Story 87

She stepped out of the house in the scorching heat, concern evident on her face. She walked hurriedly towards the railway station. She had to be there before it was too late, she told herself. The train to her destination would be arriving soon. She did not know when the next train was. She increased her speed and was now half running towards the station, pushing through the crowd of people who seemed to appear suddenly out of nowhere. Each obstacle, each push from some random person increased her heartbeat.

Finally, she reached the station. The station was overcrowded, many people tried to walk into the station and many tried to walk out, all at the same time. Before she could get in, she was pulled in another direction. She looked up, scared. Her face changed colour as she saw who was trying to pull her away from the crowd. She struggled against the grip, which grew stronger. Another arm wrapped around her waist and she was pulled back, out of the crowd. A few people saw what was happening but did not bother to give another look. Everyone had their own shit to deal with.

The man pushed her in a jeep that was parked nearby, she did not try to get down from the jeep as he walked to the driver’s side. It made no sense, seeing the man and the look on his face paralysed her momentarily. The man slid into the driver’s seat but did not start the ignition immediately; instead he looked at her, pain evident in his eyes. Then, he slapped her. She cried silently as he drove back towards the house. The house she had escaped from. She did not want to be here, she was meant to be somewhere else, with someone else. She stared at the side mirror, watched the road they were leaving behind. Then, she closed her eyes.

The jeep came to an abrupt halt and she opened her eyes. She could not believe that she had fallen asleep, rather passed out in the jeep. The man got out of the jeep, walked towards her side and forced her out of the jeep. She looked around. They were not home. This was some other place. It was a place she dreaded being at.
“No, please don’t. Don’t leave me here” she pleaded and tried to resist walking with the man. “I will behave myself, I promise” she said and kissed the man to prove the point. 
The man was paralysed momentarily, shocked and pleased with the feeling of her lips against his; but then he moved back but did not let go of her arm and continued pulling her towards the house.

“Take me home, please take me home” she continued pleading but the man paid no heed. He knocked on the door and waited; his grip firm on her arm. He looked at her, the tears would have softened any man, but it made no difference to him. The door was opened by another man who looked at her and then had a short conversation with him. He then pushed her towards the man who immediately wrapped his arms tightly around her waist. Without saying a word or waiting to hear anything, he walked away. She did not struggle to get out of this man’s grip. She had given up. She was prepared for everything that would follow the moment the door was closed. She closed her eyes. Had she not, she would have seen the man who had dragged her to this place, getting into the jeep but not driving away. She would have seen him punching the steering wheel and then resting his head on it waiting for his time to knock at the door again; waiting to walk back out with his loving wife.

The door closed and she realized she was being dragged towards a room. She did not bother to open her eyes. Then, she was made to lie down. She did as she was asked. She knew the pain would come soon, her jaws would ache, she would have a headache and her entire body would convulse and after that, the same darkness. She would black out. It happened every time. It seemed as if she missed days and perhaps months of her life. She waited, the pain did not come. She opened her eyes and looked around. The man was staring at her with a strange expression on his face. It seemed as if he was not sure whether he wanted to do it. He picked up an instrument from the adjacent table and held it in front of his face. It was an injection. She wanted to scream, but realising that it would make no difference, she saved her energy. The man filled the syringe and injected it into her bloodstream and within minutes the world blurred.

