Fri, 24 May, 2024

The Beautiful Scar : Chapter Four 'The Truth Full of Lies'

By Dipesh Poudel

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Subarna was waiting for Basanta outside the school. She could not wait to hear her love was not a heartless killer. When Basanta came out of the school she asked him whether he had killed Smeeta's dad. He replied he had without any hesitation or denial. She was surprised. She was expecting him to deny or hesitate but he bluntly accepted that he had killed her cousin's father. When she asked him why he had done so, Basanta replied, “If you want to know why I killed that man you need to listen to story of my life, from start to where I am now.” Subarna said she will listen to his story. Then they went to the park nearby and sat on the bench at the farthest corner. Basanta started telling his story.

It all started seven years ago. We used to live in a remote village. There weren't ample facilities but we were happy. I used to live with my father and elder sister. My mother died while giving birth to me. My father tried everything to make sure that I and my sister never felt the absence of our mother. We were a happy farming family until that day. That day everything changed.

I still remember that day like yesterday. The sky was clear. Since we had vacation in our school, I and some of my friends went to the river to swim and catch fishes. While we were swimming we heard a sound of explosion coming from our village. We looked towards our village and saw smoke coming up. We ran towards it. When we reached there the village had turned into a graveyard. There were bodies everywhere. I ran towards my house. My father was lying there. I tried many times to wake him up. I heard someone calling my name. It was faint but I could hear it. It was coming from inside my house. I went inside I saw my sister with a knife in her hands. Her clothes were torn, there were wounds everywhere. Her cheeks were red as if someone had slapped her many times. You could easily tell what had happened to her. She just stared at me and said, “Be a good boy, good bye!” and stabbed herself with the knife.

I ran away from my house. I ran to good granny's house. She was an old woman. Her husband died many years ago and she didn't have any children. She used to love all the children in the village like her own. She used to tell us stories and give us sweets. When I reached her house, she was bleeding from her head. I brought a cloth from inside her house and tied it around her head. I asked her what had happened. She said, "Around 25 men in army uniform came to village and started asking about the rebels. We told them that sometimes the rebels used to come to the village but we did not know anything about them. Then they started accusing us of being rebels and started beating people. When others tried to stop them, they started shooting; they burned the houses and cow sheds. They raped young girls and killed them. When the village was ruined, they went back saying this is what happens to those who help the rebels."

That was more than I could take. Those who went far from village had also returned. When they heard what had happened they were as furious as I was. We decided that we would attack that army camp and kill all of them. Everyone gathered whatever weapons were available and started moving towards the camp. When we reached there, they were partying. We went as silently as possible and attacked them. They were thrown off guard but they were trained soldiers so they managed to kill some of us. I killed a man. It was a strange feeling, like I was enjoying it. I saw a shadow behind me. He was a man in uniform with a gun in his hand. I heard a shot; I checked myself if I had been shot but it was him who was shot. The rebels had come to help us. With their help we killed all of them. After that we went back to the village and had a proper funeral for the dead. Then I joined the rebels not because I wanted revenge or something but because I wanted to feel that thrill of killing someone again.

In short time, I became one of the best amongst the rebels. I used to love every moment of it. The thrill of looking into enemies' eyes and seeing fear of death in them was intoxicating. I did not know why but I enjoyed killing. We used to roam from one village to another fighting government forces and saving villages from suffering the fate that our village faced.

One day we were roaming around in the jungle. We used to avoid the main trails and roads so that we don't get caught by the government forces. We heard someone crying in pain. We went towards the sound. We saw a young girl lying on the ground. Her clothes were torn and there were wounds all over her body. We could tell what had happened to her. We asked her who had done so to her. She gave us a name and right after that she snatched gun from one of our comrade and shot herself.

We investigated on the name she gave us. We came to know that she was not his only victim. There were many before her. He was also involved in human trafficking. Since he was rich and had political power no one could touch him. After knowing that, we decided to kill him. He was none other than your cousin's father. That night we went to his house called him down and killed him. His daughter and wife were there to watch him die as I slowly cut his throat with my knife. When I was cutting him I looked at his wife and saw a smile behind those tears as if she was relieved that the demon, who also was her husband, had died.

Few days after we killed that demon, we heard that talk between government and our leaders had ended and they were going for peace process. After that I came here and started working and reading. I got a scholarship in this big school. I still miss that thrill of killing people.

When he was done saying his story, Subarna looked deep into his eyes with her eyes full of tears. She pulled Basanta towards her and hugged him tightly and said, “It’s okay. You don't need to lie to me.”