I liked to think about all the women she had murdered.
She was a ruthless woman, my mother. She never hesitated to do it, if the need arose.
There was the shifty lady whose secret was to prove her undoing. Then there was the man who liked to keep to himself. Whoever could guess that he would turn out that way in the end.
There were some, however, who had it coming from the very beginning. They got what they deserved. There was this housemaid, who always had an unhealthy curiosity in her master’s whereabouts. Then there was that young lady who used to teach at the town school. You could never guess what she did in her spare time.
She was good at it. Publishers used to keep hounding her for days on end, but she wasn’t one to give in. She valued loyalty and was loyal to those she worked with.
Fate, it seems however, did not value loyalty so much as my mother.
She had hired him herself. Life had been hard on him and my mother wanted to give him a second chance. She paid him way more than a chauffeur should get paid. He was treated like family.
That night she was returning from a big event. She had put on her finest jewellery. She was going to receive a prestigious award, and she went all out. This one mattered a lot. She had waited a long time for it. I had warned her against putting on all that jewellery, she did not pay any heed to me. She had her devoted attendant and that was all she needed.
Halfway through, the car was stopped by a group of masked men. And then the events unfolded like a dreadful plot. She was asked to step out of the car. As soon as she stepped out, they held her at gun point and asked her to hand over all her jewellery. She was not one to cower and hand it to them. As soon as she started to protest, the threats grew more vicious. Even then as she refused to give in to their demands, the chauffeur just stepped out of the car, took the gun and pulled the trigger. There was no sound, just a click. I merely looked on as they got into their car and drove away.
My mother just lay there in a pool of blood. The look of disbelief on her face refusing to go away.
She had only wanted to give him a second chance. He had refused to take it.
The thoughts raced across my mind as I stood there beside his car with a gun in my pocket. I did not care that I would be branded a criminal for doing this. He deserved it.
My mother always used to say, "I write stories because I don’t think the world is a fair place. My stories, however give me a sense of control, and I make sure that a crime never goes unpunished, that the criminal never gets away."
I had thought it through. Even if the law caught up to him, he would get away with a minimal sentence. He would be given another chance. He did not deserve that.
She had trusted him. She had treated him like family and this is how he had repaid her.
Just as he was about to get into the car, I walked up to him and looked him in the eye. I pulled out my gun and waited just long enough to see the look of disbelief on his face.
The evening breeze blew away the smoke as I turned around and walked away.
The silence of the night took in yet another victim. Justice had been served.
Photography By: Utkarsh Sinha