Shankar was nothing if not meticulous. He did everything in an orderly fashion and the one bedroom, sparkly clean apartment of his was a standing proof of it. There was never a thing out of its place with clothes hanging in a row in the compact wardrobe; handkerchiefs, vest and underpants folded in a symmetrical pattern and arranged in respective drawers. One would never find a coffee stain on the table, the floors were shiny and not a speck of dust could meet any fingertips. All this managed by the man alone with no woman in his life, not even a domestic help.

Shankar himself was a vision for sore eyes – his hair never out of place and the clothes were perpetually wrinkle free as if no one existed within it; his car sparkled even on the dusty roads. In a world of mess and chaos, Shankar was laughed at and looked down upon. People called him a simpleton.

“Shankar, look your shirt button popped out”, they would tease him.

“There is tea stain on your desk”, they would bother him

“Hey Shankar boy”, they would walk over and ruffle his hair.

Shankar would never react. Besides being meticulous, he was also known for keeping his cool. He put up with all the laughter and banter with a straight face – he put up with all those idiots just because of her… for Millie, his colleague, at work.

Millie was the reason he turned up every day at work before time, so that he could see her from the moment she walked in. Millie was the girl who smiled at him with genuine kindness; the only one who never made fun of him. Shankar was smitten by Millie and on any given day he would even kill to get a smile from Millie, his only Love.

One rainy July morning, Millie came to work looking more beautiful than ever. Soon everyone was at her desk congratulating her and gorging on the sweets she had brought. The news that Millie was engaged broke Shankar’s heart. His orderly life was suddenly on a spin, those plans to propose and make her his life partner all looked like going down the ditch.

That evening the rains continued pouring relentlessly when Shankar offered Millie a ride in his car.
“Are you sure? Our paths are not the same,” said Millie surprised by Shankar’s out of character action. He had never spoken to her before.
Shankar just nodded his head and Millie agreed to the ride. “He is an angel in disguise” she thought.
All through the journey, they both kept quiet. Millie stared out of the window dreaming about her charming fiancé whilst all Shankar could think was “She is mine. She is all mine!”
When Shankar stopped his car in front of his house, Millie wondered why?
“I just need to quickly pick up something. You don’t have to stay in the car. Come see my home.” A dialogue directed at Millie was a first ever for Shankar. Millie couldn’t refuse and agreed to go with him.
Millie entered Shankar’s home and was left awestruck. The place looked eerily in place and she felt utterly at discomfort. Shankar fiddled around aimlessly picking and dropping things. He then took Millie by surprise by pouring his heart out “I love you Millie. You cannot marry anyone else. You are mine.”
“What are you saying Shankar? I don’t love you. You know I am engaged. This talk is senseless.”

Millie moved to walk out and all Shankar could see was his life walking away from him. He pulled her back and pushed her on the bed. Picking up a knife which was at his arms length, Shankar threatened her with her life. When she raised an alarm, the knife found its way to Millie’s throat. The blood gushed out; Millie stopped putting up a fight – her lifeless body limped in his arms.

Shankar smiled – something which he rarely did. “You are all mine,” he sang cradling Millie’s dead weight, stroking her hair.

Shankar was nothing if not meticulous. He disposed Millie’s dead body at an isolated graveyard nearby. At home, he scrubbed the knife, the floor, the bed sheet, his hands, and his body endlessly to clear all traces of blood, but deep down he knew his it was his soul that was stained forever. He was about to go back and wash his hands for the umpteenth time now when he felt a cold breeze touch his face; the chill sending shivers down his spine. He heard a sigh and turned around; his heart missed a beat when he saw her sitting on his bed.

She sat there smiling – a smile for which he had even killed. She sat there smiling with blood rushing from her throat like a stream. The just cleaned house looked bloody all over again. She sat there smiling, but there were tears and anger in her eyes.
Millie sat there smiling, with a slow whisper she said “Now you are all mine!!”

Written By : Jyothi D”Mello. A Book Lover, storyteller, dreamer, foodie, mother and a writer (an Amateur one albeit). Writing is her way to express fears, anxieties, inner demons, bottled love, guarded feelings and cherished memories. She writes because that is what she loves to do, that is what keeps her sane.

You can find more of her stories here.