The unlikely ones: Part 3-Indira the justice maker

Justice had never been an option for her, but something that simply needed to be done. She hadn’t seen him for a long time, but her claim wasn’t time-barred. There was no statute of limitations for the kind of crime he had committed: so abhorrent and pernicious. It was a malicious crime, and yet he’d managed to get away with it for so many years. But not today. She was pondering the course of action to be taken. What litigation strategy would she choose? The fair one or the pitiless one? But she knew enough about justice to already know the answer: There is no mercy in human law; forgiveness is exclusively divine. May God forgive him then.

She was waiting for him at that crappy cheap pizza restaurant they had gone the last time they saw each other. She’d come back alone many times and she would ritually choose the same toppings for her pizza: mozzarella, tomato, oregano and tears. After all these years apart she wasn’t the same, but her feelings for him were intact. “That’s what justice is,” she thought “closure”. She couldn’t detach herself from him until justice was done. All her love for him was bonded to her hatred, and the latter one was fixated on the injustice committed towards her. She admired judges at that moment: the decisive way in which they managed to make it all seem so fateful. But she knew the task of a judge was not an easy one: weighing the evidence and circumstances to tip the balance towards innocence or guiltiness. It hadn’t been easy for her to reach a verdict, but finally she had done it. After all these years of trial, at last she’d reached a unanimous decision. The dissidence, which had been sympathetic to the defense, had finally been persuaded, and now all her efforts could be focused on the execution.

She remembered it as if it had been yesterday. She’d come fifteen minutes earlier because she’d finished work. She’d proposed to eat home that night, but he had had a sudden urge for pizza and she could never manage to get the dough right, whenever she tried to make it at home. He’d called: He was running late. Déjà-vu, he was also late now. She remembered ordering so the pizza would be ready when he came and they could go home and watch Friends or some other nostalgic TV series together. “Margarita would do,” she’d thought then. She knew he really liked pizza, which meant that adding too much topping would be counterproductive. She did the same now. As usual, the waiter brought the pizza knife and dishes beforehand. There was something odd in his look when he laid the dishes on the table. It was a fraction of a second, but she saw his glance on her. He’d recognized her. She always went through the whole ceremony. Pizza for two, but the second diner never came. But she also saw the look of: “none of my business” on his face. And it was true: It was none of anyone’s business, but hers and his. And what if she used the knife to pierce through his thorax and stick that cold piece of steel to his heart over a margarita pizza? It was nothing compared to what he had done to her. The waiter could go back to the kitchen and fuck himself, for all she cared.

‘I hope you don’t mind, but I ordered already,’ she had said when he finally came, ‘I couldn’t wait any longer.’ And he had sat in front of her and eaten his pizza. She still remembered his carefree looks, as if he didn’t give a shit about anything. Back then, she had had the presentiment of his treacherous act, but she had been too naive to make something tangible out of it. Yes, they had had their rough patches and yes, sometimes she hadn’t been as nice as she could be, but nothing could justify or even mitigate his atrocious act. She was happy despite all back then. His inattentiveness and vulgarity was something to keep her occupied in her hours of leisure. And now she had nothing to be upset about, except his absence. But justice is inexorable and it needed to be done.

She finished her half of the pizza and walked out of the restaurant. She knew he wouldn’t come, no matter how long she waited. She was ready to execute the sentence. What he’d done outside that pizzeria was unforgivable. He’d hurried to cross the street, leaving her behind. He hadn’t seen the car coming from his right and, just minutes later, he’d died in her arms, abandoning her forever. The only possible punishment was oblivion.

 

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