My legs were dangling over the ledge. The wind was quite strong and it was hitting directly on my face. From here the whole world looked different. I can see the sea at a distance. It was peppered with a myriad lights from the fishing boats. It was a moonless night. The sky had an eerie blackness, except for the stars which looked like tiny holes in a black blanket. I looked down and saw vehicles snaking their way forward through the well-lit high way. The city looked beautiful from up here. Sparkling with innumerable colors, like the sky on a Diwali night. I should have been home by now. My wife and son would be waiting for me. My son , the very thought of him brings a smile to my face. I love him so much. When I hug him I feel as if I have the whole world is in my arms. I hope he will get used to my absence. I know he needs me ....but.... I cant go on like this. It has to end somehow. And I chose today.

I liked Vikram the moment he walked into my office. Such a charming guy, who exuded an aura of nobility and trustworthiness. When he spoke of his dream project, I fell for it. He was articulate, witty and very intelligent. Some of the qualities which I often thought I lacked. But once I got to know him better , I found that his entire behavior was a big farce. Behind the veneer of his purported ebullience lay a life full of deceit and lies. But it was too late. I was sucked into this vicious web. I was part of their sinister plan. When I vehemently protested and warned them about the consequences, they threatened to harm my family. I became a mere puppet in their hands. 6 miserable months.

Many times I toyed with the idea of going to the police but Vikram warned me that if I ever did anything foolish like that, I would never see my son again. The thought itself was very scary. I finally succumbed to their directives. But today they asked me to do something really horrifying. They asked me to poison our financial head. He was the only obstacle in their path. The only one who had so far questioned their motive. When I refused, Vikram told me about the dire consequences. He said I wont be able to see my son for too long. Something may happen to him soon. I pleaded with him to leave him alone. He said the only way out is to finish this final rendezvous. He gave me time till 08.00 pm to decide. But I couldn't muster enough courage to do that grisly job which they asked me to do. I am not a criminal. I can never be. But if I don't do, my son ... My hands and legs lost all their strengths. I sat down for some time and closed my eyes. When I finally opened my eyes, I knew what I had to do.

So here I am, sitting on the ledge outside the window of the 22nd floor of my office building. I thought about my life for a few minutes About my family. How I met my wife? How I fell in love with her? The joy of becoming a father. The day when my son was born and what I felt when that tiny life , wrapped in a cozy white blanket , was placed on my lap. Tears started to stream from my eyes. God , why did it have to end like this?

I wiped my eyes and stood up. I took out my wallet and had one last look at the pictures of my family. I placed it close to my heart and held it there. Tightly. I imagined hugging them. "I am sorry I had to do this" I said to myself.

Just as I was about to keep the wallet in my pocket, my phone rang. It was from my home. I picked up to hear my son's excited voice. "Dad , where are you"?. I said I was still in the office.. "Please don't forget to get my toy today" he pleaded. My eyes welled up with tears. "No. I wont " I said. We both exchanged kisses and I kept the phone. I couldn't control my emotions and broke down. I cried for a long long time. I begged for forgiveness. I prayed to god to give my family the courage to surpass this trauma. I then visualised my wife and my son and gave them a 1000 kisses. Bade them goodbye. When I looked at the watch it was already 07.55 pm. Vikram will call me any time now.

I closed my eyes and stood there for what seemed like eternity. Finally with a silent prayer on my lips , I took a step forward ........

About Author / Additional Info: