The Diary of Anonymous
It’s the pure black sky that makes the moon so beautiful. The night makes my day, in turn making me wait for the night that follows. I am sitting by the window with a breathtaking book in my hands. The cool air playing with my hair makes my pages flip with a tone of mellifluousness. The appealing smell of—blooming flowers, the book pages, and the midnight breeze fight a battle among them to penetrate my nose. Oh, my mother nature! You are …
“Babe, it’s too late, I need to go to bed. Please turn off the lamp. I have to wake up early to work out,” he nudged me, pulling me out of my trance. Seems like this wasn’t the first time he asked me to turn the lights out.
“Oh, sorry, Honey! I lost in thoughts.”
“Zara, this isn’t your first time getting lost in your realm of dreams. And I’m used to it. No worries, sweetheart. Goodnight,” he said, adjusting his head on the pillow.
“Good night, Peter,” I said. He seemed to have drifted off to sleep in seconds, not bothered anymore about the light in the bedroom. Must be tired, I said to myself and continued to read:
That was the first-ever meet with my girl, the girl I’ve met in the café. She was tremendously alluring; she made me believe this world is worth living. I sat at a table some ten feet away from her. Tilting my head slightly, I studied her for some time without my own consent, and that’s when I discovered a poet in me. Her heavenly blue eyes were like a deep blue ocean—I turned into suffering to reach the shore. Her wavy blonde hair moved much as soft beach grass in the wind, back and forth. Red rose petals made her lips. A gorgeous blue dotted dress decked her. Oh, my goddess of beauty! Have you fallen from heaven to rule the men? I was sitting like an insane. Then I tried to be on my best behavior, waiting for her eyes to take a surprising look at me in fortune. But she was obsessed with never-ending chat with her friends. When the order reached her table, she picked up a fork in her left hand and stirred the coffee smoothly—she revealed an infantile in her too. Ha-ha.
I don’t remember how long I was immersed in the pages of the book. After a while, I realized that I was reading the book half-asleep. I discovered that my eyes are shutting, so I kept my book aside, switched off the lamp and went to sleep.
The day dawned crisp and clear. The bright sunshine started peeking into the room through my windows. A loud chorus of songs from yellow and purple tailed birds commanded me to wake up and relish the hypnotic view of the daybreak. I arose gently and took a deep yawn. My phone vibrated, and a message popped up on the screen. I stretched out a hand to grab it, but was distracted by the book on the table beside, opened upside-down—the same way I left it last night. I gently picked it up, and began to read again.
Her heavenly blue eyes were like a deep blue ocean—I struggled to reach the shore. Her wavy blonde hair moved much as soft beach grass in the wind, back and forth. Red rose petals made her lips. I smiled as I read those words.
A gorgeous blue dotted dress decked her.
“What?” I exclaimed and reread the sentence.
I can’t trust my eyes. “A Blue dotted dress!” It brings memories of the one dress I was very fond of and often wore.
She picked up a fork with her left hand and stirred the coffee smoothly. I read further.
My body spooked, and goose bumps rose across my skin. “No, how that could be possible? I asked myself. It reminds me of the incident when I wore the same blue dotted dress and stirred the coffee in the same way with a fork.”
Oh, my God! Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous—giving me immense pleasure, I exclaimed.
“Zara, please help me find my car keys. I am late to work today.” Peter asked in a loud voice, interrupting my musings.
“Yeah, look at the table in the living room, Peter. You’ll find it there.”
“Well, okay … got it.”
“Peter, please return home earlier tonight.”
“Dear, you know well that I have landed a multi-million dollar project. I have been work around the clock every day to become a top businessman in the city, all the way from a small start-up. But I care about you too. So, I’ll try to reach home as earlier as I could. In the meantime, take rest, my dear. And ring me up if you’re in need. Bye”
“Okay, bye dear,” I looked at him and smiled. But deep inside, there was a sense of sadness in me. It’s my birthday, and I’d hoped Peter would stay in and celebrate with me, or at least wish me. But here he was, going to work, not even remembering what today was.
My life here is a simple yet peaceful one. I relish homemaking, preparing palatable dishes for Peter, gardening, reading my favorite books, playing some melodies, and knitting sweaters. The little library in my garden is my most favorite place, where I spend majority of my day.
Finishing my household chores, I took a short nap at noon. Albeit it was sultry at the time, soon, the gloomy clouds made the sky as dark as the early evening. After the nap, I began to prepare some exclusive recipes for our supper.
Peter doesn’t even remember my birthday today. He has changed a lot these days. He hasn’t returned any of my calls today, quite the contrast of what he spoke before leaving to work.
He made his way home at 9.30 p.m. back from a hard day at work. The delicious smell of meals tantalized his nostrils; he hastened to the backyard, tracking it. The garden I decorated with lights, roses, candles, and table-chairs at the center gave him a romantic welcome to our home.
“Wow, Honey, is there something special today?” he asked.
I burst into tears, walked back to the table, and sat quietly.
