An ordinary man in an ordinary setting sets his eye on an unfamiliar face. Together they weave a perfect life or so he thought.
The Story Begins
“It was the same old pub. The same old place. However, this time, amidst the usual crowd, stood a new face. I kept stealing glances all night never really mustering the courage to go over and talk. This was precisely what set her apart. I had never found it so nerve-wracking to go over and drop my charm like pieces of bread that would lead the ladies straight into my apartment. But this right here, was someone different. Someone who needed to be wooed. Not by mere friendly banter, she was meant to be loved. Little did I know then that fate was smiling upon us.
Wednesday was karaoke night and also the night that Laila and me would fall madly in love with each other. We sang, we danced, we laughed, we kissed. I had found my eternity. She knew exactly what I needed, what I wanted, what I lacked, what I had. I was an open book to her. She was both a mystery and a marvel.
The ideal partner who came alive from the pages of my diary almost as though the gods had conjured her up after robbing my secrets. When I asked her to marry me, she said she wanted a quiet wedding. She wanted to elope. That was not too odd since over the months that I had made her my world, I rarely left the house. Everyone just seemed envious of my newfound love. But I never cared much. Ours was the fairytale after all. Laila was my all in all. Considering how much she feared the ‘evil eye,’ her demand wasn’t much of a surprise. She used to say, “I’ll always protect you, Timothy. The world is too scary a place. We’ll have a wonderful life together. You and me.”
To a man with an abusive mother, that meant the world. For once, someone wanted to protect me instead of pushing me into the ﬂames of misery. We picked an inconspicuous little spot for the two of us to take our vows. I stood at the altar. My heart racing. Minutes turned into an hour and hour into hours and I knew something was wrong. Her phone was switched off. I rushed back to the hotel and went straight to the room. She was gone. With all her belongings and all my dreams.”
“Is that when you realized..?” asked Ryan as he quickly stole a glance at the recorder. Timothy vacantly squirmed in his straitjacket. “It runs in the family they say. Schizophrenia.”
Promita Guha (Low Key) is the first entrant for the Thought Habitat Flash Fiction Writing Contest 2020. Lookout for more stories in the Flash Fiction Page.