Previously on Leave Me Alone:
Ajay and Sasha go Sasha’s house to celebrate her birthday. Ajay sees a portrait of a woman on red saree. Coincidentally, a woman similar to that on the portrait attacks him and he runs to the police station. There he meets Dr. Shrestha, who tells him something about Sasha’s past. Ajay does not believe him. So he calls Parmila, Sasha’s maid to confirm his story.
In this last chapter of the story, we explore through the dreams of Sasha and find out the one responsible for everything the couple has faced.
Sasha was in a dream. She was in the study of Dr. Shrestha looking for something when she saw a small brown notebook with a leather jacket on his table. She thought she had seen it earlier but could not say where. ‘I am sure this is not uncle’s notebook. Whose is it?’ she said to herself and lifted it up. She turned on the first page and saw the name of the owner written in bold capital letters: RESHMA.
Sasha was shocked. ‘What’s my mom’s diary doing in uncle’s office? He had said that this diary was taken up by the court as an evidence of her insanity. Has he been hiding things from me?’ As she was busy contemplating, she heard someone coming into the study. She immediately managed to hide the diary. Dr. Shrestha came in and looked around. He looked confused. Sasha asked, “What are you searching, uncle?”
The doctor hesitated at first, but when Sasha asked again, he replied, “Have you seen a diary? It has brown-leather jacket. I thought I had taken it to my bedroom. I couldn’t find it there. I must have left it here.”
“No, I haven’t seen such a diary,” Sasha said calmly. The doctor was an expert in catching lies. She felt he had caught her. However, she was relieved when he said, “It’s all right, Sasha. I must have kept it somewhere else.”
Dr. Shrestha’s office faded. She was now in her hostel reading the notebook. As she read the accounts of her mother’s life, she felt she was getting closer with her mother. She came to know the details of her life Dr. Shrestha could never have given her. She was shocked the most when she read that Reshma had been sexually assaulted. She developed hatred against the manager and the lawyer when she knew that their acts had changed the fate of her mother and her own.
The girl had a feeling that the distance with her mother was decreasing. She could feel her mother’s presence around her. One evening before she went to sleep, she actually saw her mother. Sasha looked at her with awe and despair. She wanted to cry in her mother arms but she could not touch her. The woman told, “You can’t touch me because of those evil men. Avenge me, my child.”
“I will, Mom,” Sasha said though she was not sure how.
“Find them out and destroy their lives,” Reshma said.
Sasha knew the stories but she had not seen the manager and the lawyer. As she thought so, Reshma said, “You must find a clue that helps you find them.”
“Where is the clue?” Sasha asked but her mother had gone. She wiped the tears in her eyes, washed her face and came back to her room. She thought she had understood the clue. She picked up the diary and turned its pages. On the bottom of the pages in which Reshma’s tormentors were mentioned, Sasha noticed that Reshma had repeatedly written these words: ‘One stitch in time saves nine.’
Sasha had thought Reshma had written that because she had failed to understand the true nature of the manager and his lawyer. That she had to be cautious when her boss was offering her own auctioned house; that she had to understand the ploy he had made during the pay rise. This time Sasha had discovered the pattern of the appearance of the proverb. She took the words literally and looked at the jacket of the diary. She looked at the odd stitch which she had previously thought was a production defect. She looked at it carefully. ‘It must be a manual work.’ She took a blade and cut the stitch. She ripped the jacket to discover an old picnic photo encircling two faces at the centre.
On a closer inspection, she saw that Reshma had written an ‘M’ above the head of the one on the right and an ‘L’ above that on the left. She saw her mother on the extreme right. She also noticed a bespectacled man. ‘Dr. Shrestha,’ she smiled. Sasha looked at the man marked L again. She thought she had seen him somewhere, though she could not place exactly where. As she kept staring at the photo, her phone beeped. As she looked at the face of the caller, she remembered where she had seen him. ‘Ajay?’ she thought. ‘How is that possible?’
Sasha leaped space and time in her dream. She was at the hospital in Dr. Shrestha’s cabin a few days later. He was in his desk writing something while she said, “I have a problem, uncle.”
The old doctor stopped writing and gestured at her to sit down. Then he looked curiously at her. After a moment of hesitation, Sasha said, “I’ve been seeing my mom recently.”
“In your dreams?”
“I see her ghost.”
“Ghost?” Dr. Shrestha stroked his chin and said, “Tell me more about your mother’s ghost.”
“She comes in a red sari and looks like that on the portrait. She wants me to avenge her death.”
“Do you want to do it?”
Sasha’s mind raced back to the incident a few days ago when she had lied that she had not seen the diary. ‘How could he not catch that?’
“Do you want to avenge your mother?” the doctor asked again.
“Yes,” Sasha replied in an angrier tone. “Those who killed her must be punished. I can’t let them roam around.”
“Do you know who they are? How do you find them?”
“Yes uncle. I know about the two that are directly involved. The bank manager has disappeared. So I don’t need to look for him.” Sasha clenched her fist as she said, “The other is a lawyer. I know him.”
