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Code Red

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The bathroom. The only place I don't feel his prying eyes on me. Whenever I feel I've had enough, I make an excuse of having to use the washroom and give myself the two minutes to be alone. I don't know what happened. I married the man I love, and now two years later I just don't recognize him anymore. He doubts my every move and wants to know what I'm thinking every second. If I'm quiet for a few seconds he questions me as to what I'm thinking. I go out to meet my friends and he calls me a hundred times. He doesn't abuse me, but I feel mentally tortured in every possible way. He's loving, caring and a very kind human being. But his love is now smothering me.

Today. I opened the laptop we share at home to give the finishing touches to my article. I saw a document pop open. I looked closer at it only to check if it is a part of my folder. It did not take me long to realize that it was my husband's note. He had been making points and notes to himself. The last paragraph read "I know it's a lie. She says she has a call at 7 and will answer my calls only after 8. That's the time I leave work. What does she intend to do in that hour when I'm not allowed to contact her? I know some one's been coming over when I'm away. She's been exercising to lose weight these days. Maybe he likes her slim. I'm not going to let them get away with this. I'll come home early to catch them red handed and then....."

The note was unfinished. I realized that the battery had died out and the system had shut down. When I rebooted it and wanted to open my document, this document had opened asking me if I wanted to save the changes. If not for this, I'd have never known what was going on in his mind all this time.

Red. I wore red after my evening shower. I said my prayers and dropped a mail to my agent saying that I'll not be able to take the call at 7. I looked at the mirror and saw my eyes let go of the tears they were holding. I ignored them and smeared a line of vermilion in the middle partition of my hair. I wore the red bangles that I had last worn at our wedding. Oh! What a happy day that was! Probably the best day of my life. No, maybe not. Today has to be the best day of my life. I day I find freedom from him. The day I am at peace. At last.

He walked in by 7.20 pm slowly inserting the key into the lock. He looked into the study and saw the laptop lying untouched and the phone was still in its place. That bitch was lying, he knew. Time to get it done with. He slowly opened the door, it was dark. He could make out an image on the bed and yet nothing was clear. He switched on the light while still looking at the bed. She sat there motionless, dressed in red. She looked frozen. Without a word he walked in to the bathroom to check if anyone is hiding in there. Next, he searches the balcony. Not finding anyone, he begins to breathe easily. He looks towards her and notices that she's not alone after all. She had two packed bags with her and a hand bag next to her. She pulls out a file from it, flings it at him, and walks away.

It was he who was caught red-handed. With his insecurities. 

This post is written for the #BarAThon Day 4. Prompt: Caught red-handed.


  1. Oh! What a terrible life it will be to live with a person full of insecurities. Glad that she finally chose to be free. Well-written, Soumya!

  2. Gosh to live under such scrutiny and insecurity !! She needs a break from that. Loved the way you narrated the story.

  3. Insecurity can eat one up and the people around too. Clear headed girl to have decided so quick. Good story :)

  4. I find it a happy coincidence that you and I both wrote fiction for today's prompt. I love your protagonist, love the way you have written about her and so glad she walked out.

  5. Powerful . Your Women are always Brave :) Love reading you always

  6. Oh damn, what a twist!
    I thought she would stay at home to prove him wrong! But even if she had to, it would have just been a one day incident. The story would have continued in the years to come. Good she took a decision to leave.
    Brilliant story and storytelling, Soumya :)

  7. I love the thought in this piece Soumya - that love is not enough - freedom, trust and respect are just as important in a relationship. And the end was just perfect. He never did deserve her.

  8. It is tough to live with a person who suspects your thoughts and actions all the time. Glad that she decided to break free! I loved your take on the prompt, Soumya!


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