“What’s wrong with you, Zara? Why do you look so sluggish?” he inquired, placing a gift box right before me on the table. I grabbed and opened it up with anticipation.
“Whoa! A diamond necklace!” I exclaimed, stunning out. “You remembered!” my voice broke as my eyes were stung with tears. He put the necklace around my neck by expressing his love.
“Happy returns of the day, my sweetheart. You resemble a fairy with twinkling diamonds under the dusky night clouds,” he praised me, planting a kiss on my forehead. I hugged him in joy. He then pulled up a chair, made me sit, and started serving me dinner.
And ultimately, this became my most unforgettable birthday. We spent our night enjoying the delicious meals and an interminable chat.
A few weeks later, on a sunny day, Peter was reading a book sitting in our backyard. Humming my favorite song, I was watering the plants.
“Zara, this love scene is so amazing. The girl is an impressive pluviophile—dancing in the rain.”
“Can you read it for me, dear?” I asked him, “Let me listen.”
He began reading the excerpt from the book: Our second meeting was an unforgettable day; the heavens opened up for rain. Everyone was setting aside to take shelter in the pouring rain, and I was quickly soaked. Swiftly, a piece of ambient music, playing far away drew everyone’s attention. Oh, my goodness, it was she who played the violin and danced over the grass barefoot gracefully. She was dressed in red and looked like a rose covered in raindrops. Her melody soothed my mind.
“What is that book, Peter?” I got stunned, listening to it.
“Give me that, “I said, rushing to him “Let me read it once.”
“This is the part two of the book you were reading on the other night, this book is an outstanding piece of work,” he said.
I went through the lines again. My eyes widened, and breath sped up with each word. I felt a sudden dizziness and even before I could realize, I fainted.
The screeching sound of the sluggish fan pierced my ears. When I opened my eyes, I found myself lying on my bed in my darkroom. It was past sunset.
The Diary was everything I could think of. What kind of riddle is that? Is the author someone who is not a stranger to me? That’s me, who played the violin, dancing in the rain, particularly in that red dress, which can’t be a coincidence again. There must be a reason behind all this. I will, at any risk, solve the mystery of these books.
“Honey, do you feel good now?” Peter opened the door and inquired. There was concern in his voice “I was startled, looking at you faint all of a sudden. The doctor said there was nothing to worry. Are you suffering from any health issues, dear?”
I sighed. “Peter, you know what …” I stopped myself, taking a moment to rephrase the words. “Er, I skipped my meal this noon, and I felt so tired of doing chores.”
“Please do not skip meals, Zara. Have them on time,” he gently advised me and fastened the door shut.
It’s not right to open up to Peter about the books until I solve the mystery behind. The writer could be Zayn, who has always offered me love proposals during my graduation days.
I was getting restless; the dreadful knotty mystery kept running in my head. I rang up my pal Alyssa, described the incidents to her, and asked her about Zayn. Finding the author’s address and meet him in person could only be the way to get all the answers, I hoped.
My entire night turned sleepless surfing through the internet, and somehow I found the whereabouts of the author of the mysterious book.
Earlier than the first light the next morning, I left my home. My heart pounded louder than the train’s noise. After half an hour of travel, the train reached the station of Old Saint Castle. I got down and sat on an old cracked stone bench, taking a deep breath to hold back my anxiety.
My beloved book includes my story of life. The girl in the tale is none other than me, and the writer is not a stranger to me, I believe. And I am very keen to know who he is.
Slowly, I led my steps towards the author’s residence. In the woods stood an isolated spooky mansion with enormous gates. Raising my head and staring at it for some time, I decided to walk in.
“Who are you?” the grumpy guard stopped me at the gates.
“I would like to meet Mr. Robert Brown.”
“Do you have your appointment?”
“No. Actually, I … ”
“You can’t meet him just like that. Do come with an appointment, please.”
“I implore you; please let me meet him, only for two minutes.”
“What is the noise over there?” the author’s eerie voice came from one of the windows. “Who is she? Just let her inside.” he ordered.
As I walked inside, I saw a man’s shadow through the window, sitting on a lounge chair puffing a cigar, and reading a newspaper.
Fidgeting nervously with my phone’s case, I sat on the porch and waited for him.
“May I know who you are?” the spine-chilling voice came from behind, stunning me.
I turned slowly to see the author’s grouchy face. What a surprise! He is a stranger; I have never seen him before.
“Excuse me, May I know who you are?” the ferocious voice shook me again.
“Uh, Mr. Robert, I’m so fond of your writing that I never miss out on any publish you’ve made. But I am keen to know what has inspired you to write ‘The Diary,’”
“Hmm, no inspiration from any real incident,” he lifted an eyebrow at me, ”But it’s a reflection of my creativity, which made me the best-known writer.”
“No, you can’t lie to me,” I mustered all my courage and raised my voice a notch. “Please tell me the truth, or else I won’t leave the place.”
“What is your problem with my story? And why do you desire to know my business?” he roared.
“Because I knew the story’s plot is not your masterpiece.”
