The Red Handset

She bought the cheapest paid phone that was available in the store. It was a red handset. “Ma’am there are better ones for you”, the shopkeeper tried to sell the more expensive sets to her. “This will do just fine”, she said as she walked out of the store heading to the nearby cafe.

She watched them from the next table. They seemed lost in each other. At times he’d hold her hand and squeeze it slightly and she’d look at him lovingly. Her anger kept on increasing at frantic pace seeing this open display of emotions between the two of them. Had he forgotten about me altogether? Did he not really love me at all? Was the role of devoted husband, simply that? A “role” that he played to perfection? She was lost in her own thoughts when she was interrupted by a call on her mobile.

“Yes I’m here already. Waiting. Please come fast. And don’t forget to bring what I asked you to”, she said, in a hushed tone, which however could not conceal the anger she was feeling at that moment.

She kept on watching her husband, make a joke of their marriage as he and the woman with him at his table spent precious intimate moments, oblivious to all the people around them. Her entire life kept flashing in front of her eyes. The good times, which all seemed like one big lie now, and those wretched horrible moments, which now seemed to have found a perfect explanation, at least in her mind. She knew from inside their marriage was over.

She felt a firm tap on her shoulder, which startled her and made her look back. It was him. The man on the phone. Standing in front of him. He looked taller than what he appeared on his profile pic. His steely eyes seemed cold and dispassionate. He exuded a cold aura that was as fascinating as it was frightening.

“Sit down”, she ordered, her tone masking her nervousness admirably. “Hope you’ve come prepared”, she asked him, as she looked imploringly right in his firm cold eyes. He simply nodded and asked her to leave. “Leave the packet for me at the waste-bin outside the cafe”, he said. “I don’t want to see you after this”, his tone had a finality about it which made her leave almost immediately.

She did as she was instructed. She went outside and dropped the brown-paper wrapped bundle in the waste-bin right in front of the cafe. She walked a few steps further near the bus shelter and waited there.

Two muffled shots were all she heard. And then the panic-stricken screams. From within the cafe. The tall man quietly walked out, coolly taking the silencer off his pistol putting them in separate pockets. He reached for the bundle from the bin and walked off, disappearing into the crowd in a matter of seconds.

Her heart was pounding like a freight train. As she boarded the next taxi by the curb and headed home, her mind was numb. She knew she had to be home by the time she would receive the phone call, informing her about the “news”.

***

She smiled wearily as her father in law showed himself to the door. “You know you are always welcome in our house. You’re still our daughter”, he said, as he hugged her tight. She shed a couple of tears as her head was buried in his chest. “I know. I know,” she whimpered.

It had been a hard three months for her, he knew.

 “Call us whenever you feel like,” he said, as he was leaving. She nodded gently, her eyes looking directly at him.

As he door closed, her face changed colour faster than a chameleon. Her expression changed from one of extreme sorrow to that of a victorious gleam. She took her red mobile out and punched the only number that was saved on it. It was him on the line.

“It’s done. All’s been taken care of. The property papers and insurance money will be with me by tomorrow. I hope our tickets have been booked darling,” she cooed on the phone. She smiled at his answer.

She chucked the red mobile in the same waste-bin where she’d thrown the brown paper bundle. She hummed a little tune to herself as she walked back home. She had a lot of bags to pack.

Copyright(c) Pratik Majumdar

Published by Patmaj

Hi this is me, Pratik. I love to read, write, listen to music, watch movies, travel and enjoy great food. Like a whole lot of us I guess. Will keep posting my short stories and other writings out here on a regular basis (hopefully) and (hopefully again) all of you will enjoy them writings...

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