A Tryst at Midnight by Beetashok Chatterjee



His phone vibrated and lit up. There was a message. Terse and anxious.
“Midnight, on the bridge. Come alone.” It was her.
What on earth? Why there? He wondered. But he knew she always had a flair for the dramatic. A little curious, he replied, “Ok”.  
There was only one bridge she could have referred to, and at eleven pm on a dark night, it was not an easy drive. His twin headlights duelled in the darkness over uneven dirt roads through wilderness. There was the threat of a storm in the air. He walked the last stretch through dense foliage. He was breathing heavily by the time he came to the bridge. 

 She was already there. Her torch flashed twice; their signal.
“This is where we’d first met,” she replied to his unanswered question, as he approached her, “On that picnic, remember?”


He nodded, smiling, and kissed her. She looked tense. “So what did you want to see me about, sweetheart? At midnight?” The roar of the rapids below caused him to speak loudly.
She hesitated, her eyes searching his face. He waited.
“I’m pregnant.”  
A bolt of lightning burst the sky. The wind picked up; a storm was definitely brewing. He said nothing, his mind working feverishly. This was unexpected.

“Yes, it’s yours, man! I’m not a slut,” she replied, annoyed at his reaction. “I thought you’d be happy.”
“Huh? Sure, but I thought you were taking the necessary precautions....”
“Yes, I was! But shit happens, okay?” She waited for him to say something. He did not.
“You promised, okay? You promised you’d be there for me. Forever and ever. I walked out on my husband for you, and he was a good man. You promised me that we’ll start a family together!”
“But, sweetheart, I’ve to file for divorce. These things take time,” he reached out for her, hoping she’d come around.
She flinched away from his touch in disgust, her expression hardening. “You son of a bitch! You told me months ago you’d already done that!”
“Well, actually...”


“Actually? Actually what? You never intended to, did you? You just led me on! “ Her voice rose to a shriek above the cry of the wind, as it dawned on her. “You never intended to leave your family! You had no intention of marrying me! You men are all the same!” She spat at him. She didn’t look so appealing anymore.
“I’m gonna show all your messages to your wife, and to your boss. I’ll finish you if it’s the last thing I ever do, you bastard!” She brandished her cell phone at him.
It happened rather quickly. The phone was knocked out of her hand and fell thirty feet, splashing into the river below. Her screams were drowned in the roar of the ferocious rapids and the howl of the wind, as her body toppled over the railing and plummeted on to the rocks beneath, only to be carried away by the raging water.
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About the Author:


Beetashok Chatterjee is a seaman by profession. This old sea dog is also a wannabe poet/writer, avid reader, music lover, movie buff, cricket enthusiast and a restless spirit.


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