Will you take my hand
(for Rhensis’ booksie lifetime contest, 2nd round)
She sat on the edge of the deserted highway. She clutched her bent knees with both her hands and buried her head in the groove the integration of her knees afforded. The highway is wide but not her peace of mind. She felt her equanimity having grown very narrow, or even vanished. To both the sides of the highway lay the forests. The body of the forests is clad by thick green leaves while her body is covered by a simple gown that ran up to her knees. Her brown hair is unkempt. A little volume of tears trickled down her visage drenching her black gown to a negligible extent.
She still remembered the scene. Shuffling through the memory bags of her brain, she brought to surface a memory that kept on haunting her for over a week. Though it has been replayed over and over, it is not worn out; it still was as fresh as it was in the inception like a properly lubricated machine.
All the ears received a frequency which is laden with a simple ‘I do.’ Their ears sent the message to their brain for comprehension and the reflex action would be from eyes. All the heads inquiringly saw the man who had let his voice fill the church. The priest looked puzzled at the man who is approaching them – the priest, and the would-be-couples. She saw him make his way into the heavily packed aisle. She had known him. She was acquainted to him just because of sympathy – sympathizing his desperation. Yes, he’s a lunatic and had no one. So she always stayed by his side. He spoke at all the times sanely but at times he’ll become insane. He refused to go to lunatic asylum. He just remained on streets like a street dog – have no job, begged for his food and was insouciant. She used to meet him daily and spend a few hours with him at the park.
He’s as worse as a rusty iron, and while he made his way towards them, the entire amass let him his way out of repugnance. Repugnance to his rumpled features.
He said, ‘I do have an objection. Because I love her.’ The moment his words ceased to nothing, awkward babels filled the hall. The priest attempted to speak but before could he utter a word, the ragged man caught her arm so fiercely and lugged her out of the door that stood to their right. (not the entrance door; another additional door) The congregation was stirred; and a few “hot-bloods” attempted to stop his immoral act; they received violent counter attack from the man and everyone gave in one by one. Despite the increasing number of men who tried to stop him, his brutal strength kept his way clear. Her parents, relatives, friends and simple everyone screamed, begged, cried, all but in vain. Like a man deaf, he dragged her out and shoved her into his car. Her frail strength failed her. She couldn’t remember anything. She probably would have become unconscious. When she opened her eyes all she saw was this – a thick forest, an isolated plastic tent, the injured car and no human creature. She slowly walked and found this highway.
Her thoughts were shaken by a masculine voice that echoed ‘Oh you’re here! C’mon dear, breakfast.’
Ever since her discovery of this highway, she will always come and sit here looking for any vehicle that may come to her rescue. And it is eerie that not a single vehicle had come the whole week. She hated him. She refused to eat the first day because of her disliking him. But to survive, she started eating from the second day onwards the raw meat he brought. All the whole week he never attempted to even touch her. He behaved like a gentleman and not as a madman. He kept on saying that he loved her more than his own soul and said that once she would nod her head he would marry her and then only would he touch her.
She wanted to get away from him because he’s just another lunatic. And she never nodded. She practically never spoke to him after the abduction, save for her screams and hate words. She even started to admire his love as everyday passed. It is only admiration; she could never love him.
She made no reply and followed his lead. She would have taken three steps when she heard it. Oh! The siren! She turned about and ran towards the middle of the road and shrieked ‘Help! Help!' There were at least five police vehicles and the posse arrested him – his protest leading to nothing. The police hand-cuffed him and pushed him into one of the vehicle. She was rescued.
Four days later.
She was the only daughter of an opulent businessman. Her fiancée is none but his dad’s personal assistant. After she was rescued, her parents had dashed off to a distant trip – a trip to their neighbouring state for business purposes. And the would-be-husband was asked to stay by her side. He stayed in their home for the past four days. In these four days, he would have tried at the least five times to have sex with her. She never allowed it to happen. She always believed in sex after marriage only.
She escaped every time from his force saying so; he kept on expressing his dubiety over her virginity. Though she made it clear that no carnal contact has been made throughout the whole week with the lunatic, he would not agree. He forced her to have physical relationship with him yet at the same time speaking ill of her. She began to quite hate him. But at the same time, she could never rise against her parents’ wishes. What a cursed life!
Sometime after midnight. (Start of the fifth day.)
She felt the angel of sleep drifting away from her. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t sleep. She went astir in her white night gown out of her bedroom. Standing by the door she considered the fact that he was given a separate bedroom. She set out a sigh of relief. All his tries were only during day time. Even in daytime! Thanks goodness. Should he have to sleep in the same bedroom, things would be very different.
She trekked her way in the corridor aimlessly. She heard a voice. Getting close to it, she identified the vocal cords to which the voice belonged to. Her fiancée is speaking in phone. She listened to it intently pressing her ears against the wooden bedroom door. She was heart-broken listening to his words. She felt her eyes getting welled by tears. She ran back to her bedroom and hurled herself onto the bed.
His primary focus was money and secondary was lust. Love didn’t even become his tertiary focus. No, he never gave a speck of thought to it. Gripping the pillow, she cried, cried and cried. After having cried for a few minutes, she felt a lump form in her throat because of the drying of the whole saliva. She didn’t care and kept on crying. Her mind warned her that he’s such a dangerous one who would even dare to kill her parents to enjoy the whole. He would never hesitate. She considered the possibilities of stopping the marriage and calculated the probabilities that her parents would believe her – because they always valued this P.A. guy very highly. She felt herself now more stranded than she was before four days.
She decided to call her parents and the very next second dropped the idea. They will never lend her an ear. Sitting in the edge of the bed, she pondered awhile. She saw a shadow fall in the floor in front of her. Shifting her vision to the open door, she saw the figure that blocked the light from the corridor lamp and created this shadow. For a second she couldn’t believe her own eyes.
Million questions swarmed in her mind the very second – how did he escape? How did he find her room? How did he infiltrate the watchman? Were the prison guards ineffective etc,. He slowly inched towards her with the same smile glued to his lips – similar to that of a lost child who would extrude a smile seeing its mother again on reunion. He reduced his normally high-pitched coarse voice to a soothing whisper. He said, ‘I love you. I will, till my death.’
She stood up and transfixed her gaze into his pure eyes. Some inner voice told her that love is blind. It knows no ethics. It knows no skin. It sees no financial status. It asks for no ethnicity. It considers no religion.
Brushing aside all her thoughts, she looked sternly and clearing her throat, she extruded her right hand. Maintaining her hand in mid-air par to his eyes, she asked, ‘Would you take me home?’ following his looks that is partly filled with joy and partly with confusion, she added, ‘I realised what true love is. I love you now. Your love is real and pure. Let me nod my head.’ Saying so, she nodded her head and finally said, ‘Will you take my hand.’