENT in Yemen. And further you’ll find an envelope in this box which has some photographs. Make me a shareholder of EIGHTY PERCENT of your company and come to meet me in Marksman village, Maron road, Punjab at once after you see the pictures. Have a good day!.”

At first she thought it was funny and somebody played a prank. And then, she suddenly remembered MARKSMAN VILLAGE, PUNJAB. The same place where she murdered the person. She fumbled for the envelope in the box and quickly opened it. “OH NO!!!” she screamed so hard after looking at the photographs. She became numb. Her lips grew white. With her trembling fingers, she took a glass of water and gulped it down her throat. She gathered herself and sat on the chair. Only after a couple of minutes, her cerebrum started working. Her emotions began to change. Everything made sense to her now. Even in her grieving period, she felt happy and grateful. Now she knew who the person was and why she killed him and which GREATEST SECRET Noor was referring to in her letter.

In 2005, in the struggling years of their company, Yemen’s President invited the girls for lunch. He proposed the girls with a business deal wherein he asked the girls to pay him 15000 million dollars and he would set up an oil manufacturing plant in Yemen with it. “15000 million is too much.” said Sargun. “Doesn’t matter Sargun, we can raise that money by dropping a company’s share price.”said Noor. Soon, within a few months, they paid 15000 million dollars to him in the hope that the oil plant would benefit their company greatly.

“STOP IT NOOR!! He is the PRESIDENT,”said Sargun. “SO WHAT? He did wrong to us, I’ll do the double wrong to him,” replied Noor. “BUT………” “You have to come with me. OKAY? Otherwise I’ll do it alone.” The President had kept all that money and had set up a juice factory instead using one million dollar merely thinking that these young girls could do nothing as he was THE PRESIDENT OF YEMEN, a man of great political influence.

Noor always had immense interest in studying chemicals. In 2006, Noor and Sargun sat in their hotel room in Yemen. “Here, take these!” said Sargun handling over powedered arsenic. “Small amount of this affects brain,” said Noor putting the powder into the test tube. After that, she put 5 different types of herbs ,which she got from the fields of Assam, India, into the test tube. “With this, Mr. President will gradually turn mad and this wouldn’t be detected from his blood,”said Noor. “Good job! Noor. Now let’s invite him to a Chinese restaurant and we will put this in the Hakka noodles,”said Sargun. They decided to dine out and not in their hotel in order to leave no clue of suspicion for anyone.

“Thank you for the lunch girls! Your company will greatly benefit from this juice factory,” said the President. “Thank you for all your help Sir and we look forward to much more,”said Sargun. Gradually, the President lost his mental health and was mad for the rest of his life. His blood samples proved nothing.

Nobody ever knew anything but this RAW AGENT found out the truth from his investigation. After five long years, he blackmailed both of them with these photographs which he sent to Sargun. With a lighter, Sargun burnt these photographs of Noor, Sargun and the President dining in the Chinese restaurant. And the only man who knew their GREATEST SECRET was dead. Sargun shot him straight on the head.

The Secret

“You just have a few moments left,” said the doctor. Her tone was firm yet sad. She felt sorry for the patient lying infront of her. The patient was in her early twenties. The girl looked pale yet beautiful even in the hospital bed. The death bed. Noor was lying in the bed wearing amber coloured medical dress given to the patients. Everbody stood before her eyes. Her parents. Her siblings. And her relatives. She could see everyone going through a different set of emotions. She didn’t want anyone to cry. She knew that she had a few moments left.

“Do you have any last wish ?” asked Noor’s mother. It was perhaps the most difficult question she would have ever asked anyone in her entire life. She wanted to cry and was in agony. She would have used these moments howling and complaining. Instead, she chose it to spend the last few moments confidently with her daughter. Noor was in deep pain. She could see and experience death from very close. She wanted to say something but was unable to. With alot of courage, she managed to utter a single word, “Maa ! S, S.”

“Come on! Speak up”, said Noor’s mom. “Sargun! I want her here.” No sooner did she say that than the graph on the ventilator started to go slow. Soon, her heart was about to stop. She couldn’t breathe and the doctors put an oxygen mask on her face. The amount of pain that she was going through was could be seen on her face clearly. It was unbearable. People and images infront of her began to fade. She could see her life going away from her. Her vision become blur.

She just wanted to see Sargun for the last time. Deep inside, she was praying for her to reach soon. Very soon for Noor had very less time left. But, she thought that she would have to leave before saying the last goodbye to her friend. Suddenly, everyone was shocked to see a smile on Noor’s face. Perhaps, the last smile. Her face lit up with a pretty smile when she saw Sargun came running towards her. No sooner did Sargun hold Noor’s hand than Noor’s vision became black. “Hey Noor! I’m here,” said Sargun. The graph on the ventilator drew straight. Noor’s eyes were closed now. Her one hand rested peacefully in her mum’s hand and the other one in Sargun’s palm.

