The Truth of an Eccentric
“I am pregnant’ tilting her head shyly and putting one hand on his cheeks and another on her flat belly Sheila looked into his eyes and whispered.
He was in a fit of rage. Her words “I am Pregnant” made him sleepless, he was slowly turning into a dead man. The words which he deliberately pushed into oblivion with tremendous effort emerged again and so close!! The echo which he thought was thinning suddenly bounced back with full force. He was insane. The change frightened her. When he could take it no more he pulled her forcibly to the nursing home and aborted the baby. She was bewildered and finally succumbed to depression and was under psychiatric treatment for years. But she was brave and forgiving so life went on again smoothly. He went straight for the sterilization. The agony must go. He was calm again.
Her constant nausea and ill health worried him. When doctor smiled and broke the news of her pregnancy he was shocked. The earth reeled beneath his feet. It took him eons to digest the fact. His beloved wife was pregnant again after fifteen years of their marital bliss which threw him off gear. He did not react; simply hushed his rage to silence. He did not want to repeat the history. Last time it was really bad on her. But how? How could it be possible? Her growing belly was pushing him to walls. Stuffing his fingers in his ears did not work…he could still hear the voices with much more clarity. Now there was laughter in the voice which gave him shivers.
Sheila was a great wife. He was told many times that he was lucky to find a wife like her. He too knew it; living with a perfect human being who forgives all your mistakes and misdeeds was indeed something. But after fifteen years of bliss he was burning into a fury from last nine months.
Silence was penetrating deep into his solitude and making him more receptive towards the inner turmoil
If only he could rewind the time and put things straight once again but that was impossible. Slipping into
negative thoughts and helplessness of the situation was getting worse with every passing minute. The tiny
red bulb of the OT was blinking with his heartbeats. He wanted both of them to die in one second and
prayed for Sheila’s life another second with repentance.
He was twenty two, spoilt, rich and resourceful. His father’s connections to ministry made him more daring. In one of his frenzies he picked her while driving through an isolated road. She was asking for lift. He stopped because she was beautiful and a woman and unresisting. He drove towards more isolation and attacked her. She was taken aback. Within minutes their destinies changed forever.
“Please let me go, I am pregnant”
The animal in him did not hear anything. He was savage.
“Leave me for god’s sake”
“Help, help, help…”
Stuffing her mouth with his palm he did not stop.
More shrills…”I am pregnant damn it”
The blood thrashed him to reality. He could see her dying. Hatred and fury in her eyes, she did not need any weapon to kill him. Her slowly diminishing lifeless eyes kept on haunting him …even after all these years. He threw her out and drove madly. He knew he did not leave any clue. He was safe. That’s what he thought until his beloved wife broke the news.
“Congratulations Prashant, she has delivered a perfect healthy girl.” Doc handed him the bundle. He felt the immense burden of that weightless joy. He frantically kept looking at that cherubic face for any sign of his wife’s infidelity but strangely the face pulled his heart towards her. He bent and kissed her. Feeling a newborn child in his hands for the first time gave him so much of excitement. The buzzing in his head did not stop though. He wanted to see his wife and was worried for her. Her pale but happy face churned her heart. If only the child were his!
His mental alertness started spying on her. He was searching for a proof silently but with fervidity. Checking her phone calls, her movements for a year did not give any clue. She was busy with the baby and equally attentive to his needs. There was not even a moment of doubt on her activities; but he knew that the baby was not his!
Vivek was coming after a long time from London to visit them. Prashant was again in turmoil. Sheila was excited. He was a common friend but for Prashant he was his doc who operated upon him. He was the only one who knew about his sterilization. His visit meant disaster. The secret which he was guarding would soon come in open. The buzzing started again. There was no escape now. But still he wanted to try. On pretext of some last minute emergency he left home and sat in the bar and waited for him to go without meeting him. The voices again attacked with full force and now there was a baby’s voice included in that. When he was sure of his departure he returned back in an inhibited state. Sheila opened the door and he saw Vivek sitting there playing with the baby. Surprised to see him he got up and smiled.
“She is a beautiful boney baby, congratulations Prashant” he did not find any wonderment in Vivek’s statement and suddenly truth dawned upon him. With great disbelief he looked at Sheila who was smiling. So this was the truth! Shrills, voices, laughter all attacked him again and this time he could not bear it and jumped out of the window of his tenth floor apartment. At peace at last!!
The truth which Vivek planned to disclose was shunned and silent forever. If only he could tell him earlier that Vivek did not operate upon him at all as he knew his eccentric mind and last episode of Sheila’s abortion.