It was John’s 25th birthday. He woke up early as usual and remained in bed thinking about the extraordinary incidents of the previous day. It was a miracle that he escaped the clutches of the Police who, without a warning, raided the area and arrested almost all his comrades in the gang. Throughout the police action, he remained in his rusty room at the bottom end of that old building, expecting police officers to knock and arrest him at any moment. But miraculously they never knocked his door. He watched through the keyhole of his door as his comrades, handcuffed and escorted by police bearing pistols in their arms and marched to that waiting van. Only he himself was escaped from the police grip.
He was a well built handsome young man with blue eyes, a pointed mustache, clean shaven face and long straight heirs. He appeared in the great city on the Christmas evening the previous year and was seen wandering through the city seeking any kind of job. Nobody knew his whereabouts and did not have the courage to ask him. He would sit silent whenever anybody raise the topic of his past. It was the don of the city criminal gang who came to him and offered a membership in his notorious band. It was risk and the gang was indulged in many criminal activities like kidnapping, blackmailing, theft and burgling, even at times, murder. The new assignment offered money and John was seemed satisfied at its prospects.
But things began to change after the police shootout the previous month and their leader was shot dead. Most of the gang members were tracked and arrested, culminating in the incident which happened the previous day. It was sheer luck that he escaped arrest and once again he was gazing before that big city desperately wanting for a means of living and an identity to establish. For an ex-member of a criminal gang, it would be quite difficult to find a new way of life.
John had remained in his room for the whole morning. He was afraid to go out fearing the police spies whom he strongly suspected to snoop around the area. In the afternoon, he cautiously made his move and had his lunch at a law class hotel at the end of the street. After having a meal, for he was so hungry, as he was getting out of the hotel, he was stunned to feel a hand on his shoulders.
“John” said the voice from behind.
John, without showing any signs of surprise, turned around and found a middle aged, well dressed man with a foolish face of a school teacher.
“Why,” he asked. “What do you want?” his sound was sharp.
“I know who you are” said the other man looking straight into his blue eyes. “Will you mind talking with me a few minutes in private”. He asked and without expecting any reply, he took John’s hand, drew him to the nearby table and sat there.
“I know you have escaped from the police”, the other man whispered, “and I am also aware of your present situation”.
John raised his eyebrows. It was true that the damned police had ruthlessly destroyed every pleasure in his life. Now he was a haunted man.
“You are a haunted man, John”, remarked the other as he seemed to read John’s mind.
John said nothing. He gazed at the other’s face wondering how he may have known anything about his criminal activities.
“Who are you and what the hell you want”, John asked visibly embarrassed at the remarks made by the other.
“No, No”, said the other, ‘don’t be angry, what you need now is a space and some money to live. I am here to provide you both”, he said in a pleasant voice.
There was a slight pose before John asked,
“Why do you want to help me”, his voice was cautious as he feared the other to be a police spy.
“Because I believe that you are the best man to execute my plan.” The other replied. “There is no need for you to know who I am. The police will be looking for you after the interrogation of your gang members. They will surely provide the information about you to the police”. He said.
John thought for a while. It was true that his gang members would eventually succumb to pressure and disclose the information about his place. He understood his vulnerable position and turned to the middle aged man at the other end of the desk.
“Yes” he agreed. “I also think so”.
“Good”, the other man replied. “Let us walk”.
After paying the bill, they walked through the street. They walked to the east end of the town. It was not a noisy area unlike the other parts of the huge city. There were many middle class hotels and the other man led John to one of them.
It was a large building, elegant, but not certainly posh. The other man opened a room at the extreme south end in the second floor. It was a moderate room, neatly arranged. Sitting himself in the bed, the man motioned John to take a chair.
“Is it nice” he said as John was looking around the room “It is your room now”.
Visibly surprised, John looked at the other with vigilant eyes.
“Oh, yes, indeed” said the other. “It is your room”. He stood up and walked towards John. Putting his hands over his shoulders, the other whispered.
“I will give you a lot of money than you can imagine” his voice was too low to understand. “You should do one thing in return”.
“What the hell is that?” asked John curiously.
“Not so difficult for you. I want you to murder a girl”, the other said without a slight change in his expression.
John was stunned. The man stood opposite him seemed to be a decent fellow in appearance. It was unbelievable that such a demand came from his own mouth. ‘But I have to lose nothing’, he thought wondering why in the world the man want to murder a girl.
