Monday, 6 June 2022

Therapy

 It was the day of Etienne's appointment with the therapist. His heart was pounding so hard, he felt everyone around him could hear him. 

"What would the therapist think of him?"

"I would come across as a monster!"

"Etienne," his name was called. Well, there was no turning back now. He entered the therapist's room. It did not look so bad, not like a doctor's clinic - sterile.

Jenny, his therapist, smiled and asked him to sit on a comfortable armchair. The room felt so calm and her presence put him at ease. 

After the formalities were done, Jenny asked him what he would like to talk about. He did not feel forced to reveal anything he was not ready for. 

He started talking about Nandhini and how he felt he needed to work on some issues that would affect his relationship with her. 

"This isn't so bad," he thought.

He was so comfortable talking and did not even realise that he had begun talking about his childhood. The little boy in him took over the session. 

The pain the lost little Etienne felt poured out for the first time in Jenny's office as tears rolled down the grown man's cheeks.

Jenny listened patiently, nothing about her showed any form if judgment. She was patient and it was as though she understood his pain.

Soon, the session had to end.

Etienne felt a huge sense of relief and he was going to meet Jenny again. 

"Why didn't I do this earlier?" he thought as he left the clinic that day.







Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Seeking help

Etienne took out a picture of Swetha he had in his wallet. If only his life growing up had been normal, maybe he would be living a life like anyone else now.

If only his mother had not left him, 

If only his father was less absent in his life

If only...

Well, he could not change the past but he could change how his life moves on from now. 

Did he have the guts to make that call?

Etienne had been pacing in his living room staring at the phone each time he walked past it. 

"I'll tell the psychiatrist everything from the start," he thought, except the part about eating Swetha. 

He had found the psychiatrist on a website online. He would make an anonymous call and find out how it works and if he was convinced, he might take that next big step to get rid if this monster inside him. 

His heart still hurt from what he had done to Swetha and he was determined not to hurt Nandhini, but more than anything he wanted to live a normal life.


Thursday, 12 May 2022

Reminiscing

 Etienne's head was throbbing. 

Since he got home after his meeting with Nandhini, all he could think of was Swetha. Memories of her sweet smile and the way her laughter sounded like wind chimes came back to haunt him. 

He loved the feel of her brown skin. Her hair used to flow around him like a black satin whenever she hugged him. More than all that he had absolute love for her. 

That was the trouble. 

He  loved her so much that he could not bear the thought of not having her. He still could not understand why he did what he did. He knew it wasn't right but the only way he felt he could not lose her was to make her a part of him and that was to eat her.

His mind went back to that night where his desire took over his senses and he ended up killing the person he loved. There hasn't been a day that he did not feel bad for his actions but he also knew he had no control over his actions. 

He ever thought of getting help but he was also not ready to be in trouble with the law. He kept to himself all those years after the Swetha incident but now with Nandhini, he was afraid his old self would return. He had also been lucky to not get caught but he can't be too sure the next time would be the same.

Maybe, he should avoid getting too close to Nandhini. As much as he wanted to be with her, it was not safe for her to be in his presence - alone.

Till he found a way to deal with his cannibal tendencies, he had to maintain a distance with Nandhini.







Saturday, 18 April 2015

Photograph

The phone buzzed. Without even thinking, Nandhini answered the call, and almost immediately regretted it.

Etienne. 

She was not ready to speak to him but now it was too late.

"Finally!" Etienne sounded relieved. 

Nandhini asked him how he was doing. She realised that she missed him a lot more than she thought she had.

Etienne wanted to meet her. He apologised again and said he would explain everything to her when they met.

Reluctantly, Nandhini agreed to meet him, but only for a short while. After work, she took the train down to Paragon Mall. She was surprised to see Etienne there, waiting with a huge bouquet of pink roses. A smile slowly crept onto her face. 

Etienne passed her the flowers, then kissed her. That alone was enough to melt Nandhini. They walked towards their favourite quiet cafe around the corner of the building.

The waitress recognised them. " The usual order?" she asked with a smile. Both nodded. After ordering, Etienne looked at Nandhini. He looked a little nervous.

