Professor Hobkins was last seen humming, what may aptly be called as the most melancholic rendition of Its --now or-- never, at the brink of the dusk in the memory of his late wife. Margarette died of an unidentified heart condition two years ago. Her death continues to haunt the medical fraternity. She had a remarkably healthy lifestyle for a woman of 50. She drank sensibly, allowing herself not more than two glasses of wine on festivals and birthdays. At 48, she quietly slipped into menopause. Although her delicate waist and firm bosoms offered a different narrative that seem to defy her age. The only medical leave she took in her life was during a wisdom-tooth extraction in the pulp of her university days.
She was taken to hospital after complaining of breathlessness caused by a series of vertigo. The doctors found her test-reports normal but admitted her for a night, as a precautionary measure.She fell asleep in the usual way, curling up to the paper-back edition of Kafka's Trial. Hobkins dozed off in the waiting lounge on Margrette's persistence. She did not wake up next morning even though her heart was beating. The nurse attending to her reported her heartbeat getting fainter by the hour. The doctors were left clueless, she showed no response to medicines--she passed away at 5.45 in the evening. In the exceedingly mysterious circumstances that led to her death, Hobkins insisted doctors to perform an autopsy on her dead body. They found all her vital organs undamaged, except her heart had shrunk to the size of a keyhole. Hobkins twitched in disbelief, it was the most animated he ever got.
he had begun to detest an excessive show of emotions. Margarette joked about his hormones responding to the contemporary nano technology.over the years, he became restrained but not entirely unaffectionate. Once in a while, he would leave her a couplet or two discreetly in her book under the pillow. Subtlety was always the essence of their romance. Back in college,they would exchange notes on Marx's Das Kapital with love-marks designed to look like Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
"You're lovelier than Bach's symphony, Margaritta..Only If i could plant you along with geraniums in my backyard, I would stare at you from my window, all day and all night".
The last time they made love was 14 months before Margarette's first vertigo attack. The last time she shared the same bed was ten weeks before her death. Three months ago, Margarette baked him cheesecake hoping for an intensive night of love-making, just like old times. Instead, Hobkins refused to eat the cheesecake on the pretext of having tooth-ache. Few days later, Margarette found a note in her book that read
"Passion must not be allowed to collect like winter-snow on the roads to our academic paths".
Hobkins did not shed a single tear when Margarette passed away. His friends found him turning severely cold and lifeless like an unattended wound resigned to nature's healing (or may be not). Isolated from the world, Hobkins wrote furiously the next two years after Margarette's death. Not a word of poetry though. he earned himself unparalleled respect in the department of Physics at Maxwell Academy as a scholar. Its now or never were the last words that came out of his mouth before he fell on the ground and collapsed. He was declared dead due to an unidentified heart condition.