The Paradoxical Truth
On a wintry December night, Rachelle sat at the window of the old orphanage which had been her home for the last seventeen years. But now she was of age, she had to step out and face the real world on her own. Slowly tears made their way from her eyes to her lips and died. She was pretty, fair and definitely a girl, any man would fancy. But she was scared, of the world, of the ills that would befall her, of the lust in the minds of men. She picked up her bag and took to the streets. Probing through the streets, the dark alleyways with outmost caution. All around she could see only dark morbidity and haunting of the nether world. Her intuition told her that there was a certain surety of losing herself, her purity. She chanced furtive glances to her back. She was being followed, but not by men, rather by beasts who stood in the wake of the men. The men who had succumbed to a fate worse than death. She quickened her step and her heart beat faster, in a rather delirious trance. Suddenly she stopped. She was boxed in and the street didn’t have the faintest trace of light. She closed her eyes fearing for the worst and the worst was exactly what came to be. She felt a hand on her breast. Then there was a tussle of clothes, throwing of arms, screams and endless pain. And then it was all black. The men walked away, satisfied and pleased. But her mind and body were numb, she felt used, wasted and scarred. She was smeared in blood from waist down and incredible pain rippled through her womb. Her pretty clothes were no more than sodden rags dirtied with blood and grime. Her face was wane, almost ashen like a corpse. Her soul had died but her body refused to. A singled word echoed in her mind, Revenge. She stood up and began to walk. Limping she slowly parked herself onto a bench. She closed her eyes and let out a sigh. Was life, as she had dreamt of, as she had heard stories of and as she had seen in the movies, a distant lie? She succumbed to her pain, with one last furtive glance at the night sky. The moon looked beautiful, but scarred.
Her eyes opened to a fogged and misty morning. Trying to sit up straight she felt a hand on her shoulder. A shiver ran down her spine and she stood up, ready to kill. She looked back to the man who had touched her. He was dressed in pure white linen. She looked up and their eyes met. There was a certain mesmer in his eyes. She was lost in the farthest reaches of his soul. The man took her hand and started walking, she mutely followed. The man led her to an impeccable white chamber. He held her in his arms and they kissed. Rachelle was certain that she felt uncontrollable love for this man she had just met. Sparks of passion flew between their bodies and they finally gave in to the lust that had filled their minds. They made love to each other all day and night. It was almost morning when they finally tired and lay down to sleep in each other’s arms. Rachelle looked out the window and into the early traces of dawn. The moon was waning, but so was it crescent and bore hope in its midst.
The first rays of the sun danced upon Rachelle’s lips and flirted with her eyes. Disturbed she turned to the other side, to hold the man she loved. She reached for him but all she found was empty space. She opened her eyes, accepting the truth. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She did not even know his name. She sat up on the bed and cried. The graveness of the reality sent shockwaves through her body. She shook from head to toe, much like the orgasms, which had rocked her last night. Every inch of her body begged to die. But her mind was firm. She had to live, if not for herself then for the baby that would soon be in her womb. She knew what she would have to do to sustain her baby. She would sell herself, every night, sell what made her proud once. Sell herself to feed herself and the child in her womb. The burden wasn’t hers. She wasn’t ready. She had no choice. She looked at the sky. The moon was dead.
Seven months had passed since she was gifted with a child her in her womb. She was in pain, in Labour. The midwife was trying her best to comfort Rachelle, the delivering mother. The last and the loudest cry erupted from her mouth and she looked down to see the mid wife holding a blood covered baby. The midwife bit off the umbilical cord, washed the baby, wrapped him in clean linen and handed her to Rachelle. She looked down at the baby, unsure of its father. Was it one of those monsters on the street or was it that gentleman? Or maybe one of the men she had sold herself to night after night? She did not know for certain but it was her little baby girl and she wanted to protect the baby with even her life. The pain of labour had tired her beyond doubt. She laid the babe in the cot beside her bed and went off to sleep. She was woken up by the midwife several hours later. The midwife looking very harried and puzzled, scared too. Rachelle looked down into the baby’s cot and found it empty. She knew that fate was not on her side, she knew that she would never see the baby again, she just wished that the baby would be happy wherever she was. She decided then and there, that she no longer wanted to be a woman. She wanted her memory to be gone too. But she decided to leave one reminder of her past life and etched the date, on which she had met the gentleman, onto her arm. She consulted many a doctor about her decision but most were appalled at the thought. Finally one Doctor agreed to do it. The operation was possible and the money that she had earned was enough for it. She walked into the Operation Room to return changed forever. She searched for the moon from the window by the Operation Room. The moon was full but hidden by mist.
Jake woke up inside a white room. He had no recollection of anything. He could read and speak however. And he only remembered one name Jake. He was certain that the Doctor had put it in his mind. He knew that something was wrong. He felt like a scapegoat. But he soon forgot to pay attention to his intuition. He spent the next twenty years of his life raping women, stealing money and murdering for loot. He had one of the things he most despised, a greedy old bastard. Of late he had been drinking heavily and gambling regularly. He was running high on alcohol and low on money. One fateful December night he met a black robed man in a bar, the most unlikely of places. He got drunk and told him all that was wrong with his life. The robed man was noble and suggested that Jake join the time corps. A company of men who safeguard the past, present and future. The men had to lose a small price for so much power, they had to lose their memories. But that wasn’t a problem with Jake. He didn’t have any memories in the first place. But still he had to undergo the process. The pain was nothing compared to the feeling of being a Lord of Time. He served very obediently for 10 years without even a single dent in his image. But one night he saw the date etched on his arm. He had a sudden urge to travel back to that date and his inquisitiveness took control of him. Within seconds he reached the exact co-ordinates on his arm. It was a cold and foggy morning. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a beautiful girl. She looked cold and bewildered. He went upto her and put a hand on her shoulder. Their eyes met and lust simply filled his mind. He wanted her and got her quite easily. They mad love for a long long time. Once the girl fell asleep he slipped away. Suddenly the time keeper on his wrist started rolling on its own. It was several months from the day he had gone to. He heard a louc cry and looked into the room beside him. A lady had just given birth. He looked at her face and realization dawned upon him. The moment the woman fell asleep, Jake took the child and went back seventeen years and seven months exactly. He left the child at the doorstep of a big house, knocked at the door and ran away so that he couldn’t be seen.
He went thirty eight years into the future and entered a bar for a drink. He had barely taken a sip when a man of about 40 entered the bar. He was shocked and the sight numbed his brain. He recovered and joined the man for a drink. The man downed a few bottles and started blurting out everything about his life. Jake knew what he had to do, he told the man about the Time Corps. Interested the man left a while later. Jake went out of the bar, he had unclogged his memory. Everything came back to him crystal clear. He had finally solved the puzzle and had but one option. He travelled 10 years further into the future, into his own time. He searched for a dark alleyway and slit his throat.
Somewhere Mrs. Pennigan heard a knock on her door. She looked at the clock, it was midnight. She was disturbed and marched towards the door. She opened the door but there was no one to be seen. Just then she heard a moan and looked down. She picked up the little baby girl and held her in her arms. She adjusted her glasses and looked down at the baby. She had a perfect name for her. ‘Rachelle.’