BLIND LOVERS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Story of 2 young people searching for their loved ones whom they have never seen.

Submitted: June 22, 2012

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Submitted: June 22, 2012

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BLIND

LOVERS

 

 

 

BY

RAHUL RAVEENDRAN

 

 

 

 

PART-I

 

*******With a slight hesitation I entered the restaurant. Am I ready for this? Well who cares? Guess I will find out. And there he was, as promised. I went up to table and sat against him towards the green-tainted transparent glass.

I tried to hide my imploring emotions but my face didn’t show any result.

“Are you all right? You seem dull!”

“Yes……am okay, just a bad day at the office.”

“You sure?”

“Yes.”

I have to break it slowly to him and I definitely don’t want to be cocky about it.

“So what shall we start with? How about a pizza?”

“You go ahead. I am not hungry. I think I’ll settle with a cappuccino.”

“not hungry ‘coz of a bad day at office. Not quite like you! Tell me what’s really bothering you.”

“Nothing, nothing at all….”

“Ok then….waiter, we’ll have a pizza….”

Time is of valuable essence. It’s time I go for it.

“Manu….I’ve something to tell you.”

“Finally! Glad that you have decided to break the ice. So what’s the problem?”

“Well……don’t panic…….I’m carrying.”

“Oh, that’s all? I thought it was something strange and harder. It happens to you girls most of the time, right?”

Not the kind of response I was expecting.

“You are not going to go bizarre? Nothing?”

“Why? I mean it happens to you all the time, that’s why you guys use things like whispers right?”

IDIOT!

“No, that’s menstruation.”

“Oh……I thought it was some code words for well you know…..that. Sure, I know what menstruation is! So what is it that you are actually carrying?”

AGAIN IDIOT!

“Well….it’s actually a ‘CODE WORD’ for hmm………….that I’m pregnant!”

“Oh, so that’s what it is huh……SAY WHAT?”

“Yes Manu, I’m pregnant.”

“But, you…….me………how……when?”

“What….are you?....do you doubt me?”

“Yes I do. We have been only going out for 5 months and suddenly you come up with this?”

“Stop freaking out Manu, people are looking. And actually we have been going out for 6 months.”

“So what difference is that going to make?”

“Manu, this is yours, I know it.”

“NO……I don’t think so…you...Slut.”

“Manu, what did you call me? Did you just call me a slut?”

“What else should I call someone who’s going around making babies?”

Other people in the restaurant have stopped eating their lunch and have now started to peek at our little conversation. Never would anyone miss a chance to see a couple argue especially when it involves a baby.

“Stop it Manu………don’t make a scene.”

“I will………………..”

You asked for it.

“Don’t act so innocent! I saw you with some other girls over the past few weeks. Now don’t go on and say that they were your sisters too just like you convinced me the first time.”

“Well then they are not.”

“How could you Manu? How could you? I didn’t even go near any other guy’s shadow because I was in love with you.”

“Well that explains the ‘carrying’………..”

“Please Manu stop it, it’s hurting me.”

“Well it should. At least the other girls weren’t stupid enough to be pregnant.”

“Huh……. (started laughing)……that’s all that I wanted to hear.”

“What?”

“I’m just glad to finally realize that you are an *********.”

It was a tough word, but the situation demanded it.

“What the…?”

“You heard it right? You are just an *********!”

Had to use the word again. :D

“I didn’t believe my friends when they told me that you are just another jerk. Until I saw you with another girl last week. And I had to make sure that my friends were right and that too from your mouth.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I am not pregnant idiot. This was all a set up. I had to know the truth. And thanks for admitting it.”

This time I didn’t hesitate. Before Manu saw it coming I landed a punch on his cheek which did result in a loud noise.

“I thought that you were the guy for me. But you are just like the other jerks. Good bye!”

And with that as my concluding speech I decided to make my exit. But then I had a thought. I can’t go without saying something to my fellow viewers. So I turned back to the people in the restaurant and…………

“And girls this is how you make your boyfriend to confess.”

With that I exited the restaurant. Not to mention the other girls were giving a deep stare to their fellow boyfriends. ********

 

 Even though this is a humorous version of my break-up, in reality it was a bit different. In reality it was painful, very painful. I really did think that I finally found someone for me, to comfort me in this solitude. Guess I was wrong. Nowadays I live like a recluse.