“Ah-ha! You brave woman, Yes, the story is not my work. I’ve got it from an anonymous diary,” he burned angrily.
“Diary of the anonymous!” I exclaimed. “This means the diary belongs to some unknown person?
“Security, throw her out immediately right now,” he called in the guard and ordered him, without even giving me a response.
The guard pushed me out forcibly and closed the gates. Standing outside idly, failing to solve the dark mystery, I returned home with no answers.
The next morning, I leaned on my beige plush sofa, sipping a steaming coffee, looking out into space. The book placed on the table beside me had gained my attention.
Reading it to the end might give me some clues, I decided.
The book persisted for hours, and I was likely to find the scene of their third meet at a point soon. Hastily, I turned over the page with eagerness.
It was a stormy evening. I headed to my favorite café, the café where I met her for the first time. Ordering a pastry and an apple pie, I waited for it a long time. The crowd was slightly higher than usual. Somehow the order reached my table after fifteen minutes of delay. The dessert tasted so good worth the wait. While relishing its luscious flavors, I turned back, giving a glance at the people behind me, and returned. Is that my goddess? I twisted my head in haste again, to confirm. “Oh, my goodness, coincidences mean that I am on the right path,” I wondered. I swapped my place to the opposite chair of the table, only to admire her beauty with pleasure. My phone vibrated—a call from my office—and it was the third time in the last five minutes, which is distracting me from her. So I answered in ire. They wanted me to sign some documents urgently. I had to leave the place with no choice.
Later that evening, I had received a call from someone saying I left my raincoat on the table, and she has got my details and a photo from my wallet kept inside. She added that she sat at the table behind me. “Does that euphonious voice belongs to my love?” I froze.
The page ends. But oddly, my past did not match the scene. That’s quite surprising. I ran through the page again, tracking up the incident’s time, and I observed the happening might not be the past; rather, it should be the near future.
Coincidence doesn’t happen a third time, I believed. But when will the incident take place? I was running through the lines of the page in my mind to find some clue.
“Ahh, The raincoat! I’ve got it. Which means the incident is likely to happen on a rainy day.”
From that day on, I waited for the first raindrop to hit the earth, which would finally end the unsolved puzzle that kept nagging at me for days.
Days passed by, and after every night, the sun shone back with ecstasy, giving no luck.
One evening, I was out in the garden playing a low-key guitar in despair, with my eyes closed and feeling the breeze. Opening my eyes slowly, I found the mysterious book on the table, still placed the same way Peter left after his last reading. Keeping my guitar aside, I grabbed it to read. Leaning on the chair, I flipped the pages to resume where I left.
All of a sudden, a thunder crashed like it was the end of the world. I gazed at the sky as the first drop of rain touched my face. I quickly threw the book over the table, raced to my room, and dig around my cupboard until I found the dress—the black color dress—to match the girl in the scene. In about five minutes, I got ready, took a yellow umbrella, and left home wearing two different shoes on my feet.
“Zara, where are you rushing?” Peter asked, coming on my way back from work.
“Uh, Honey! My pal is in need. She lost her wallet and standing helpless in the café. I have to go help her.”
“Okay, dear, get back soon,” he said, trusting me.
I bade him goodbye and quickly ran to the café. The little puddles on the streets splashed at me. On reaching the café, I folded my umbrella and bowed down with a heavy breath. A man stood at the doorway in a black raincoat, with a giant figure. My heart skipped a beat. I sighed and followed him into the café making sure the heels of my boots don’t tap the wooden floor and make noise. My vision widened, and an enormous shock waited for me; He is not the only one wearing a raincoat, because obviously, it’s a rainy day.
Oh, Gosh! Dammit! How will I find the guy now?
I forgot that the rainy day was not just for me, but for everyone around too. I slowly moved to an empty table and sat down anxiously. My eyes scanned every single person in the café. But no one apparently was a known face.
“Your order, Please?”
“Huh?” I turned in fright.
“Your order please, Ma’am?” the waiter asked.
“Uh, a cup of coffee,” I said, confused.
My eyes scanned at each table, examining the activities of every single person. The order was received. Each sip of coffee followed my breath. Abruptly, a piece of clue struck my mind; the person in the scene had left his raincoat forgotten on the table. So, I chose to wait even for hours to see who would leave his coat forgotten on the table. My coffee gets finished, and people began to move as the downpour fades. About an hour later, everyone had left the café, except the man I followed from the doorway and me.
Sitting at a straight table opposite me, he kept prodding and poking at his small old smart phone. All of a sudden, his eyes took a brief look at me. I turned at a wall astonishingly for a moment, pretending to look at the paintings. He started looking back at the phone. Oh gosh!, he must have read my anxiety, I bothered. I felt beads of sweat appearing on my forehead. Suddenly, his cellphone rang up in a minute, breaking up the great silence. Taking the call with a stern voice, he rushed out. But his rain jacket? My eyes made a swift pace at his table. Oh my god. He left his coat laid on the table, forgotten. I stood up from my seat with augmented eyes and jaw dropped mouth. My skin was overwhelmed with goosebumps.
