Secret

There are few things that cannot be explained. Hence, Sheila could not explain why she did what she had done. She could not provide any justification for falling in love with a man who was 15 years elder to her and was her stepfather’s colleague. Her stepfather was furious and had slapped her when he came to know how she felt about his colleague and he tore off the love note Sheila had carefully tucked under her pillow. Her mother called it the effect of hormones. They assumed that she was merely infatuated towards that man.
She knew it was not so. She loved him, she really did. But, he had betrayed her. Without understanding or caring for her feelings he had told her father about it. It was not her fault if she loved him even when she knew that he was married. His wife did not love him, she knew it. She had seen her with another man and had tried telling Samuel about it but he misunderstood her and misinterpreted her statement.

She did not care what he thought of her as far as she knew that she was right and she was going to prove it. Samuel and she shared a special bond, they shared lots of secrets, he confided in her as a friend and it did not matter to him that she was younger by 15 years; he always told her that she was far more matured for her age. Then why had all this changed suddenly when she told him that she loved him. Just because she was only 16 years old?

Sheila thought about their last meeting as she paced the floor of the room she was staying in. Where had she landed up! She was meant to be in his arms and not here, not like this. She sat on the bed and covered her face with her palms. She smelled blood.

She did not want to do it but he had forced her. She just wanted to prove to him that his wife was not faithful to him. She never wanted to be caught peeking through the window of his bedroom and watching two stark naked figures making love. She just wanted to click pictures using her mobile camera and show it to him. She knew it had to be the other man because Samuel was attending an office party. She was very unfortunate to be caught watching and the man had rushed to grab her. As he held her by the elbow and pulled her inside the house through the window she did not know what to do. She wanted to run, wanted to go and tell Samuel that there was another man in his bedroom, with his wife. But the man was too strong and she could not escape. He flung her towards the bed. Samuel’s wife had already wrapped a bed-sheet around her and was standing in the corner of the room. Sheila fell on the bed as the man pushed her again. He removed the towel he had wrapped around his waist and moved towards her when suddenly Samuel’s wife interfered. She tried to stop the man but when he paid no heed, she grabbed a flower vase and hit him on the head with it. The man turned around to look at her. Sheila escaped and ran out of the room. She heard Samuel’s wife screaming as the man now attacked her. Sheila could have run out of the house, she should have called up Samuel but she could not think rationally and she took a step she was now regretting.

She rushed back to the room and hit the man with the same flower vase. She hit him again before he could turn and attack her. The man collapsed on the floor. She turned to look at Samuel’s wife; she was staring at Sheila with tears in her eyes. Sheila did not know what to do. She dropped the flower vase and turned around to go. She had made up her mind to call Samuel and tell him what had happened. Suddenly, she heard Samuel’s wife murmuring. She turned around again and tried to listen to what she was saying.
“You murdered him” Samuel’s wife repeated.
Sheila started shivering.
“We have to hide his body” Samuel’s wife said getting up from the bed. She put on her clothes and walked towards the man but before she could reach him, the man regained his consciousness and attacked her. She fell on the floor.
Sheila screamed.
The man picked up the flower vase using the towel to avoid leaving his fingerprints on the vase. He hit Samuel’s wife on the head and continued hitting until the woman was dead.
Sheila panicked and could not move from where she was standing. The man turned towards her. Sheila wanted to scream but she could not.

The man turned around as he heard a car entering the bungalow. He dropped the flower vase, collected his clothes and jumped out of the window and was out of sight before the car reached the garage.
Samuel was shocked to see his wife lying in a pool of blood. He ran towards her and felt her pulse. She was dead. Samuel saw the flower vase lying nearby. He stood up and took out his mobile and was about to dial a number when Sheila walked towards him. Samuel was standing with his back to her; she moved closer and wrapped her arms around him. Samuel turned around.
“What are you doing here?” he questioned.
“I did not kill her” she said. But he could not hear her. It was not his fault. Sheila had lost her voice.
“I did not kill her” Sheila repeated as Samuel said that he could not believe she had done this. She desperately tried to tell Samuel what had happened but she could not.
Samuel called up her residence. Sheila’s mother rushed to Samuel’s house. She called up her husband, who was on a business trip and informed him about what had happened. He promised to return as soon as he could. Sheila’s mother could not believe that Sheila had killed Samuel’s wife. Sheila tried telling her mom and Samuel that it was not true. She wanted to tell them a lot of things, but she knew they would not believe her. Samuel had not believed her when she had told him once. Police were informed and Sheila was taken in custody. A case was filed and Sheila’s fingerprints on the flower vase were used as evidence to prove that she had indeed used the flower vase for attacking. But there were a few more things that were revealed during the investigations. There was evidence of someone else’s presence in the room other than Samuel’s wife and Sheila. Forensic investigations revealed traces of semen in the deceased woman’s vagina. Investigating officer found the mobile Sheila had used to click pictures, though it was difficult to identify the man in the pictures. Apart from the deceased’s blood, traces of blood that belonged to someone else were found on the flower vase.

Sheila gave her written statement about what had happened and the court believed that she was innocent. Finally, Samuel believed that Sheila had been telling him the truth about his wife. Sheila was glad that he believed her.
He also believed that she really loved him. But, still –
Sheila was sitting alone in the dark room, crying.
She panicked as she heard the door being opened. A tall figure entered the room and switched on the lights. Her step father entered the room and sat next to her. He smiled as he placed his hand on her lap and stroked her. Sheila shivered as he placed the other hand over her shoulder. Sheila closed her eyes. Her father touched the wound on her lower lip and held her tightly against his body;
“You sure love your mom, girl” he said and got up to go. But before he left the room, he glanced at Sheila and smiled. He switched off the light and walked out. The room was once again engulfed in darkness. Sheila thought about what had happened that night at Samuel's residence. When her stepfather had dropped the towel and walked towards her, for the first time ever she had known that he was capable of doing something like that to her. She wanted to tell her mother about it but she could not, especially after he warned her that if she told anyone about that night he'd kill her mother, too. Sheila hid her face in her hands and started weeping. Sheila was a prisoner in her own room.



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