Saturday, April 26, 2014

Samantha, could you?

“She has started visiting me again. Two days after my husband died. It was very scary, that she suddenly turned up and started conveying her feelings so unabashedly. And she kept on saying what she wanted, never listened to me. She said, “You deny your life’s truths.”
“She said that? Alright. Go on. Wait, did you say again? Has she come before too?”
“When I was 16, she had said -You need to kill everyone, everyone in the world who makes your life a living hell. It scared the bejesus out of me. I was confused. She often came when I was sad, or when I was utterly stressed. But she was of no help. She made me more sick and sad.”
“And then she came after your husband’s death.”
 “Yes. She said why I am crying over a man who was infidel. It was strikingly true, but how did she know that? Was she close to my husband’s keep? I asked her of course, but she has her way with words. She, then said, “You are a failure, Samantha. You could have done so much better in your life. Look at you, you are so disgruntled and dissipated. Get your shit together, will ya?”
“She changed her way of talking?”
“Surprising, isn’t it? She switched to this, this Boston Accent sometimes. Funny, I am from Boston, and I did away with the accent once I came to New York.  That is the only thing I know about her, that she hails from Boston.  Then she often came during nights. And one night she told me, “10 years of marriage and you never tried for kids. You wanted them, but your husband was this man who loved his office more than the bedroom.”
“Hmm, how did she know that?”
“Exactly! Look at her guts, right? I was like, who are you to tell me what I wanted and what kind of a human my husband was? He worked hard for the family. Funnily, when I said this, she quietened down but after some time, when I went to bed, she again came to me, disturbed me from my sleep. I was exhausted by her sudden visits. I wondered where she came from, maybe very near. Now she has started coming more often.”
“What did she say, this time?”
“Oh she said,- “Worked for the family? What kind of family? Oh of course, the other one he had placed in Ottawa. Canada, who could have ever thought he had his mistress in Canada, of all the other places?”
I could not say anything but cry. This woman was disjointing the well-oiled machine of my life into such humongous and dirty parts.
 “Uh-huh. Any other visits before the one you were pretty angry about?”
“Oh plenty! She has never got anything good to talk about. She is always so angry and frustrated. Once she said, “You should have married Doug. He loved you so truly, but you wanted to go to Tufts so badly, you managed to disregard him.”
“Doug, my boyfriend in High School. We were in love, but he was this passionate lover kind, and I really did not have much time to devote to lovey dovey conversations. He never, ever planned his life. He hardly took interest in anything except that old guitar of his. That drifted us apart. Though, today he is pretty successful, and happily married.”
“He is married?”
“Oh yes, to this girl called Leesa. She is not good enough for him. In this case, she was right.”
“Who? She?”
“Yes. She told me that he was happy. She said Leesa was not a big-shot herself, but they met at some pool party, and then they are together since. I knew this, I did not know why she was repeating this again and again, as if sadistically enjoying the pain it gave me. Leesa was a waitress in the party they had met. Ah Doug, when I came to know this, I knew he hadn’t changed a bit. A waitress, even after so much success? Only Doug could manage that. What I know of Leesa, I could have made a better counterpart. But I missed the train, did not I?”
“But you married Keanu.”
“I fell in love with him when we were in Tufts together. He was just simply so intelligent, smart, and all those traits you look for. He was too good to be true. And the delusion of the perfect love broke down in two years of our marriage. She was the one who made me realise this.”
“Her again, what did she say?”
“She told me that I did not realise that he was trying to push me down, when he had told me to sit at home instead of the oh-so-amazing job I had acquired. He was scared that I will get more recognition and fame, and will ultimately be termed as the breadwinner. Even though he was good at his job, I was more successful in college than him, and I had landed on a better, high-paying job than him. But he just not wanted me to work, and in some fit of love, I had said yes to him. Sometimes I feel, I was Doug in this relationship. She made this reference. No wait, it was a friend of hers.”
“So she brought a friend along. And what did she do that you said she crossed her lines?”
“Ah, that woman! She said, “Even though her husband was infidel, she wasn’t amazing either”, they said, laughing together.”
“And? Your voice is breaking, do you want some water?”
“No I am okay. It is just that, what she said was, was….”
“Yes, tell me Samantha.”
“It was true. She told me that I was guilty for two things. First one was that I had had an illicit relationship with my husband’s boss. But the second one, it was…nothing.”
“Could you tell me about that, if you want to. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable.”
“Three years ago, his boss had come over for dinner, and when he came to know about my qualifications, he was really impressed. After so many years, someone had praised me for what I had once achieved. Keanu was not really happy, and his boss’ visits became more frequent. He started dropping by when Keanu was out for a business trip, and I never discouraged him. And one day, we made out and that was that. I never, ever, met him again. I told him that this consummation closed any kind of meetings.”
“And he acquiesced to that?”
“It wasn’t surprising at all. All he wanted was to bed me, and I wanted someone else for once. We both had got what we wanted and we were done. But on the same day, as if it was some poetic justice, he asked me
“Where is Keanu?”
“You are his boss, you will know better.”
“There is no official trip, Samantha.”
He looked at me as if saying, “You don’t think?”
“He took off, and I thought if he has something going on, I deserve it.”
“Why did not you tell anyone about this?”
“My relationship with his boss?”
“No, about her, um, visits.”
“People will think I am crazy. I remember Mr Smith saying to me, “Who were you talking to madam? And I was never able to answer. He scoffed, made a weird face and went away. I was never able to tell.”