Suddenly he returned and grabbed his raincoat and keys from the table, took a look at me, and rushed again.
“Argh!” I yelled, No one has left their coat now, how will I find the person?
I walked back home, downhearted. I saw Peter taking a business call even after returning home. I hastened to my garden library and found my book drenched in the rain. I flicked over the pages to where I left.
“Does that euphonious voice belonging to my love?” I froze.
As the page end with the line, I turned over to the next page.
Her voice is the sweetest of all sounds; it kept reverberating in my ears. With my eyes closed, I relished the melody, rather than worrying about my missed wallet. Suddenly the voice turned awful. What a dreadful voice! It seemed to be the grating voice of an older woman. When I opened my eyes at once, my vision seems blurred. Rubbing my eyes, I looked up; and she stood in front of me. She, my grandmother. I jumped out of my bed in confusion. She scolded me to wake up and get ready to work early. Oh, gosh! Is it all my dream, the third meet? I surprised. Nevertheless, a delightful dream. Ha-ha!
“A dream?” I was stunned in grief, throwing out the book.
“Shit, why didn’t I read the following page all these days? Dammit!” I shouted, pulling out my hair. I then heard footsteps coming towards my room.
“Zara, let’s have dinner. Today I’ve prepared a delicious meal for you since you were out,” said Peter.
We sat for dinner together. The incident took place at the café seemed to be a dreadful nightmare.
“Honey, you do not look as happy as you were before. Your face is always withered. Please be open with me. I will resolve your problems at any cost.”
“It’s nothing, Peter. I am tired of doing household chores. And … I always feel alone even though we live together,” I lamented.
Once we are done with the meal, he held my hand tight and took me to the backyard. He then played the guitar, singing a song describing me in his own words. I smiled at him and felt his love for me after a long time. We spent the lovely night together, and my soul attained a little comfort.
The next morning after Peter left for work, I decided to reach the author again to get the diary from him.
When I reached his house, the gateman stopped me again. I shouted from outside the gate to grab the author’s attention, and he eventually out of his house.
“Hey, you! Why did you come here again?”
“I beg your kindness. Please give me that diary. The girl in the story was me. I swear.”
“What the heck are you talking about? Are you trying to steal away the story’s rights from me? Get away from here, or else I’ll persecute you.”
“No, I wanna know about the third meeting of the couple. It will answer all my pains, please.”
“Well, part three of my book will be published soon. Go read that. Now get away from here.”
I returned home saddened and waited in anticipation for days. I lost interest in my happy deeds; the plants in my garden began to die, my little library was covered with spider mesh, and my hands touched the guitar a long time ago.
About four weeks later, the book hit the shelves. I didn’t waste any time. As soon as I heard of its release, I hastened and checked with every store for the book; however, no luck.
That night, I was lying frustrated with anxiety on my bed, and Peter was back from his work.
“My dear, see what I’ve brought for you—the third part of your favorite book. I have kept it on the table. Let me go and get freshen up.”
I rushed to the table to pick up the book. The front cover is quite distinct this time—a man in deep sorrow writing his diary. I started the book at once. But it lasted for days.
One morning Peter had a call from one of his clients telling him that he had to go to Australia regarding the project they have signed. He said he would stay there for weeks. I was quite unhappy with that. I asked him to stay with me as I was going to be very lonely. But he kept persuading me that it’s an important task and he ought to go. The discussion turned into an argument at a point. The fight between us persisted for a couple of days. I cannot think of anything else but him. He reached home even more late these days.
Not knowing what else to do, and to divert my thoughts, I had decided to spend time reading the book.
This is my third meet with my girl. And this time, it’s not going to be merely a meet; instead, I’ll confess my love for her today. It’s Valentine’s Day, and I had dressed up in a brand new pink shirt—the color of love. I reached the lake in Orchard Town with a beautiful bouquet of aromatic flowers in one hand and my dear diary in other. I know she will come here today. I sat on a white stone bench facing the lake over there and kept waiting for her.
There was an enormous crowd by the lake since the president had proclaimed that he would visit the people at Orchard Town today. A child was playing with balloons, and couples were relishing with love under the brilliant red and orange evening sky. The time flew, and I began to write my diary describing the events around to pass my time until she reaches. It’s been an hour, but still, she didn’t reach.
I turned over the page and found the book’s back cover. Oh my god, unfortunately, the book has come to an end here without a happy ending.
Peter was packing his luggage with clothes and utensils needed for weeks. He asked me to stay in my pal’s room until he returns. I burst out in tears. He tried to convince me how important the work was and consoled me that he would ring me up every day after work and will be back home very soon. I agreed half-heartedly packed up my luggage too that night.
The next day, I woke up before Peter’s alarm blared. I picked up a white paper and began writing him a note:
Peter, it would be a hard time in my life to stay alone without your presence. For whom will I prepare delicious dishes? With whom will I spend my peaceful nights? I’ve not been at ease for the past few days, and you know that well. Only your support could strengthen me. I said, please be with me, but you weren’t willing to be persuaded. Loneliness killed me in those two days, even before you’d leave. I could not send you off with happiness, so I decided to leave home before you do.
