Inside the city’s mental hospital, a patient was sitting on a wheel chair, weeping silently. His elder brother Austin arrives with a nurse and drags him towards a room. While they are taking him, the nurse asks Austin, “Is he your brother?”
“What’s his name? What happened with him?”
“Ralph…” he replies sadly, “he was a lover, an obsessive lover.”
“So he lost her, or just got rejected”
Austin remains silent.
They reach room 427. Ralph is admitted there.
Moments later outside the room, he gives a brief thought to the memories that were given by his brother. He also cries a little but the nurse interrupts his thoughts.
“Mr Austin, what were the doctors saying, what is his actual illness?”
“The doctors haven’t diagnosed it yet, but one thing is clear that he can be a danger to women, because the illness was caused by a woman.”
“Danger to women? How?” she asks curiously.
Austin tells her about Ralph’s mental illness and she gets quite surprised to learn about his state of mind.
Few days later, while Austin is sleeping at his home, when he is disturbed by a call on his cell phone. He wakes up and answers the call.
“Mr Austin, your brother is missing from the hospital,” a woman speaks from the other side.
Austin gets alarmed after hearing this. He gets up and asks, “What the hell do you mean?”
“Please come here immediately, we can explain.”
He hangs up his call and prepares to leave.
Half an hour later, he arrives at the hospital in his car. He enters inside furiously and yells at the two nurses standing outside room 427.
“What the hell were you two doing? You were supposed to guard him!” Austin shouts at them.
“Yes, but he didn’t escape from the door. He escaped from the windows.”
“Windows? Did he climb down?”
“Must have,” the other nurse replies.
Austin stressfully rushes towards the psychiatrist’s room. The nurses follow him.
Moments later, while he is in Doctor Jeff’s room, he exclaims, “You’re going to be in great trouble if you don’t find him, you were responsible for him and now he is gone.”
“Look Mr Austin, we are more concerned about him than you are. I have sent a team of cops to look for him. Just be patient, let’s hope for the good.”
“He must be all alone outside,” Austin cries, “he might die if they don’t find him.”
“Well he is more dangerous to society as compared to people who can be a danger to him.”
“I just don’t understand one thing,” he says after thinking for a while, “I saw him locked with straps on his bed. How could he possibly escape?”
“Well, it’s my assumption that he didn’t do this alone. I’m sure someone else was involved in this.”
“You mean the nurses?”
“Possibly, but we can’t claim right now. First we need to find Ralph.”
The nurse arrives and opens the door behind Austin and says, “Look, what is this.” She shows them a piece of white paper.
“Where did you get this?” Austin asks snatching it from her.
“Under Ralph’s pillow,” she answers.
The letter states:
I escaped because I’m not mad, I’m perfectly ok. Don’t worry and please don’t try to find me. I’m going back to Mandy, my love.
Austin gets anxiously worried after reading this and says, “This love story wasn’t meant to have a happy ending.”
Ralph Karl was a 25-year-old guy who had a very loving and caring heart for everyone. He lived with his elder brother Austin Karl. Their parents had deserted them several years ago. Since then, Austin was looking after his brother. Ralph was jobless and survived because of his brother’s earnings.
Other than this, Ralph was in love with Mandy Swank, a girl of his age who lived in his neighborhood. He was very passionate about her and dreamt and fantasized to win her over, and spend a happily married life with her. Mandy and he were just friends, but he believed that their relationship was much more than friendship.
One ordinary day, Ralph was walking in his streets. As he walks past another lane, he hears Mandy talking to someone. He follows her voice and goes to see her. He finds her, and sees her talking to another guy on a bike. She seemed to be enjoying that guy’s company. This expression of enjoyment on her face seemed to annoy Ralph and he angrily went towards them. That guy leaves on his bike and Ralph walks towards Mandy.
“Hi Ralph, what’s up?” Mandy asks him.
“Who was he? What was he saying?” instead of responding to her question, he asks Mandy.
“He was my friend from university. We just met after three years.”
“What sort of friend?” he asks.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean to say…” he says getting straight to the point, “that I didn’t like you smiling with him. I can’t see you enjoying with any guy other but me.”
