The Guilt ( Flash Fiction)

Jagdish returns from work early that day. He sits on the cot unlike his daily habit of going for a bath. His wife Santosh looks at him inquiringly if he is unwell or something. He replies, “I am just tired, need some rest.” He lies down on the bed and tries to close his eyes but the happenings of the day don't leave his mind. The faint image of that woman clutching his feet, begging him to not do it is still so clearly etched in his mind. He had never felt so helpless. There was nothing he could do except just execute his duty.

Jagdish was a hangman and today was his 1000th execution. He hated his job but the more he hated it the more he was unable to leave it. His wife always told him when you hate something it sticks to you. She would ask him to start loving it so that he could get another job. But the small town that he lived in it was difficult for him to find another job. He was known as the hangman since last so many years and that's the way it had been for his family. Even his father was a hangman. What he never managed to ask him was how he coped up with the guilt. He so wished he had asked him that question. 

What guilt you might ask, after all he was just doing his duty. But what do you say when someone asks you, If my husband is a murderer and is being hanged for that. Then who are you, who hanged him?

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