‘Glum, glub, gllub, glumm…’
Those were his last words. Then he sank slowly into the bottom of the water. Dead, finally.
I watched him, perching on the side of the bath I drew for him. With rose petals strewn around and scented candles twinkling near the mirror. Soft music wafting through the stereo. A goblet of golden liquid nearby. Everything as per his liking. I was very particular that he should die happily. Because I loved him. And killed him.
Don’t call me a ‘cold blooded’ assassin, because I am not murderous by nature. Never been. I killed him simply because he cheated me with another woman.
We had been together for very long and I knew the novelty was wearing off. The cancelled dinners and late nights. Forgetting my birthdays and our anniversaries . I was getting all classic signs of philandery. And one day, I found the ultimate proof - a credit card slip from the florist. It was poking out of his coat pocket. For a whooping £100, charges being to send flowers to a Miss. Annabel Lee. So typically common. So ‘chick-lit’ like. And it hurt.
Why did J go after another woman? I was an ideal wife. I spent all my spare time with J. I doted on him, cooked him fabulous meals, waited for him in sheer negligees’ and catered to all his whims. I loved him. Still he cheated me, after having told me countless times that he loved me for my inner beauty.
I met J on a Christmas evening fifteen years back. I was sitting alone in the road side café, sipping my hot chocolate and watching happy couples go by. They all seemed so much in love with each other. Magic and love intermingling with snow on air. Snowflakes swirling down towards the earth, then to be lifted up by the wind. ‘White Christmas’ blaring from the stereo. Intoxicating smell of soups and cakes and coffee.
I had only my book for company, as usual. Nowhere to go to, as no one invited me to share their Christmas. No one wanted to have me, a fat, spinster with thick glasses, approaching middle age.
And, in he walked, like a Prince, through the café doors. It was as if the heavens had dropped him there just for me. I particularly remember watching the droplet of melted snow trickling down that delectable forehead. And those twinkling sea-blue eyes.
He came to me direct, had eyes only for me.
‘Hi, my Princess’ said he, ‘Will you marry me?’
I was dumb-found, but for him it was love at first sight. For me too. That was the start of our heavenly relationship. We were always holding hands. Laughing on silly jokes. Touching and kissing.
And the years started to roll on. We were happy. Rather I was deliriously happy and tried my best to flaunt my new status as Mrs.J. When something was not perfect, I made up stories. Like, during one winter, when I didn’t get a Christmas gift, I told everyone about the beautiful sapphire set he bought for me, which I accidentally left near the WC , which accidentally fell into the water, which was accidentally flushed off. All blame on me. And everyone loved the story so much that they tut tuted me for being careless. I rivaled on the envious attention I was receiving from colleagues.
That was just the start, then I went on making up stories. Like the tales I chewed up on our imaginary holidays. Our idyllic home life. And our dog called Valentine. The diamonds, which I left in the bank safe for fear of loosing them. The romantic walks and the hearty meals we shared. And that snowy day when we got stranded in the mountain cabin and made out crazily. The way he held me close to him, when a couple of teenagers in the parking lot called me ‘that fat cow’.
Everyone around me envied me and my luck – and never questioned, as I was never close with anyone. I never invited anyone home, and they in turn did not invite me. I told everyone that I just wanted to be with J, they believed that. I made up a story on how possessive J could be. They loved that too.
All were relieved that I finally found someone, so that they could take the guilt out of their petty hearts for not involving me in their lives.
Sometimes, on those rare moments when I think back on my life, I could clearly see where it all began. The beautiful mansion called my home. My ambitious parents. The constant comparisons between my over achieving siblings and me with my mediocre looks and my mediocre grades and lack of ambition. The continuous air of disapproval and disappointment. I was the ugly duckling who would never become a swan. No one saw my tears – only my failure, my lack of grace, my ugliness.
Then I started shutting them out. I had my happy world around me – of the fairy tales, romance novels and magic. I imagined to be Cinderella one day and then the fairy god mother would transform me with her wand. The Prince Charming would make me his Princess.
The next day I dreamed to be Julia Roberts and Richard Gere would come in a fancy car. He would ask me,
‘Oh, pretty one, would you come for a ride?’
And at the end he would confess that he loved me all along and we would get married to live happily ever after.
That was when J came into my life. To make my life. To cheat me later. I was being robbed off the only ray of happiness I had in my whole life. Life betrayed me there too. And I knew that I had to kill him.
I knew how to kill, the books and movies had told me all about it. I would make him deliriously drunk on the lethal combination – whiskey and sleeping pills. He would plunge slowly into the perfumed bath, struggle to come up for air. Finally he would experience that intoxicating moment of ultimate joy, when the body would be freed of the life force. Perfect death. Perfect murder.
And one fine evening, after his favorite dinner of beef stroganoff and strawberry cheese cake, I just killed him.
They came to get me the next day and brought me here. I knew I would be punished, so, that was not a big deal. And I was very friendly towards the lady in white coat who came in, obviously intent on chatting with me.
‘The black one or the blue?’ I asked, indicating the pile of clothes on my bed. It was important that I should dress suitably for his funeral.
She was obviously not listening, and wanted to get on with the news she came to deliver.
‘See, you are not a murderer’ she uttered slowly, making sure that I understood each syllable.
‘What’? For one moment, I was afraid that he somehow survived. That, I no longer had to dress for the funeral.
‘There is no J’. She was looking intensely at my eyes.
‘What?’ I repeated like a fool, twisting my fingers on the scarf.
‘Delusional Disorders, you see’ she nodded uneasily, shoving her fingers in her pocket.
‘What?’ I stopped sorting.
‘See, it happens to people with mental disorders. Create characters and situations out of imagination. Like your marriage with J’ She was feeding me the psychology crap. All I could figure out was that she was basically calling me a liar. And I hit her with the phone sitting nearby.
So they locked me up in this padded cell, and here I am for the past 10 years, in this mental asylum. But now I don’t mind all that – because I have K. He comes in when others are not around , through that rat hole in the corner of my cupboard.