“Noor!” shouted Sargun. She was shouting her name loudly, constantly. “Noor! BLOODY YOU NEED TO GET UP, you wanted to talk to me, right? GET UP!,” said Sargun fiercly. Sargun was almost crying now. She had tears of repentance that she made it late to the hospital. Sargun was howling and screaming when suddenly she glanced on a green packet lying beside Noor’s bed which had Sargun’s name on it. The packet was completely sealed with multiple scotch tapes on it. The packet read, ‘FOR SARGUN, FROM NOOR.’

By looking at Noor’s handwriting, tears rolled down from Sargun’s eyes. Her heart was broken. She weeped. But, she was curious and very eager to break the seal of the green envelope. Hardly had she opened the packet when she was completely shocked. Her fingers became numb and her face grew pale. Inside the packet, lied a picture of a man and some bloodstained letters. She unfolded the first letter and it read

” DEAR SARGUN ! I WILL BE GONE WHEN YOU READ THIS. FIRSTLY, I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF MY LIFE. THERE ARE THREE LETTERS, THIS IS THE FIRST ONE. YOU HAVE TO OPEN THE OTHER TWO LETTERS CONSECUTIVELY AFTER A WEEK FROM NOW. ENCLOSED IN THIS PACKET IS A PICTURE. A VERY IMPORTANT PICTURE. TONIGHT AFTER CREMATION, YOU HAVE A PLACE TO GO. THE ADDRESS IS #3, MARKSMAN VILLAGE, MARON ROAD, PUNJAB. ONCE YOU GO THERE, YOU’LL KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT. AND REMEMBER TO GO ALONE. THANK YOU.”

Sargun was Noor’s best friend since childhood. Their friendship was different. They didn’t click much pictures or gossiped alot unlike other teenagers. But, there was something different about the two that people often envied. Immense faith and trust on each other had made their friendship grow popular among peers.

Noor’s body was given to her parents and the cremation was done. Everyone was crying for Noor was just twenty four. Too young to die. Her mother had to be hospitalized in order to bear with the trauma of her young daughter’s death. Everyone else was equally affected.

“Hey, which was is house no. 3 on this road?” asked Sargun to a passerby. “Go straight and take the second left and it will be on your right side.” Soon, Sargun reached the place and parked her jeep. The house was in a dilapidated condition. The darkness of the night made it look even scarier. She entered and it seemed like no one had lived in there for years. There was dust all around. After walking a few steps, she tripped over something and fell down. There was a huge stone and on it was carved an ‘S’. She moved the stone aside and began to dig. She was taken aback when she saw that there lied a loaded gun and a bottle of alcohol. As soon as she saw a slip on them with Noor’s name, she took it and kept it in her bag. She started the car, pushed the accelerator and drove off.

While driving her jeep, Sargun was in a terrible conditon. She had loved her friend unconditionally and there she was- trying to make sense of whatever was happening. She was constantly thinking about Noor, Noor’s death and Noor’s mysterious letters. The rush of emotions and hormones inside Sargun’s body was getting uncontrollable. She couldn’t stop crying and exceeded the speed limit. While driving, she raised the volume of the music and screamed on top of her voice out of frustration. She was waiting eagerly for the following week to open the next letter.

With a cup of coffee in her hand, in her study room, Sargun opened the second letter. It read, “I HOPE YOU’VE GOT THE GUN AND WHISKEY. NOW, FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY SARGUN. ON THE 5th OF FEBRUARY, GO TO SIMON VILLAGE AND YOU WILL FIND A MAN THERE. HIS PICTURE IS ENCLOSED IN THIS PACKET. AS SOON AS YOU SPOT HIM, JUST SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD. REMEMBER, ON HIS HEAD. HAVING DONE THAT, DRAG HIS BODY INTO YOUR JEEP AND DRIVE TO A PLACE ‘KHAMZAYA VILLAGE’ , 25 KM AWAY FROM SIMON VILLAGE. ONCE YOU REACH THERE, DIG A PIT AND DRAG HIS BODY INTO IT. HAVING DONE THAT, WASH THE GUN WITH ALCOHOL AND THROW IT INTO THE SAME PIT AND COVER THE THING. WITH THE REMAINING WHISKEY, WASH YOUR JEEP FROM INSIDE AND QUICKLY DRIVE TO THE AIRPORT. ON THE MORNING OF 6th AT SHARP 6.00 AM, I HAVE BOOKED YOUR FLIGHT TO CANADA. GOOD LUCK! “