This was how I felt until I met Vijay. And even now as I sit in the park waiting to see his face for the first time I do feel a little unsecure. He surely did capture my attention and my heart. There is a kind of feeling that one will have, when they are about to find their real love. The movies show it in a very dramatic way, well sometimes they overdo those scenes actually. But in reality that is one awesome feeling. That feeling is raising my eagerness about him.

My life from the beginning itself revolved around the disaster level. My parents are from a village in Tamil Nadu. Back in those days, religion and community were considered prime. Even now they are an important factor in a society. As I was saying, my parents belonged to different communities. So, their families didn’t agree with their love. But, as any couple whose parents protested against them would do, they got register married. My parents’ plan went well till then, but what followed was unexpected. Both their families joined together and well, decided to banish from their premises. My dad has just finished his degree, but didn’t yet found a job. My mother was an illiterate so it was all upon my dad’s shoulders. He left my mom at one of her friend’s house and went to Chennai. A month later he came back and picked up my mom and came here at Bangalore. He got a small job here at first, a low level clerk or something of that sort. They rented a small flat, which just had a room and started living there. When I was born months later, their financial condition grew worse. They had to cut short their own supplies to feed me. My childhood wasn’t that bright either. 3rd grade schools, borrowed books, shared food etc. But we got through those times. When I became 12, dad got a better job, well much better. Our lives seemed better in all ways. Two years passed, which was filled with joy and harmony. But God had other plans. How to make a young girl’s life pathetic? Well, 2 persons, one accident. That’s how. Couldn’t even say goodbye to my parents. My solitude life started from there.

I saw many sympathetic eyes after that, but they were just that. Only George uncle, my father’s friend, was there for me. He took me to his home and looked after me until I was 16. His wife was happy to look after me along with her 2 girls in the beginning. But as time went she showed lesser interest in me. Figures, as she had 2 girls, so I was always the extra in the family. So even before things got worse I decided to shift to a women’s hostel 3 blocks away. I was lucky enough to get a job as an anchor in a TV show at that time. Now after 9 years I still live alone, now I have an apartment which was actually a gift from the producer of the show. I completed my journalism and now I am a prominent news reader of the same channel. I have to go through some tough times but it was all worth it. I now feel that I have enough. All I miss is a companion. I have had 2 love failures already. I don’t know, but I always attract the wrong guys. But I do really hope Vijay’s not one of them. Most of my friends are married, which do make me a little uncomfortable. And the love failures didn’t help.

I usually have night chats with my friends. As I don’t have any time for that in the morning, I try to make up for in the darkest hours. Lately I enter the public chat rooms just for fun. It was in one of these chat rooms I actually met Vijay. There are some perverts who always have the wrong intention in these chat rooms. I have met lots like them. They start with

“Hi, how are you? Your ASL(Age Sex Location) please!”

Then they would go like

“You have a boyfriend? How intimate are you guys?”

Finally they come to their area of interest.

“Oh, you’re in Bangalore? Can we meet? I assure you that we’ll have a good time in my house.”

So predictable! I finally had enough of those guys, when I was about to leave, another chat box opened.

“Hi, how are you?”

Well I thought ‘To hell with them’ and ……….

“Well, not good, I’m female, 80 years old, have aids and I live in Bangalore. Want to meet me?”

I thought that he would not respond but,

“Oh, good, I’m about 99 and will turn 100 in well half an hour! When shall we meet? : P”

I was a bit surprised but I didn’t want to give anything away.

“Oh, come on. I won’t bite you. My name’s Vijay. At present I am in Bangalore too, and I was looking for someone to chat. I actually didn’t know that you are a female.”

Our chat room names are well awkward ones. Mine was TWILIGHT223 (well I like twilight duh!) and his was well I don’t remember. So we continued to chat for like many hours. It was kind of a new experience for me. Day by day we chatted through the night. We never got tired of each other’s talks. Turns out Vijay is a son of a big businessman. That made me uncomfortable. I am not sure whether this will grow into a relationship, but if it does how will his parents accept a girl like me? WOW! I am thinking ahead of myself. That made me realize how desperate I am to be in a relationship.

 

Step by step, our contacts grew further. We left the old chat room and started with Gmail. Though our media changed our matter of concerns remained the same. It was in one of those nights he……….

“Well darling…….”

“Darling? You are cutting through the line too early Vijay!”

“Am I? I don’t think so. I was in Italy for the past 24 years. I have a lot of girlfriends there. And I have never talked to anyone like I’ve been talking to you.”

