For Better or Worse

3 min


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February, 2027

How else would it have happened? 

Everyone who knew her, knew she would kick the bucket either typing away furiously at her laptop or whipping up something in the kitchen.  

I mean if you knew Sona, you wouldn’t be surprised. But since you didn’t know her the way I did, let me tell you. 

Sona, was everyone’s darling. Her parents, teachers, neighbors and friends all loved her. And, as she blazed through her high school, graduation and post-graduation, they marveled at her insatiable curiosity, her stamina to read, her prowess with the English language. Hell, even her mother-in-law liked her; well mostly because she could cook like a dream. But hey, whatever the reason, she was well liked by all, is what I am trying to say. 

Now the only exception here was – yes isn’t that the reason the phrase ‘exception to the rule’ coined – her husband. Oh! Don’t get me wrong, not that he didn’t love her, but…he feared her more. 

Yup! She was a formidable woman. She was educated, wrote prose like Ruskin Bond, poetry like Pablo Neruda, cooked like Angela Lawson, managed her business like Vandana Luthra, managed her and his finances like Naina Kidwai, even her children turned out just fine – a point of jealousy for a lot of women around her. She mentored and/or pushed people around her to do their best and many did because of that constant pressure. So, you get the picture. She was a go-getter. 

Now, to add to that, she had a little bit of a devilish streak. Her favorite (terrorizing) line for her husband was that if he became a widower (legally or illegally), he better not be happy about it. For she would haunt him, especially if he had a hand in it. She told him she would hover over the bed and torment him. Poor guy. He prayed that he not be a widower or that she not be a bitch. Oh! Sorry, that she not be a witch (his words not mine).  

But fate wasn’t kind to him. For die she did and a widower he did become. Bereaved and exhausted after performing all the rituals, he finally slumped on the bed and drifted off into an uneasy sleep. Late in the night as his back protested the uncomfortable position he opened his eyes…

And, screamed his head off. For hovering midair, below the ceiling fan, was his beloved wife; as promised. Or rather her apparition was. His scream and the hammering of his heart were music to her ears. She grinned and he nearly fainted. 

‘Did I not teach you better than to go off to sleep with out having a bath?’ she berated.

His mouth hung open.

He stole a glance towards the bedroom door. 

‘Oh! Don’t think of running. I’ll follow you, EVERYWHERE,’ she threatened, ‘And, no the kids can’t hear me. Better be careful when people are around, otherwise everyone will think you have gone mad. Loco at the loss of his wife, they will say.’ She cackled at the idea.  

More than a few nights passed thus. She would pop in and pop out at odd times. A true nuisance she became. And one of her constant question was, ‘I slipped on that peel and banged my head against the counter and never woke up. Question is, how did the peel get there?’ 

His ‘I don’t know’, only enraged her. 

‘This cannot continue, I need to do something,’ he thought after many a sleepless night.

One thing was sure about Sona’s husband. He was not without skills. After all he had survived the great pandemic (and his wife for three decades) on sheer wit. And, if he even had a dream of enjoying the big life policy pay out, he had to get rid of her. 

He racked his brains. Then he remembered the first time he had caught his wife…and even the second time…bloody hell actually a third time too. Each time it had been a different man. He smacked his head. ‘How the hell did I forget that?’ he thought. Then a grin spread across his face. He had a plan.

‘You are in a good mood,’ she grumbled that night, at the sight of him lounging on the bed.

‘Hmm… remember that time baby?’ 

‘Which time?’ she asked, suspicious of his calm demeanor.  

‘The night I caught you with George Clooney,’ he smirked.

She glared at him. 

‘And another night with Peirce Brosnan and Hugh Jackman. Oh! How you ogled and ogled at them. I knew exactly what was going on in your mind,’ he said examining his nails. Then he delivered his punch line, ‘Now you are a free bird baby. Now you can pursue them all you want. You want, don’t you?’ A sly smile danced on his lips. ‘All you have to do is find them in this neither-here-nor-there world of yours.’

He could see her wavering. ‘The plan’s working,’ he thought and grinned inwardly. 

Now, if you recall, I told you she was a go-getter. Never could resist a challenge. And…at the end of this challenge lay George, Pierce and Hugh. Which women, ahem and a few men, could resist those hunks?

Her apparition flickered and evaporated. Husband danced a happy dance. 

Many nights passed and each night with her non-appearance he relaxed a bit more, till he was sure he had succeeded. 

Then one night…

‘Oh Husband! That was the best idea you gave me,’ she gushed. ‘We had such fun. They are so open minded; onesome, twosome, threesome, they were game for all.’ 

And, she went into great details to describe her escapades.

‘Why? Why are you back, go be with them?’ he cried.

‘Oh baby,’ she cooed, ‘they are only time pass. But you and I,’ she stated, ‘for better or worse…seven lives. Remember…’

Husband lost his marbles…

Author’s Note:

Oh sorry, I never introduced myself, did I? I am Sarves’s favorite animal. Hint – tsk, tsk.

*******************

Real Author’s Note:

This story is inspired by a conversation between two writers I really look-up to and admire. Now, who are they and who’s story is this? It’s for me to know and you to guess. 

Hint – Both have their stories in Hawk’s Flight, the second book in the Hawk series. And you will get to meet the author of this story in one of those stories. So please buy the book and meet him/it. Very interesting character. 

A lot of fictional liberty has been taken by the author while writing this piece. It is not meant to offend anybody, living or dead. 

******

Photo Credits: Pixabay

This is an entry for the event #Supernatural #UniK-7 being held at Writers Room | Room8.

Read the event guidelines here: UniK-7 event guidelines

Order ArtoonsInn Books that released recently on the 7th of November.
Hawk’s Flight: https://www.amazon.in/dp/8194132681
Rewind: https://www.amazon.in/dp/8194847400

Shop for Room9 books here: https://room9.artoonsinn.com/shop/

 


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