‘I love you, and thus I have to kill you’, is what she said. And pulled the trigger.
It was a Summer noon and we were lazing in our home. She had moved in quite a while ago, and I have cherished every moment of this togetherness. The creative head at a reputed ad agency, she was the living embodiment of all that’s gentle and good about life.
As for my end, med school proved out to be a tough deal. After graduation when I thought I finally will have a moment to pause and take a breath, the next chapter soon began. Hospital, patients, critical care, and playing head of the ER team didn’t seem the most retiring of prospects. Though, I came to love it. Making those life-making or breaking decisions in time-bound situations gave me a high I always longed for. The joy of saving lives’, well, that too had its little charm.
We met at a pub one night. I took her home. And we went on a date the next day. She was more gorgeous in the light of the day.
We just clicked. Adventure sports, writing, cooking, classics, communist literature, we constantly and consistently found in other something we admired, we cherished. And in other, we found the oft searched solace to this loneliness in life. We soon became inseparable. But all this was about the happy times. And like all good things, this too came to an end. In my particular case, to a bloody end.
It all started with cats and dogs. Yes, those little pets. Not that we had any. I despise cats and she dogs. And our discussion that broke into a debate and soon escalated to an altercation was, which was a better pet, a cat or a dog. Quite an innocuous thing you might presume. And how naive my such presumption turned out to be.
She said cats are fluffy, they are independent, and they don’t disturb or bother you. While I sided with canines. These guys genuinely, and completely love you. Their adoration for you is as pure and unadulterated an emotion as any could ever be. But it’s these very things that make them dependent, she said. They need care. They need love and attention. Pets are not supposed to be demanding possessions. I interjected saying don’t we as humans want to love and be loved. She said, we don’t, but we want to do that as a choice. Not a need or some compulsion. I said I agree, in an ideal utopia thus would be the case. But we don’t live in one. We as humans don’t choose what to feel. It happens. Just as it happened that I feel incomplete and amiss without you. And that instant, a shudder went through her being.
All this while, we were sitting together on a single sofa, she in my arms. Now she jumped out with a start. ‘You love me, not because you choose to but rather because you can’t as without?’. I once told self to play it honest with her, and I had intended to keep up with it. I said, ‘Yes, indeed. I love you like a sickness and its cure.’ She instantly recognised the Shakespearean and let off a chuckle, but the sober serious look returned soon. It was clear she seemed disappointed. But the gravity of that disappointment betrayed itself then.
She said, ‘I love you. I love you more than I have ever loved anything in my life. And I am genuinely glad to have found you. But, all this while, I loved you as a conscious choice. Each act, thought, antic of your’s, i consciously admired. I chose you, I chose to love you, just as I chose to live with you. And you know what, I want to give the one I love the most, that which I love the most. Which is, the freedom to choose. The freedom to choose that which you want, that what you want to do, that which you want to live by, live for, to love. I want to give you your freewill back.’
As she paused for breath, I heard self quipping in mock jest, “Well, that escalated quite soon!”. But she gave no counter. She only smiled. But the smile seemed not of admiration. Rather one of understanding. As if, she understood why i don’t understand her stand. Her contention about choosing love, her prominence for absolute and total control on one’s will. Her dig at an idealistic version of a totalitarian freewill. And my face fell.
She left the room. I just lay in the sofa, feeling amused how this little cat and dog gig turned into something so serious. But my amusement did not remain for long, as she returned with a gun. I was bold upright. I knew what she was capable of. While loving, kind, gentle and soft, she lived by and for ideas. And this idea didn’t seem to bore well upon me. And just that moment, her lips stretched into a heartfelt smile. She said, “You won’t understand. Life is to be lived, free. A life as without, is not a life worth living. And I want to give you, my love, a life you deserve. One where you are free, and not bound.”
I was thoroughly horrified. I for some reason, still was struggling to convince self as to the reality of all this. It just seemed too silly to be real. Too unreal. I was about to protest when she spoke, “I love you, thus I have to kill you.” And pulled the trigger.
I felt a pinch somewhere in my chest. And soon I was left breathless. I could hear the blood gurgling into my lungs, and soon gushed out my airway forming splashes on the floor. She leaned near, took my head lovingly into her arms, and said, “I have set you free. Now you can live life, yourself.” And I found it incredibly tragic that she had tears welling in her eyes. The irony was astounding.
And all I could muster was, “Freak!”