After completing graduation in 5 years taking enough time for studies he became commerce graduate. What was the reason for this additional time when his colleagues were doing job since 2 years and earning good. James was different; he never had interest in any hard work. He pretended to be smart but always was a looser. James tried to lure a lecturer who was to monitor in semester examinations and was suspended from university for the same. He even tried to cheat but in vain, atlas he got his degree of graduation.
FATE never leaves you alone. James was also a victim of it. He searched for job but no organization was willing to hire him, either his poor academic record was questionable or his attitude was a hurdle. Summer was at peak; his mind was confused thinking something. No family background was always a suspicious point for employers to hire him as part-time. Days went by and he began thinking of a shortcut. Shortcut to make his life easier and to become a rich man. He never knew where that shortcut will lead him towards heaven or hell.
Always his mind would calculate about spending millions which he feels he will get someday. After listening to the polite NO from the lady HR he came out of the office and was thorough for some lonely place where he could spill his frustration out. A place where he could blame the world for his bad luck. He followed the alleyway and soon reached the non-traffic path where no human was visible. He said that GOD is not doing fair; he deserves lot better than the current life. Suddenly he heard the noise, noise of the old man with a very low voice. James complete attention was towards that old man's voice. He moved 2-3 steps ahead and hides himself behind the bush and sat there listening to the chant of old man.
To his surprise that old man was doing summon up of his entire lives wealth. He was counting about a million dollars to be precise 87,055USD and few cents. He was saying that in 53 years of his life he earned that much and he is thankful to GOD for the blessings. James was shocked; he was baffled what to do? Should he convene that old man or continue listening. Strange criminal feelings aroused in James for the first time, he carefully with intend to commit offense observed entire area yet again and when he felt there was none apart from him and that old man he came in front with dominating and brawny voice asking him from where did he got that much cash. Did you loot bank James asked. Old man replied in trembling voice no no!! But the opportunity was with James and he thought this is the shortcut, end one life and make self life.
Next day in news paper, read an article stating unknown dead body found near the bushes with head crushed by a heavy stone. James was in New York by then after travelling by Air for first time flight from Texas to New York, after making an evil-judgment of Poor old man.
James got a new family name 'Butler' and was now referred as Mr. Butler by his neighbors where it was told that his family members died in Air plane crash in Texas on December 19, 2011. Mr. Butler was a very reserved person now having own drug store, near to Presbyterian Hospital. Mr. Butler used to visit the Indian club on weekends and by 3:00 am he would return full drunk, singing " GOD is nothing HUMANS are everything" in loud voice.
Mr. Butler now was a very rich man, being a commerce graduate he knew how to deal with accounts business and employ his study in business to become more successful person. Only thing he was irritated was of any OLD MAN. He could not stand near old man nor did he have courage to speak with any old man. Moreover, he hanged a board saying 'Beyond 50 Not allowed' which sound absurd but the residents were used to it and all old men from society avoided using his drug store.
One fine sunny day a lady stopped by at his store and inquired about the nearest inn where she can stay for few days. Mr. Butler was almost deaf, he was listening nothing nor could he say anything. The beauty of the lady and virtuousness was the reason for Mr. Butler to be ROCK for a moment. Lady continued and said that she was from Maryland and was here in New York for some business purpose to meet his attorney.
Mr. Butler was now conscious and very politely as usual, offered his services by saying that she could stay in his house as there is no one in his family apart from his maid. Lady first hesitated however, the reverential invitation was not to be declined and she agreed. She was really very cute and had very soft heart, could not decline anything if offered respectfully. She said to Mr. Butler that her name is Candella Fernandez. Mr. Butler also introduced himself as a businessman and owner of a drug store. It was lunch time by then Butler and Candella had a brief lunch with lots of words exchanged on the table.
Mr. Butler's body was well maintained and in good shape as he always believed that exercise is must for human beings to be fit and look handsome. He felt the day had come; he was really impressed and was in infatuation with Miss Candella. During his first lunch with her he came to know that she had much in inheritance and was the only heir alive for claiming all assets, also she mentioned that she is still single. Mr. Butler thoughts now, were travelling miles. He could see himself married with that young lady and settled in Mary Land, with Candella and her property. The deal was too good for Mr. Butler love and money both was on same slab. GOD favored Mr. Butler and within 2 weeks time Miss Candella Fernandez was Mrs. Candella Butler. Everything went as planned and Mr. Butler now was happy in Mary land with his wife and chattels.
