The sunlight streamed through the oaken door when we walked out of the mansion. I was still contemplative. What I had seen had set me brooding. My companion was in a state of seasoned shock, trying to come to terms with the kaleidoscopic events of the last one and half hours.
Life is not always like this here, this side of the equator. Still events, in black and white and in shades of mediocre grey shake the fabric of what we hold inside from time to time. This is one of them.
She was dead of course. She couldn’t have been more lifeless than that doorknob my companion turned when we came out of that place. She was peacefully dead, not one of those greasy, grotesque bloody deaths, and I was thankful for that. I loved her too much to have seen her lying in a pool of blood and sticky mess. Her death to be starkly honest did not shatter me, or even tear me to pieces. It wasn’t a huge blow either. I believe I was still numb from the shock of the entire incident, to be more accurate the momentum with which it had built up. The tension was too much to bear. The suddenness of it, I gathered, prevented me from registering the shock in my head.
It was perhaps not the same for my companion. He had loved her as he had loved himself. He was blaming himself for her death, I knew. Every responsible man does that. He was shattered. I could see that. I could see that in his eyes moist with repentance and torment alike. I could feel that in his breathing. I wanted to pat his back, stroke his hair, hug him and tell him—Boy, everything’s gonna be fine. She is okay wherever she is. But I didn’t. He was a strong man I knew. He could withstand it.
He kept on walking.
I couldn’t afford to follow him now. I needed to get back to the place from where we came out walking into the porch, into that room, where she was still lying peacefully dead. The mourners were arriving one by one, the mother, the uncle, the cousins, neighbours and even the girl she had fought with seven years ago and never spoken since.
They assembled around her body and mourned her loss as I silently watched them. And when they carried her body away, I sighed a little.
I was beautiful.