Monday, August 22, 2016

WHO IS MY HUSBAND – Short Fiction Story

Fiction Short Story


“See this...” I say to my friend Priti.
“It’s a lab journal...” Priti says – looking at the old laboratory journal.
“I picked it up at the raddiwala...” 
“Hey  I sent you to sell old newspapers  not collect raddi... 
“Open it  read the name...” I say to Priti.
“John Morris...” she reads the name on the first page of the journal.
“John Morris. That is my husband’s name...” I say
“Wow  your husband’s name on this old journal. It’s unbelievable  isn’t it...? Just imagine – your husband’s science lab journal  after so many years – and that too here  at a raddiwala in Delhi...” 
“Let’s go to Mussoorie...” I say.
“Mussoorie...? Now...? Are you crazy...?” Priti says to me – surprised.
“Yes. Let’s go to Mussoorie – to John’s school. He studied in a boarding school in Mussoorie  but he never tells me anything about his schooldays.  I’m dying to know – let’s go  please...”  I say to Priti.
“Annie  be sensible. You have got to catch the flight back home to New York early tomorrow morning...” Priti pleads with me.
“Please Priti  I have to go – this old lab journal with my husband’s name  serendipity  it’s a signal. Let’s go in your car – Mussoorie is only a 5 hour drive – we can easily be back by evening...” I say.
Okay  lets go...” Priti says. 
That afternoon – the two women are seated in the office of the Headmaster of a famous school in Mussoorie. 
“I wonder how this school journal surfaced after twenty years  and that too in Delhi...” the Headmaster says, with an expression of awe. 
“I would love to know about my husband’s schooldays – photos, anything…” 
“Well  I have joined recently  and  most of the staff too has joined recently. Why don’t you ask the Bursar  he is an old timer,” the Headmaster suggests.
Annie and Priti walk to the Bursar’s office.
They show him the science lab journal. 
“Mrs. Bhalla must have taken this journal with her to Delhi as remembrance when she retired...” the Bursar says wistfully. 
“Remembrance...? Mrs Bhalla...?” 
“Mrs. Bhalla was our previous Science Teacher. John Morris was her favourite student. She treated him like a son.” 
“Yes. John was an orphan – he lost both his parents in a car accident…” 
“I know.” 
“…and  Mrs. Bhalla was a childless widow. They lived for each other – like mother and son.” 
“It’s surprising – John never told me about Mrs. Bhalla…” 
“John told you...? When did you meet John Morris...?”
“Two weeks back.” 
“Two weeks back...? That is impossible. Where did you meet John...?” 
“In New York. At home. John Morris is my husband.” 
“John Morris is your husband...? That is just not possible…” 
“Not possible...? Why do you say that...? I am Annie Morris – I have been married to John Morris for 5 years.” 
“Look here young lady. There seems to be some mistake…” 
“Mistake...? No. No. There is no mistake. Everything fits perfectly. John told me he studied here. 20 years back  in 1988  he must have been in class 9  like it is written on this lab journal. I know he was born in 1974.” 
“1974...? Are you sure...?” 
“Yes. He was born on the 7th of September 1974...” Annie Morris says.
“Oh, My God. How do you know all this...? Tell me  do you remember when you first met John Morris...?” the Bursar asks.
“Of course I remember – I first met him in May 2001. In New York. Why are you asking me all this...?” 
“Come with me...” the Bursar says.
The two women follow the podgy old man up the slopes of Landour to the cemetery near Lal Tibba. 
The two women  Annie and Priti  freeze with shock as they read the large bold letters engraved on the tombstone:
                 JOHN MORRIS
      BORN: 7 SEPTEMBER 1974
      DIED: 15 DECEMBER 1988

Annie Morris stares at the tombstone. 
Her brain goes into a tizzy  and suddenly  she blurts out:
“Who is my husband...?
If this is the real John Morris  then  who is that man living with me in New York...? 
And  if that man living with me in New York is the real John Morris  then – who is this man lying dead for twenty years in this grave...? 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story written by me in the year 2008 for a flash fiction contest and later posted online a number of times in my creative writing blogs including at urls:  AND  and  and

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