Tue, 25 Jun, 2024

Lost Love

By Ashish Khanal

I don’t know why my hands still tremble while writing this. Over the years, I convinced myself that I have to forget, I have to explore what there is to but even the slightest remembrance of it brings all the memories back fresh like all those things happened just yesterday.

It all happened that night, a cold night in November 1995. It was almost 3 am when I put on my coat and left my apartment. I roamed around the city in the cold darkness for a while until I finally reached her workplace.

Her name was Elena. She worked for a newspaper publication where she had to stay all night to make sure that there were no errors. I had known her for the last two years. We used to work at the same place. Even though we barely talked, I was bewitchingly attracted to her every time I saw her. It always felt strange that I was attracted to her subconsciously; the feeling was even alien sometimes. I couldn’t control my thoughts. I never figured out the reason, though. But I didn’t care, because I felt happy being around her. It went like that for a long time until she got married and moved away to the other part of the city with her husband.

The moment she left that workplace, I began to feel numb. As the days passed, I got sicker and sicker. I had to be near her. Was I a pervert? I don’t know. I never dreamed of making love to her or ever wanted to touch her. I couldn’t even dare to tell her how beautiful she was. I wonder what would have happened if I had spoken to her. Would she have liked me? Would we be together? I don’t have an answer to those either, but this was my routine now anyway. I worked during the day and went out to see her at night, have a drink afterwards and come back to my apartment. That’s one advantage of not having a family you know, you don’t need to look after anyone, or be “responsible” as the society puts it.

That night of November, it was my birthday. As usual, I watched her work for a while and went to a bar. I drank a little and some more because I wanted to celebrate my birthday. When I came out of the bar, it was already 5, but the city was still asleep, still waiting for the sun to come up and take it in its warm embrace. Just as I came out of the bar, I saw two figures coming towards me. I looked at them standing there frozen. No, I wasn’t scared, I stood there because they looked familiar. When I finally made out their faces, my happiness peaked to its limit. It was Elena and her husband, she must have been returning home from her work and her husband must have come to pick her up.

Not having anything else in my mind, I followed them unconsciously. They were talking about deciding a name for the baby, waiting to be born. She was pregnant. I felt happy for her and miserable for me at the same time. I followed them for 10 minutes until they finally reached their home. As her presence faded, I started walking back to my apartment.

Just as I had walked some steps, I heard loud screams and shouting coming from their home. I quickly ran towards the house. I tried to open the main door but it was locked from inside. So, I tried to break it but couldn’t. I ran around to check the back door, and it was open. I went inside hurriedly. As I made my way through the living room, I saw drops of blood everywhere. Behind the sofa, there laid two bodies.

It was theirs. I stood there for a while not being sure if it was a nightmare or reality. I went near Elena, felt her heartbeat, but she was already cold. I turned around and looked at her husband, he was still alive. But he was breathing his last. As he gasped his last breath, he told me something. I could only figure out two words, “save her”. Tears rushed to my eyes, I couldn’t breathe, and sitting there I felt as if I had died with her. My hands all covered in blood, I just sat there, totally unconscious.

As the neighbors came in, all they could see was two dead people and a man sitting there with his hands covered in blood. “You animal!” an old woman screamed. “What have you done?” Everybody started shouting and calling me a murderer. But I couldn’t speak, I tried to but I couldn’t. I just sat there, paralyzed.

I started hearing police sirens. They rushed inside, dragged me out of the house and took me away. I didn’t stop them nor did I say anything. While I was in prison, they told me that my fingerprints were all over the house. It was no doubt that I had killed them, but they couldn’t find the murder weapon or the valuable things that were missing from the house. They tried to get answers from me which I didn’t know. Sometimes they tortured me. I didn’t feel anything.