“That’s rubbish Ralph,” she says closing her eyes in anger. “You know we are just friends.”
“No, we are more than that!” he yells at her.
“I’m not your girlfriend, Ralph,” Mandy insists.
Saying this she leaves him angrily and walks away. Ralph gets painfully disturbed hearing this.
That night, Ralph was lying on his bed but couldn’t sleep as Mandy’s words were echoing in his mind.
I’m not your girlfriend, Ralph.
He gets up from his bed and cries a little. Slowly, he gets mad and begins to hurt himself by punching his wrist twice on his mirror, which left his arm broken and bleeding.
In Vienna, there was a con couple, Rupert and Pamela. They used to con people by first making them fall in love and then secretly taking away their money or other precious possessions.
One night, the couple was at a restaurant, having coffee. While Rupert was counting some money, Pamela asks him, “How much so far?”
“Well, it’s not much. We need more money,” Rupert informs her.
“Whom should we target this time?”
“I think I’ll go for it this time,” he replies looking around.
“Should we pick someone here?”
“No, this time I’ll play, and I know three girls that can be easily fooled with my charm.”
“Whatever you do,” she says taking a sip, “this time we have to grab a heavier amount of money.”
An hour later, they are standing outside the club. Pamela asks him, “So what’s the plan for tomorrow?”
“I’ll go on a date. You stay at home.”
Then his eyes suddenly see a guy who was standing next to a BMW. He points at that guy and says, “How about this, you go and woo this guy and con him within a week.”
“I can,” she replies after thinking for a while, “he seems rich but not difficult.”
“Just get me his car keys, I want his car.”
“Your name’s Brenda for him.”
She follows their appointed guy and Rupert makes a call from his cell phone to some girl.
Next afternoon, Mandy is at a restaurant waiting for someone. Moments later, Rupert arrives and walks towards her table. She stands up and says, “Good afternoon Michael, you are late but I liked waiting for you.”
He gives a gentle smile to amuse her and sits in front of her.
“So, what’s up?” Mandy asks after a while.
‘Oh… well, I’ve been thinking about you since long. I mean I’ve been eagerly waiting for this date.”
She gets a little more amused.
“So Michael, what will you have,” she says.
“Oh! yeah of course, let’s order.”
Moments later, after they are done with their lunch, Rupert asks her curiously, “So when are you taking me to your home?”
“Soon, within this week.”
He crosses his fingers under the table and says, “Thanks for the lunch.”
That evening, Ralph was lying on his bed, day dreaming his future life with Mandy. He was planning to confess his love for her but was frightened of getting rejected. This was the greatest fear of his life, due to which he never expressed his love yet.
He sat up and imagined his life without Mandy for a while thinking what if he loses her one day. This thought disturbed him, and left him wondering if there were other men in her life.
Next day, Ralph’s brother Austin tries to figure out his brother’s nature of illness by browsing the internet. After a long research, he realises that Ralph was suffering from a disease called Obsessive Love Disorder. In this condition, a person feels an overwhelmingly obsessive desire to possess another person towards whom they feel a strong attraction, with an inability to accept failure or rejection. Some people argue that obsessive love is considered to be a mental illness similar to attachment disorder. Obsessive lovers may feel entirely unable to restrain themselves from extreme behaviours such as acts of violence towards themselves. They may be entirely convinced that their feelings are love. The biggest cause can be the sight of their loved ones with someone else other than themselves, causing jealousy and possessiveness in them.
This mental illness is meant to have four stages – attraction, anxiety, obsession and destruction. Currently, Ralph seemed to be in the third stage and was possibly about to enter the last – the destruction stage.
Worried Austin now plans to either cure his disease or to get him his love at any cost.
That week, on one special day for Ralph, he was waiting for Mandy at his home. As the doorbell rings, he goes to see it, getting excited. He opens the door, and sees Mandy. He gets speechless but he allows her to enter inside.
Next moment, they are sitting at his garden silently. Mandy asks him, “Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“Oh yeah,” he says getting confused, “well, I don’t know what to say.”
