by Shoppy Ghosh

It was pretty late and I had dozed off in my soundproof room that I designed for my music production projects. I had to finish making the new jingle by the next afternoon. This time I was dealing with a really impatient client! The jingle was about a baby food product. And this client was definitely being a baby, cribbing about every little thing.

Renu, my wife, didn’t really appreciate the fact that I stayed up late often to complete my work.

I tried being with her as much as I could. We were going through a really difficult time. Unbearable, precisely. Two years ago, Renu had given birth to our stillborn daughter.

I was right outside the operation theatre that day. I caught a glimpse of her and watched her scream in labour pain first. Then slowly as she looked at the baby in the doctor’s palms, she froze. And then I watched her scream’s transition into horror. I couldn’t hear any of it, the OT was soundproof.

Time goes by, the pain remains. But somehow I was learning to live with it. Renu, on the other hand, had gone very quiet. Her completely devastated face told me something was dying inside her each day. So, I tried being by her side, even though we hardly spoke.

But she still cared about my health. So, if I stayed awake for long after dinner, she would just quietly come into my work-room and stand there watching me. I understood she wanted to me stop working.

That night, I lay drooling on my chair, sleeping like a baby. A massive thud crept into my room somehow and woke me up. How? This room is soundproof! My blurry vision and the groggy I together realised that the door to the room was open. Ah! So, Renu was here.

I got up and slowly paced myself to the living room. A howling wind from my right made me gaze at our balcony. The door was open.

I remember locking it after dinner when Renu went to the bedroom. A chill ran down my spine and I rushed to the balcony. As I looked down from the 6th floor, I saw Renu lying still on the driveway in a pool of blood. The guards had already reached the spot. I knew I had to act. But my legs refused to move.

The sheer pain of the sight was about to break free of my lungs, but this time I heard something that froze me again. The voice of a little girl from behind. She said, “Pa-pa..”

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