She stood there at the doorsteps with moist eyes and he walked towards her morosely with the fact that he would not be seeing her for next five days as she was going out of the town for her business trip. He pulled her closer and gave a light peck on her cheek. His nostrils were filled with the fragrance of artificial chemicals. He tried to smell the real smell of his wife through the layers of powder, cream and paint. He sniffed hard and gave up. The artificial fragrance has encapsulated the real aroma of his wife.
His lachrymose eyes followed the red tail lamp of her car till it converged into a minor speck and eventually disappeared in the darkness.
“Five long doggone days without her aroma…..without her fragrance….”, the thoughts were pushing him towards the threshold of insanity. He was so used to her….her presence……her aroma. He literally fed on her aroma as her aroma was his lifeline. Suddenly five days appeared to him like five centuries. He opened a drawer and picked up an old diary which his wife used to keep and started sniffing the pages of the diary. This diary smelled so much like her. He kept it close to his nose till he appeased his thirst and then he picked up old love letters which his wife had sent him long before the marriage. He picked up smell of his wife’s moods from her letters and the particles of aroma were accumulating and shaping up to the image of his wife. He tried to mingle himself with that image. Suddenly the image started disintegrating and dissolved into nothingness. He knelt down and broke into tears. His mother went upstairs hearing his sobbing and found him knelt down on the floor, sobbing like a kid. She hugged him tightly and started caressing his hairs.
“Mom…five days are too long….I can not stay without her….”, he was still sobbing and hugging like a long-lost kid.
” I know…I know….son. Everything will be ok….calm down….,” She said with uncertainty.
“Mom…can you call her and ask her to come early, please.”, he slurred.
“I’ll definitely try….ok…now calm down….let’s go down for dinner now. ok “, she said with intense calmness.
“Doctor, I’m sorry I had to call you up at this hour but he’s having schizophreniform disorder again. This time he thinks his wife’s alive and she’s gone out on business trip for few days.”, She spoke into the plastic piece and felt relieved after letting it out.
“I can understand that. I suggest you give him two pills of clozapine after the dinner and I expect you to bring him tomorrow to my clinic. Just call up before coming. ok….Mrs kapoor.”, He said in one breath.
She kept the phone down and looked at his son who was staring into nothingness. The old lady hugged him tightly knowing that how he must have felt after the tragic death of his wife in an accident even though it’d been only two years.