I lamented with pain in my letter, and kept it fluttering on the table.
It’s the third time I dared to visit the author even after he has given me death threats. I just wanted to know more about the half-finished story. And this time, however, I decided that I wouldn’t come home without an answer. I’ll get the diary from him, rain or shine.
“Mr. Robert, please give me the diary. I beg your kindness. I’ll give it back once I got all my answers, and I am not here to steal your rights to the story. I swear.” I pleaded.
“I could never give you that. But I could tell you one thing that the diary has come to an end, and the third meet was an incomplete unfortunate incident,” he said, rudeness echoing in his voice. “So it’s me who is going to write the story ahead for my beloved readers. Moreover, I’ve got the diary in a tragic accident. Now, will you please leave my home? And don’t try to reach me anymore!”
“Accident! When did it happen? And where was the accident? Please answer me,” I exclaimed in dread.
He returned to his room without bothering to respond, even out of pity. A demon rain started to pour down on me. The guard at the gate warned me to get out of the home right away. I sat on a rock opposite to the author’s house, screaming in agony.
“Do not worry, my child” a woman’s voice came from behind me. Even before I could ask her something, she said, “I could help you in some way.”
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I am Rebecca, Mr. Robert’s home maid. I came out stealthily without his knowledge. I advise you not to try to get the diary from him because it’s not going to help you anymore. What he said was true. The diary had nothing more written in it, and has no name written anywhere throughout it. I hope you have read the complete story in his books, so the diary will not help you anymore. But there is still one clue left. I’ve got this photograph from the diary when I read it one day when the author was out. I hope this might help you somehow. I felt pity for you whenever you visited the house with tears and returned home with sorrow. So I decided to help you in whatever way possible. And please don’t talk about this with anyone.”
“Okay, thank you so much, Rebecca. I will be grateful ever for your kind help.” I smiled at her as she bid me farewell.
The person in the photo is an older woman with smoky grey hair and shabby outdated clothes. I had never seen her before. Unable to guess who she is, I walked back to my pal’s home with my luggage.
The pillared porch with a wooden floor at my pal’s house gave me a pleasant welcome home. Standing at the door, I felt guilty to deliver a knock. Somehow, after winning the battle with my guilt, I gave my heart a console and thumped at the door.
“Hello, Zara, welcome home. You can stay with me until your husband returns. We would have the best time sharing everything in person, just like old times.” Alyssa, my pal, hugged me with a hearty smile.
Alyssa is an open-hearted and an affable companion of me. I feel comforted and happy whenever I am with her.
The clean lofty hall of her home had white walls with marvelous historical paintings delivering a peaceful mind.
We sat on a big cozy sofa and started speaking for hours. With Alyssa, I opened up all my sorrows and the cloak and dagger incidents I was going through.
“Do you remember Zayn, our classmate, during our graduation? I guess that the bizarre man might be him since he had offered me love proposals often, and perhaps the diary belonged to him.”
“Maybe, dear, but don’t brood over it. Let us find the secret behind soon. But now you should go and take some rest. You must be hungry. I will prepare lunch for us.”
I agreed and went to the rook prepared for me. I lay on the bed idle, thinking over my visit to the author’s house that morning— swiftly, the word ‘accident’ leaped to my mind.
Mr. Robert had told me that he has gotten the diary in a brutal accident and the incident was not written to the end as well. This means that he might have died in that accident. Oh, gosh, did that mysterious man die? Did that person who had an enormous love on me, and wrote about me has die? Tears met my cheeks as I asked my inner self these questions.
In the evening, I took the photo of the older woman to Alyssa.
“Alyssa, this is the photo that she has given me secretly.”
“Is she familiar to you?” she asked.
“No, I have never seen her before.”
“Okay, Zara, we could find her by posting ads about her and surfing through the social media. I’ll also inform my spouse regarding this, and he will take some action promptly.”
It was around 8 p.m. when we sat for supper.
“Alyssa, you do cook well. The flavors are too luscious. I cook peculiar dishes for Peter every night, too. He loves my haute cuisine. I just miss him so much now.” My eyes welled up.
“He will be back soon, Zara, and all your problems will fizzle out too,” she gave me solace. “Do not fret, my dear. I will be by your side until he comes back to you.”
After supper, I picked up my phone and rang Peter. But unfortunately, his phone was switched off.
“Zara, come to the backyard, dear. Let’s have a chat, it’s been very long since we caught up on everything.”
I bared my soul to Alyssa, telling her how restless I was these days. I spoke to her about Peter and his love for me. Alyssa sat beside me, holding my hands, and soothed me comforting words.
The next morning, news came from Alyssa’s husband that he found the older woman’s whereabouts. She resides in Birch Town—a nearby city. On hearing that, I got up immediately, deciding to pay the woman a visit.
“Zara, are you going alone?” she stopped me. “Let me accompany you. Please wait.”
