It all began on a dark, gloomy Sunday. The night nurse walked in.
Her name was Anjum.
“The stove burner upstairs isn’t working, ” Anjum announced. “I’ll have to go down to the kitchen to prepare Mr. Aryan dinner. Could you stay with him for a few minutes?”
The moment Juhi walked into the room, her nostrils were assailed by the familiar stench of sickness. In an instant, every fibre of her being was flooded with memories of those long, dreadful months she had fought to save Aryan.
Aryan’s head was propped up on a large pillow. As he watched Juhi enter, his eyes suddenly came alive, flashing out frantic messages.
“Where have you been? Why have you stayed away from me?”
“I need you. Help me!” It was as though his eyes had a voice. Juhi looked down at the loathsome, twisted body and she felt nauseated “You’ll never get well, damn you! You’ve got to die! I want you to die!”
As Juhi stared at Aryan, she watched the expression in his eyes change. They registered shock and disbelief and then they began to fill with such hatred, such naked malevolence, that Juhi involuntarily took a step away from the bed. She realized then what had happened. She had spoken her thoughts aloud.
She turned and fled from the room.
In the morning the rain stopped. Aryan’s old wheel chair had been brought up from the basement. The day nurse Sarita, was wheeling Aryan out in his chair to the garden to get some sun. Juhi listened to the sound down the hall toward the elevatar.
She waited a few minutes, then she went downstairs. She was passing library when her cell came to alive, she stopped to see the number on screen. It was Raj.
“How are you today?” He sounded warm and caring.
She had never so glad to hear his voice. “I am fine, Raj.”
“I wish you were with me, darling.”
“So do I. I love you so much. And, I want you. I want you to hold me in your arms again, Oh Raj…”
Some instinct made Juhi turn around. Aryan was in the hallway, strapped in the wheel chair where the nurse had left him for a moment.
His black eyes blazed at Juhi with such loathing, such malice that it was like a physical blow. His mind was speaking to her through his eyes, screaming at her, “I’m going to kill you!” Juhi dropped the cell in panic.