PRICE OF LOVE

Excerpt: Things were happening too fast. My gut feeling told me that Brijesh or rather his ghost retaliated. Sadly my Reshmi's apparition had also come to me showing her displeasure. (Reads: 667)

 

young-girl-sitting

Paranormal Love Story – PRICE OF LOVE
Photo credit: Carool from morguefile.com

When she came out of Kolkata Airport that night I was astounded to see her. Her beauty seemed to have been tarnished many folds. The usual glow and confidence of her countenance were nowhere apparent.

As she walked towards me with slow steps pulling her suitcase, I felt a tinge of sadness ; what is this? What was happening to this beautiful girl for whom I had fallen head over heels; and since then a journey of eternal and loving happiness had started. I was deeply attached to her; in fact bordering to such an extent that I had never experienced.

I stepped forward and met her. “ Hi Reshmi, ” I said, “ Hope you had a pleasant flight” .

She looked at me wearily and started walking listlessly towards the car park. With her suitcase I followed her. No words were exchanged.

We were driving out of the car park when I put my hand on her forearm, “ What has happened Reshmi ? Why are you so sad? Are you sick? Why are you not speaking to me?”

Looking sideways at her I found her staring out of the window.

A few moments later she spoke.

“Raj, I don’t know what to say…”, her voice was melodious and low, barely audible, “ I need help…or I will die.”

Suddenly she covered her face with both hands; her body shook with violent sobs. I did not know how to react. Gradually steering the car towards the left side of the road I applied the brakes and brought it to a halt. This needed urgent attention and I shouldn’t be driving.

Reaching out I gently touched her face and she looked at me. Her large eyes were filled with tears and beads of perspiration adorned her fair forehead; she appeared to look more beautiful at this time of her grief. She always fascinated me.

“ Tell me”, I said soothingly, “ I am always with you …”

She looked at me for a few seconds then leaned forward and threw her arms around me, her lips touching mine…a wonderful aroma enveloped me taking me to a dream world. I could feel the wetness of her tears on my cheeks.

I held her, whispering in her ear, “ I love you… I can’t see you so unhappy.”

She then leaned back and caressed her long open raven hair. Wiping her eyes with a handkerchief she appeared to take hold of herself.

“ Raj, what will you do if you know that somebody is trying to harm me? “

I just stared at her, my mind was trying to understand what she meant.

She continued, “ Will you believe? Brijesh is trying to blackmail me!”

She stopped for a few minutes, perhaps trying to let the matter sink into my mind; she knew that I was aware of her affair with Brijesh before she met me.

Brijesh had come to her life when she was completing her school. It was typically a teenage infatuation which in numerous instances just faded out. But this was a different situation, both Reshmi and Brijesh continued with their affair well into their initial college life and even after that. When Reshmi completed her MBA and Brijesh his civil engineering it was the impression of all common friends and also both the families that they would eventually marry. But their relationship did not last. We all knew that he made unreasonable demands on her and there were several disagreements and fights between them. Moreover his subsequent drug habit was a major negativity. And adding to that there were whispers about his connections with the underworld.

Reshmi was from a very rich family but she was fiercely independent and preferred to work. For her the office was a pillar of her self respect. We all admired her for that.

I was Reshmi’s colleague in her office for past three years. Initially we were good friends, but as I came to know about her break up of her long relation with Brijesh and the resultant emotional sufferings she was undergoing, I always remained at her side, supporting her. She too was happy to gradually open her heart and share her troubles with me. Changing his job from Kolkata to Mumbai – Brijesh also went out of her life.

Over a period of time her sufferings started to heal.

As time progressed my feelings for her were changing and I could feel that she was also more inclined towards me. When and where our feelings metamorphosed into love we could never understand, but it was there, intense, between us. And we were happy to have each other in this way. The fact that we both worked in the same office also helped.

That day she had gone to Mumbai for an official work and was returning the next night. It was a Sunday and I had gone to the Airport to pick her up.

But her sadness and revelation that Brijesh was blackmailing her, shocked me. It was totally unexpected.