When she opened her eyes, it took some time for her vision to clear. She was still in the same room. Her body did not ache. She sat up and looked around. The room was not an ordinary room. It was equipped with a few instruments out of which the one she feared the most was placed near her. But, it had obviously not been used. She realized two set of eyes were staring at her. One set of eyes was filled with immense pain and another reflected confusion. She was confused herself. The man who had pushed her into the house, who seemed to be less concerned about her, now looked at her as if he would get up the next moment and hug her. Something was wrong. No one moved. She broke the silence.
“Please let me go. I don’t want to be here.”
She thought that she had perhaps imagined the pain on his face. But then, he shook his head and hid his face in his palms. His shaking shoulders, the only sign that he was crying.
“Please do something, doctor. Please bring my wife back” He said to the older man without raising his head.
She did not know what to do. She had not expected this. She was not prepared to face this. Past few months, maybe years, she was not sure anymore, she felt her life was a cycle repeated every time. It started when she found herself in his house where he seemed to be forcing himself on her. Though she had struggled a few times, she finally let it happen. Something had died inside her. But, she wanted out. She was sure that someday she would run away. And, she did try only to be found by him and brought back to the house or to this place where she was tortured. The end, before the cycle started again. She also realized that there was a time gap between the beginning and the end of the cycle. But, this – what was happening now - was new to her. She had never found herself sitting here with two people staring at her in a weird manner and one of them, crying.

The other man looked at her before speaking.
“I cannot do it. It is dangerous. You might never get her back.”
She tried to understand what the man was saying, but failed. She was scared. She wanted to run but she could not move. A part of her wanted to be here. In fact, wanted to get up and console the crying man, hug him and tell him that she loved him. She was confused. She wanted to close her eyes and lie down but she continued to listen.
“Anyways, I do not think this is helping. She always snaps back to this state. We have to deal with this in a different manner” the older man said.

He wiped his tears as he got up and walked towards her. Her body reacted differently. She almost went into his arms, while her mind told her to run.
“What’s happening here” she asked, her voice shaking with fear.
“Don’t you remember anything?” He asked, his voice pregnant with emotion.
She stared at him not saying a word.
He placed his lips on hers and kissed her. She struggled, she tried to push him back and surprisingly, he moved back. 
“Please don’t do that again.” she cried. 

The doctor got up from his chair and walked towards her.
“Are you really sure you do not want him to do that again?” the old man asked. 
She looked at him, confused. How did he know? How could the man possibly know that she was not sure anymore?
“Because” the doctor continued, “as per what I know, you love him as much as he loves you. Perhaps more! The only problem here is that you do not remember.”
She listened as he started on a weird journey of words and sentences, telling strange stories, which, she had to admit she found to be familiar. It really did seem that she had lived the moments the doctor described. But, everything seemed to be so far lost in the past. It seemed like another life. It was not her life anymore.

The doctor continued speaking. Telling her how she had been forced into this weird cycle of memories. How she believed herself to be someone else and how she began hating the man she loved the most. How her husband had always found her on time when she had tried to run away and had brought her here, where the doctor put her on medication and then had to give her shock treatment. But, he said, he finally realized that he had approached the case in a wrong way and for that he would have never forgiven himself had he not realized today that another shock treatment would have set her rolling back to a different time where she would have been lost forever.
This, he said, this should have been his approach before. Talking to her, making her believe that she was happily married to the man standing in front of her, tears in his eyes and love in his heart! The gap between the cycles, the doctor explained, was when she lived her life normally.

She closed her eyes. “Enough” she said, exhausted. It was enough. She could not take it anymore. A little more information, she thought, and her head would explode. She believed for a moment that the pain she had been expecting was a lot better than this.
Both the men stared at her, waiting for her to say something. When she did not, the man who was supposedly her husband said, “Fine. Where do you want me to take you? I will go with you this time. Tell me where you wanted to run to, whom you wanted to go back to and I will take you there, to that person, myself.”
“Really” She exclaimed. She saw the man flinch. “Yes” he said.
She tried to remember where she had wanted to go when she had escaped from the house. She could not remember. How was this possible? She tried to search for an answer, tried to go back in time and remember, but every time she tried, she faced a wall, dead end.
“Take me home” she said, finally. “Please take me home.”
He smiled, but only for a moment before he saw tears in his wife’s eyes.
“Take me home till I remember where I want to go” she said and lowered her gaze.
“Sure” he said and stepped back, waiting for his wife to get up and start walking.
He did not know how he was going to do it, but this time he was going to bring his wife back home, forever. He knew he would do that. He knew, she would come back, she just needed time and he was ready to give that time to her. The other way had failed; now, he had to have faith in their love.

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silent whispers

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