“No, Alyssa, you should not travel, as the doctor said. Take rest at home. I’ll be back soon with all the puzzles solved.”
“But Zara, how could I let you go alone?”
“I used to travel to new countries often after my graduation. So do not bother, Alyssa. I will return home safely.”
It was about an hour of travel. The train was moving very slowly, rumbling down the track. I leaned against the window, and the gentle breeze caressed on my face. I rang Peter, but his phone turned off this time too. After one hour and fifteen minutes, the train reached Birch Town. With the help of the map on my phone, I traced out the place. I asked people on my way to direct me to the house, and eventually, I reached my destination.
It was a tiny old house. I opened the rusty gates and walked inside the porch. The dried leaves crunched under my shoes. I rang the bell, but no one answered the door. Waiting another moment, I ranged the bell again. The door opened this time.
“Yes, my dear. Who are you?” the woman asked.
It was the same person in the photo with a withered face.
“Ahem, I am Zara. I am here to ask for your help. I would like to gather some details of a man I hope whom you might know.”
“Okay, come in,” she said and I followed her.
“Please be seated,” she said as we reached the hall. As I settled on the chair, she provided me a glass of water and smiled at me.
I took a sip of water and cleared my throat before speaking. “This is your photograph I’ve got from his diary,” I told, showing her.
“My photograph? Can you name the person?”
“Sorry, I do not know. But I’ve read his diary. He had an affair with a girl, and I heard he had died in an accident near the … ugh…” I trailed off as I saw a reflection of a photo frame in the mirror hung on the wall behind the women. I jumped from my seat at once and stood dazed. My heartbeat sounds stabbing at my eardrums.
Uh, which means the photo is on the wall at my back, I shuddered as I came to the realization.
“What happened, Zara?” the old woman asked, concerned.
I was in shock. I needed more mental grit to glance back at the photograph. My lips shuddered in dread. Holding my breath tight, I turned slowly and took a peek at the picture frame.
My pounding heart broke. My eyes burned like embers in a flame.
“Uh, Peter…?” I screamed in fright.
Tears were coursing down my cheeks as I yelled in agony.
“Who … who is he?” I asked her in dread.
“Have you known him before? He was my only son who died in a car accident two years ago,” the woman replied.
I dropped the glass broken on the floor, hurriedly took my bag, and started running out of the room.
“Zara, what has happened? Just answer me, who are you?” the woman asked from behind me in a louder voice.
I ran without glancing back. My race halted at the station. I sat on a bench and took a deeper breath. My lips and fingers are as yet shuddering, and my eyes are not halting to tear. I held my bag firmly and waited for the train.
“Peter, you are alive, isn’t that so? We have been married, and we are living together, right?” I sobbed as I asked myself the questions I wasn’t certain I knew the answers to.
I took my phone and rang Peter again.
“The number you have called is currently switched off. Please call again later.” the voice answered.
Screaming louder, I acted madly as the people around looked at me, bewildered.
Choo–Choo, a sound got through the air from far away, about ten minutes later.
Just as the train entered the station, I took my pack, surged quickly, and acquired a seat.
When I reached back home, I ran to Alyssa.
“Alyssa … Alyssa … where are you?”
She came out of her room and discovered me with scruffy clothes and chaotic hair, totally drenched in sweat, and talking with an overwhelming breath.
“Zara, what happened? Is there any problem? Why do you look like this? ”
“Alyssa, Peter … ”
“Yes, what happened to him? Did he return your calls?”
“No, Peter … ”
“Tell me, Zara! What happened? Kindly don’t place me in strain.”
“Alyssa, I saw Peter’s photo at that elderly woman’s home. I… I asked her who he is, and she said that it was her son who died in an accident two years ago,”
I knelt, hugged my knees and cried out loud.
“Zara, are you serious? Is that true? I can’t believe my ears.”
“Yes Alyssa, he married me and still lives with me. Then how could he die in an accident?”
“Oh my God! Zara, please stop crying, It isn’t true. Your husband lives with you, huh? How could it be possible then? The person in the photo maybe someone else who looks like your husband. Do not worry, darling. Please get up and try calling Peter again.” I picked up my phone and dialed Peter once again.
The number you have called is currently switched off. Please try again later.
“Alyssa, I am terrified, I don’t know where he’s now, what’s happened to him and why is his phone turned off all the time? I feel as if thousand thunders are banging my head at once. Let me go, Alyssa. Let me go home once and check there.”
Okay, Zara, I’ll accompany you. Come, let’s go.
When we reached, I ran into the porch. I found the door locked, and Peter was nowhere to be found. I screamed very hard, sitting on the stairs and pulling out my hair in mourning.
“Zara, the doors are locked. Certainly, he’d taken a trip to Australia yesterday. Don’t fret. Let us try to contact people in his office.”
I looked down and noticed the day’s newspaper flung at the doorway. The main page has an article on President Mark’s arrival in the city the day after tomorrow to address the people there. It gave me an idea. I immediately turned to Alyssa and said, “Alyssa, we can go to the library now and get some old newspapers for the past two years. The older woman has told me about the accident; it was what the author had told me too. The accident occurred in the area of Lake in Orchard Town. We might get answers from the newspaper which was circulated on the day the president met people two years ago near the same lake in Orchard Town.
