At the gates of heaven

My heart seemed to have a rhythm of its own. The palpitation kicked in and I could feel the tremors of a wild beating on my shirt. I forced a swallowing of my saliva and hoped it would calm the beats. I tried. I obviously failed. I took deep breaths and then gave up. I was clueless to the ways of calming my heart. 



Left by myself, I could hear the echoing of my heels clicking against the pristine white tiled floor. The walls were two toned. Blue and white. A quick thought flashed in my head. Abi always liked blue and white. I guess I wasn’t surprised that his house was coated in blue and white. Each step I took, the reverberating sound of my heels clicking felt unsettling. klickkkkkkkk, klooooooock, klickkkkkkkk, klockkkkkkkk, It almost felt like a song of chirping grandfather clock. 


A short walk later, I was finally there. I gazed my eyes upon his peaceful childlike face. Nothing had changed in the last one year. The peace in his face was something that even angels would covet. I paused on that gaze for a while. I still wasn’t sure about kicking off a conversation. All the history, everything we had been through and I still didn’t have anything to talk about! 

***********************************

Abimanyu was a friend of my friend. We had met over a dinner. What started as a casual flirt, his silly charm did a number on me. I liked the simplicity he brought to life. He always had the right set of funny lines. He handled himself well and he made me feel safe and comfortable. I could say that I was happy and myself when I was with him. 

The first few months, it was usually a routine of sorts. We’d make it a point to meet on Fridays. We both chose to keep things on the down low. We didn’t want our friends making a deal out of what we apparently had. We both felt that it was too early to even speculate a commitment. I enjoyed the secrecy. I definitely enjoyed the attention. 

We had our favourite coffee place in the city. Their cakes were heavenly. We’d usually share a slice of chocolate gateau. Coffee soon was followed by walking under the mesmerizing night lights of the city. The council park was the best pick to walk at night. The gentle rustle of leaves by the breeze, the moon surrounded by its twinkling admires, in time we both had managed to fall for each other and fall head over heels over our nice comfortable magical routine. 

“Like a necklace made of a massive Pearl and glittering diamonds”, Abi would describe the night sky. He was as sweet as sweet could be. He was the best that had happened to my life that year. He was everything that one could ask for. I enjoyed his company. He was a breeze to strike conversations with. I could talk just about anything with him. He was charming and caring. He felt sincere. I had almost started to believe that blokes like him only existed in the books of fiction stacked neatly in libraries. He was different.

The time we were together, I had never seen him lose his cool. I was absolutely certain that he was incapable of raising is voice. Deep down, the perfection which I felt he was, made me feel uncomfortable. Life had taught me that when things were too good to be true, they usually weren’t true. I put him through a scanner and he passed quite comfortably. Deep down, my instincts were screaming that he had a dark side to him. They were hidden away behind his calm baby like smile. 
**********************************

I saw him through the grilled door. He was sitting still. Things considered, his calmness was quite unnerving. I waited for the guard to buzz me through the sentinel door. The button pushed , the silence of the room echoed with activity. The door electrically slid making an humming noise. The subtle ruckus turned his gaze towards me. He was dressed in blue. Perfect, I thought to myself. He stood up to greet me. 

We hugged upon our first meet in ages. 

***********************************

I stayed conspicuous of Abi’s anger. That was probably his only evil. He was irritable at times and that fuelled his rage. It was a rare oddity, his temper outbursts. It was a force to reckon with. While I was worried about this darkness in him, I brushed it aside by assuring myself that he was perfect otherwise. I made a conscious effort to not incite that rage in him. I knew women who had put up with things more worse than anger issues. I consoled myself that I could live with it. 

In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have. If only I was as smart back then as I am now. 

As we grew closer together, we couldn’t help but converge the other influences that affected our lives. He for one was not enthusiastic of my workplace. The late hours, my colleagues, there was this constant nagging sense of insecurity in him. I’d assure him that there was nothing that he would have to worry about. Most days it worked like a charm. He’d not show his dissent. There were days when our arguments would get ugly. He’d apologize later, I’d apologize later. Patching up was an easy affair. 

That eventful evening, I unlocked my doors and found him sitting in the dark. He asked me about the evening and I said I was at work. My answer made him lose his cool. He said he had dropped by my work earlier that evening. The guard had told him that I had left for the day.

Of course that was true. A colleague was getting married later next month and our team of quirky goofballs decided to hit the city to celebrate. I didn’t make much of the thing and I didn’t deem that information worth sharing. As his anger spiralled out of control, I soon found myself confronting my greatest fears. 

There he was, he held a kitchen knife in his hand. He accused me of betraying his trust and he declared his resentment of ever having known me. With that, one swift motion, he stabbed himself. I cried out and in no time our neighbours came to our rescue. He was hospitalised. He’s been hospitalised ever since. The doctors said there was something wrong with his mind. 

***************************************

We broke our embrace and we spoke a little about his new life. He seemed to be happy. Thirty minutes of pointless , directionless, stoic conversation later , it was time for me to leave. We parted ways with a smile. I’ll be back again to see you, I assured him. He finally let go of my hands. I saw the tears leave his eyes and race towards his cheeks. I got up and headed back towards the grilled door. 



***************************************

How’s she doctor, I finally asked. Is her condition improving? 

The coldness in the doctor’s face was a testament to the news that I didn’t want to hear. 

She’s losing grip over reality, the doctor declared. It was a year ago right, when she stabbed you on new year’s eve? Her fragile mind fractured again and ever since, she’s come to believe that you had stabbed yourself. The truth was probably too much for her to handle. She lives in a reality of her own. Her schizophrenia is degenerative. There are days of docile lucidity. Today was one. There are days when she gets hysterical. Paranoid Schizo is a tough battle to wage against. Give her time. Maybe things will get better. We can only hope at this point in time. 

I don’t know doc, I protested. She seemed alright when we first met. She was a bit excessively suspicious. I thought it was normal for couples for feel that tinge of insecurity. She could never come to terms with the fact that things were working good between us. She always felt that I was hiding away something. Something waiting to explode. The more time we spent together, her restlessness grew. 

That new years eve, I was waiting for her at her place. I said I visited her office and the guard said that she had left. She lost it. She said I doubted her and that I didn’t trust her. She said she knew that there would be a day when I’d show my true self and I would unleash hell upon her life. It’s sad. Such a wonderful woman, with demons as her mind. 

I walked away from the asylum. Heaven, the place was called. I found it hard to comfort myself by saying that she was in heaven! Trapped in heaven by the hell her mind created, I mused. Cest la vie! 

Karthik 

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