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The Intruder

A short story by Sangeeta Saikia Pathak

After a long time, Neha finally threw open that particular pair of glass windows in her pink hued bedroom. She looked up at the clear blue sky!

The sun stood smiling, brightly. Neha could hear the sweet humming of the Nature outside. A sweet smelling fragrance that she used to enjoy earlier, now again pervaded in her bedroom.

Eight years of wedded life. It was love at first sight, then a brief courtship, marriage, baby, life seemed a roller coaster ride. One day her husband Tridib cleared the State Public Service Examination and got selected for the State Police Cadre. Tridib would now have to undergo a mandatory rigorous training at the State Police Academy for a year. It was really a tough time for Neha. She would have to bring up her baby daughter as well as maintain her government job all alone. Thanks to her own parents who offered to take care of both her and her baby during this crucial period of her life.

Neha felt a bit sad, at this temporary separation but she soon accepted it as a normal part of her life and carried on. Soon both of them became busy in their own lives but both of them made it a point to meet and see each other at regular intervals of time. Things went on smoothly for some time until Neha felt the presence of something, the presence of a third person in their lives. Sometimes some mysterious messages would drop in her inbox in an anonymous manner or sometimes she would hear the voice of a woman at the backdrop of her husband's call.

Whenever she asked about it, Tridib would only swear his innocence and say that he became a target of some of his colleagues wh were obviously jealous of him. Despite all such assurances, Neha subconsciously built a kind of stoicism towards Tridib. The window between the two souls had come to a sort of closure on its own. Their relation had turned fragile. Thanks to their only daughter Riya, who acted as a cementing force during these crucial hours.

Three years passed by. Tridib finished his training and now posted as Deputy Superintendent of Police in his own hometown. One evening when Neha sat reclining on the sofa listening to the radio again something happened. On her Messenger, the same kind of mysterious message again popped up after a very long time. Neha now acted intelligently. She contacted the number. A woman picked up the phone at the other end after numerous calls and she started accusing Tridib.

Neha immediately understood. Tridib was right. Her heart came to her rescue over her mind. She retorted back to that woman in her husband's defence and then hung up.

Finally, the window of her soul had opened and the heart regained its victory over the mind.


Sangeeta Saikia Pathak works

at the Assam Secretariat and

lives in Guwahati


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