One evening the couple were having snacks and discussing about their family happenings. Candella said that she was in London, graduating from Middlesex University when the car accident took her family away no one survived in that accident and as per the will of her father, her brother would be heir but fate was diverse as her brother was also in that deadly car. Butler also shared his story by stating that he was from a very wealthy family and something similar happened with his family when they were travelling on Air. Plane crash took his family away. No matter it was fake but Butler's facial expression was such that even chameleon would feel shy.
Days passed by and both were living peacefully and happily when out of the blue sheriff visited their residence. Call it coincidence or some secret unrevealed both husband and wife were startled and started sweating. Sheriff however, was on his routine troll when his car broke down and he was about to ask for some help from Mr. Butler. Sheriff studied their expressions pretty well as he was used to and asked about them briefly and left the place when his car was fixed.
It was raining heavily outside couple had a very delicious dinner but the visit of sheriff have an effect on their frame of mind. James was now very quiet and confused; his expressions can be read as open book. Candella however, was unaffected discussing about all general things with James as usual. She was unaware of the reason for change in James attitude and was also not interested in knowing it.
Next morning while having breakfast James said to Candella, I need to visit Texas to meet one of his friends and I will be there for a week. Candella paused for a moment and asked who the friend is and all of a sudden what is the reason for this unplanned visit? James had an answer ready for this query and retorted very cunningly, and Mr. James was now flying to Texas.
Sheriff visited Mr. James residence again. He came to know that James went to Texas to meet his childhood friend Mr. John Carter. Sheriff was interested to know much about James and questioned Candella for almost 1 hour. Sheriff left the place and headed towards New York. Candella was out of the world, she was happy to be married and live a peaceful life.
She thanked GOD for all the blessings she had James was worried; about something which he couldn't figure it out yet. He was now desperate to erase all his past prior to marriage. Future can't be predicted nor can the past be changed. Where James went no one knew, he said to his wife that he is leaving for Texas. However, he did not go instead he went nowhere; he was in Maryland in hotel where he booked a room in the name of Mr. John Carter. He used the same name of his childhood friend which he mentioned to his wife.Sheriff was curious to know about James past, this curiosity lead him to visit Texas as well. James in the mean time had motive to double cross the sheriff and so he went to Municipal office and enquired about that Sheriff and from there, he came to know that he went to New York. James had clear picture now, what the matter is and his worry became now a threat for his life. He followed sheriff and headed towards New York.
In the mean time Candella, was in market along with her maid and was buying Vegetable when she saw a Man coming out of Municipal office, very tensed and taking big steps and heading towards the bus station. That man was very similar to James, and in fact she saw him but could not believe. She thought that it was just a rare case similarity and forgot.
James was in New York and looked for the sheriff, he asked his earlier neighbor that did any sheriff came here asking about him, and to his astonishment the answer was YES. He was now out of mind, naive of the fact that sheriff was now in Texas. James returned to Mary land with dull face, tensed mind and panic heart.
Candella was glad to see her husband back. It was first time when couple got separated after marriage. She hugged him, leaned onto the arms of James and was very happy, as if meeting him after a decade. However, James was totally broken but had confidence that the act which he did with OLD man will be hidden as there was no evidence of his First Crime.
Candella asked many questions about John and James replied to each question very calmly and nothing new to discuss he went to bed and felt asleep. James conscious was still awake, he could see a beggar coming in his way and asking for few pennies. He asked the beggar very gently how much is he in need of , till this time the beggar did not had eye contact with him but to his surprise and shock beggar looked in James eyes and said in trembling voice … I need only 87,055USD James… he lost his conscious and with a jolt he woke up . What a terrible dream he had, reminding of his acerbic past.
Next day Candella was reading the New York Times and read the news to James informing him that last night an old man was stabbed to death just for sake of few dollars. James was so tensed and took the newspaper from Candella and started reading the whole article with keen interest and sweat on his forehead can be seen.
The sound of siren from Sheriff's patrolling car also frightened James; he was not in a position to share his past with anyone. Not even with Candella. He had now zero self-confidence, he was planning to reveal the truth to everybody and self-surrender. Everything looked pale to James. The ice water was not cold for him nor did the fresh air soothe him. Candella was also just a mere room partner for him. He realized the guilt for the crime he did. To add more he did not know much about the old man, who had made James rich man. Whether he had family, or a single man. Did he ruin someone else's life?
CHAPTER - IV
James sat on a chair head held by hands facing downwards. He felt as if getting drowned in ocean with all the aid volunteers nearby but none looked interested to save him. Can he imagine life without a wife, it was really a very peaceful married life for him last 5 months went so fast he could not believe, in contrast to this fact the last week was like a century for him. Each day seemed ages and the guilt feeling was like cancer in him. God is the only true Judge for all. He was determined to disclose what he did and wanted a peaceful mind, at least he could have a sigh of relief.