“Ask anything. How am I or anything that makes me feel that you care.”
“I care?” he asks really liking what she said.
“Yes, I mean you always care for me, so why aren’t you making me feel like it?”
“Just give me a second, I’ll be right back”
He stands up immediately and walks inside towards his home. He was actually enjoying what Mandy just told him, for she finally realised his caring attitude. He wanted to be alone for a while thinking about this.
Later, he goes back to her and says, “So, what can I get you?”
“Nothing… except your time,” she smiles.
These words give him a delightful feeling of pleasure. He happily sits next to her and as usual listens to her while she was talking to him. This was their relationship, she used to talk and he used to silently listen and enjoy her company.
As it gets darker, they begin to walk together around the garden and talk.
Pamela and Rupert gather all the money they had collected and are now preparing to leave. They have packed up their house, but while they are there, Rupert is still not sure about leaving so soon, so he asks her, “Pamela, wait… I don’t think we should leave right now.”
“Look, forget Mandy, we have conned enough people.”
“But she has something we really need. She has a lot of gold jewellery and I want it at any cost.”
“Look just leave her, we have to leave Vienna before someone catches us.”
“It doesn’t matter, no one will catch us. Mandy is a hen that lays golden eggs and I can’t let it go when I have the opportunity.”
“Well our flight is this week” Pamela reminds him, “if you really have to con her then do it within…”
“… I know what I have to do. Just wait and see.”
Mandy was their next target and they were planning to con her. According to Mandy, Rupert was an honest guy but she was wrong, as she didn’t even know his real name.
Back at Ralph’s home, he was gathering all his romantic poems and was planning to finally propose his love to Mandy. He was a little afraid of getting rejected, but his misunderstandings gave him hope that Mandy might accept his love.
That day he bought blue flowers from a store and dressed to the nines in a black suit. He had higher expectations from what he was about to do but was unaware of the fact that his world was going towards a downfall.
That evening, Ralph goes to Mandy’s house all prepared and knocks at her door, while Mandy comes out to see and opens the door.
“Good evening, Mandy,” he says.
“Oh Ralph, it’s you!”
“Were you expecting someone else?” he curiously asks her.
Rupert comes from behind and looks at Mandy.
“Hi Michael, I’ve been waiting for you,” she says delightfully.
Rupert enters inside her house. Ralph is in shock after what he just saw and asks Mandy, “What the hell is all this? Who is he? Why is he entering inside like this?”
“Well, he’s my boyfriend Michael. I invited him here.”
“Boyfriend?” he asks surprisingly.
“No, we are lovers actually” Rupert adds.
“Whatever,” Mandy whispers.
Ralph loses his normal state of mind seeing all this happen so quickly. The flowers and his poetry book fall from his hand. He turns around and walks away somewhere in the streets. He had the answer and it was rejection, the thing that scared him the most.
Mandy picks up his book and calls out for him. He gets even farther, so she keeps it and goes inside her house with Rupert.
That midnight, Ralph is in state of shock and is unable to recall anything of his life’s previous history except for what happened in the evening. He was losing the sanity of his mind.
Austin was sitting outside, he knocks his door, but Ralph gives no answer. Austin realises that there must be a problem in his love life.
“This love story isn’t going to have a happy ending,” he says to himself.
Next morning, Mandy wakes up and finds that Rupert was nowhere in her house. She walks around calling him but gets no answer. She sees some sleeping pills next to her glass of soft drink that she drank last night.
Then she sees that her closet was also left open. She gets a little alarmed and rushes to check inside. As she checks inside, she sees that all her jewellery boxes were missing. She wonders what might have happened. Then she recalls last night’s incident and remembers that Rupert was the one who had given her the drink and he must have added the sleeping pills, due to which she overslept.
Slowly she begins to realise that Rupert had been playing all along with her and now she was conned. She begins to weep realising how much loss she had just suffered in wealth as well as in a relationship.
She doesn’t have her breakfast or lunch that day because of the disappointment. But she certainly wasn’t as disappointed as Ralph.
to be continued...
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