“Oh, is it?”

“Back in Italy, most of the guys ‘try to cut the line early’ but not me. I’ve not felt like this about anyone! And all this happened even without seeing you.”

“Oh! What if I am too dark? Too ugly? Will you have the same opinion even after that?”

“I did see that coming. But don’t worry I am definitely uglier!

: P”

“Oh! How cute! But there is one thing that you must know about me……………..I’m not a virgin. Does that change your opinion?”

“Come on, this is the 21st century. Sex before marriage is becoming a common concept even in India. I am not saying I am a virgin either. That is not a matter of concern for me. So if you don’t have any obligations can we meet on Saturday at 5pm?”

“Well, this is new for me!”

“Oh, come on don’t talk like I have done this a thousand times. It’s new for me too. I want to see you. Whatever happens after that, I don’t care about that now.”

The truth is, I am feeling exactly like him. I have a feeling that after we meet, this might grow into a strong relationship. And I want that. For god’s sake that’s the only thing I want now.

“Ok, but where?”

“Where else? The Lover’s park!”

And that’s the story. As I wait for him here in the lover’s park each minute felt like an era for me. I got a little early out of the office. It’s still 15 minutes early. But I can wait. Who knows he might be worth the wait. I smiled at a couple who passed across me; they looked perfect for each other. Moreover they seemed happily bounded to each other. Maybe that’s what real love feels like!

*****************************

PART-II

 

“Rise and shine, son!” shouted my dad as he pulled down my bed sheet.

“It’s the big day!” he continued.

Of course, it’s a big day for me. But not the way my dad’s interpreting it. I’m finally going to meet her today. That is big for me.

“Come on son, be more energetic. You might actually get that job son. I had a dream about it yesterday. You are walking inside your own office, in a well fit suit and all……”

“Dad, the chances for me getting that job is less than 50%. Even the interviewer said so. So why this kolaveri dad?”

“You might not know. You have good marks, more than most of the applicants. So what if your interview wasn’t as great as expected but they give equal importance to your curriculum. You know my friend Murali, who works there; he said that you have a chance. He said that the company is fed up with less qualified students cranking up their business. So from this year onwards they are giving more importance to the marks as well. That is your advantage. Murali will inform me about your job by evening, though you will only receive your job letter next week. So this is big, for me, for your mom and sister. It’s time for you to take over this family my boy.”

Oh boy, I do hate it when he says that. I am at present in no mood to take over anything not even granted. I want to enjoy my life a little bit more before I take those earthly duties on my crippled shoulders.

“Ok dad, whatever. I’ll be waiting for the news. Happy?”

“Great. Now go take a bath and eat your breakfast. I have to go early today.”

“Not again!”

“It’s my job son. I have to bear my duties. And one day so shall you.”

I have never seen that man rest for more than half an hour when he is awake. As much as I hate dad’s speech, I must say, he is a great family man.

Back to my topic, aka Priya. Ours was a typical movie-masala like love story. But sometimes facts are stranger. The truth is that I haven’t yet seen her. I have no idea regarding how she looks like. It’s a big suspense for me. All I have is her phone number and the name Priya.

 

My family is a middle class one, meaning not rich and not poor either. But we do have a stealthy life thanks to our hard working leader of the pack, my dad. As I said earlier, he is one tough guy. I am not the only one who’s saying it. Every single person who knows him has the same opinion. My mom and sister are very lovable. My sister looks almost like my mom, well almost. And then there’s me. I was good in my studies earlier on at about the high school level, but later on I grew lazier which was reflected in my mark sheet. Just like any normal young boy. After graduating from school level, I joined for BBA. I was average while I was doing the course. Somehow I got into MBA after completing my BBA. Maybe it’s because of my friends or something else, but from then on I started studying periodically. I got good grades throughout the course, which did kind of save my future. It was about a month after completing my MBA, I hooked up with Priya. It was kind of an accident which occurred because of a prank my friend Joe played.

One day he handed me over a phone number and asked me to call that number. I wondered why. He said that it was Dev’s (our friend) number who is currently in Kerala. He then handed over a note in which the prank to be played was written. Some of the letters were well…….uncanny and cheap. ‘But it’s Dev we are talking about, he wouldn’t mind’, said Joe. And so I decided to make the call. We decided to use my phone because Dev does not know about my new number. And then I made the call. When the call was picked up on the other side, I didn’t wait for the reply; I read the note without hesitation. At the end of it all I expected Dev’s amused voice or a laughter, instead I heard a girl’s voice, “Who the hell is this?” I was stunned, dumbstruck. I just called a girl ‘**********’. Oh my god! I ended the call and the next thing I did was I hooked Joe’s collar and spun him around the room.

