THREE STORIES (FICTION)
Story 1: Courage
What is the cause of all this pain, the frustration? Am I afraid of death or am I thinking what my family would do without me? It sickens me in my stomach just the though of going to the operation room and not coming out alive. I have heard all the horrible stories about Chemo and how it weakens you. I don’t know how my kids are going to react seeing their weak dad. And by the way…why me? Why me God??
I flip through the New Yorker’s pages, not really paying attention to the content. The clinic ambience sickens me, what is the physician going to do in this clinic anyway? Is he going to say Okay wait, you cannot start Chemo regimen and let me die? I am also annoyed by these people leisurely sitting in their couch pretending to go through the magazines in their hand. There is this kid running from one corner to another, his mom trying to calm him down with one eye on her Us Weekly. Another miss chatterly is still talking on her phone, by now we all know about her family, her house which has a leaking basement and so on. I wish they give priority to the severity of sickness. If I am dying, heck I get to see the doctor first. You might think I am complaining but wouldn’t you if your chances of survival were only 30%?
My physician comes out and announces Mrs Sade’s name, the lady in her phone. She finally hangs up her phone and proceeds, good riddance. Thanks, Doc, could you have come a little bit earlier? A man only has few numbered days and he is wasting here waiting in the piles of magazines. I feel like making a dash towards the door and declaring to the Doc that I can’t wait too long, I am going to die very soon. But I am sure that miss-know-it-all secretary will show her attitude on me and drag me back to the chair. I hate her, I always hated her. My physician and the nurse aren’t the best either. They make me stay for an hour each time and spend 5 minutes with me. It almost feels like I am paying for waiting in the chair. And this lady, can’t she control her waywardly kid? If she had to come to the clinic, couldn’t she have left her boy home? She disgusts me with her loud noise flipping through the pages. And her son, the little devil, if it was my boy I would have smacked him and kept him straight.
Suddenly the boy runs towards me, clearly bored running across the room. I get a little uneasy with the overture. He gets really close to me and asks, "Do you know my dad finished all levels for God of War?" Clearly annoyed and not knowing what the heck he is talking about, I try to give him a short answer to avoid further communication, "No." His mom shouts, "Courage!! Get over here." What kind of silly name is that? Courage. He then asks me, "Why are you here?" His mom doesn’t say anything and just smiles looking at me. I decide to get blunt this time and tell him the truth, "I am here for physical check before my chemo routine for multiple myeloma." He calms down and just says, "Oh." Now its my time to irritate him, "Do you know what myeloma is?" Courage replies, "Sure it is a cancer." I am a bit surprised but elaborate, "Yes cancer of plasma cells. How did you know it is cancer?" Courage replies immediately, "Coz I have one." He then picks up a small paperweight with "Merck" sign that was in the table next to me and starts running across the room again. I just keep staring at him.
Story 2: Justice
"I am innocent Radha!! The world might not believe me, but you have to!! You have to!!!"
Radha keeps on sobbing, She cannot garner any strength to utter a word before the court resumes.
The Court: Call the case.
The Clerk: Criminal Action 1-77-87, people versus Avigyan Sthapit.
The Court: All right. I understand this is a criminal case against defendant and the accusation is murdering of Mrs. Sijapati, his sister-in-law. Mr. Coulihan you may proceed.
Prosecution: Thank you your honor...
The case officially starts. Defence argues that Avigyan had gone out for a long cigerrette break, his normal routine at around midnight. Radha testifies that it is indeed his normal routine, but cannot prove that she actually see him smoking that particular night. Prosecution builds up a case that Mr. Sthapit got up and proceeded to his sister-in-law's room (she was Mrs. Sthatpit's cousin not sister). There he slit her throat and then spilled things quietly to indicate a robbery. Problem was that nothing was missing although the main door was indeed found open during the discovey of the body by Mrs. Sijapati the following morning.
Court is on recess.
"Radha, I know where this is leading to. But trust me, I didn't kill your cousin. I can commit adultery, I can be a thief but I would never commit a murder. You know me, I am not that strong!!"
Radha now wants to believe him but she knows her testimony won't save her husband. She reaches her hand towards him and cries as the guards take him away from the courtroom. She has already lost her good cousin, now she will be losing her husband, her sole mean of survivor in this foreign nation.
"Member of the jury, I would now like to present the murder weapon, the kitchen knife." No finger prints are found in the handle, however some of Avigyan's finger print were apparent at the end of the handle, a possible faux-pas by the defendant. As the minute hand behind the judge's head increases its angular reach, the case increasingly goes towards the prosecution side. Defense' now strategy is to reduce the sentence as much as possible. This gets harder as prosecution brings the biggest proof of the motive, the deceased had Avigyan's fetus inside her. She was due in 7 months.
Jury Deliberation takes a quick 10 minutes and they come out of the deliberation room. "This Jury finds the defendant GUILTY of all charges."
"NOOOOO!!!" Radha cries uncontrollably. Avigyan was more than a husband to her, he was her everything and they took that everything away from her, for 300 years behind bars with no chance of parole.
Avigyan is stunned. He quietly stands up and walks in front of the guards. He then turns to Radha for the last time, "This court doesn't believe me, the world doesn't believe me...but I want to hear from you once..once that you believe me...that I didn't murder your cousin!!"
Radha cries, "I believe you Abhigyan, I believe you. I am sorry I couldn't do anything. What will happen to me now? Oh my God."
