A Lover Truly Loved

Dorothy Sawyer

Priya is a journalist. She is sent to cover an art exhibition that everyone is speaking of. She meets the artist.

If there is an immediate falling in love, this was it. Priya felt she would drown in his eyes. His hands were bony and cool and when he lifted her hands to his lips and left kisses that seared her skin; Priya felt she had truly died.

A whirlwind affair follows.

Each evening he would be waiting for her below her office. The first time he took her home she thought how very weird it was. The walls were crumbling. Thick ropes of electric wires and phone lines hung on the wall and overhead and they were forced to duck under, the artist kept muttering his apologies while she stumbled in the growing dark till they managed the two floors of creaking wooden steps. Finally when they reached concrete floor, Priya sighed in relief. The artist said there were building promoters who were after him to sell his house to them.

Priya was relieved the house was normal, no crazed wires, no phone lines to duck under. He kept biscuits and chips in old tin containers and made her tea in the old electric kettle. But did she care about the slightly smelly sofa or the even smellier toilets. She was in the midst of a whirlwind romance.

And then he disappeared. No one knew why or where.

Then one day Priya gets a call from him. It was the artist telling her that he was forced to disappear as the people who loaned him money to repair his house were after him, demanding he sells the property to them. He asks Priya not to tell anyone and to visit him late at night. Excited Priya visits him.

The house is as dilapidated as before. The difference is that not a single light is on. Priya finds her lover in his studio, but the room is dark and he a shadowy figure. Priya pleads with him to come close and take her hands as it is too dark to make her way to him. He does. A cold hand clasps her own. Priya sees that she is being held by a skeleton.

The last thing she hears before losing consciousness is he whispering 'they killed me …vengeance…wreak vengeance, Priya!'

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