“Why the hell did you do this to me Joe?” I shouted.

“What the hell are you talking about man, what happened?”

I stopped swirling him and explained. He was as stunned as I was when he heard about the girl. At first I thought that it was his acting, but then I realized he was telling the truth. Was the number incorrect? It took us some days to realize what exactly happened. It turns out the number was correct but what we didn’t know was that Dev actually gave his SIM to his cousin Priya.  It was a shocker. I was restless for days.

Then one day I finally decided to call her. I wanted to apologize but I didn’t expect it to be easy. As expected she was the one who attended the call.

“Hello?”

“Hi……….I…….am…” I was trying hard to push the words out.

“Don’t worry, I know you. Aren’t you the one who called me the other day and……..”

“Hey, I am sorry, it was ……..”

“Hey, cool down, I know what happened! Dev told me.”

So Joe did finally manage to contact Dev. That guy is a life savior.

“It’s ok. Well, accidents do happen. I get it.” She said with a mild laugh.

“Thank god! I was really worried. I am extremely sorry.”

“It’s ok! And by the way I was wondering till you called me, about something.”

“What’s bothering you?” I asked. At this point I am supposed to answer anything she asks.

“What exactly does ‘**********’ mean?”

Well I’ll be damned. This is the most awkward position a guy could tumble into. There is no escape; I had to be clever about this.

“Well, it’s a kind of modern day word, which reflects the human mentality regarding…………..”

“Meaning please……………..”

“Well……..means big….fat…idiot.”

“But Dev’s not fat!”

“Exactly the point…………..I guess.”

“Well, I am not satisfied but one day I will find out.”

Well, bummer I guess.

“Hey, Dev told me that you are a MBA graduate. Is it?” she asked with curiosity.

“Yes, with 72% marks.” I still don’t know why I told my marks, but I guess I wanted to impress her.

“Oh, great! Well I am doing my first year MBA and it’s kind of all over me. Since our syllabuses are the same, can you help me a little bit?”

“Over the phone? Wouldn’t it be inconvenient?”

“For you?”

“For both of us.”

“Oh no, definitely no. I think its better. I’ll call you whenever I need help. Ok?”

“OK then. Good bye.”

“Good bye.”

That’s how it started. At first she called me once a week for clearing the doubts. I was happy to help her. Our conversations lasted only for 10/15 minutes. Then she started calling me every 3 days and our conversations grew longer. What we didn’t realize was that a bond was forming between us. After that I started calling her and we talked for hours. Studies were not our topic anymore. Our relationship grew deeper and stronger. One day my dad took my phone as he broke his. So I took my SIM and gave my phone to him. When I got the phone back in the evening, I couldn’t even wait to call Priya. I put my SIM and as I was about to call her, mom asked me to go out and buy milk. As I returned, I was stunned to see around 12 miss calls and about 30 messages from her. From that moment I realized that this was the girl for me.

A few days later she called me and told that her family was visiting Bangalore next week and will be staying there for about 3 days. That was great news for me. I was dying to see her. She called me the day her family arrived in Bangalore. I wanted to meet her that day itself. But she intended to postpone our meeting the next day. So we decided to meet each other the day after at 4 pm at the Lover’s park. She said that she would make an excuse and come for sure.

And there it is! My strange love story. As usual I got out late. I was supposed to meet her 25 minutes ago. She hasn’t called yet. Guess she is still confident about me. Suddenly dad called me. It’s the third time he has called me since I left the house. He continues to pester me. God, he is annoying. I wish I could just switch off my phone, but Priya might call me. I had been standing at this bus stand for the past 10 minutes. No bus, no rickshaw! I am already late. Could this get any worse? Hope she still believes that I will come. She must. I checked my watch, as the minute hand slowly moved towards 5, i.e. 4:25 pm!

 

********************************

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART-III

 

 

I slowly checked my watch, 4:46 pm! There is still time. But I wished that he could come early. This waiting is killing me. I couldn’t handle the suspense. This is more intense than I thought. All types of questions roamed across my stifled mind. How does he look like? Is he tall? Short? White or black? I guess I will find out.

