But who was she?
The doorbell rang; startled, Jane looked at the door and carelessly dragged her feet to the door nervously, only to find that Joshua was standing with flowers. ‘It's the 10th – I nearly forgot’ she murmured under her breath. Joshua, 29, was tall, lean with dreamy eyes looking horrified at Jane’s condition. Josh and Jane have been together for three years now; they met at a friend’s party and took to each other with immediate warmth. Since then, Josh has been head over heels and Jane, being who she is, worshipped him. Three years of absolute bliss- Josh has never seen Jane in this frantic condition. They met at a time when Jane was graduating from college and Josh was well-settled as an investment banker. He stepped in to find her apartment was dilapidated, ‘What happened in here last night?’ he screamed. ‘Josh, please now isn’t the time’ as she broke down on the floor. ‘Hey hey hey – what is it love?’
‘She’s back, Josh’
‘She’, Jane howling harder than before
‘Baby if you don’t tell me what or who is it that you’re talking, how am I supposed to help you?’ He caressed her back and held her close when she let out a cry.
Josh lifted her tee to see the bruises, he kissed the bruises and looked right into her eyes ‘Who did this?’
‘I am telling you Josh, She was here. They didn't believe me then, they wont believe me now. But she is real, she’s back and this time she isn’t going to leave me.’
‘Who is She? An old friend?, No possibly a friend couldn’t have done this to you. Who she is Janey?’
‘I can’t say. You’ll think I’m bonkers’ getting up from the floor and trailing slowly but steadily towards the bedroom.
‘Just tell me, please.’
‘You’ll think I am crazy, Josh. Let me handle this.’
‘Okay, I’ll let you handle this – But know this, it’s our day today and this is not how I want to see you.’
Groaning in pain, Jane teary-eyed leapt on to Josh and fumbled ‘Oh... J... Josh, I am terribly sorry. I am so sorry dear. So much happened here last night and then she’s back. I... I don’t know what to do.’
‘There now, it’s going to be all right, don’t you worry about it. I’ll take care of it.’
‘Oh you can’t, she’s gonna get mad.’
‘What the hell are you talking about Jane?! What nonsense is this. WHO IS SHE?’ Josh lost his cool and screamed at the top of his lungs.
Jane, now staring at the wall, quietly said ‘She’s the one who ruined my childhood. She’s the one who killed my every dream; she’s the one I have been running from all my life. She is the devil you wish you had never met.’
‘Okay, okay you are freaking me out. Can’t you answer plain and simple? Who is she? What has she got to do with us??’ he got up to leave ‘I need some air.’
‘Not you, Josh – me. She’s got to do with me. It’s always been me.’ Jane lied down and shut her eyes.
Josh stood at the edge of the door, fuming and muttering angrily. ‘She’s lost it. What is she even talking about?’
Incidentally, his eyes fell on a note fallen beside her nightstand.
He had a funny feeling about this. He picked the patch of paper; it read ‘I’m back, Darling.’
Puzzled and confused he opened his mouth to wake her up. ‘How could this be?’ he thought. ‘I know this handwriting.’ He now knew what Jane was worried about. This was uncanny, unreal and absolutely impossible.
It was Jane’s handwriting.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and bears no resemblance to any real person or events.
By Sonali Kapoor
Cover photo credit: pinterest.co.uk