“Water, it was water.” Susan screamed.
“What happened? Bad dream again?” Edward asked from his sleep.
“Yes..I dreamt I was drowning.” She replied with a sigh of relief as she tried to go back to sleep.
For a while, Susan has been having weird dreams of herself drowning. She tried discussing about it with her husband, Edward who dismissed it saying she was worrying too much about some petty dreams but Susan couldn’t help wondering why she kept seeing these dreams so frequently. She chided herself for shallow thoughts and went back to sleep.
“Hey can we go for fishing this weekend?” Susan asked Edward as they were having breakfast. He gave her a puzzled stare.
“What?” “It is strange that you want to go fishing, for all i know you hated it.”
“Well can’t I try it out? After all you love it.” She replied with a smile.
“Fine, by me.”
It was a cool summer day. Perfect for a fishing trip. Except for a few small canoes the lake wasn’t much crowded either.
“Seems like your lucky day Susie. The lake is calm and it’s not crowded either. We could get a big catch today.” Edward sounded excited as he got on to their canoe.
Drifting along the lake Susan tried to reel into the serenity that surrounded her, while Edward tried to make his big catch.
While lost in her thoughts Susan spotted something in the water. As she took a closer look she felt as if it was something or someone drowning.
“Edward! Edward! There is something in the water. Hurry!” Susan cried.
“What is it?” Edward rushed to her side.
“Look there is something in the water. Can’t you see? Its drowning. Help it Edward please! “Susan cried frantically.
“Sweetie there is nothing there. I don’t see anything there. Relax it's just your imagination. Let's go back. you have been in the sun for too long.” said Edward trying to calm her down.
“No I swear. I am not imagining it”. Susan tried to explain to Edward that she really did see something in the water but in vain.
Back home she couldn’t help but keep thinking about the incident at the lake. Even though it was summer she felt cold down her spine. The sort of coldness that seemed to elude her.
The dreams about her drowning became more frequent but this time it was different. She could hear voices, as if someone was talking to her. No matter how hard she tried, a peaceful sleep became far from her reach.
One fine day, Susan had a great urge to go to the lak . She felt as if some invisible forces were drawing her to it, calling her to come back. Soon she found herself on the edge of the lake staring at her own reflection. Then she suddenly fell into the water. Sheer panic took over her. She found herself thrashing and trying to grab onto invisible rope that could save her. She felt she was losing consciousness. She saw herself face to face with a little girl. A little over 9, perhaps. With golden hair and blue eyes, she looked like a doll. She seemed sad.
“Can you play with me? Please. It is so cold and lonely down here”. Susan reached out to her but her vision faded. When she woke up, she found herself in the hospital bed, with Edward by her side, looking relieved.
“Thank God you are alright” he said as he hugged her tight. “For a moment there, I thought I was going to lose you. What were you doing at the Lake?”
“l don’t know. Suddenly I had this urge to go there and the next thing I remember is falling into it.”
“Are you alright Susie? Nowadays you worry me. Suddenly you are having these weird thoughts about drowning and you are trying to hurt yourself."
“I am not trying to take my life. It’s just having these weird dreams that take my sleep away and I know that I am not crazy. What if these dreams mean something Edward?”
“See, this is what I am talking about. This is not the Susie I know. You are a logical person we should go see a doctor”.
“I am not crazy Edward!”. Susan cried. She didn’t tell him about the girl she saw knowing it would make him worry more, but deep inside she knew that the girl was trying to tell her something. What it is, she was determined to find out.
Next day while she was alone in the house she filled up the tub and tried to submerge herself in it. She felt that it would help her somehow in talking to the little girl again. Soon she saw her but this time she was with someone. Laughter and happiness filled the air. Susan tried to see whom she was with. The face seemed so familiar. As she took a closer look she was shocked to see that it was Edward. The little girl was playing with him. Susan gasped for air and came back to her senses. She felt so confused seeing Edward in her visions, she couldn’t understand why she saw him and what he was doing there and who the girl was. Thinking deep, she realised that although they had been married, she didn’t know much about Edward except that his parents had died long back and that he came to the town looking for a new job and he wanted to start afresh.
Soon Susan found herself trying to dig into his past. She went to his hometown and tried to gather any information she could find about her husband. She found the address of his previous workplace and contacted them. She felt childish for prying into his privacy but went with it. She asked the manager about Edward under the pretext that she was enquiring about him as he had applied for a job with her company.
“Oh Edward, I remember him. Hardworking fellow he was. In fact I had him in mind for a promotion before he left so quickly.”
“Oh. Do you know why he left?” she enquired.
“He said he had come into some fortunes in the city. Some distant relative had left his name in the Will and arrangements had already been made for his daughter to study there. So he resigned”.
“Wait...Daughter?” Susan tried to hide the surprise.
“Yes. He had a daughter about the age of 9. Well he is a good chap. I didn’t find anything wrong with him while he was with us.”
“Ah, thank you Sir. Thank you for your time”. Susan kept the phone. She felt weak. Feelings of fear and shock about what she had just heard filled her stomach. She couldn’t believe Edward had never mentioned of a previous marriage or even the fact that he had a daughter. She was filled with anger and disappointment.
Edward came home that night.
"That is certainly not the face I wish to see when I come home. You look as if you have seen a ghost," He laughed.
“Who are you?” Susan asked gravely.
“What do you mean? I am your husband, Edward. What’s with you today? Did you hit your head?” Edward asked trying to hold her hand.”
Don’t touch me” Susan cried. “Why didn’t you ever tell me you were married before? You liar”.
Rage filled her.
Edward was dumbstruck. Beads of perspiration marked his forehead as if Susan had hit him at his core. “What are you talking about?” He asked trying to conceal the panic in his voice.
“I know all about it. I did some background check and found out that you were married once and that you had a child. Why did you hide it from me? God I was so naive to trust you and fall for you”.
“No I wasn’t trying to hide anything Susie”.
“Then, what? You suddenly forgot you had a family?” Susan shouted.
“No, I wanted a new beginning. I know I will never be forgiven but still..” Edward broke down.
“What are you talking about?”
“I was married before. But she died in childbirth and left me with a daughter. I loved her I really did. She was after all, my child. I am sorry. I am so sorry”...Edward was weeping.
“I came home one day drunk. And she kept nagging me asking me to play with her. It must have been so lonely for her in the house. I told her I was too tired but she didn’t listen and kept on pestering me. And I.” Edward was in sobs that he couldn’t bring himself to speak.
“What did you do?”
“I hit her with the bottle. The blow killed her. I felt so scared of what I had done. I knew she wasn’t breathing and I would be charged of murder. So I put her body in a bag and dumped it into the lake. To escape I told everyone that I got into some good fortunes through relatives and was going to the city. Then I came here and decided to start afresh and I met you and I thought I could redeem myself. I am so sorry. I didn’t know what to do. It was an accident. I am so sorry” Edward begged and wept at my feet.
Susan was still recovering from the shock his confession brought on her. She realised that all those dreams and visions were the spirit of the trying to tell me what had happened.
“You Monster! You killed your own daughter in cold blood. She was just trying to save me from the monster you are.”
Susan packed her things and left as soon as she could, for she couldn’t bear to stand a second more in the same room with that murder.
A few days later, Susan was at my apartment when she saw in the news.
“Man confessed for murdering daughter has been arrested”.
The pang of pain and fear that hit her was so sharp that she gasped, as she saw Edward on the news. But deep inside, she felt relieved that the girl in the lake saved her life.