It was drizzling outside when the doorbell rang. Keeping aside my thoughts that had been keeping me worried about his late arrival, I pulled on my night gown and hurried to open the door with a smile on my face. I was expecting to see him standing wet in his clothes with an apologetic look on his face similar to a five-year old boy who had been caught stealing a candy from the refrigerator. To my surprise, instead of his tired yet bright face, I was greeted with a wry smile from a middle-aged man standing in a white uniform smeared with the dirt from the muddy lanes. I gazed at him with a lot of confusion on my face, I think, because, he immediately introduced himself as Inspector Saha serving the Kolkata Police. The shining stars fastened to his shoulder justified the air of arrogance with which he spoke.
”You’re required to come with us to the police station, young lady,”he said. ”You’re husband is waiting for you there.”
It took me a few seconds to let his words seep into my system. Just when I had realised that this was an emergency, I excused myself from the inspector, rushed to our bedroom that my husband and I had so beautifully decorated right since we got married, threw open my nightgown, pulled on a pair jeans and a shirt, took my debit card and whatever cash was kept in the locker, and, then, locked the main door to accompany Inspector Saha to where my husband was waiting for me.
While sitting in the red and white jeep, a thousand negative thoughts flew across my mind. Had he forgotten the way home? Had he lost his cellphone? Had he been drinking and driving? Did he hit someone while driving? Did he break the traffic signal?
It was still drizzling when we walked into the police station. The clock struck midnight making my nervousness and worry rise to their peaks. I craned my neck in every possible direction hoping to see his saddened face. Instead, all I could see was the dirty look of policemen feasting on my body from my bosom to my torso waiting for the opportunity to satisfy their lust. Feeling scared and disgusted, I tried to concentrate on the patterns of the floor instead.
Inspector Saha took me to his cabin. He took out a zipper pouch from the drawer on the left side of his table and handed it to me. I grabbed hold of the transparent bag. Just one look at it made me assured that these were his belongings. The cellphone’s personalised back-cover showed the ring which he had slid into my finger four years ago. The keychain was the first gift that I had given him on our first meeting. The pen was the one which I had given him on our first date. The contents were all so familiar that they brought a smile to my face, but, the thought that they were at this unusual place scared me to death.
Before I could ask anything, Inspector Saha handed me a photograph and asked, ”Do you know him? We found him slaughtered by the grave in the afternoon. It took us a while to trace his whereabouts.”
”No,”I muttered in a quivering voice. ”NO!” I shouted! ”It can’t be! He can’t go away leaving me alone.”
My hysterical shout brought the police station down. The next thing I knew that I was running out of the police station as fast as my shivering legs could take me. I bumped into a table on my way and caused the table-clock to topple over the table. The front glass shattered into a hundred pieces and the time stopped moving ahead. It was then that those policemen chased after me, but, I had no time to look back to run away from them. All I knew then was that I had to run to my husband, I had to reach him as soon as possible to run into his arms and to burst into inconsolable tears.
I was running at full pace towards the road where he had been found slaughtered in the afternoon when a sudden blow broke my bones like the front glass of the clock. The warm blood gushed out from my body shooting a terrible pain up in every part of my body. Before I could even realize what had just taken place, my eyelashes met and he opened the door with a broad smile on his face.
”Welcome home, my Angel,” he beamed with his arms wide open. I dropped my bag down on the floor and ran towards him. His sturdy arms pulled me close to his chest and let me melt into his embrace before our lips met forever.
The broken clock stood still, and, my eyelashes met forever.
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