He took out a photograph. 

Nandhini recognised the girl in the picture. It was Swetha. She kept quiet and looked at Etienne with a blank expression.

"This is Swetha."
"She was the girl I dated for a few months when I was in India."

He paused, waiting for a reaction from Nandhini. Nothing.

He continued to tell her about Swetha and how they were and what kind of girl Swetha was. He certainly was mesmerised with Swetha, Nandhini thought, a little jealous.

Then, he began to tear. Nandhini, reacheed out to him and held his hand. She felt awful for putting him through this.

Etienne continued. "She died. My Swetha died.."

"Oh baby, you don't have to do this. It's alright I don't need to know. "
She got up and stood next to him, hugging him and planting a kiss on the top of his head.

The photograph lay on the table. She looked at the innocent face staring back at her. As much as she wanted to know what had happened to Swetha, she decided it was best to leave the past alone - at least for now.






Friday, 17 April 2015

Online Research

For the next two days, Nandhini avoided Etienne's calls. He called and left text messages, apologizing to her many times. He even sent her flowers to the office. Nandhini was not mad at him, she just needed her space to think.

She tried searching for information about him but nothing came up. She looked up the small town he had come from but - nothing.

Nandhini was constantly on the laptop researching something. There was no topic that was not of interest to her. She loved learning something new all the time.

This time her research was Etienne. She wondered what she could find out about him and of course Swetha.

If she was going to stay with this man, then she definitely had to find out more so that she wouldn't have any doubts.

She did manage to find his classmate and his email address. She took the risk and wrote to him.

Dear Brian,

I am currently dating Etienne from your hometown and since we are getting married soon, would you be kind enough to share with me any information you have about him. I would like to surprise him with a gift for our wedding and honestly I've only known him a short time. Any suggestions you may have is greatly appreciated.

You will definitely be invited to celebrate our special occasion!
Thank you 

Regards, 
Nandhini.

Now she had to wait and hope she got a reply. It could be a start. As for Swetha, she had no idea where to begin.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Nandhini

Nandhini may appear to be a conservative girl from a traditional Indian family. 

She definitely grew up with good values, as well as a good education. Her parents believed that gender did not matter in terms of  opportunities. 

She had always been a very chirpy girl. Tons of friends while growing up. Nandhini was not only good academically but she was a dancer. Dance was her passion. She never had time for boys because she was spending so much time on her dance.

Nandhini was always busy with her studies and when she had left school, she was constantly on the laptop researching something. There was no topic that was not of interest to her. She loved learning something new all the time.

This time her research was going to be on Etienne. She wondered what she could find out about him and of course Swetha.

If she was going to stay with this man, then she definitely had to find out more so that she wouldn't have any doubts.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Mysterious

The next morning, while preparing breakfast for Etienne, Nandhini had images of Swetha appearing before her.

She didn't think she could wait till Etienne said something about it, so she thought she would somehow bring it up. But how?

She could not possibly tell him that she had gone through his personal belongings. He may never allow her into his apartment.

But her head would explode if she didn't ask him.

"Etienne.." she hesitated.

"Yes, dear?"

"Tell me about the girls you have dated," she could almost swear that his face turned pale. 

She immediately regretted. Maybe she brought back some really awful memories.

"Why do you need to know that? I don't ask you about your past!" Etienne yelled at her.

Tears welled up in her eyes. No one had ever yelled at her before. She ran to the room to get her bag and turned to leave. Etienne was at the doorway of the room. Tears flowed down her cheeks like a river. She began to sob when she saw him there, not quite sure if she was hurt or it was anger she felt towards him for treating her in that manner.

"I'm sorry baby, " Etienne apologised. " Yes, I dated someone but things didn't work out. Her family did not agree to the marriage and so we could not be together. Her parents arranged for her to marry someone else.

Nandhini looked right at Etienne - puzzled.

Why was he lying? Why didn't her mention the incident

"What was her name Etienne? If you don't mind telling me."

"Her name was Swetha."

Nandhini just excused herself and told him she needed to get back home. Right outside his apartment, she was trembling. 

Her feminine instincts told her there was more to the story of Swetha...