“Do not ask me why I want that girl murdered” whispered the man.
“But you should tell me why you want me to do that?” asked John looking at the other fellow.
The other shrugged his shoulders and declared.
“This is business, young man”, he said. “I wish I had killed but I have certain difficulties in carrying it out. So I chose a young and experienced blood who would do it with much ease.”
John thought for a while. He asked.
“What will you give me in return?”. His voice was determined as a professional businessman.
“What you insist” the other replied.
“Agreed” answered John.
The other seemed to be satisfied. “I am giving you the picture and the details of the girl and where you can find her. I will give you necessary instructions in due course. You will see me after you successfully completed the mission. Good luck” and handed over the cover to John, stood up and disappeared.
John opened the cover after the other went away and it was written in a small piece of paper,
“Tomorrow 10.00 AM, the great waterfalls, North of the town”.
There was a picture under the note. John took it and curiously glanced at it.
She was a beauty. Her whitish face, green eyes, curled brown heirs and rose petal lips, made her look just like an angel. John stared at the picture without taking his eyes wondering how in the world he would murder a girl with such a grace. But he has to do it. Only this would help him out of all his problems.
In the next morning, John readied himself early. After having a light breakfast, he walked towards the north end of the town where there was the great waterfalls. He had hidden a small mamba pistol in his waste pocket. The waterfall was a great sight, in the middle of a small forest. It was a tourist place once, but now there were not many souls wandering through the woods taking pictures of everything they saw. It was a quiet place, far from the town and those who like passion of silence would really be attracted by the utmost calmness of the area.
But certainly, calmness means danger and indeed, it was a dangerous place too, for the sight of the waterfalls were so attractive that anyone would certainly fall in love with the nature’s beauty, would not control themselves from deciding to take a bath in the lake or some sightseeing through the dangerous pavements beside the lake. Its water was so transparent that we could find it to be safe. But many did not have the idea about the fierce undercurrents and there were incidents of even most experienced divers perished in that vast enormous beautiful but dangerous lake.
As John walked by the waterfall, there were not many people in the sight. His eyes searched for the girl in the picture. But she was not to be seen. He walked through the narrow path at the side of the lake. There were mesh fences erected separating the path and lake as a precaution to ensure the safety of the people who walked beside the lake. At some places, the fence was not to be seen. He walked through the path and suddenly his eyes fell on that lean girlish figure who was standing alongside the lake where the mesh fence was destroyed. He could not see her face as she stood facing the waterfalls. He walked close and she did not seem to take care that she has been watched from behind. He walked closer. As he knew that his presence was unnoticed, he deliberately made a noise. She startled, turned her head in an astounded fashion and saw John standing just behind her.
‘Ah, what an incredible sight, what a beauty’, thought John as he stared at her face. It looked as if she was crying. Her wonderful green eyes were filled with tears. Her cheeks were red with emotion. The elegance of her face seemed boosted as she wept with a low humming sound. For a moment he lost control of himself at the marvelous but pitiful state of that greatest beauty and he could not but ask,
“Are you OK, my dear young lady”, he asked as she stared at him in surprise.
She did say nothing but turned her spectacular face again to that great waterfall. He came near and whispered in her ears,
“Why are you crying, beautiful girl”, his voice was concerned. Nobody was there in the vicinity. She did not turn her face at him. She just stood there, motionless, weeping bitterly and the next moment, she suddenly jumped to the lake.
For a moment John was stunned as he was stuck with a club. But he regained his posture and found himself through the air and then peering through the water. It was cold, so cold that he could not feel his body. For a moment, no trace of John or that girl was seen over the water and then suddenly, he emerged from it, swam with that beautiful girl in his arms. As he reached the shore, he took her in his arms, walked to where they were standing minutes before. He put her on the ground. She was unconscious. He looked around and nobody was watching them. She was breathing fast and she looked so beautiful in this plight that he could not help take his eyes from that gracious body. At last she opened her eyes and looked at him with fearful eyes. Then she forced herself to a sitting position. John curiously looked at and their eyes met.
“Why in the world you did that”, he asked in very soft voice.
