Monday, August 19, 2013

Last Mistake


She was riding on a bus. She had a cell-phone on her one hand, a purse on the other. Wearing a knee-length skirt, she was sitting beside a window. Wind was directionless, making her hair flow all over her face. If it were any other time, she would try her best to rearrange them. But it seemed that she was not herself that day. She was looking out of the window with rapt attention. She was thinking something.

Why am I doing this?

The street of the suburb was not crowded at this hour. Traffic was fast. So the bus gathered more speed through the following seconds. Wind blew harder, forcing her to close her eyes; there were tears.

It's too late, she told herself.

You can still undo this, she snapped back.

Her ride was now slowing down. My stop is coming, she told herself. Don't get down, someone screamed inside her head, 'you're not happy' is not an excuse to do this.

Slowly she got up from her seat, walked towards the front gate of the bus.

The bus stopped.


Nathan and Tanya were lying in bed. It was just dawning. As Nathan watched, second by second, more sunlight was drenching Tanya¡¦s sleeping body. He looked at her disheveled hair, at her closed eyes and thought, damn¡Kshe is beautiful. He put his hand on her face and started caressing. He played with her hair, her nose, her lips and her throat and finally he stooped and placed his lips on hers. He kissed.'Nathan!!' She spoke sleepily, opening her quiescent eyes and pushing him away in mock anger, 'stop doing that when I'm asleep.'

Nathan looked at her eyes, they were small, narrow. She looked elsewhere. Nathan smiled and came so close to her that he could even see her rheum of her eyes. He tried to kiss her again...


The handsome man she expected was already at the gate, waiting for her. He was wearing a denim blue T-shirt with a matching jeans. He smiled at her as she approached. They looked like an odd couple, the man being about twenty years older than the woman.

Some fifteen seconds later, they entered the small room. There were lots of books on the shelves on the wall and a single bed at the far end. A book lay open on the bed. There was a single chair at the room beside the single table and both of them were stuffed with books. The room bore an obvious air of
bachelordom, thought the girl as she looked around, despite the last minute tiding-up, it was hard to miss the wrinkled bed-sheet, the unarranged books, the stuffed pile of cloths peeping out from under the bed.

'If you plan on sitting', the man broke the silence, 'you're gonna have to use the bed'. He gave an as-you-can-see type of look towards the chair. The lady smiled weakly and made her way towards the bed. The two voices were still shouting their own songs in her head. She was fighting with herself in the inside, but didn't let it be shown on her face. Avoiding the screams as well as she can, she sat on the bed.'What should I get?' the man added, 'Orange juice? Coffee? Vodka?' The girl simply shook her head, refusing quietly. 'All righty, water then', said the man and walked towards her. The girl tried to run away but she couldn't. I came here myself, thought she. But the man didn't touch her. He simply knelt before her and pulled a glass from under the bed-stead. The girl exhaled deeply, she was frightened, and it seemed for a moment that someone was beating a set of drums inside her chest. She tried hard to behave normal, but her heart was beating so loudly that she could not even hear the voices in her head anymore. O he's just pouring water now, she told herself; take it easy; we can always stop this.

Stop what, said the other voice, you haven't done anything yet.

And we're not gonna do anything either.

Why not? We've decided long ago.

It's not right. I don't wanna do it.

Don't you? Then why didn't you move when he was coming towards you? Why didn't you move your legs when he knelt before you? You don't have an answer, do you? Let me tell you the answer. It's because you want to do it as much as I do.

'Something going on with you?' asked the man, handing her the glass of water, 'You look terrible.'

The girl just managed to smile before she sipped on the glass. The man sat on the bed, next to her and slowly, he put his right hand on her right thigh. 'Just relaxed', he whispered, 'everything's gonna be fine'.

The girl's heart seemed to have frozen; she kept drinking as she could not decide what else to do at that moment. The voices in her head were arguing again. Stop him, what the hell are you doing?, said one of them. Don't stop him, let the moment be, said the other. The hand on her leg was moving now. She could feel his warm breathing on her neck. His hands were still moving, they were moving towards the left side. 'We shouldn't be doing this', mumbled the girl while touching the man's lips with her own, trying hard to resist herself...