She was saying, “Last evening after my work in Mumbai, I got a call from Brijesh. He wanted to meet me. I was not too keen because everything is over between us. There is nothing to be said or heard in our relationship. I was reluctant but he was insistent. So we agreed to meet in a restaurant over dinner. Initially he was very sweet and made our conversation light and pleasant , but over a few pegs of liquor suddenly his attitude changed. He wanted to come to my hotel room for the night which I refused. He requested many times in various ways but I was adamant. Ultimately he became furious and threatened that if I don’t agree he will ensure that the affair would be made public. I will lose my job…and… he will create such negativity that no employer will ever give me any job… I will also become a social outcast. He had pictures and letters of our past intimate moments. ”

She paused for breath then wiping her eyes continued, “Naturally I walked out then and there …. but he didn’t leave me. He called me late in the night and said that he could become very dangerous if I didn’t agree with him. At that time he also wanted money.”

She held my hand tightly, looking at me with imploring eyes, “Raj, I am very scared , what will happen? “

My mind was perplexed. Had the drug addiction made Brijesh stoop to such low level? But I had to do something… for the sake of Reshmi…for the sake of my love for her. I kept quite for some moments, marshaling my thoughts then spoke, “ What do you want me do Reshmi?”

Now her anger showed through, she said slowly with clenched teeth, “I don’t care what you do but please see that Brijesh never gets the temerity to blackmail me or harm me ! If he does that I will go to the police and get him jailed!” She turned away frowning, her breath coming in nervous gasps.

I tried to pacify her, “Don’t get so upset…ignore him …,” then seeing her face I hastily added, “I will get in touch with him and warn him… I will fly to Mumbai tomorrow and meet him. He will never dare to trouble you again. ”

She nodded her head. During the drive towards her house we didn’t speak ; both lost in thoughts.

Next day I was in Mumbai having taken the first flight. When I called Brijesh he sounded his usual self. “Sure,” he said, “ We will meet in the evening at seven p.m. in my apartment after the office hours.”

I was in his drawing room in his flat at Andheri {East}. He was in his casuals and greeted me civilly enough . We had known each other in Kolkata.

“What brings you to me here in Mumbai?” he sat down on the sofa and crossed his legs.

I was unsure as to how I should begin the topic which was so sensitive and also criminal to say the least. More importantly it involved Reshmi. I picked up the whiskey glass and sipped, thinking. Strangely I was getting a sensation that some danger was lurking in this house. My sixth sense was attuned to dangers which had saved me in the past on many occasions.

“Did you meet Reshmi day before yesterday?“ I asked. He narrowed his eyes. I leaned forward and looked at him, “She has a complaint against you.” I paused, wanted to see his reaction; I was positive that he knew what he was doing… blackmailing Reshmi.

He appeared not to understand and asked innocently enough, “How come? We had a pleasant dinner that evening in a restaurant, the next night she took a flight to Kolkata.”

Was he as guiltless as he sounded? I was not sure but this had to be thrashed out ; that’s why I was there before him. I had to be blunt. “ You blackmailed her and threatened her that night”, my voice was thundering, “do you know the consequences ? It is criminal and we will turn you to the police.“ My face must have shown that I meant business.

He became very still and stared at me for long moments, scowling, then suddenly laughed out loudly. “So that’s what she told you? My God ! What a liar!“ He got up and walked towards the side cabinet, “I will give you proof of her bitchiness !” Opening the top drawer he turned towards me in a flash … he had a revolver in his hand which had a long silencer. Pointing it towards me he smiled, a malicious grin which appeared to completely transform his face to that of a criminal. I saw his finger’s movement for tightening on the trigger.

I was not totally astonished at this turn of event although the revolver did surprise me a bit. “So now your true colors are showing…let me talk to Reshmi,“ I spoke slowly. I had to buy time. Without moving my eyes from his revolver I deliberately got up and put my right hand in my coat pocket. His eyes followed my hand but said nothing. He didn’t expect any danger from me; a mild mannered executive of a commercial firm.

But he had fatally underestimated me. He couldn’t have known my lethal background. I shot him from my revolver hidden in my coat pocket. It also had a silencer. The bullet tore a hole in my coat but hit Brijesh squarely on his chest, puncturing his heart… a flowering red patch appeared on his T-shirt which started to grow. He clutched his chest and with a loud groan collapsed on the ground like a felled log. He was dead within minutes. His revolver had slipped from his lifeless fingers and clattered on the ground.

I looked around and went to him and checked his pulse. Satisfied I shrugged out of my coat, folded it, kept it on my left shoulder, climbed down the stairs to the main street and started walking away unhurriedly. There was nobody around me in the building when I had entered and I didn’t see anybody when I left.

