7. 19 P.M.
There were papers strewn all over the floor. Small bits with a neat curly handwriting on them. Reading out things that were totally unconnected at one glance. But then, the big stories always have small parts in it!
She was sitting by the window staring out at the sky. The fading light engulfed her shadow and hid her beautiful face. She sat by the pane for long until the darkness began to suffocate her thoughts. After tossing and turning a dilemma in her mind for the umpteenth time, she decided to toss a coin to arrive at a solution. While she traced her steps in the dark to get her wallet, almost suddenly it seemed like a foolish idea after all. Yet again, for the moment, she left the matter unsolved in her head. She switched on the lights which blinded her and simultaneously brought her back to the present.
Her apartment looked like a meteor had hit the place. Tidying will take too long, she thought. Reluctantly she started gathering the paper all around.
The pub was full of people and he was trying very hard not to step on people’s shoes while making his way to the reserved table. He was scheduled to meet a man at 9 P.M. and he did not like to be late.
It was dimly lit and the music blared so loud that it was an ideal place for lovers to get as close as possible to make conversation. While he waited for the man his mind drifted back to the time when he was dancing here with the woman he loved (or he thought he loved!) It was like a bitter sweet symphony to go back to that time. He shook himself back to the present. All he could keep his mind was on the work he had. No time for feelings at such a time, he told himself.
He saw the man making his way through the crowd while ogling at a very pretty lady at the table behind him. He had noticed her too. But then, this was time for work!
Once the room was completely clean, Ahneta decided to take a shower. Showers are ideal places to think, she had always maintained.
The room was an extension of the person she was. The most colourful and stark paintings adorned the white walls of her living room. Rows and rows of books sat on shelves which were made of fine rosewood. Simple but elegant furniture smartly sat all across her apartment. And the kitchen was so inviting that once you entered it you had to cook just to use the cutlery and knives. It meant everything to her. She wanted it to be this way in her memory always.
In the shower she turned the question in her mind over and over. Gun or Knife? She asked herself. Gun or Knife.
He was walking down the road thinking about how that man would execute the task he had just given him. Lost in deep thought and he did not realize that he had arrived home walking.
Sylvan switched opened the door of his apartment and was greeted by a pile of letters on the floor. The place was small and unkempt. It could do with a woman’s touch, he thought and he quickly removed the thought from his mind. He sat on the couch and out of the window he could see a light on in the apartment opposite his.
He had to leave this place as soon as possible. Once the job is done I will be able to go, he thought. He lit a cigarette wondering how long it would take for dawn to arrive.
Ahneta started to get dressed. Just so that anyone should notice she dressed like she was going to a party. She left her wavy hair open to hide her bare back. A dash of gloss and kohl to enhance her eyes. That was all. She did not have to make much effort to look beautiful. She already was!
Gun or knife? She tossed it in her mind again. Which one would be more painful? She decided on gun. She could do with a little less pain for the body. One shot was all it would take. Besides, using a knife would invite resistance which she did not want. Fast and easy, she thought. She walked to her cupboard, made of teakwood, and from the hidden drawer she took out a letter and the gun.
She walked to the living room. Picturing it in her mind she revised the entire plan. She looked out of her window. A light was on in the apartment opposite hers.
Sylvan was unable to put his mind to rest. It was buzzing with thoughts and he was anxious of the outcome. He paced up and down. Any moment the man should do it, he thought! He kept glancing at the window opposite his. The light was still on.
He could not keep himself calm. He needed the thing to work. Amidst all of it, he found himself drifting
back to the woman he loved. It was important that he finished his work, he told himself. After all, love was not everything!
It was nearing midnight. Just some more time before the work would be done and then he could take care of other matters, he told himself. There was a knock on his door. He went to open it and at once the sound of a gun shot deafened his ears.
Ahneta had the gun clutched in her right hand. Sylvan was standing near her and the police was with him. They had broken open the door when no one answered the bell.
She lay there in a pool of blood. Her head was blown apart. Her beautiful face was grotesque now and even the expensive gown she wore could not make her look any better. The damage was beyond repair.
The police started searching the place and Sylvan asked if he could leave. They said he could but he would be called for questioning in the morning, he was told. Now that my job is done I will have a better frame of mind, he wished.
The Police found a letter taped to Ahneta’s bedroom cupboard.
Back in his apartment he was trying to keep Ahneta’s body out of his mind. The man had succeeded. He had recovered all of Sylvan’s important files that were lost due to a hard disk crash the previous evening.
Sylvan needed the files for his important presentation on Friday morning. His promotion depended on it. He wanted the promotion badly. He wanted a new life and a new status.
The promotion would give him all of that, he believed.
It would help him overcome the hurt his wife, Diana, had caused him. He loved her dearly and did all he could to keep her happy. Until one day he found out that she was sleeping with the one of his senior colleagues.
Finding Ahneta dead in such a manner was the last thing he wanted at this hour. He prayed he could pull off the presentation properly and tried to sleep.
The note taped to Ahneta’s bedroom said:
I know I messed up the records. I did it intentionally. I needed money so I embezzled it from the company’s account. I needed to make this house, not only for me but for us.
But I realised you had other plans when you proposed Katie at the office party last week. I will not live with the pain anymore. I lived here trying to be the woman you would love and I die here the same way too. This house in ours in my memory and will always be…
I love you Marcus.
Forever and ever…
P.S. Dedicated to a friend who wanted me to write fiction.