This is the place. Right here, on this bridge, it happened. Seven years ago. Yet it seems like yesterday. And sometimes, too unbelievable to be true. What if he’s standing right behind me, waiting to grab me like he always did and whisper, ‘I’ll never let you go’?
Even the mere thought of it sends a shiver, foundering and pricking, down my spine. I shudder and turn back.
That night was silent. A bit too silent. It was not a night of nightingales. Neither the one when the full moon invites love, desire and longing. It was the night of rising demons. The ones which grow within you without your knowledge. And then slowly lure you into a space where love and hate become one, prompting you to do something which neither love nor hate would justify later.
No – I laugh and console myself – he can’t be back. It’s been more than seven years now. A dead person he is, that’s all. I touch the crumbled wall of the railing. It’s still not been mended. Discreetly, I lean over a little and look down at the water. Inky black. And quiescent. Just like the night. Strangely, there’s even no hint of moonlight on it. I look up. The sky looks ominous, clouds billowing round the moon. I reckon it’s time to head home. I turn around. And then stop. Did I just spot a silhouette a little far into the dark?
I had to get rid of him. The very love that had drawn me towards him all those years back, started to stifle me. With time I realized it was getting serious. Not for me. For him. He knew I had a family. A husband. A kid. Yet his expectations and hope spiralled up with every passing day. They reached a juncture from where the path led to only one destination – hell. Either I could choose it for myself or…
I chose it for him. To everybody else, it was an accident caused by his car brake failure. Only I know how much hate and love it took me to get it done. A hell lot of both! But…
I take a step back, then two. The shadow stays put. With every step that I take, I remember the night I killed him. Our affair was a secret. Nobody noticed me lurking in the darkness, waiting for the police to fish his carcass out of the lake. But all they found was his empty car.
Finally after the space of seven years, they declared him dead. I heaved a sigh of relief. Nonetheless this silhouette reminds me of him. Why?
I turn around and start running. But a voice, hoarse and shrewd, calls me back. ‘Run all you want…I’ll never let you go.’
Written by Chirasree Bose