Hailing a taxi from about a kilometer away I moved towards the airport. Taking the next available flight I was back in Kolkata. It was late in the night.

Lying on the bed my thoughts were clear. I didn’t kill Brijesh without provocation, in fact he was a blackmailer and tried to shoot me. My action was only in self defense . Brijesh would never have dared to attack me if he had known that I was a professional assassin. My job in the commercial firm was only a front to keep my actual profession in the shadows.

Early next morning I called Reshmi. She knew that I had gone to Mumbai for her. “I have taken care of your problem Reshmi, please don’t worry. He will not disturb you. In fact he told me that he has been transferred out of Mumbai by his boss and his existing contacts will no longer be available.” I heard a sigh of relief from Reshmi; she only said, “Thank you Raj, I will always remember this …I love you.”

She had been satisfied but I was feeling awful having told a lie to her. There shouldn’t be any secret between lovers, but I had so many. I was a death merchant. I didn’t know how I would tell her, redeem my life for her sake…for her love.

Days passed uneventfully. That Saturday night when I was retiring to bed around 11.45 pm the front door calling bell rang.

Opening the door I found Reshmi standing; her pretty face grim.

“ Hello… why are you here at this time…,” I said. “Any problem?”

She walked in wordlessly and sat on the sofa. I closed the door and came back.

Without preamble she spoke in a high pitched voice, ”Why did you kill Brijesh? I only wanted you to warn him, but …..” Tears were in her eyes , “ How can you be so ruthless? How can you be a murderer? This is very wrong… criminal…both of us now will be in deep trouble… is it the way how you show your love to me?“ Her voice faltered, sobbing.

I was flabbergasted. How could this be possible? When I had killed Brijesh there was nobody around and no one saw me enter or leave his flat. Also I had used my silenced weapon. Was there any witness?

I could only reply, “Reshmi, how can you say that ? You cannot accuse me like this! Who told you these lies?”

She glared at me, “No need for you to know! You cannot stop one crime by committing the most heinous crime! I hate you! I hate you!” She was seething in such rage as I had never seen.

My mind was in a tizzy. I desperately tried to find an answer when the bell rang again. My sixth sense also started warning me of an impending danger. Entering my bedroom I picked up my revolver, put it in pyjama pocket and opened the door.

There was the danger before me! Brijesh was standing at the doorway! My heart suddenly started palpitating; sweat formed on my forehead. This man was dead! It was crazy. I lost my mind , my control and swiftly took out my revolver and shot at him …one shot … two… The huge noise reverberated in the building. I had forgotten to screw in the silencer. The bullets lodged in the woodwork of the neighbor’s door … there was a shout inside that flat… I could hear voices in other flats…it was madness!

And what about Brijesh ? He just disappeared before my eyes. I looked around in trepidation and turned and ran back into my flat closing the door behind me. All these were beyond logic. Scary!

Before I had opened the door, Reshmi was sitting on the sofa but now I couldn’t find her. I went to the bedroom, bathroom and searched my entire flat but she was nowhere to be seen . There was no other exit from the flat. Where had she disappeared? What was this mystery?

Meanwhile the police arrived and took me away to the police station ? Residents had called them.

Late in the night the police told me that they had found Reshmi’s dead body in her flat. It appeared that she had died of extreme fright, sometimes in the evening. There was no injury on her body.

I was to be interrogated.

Things were happening too fast. My gut feeling told me that Brijesh or rather his ghost retaliated. Sadly my Reshmi’s apparition had also come to me showing her displeasure. I never believed in supernatural but how could I reject what happened ?

Sitting in the police station I was in a contemplative mood. With my lawyers I might have argued my way out to safety. But I felt that I deserved this. I decided to make a clean confession of my all criminal activities. Perhaps that would be the price of my love for Reshmi.

–END–

AMITAV GANGULY

2nd July 2016

About the Author

AMITAV GANGULY

Mr Amitav Ganguly is a Law Graduate & qualified Company Secretary with more than three decades of rich experience in senior positions. A resident of New Delhi, he has also penned more than fifty articles in corporate laws which have been published in eminent journals & referred in ICAI library & RBI. Many more articles have also been uploaded in well-known websites. His professional writings are in his website:-companysecretarysupport.webs.com. Besides he has keen interest in Indian & world literature and having widely read such writings over decades, is now carrying out his passion of writing short stories. His other stories are in amitavstories.webs.com His contact: gangulyamitav57@outlook.com

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