A Short Story
The small street was lined with Ambulance, some police vehicles and surrounded by a big crowd. Everyone was trying to find what happened in the third house on the right, the one with the brown door. Even though a big crowd had gathered in front of the house, people were silent. Small whispers and murmurs could be heard but no big noises. After all the dead have to be respected
Arnav, the 17 year old son of Kulkarnis committed suicide this morning using overdose of sleeping pills. His parents who were out of station found his lifeless body in the morning. Doctors were called but apparently they were late. Police came to determine if it was indeed a suicide or was it foul play by his enemies
“Enemy? How could a 17 year old boy have any enemy?” Arnav’s father Shyam Kulkarni thought to himself watching as the police went on with their work. “He was so carefree. I never thought he cared about anything. What drove him to suicide? What? Why? I shouldn’t have insulted him in front of his friend the other day but I just wanted him to study and not waste his life. Can’t a father shout at his son? I should have talked with him instead of shouting at him. God! What have I done?”
Tears swelled from his eyes
Sunita Kulkarni looked at her husband with a mixed feeling of anger and pity “I had always told him. He is growing up. Take it easy with him but all he wanted was to make his life miserable. Oh god! I have lost my only son and he is responsible for his death. I would… I would never forgive him” She burst into tears. Shyam looked at his wife. He wanted to hold her but her eyes stopped him, her angry eyes. He felt guilty
The crowd outside the house was starting to disperse. The investigation would take time and nobody had the time to wait and watch. It was just a stupid teenager who committed suicide. The reason could be many, studies, fights with parents, overdose of drugs, a girl, anything. Teenagers nowadays give up their life for petty small things.
Outside the courier boy from the nearby courier service was getting late because of the crowd on the road.
“Why does it always have to happen to me? If I don’t deliver by 5:00 this entire package, I will be late for my night college. Why did he kill himself today? Can’t he kill himself on a Sunday? Stupid boy! If I had a house like that and with that money, I would have studied without pressure. These boys are born with a silver spoon and all they can think of is having fun. Cannot even deal with small problems He should see my life to see what problems really mean. Will the police allow me to go on that side? I will surely miss the classes today. Oh god help me”
Amit Mehta watched the crowd from the opposite building. Amit watched the proceeding with a sense of strange calmness.
“That Arnav was a ruffian. Always trying to get close to my daughter, teasing her. Its good that my daughter does not even talk to boys like him but he was a menace to society. Good thing he killed himself or one day I would have killed him. I pity his parents. Taking care of their son to find him turn into this. Its better he died this way then getting killed by someone’s gun. Thank you god! You have strange way of justice”
Amit’s hand curled into a fist with the anger burning inside him. In the adjacent bedroom, Kirti Mehta eyes turned moist. She remembered the jovial, naughty Arnav who would tease her a number of times. She found him irritating but his persistence was paying up and she was slowly and gradually falling for him.
“Why? Why Arnav? Why did you do it? That day when you told me that you would kill yourself if I didn’t say yes, I was stupid not to believe you. Oh Why Arnav, why? I was just testing you. Please come back, please. Oh god! What have I done?”
As the Police cleared the crowd, Abhinav stopped his bike in front of Kulkarnis house. He looked inside but the police was not allowing anyone inside. He knew that the police would talk to him sooner or later. It was just a matter of time.
“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Arnav you are so stupid and I am screwed. You were a big show-off weren’t you?” Abhinav thought to himself “Can’t understand the difference between beer and sleeping pills. You wanted to show how macho you are by taking 25 pills at a time. I admit Arnav. You are macho and you are stupid and now you are dead. You and your stupid bet. I hope the police don’t check the telephone record to see that you called me last. I have to think of a story now, a full-proof story. Cannot tell them the bet story. It makes me look guilty. Oh God! Why me?”
Abhinav turned his bike thinking about a story. The door of the ambulance closed as Arnav’s body was taken for postmortem.
Arnav parents watched silently as the ambulance departed from the third house on the right of the street. The cloud dispersed, the show was over. They had a life to live.
Note: Inspired while telling someone address to a house. The house was somewhat like “Third house on the right”. Also inspired by something my mother always says that “You are not important. Life will always go on without you”