Candella was smiling next morning, James still lying on the bed was unaware of the news which Candella knew. James was still having the guilt factor within himself , he had read the law books last night before going to sleep to know , what sentence it would be if a person admits crime. However, GOD had a different ground for him to perform. James asked Candella what's the reason for the smile, maid was in the room cleaning the dust from the window curtains. Maid left the room with fast steps towards the door with a smile on her face, James was still naive what might be the reason.
Candella took a deep breath and said, look now there will be third inheritor in our family you are going to become DAD!! James was about to confess about the act which he did but the flood which was caused by this Good news washed away the Will to confess , James started feeling a bit more responsible and once again he was deep into thoughts , driving miles ahead of time.
James was a changed man now, very responsible and taking care of his lovely wife who is about to be a mother within few months. The enthusiasm and anxiety is driving James crazy. He checks the calendar 4-5 times in a day, the expected dates said by doctor is in November, and it's mid of August now. James arranged 1 dedicated maid to look after her. Candella was delighted with joy of experiencing Motherhood.
James was in the market to buy some fruits for his wife, he noticed that someone is keeping an eye on him and to his surprise he was none other than the sheriff who visited his home 2 months ago. This time he was in civil dress and stared at him with a very different smile identical to hunter's smile on seeing its victim. James was not keen to divert his attention further and moved ahead.
Candella woke up next morning with a loud scream and hold James hand and started crying "Give My baby... OLD MAN.!!!! " .. James was frightened and also soothing Candella. He asked her to calm down, it was just a dream he said. She then realizing that it was a dream stopped crying and started narrating the strange dream she saw. She said that she had a baby and James went out in the market for some work when an Old Man with fresh wound on his FACE knocked the door and asking for help from Candella. She felt pity for him and was about to give some food and money when that old man suddenly pushed her onto the floor and took the baby out of Cradle and started running away. James was listening to this very keenly and his face was full of fear, fear of inhuman character which is haunting him and his wife even in dreams.
James was in a dilemma, neither he could not share his feelings nor he was able to forget the past. It was as if the OLD MAN is Screaming and asking for help, and he is not responding. Candella saw her husband deep in thoughts standing by the wall fingers on his forehead, she never saw James in such deep silence and at last she asked "James is something wrong with you? Are there any issues? "He replied "hey no ... nothing I was just…" He said nothing then took his coat and left the house with fast steps.
Now the maids in house were also silent, Candella was worried about his husband's behavior. Last night James returned by half past 12 and it was first time in eight months of marriage that he ever came by that time. James had to deal with two major things one was the conscience and the other was the Sheriff who was constantly following James in civil dress and thinking that James is unaware of his act.
James said to himself, I can deal with the fact that I did wrong and I will at some time share this with Candella when she can withstand the fact about his past deed. At present what was haunting him was the chase by that Sheriff. James did background check of that Sheriff and came to know that his name is Mr. G. K. Anthony and about him was fame, that he used to solve the cases which are clueless without any witness and he takes YEARS to solve the cases with all the evidence and proofs.
Mr. Anthony's character was very normal no unusual or extraordinary. His colleagues informed that neither he smoked nor he drinks. He said he had Control on his desires which was seen and observed by all. He was aged in mid 40's with good, well maintained brawny body figure which is enough to handle more than couple men at a time.
Everything about him was normal for James which was not a great concern for him until he came to know two facts which made him feel otherwise. First, the fact that Mr. Anthony's earlier assignment was in TEXAS, for 5 years and to add on more misery the second truth was more alarming that HE is very humble and soft for the beggars, OLD men and women without home. Mr. Anthony was really a genuine intellectual with humanly feelings for all rich and poor. Fear gripped James mind again. James was now more conscious about Anthony's behavior and fact that he was always followed by him. He did not have courage to move on and have a friendly discourse with him. Again GOD has something else for James.
James when returned home saw Candella speaking with someone and laughing loudly on the telephone and within few seconds listening to the chat, James figured it out that it was her old childhood friend who returned after 5 years back to Maryland. Without the consent of James, She invited her friend on Dinner on Saturday. When the call ended, Candella with a very lovely smile on her face Hugged James and said "You can't imagine how much happy I am!!!! My friend Maria is back." James acknowledged her and wished her and said so at last you got someone to complain about me.
Candella was still in the valley of happiness. She started narrating the whole child hood naughtiness which she and Maria did. James listened to it carefully with enjoying the fact that because of Maria there is breeze of happiness in his home again and his attention is diverted from Anthony and the OLD MAN.
James never had controlled on his thoughts like others. In his leisure time he took out Novel which Candella had bought from market last month to read in her free time. James read first few pages and as the story forwarded he was too anxious and He was in dilemma about the content of the story. He closed the novel and then saw the title of the novel and it was written as FIRST CRIME.