I have been noticing this girl, since I arrived. My bet’s that she’s also waiting for someone. As I am just killing time, I might as well go towards her and talk. We were the only ones alone in the park. Others came in couples. I went up to her and asked.

“Hi, I have been noticing you since I arrived here. Are you waiting for someone?”

“Why did you ask?” the girl replied.

“Oh, I was not being rude, it’s just that I was also waiting for someone and I thought instead of wasting time just sitting there why doesn’t I talk to someone. That’s all!”

“Oh, it’s ok. Yes, I am waiting.”

“Great. My name’s Rita. What’s yours?”

“Priya.” She replied with a faint smile.

“You seemed troubled, any problem?”

“It’s just that, the guy I wanted to meet must have been here about 50 minutes ago. So I am a little bit worried.”

“Did you call him?”

“Well, I didn’t. You see it’s the first time I am about to see him in person. So I am a bit tensed.”

“Oh my god! Talk about coincidence. This is freaking awesome.”

“What, what happened?”

“Because I was also about to see well my guy for the first time too.”

“Wow, that’s amazing! Sometimes real life’s more blunderbuss than movies! But I have actually seen his photo with my cousin. But not in person.”

“Oh, is it!” I replied as I saw the flowers in her hands. This made me remember that I should have bought one too.

“So text him. If he’s coming, he’ll reply.”

“Yeah. I will.” proclaimed Priya.

We then started to talk about our stories which were made to pause by a huge noise. Both of us were shocked by that sudden blistering noise. We were unaware about what happened. All we could see was smoke coming from the corner of the big building across the road. We ran to the area from which the noise came from.

People started running across the street. We saw a middle aged woman jogging towards us.

“Ma’am, what happened there?” I asked her.

“Oh my God! It’s a three way collision between a truck, a rickshaw and a car. It’s monstrous and terrifying. You don’t want to go there girls. I……….I saw two young guys ripped of their heads. It was terrifying….oh my……” she was breathing heavily and crying. It was quite clear that she was in shock of seeing the accident.

“Ma’am don’t worry! Calm down yourself.” Priya was gesturing her. But I wanted to see it. So I went across the road. Just then a car almost hit me. I moved out of the way and went towards the site of accident. I was praying and hoping……….hoping deep inside that the worst hasn’t happened.

 

***************************

 

 

PART-IV

30 minutes earlier……………..

 

I am quite late. Not quite the way you want to see your lover for the first time. Where is the goddamn bus? That’s it. Enough with the waiting. I have got to ask for a lift. I don’t have a choice.

I then stepped down the road and waved at almost every single vehicle for a lift. None of them stopped. Maybe they think that I am crazy. Just then a green swift stopped beside me. Inside there was a good looking gentleman who I guess was in his late twenty’s.

“Need a lift?” The guy asked me.

“Yes, definitely. Thank you. I haven’t seen any bus for the past 15 minutes.”

“It’s because there is a traffic jam beyond the street. I was stuck there for about 20 minutes.”

As I entered the car I saw a bus stopping behind me. Talk about timing.

“So where should I drop you?”

“Well, the lover’s park.”

“I am going there too.”

“That’s good for me. Going to see your lover?”

“Now what made you say that?” he asked in amusement.

“Well, the bouquet and the chocolates in the back seat of course.”

“Oh, you guessed it right. What about you?”

“The same thing!” Look at him, he is well suited, nicely shaved and has a gift for his lover. And me, just tight jeans and a plain T-shirt. That’s just great!

“My name’s Vijay by the way!” he introduced himself.

“Mine’s Arjun. Glad to meet you. So what is that you do?”

“Well, my dad owns a software company in Italy. Me and my sister are his VP.”

“So what are you doing here in Bangalore?”

“I am just here for six months to spend some time with my grandparents.”

“Oh, I have actually never been to Italy, how is it there?” I said with some pride and integrity in my tone.

“Where else have you been to?”

That wasn’t expected.

“Well, I have never gone out of India.” I replied with a cheeky smile.

“And what about you Arjun, what is it that you do?” the guy asked me.

“Well I am an MBA graduate. I passed with 72%. And………..currently looking for jobs.”

“Oh, good for you.”

I started thinking about Priya. She’s going to be thrilled when she sees me. And of course a little bit mad. But I bet her smile’s cute. She did sound kind of cute when she giggles over the phone. I don’t really care how she looks like. I just want to see her. I want to see her smile.