“Can I have you passport please.” “Sure,” said Sargun. It was sixth of Feb and Sargun had beads of perspiration on her head while she checked in. After murdering a person successfully, she seated herself in the airplane. Her confidence was commendable. She executed the plan and boarded the plane without any uneasiness. “YES ! A glass of red wine please.” said Sargun. “Sure Ma’am,” replied air hostess with a warm smile. After having her glass, she relaxed herself. Taking into account that the woman sitting next to her was sleeping Sargun pulled out the last letter from her purse. It read

” GOOD JOB MY GIRL !!! I’M PROUD OF YOUR BRAVERY. I KNOW YOU WOULD FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS. YOU MUST BE THINKING THAT WHY I MADE YOU A KILLER. WELL, THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE. THIS MAN KNEW OUR SECRET. THE SECRET THAT WE HAVE PRESERVED FOR YEARS. BUT NOW, AFTER MY DEATH, THIS MAN WOULD NOT REMAIN SILENT. IF THIS MAN HAD BEEN ALIVE, HE WOULD HAVE DESTROYED YOUR CAREER AND FUTURE BY BREAKING HIS SILENCE. BUT, SINCE YOU HAVE KILLED HIM, THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. THE ONLY MAN WHO KNEW THE ‘GREATEST SECRET’ IS NOW DEAD. CHEERS TO YOUR NEW LIFE !! AND GOODBYE MY FRIEND, THIS IS THE LAST GOODBYE. “

Marks of Red

“Everything went horribly wrong that evening,”said Fadeeha. It had been a week since that incident took place and Fadeeha had been sitting in her room all alone ever since then. Devastated and feeling dejected. she had been sobbing constantly. “Fadeeha, it has been a week since you are sitting in such a state. I have never seen you like this before”, said Fadeeha’s mother demanding an explanation from her daughter. There is silence in Fadeeha’s eyes. “Just tell me what happened that evening that you are so reluctant to get out of your room. You didn’t even get out of your room once since the past week,” said Fadeeha’s mother.

Kartar was Fadeeha’s best friend. At this point of time, he didn’t leave his best friend. Instead he was sitting beside her and held her hand and said, “Let it out ! tell your mother whatever happened and cry as loudly as you want to. I and your mom, we both are here for you.” Kartar was trying his best to comfort his friend.

Fadeeha nodded and calmed herself down, gathered courage and decided to narrate that evening to her mother. “Mumma ! that was a perfect evening. It was Somani’s birthday party. She had organised a grand party wherein she invited all of her relatives and friends. I was so excited for the feast that I got a pretty white dress stiched and bought a pair of matching high heels.” Having said that her face reddened and she started weeping and howling loudly in utmost mental agony. She completely broke down. That incident had affected her so gravely that she was deeply disturbed.

“Here ! sip this water and speak up Fadeeha ! let it out. It is important for you to let it out and lighten your heavy heart”, said Kartar handing her a glass of water. She continued, “Then, we were all dancing and enjoying when suddenly, i heard a strange remark ‘Oh my god! Look at that girl in the white dress. It’s all spoiled with blood’, said a lady in her early forties. No sooner did I look at my dress than I saw that it was all stained. I was embarrassed and disappointed. I was menstruating. My cycle had begun out of the dates completely and I had no clue that my dress was stained until that lady drew everybody’s attention to me. Then another lady shouted, ‘Such a shameless girl ! she cannot even take of herself and on top of that she is dancing.’

” By now, everybody had their eyes on me and there were all kinds of gossips in the crowd. Some of them even made fun of me. I stood there blank, expressionless and shocked. I was crying in utter embarrassment. I had no clue how the fuck I was supposed to behave in such a situation. There I stood crying in my ivory stained dress. Then Kartar came and rescued me. No sooner did he come and gave me his overcoat to me that I covered my dress. Having done that, he looked fiercely into that lady’s eyes and said,’ I never thought that one woman can insult another woman like that. Instead of helping her, you are embarrassing her infront of everyone. Then, he wiped my tears off and said, ‘It’s fine Fadeeha! It’s natural, if that wouldn’t happened to women then none of us would have existed.’ He held my hand and took me out of there and brought me home. “

Fadeeha felt relieved after narrating the story to her mother. “Come Fadeeha ! I want to take you somewhere”, said Kartar. Looking into his eyes Fadeeha couldn’t say no to her friend. Then, Kartar took her to the car and drove off. He took Fadeeha to a mental hospital. “Look Fadeeha! see how people are suffering and their parents are strong enough to help them and admit that their children are not mentally fit. They are not embarrassed of their children”, said Kartar.

Fadeeha’s eyes welled up and she said,” Thank you Kartar for everything. Thank you helping me out that evening and thank for being with me today. Now, I have understood your point that I should not be embarrassed for whatever happened. Because that situation was not under my control.”