The sun rose on the far horizon as I looked down the cliff I was standing on. It had taken me seven gruelling days to reach the summit and another one day to reach the edge of the highest peak in the region. What was it called? I don’t know. I don’t even remember my stinking name nor my credentials and not even what I was doing in a prison a month ago. I do not remember things, however there is one memory that never leaves me. I was wet, I do not know how and there were mud stains all over my trousers. The sun slowly grew in size as I looked around the humongous forest from where I stood. I was just an inch from the edge and amazingly there was no fucking fear inside me. I inhaled the morning oxygen and held it inside me. The only memory that does not leave me came alive. That scandalous face that gazed at me through the hotel window in Delhi ten years ago. I remembered that chiselled face once again as I let out the carbon dioxide through my nostrils. Why was I even standing here?
I searched my pockets and felt a paper roll which had almost been crushed, the cigarette I had saved for this very day. I had not smoked from eight days, a record in itself. I placed it between my scavenged lips and ignited it with my zippo lighter. I inhaled some tar and the memories started to flow again.
“What is it about you that attracts me to you?” she enquired
“Perhaps you find me a very simple man” I had answered. I exhaled out the smoke unable to keep it inside me. The memory that was still alive, that face that had been engraved in my cerebrum forever. I threw away the lighter and inhaled some more tar. As I felt my lungs being burnt she appeared again.
“Why do you have to leave me?”
“You have been cheating on me. I did not expect this from you. I gave you my life, everything and you just backstabbed me with grace.” I had answered back.
As the smoke covered my vision and blocked my sight momentarily I came back to reality. The huge forest all alone like me was echoing in front of my eyes. The eerie silence that prevailed was testimony to the sun rising slowly through the azimuth. I placed the cigarette again between my scavenged lips and inhaled.
“I love you. I am so sorry. It has been almost a year and I feel terrible for what I did. Please take me back.”
“I still love you but promise me you will never leave me again.” I had replied in a passionate voice.
The sun was still trying to turn saffronish. I exhaled some more smoke. I was fucking tired, tired of the week long trek, tired of life, tired of her. Why was I tired of her? She had come back to me. She promised that she will never leave me again. I searched every single pocket in my trouser and in the white shirt that somehow seemed spooky. An American express platinum credit card, I must be filthy rich I wondered. Fifteen notes of thousand bucks each, I must be fucking filthy rich. A business card of the most influential investment banker, I am really rich. I tipped the ash from the cigarette bud and watched the ash fly away towards the forest. I took out the notes and threw them away one by one. It’s funny how throwing money can make you feel satisfied as if you are parting from evil. I dragged another puff of smoke. The tar content had increased as the cigarette was almost half burnt. She came back and this time everything was blur.
“I am sorry but I had to do this. You see I never loved you. I married you because…you now know why I married you baby” and her lips embraced my forehead.
“It hurts not because of the knife but because of the love I still have for you.” I was about to answer when she threw me out of the car onto the pond alongside the road. I looked at the far side of the jungle and saw a small road making its way through the jungle and as the sun grew bigger size I could see something reflecting back its light right below me. It was a pond. The same pond she had thrown me into. I looked at my trousers and the mud stains. I inhaled some more tar.
I remembered the pond clearly and her car driving away. There was someone with her but I did not really care. I was stabbed with a knife right where it hurt, my heart. I was dead
I exhaled the last amount of smoke and flicked the cigarette bud by holding my middle finger and thumb together. I did not put off the cigarette. I wanted the jungle to burn, burn like I was burning that very moment. I was dead, bloody dead!!! Now I knew why I was standing at the edge of a cliff. Perhaps my vigilant soul was still wandering around. I knew I did not seek revenge. I had promised her no matter what I would love her even after death and I had this uncanny habit of keeping my promises. What was I doing here then? I looked at the sun that had turned saffron now and found my answer. All through my life I searched for peace in a woman that just pretended to be my source. It was so enchanting here standing like the king of the jungle. I was enjoying peace an inch away from the edge. There was no fear because I was dead, bloody dead!!! However, there were two questions I still had in my mind.
I did not mind being killed by her but did I deserve to die the way I did and secondly what was my fucking name?