“Oh, yeah, Zara, that’s an excellent idea. Come on, let’s go quickly.”
We entered the library walking past its massive doors. The broad sunlight could not reach the enormous room. Instead, it was the hanging lights above that lit the entire hall.
Alyssa took the newspapers one by one, and I quickly dusted off the papers and searched for the post. We didn’t have any success about half an hour out. The library person had put together a bunch of old papers on a table. I found a paper loosened up from a set, and it has “President Mark” on the title text. I surged and attempted to pull out the paper. It was challenging to take it out, but I pulled it out bit by bit, reading the headline.
In my view, the article was upside down. Half of the paper came out, and the title was written as “President Mark will come to meet the people at Orchard Town Lake today.”
I noticed that the date was June 13th, 2018.
“Yes, this is the paper. I got it,” I screamed in a loud voice.”
Alyssa rushed to me and stared at it. I tried to retrieve the rest of the text. In the next half of the article, we found a man’s head on a photo. Again, I pulled the whole paper out with force, causing the other papers to fall down rapidly. I finally managed to look at the picture in the article. It was a photograph of an individual that seemed familiar, with a car accident picture nearby. Immediately I turned the paper towards me.
My heart’s last beat stabbed at my eardrum very louder. My vision blurred.
“Zara, who is that? Give me once, Let me see,” she asked me and grabbed the paper from my hands at once.
“Peter…?” she yelled at once, looking at the picture on the article.
My head hit the floor with a terrible sound, and Alyssa turned over on hearing it. When I opened my eyes after a while, I left the darkness and silence around me.
“Zara, you fine? I was terrified to see you so frail and broken. Come, let’s go home.” said Alyssa, wiping the droplets of water on my face, which they must have sprinkled on me to wake me up..
“Give me the paper, please. I’d like to read the full news stuff.”
“Zara, It’s Peter. It was written that he died in a car accident when a truck hit his car, throwing it out of control. I am getting mad about how it could be true. And moreover, it had been written as he died on the spot miserably.”
“Then who is it, Alyssa, that is living with me? Peter has just traveled to Australia on a business trip. He is alive. He isn’t dead,” I started blubbering.
“Alright, Zara, we should go to Peter’s office and ask them about his current situation. Don’t cry, please. We will find a solution there.”
We reached his office and climbed up the stairs to the 8th floor since the lift was under maintenance. The front office person greeted us and asked how he could help us.
“She is Zara, Peter’s wife,” said Alyssa.
“Oh, Warm regards, Ma’am.” he greeted us and granted seats.
We want to meet the manager regarding their trip to Australia.”
“Sorry Ma’am Today is our day off. Our office does not operate on Sundays. I’ll intimate our manager to call you back.”
When I was stepping down, my hope slowly trickled down. I remembered the days we’ve spent together.
Is Peter a human? Or am I living with a soul that didn’t attain its peace after a terrific car accident? I remember an incident when his finger was cut with a blade and he did not bleed. When he has fallen from the stairs, his legs were not wounded.
Peter, Are you a dead soul? Am I living with a demon? Tears stung my eyes. I could feel pain in my heart. I sat on the stairs with anxiety.
With tired eyes and a hungry stomach, I walked back to the station along with Alyssa. On our way, I saw a man sitting in a squat spot, wearing a greasy dress and uncombed hair, repairing a bike. While crossing him, he lifted his head and took a sharp look at us. I stopped walking suddenly and attempted to picture his face. I turned at once to look back at him for the second time. As he saw me, he turned around and soon began to walk out. I stood there for a moment, remembering the incident when I had first met him.
Isn’t he the bookseller? The realization hit me. “Oh, my God! He is the person who came to my doorstep to sell me books right around two years back, Alyssa. But why does he work as a mechanic, and why did he walk back in a rush on seeing me? No, something isn’t right with him. I want to know what it is. Come with me, Alyssa.”
She agreed and accompanied me.
We entered into a small street, tailing him with dread, and noticed that he has gone inside a home. I walked there with Alyssa behind me, and thumped on the door hard.
“Hi Zara, How are you?” the person asked me in a baffled voice as he opened the door.
“How do know my name? Who are you?”
“Not just your name, Zara, I know everything about you. How is your husband, Mr. Peter?”
“But how do you know Peter? Is he your friend? You are the person who came to my home selling some books, right? And why did you walk back hurriedly on seeing me?”
“Well, I am Nicholas, and I am not a bookseller. I came to your home to see your life some two years ago, and know whether you got married or not”
“But what’s your concern about my marriage and my life?”
“No, it was Peter who was my concern, Zara. Do you know who Peter was before two years?”
I nodded in negative.
