A Tale Of Two Cousins (Flash Fiction Part 15)

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Flash Fiction #163

This is the 15th part. The previous 14 parts are here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

Nalan, Right Now

Arjin says to me, “I don’t believe a word you are saying. What I know is whenever I meet you, something bad is happening. And you are the cause of my miseries. Don’t try to deny it. I just know it. What do you mean when you say someone forcing me to kill you? Are you referring to Altan? You still think Altan, the poor wandering merchant, tried to ask me to help him abduct you? Are you totally insane? You know because of you, Altan was dead and his camel was butchered.”

“Some said it was a rumor, but I’ve never seen Altan coming back. Whatever happened to Altan had nothing to do with me. I didn’t know Altan and I never spoke to him. I felt sorry that he was blamed for my disappearance, but I was not the person who framed and persecuted Altan. And the reason I ran away was because I thought you were trying to kill me.” As my words come out, I can see Arjin’s surprised face getting redder than before.

“What? Why did I want to kill you? And how could you even think that I wanted to kill you? I mean you are just not a normal person. A normal person will never think her cousin will kill her. How can you even think of that? So that was why you pushed me, right?” Arjin said in agitation. Within ten minutes, he finishes half of a bottle of rice wine.

I say this very slowly because I want to see how he responds to it, “I thought you were trying to kill me because at the time I had often thought of killing myself as well as my parents. I hated them and hated my life. I was lucky that I went away to attend boarding school at the age of 13. If I didn’t, I don’t know what would have happened. The outside world was cold, indifferent, and normal. What happened in the outside world, no matter how bad, was better than the hellhole my parents created at home.”

“Killing whom? What? Gosh, you are even crazier than what Grandma said about you. Oh, I need to lie down. I feel a little dizzy.” Arjin says and stumbles to the sofa. The living room is right next to the small dining area. So he lies down on the sofa and falls silent for a while.

“How could you have thoughts like that? How could you hate your parents? Parents are wonderful people. They sacrifice for their kids and they raise you and feed you. You are so ungrateful. You are…” Arjin sits up, his hands grabbing onto his numerous black hair, as if he is trying to get a grip of himself.

“What are you talking about? ‘Parents are all wonderful people?’ Parents are people, some wonderful, some OK, some very bad. All those dictators, mass murderers, serial killers, torturers, sadists have had family and children, except Hitler, who was the only one without kids. Most of those bad people grow up to be parents. You hated my parents too and you only lived with them for several months. I had to live with them for 13 years.” I try to explain to him.

“And your mother died of a traffic accident, right? You didn’t kill her, did you?” Arjin says and looks at me with worried anxiety.

“Don’t worry. You are not having a cousin who’s a murderer. I never acted on my thoughts. She and my father are two narcissists, and I often imagined that their narcissistic fight would one day send one of them to grave. I often thought my father was the one who would die first since he was not as aggressive as my mother. However I was wrong. She died of a traffic accident, and it was due to their narcissistic fight that she went out that fateful night to take the shuttle bus. In a way, narcissism did kill her.” I say.

“And I still don’t understand why you said somebody was ‘forcing me to kill you’. Who? Who was forcing me to kill you?” Arjin says.

“My parents. They deliberately asked you to learn from me, for the purpose of making you hate me. Narcissists are experts in creating antagonism between people. They compared your grade with mine constantly, not only to humiliate you but also to make us enemies. My mother also lied to you that I badmouthed about you. I never said one word about you to my mother or my father. I never even told them one word about my own friends or myself. Not even one word. They were very mad about that. My mother went around the campus to talk with other people just to spy on me. When you came, she spied on you too. When she told you not to make friends with this boy or that boy, she lied that I told her about you. Narcissists lie all the time and often they don’t feel guilty about it. Not only that, they feel a sense of achievement and triumph when people believe their lies. So you believed that I was against you and you hated me. I noticed that. I was a little nervous that you might have the same thought as I had, which meant you wanted to kill my parents and me.” I try to put it as simple as possible for Arjin, who has this incredulous look on his face.

“And you said something about my mother. Who killed her? As far as I know, she died of a swimming accident when she and my father were vacationing at a resort near Penang, Malaysia.” Arjin asks.

“I hope this will not shock you, but I know this will. I know you love your mother, and I wish I am not the one who tells you this…” I try to phrase my words to soften the blow.

(To Be Continued Here)

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