“Where did you get all these information?”
“I used different sources.” Sasha did not want to tell him about the diary.
“Alright,” the doctor said. “I think I know your sources.”
‘He knows.’ Sasha’s heart paced. She said to herself. ‘He knows I have read that diary.’
Dr. Shrestha, however said, “You got that information from Parmila, didn’t you?”
Sasha was relieved but she could not convince herself that the old doctor had not caught her lies. The doctor thought for a while and scribbled something on his prescription form. He stood up and walked towards Sasha. Handling the paper, he said, “I think you’re getting hallucinations again. I don’t know what triggered it. But I guess it’s your source of information. I’ve written some medicines. They’ll help you get rid of your hallucinations.”
Sasha nodded, thanked him and went towards the door. The doctor called out, “Sasha.” As she turned towards him, he said, “Don’t tell anyone that you’re experiencing hallucinations. And don’t tell anyone about the medicines I have given you.”
Sasha nodded again and walked out.
Sasha was in her room. She saw two coffee mugs on the table. ‘I am not alone,’ she thought in her dream.
She heard a clatter in the bathroom attached to her room. She was scared. She slowly walked towards the bathroom. All of a sudden, someone came out. She looked like her mother on the portrait. But she was puzzled. She had said that her mother was a ghost. ‘Ghosts don’t use bathrooms.’
For a moment, Sasha looked puzzled at the woman who had gone her. The woman did not see her. Sasha cried out, “Hey …”
Before she said anything else she realized that the woman would not listen to her either. Sasha’s courage increased. She then went closer to examine. She looked at her for a moment and then looked back at her reflection on the wardrobe mirror. A young lady stood on a red sari.
In a flash, Sasha realized in her dream that the woman on the red sari was not her mother’s ghost but herself. “Stop,” she shouted as her other self walked to the door. “Don’t go. You can’t kill Ajay. He has not done anything wrong.”
The woman turned back. Sasha thought that her other self had listened but she picked up the coffee mug and went away. She ran downstairs. She looked for Ajay in the living room. He was staring at her mother’s portrait.
Her other self was in the kitchen. She put down the coffee mugs and looked at her own reflection in the mirror. She ordered herself to kill Ajay. “I won’t,” Sasha shouted. The other self seemed to listen. She got furious. Sasha saw a steel rod in the kitchen she had brought for some purpose she did not remember. She picked up the rod and smashed hard into the mirror. She fell down. She had won. The other self remained no more.
But she was wrong. Her aggressive self woke up and attacked Ajay with a broken piece of mirror. Ajay ran away. Sasha ran after him for a while and collapsed on the road.
An hour later, her dream took her to the police station. She was walking towards Ajay and Dr. Shrestha. The old doctor looked at her as if he had never seen her before. She was about to ask why he was doing so when he walked up to her. The doctor produced a syringe and in a flash it penetrated her skin. At that small moment before she passed out, she realized that the doctor was not as good as he seemed. She shouted in her dream, “Leave me alone.”
Sasha woke up on a bed. The brightness of the room dazzled her for a while. A machine beeped on her right. On her left was a boy with a familiar smile. “Ajay?”
Ajay helped her sit. He looked at her with compassion and said, “You’ve been asleep here for months. Our lives have changed so much, Sasha.”
He told her about his meeting with Dr. Shrestha and Parmila, his annoyance with his father and his father’s suicide. “Dr. Shrestha turned out to be your biological father.”
Sasha was shocked. She had always felt orphaned after the death of her parents. Ajay continued, “He was your father’s friend. He had seen your mother once when he had gone to their house. The doctor liked your mother, so much that it turned into an obsession. In his madness, he went to his friend’s one evening, put sleeping pills on his friend’s drink and assaulted your mother. You were born as a result.”
Sasha bowed her head. She could not look at Ajay. He put his hand on hers and said, “You don’t need to be ashamed. You’ve done nothing wrong. No one will judge you for your birth.”
“But why didn’t my mother write anything about your birth in her diary?”
“The diary you read was not your mother’s. It was the doctor’s doing. He said he copied your mother’s handwriting and produced another diary. He then gave it to you. He made you think you had hidden it from him. The doctor also confessed that he had killed the bank manager. He had pushed him over a cliff one day. His body has not been found, however. He also killed your father when he knew what the doctor had done.”
“But he said I had killed my father.”
Tears fell down Sasha’s eyes. Ajay consoled her saying, “No, you did not. The doctor killed him and fed into your mind that you had done it. That way he could give you medicines for mental disorder you never had. He kept track of everything you did. The medicines he gave you enforced hallucinations. Your mother’s ghost turned into your alternate personality and it attacked me. It’s amazing how he could have guessed you would attack me that night. He was an evil wizard.”
Sasha cried harder. “I can’t believe how anyone can be such an evil.”
“He was evil but he did one thing right. He kept his word by treating you before the police took him in their custody.”
Sasha wondered about the changes she had gone through in her life. But Ajay was beside her. There was nothing to worry about.