She woke up to the sight of beautiful hills through her side of the car window.
How much more time to reach? Maya asked yawningly.
Morning, lady! You are up finally. Aryan replied. He smiled at her for a second and then moved his eyes on the road again.
Morning, but how far is it now? She asked again.
We are almost there, should reach soon. He answered.
They both were traveling to some remote village in the mountains to celebrate their first marriage anniversary.
Are you excited, baby? She asked.
Ohh yes, I was looking forward to this journey for quite some time now as we hardly go out. He said and leaned towards her to kiss while still driving.
Eyes on the road, Mr. She said as they kissed for a second. They both were quite eager to reach the destination.
I hope this time I get you pregnant. He smiled.
We can look for the other options as we have been trying for a while and I believe that something is wrong with me. She said and looked the other way.
You are perfect is what you are. Something is wrong with me. He retorted.
A few minutes later, they entered the village. It looked beautiful as it was surrounded by the beautiful mountains from all the sides.
They pulled the car in front of the hotel.
We have a reservation for two nights. Aryan said to the receptionist.
Let me check, sir. She said as she looked strangely at Maya.
Yes, sir. The room is booked under your name. Is your partner joining you soon? She asked.
She is with me. He said with a smile, pointing at Maya.
Okay, sir. The receptionist said after a long pause while still looking strangely at the couple.
The room is beautiful. I know why you were so excited to show me this room. Maya said with a smile.
Yes, it has romance written all over it. He said flirtingly.
Did you notice the way the receptionist was looking at you? He asked with concern. Even the bellboy acted strangely.
I didn’t notice. Is it so? She asked.
Yes. This is what I like about you the most. You never see these things as you are always so secure with yourself. You are so innocent. He leaned forward and kissed her at this moment. They made love the following night.
Wake up, lady! I have ordered your favorite breakfast. He said and served.
What a good surprise, baby. She said in a sleepy voice.
Eat properly. You hardly eat anything. You have gone so thin and weak. He said with concern.
Yes, I don’t like to eat food and all. I only like to eat you. She said and winked.
An hour later, they both went out to explore the village. They did some shopping, bought some fruits, clothes, and locally handmade items.
While heading back to the hotel, he wondered how people looked at Maya throughout the day. There was one strange incident that happened in some cloth shop that he couldn’t move past easily.
This one will look good on you; he said and handed a red color dress to Maya.
You know my taste. Red suits me. She said.
May I help you, sir? The salesman asked.
Yes, how much is this outfit. He asked while pointing at the dress in Maya’s hands.
This is 1500 bucks, he replied immediately. Who are you buying for? I have a better collection if you are looking for something special for your wife or a girlfriend.
My wife. He said. And she likes this outfit very much.
Where is she? The salesman asked curiously.
She is right here, holding the outfit. He pointed at her.
The salesman looked at Maya and paused for a few seconds. Okay. I see her. How do you want to pay for it? Cash or Card? He said in disbelief.
The bags were packed. They both were standing at the reception area now.
I hope you had a good stay, the receptionist asked.
Yes, it was fine. The people are weird here though. He said
Did something happen, Sir? She asked with a smile.
I noticed that there are hardly any women in the village. Perhaps they are not accustomed to having women around. They all were looking at my wife strangely for some reason. He said in a confused manner.
The receptionist glanced at Maya quickly at this moment. I understand sir. She smiled. Your wife is so beautiful even I can’t help myself but stare at her as much as possible.
They were back on the road now. Aryan was still thinking about all the bizarre things that he observed in the village.
Where are you lost, baby? Maya asked.
Nowhere. I was just thinking about the beautiful experience that this village has given us. He said.
The road seemed empty. He was driving at a normal speed. She was wearing the same dress he bought for her from the village.
You are looking beautiful; he said and leaned towards to kiss her.
They kissed and suddenly the car hit a big pothole and Aryan lost the balance. They crashed into the side of the road.
A moment later, he found himself covered in blood. He slowly got up and looked for Maya. She was lying on the corner unconscious. He quickly ran towards her. Are you fine? He screamed in pain while holding her face. He didn’t even realize that he was badly wounded too. He kept screaming her name until he passed out.
Where is Maya? He woke up and observed that he was in a hospital now.
A moment later, a nurse came to attend to him after listening to his countless screams.
How are you feeling now? She asked.
I am fine. Where is Maya? He asked in pain.
Who? The nurse asked curiously.
My wife. She was with me when we crashed. He said.
Sir, I don’t know what you are talking about. You were brought here alone. She replied.
This can’t be. She was right next to me when I passed out. He looked perplexed now.
Sir, let me call the doctor. Please lie down. You need to rest. She said and left.
He tried to get up but lacked the physical strength to do so.
Hope you are fine. I will come to look for you. He kept on talking to himself.
A few minutes later, the doctor came.
How are you doing now? He asked.
I am just fine. Where is my wife? He asked with concern
The nurse just told me about your wife. I am sorry but you were alone. The doctor replied
What are you talking about? I held her in my arms after the accident. He said angrily.
The doctor kept silent for a minute. Perhaps I know what you are talking about. He said softly.
Thank god. Finally, someone knows whom I am talking about. Aryan said with relief.
A day later, Aryan had almost recovered. He was ready to see Maya.
I see you are up and ready to leave. The doctor asked.
Yes, I can’t wait to see my wife. Where is she? He said anxiously.
Calm down! Let’s go and meet her. The doctor replied.
They both went to a separate room in the hospital.
The doctor opened the door for him. Please go inside, I will join you shortly. He said.
Aryan was sitting and waiting anxiously to see Maya now. A few minutes later, the doctor entered the room.
Before Maya joins her, do you mind if I ask you a few questions? The doctor asked.
Okay. Okay. He said.
How long have you been married to her?
We completed one year just recently. We came here to celebrate our marriage anniversary. He said.
Fine. Did you ever find something strange about her? Something odd? The doctor asked patiently.
No, what do you mean? He was puzzled.
I mean… did anyone ever meet your wife? Friends or family? What do they think about her? The doctor asked quietly.
No, we both are orphans. We are all we have for each other. He said softly.
That explains a bit. The doctor said.
Explains what? He asked with concern.
Let me show you what it explains. The doctor said.
At this very instance, he went out and brought Maya inside.
The moment Aryan looked at Maya; he got up with excitement and hugged her in relief.
You are fine. I am so happy. I thought I lost you forever. He said with tears in his eyes.
Why are you not saying anything? Why your face is so pale and blank. He asked.
Maya didn’t say anything. She stood silent.
Why is she not saying anything? Aryan asked the doctor anxiously. What is wrong with her?
She wouldn’t say anything. I don’t know if she ever said anything to you in the first place? The doctor said ever so slowly and patiently.
What do you mean? He was confused now.
Aryan, look at her closely. What do you see? The doctor asked.
She is my wife. She is my Maya. He said angrily.
Aryan, she is not your wife. The doctor said.
What are you talking about? He said anxiously.
She is not even a human being. The doctor said.
What do you mean? Aryan said in disbelief.
At this moment, the doctor picked Maya up and tossed her in the air.
What are you doing? She will get hurt. Stop, stop. He shouted.
Aryan, she will not get hurt. She is a doll, not a human. The doctor explained
He couldn’t comprehend what just happened. He looked at Maya for a second and then slowly started walking out of the room in tears.
A few months later. Aryan was in his house. He seemed restless. There was a knock at the gate. He opened the door. It was a delivery for him.
He brought the package inside. He opened the box and said, “ Welcome back Maya! I have waited for you for so long!