You Won’t Believe It by Rohit Arora

I was driving at 85. The night was darker than it should have been. There was nothing on the road, not in the windshield, not in the mirrors. I was so sure that we were not coming back. That we would go into the dark and then never appear at the other side of the road. She lay on the back seat staring at me like a voodoo doll. Oh, and she was dead. Did I tell you she was dead? She was. The wind whistled past me through the window like running away from something. The trees beside the road ran back. I looked at her once and she blinked. I turned back and focused on the road.

The rain had stopped an hour back. The smell of wet soil mixed with green leaves and crushed concrete effervesced like it does when it rains in forests. There was the smell of dead meat, rank and poignant, climbing slowly to my head. She had no clothes on. And she was soaked in her sweat. Did I tell you she was soaked in her sweat? She was. I was too. Not in hers. Mine. Her sweat was tasteful, mine is all gummy and disgusting and nauseating. That’s why I had kept my window open even though I shivered. I didn’t have my clothes either. I didn’t tell you that as well, did I? My jawline was freezing and my teeth clattered and my chest was red and hurting. I looked back at her once again and she smiled. I smiled back and cupped my hands over my face for a second and breathed into them. Warm and diffusing like late night winter hearth.

“Can I come in front?” She asked. Her voice was soft like cotton candy, melting and sweet.

“It’s cold here. And the road is dark too. You won’t like it.”

“It will be ok.” Her head rested on her arm. “Please.”

I didn’t like the squeal in her voice. She was a strong lady. I didn’t like her saying please to me. I never like women saying please to me. I feel like, you know, I am some sort of chauvinist. Oppressing them. I stopped the car and got down without saying anything. I went to the other side and opened the door for her and helped her getting out. Her legs were still bleeding, so she couldn’t.. Oh shit! I forgot again. I am really sorry. I.. I am not really a good storyteller and this is not an easy one to tell. I was never a good storyteller. Even when my dad asked me to tell stories to my sister, I made up some weird stuff. She finally had to tell him that she didn’t want to hear stories from me. So, pardon me, please.

I helped her settling in the front seat and there we were on the road again. She beside me. Sitting straight and motionless like a mannequin carved out of white marble. The moon shone on her skin so bright that I wondered for a moment if she was silver. Her head was towards me. Her eyes stared at me and not at the road. I realized it then that she wanted to be with me before it all ended.

“You are supposed to be dead, you know.” I said.

“Why did you have to bring that up?”

“Because I had to. We can’t just ignore it, can we?”

She didn’t say anything.

“I am sorry.”

“There is nothing to apologize for.” She replied.

I turned the car into the woods and it started raining again. The drops were loud like crackers on the roof of the car. I started looking around in the trees, drops falling in already mellowed soil like.. like.. like water does in mud, you know. I stopped the car and looked at her.

“Is this the place?” She asked.

“Yes.”

“Oh.” She was sad. Even though her expressions didn’t change. I mean they couldn’t, right? She was dead. But I knew in her voice that she was sad. She didn’t want to go.

“I will keep coming to visit you.”

“No, you won’t.”

I didn’t say anything. I opened the door and went out. I took out the spade from the trunk and started digging in the ground. It didn’t take much time. The soil was soft already. I helped her coming out of the car and lay her on the ground right beside the hole I had dug for her.

“Hey.” Those drowsy needy eyes.

“Yeah.”

“Make love to me. Please. One last time.”

I don’t know why she even said that. We had made love just before leaving. I nodded slowly and we made love. When I stood up back over her, there were tears flowing down her eyes. I closed them. I stood there watching her for some time but she didn’t open them back. Then, I slid her slowly into the hole and filled it with mud.

 

The man who had introduced himself as the head of this police station stares at me like I am an alien. He turns his head to the other man in uniform sitting beside him and looks back at me. I slide my cuffed hands towards his on the table between us. He is not sweating but I can smell it on him. Both of them. Surprising. It isn’t that hot here.

“This is it.” I say. “That’s what happened.”

He doesn’t say anything.

“What?” I ask.

“Nothing.” The same stare. “So, why did you murder her?”

I lower my head and shake it slowly but even before I can say something, the other man, the one who had arrested me for speeding, he presses his thigh slowly.

“I mean.” He presses his lips and speaks again. “Why did you take her life?”

“Hmm.” I smile and look straight at him. “That, sir, is one unbelievable story. Trust me.” I start laughing. “You.. you won’t believe it.”

 

Rohit Arora 

Banner Image: Pixabay.com

5 thoughts on “You Won’t Believe It by Rohit Arora

  1. Hi Rohit,
    I really enjoyed this. It tackled a very unpleasant topic in yet, the quirkiness in style worked so well.
    The last line was genius. I am still not sure whether I should laugh or shudder!!
    This is a very entertaining story and I am very interested to see what else you can come up with.
    All the very best my friend
    Hugh

    Like

    • Thanks a lot, Hugh. This is the first time I have received a feedback from an independent reader; it means a lot. I am happy that you liked it and even happier that you liked it for the reasons intended :).

      Like

  2. My feedback skills might be a touch rusty. If you are wondering what I mean, I’ll explain. 🙂

    Anyway, this was a nice short read before bedtime.

    I enjoyed how scattered the thoughts of the narrator/protagonist are. The way the story is told, it’s like the reader is dazed and intoxicated almost, which fits well.

    There was a sentence or two that, for me, was somewhat awkward but I think perhaps this may have been a typo? Such as “The wind whistled past me through the window like running away from something.” I assume there’s an “it was” missing? If not and this was intended, I’d love to hear about the decision of that sentence structure as it’s always useful to hear people’s decisions. Rules are made to be broken at times. 🙂

    There were a couple clichéd imagery phrases though this may also work in the story’s favour. “Cotton candy” felt peculiar at first but then I thought about how crazy the situation is and how messed up the protagonist is thinking. In that sense, this clashing cuteness against the rest makes sense.

    I think I rather like that we don’t necessarily get much of a tone in the written dialogue. It allows us to put our own thoughts into it and for me, even though the protagonist is clearly frazzled in this recalling and the event, it is quite matter-of-fact. This is obviously jarring against the actual unfolding scenario which I felt was interesting.

    To save from spoilers I’ll call it the racy moment: I’m not saying I would have liked to have read all out smut or an extended and awkward scene but it felt rather hurried for the phrasing used. I was also a little confused about the change from past tense to present tense in the later part of the story. Was the first part a recounting to them?

    The cliffhanger at the end is interesting, how the dialogue is phrased. It left me hungry yet more for what might have came in between parts of this story itself rather than a continuation. Although, having said that, I definitely would want to check out any story that may flow on from this.

    There’s a creepy factor yet also a meloncholy. Is it madness? Is it more? I’m not sure but I love the premise.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Like

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