Just then a black ford passed us at high speed. Vijay trembled a little bit.

“**********. They don’t realize that they could be in danger at any time. Fools!” shouted Vijay.

Just then I remembered, maybe this time I will tell Priya what ‘**********’ actually means. We are just 2 blocks away from the park. I have gone through these places lots of times. But this time, it’s different. The very thought of seeing her made me thrilled.

From nowhere, there was a sudden collision. Vijay stopped the car at the right time. Otherwise we would have been crushed by the truck. There were screaming and shouting around. Both Vijay and I did realize how lucky we were. We saw a black ford tackled and pasted to the wall, the same black ford which overtook us a few minutes ago. The scene was crucifying. The guys inside the car were beheaded completely. It was a terrible sight. If it wouldn’t have been for Priya I would have stayed there a little longer. I was surprised to see that Vijay had the same intention. We both entered the car. As the car moved slowly aside, I saw a rickshaw torn apart, and besides that lied a man whose blooded face seemed kind of familiar. Within a split second I realized who he was.

“DAD!!” I shouted.

“Vijay stop the car, it’s my dad.” I shouted in despair. It was unexpected. It was a nightmare. My dad filled in blood, lying there and all other people are watching him struggle as he was some kind of artifact. I got out of the car and ran towards my dad. His leg was stuck inside the rickshaw’s rear end.

“Dad, can you hear me? Dad!” I shouted at him. But he didn’t respond. I checked his pulse, he is still alive.

“Please, somebody help me. Please.”

As I said that, some people came running towards me and helped me pull dad from the rickshaw. We carried him away from the site and placed him in a bench beside the road.

I was trembling. I didn’t know what to do. My dad, dying here and I feel helpless! Oh god, please help! Suddenly a man came out from the crowd and talked to me.

“I am a doctor. I might be able to help.” He checked my dad’s vital signs.

“He’s alive for now. But he’s dying. He’s bleeding badly. We must get him into the hospital right away.”

“We called the ambulance.” Somebody shouted from the crowd.

“The nearest hospital is 5km away, he might die before the ambulance arrive and then get him back into the hospital. We must move him quickly.” Said the doctor

I was still standing there, not knowing what to do. Then I turned towards Vijay.

“Please, please help me save my dad. Please!”

“Of course, get him in the car.” He replied.

Some people carried my dad and moved him into the car. The doctor also agreed to come with us. Vijay didn’t waste any time.

“Quickly.” Shouted the doctor.

Vijay started the car and moved as fast as he could. He almost hit a young woman on the way. She moved aside as Vijay drove faster. We reached the hospital within minutes and laid my dad on a stretcher and he was carried away by the attenders to the operation theatre. I laid back and sat outside the OP theatre. I was still trying to get a clear head of what’s going on. The last few moments have been too much to intake. My dad, please save my dad! That was the only thing going through my mind at that moment.

 

******************************

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART-V

 

Arjun was washing his face with the tap water when he saw the blood on his shirt. His dad’s blood! There is no point in crying anymore. One cannot change the past. To this point in his life he was living freely, positively but no more. Every family must go through a bad phase and this is one of them. He walked towards the OP theatre where he saw his mom and his sister crying holding each other. He tried hard to hide his emotions. He is the one who should be beside them, softening them, he shouldn’t cry. But then how can he tell them to stop crying. This is why god gave man tears, to cry for their beloved ones. It is another thing which separates man from animals. He sat alongside the door in a chair. He took his cell phone out.

13 miscalls and 12 messages. It was the first time he thought of Priya after the incident. He opened his call list. Four from his dad and rest from her. He saw that there was a message from his dad too. He opened the inbox to read it.

“Son, you got it. You got the job. I am really proud of you my boy. This calls for a celebration. Why aren’t you answering my phone? I am going to come home and pick you up and we boys are going to have a blast tonight. Ok? So be ready.”

He came to pick me up. That’s why he left the office early.

‘I’m the one responsible for all of this. If I had just answered his call, maybe all this could have been avoided.’ He burst into tears after that. The pain was too much for him.

A few minutes later, they brought his dad’s body of the theatre covered in white sheet. His mom had been crying since the doctor gave her the bad news, this made it worse. Arjun was trying hard to stand still. His friends were softening him, so were his relatives. It was all too harsh on his family.

