‘Jenny, you can’t mean that!’
I looked at Jennifer Da Costa. She looked straight back at me, her blue eyes boring into me like gimlets.
‘Nick, dear, why don’t you understand? It’s a great opportunity. It’s a better life for a writer like me.’ She said.
I looked down sadly. ‘Yes, I suppose it is.’
Jenny and I were best friends. We had first met three years back during the shooting of a movie called ‘The Walking Snowman.’
Jenny had written it and I had to play the male-lead. Now we were in a park. Jenny had just told me that she was migrating to UK, where it would be a better life for a writer like her.
I was heartbroken. But at the same time I knew there would be new opportunities for her and so I tried to look happy. ‘So, when are you leaving?’
‘A week from now.’ was Jenny’s reply.
That made my heart sink further. ‘And… what’s the thing you’ll miss the most?’ I asked feeling choked.
‘You…’ she whispered, and I saw her eyes glisten with tears.
‘Oh.’ I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
Big grey clouds hung low from the sky that winter afternoon. ‘They look exactly how I feel.’ I thought gloomily.
I looked at Jennifer who was sitting next to on the park bench next to me. ‘May I have the honour of taking you to your last coffee shop in India?’ I asked, trying to lift her spirits.
She smiled and said ‘I’d be delighted. Which one?’
‘How about “Café Real”?’ I asked with a laugh.
‘You know all my favorites don’t you?’ she laughed, ruffling my hair.
So we went to my dirt bike and rode to ‘Café Real’ where we had coffee and some cream buns.
Jenny was ‘Mmm-ing’ every time she took a bite of her bun.
‘You’ll really miss this place, won’t you?’ I said, amused to see her enjoy the buns so much.
After we were done, I offered to drop her home. She agreed and mounted on my dirt bike again. Soon we reached her home.
‘Keep in touch, will you? Through E-mail and all that.’ I said.
‘Oh, I will. Only, I don’t think you’ll have time to read anything, because you’ll be busy with all your movie shooting.’ said Jenny, producing a watery smile.
Then I suddenly remembered something. I pulled a book out of my pocket and said ‘Keep this with you Jennifer.’
It was a book I had written called ‘A Fountain of Tears.’ It was about a young couple who fell in love and was soon separated by a fairy named Fate.
But I had never managed to publish it. Probably because most editors found it pathetic. So there was only one of the kind in the whole world.
Jenny laughed, shook back her curly mop of blond hair and said ‘Yes, I’ll keep it. I don’t think I’ll be able to see you again before I leave so I guess this is where we say good-bye.’
So we embraced each other and then I said good-bye. I went home with tears in my eyes, where I then pulled myself together, thinking that surely one day, Jenny and I would meet again.
Three years past. Jenny was right. I didn’t have time to even sit at my computer, let alone check for Jenny’s E-mails. I got married to a rich land lady who owned many flats and houses all over the county.
One day I returned home from work and I found my son saying. ‘Daddy, a beautiful woman came home today, when Mummy and you were out. She asked for someone called “Nicholas Pinhero.” Who’s that?’
‘That’s me, you silly child.’ I said lovingly. ‘I wonder who she was and why she came. Peter, dear, never open the door for strangers.’
The next day I came home again and my son cried. ‘Daddy, that lady came here again. I didn’t let her in this time. I noticed that she had chocolate brown, straight hair and soft brown eyes. She asked me who I was and I said that I was your son. Then she gave me a strange stare and walked away without a word.’
‘No one I know, then.’ I said, racking my brains.
That night when we sat down for dinner, my wife spoke to me ‘A lady, with brown hair and brown eyes, rented a flat of ours down the lane. She was asking for you. Do you know her?’
‘No.’ I said, feeling more bewildered than ever. ‘I’ll go see her tomorrow morning.’
So, first thing next day, I went to the house that the mysterious lady had rented. I rang the bell. No one answered. So I rang again.
‘That’s strange.’ I thought.
So I turned the handle. The front door opened!
‘This is getting more and more peculiar by the moment.’ I thought.
I went in. ‘Hello? Anyone home?’ my voice shook as I spoke, though I had no clue why.
In the hall I saw something queer. On the table were to tiny brown circular objects. I picked them up and looked at them closer. They were lenses!
‘Okay, this is weird.’ I thought, starting to get scared.
I went into the bedroom but no one was there. Then I went to the kitchen. The door opened with a squeak and what I saw inside made me want to shriek.
Inside, on the floor lay a woman, dead. Her chest had blood all over it as if she had been stabbed.
The lady had bright blue eyes and brown hair. Then suddenly I realized that it wasn’t brown hair. It was a wig! For it was slipping off the woman’s head and underneath I could see golden curly locks. In her left hand was a knife with blood on it.
This made me think that she had stabbed herself. I was just wondering who she was when I saw something that gave me the answer not only to that but also to why she had killed herself. For in her right hand was a book by the name of ‘A Fountain of Tears.’