Anna was lying still on the table. The candle was flickering due to the light air coming from the verandah. The room was still filled with sweet aroma of the wax. The table was beautifully laid, perhaps to eternalize the moment.
Unaware of Anna’s death, Collins was dancing with the instrumental, singing his own lyrics.
Let me love you one more time,
The night sky sings the song of love.
Let the souls embrace one last time,
To celebrate the fleeting moments of love.
“He is out of danger now, but we will keep him under observation for 48 hours. But you can go and meet him”, said the doctor to Mathews, Collins’ bosom friend who had accompanied him all through his life.
Mathews waited beside Collins bed, as he slowly opened his eyes. Before he could say something, the doctor entered the room accompanied by a cop.
“Mr. Collins, your wife is dead, do you know? Can you tell me who mixed poison in your drinks?” Asked the cop.
Collins looked in a wild manner, “it’s me officer, it’s me. I killed her, I wanted to kill myself too, but why, why am I alive?” he started howling.
Mathews held his hand and tried to calm him down, as the doctor requested the officer to wait outside the room, then turning to the nurse, “Inject the sedative, he needs to calm down.”
A week later.
Mathews pulled the curtains aside, the bright daylight flooded in. Unable to withstand, Collins started yelling, “Close the curtains, I don’t want light, I can’t face it.” Mathews hurriedly closed the curtains and rushed to him. He slowly held his hand and asked, “Why did you do this, Collins?”
He laughed loudly, “I eternalized our love.”
“Are you crazy, Collins?” crossed Mathews.
“She was about to leave me, Mathews. You are my childhood friend. You know how my mom left me and dad alone.” Collins started crying, “She was responsible for my father’s death. I knew, Anna too was not going to come back.”
“But she was going to Australia for an official tour,” replied Mathews.
To that Collins turned violent and grabbed him by his collar, “I am crazy, I have gone insane, go away.”
“Look Mr. Mathews, your friend has lost mental balance. I have discussed Mr. Collins’ case with a friend of mine. He is a renowned psychiatrist,” said the doctor. “Please go and meet him.”
Four months later, on a Sunday morning.
“Collins, can you recognize me?” asked Mathews, as he discerned the dark figure behind the closed bars looking blankly at the single ray peeping in through a small window. Not getting any response, once again he questioned. But all was in vain; he lost all hope to retrieve his friend from the dungeon of suffering. As he turned to go, he heard a hushed voice,
“Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes…”
Author’s Note: The last lines are taken from Milton’s Paradise Lost.