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Love Beyond Death
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Love Beyond Death
A story of an innocent love at the threshold of death. All left her when she was shot in the neck by her own husband. What happened next?

[1,372 words]
Literary Fiction
Nadeem Akhtar
A Pakistani teacher of English Literature with a flare of writing and a keen interest in modern fiction. Special areas of interest are philosophy , modern continental and latin American literature.
[July 2001]
The Ultimate Option (Short Stories) Modern man's predicament has left him only to avail the ultimate option. A story of all those who think and feel.A man standing on the roof of a building, about to jump down as he is going to commit s... [1,302 words] [Literary Fiction]
Love Beyond Death
Nadeem Akhtar

She was shot in the neck on the right side just below the chin. A fountain of thick red blood poured out marking her critical condition. They rushed her to the hospital where her life was saved but the bullet had damaged her spinal cord, which resulted in the paralyses of all her body below the shoulders. She could hardly start speaking when she came back to her senses after remaining unconscious for almost two week but her body did not move at all.
Her parents,who lived in a remote village, were informed but they did not give any heed to the heart rendering news. Their reply was in accordance to their tribal traditions that they had departed her forever at the time of her marriage. If they would ever accept her back, that would be in the form of dead body. Like all the wretched poor fellows of the world, they were fatalist who believe that whatever had happened with her happened by the will of God and they would be none but damned ones if they were not contented in his will.
Miseries never come alone and when they come, they make their victim alone so that their deadly strike can be morte destructive. It happened with her as she was left alone by all. The man who shot her was no one other than her own husband with whom she got married just two months ago. He left the home just after the incident and did not come into sight ever since. In the absence of one's husband liability is usually shifted to the shoulders of parents but her parents had turned heartless and refused to see her alive. She herself was unable to move even for a single step. All her world had been restricted to her bed, where she was lying and all her universe, to her hospital room. There was an immense darkness beyond the walls of the room, into which, even her thought could not travel.
Doctors viewed the matter in detail and after a long series of different tests and reports concluded that she had very little chances of recovery from present condition rather that her remaining alive for long is almost impossible. Only a miracle can bring her back to life.
In this dismal state of affairs, when all had lost hopes of her life, there was one who had refused to leave her alone at the mercy of cruel circumstances. He was the younger brother of her husband, a boy of thirteen who, in his overwhelming sincerity and innocence was not ready even to think for a while of her death. When she came back to her senses for the first time, he was standing, in tears, besides her bed. Her hardly uttered and half-broken words ensured him of her survival. Later stages of her treatment nourished a hope of her life in his heart. A small ray of light is more than sufficient to show the path when it is complete darkness all around.
Soon he got, as much certain of her life as he was of his own. This certainty made him devote completely all the energies he possessed to attend her. He remained extremely concerned and watchful to the quality of her treatment by staying all the time in the hospital and taking great pains to improve her condition. In short, he did everything of which he was capable to get her better. He used to talk to her on her favorite topics, used to bring smile on her face with his innocent jokes and funny actions, and used to wipe away her tears, of and on, whenever she had wept and he had to do it quite often.
All the activities of his life were revolving around her and she too, had accepted him as her only object of attention. He had a burden on his heart for the crime his brother committed and the more he attended her the lesser this burden oppressed his heart. Though complete deliverance was not possible yet his services to her were a source of relief from his acquired guilty consciousness. Man often has to do a number of such acts as a compensation of those actions, which he has not at all committed. The reason is sometimes the satisfaction of oneís heart and sometimes the inevitability of such an act due to the circumstances. The idea is that whatever crime is committed on this earth is repaid and counter-weighted by human beings though not necessarily by the same person. Beauty of the world lies in its delicate balance between tears and smiles. Earth never keeps the blots of blood on its surface. Someone has to wash them up.
So did he serve her and it had become all his life. She too, had developed a kind of dependence on him resulting in a strong emotional affiliation. He was the first person in her life who has given her hopes and dreams, full of life and colors, even in her catastrophic condition. He entered in her world like an angel occupying the most sacred and pre-empted place in her heart. A dying man loves desperately as love blossoms more in fleeting things. She was dying and she made the pains of her death endurable with the pleasures of his innocent love. She shared her emotions with him, her thoughts and feelings, all about life and death, her distrust and hatred to the world, her past life and present agony, just everything. He used to listen to her keenly and his great interest in all her narrations was the kind of reward she was looking for. Though he was too young to understand all her feelings and thoughts, yet his sincerity and intensity of involvement in her made her satisfied and contented. Communication does not always take place at the level of language or ideas. It often occurs implicitly as it happened with them. They had become the real soul mates to each other.
In the meanwhile, her condition kept on deteriorating and she was left only an alive statue with a little movement in her lips. She had developed bedsores, which usually end only in dust. She faced her approaching death very bravely and when she felt that the final debacle is not far away, she asked him to make a commitment, not to weep on her death.
His already aggrieved heart burst out through tears and he moaned,
" No, Iíll not promise for something which I am sure I cannot keep. Itís not in my control so please donít ask that."
A faded smile spread on her face and forgetting all her pains of death, she uttered affectionately,
" My dear, donít be fool. If you want to be with me, then donít weep at all and if you donít love me anymore and want to get rid of me then Iíll not stop you from weeping. True love is always as silent as deep seas so my dear, please remain silent on my death to prove your truth of love. I assure you that true lovers never stay apart and we are true lovers".
He nodded his head and made a promise while wiping his tears, never to weep again.
She died that night an easeful death without much ado and difficulty. Her dead body was taken to her village where she was handed over to mother earth. He remained silent during all these ceremonies and his silence was surprising for all, particularly for his family. They somehow, welcomed it as a pleasant change. On third day of her death, he came back to his home. No body heard him speak as he did not talk anything to anybody and went straight to his room. Soon the voice of snoring was audible outside as he was much tired and was sleeping soundly.
The next morning, he did not wake up. Doctor told them that he suffered brain hemorrhage during his sleep. Their regret knew no bounds when he clarified them that such cases usually take place due to some unwept emotional distress. She had rightly asked him not to weep at all in order to be with her.



"extremely sorrowful imaginary love which although does not exists in this world but appeals" -- sara, bwp, pakistan.
"wonderful , touching" -- Juned, New Delhi, Delhi, INDIA.
"believe you me imaginary love does exists. For example love can be imaginary in arrange marriages etc. All the same i did like this story. Even in this day and age i have personally come across people who are suddenly not cared for due to their disability." -- Amy, Hayes, Middlesex, England.
"jonny" -- jonny, jonny, jonny, jonny.
"Hey man the above article was quite interesting.. And I landed here while searching for my email id........cool.....NIce to know you nadeem........Take care" -- Mohammed nadeem, bangalore, Karnataka, India.


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© 2001 Nadeem Akhtar
October 2001

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