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[#12] Question Of Reality

Will words be able to express it?

The expressions on Valentina and Mr. O’Dannell’s faces were authentic. Our faces are more capable of expressing truth than of hiding it. Right now they were at their expressing best. They couldn’t hide that they both knew Susan’s reality and had kept it hidden. But what was conjectured was much more. It was Merrifort after all — a town where reality believed was reality understood. They were immediately believed to be complicit in Susan’s running away. Though it wasn’t so. In reality, their knowledge of Susan’s reality had been taken over by their belief that she would be alright after marrying Peter. Marriage was the anti dote to the disease in her. “She will be alright,” was the common consensus the family had come to after a lot of discussion. Likewise Castillos had come to a consensus. The father and daughter duo were involved in the eloping episode. They wouldn’t let them move out of the holy cathedral, except if it was for them going to the jail. Even the inspector was with them.

As for Peter, he hadn’t noticed what others had and had spontaneously decided to see Maria to find out the truth. He won’t believe Billy or her stupid girl who cried professionally. And what they spoke was anyways unbelievable. But if what he had heard was true, Maria had to give him an explanation. She was the only one who could now prove that he hadn’t made a wrong choice. It was once before when Peter had felt fearful of Billy’s words being true and it was the same today as Scott drove him to Maria’s house. But unnatural things happen to people unknown to us, not us.

Scott drove fast enough to scare atleast 5 people and 3 dogs to death before they reached Maria’s house. The figure of the unbroken man stood as strong as the other day. It was tough to bring out secrets from that house. But Peter was ready to fight it. He had suffered enough in last few days. He won’t return empty handed this time. Maria walked consciously to the door and led them in without any questions just like last time.

After an hour, they both came out staring into the air. They seemed more puzzled that ever before. Maria had told them things they could never believe. She was worse than Billy, thought Peter. He won't believe her either. Scott had lost the courage to think.

Back in the cathedral, Mrs. Castillo had called the two men she had decided to ask to murder Susan. Till a few years back, she had worked in a factory where she had saved them from charges of stealing. She had done it because she knew how ruthless the factory owners were and the kind of torture they would have subjected them both to for their petty crime. Later, as a gesture of gratitude, both of them had promised their loyalty to any criminal act she wanted to get done. They knew how to do everything. Their list of services hadn’t as yet included stealing and they got caught because it was their first time. Mrs. Castillo had sent them away from her and asked them not to talk to her anymore. But they had forcefully handed over a slip with their details to her. Out of fear of being seen, she had quickly slipped it into her bag. When she remembered it a few days later as she lazed around on a weekend knitting a scarf, she wanted to keep it with herself because that was the first time in her life when she had felt powerful. She had a weapon she could use to destroy someone. Though she was far from evil, she couldn’t help loving power. Even gods are powerful but that doesn’t mean they are evil. Today was the day to use it. They had anyways been intimated as she required their services. She had to execute her plan today.

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