HONOUR IN LOVE
By Neel Anil Panicker
Akash stepped out of the door and stared through the slits of tree branches at the expanse of barrenness that spread out before him and then beyond at the distant hills that seemed to lord over the desolate expanse.
An eerie silence that he had known since arriving a week ago clung on not unlike a monstrous bat’s wings, dark and forbidding.
He lifted himself up and sat on the parapet, ready for his nightly vigil.
A sigh and then a slight shifting of body weight and he knew Naina was lost in the arms of sleep.
His lips broke into a smile and his mind turned to the past.
God had been kind; kind enough for him to be blessed with the love of a girl like her.
Not that there was anything lacking in him. I mean what girl would not like a boy who was handsome (“not in the conventional sense”__ for a long time he had wondered what that meant); respected women ( “it’s in your eyes”); and outstanding in studies (“I see a hot shot lawyer in you”).
But then Naina was different, much different from the bevy of college beauties that strut around in high heels, their perfectly lined eyebrows cocking a snook at one and all.
She was earthy and real; very lively too.
That’s what he found out on their first date which he very hesitantly proposed after mulling over it for three torturous weeks.
Once he was over his ‘will she, won’t she’ worries, he began to woo her in true movie style and very shortly they became the newest, cutest, and hottest of love birds.
The moon slid behind the hills plunging the lands into darkness. Somewhere far off a wild animal roared.
Akash reminiensced the dark days that followed.
The girl he had chosen to fall in love and marry was from a caste much higher than his. One night her brothers landed in his hostel and beat him with iron rods and leather belts. “Next time it will be death”, they warned. They meant what they said. In their villages and beyond, honour killing was the latest fad.
A month later, the two, helped by Prateek, their common friend, eloped and got married secretly.
‘I will come in a couple of days. We have relatives in Singapore. You two will be safe there and can begin a new life there,’ he had said before leaving the newlyweds in his near abandoned outhouse.
A week had passed since then and there was food for only day more.
What after that? With not much money left and no sign of Prateek, Akash felt a sense of anxiousness creep in.
Despite the cold, sweat puddles began forming around his temples.
So lost was he in his problems that he failed to notice the silhouette of a man that cut through the paddy fields. Followed, a trampling of boots and the slight crackling sound of a twig.
He turned around. It was too late.
(c)neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction # shortstory
Written for https://scvincent.com/2017/02/16/thursday-photo-prompt-tryst-writephoto/