Ashya was sitting in the park wondering about her relationship with Roy. She loved him but he was very self-absorbed. He used to find fault in everything she did or liked and after some time he would come running back to her apologizing and crying admitting it was all his fault. A few days back he asked her to marry him by going on the knee and she was so aghast that she just nodded to his question and the next thing she remembered was a loose gold plated ring on her weak fingers. She was happy or not she could hardly figure it out. There was no excitement yet there was also no resentment. It was like she felt nothing.
“Forget what happened and please move on.” said the old man sitting next to her. He was wearing ragged clothes. Probably a beggar. She thought.
“Did you say something?”
“You don’t understand he didn’t love you ever, how many times did I try to tell you that. But you never listened. Now don’t cry in front of me.”
Ashya tried looking for someone around but there was no one. She even checked whether the man was on the phone, but he was not. She panicked a bit. Had it been any other day she would have left the place at the moment but today she couldn't gather the strength. She felt weak. She thought that the man was probably a freak with mental disturbance and bafflingly she felt connected to him. She asked him in an obscure tone, "So your wife left you, ha?’’
"Look, the lady thinks I am a crazy man whose wife left him. Please leave me alone. I can never forgive you. Did you forget the time you shouted on me while leaving the house, saying it's your life and you can do whatever you want? Didn't I tell you that man is not right for you? But you thought what a crazy disapproving father I was. You know why I stopped you because I knew what a beast he was. He never respected you even in front of me, but you, my dear daughter, yes you, fancied him. Now, why are you coming to me crying?
Ashya could see the pain in the man's eyes. She couldn't stop herself from asking “Is your daughter ok”?
"Stop crying and tell her how great you are. How you are accomplishing your dream of becoming a doctor. Tell her." Ashya could sense the sarcasm in the man's voice.
"I think you should go and support her in these difficult times, she needs you. She chose the wrong man and I think she suffered for it enough. She is your daughter and you clearly love her a lot."
"Look the lady thinks I didn’t even try to save you. How many times did I ask you to come back but you were so reluctant to make it work. And now you are just sitting on this bench the whole day waiting for me to come and forgive you. How could I?"
Ashya was getting impatient. She couldn't understand why he was acting like a freak just because his daughter married a man of her choice. "Why are you so angry at her? Just because she wants to make her marriage work. You should probably support her as she still wants to try hard for her relationship. You know what, you should be proud to have a daughter like her."
The old man laughed hysterically. He couldn’t hold his laughter but Ashya could recognize the pain behind that laughter. Now she was completely petrified. She stood up to leave.
The old man tried controlling his laughter and said while pointing finger towards the ground in front, "Tell the lady how you made it work, how you arranged a quixotic dinner for him, how he came home drunk, how hard he threw the bottle of wine on your head, and when you fell how he took the sharpest knife from the knives stand and slit your throat so deliberately that you could feel every ounce of pain till all the blood drained out of your body and finally how you became numb. Tell her my beloved daughter."
Ashya stood there still in utter shock. The engagement ring slipped through her finger on the ground. She tried to look for it and saw it under a "PLEASE DON'T" engraved on the muddy floor with a sharp object. Probably a knife.