She pitifully looked to his eyes. Her greenish eyes were shining like emerald; her red rose lips were quivering as she sobbed; her wet cloths gummed to her marvelous body projecting the nice sweet curves; and she was an excellent piece of fine girlish creation of God. He sat beside her, his hand on her and they stared at each other in a peculiar way. He lost all his crudeness, arrogance and his courage before that beautiful girl. He just sat there, looking straight into her eyes, totally under the invisible but masterly attractiveness of her stupendous grace. They talked nothing until she took her hand, freed it from his powerful grip and asked, in most lovable soft, but bitter voice,
“Why you took the pains of helping. I love to be dead and who are you to interfere in my private matters?”.
Even though she asked him in a bitter tone, her voice was too sweet and elegant. It was impossible for her to be conceited and angry as her elegant grace would never allow her to be so. Beauty means quality, although we could provide some acute examples just contrary to that notion. But John was now stunned. He never knew why he did not allow her to be drowned in that dangerous lake. It would have eased the complexity of his intended mission. His aim was her death, but now, he do know well that the stupendous attractiveness of a feminine has prevented him from her committing what he was intended. Love is the most unexpected emotion that would conquer our minds from nowhere with such force and emotional rigidness that we could certainly be a failure before its triumph. It is great that we fail there. Love is the only emotion which could prevent anything, anything at all, which is so sure to happen, from happening.
He was sitting beside her and his mind was so confounded with strange feelings that he did not hear what she asked. He closed his body to hers without saying anything. It just happened. She could not stop him from doing it. He was handsome and she also was aware of that invisible but poignant bond of emotion which surrounded them both before that great beauty of nature. They were in the mystic clouds of love, his lips moved to hers and pressed till her rose petals blossomed to a warm red fully developed flower.
“I love you”, he said as she forcefully retreated from his strong hands.
“I do not know who you are”, she said standing up, “and why you helped me to be alive. I do not want to be alive”, she said in a low voice.
“It is the fate that bought me here”, replied John while standing up. “When I first saw your gracious face, I know I am to surrender my body, my mind and even my soul so as to get the same emotional love in return from yourself. I never thought in the world that your mere presence would give me a new perspective, a new vision and a new outlook to live my remaining life in an entirely different way”. He said just as they stood facing so close to each other.
She was visibly overwhelmed to hear the comments. Her face quivering in emotion, her wonderful eyes filled with tears, her cheeks red with affection and love, she came so close to his body and whispered in his ears,
“I do not know who you are, I just do not care”, she said in a sweet tone, “but you have enlighten my mind, filled it with love and warmth, for which my mind was parched”.
She said as he hugged her warmly. They stood there in that state for some time. His fingers passed through her lovely, curled brown hair as she submerged her head to his breast, her hand throwing around his back. He could sense her deep breaths make emotional currents in his breast. As he heard distant sounds of some approaching, he affectionately separated her from his body.
They walked through the narrow path. As they reached the end of that long path to the main road, he asked,
“Where do you live”, he asked. “I will escort you there”, he assured as they walked hand in hand.
It was a modest house at a stone’s throw from the main highway. He even did not know what her name was. Actually there is nothing particularly charming in a name. It is the emotional bond which will usually articulate the intensity of any relation. As they entered the small compound, she invited him to have a cup of tea.
He sat there thinking about the extraordinary events happening to him for the last two days while she was engaged in making tea. He had not asked her why she did what she had done earlier. As she came with two cups of tea, sat in the chair beside him, he asked,
“Why you did that”, his voice was curious.
She looked at him in a peculiar way.
“What were you doing there”, she asked him with a pose.
He thought for a moment. He and his entire nature had changed dramatically the very moment he had met her in the morning. He decided to hide nothing. As he took his glass of tea in his hand, he said,
“I came here to kill you, to do which I was offered a large sum of money from an unknown man. But the very moment I saw the elegant gracious face of yours, I know I could do nothing except to worship that great beauty. I could not harm you even with a safety pin”. He said looking straightly at her stunned eyes.
Apparently she revived her spirits and now she smashed that glass of tea as he raised it to his mouth. It fell the floor and broke with a loud noise and he was horrified with the sudden swift action. After taking his composure back, she said in a low trembling voice,
“I am a low paid actress”, she said to a stunned John. “I was in need for a large sum of money and an unknown man offered me the money to have you poisoned. All I did today was just to make you come here and that glass of tea intended for you was poisoned”.
They sat there stunned and shocked. Both were thinking about that unknown man who offered them money to kill each other. They wondered why in the world he had offered it. By now, whoever he was, he was just a God like person to both of them.