It was just a story, there was no fact involved but he was frightened as if the story was written on him. GOD knows the truth he said and started reading the newspaper for a while. James tried his best to divert his mind from Anthony and his past but all was in vain. There was something special waiting for him on Saturday evening which GOD has planned for him. Tonight James and Candella will be Host for Maria and her Husband.
Everything was arranged and as expected Maria knocked the door and Candella who is carrying baby is sitting comfortably on her special chair with much support shouts at her maid. "Go and open the door quickly, She is here Maria is here please go fast." Maid went as fast as she could and greeted Maria graciously.
James was also interested to see Maria as he heard much about her in last 3 days from her wife, he introduced himself and asked "where is your husband??" Maria replied he is outside answering call from his boss. Hosts were overjoyed with visit of Maria and she was also equally delighted to see her childhood friend settled with handsome businessman and now expecting a baby.
The door was kept open as Maria's husband was to enter and so he did. The gentleman had coat on his body till the Knees and a big hat. He took his steps too fast and in no time he was standing near Candella's unique chair and said "Good Evening beautiful lady, if I am not wrong you are Candella and the person who is sitting on that chair (pointing towards James) is your husband James?" Candella met Maria's husband earlier as well, when he came to inquire about James. But since Maria was around she did not discussed about her first meeting.
James heard his name and saw this gentleman from backside and understood that this man is Maria's husband. Before, James could leave his chair and come towards him, Maria intervened and said "meet my husband Mr. George Kelvin Anthony... you can call him G.K." Candella greeted her and called James and introduced him with G.K. James greeted him with smile. Sometimes you meet strangers whom you are familiar with. James and Candella were experiencing very awkward moments. While having the dinner Maria said to her husband many times, stop being a Cop always leave office work outside. However, James was aware why G.K. was asking too many questions with Candella about how they met and got married.
Maria was really a jovial lady with a good sense of humor. She was a true friend of Candella even though both missed out to attend the marriage of each. Friendship is never judged by being together always, it is worth only if you can understand each other perfectly.
G.K. saw his watch frequently, seems he was not interested to stay long in James House. Was he pretending to be uncomfortable? Or he meant that in real. Maria and Candella was anyhow sharing their memories and sometimes whispering some very important personal matters and laughing their Heart out.
James and G.K. sat around the table with drinks in their hand waiting for each other to start the conversation. Taking initiative is not always fruitful, if you are ready to take Risk to achieve Success then go ahead and take first step. James said to himself "what I should ask him? What I can say to him? Shall I say that I am aware that you follow me?"
On the other side G.K. had some totally different perspective on which he was analyzing James character in his mind. He has only one question in his mind "Why James is uncomfortable whenever I speak about his past?" he was sure that there is some Grey area in James past which is still hidden from him and was determined to reveal the truth.
It was around half past 10 and G.K. said to Maria that it's time to leave and so they conveyed the greetings again and they left. Candella shouted from her place Maria visit again anytime. Guest left Host leaving them with happiness mixed with questions, mysteries. Candella was curious as was James about Mr. G.K. Anthony. Candella said isn't he the Sheriff who visited us last time when his car broke down. James acknowledged by shaking his head and said to her to sleep, it was a very long day for him.
Maria on the other hand was very happy and could not control her feelings to herself and said to G.K., "How are they? Isn't it was a good evening after a long time?" He said nothing just smiled and continued driving his classic GMC land cruiser. Whenever her husband was solving any special case he would be unconcerned about usual things and avoided needless gossips. Maria thought he might be into any official case so she took it as his regular act. Who knew he was suspicious on her best friends life partner about unknown fact or crime.
James could not stop thinking about G.K. and also couldn't say anything to Candella. To add on last night She saw the same dream of OLD MAN snatching her baby away.. It was now usual for him and Candella. Maid said many times that it is unusual madam better discuss about this dream to FATHER of St. Mary's church which was down the lane just few miles away from the residence. James was against this and frowned at maid asking her not to give any advice unless asked to give. James had one assurance that there was no witness or evidence of his evil deed which he did in past. Still whenever he sees G.K. he felt as if he has arrest warrant with him and he will take him away from Candella.
It was not just a husband-wife relationship which existed between James and Candella but it was something beyond description. They were made for each other, when they met for first time in New York it seemed as if meeting after long time, as if they knew each other and that might be the reason that GOD favored them and they were married within few days.
Candella also could not imagine life without James. Lucky are those who get married to right person and live happily together until death separates them. Candella said to herself many times that she might have done something good in past as GOD gifted her, James as Husband.