“I can’t do this, Vikram,” Sonia pleaded into the phone. “I respect you but I’d always feel pitied. Goodbye…”
 
She looked at her phone for a long moment after disconnecting the call. A few copious drops streamed down her eyes.
 
Vikram and she had met through a matrimonial portal. They had decided to marry within the first few months of interaction. They belonged to similar families, were in similar professions and were blessed with similar good looks. No wonder, everyone was elated with the picture perfect match.
 
And now Sonia had to call off the wedding that she had been planning for so happily. Very slowly she dragged herself towards the mirror. Silently she made a promise for the hundredth time to not cry. She uncovered the mirror and stared at her face. A pair of sad eyes stared back through a grotesque mound of flesh. And for the hundredth time, she broke into hysterical screams.
 
Through her inconsolable cries, she felt her phone vibrate again. A mixed feeling of hope and self-control gripped her as she checked the message.
 
It was Vikram.
 
“Midnight, on the bridge. Come alone.”
 
Sonia calmed her tears quickly and placed a call to Vikram to turn him down. But he was not ready to buy any of her excuses.
 
“You’re breaking up anyway…why can’t you trust me and come one last time?”
 
Sonia agreed reluctantly. She put down her phone and looked out of the window. As she saw the hint of the full moon on the eastern horizon, she knew what Vikram was planning.
 
On their last movie date, Sonia had gushed at an onscreen proposal beneath the moonlight. Vikram had immediately promised her a similar night of romance some day.
But that date night belonged to another era. That was a time when she had dreams. That was before her stalker had attacked her with raw acid.
 
Finally at 11:45pm Sonia grabbed a shawl and headed for the bridge. She decided that there was no harm in living out one last night of love.
 
On reaching the bridge she found Vikram waiting for her. Tall and broad-shouldered, he looked like a prince out of a lost tale. Sonia’s smile vanished as she felt ugly and unworthy of his love.
 
At this point, the clock struck 12 and the moon climbed to the highest point in the sky. Suddenly Vikram crouched and held his belly in pain. Sonia rushed ahead and bent down to reach out to him. His body was under powerful seizures now, which slowly were turning him into a hideous werewolf.
 
Sonia stood up with her mouth open as the werewolf inched closer.
“Would you marry me as I am?” A pair of sad eyes looked into hers from the canine face.
 
Sonia rested her head against his fur and said softly, “Yes.”
 
Reflected in the moonlit river below, their shadows looked beautiful.
Tanima Das

Written by Tanima Das

Tanima writes primarily because she loves to write. She usually finds it really hard to talk about herself.