‘Sorry dad, sorry I haven’t been a good son to you. Sorry I didn’t take control of the family earlier, sorry I failed you. But no more!’

 His phone rang suddenly. It displayed ‘Priya calling’ on it. A lot of things were going on his mind.

‘My family needs me. I am the only hope for my mom and sister. I have no time for love. I can’t fail my dad anymore. I am sorry Priya, I am sorry it came down to this but I must do the right thing. I am sorry I failed you too. Please forgive me.’

He ended the call and switched off his cell. He moved along with his dad’s body towards the mortuary. Rain started to come down heavily outside and the shining stars were completely hidden by the clouds.

 ********  *  *  *  *  *

Vijay decided to leave Arjun and his family after the doctor broke the news about his dad. It was a rough day. Poor guy, watching his dad die like that must be hard on him. But no one can change fate. It’s inevitable. He went down to the canteen and ordered a tea. He knew he had missed his meeting with Rita, but given the circumstances, he made the right choice. He could arrange another meeting tomorrow or this week itself. She will understand. He then remembered about his phone. He got his phone back after being repaired. He rearranged the phone and placed the SIM. Just as he was about to place his phone inside his coat, it rang.

‘Vinod uncle? Why is he calling now?’ he wondered.

He decided to attend the call.

“Vijay? Is that you?”

“Yes uncle, it’s me.”

“My god Vijay, where have you been? I have been trying to contact you since yesterday. I tried dad’s phone, but it was disconnected and you were always unavailable.”

“Uncle, my phone had a problem. I just got it repaired and grandpa’s phone is out of order. What’s with the rush? Is there any problem?”

“As it turns out, yes there is.”

“What? What’s the matter?”

“Well, your dad’s company was supposed to design a new software for this mobile company here in Italy. They gave a good sum to your dad too. But your dad’s company couldn’t develop it in time. Now the mobile company has given a case against us regarding fraud, money fraud. Now you know how government works around here right. If the mobile co. doesn’t remove the case soon enough, it’s going to be trouble, big trouble.”

“So, you mean dad’s….in jail?”

“It’s worse; it wasn’t your dad who signed the agreement. It was…….your sister. I’m sorry Vijay but Sanjana is in jail now.”

“What? Isn’t there anyway out of this?” I asked out of shock.

“The mobile co. is demanding a huge sum in return for retrieving the petitioned case. So you dad’s decided to sell some of your family’s property for that. In order to sell it, we need your signature too. So we need you to come back to Italy as soon as possible. Moreover, your dad needs you. He still feels that he should not have taken this project without asking you. Come back Vijay. Take the British airways tomorrow and take the flight to Italy from there.”

“Can I talk to my dad right now?”

“He’s not here. He’s up at his office. Bye Vijay.”

‘This is definitely not a good day. Definitely not. I must go back tomorrow itself. My family needs me now the most and I must be there for them. And what about Rita? I could meet her before going back, but what’s the use. I don’t know when I will come back to India. Wanting her to wait for me all those time is cruelty. I can’t be selfish now. It’s the best for her. She’d probably think that I cheated her. That’s the worst and if god allows one day I might finally meet her, if god allows.’ Thought Vijay as he drove through the heavy rain.

 

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Rain is pouring heavily outside. She could hear the noise from the roof. Dogs were barking loudly outside and the couple next door was involved in a heavy argument. But she wasn’t listening to any of them. She indulged herself in front of the PC. She opened her account and just waited there for Vijay to come. She still had faith in him. Rita was not able to accept the fact that Vijay didn’t come to visit her.  Is it because he was involved in that accident? No he can’t be. She was sure that Vijay is alive. Maybe Vijay saw her from a distance and found her unattractive. Yes, that must have been it. Maybe she wasn’t good enough for him. ‘Boy, I do pick those guys right!’ she figured that she can’t take another love failure in her life. Enough with guys. It isn’t necessary that a girl needs a man with her to lead a life. She lived the past 8 years by herself. So she can live the rest by herself too. No guys, no more guys. She shook her head in agreement. ‘I guess I’m supposed to live like a recluse. Maybe that’s what God has chosen for me. And I will abide that.’ But still, she was sad; she had so much faith in him. Drops of tears rolled down her cheek and fell into her tea cup.

“God, my life is a disaster!” she yelled out loud with a tampering voice and tears rolling down her cheeks.

 

 

*THE END*

 

 


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