When they were lying on the bed, spent, an hour and a half later; Tanya opened her eyes with a jerk. She could not remember at the moment where she was and why she was there...but slowly it all came to her. She was frightened again, her chest beat so loudly this time that it seemed unlikely that the person lying next to her would not be able to hear that out loud. She could not dare to look to her side and look at the person sleeping next to her, but she had to. She wished hard so that her memories were from a dream, so that those were not true, so that the person sleeping next to her were him. Praying hard, she looked at her side.

She felt a sudden emptiness on her stomach.

It was not him.

What have I done?


'What haven't I done for you?', Nathan shouted.

The girl remained silent. She had nothing more to add. She was looking at the floor, counting the marbles. She could not bear to look into his eyes. There was something in her throat, something wet. No, it was not her throat; it was more like her eyes. They felt numb. She seemed as if she were feeling nothing. Yet, her mind continued to wander, she could remember the small room, the single bed in the room and on the bed, there were two persons¡Kshe could not think anymore. A blinding light of guilt was drenching her body, her mind, numbing her very soul.

'I'm so sorry Nathan,' was all Tanya managed to say.

Nathan turned around from her. Tanya knew him only too well to understand that he was crying at that moment. She did not want to go to him and take away this last piece of decency from him. She remained where she was, with her own eyes moistening. Don't cry Nathan, she said to him silently, I'm the guilty one. Why are you punishing yourself?

Eight months have passed since that day when Tanya made that mistake. Since the day, she couldn't bear to look into his eyes again. She tore every contact with Mark since that day. It's not that he had not tried to contact her every possible way, but she made no response on her side. Eventually Mark stopped calling, but she just could not be herself. Every day, every hour, every minute seemed to remind her of that day. She could not be happy with even Nathan. Every second with him felt like cheating on him. He loved me too much for this, she told herself. She used to remember the days before that day. They were so happy together. Nathan was so funny, they were so funny together. And the best part was, as she used to remember, when she looked into Nathan's eyes, she could see such respect in his eyes for her: but not anymore. When she looked at his eyes after that day, she felt as if she were covered in mud! At first she thought that the feeling would subside within a few days...apparently they were not going to. Eight months of this torture and at last she had decided to come clean with him.

Slowly, Nathan turned. His eyes were still red. She looked at the floor again after she looked into his eyes for a fraction of a second.

'What did I lack, Tanya?'

Tanya meant to say 'nothing' but words seemed to have failed her. She was drowning in an endless ocean of guilt.

There was a long silence in the room: a long and uncanny one. Then Tanya spoke, her voice wet and trembling, 'I am sorry Nathan, I'm so sorry. But that's all I can say. What's done is done and I can't undo that. If I could, believe me, I would. But I can't. All I can say is, if you give me another chance, if you trust me one more time, I'm never gonna loose it again. Now it's all up to you.'


Tanya was squatting on the farthest corner of the room. She was looking at the little piece of rope in her hand. It was light yet strong, just the way she needed. She made a noose out of it. She checked the knot. It was firm. Slowly, she stood up and found the stool on the other corner of the room.

She could just stand on that stool and do what she had already decided to do with the rope and a life would end. Should she do it? Is it worth it?

You have no choice, she answered herself.

Three days have passed till she had confessed everything to Nathan, though it felt like a year. Every minute since then was a punishment. She could not sleep, could not eat, it was even hard to breath. Nathan had not said much. But the silence from him was killing her. She could not bear to feel guilty anymore. It had to end, thought she.

She stood on the stool with the knotted piece of rope in her hand. She tied the end without the noose on the selected hook on the ceiling and wore the other end around her neck. So you have made a mistake, big deal; it¡¦s no reason to kill yourself, said a voice in her head. But she ignored it; she had made her decision. It's not safe to delay anymore, someone can walk in any moment, said the other voice in her head, one mistake can cost a life.

I still love you Nathan, I'm sorry, whispered the girl.

And with a little kick, she threw the stool on the ground. Suddenly she felt an unusual amount of pain and pressure on her trachea¡K.she clutched the rope with both her hands and tried to unknot it. But she did not have enough strength left; she was choking and moving her legs widely in thin air. She tried to scream but no voice escaped her throat. Then she heard a loud crack in her neck but she was not able to deduce what it meant.

She was dead by then.

Written: 17th March, 2010

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Welcome to my blog 'Obscure Theories'. This is a multilingual blog (Bengali and English) mainly for my creative literary ventures. I am one for believing that only criticism can bring improvement. So it would be great to hear from you if you like something. But it'll be way better to hear what you didn't like. Thanks again and enjoy your stay.