Nathan rang the door bell. He wanted to deliver the pizza as quickly as possible and rush to his girl friend’s place. She called up in the afternoon and said that she wanted to talk to him something important. She did not seem so happy in the call. Nathan is very worried that she is going to split up with him.

Miranda, Nathan’s girl friend wanted to surprise him that evening. He has been asking her to move in with him for a long time. So, she decided to keep her bags ready by the time he comes and tell him that she wanted to move in with him. She thought he would be the happiest man as he has been asking her to move in for the last few months.

Nathan rang the door bell again. It was unusual for Jim to not open the door. Jim was Nathan’s regular customer. Nathan liked delivering for Jim because Jim was generous with the tip and also respected Nathan. He would talk a few words and treat Nathan like any other professional. It was weird today that Jim did not open even after knocking the door twice.

Meanwhile, Nathan was recollecting the last few days he spent with Miranda. Everything went on fine. He was not sure why she would have been angry on him. They seem to get along so well and understand each other better than any other couples he has seen. And, yes, the only reason she might want to break up with him is that he did a part time job as a pizza delivery boy. Miranda did not like it. She brought up the topic a couple of times. Nathan told her that he would settle as a DJ after college and he had some contacts. But, during college, he had to do this job to meet some of his additional expenses.

Finally, Nathan decided to call on the customer’s number. Nathan called up Jim on the given number to inform that he is waiting outside the door.

Nathan said, “Hi Jim. I’m calling from the Pizza place. I’m waiting at your door. Are you at your place? Or, do you want me to get this delivered later?”

No one spoke on the line. After a few minutes, Jim spoke in broken words.

Jim said, “Hey…Nathan…You? The door…pizza…”

Nathan could not make sense of what Jim was saying beyond these words. He requested Jim to say it all again.

Jim said, “Hey Nathan. Is it you? Please help me. She slit my wrist and tied me to this chair. Luckily, I could crawl to get my phone. Please break open the door and call 911. I need to go to the hospital to live. I’m dying.”

For a moment, nothing made sense to Nathan. Before he started panicking, he called up 911 and informed them about a customer locked inside the house who was badly hurt and tied to a chair.

Even before help came, Nathan broke open the door and rushed inside. Jim was in a shattered state. He had bruises all over his face and body. His shirt was smeared in blood. It was as though someone hit him badly with different kinds of instruments. It appeared as thought more than two people hit him at the same time.

Jim requested Nathan to accompany him to the hospital and be with him until his friends came. His parents lived in another city and Jim did not want to inform him. Jim said, “They will be frightened. They hated Karen anyway.”

On the way to the hospital, in the ambulance, Jim recollected his story and told it to Nathan and the investigating police officer.

Jim said, “Karen is my girl friend. We started living together six months ago. Everything went on well. She did not like my job as a teacher. She wanted to me to get into some corporate job. But, I wanted to wait until this academic year got over. I could not leave the kids in between. It began a small argument a couple of months ago. Then, it snowballed into a regular fight. We fought almost everyday. She did not like my job and she made it a point to fight with me on other topics, too, daily.

Last week, she gave me a deadline to quit within a week. I said I will not. She knew I was very stubborn. So, today, we fought. First, she threatened to kill herself. Then, she threatened to kill me. Finally, in a fit of rage, she slit my wrist and tied me to the chair. I never saw her so agitated.

I knew she had a bad childhood and they lived in poverty. Money was very important to her. She wanted to earn as much as possible and live happily. She did not like her job, too. She wanted me to get that corporate job so that she could quit her job. She wanted us to live comfortably well. I requested her to wait for the next five months. I said I will apply for the corporate jobs and join as soon as the academic year is over. But, she was restless. Today, she became a psychopath and hurt me so bad.”

The investigator recorded Jim’s words and left after they reached the hospital.

The paramedics rushed Jim to the operation room to dress his wounds. As he was waiting outside, Nathan could draw many parallels with Jim’s story.

Miranda also had a  bad childhood. Her parents had to work very hard to make ends meet. She was deprived of many pleasures normal children had. So, she wanted to earn as much as possible and live a rich life. Money was very important to her. She was exactly the same as Karen, he thought.

Nathan and Miranda rarely fought. But, whenever they fought, they fought only about his job as a pizza delivery boy. Sometimes, she told she felt it insulting to have a boy friend who delivered pizzas. They stopped discussing that topic after Nathan promised her that he would quit it immediately after college. He already got a couple of offers as a DJ.

As he was riding back to her place, fear started troubling him. He wondered if Miranda would also become psychopathic like Karen.

Nathan called up Miranda and said, “Hey, I’m running late. I had some extra work. I’ll tell you the story when I come to meet you.”

Miranda sounded upset. She said, “Why do you even do that job? I hate that job of yours. Why don’t you give it up already? You always slog hard for that job. I never understand what pleasure you derive from doing such a lowly job.”

Nathan did not want to argue on this topic as he very frightened of the final consequences. He said, “Alright. Let’s talk about this when I come there.”

Nathan thought it would be better to quit this job than to get killed by his girl friend. But, he wondered why he should marry such a girl.

On the way, he decided to stop at his house. Owing to his fears, he carried the gun he had. Unlike Jim, he did not want to be a victim of harassment. He decided that he would kill Miranda or threaten if she tried to act psychopathic. He felt somewhat safe after carrying a weapon on him.

Nathan kept wondering why he had to have a girl friend like this. As always, he cursed God for screwing up his life once again.

Nathan reached Miranda’s house. He thought she would start fighting with him.

Miranda opened the door and took him to the kitchen. She told him, “Listen, my friend Karen is here. She is very troubled. She had a fight with her boy friend. So, you have to leave now. We can talk tomorrow.”

Nathan peeped to look at Karen. Immediately, he recognized her to be Jim’s girl friend. Nathan said, “She is Karen. She tried to kill Jim some time ago. I rushed him to the hospital.”

Miranda said, “You must be kidding. Jim is the psychopathic one. He tried to kill her. But, she escaped with some bruises. He has been abusing her for more than a few months, she said. She finally made it a point to escape from him. She did not know where to go. So, she came here.”

Nathan could not believe it. He could not trust Miranda as he knew that Jim was a nice guy.

To avoid any further doubt, Nathan called up the officer who talked to Jim and told him the story. The officer said, “I thought so. She is right. Jim cooked up a story. Why would a girl friend hurt her man just for a job? Anyway, we’ll do our investigation. I’ll be there in some time.”

After investigating Karen and Jim for one more day, the officer found out the truth. Jim was the actual culprit. He tried to kill Miranda and he has been torturing her all this while.

Nathan felt like apologizing to Miranda for having misunderstood her. Instead, he quit his job as a pizza delivery boy to make her happy.