She collects herself wiping her tears, "You take care of yourself hajur. And don't worry about me, I will be fine. And again, I believe you, you didn't kill her. Trust me I believe you."
"How couldn't I?" she talks to herself now. Abhigyan is gone and the entire court room is empty except for Radha and the clerk who is stacking her files and is about to leave. Radha faintly says to herself, "How couldn't I? I killed her. This is what you and Sheena deserved for cheating on me, under my own roof."
Story 3: मैले नबोलेको साथी
July 12th, Monday
Change of address has come up with a brilliant perk. I no longer have to drive and can take the train directly to work. Today's ride was a pleasure, I get to read
my Choikovsky. I however frequently glanced over the girl right across my seat, she looked Nepali, wonder if I will meet her again tomorrow.....
July 13th, Tuesday
I forgot to bring my Choikovsky, day is not looking so good. Apparently the train scheduled earlier was cancelled and hence this one was jam packed. Then this big lady comes right next to me, almost signalling that she wants my seat. I try not to look
at her, should I give her my seat? Would that insult her? But I have to ride another 30 minutes and I don't want to keep standing. Oh heck, I get up and offer her my seat and she takes it as if it was her birth right. Well standing up did come up with some advantage, I could easily glance over the girl I saw yesterday. I try to get right next to her, not looking at her. While I am worndering how I should approach, she picks up her phone and says, "Holla." She proceeds onto continue
her communication in Spanish.....
July 14th, Wednesday
Today I have an important meeting at work, my first group meeting there; the train is 5 minutes late. I get in looking at my watch. I see the senorita right next to me.
We share the ride, nothing else. By now I think she knows I am a routine commuter. For the first time I observe the scenario outside, The lush green trees are almost
beckoning each and every commuters; come enjoy me...
July 15th, Thursday
I banged my foot yesterday so I am limping today. I don't find my senorita today, she must have taken another cab. She is not the prettiest girl I have seen, but there is
something curious about her. I should make her my friend..atleast..
July 16th, Friday
There she is, Senorita. Wonder what her name is. Rosa? She is reading a book, I can't see the cover. I find myself staring at her, I was really simply parking my eyes; but she
caught me red handed. She looked at me and went right in her book. I am a little embarassed and pretend I am reading the poster right behind her. Nothing much there, some
evacuation instruction. She glances at me again and throws a small smile and before I can reciprocate she gets into her book again....
July 19th, Monday
Today I found something else about Senorita. She is not a spanish, she is an Italian girl. She works at a bank in the city. How did I know? Well I evesdropped on her conversation
with an old lady who was sitting right next to her. Her name? Mirabella. Muerto Benne!! Italians are fun....
July 20th, Tuesday
Mirabella, Can't believe I am writing her name in this diary, is wearing a pink coat today. I like that coat, It just neatly hugs her shoulders. Oh no, I am caught staring at her again. I was
just parking my eyes, girl!! This time I pull my courage to smile at her. She smiles back and starts reading her newspaper....
July 21st, Wednesday
Today, I am determined to talk to Mirabella, I get in the cab but don't see her. I then find her at the corner of the cab. I would venture going there but I think that would be little too aggressive. I pull out my guts and then head towards the corner nonetheless. My steps stop midway through, I notice she is wearing white headphones for her ipod. She looks at me and smiles, i smile back. I faintly say good morning, I doubt she heard it..I hope she didn't. That was lame....
July 22nd, Thursday
Mirabella is back with her pink coat, somebody must have told her she looks great in that. Like I said, she is not the prettiest one I have seen. I don't think I am into her anyways, but I do want to have conversation with her. This time she doesn't have a headphone nor a book. I sit right next to her; I calmly say hello. She smiles and nods her head. Suddenly my cell phone alarm goes off. It was meant to go off 2 hours ago, I must have set it wrong. She pulls a newspaper from her bag. Anyways, that kind of disrupts the flow and I am left with not talking to her all the way. ...
July 23rd, Friday
Nothing special today, Mirabella is there in the same train cab with me, but I just smile at her. Nothing much...
*** This exchange of smile goes on for 2 months. I am not an overly shy person, I wanted to talk to her but I guess I just didn't have enough motivation. Talks of my wedding peaks up during this time, and it is possible I drift away from her thoughts because of this. I then leave for Nepal to get married. I bring my wife, Akshita, back home and life resumes the normalty. My wife is enrolled in the community college
which is few walks away from my work, this has worked out great. But to fit both of our time, I leave half an hour late. I haven't seen Mirabella for almost 3 months now.....***
Oct 18th, Monday
I have the monthly unit meeting today and need to get to work early. Akshita is coming with me as she plans to spend 30 minutes in the school library. Today she is wearing the pink overcoat I bought for her, the shoulders hugs her well and she is looking as pretty as she can be. I wonder if the guys at her school hit on her. I digress.
Look who is inside the cab. Mirabella.
At first she doesn't notice me, I keep starting at her. Midway through she suddenly looks at me as if she remembered something. She then looks at my wife and smiles.
I smile back flirtishly. Mirabella goes back to her reading. At our stop, we both get up and are about to leave. Mirabella looks up at me and waves me goodbye. Wow!! for the first time we did more than smile and say hello. I then wonder if she waved at me to say goodbye or to show the engagement ring in her finger.
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