“And why did you think you deserved your husband’s infidelity?”
“Because I thought it was a punishment to what I had done. That day I checked his flight bookings. His boss’ private investigator did all the other things to tell me the truth.”
“But then, it was way before you and your boss, um...”
“See, she has come again. Oh Jesus! This woman will not let me live. Aaaaa. Shut up, Shut up. Shut up.”
“She is saying-You are guilty, Samantha, you are guilty, you are a pain into everyone’s lives. You act like you are docile and harmless, but no, you know what you did, didn’t you.”
“Aaa, shut up. I did not do it on purpose. It was so impromptu and involuntary, it was, I do not know what are you talking about. I am not guilty, maybe I am but it was not me who did it. It was something else, no I don’t know. I loved him, I loved him. I would have never done that to him. He is still alive, and I know it, everyone is making a fool out of me here.”
“Damn she is such a bitch, Dorothy. She is so irritating and has such a screechy voice. She was the one who said “Kill him, Samantha. Kill him. He isn’t worth it. You don’t want two Canadians getting the love you want do you?” Kill him, he isn’t worth it. See this is why I did not want to talk about her visits in my head, her voice, she came back. She came back. ”
“I did not want to kill him, but then she brought that other woman inside my head too. She said to her, “Samantha is so ugly that even if she kills him, she wont get another husband. But if she kills him, she will be happier because he was not providing her anything but sadness.”
Dorothy calmed her down.
She called for James.
“Perucasia, schizophrenia.”
“Can you speak in English, Dorothy?”- James snickered.
“I will give you my report by evening. She has auditory hallucinations, and most schizophrenics are secretive, and they do not tell anyone and everyone about the voices in their head. Prior to this she has also told me that after she read some novel, she felt there is going to be a plague, and she stacked hundred kinds of food and materials, which is corroborated by her neighbours too. In diagnosing schizophrenia, you have to satisfy what's called Criterion This criterion requires either hallucinations or delusions, and there's a lot of different requirements about those delusions and hallucinations. But if you meet Criterion A First Rank Symptoms, it satisfies all of Criterion A.
And she met two First Rank symptoms. The first was she heard voices that communicated with each other about her. That's a first rank symptom. She has delusions of people controlling her mind, which she calls “visits”, and often terms them as “she” and “her friend.”
The intention and process of killing differ. She might have an intention to kill him, but she did not plan it. What I read off the reports is that it was a very sudden and involuntary act on her part. If it were planned, like mixing poison, you will have a problem- it would become paranoia. Thus planned. But here, it is a clear case of hallucination. But I would like to spend more time with her, James. But you might have a good one for insanity defence. But it is too soon, I need time, like I said.”
“Sure. Thanks Dorothy.”
Dorothy went back. Risperdal had started working. She felt sad, looking at her debilitated condition. But then, with a brave face, she continued to do her job. The next day-
“So, Samantha, could you tell me…”


Sammy Chanda said...

Good weaving of plot. But it had a kind of predictability right from the beginning. And it ended with some kind of incompleteness. Wonderful research of the ailment. I liked the explanation. Keep the quill going!!!!

Prerna Subramanian said...

Actually the incompleteness was intended. Predictability, I should have worked more on that. Thanks a lot Sammy Aunty :)

Anonymous said...

Really interesting (with a LOT of potential for evolution as well, in case you get a chance to publish it somewhere else in the future). I believe it needs some editing (grammar, punctuation, blah). But otherwise, a piece worth looking at more than once! :-)