“He was a well-known businessman. And his corporate rivals deliberately intended to kill him. One Sunday, the president came to the lake to meet people in the city. A vast crowd had assembled there. I was fixing a bike in my shop some miles away from the lake. Abruptly, a massive sound of a crash was heard somewhere nearby. I came out of my shop and found a truck crashing a car. I hurried to the spot, while the truck driver fled the scene on seeing me. I discovered Peter lying inside the vehicle, terribly injured. I opened the door, pulled him away and hauled him into my shop. On hearing the horrible sound, people started running towards the car to save the victims. I laid him inside and hurried to the vehicle once again. But regrettably, the car blasted, and the driver inside died on the spot. I ran back to my shop and gave him some medical aid. I called a mate of mine who is a doctor—a neurologist surgeon—to treat him and advised him to leave it alone as a mystery since it was not coincidental but rather a planned homicide. We have given him the best possible treatment; however, shockingly, he has gone under a coma state.
“Coma? Is that true?”
“Yes, Zara, then I took care of him for months and made sure he got regular treatment, and one day he got out of his comatose state. I was astonished and happy for him. However, despite the recovery, he was not pleased with his life since he lost his memory. He didn’t even talk to me.
But he used to have a photograph on his hands every time I saw him and he stared at it with nostalgic eyes. I realized that he doesn’t recall anybody aside from your face. Yes, Zara, It was you in the photograph. I asked him one day who the girl was, but he said that he found it in his jacket and didn’t remember who she was. He asked me to find the girl. So I discovered your whereabouts and came to your home to know your life. And there I could understand that you were not married yet and that you stayed with your parents. So I asked him to go and meet you. And after a few months, I came to know that he was infatuated with you once again, and he had wedded you.”
Oh, my divinity! Peter … is it you who wrote about me in the diary? The guy who loved me so much as nobody does? Where are you, Peter? I said to myself.
“Come to me, Peter, please,” my words came out this time.
“What happened to him? Where is he?” asked Nicholas.
All of a sudden, my phone rang. It was Peter’s manager. He informed me that Peter had ignored to take the flight along with them. Instead, he has sent a couple of employees and a manager to deal with the project.
“Alyssa, come on, let’s go home soon.” I beseeched her. “He has not taken the flight abroad. Let’s go, check back in the home again. Please”
“Thank you so much, Nicholas, for your great help. And I’ll be ever grateful to you in my life, for giving rebirth to my soul—Peter.”
“Zara, you get home and search for him. I’ll reach the police station and register a complaint to search for him,” said Alyssa.
I took a train and arrived home in about an hour. I noticed the door open. In tears, I raced inside to look for Peter.
“Peter … are you there? I am back! Peter … where are you? Come out, please.”
I looked for him inside each room; however, I couldn’t find him. My heart was beating at a furious pace. In pursuit of my last luck, I ran to the backyard with a scream. In the little garden library, I saw Peter sitting leisurely on the chair under the sunshade. His back was turned to me, and he seemed to be reading something seriously.”
“Peter … ” I tried to call him out, but just the air buzzed out of my mouth. Clearing my throat, I called him over again.
“Peter … ”
“Hey, Zara, Are you back, dear?” he staggered, running towards me.
Hugging me, he burst out into tears.
“Zara, I canceled my trip to Australia and stayed here for two days waiting for you to return. But you did not care about me, right?”
I slapped him and said that he kept his phone consistently turned off whenever I called.
“Dear, do you remember when we fought; you were furious and threw my phone, hitting it hard on the wall? Look at this. It’s completely broken,” he said, pointing at his phone, almost child-like.
“Oh, my god!” I said with my hand flung over my face, “I am so sorry, Peter. Did that all happened because of me? I am sorry. It was all because I was upset. I forgot about the mishap with the phone. I just wanted to leave home before you left.”
He held my hands in his as tears streamed down my face.
“Sorry, Peter. I regret my mistakes, and I beg your pardon. Forgive me for ignoring all your affection and exhibiting my wrathful behavior.”
“No worries, dear, But always do remember a popular saying that if you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
“True, Peter. It’s utterly right. I realized so,” I said, agreeing with him.
“Today I have come to your pal’s house. But the maid told you people had gone out somewhere. Then I came back,” he said.
“Peter, we’ve been searching all around for you. And I realized today how much love you have for me.”
“But Zara, I failed to maintain a balance between my work life and personal life. I was focusing on being a top businessman and was getting closer to that dream, but I failed to be a good soul partner in your good and hard times. I realized that when I saw you crying for my presence beside you. And that’s why I decided to cancel my trip abroad.”
“I know that you work hard not just for you, but the well-being of the both of us. And I misunderstood you. I am so sorry,” I said as he tried comforting me. My eyes then fell on the book that was in his hand.
“Peter, Is that “The Diary- Part three” you’re reading?”
“Yes, Dear, But why does the author do so? His third meeting here was incomplete. I am quite eager for him to open up to her and express his love for her this time. But the book ends saying; he waited and waited for her, writing his diary downhearted, by the lake for hours. I am disappointed.”
“Ha-ha, dear love,” I hugged him tightly, kissing his forehead with tons of love and tears. “Let us write the story ahead!”
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