Wednesday arrives soon, as Amrita has been with me all the time. She'd asked me to stay with her at her place. I'd agreed, too, because being alone with my thoughts was not very recommendable by Dr. Mehnaaz.
I reach the café fifteen minutes early, and in a moment, Dr. Mehnaaz arrives, too. We both look at each other and smile. I get up to acknowledge her, but she raises her hand, as if signalling me to be seated. I still get up, and shake hands with her. Her hands are softer than me. Again.
"So, where'd we ended our last session?" She enthusiastically asks.
"Kartik," I say, staring at the table.
"Yes, so. What'd you like to have? Coffee? It was kinda good the last time." She says, and that makes me smile. She's cool, I like her.
“Yes.” I say, and she orders the same.
The waiter brings our order in five minutes, and I smile at the waiter. I'm kinda okay; I never knew talking helps this much, having someone to listen to us helps this much. I feel good, I'm recovering, I think. Maybe I will be okay.
Five years earlier.
My maternal grandmother passed away a month ago. I’d stayed with her since thirteen years, since my daddy got arrested (I think, I never looked back, ever) for killing my mommy. I'm 21 now. I've spent my teenage alone, with no friend other than my grandmother. She told me stories, made me good food, and had been with me throughout the darkness in my life. The final days I spent with my mommy, or you can say, my mommy's body, was the last time I saw her. The police then took her body, and then performed post mortem and after all the due actions, handed it over to my mommy's brother. He performed all the last rituals, and that's why I didn't get to see her. I was kept away; they thought it would affect me. Little did everyone know, the wound had already imprinted its dark shadow on my heart, never to fade.
The first few days were okay-ish. I’d cried a lot, but I’d people around me to support. My maternal uncle had been here with his wife and son all the time, so I barely felt alone. But now, when they’re no longer here, I feel this emptiness as if it would burst out of my heart, scattering over the floor. I desperately need some company. I need attention.
I go out for a walk, out of the house, as if out of the memories of my grandmother. I keep walking without a direction, thinking, crying. Suddenly, I realize a car is about to hit me, and I freeze. The person stops inches away from me, and gets out of the car.
“Oh, my God. Are you fine? Did I hurt you? I’m so, so sorry.” The person says. He’s wearing blue jeans, with a white t-shirt tucked in, and covered by a black leather jacket. He is attractive. There’s a thin layer of beard on his face, it makes him look even more desirable.
“I... I’m okay.” I sheepishly mumble.
“No, you’re not. You’re crying. I said I’m sorry.” He throws a confused look. I say nothing. He continues, “Come, I’ll drop you home. Tell me where d’you live?”
“I don’t want to go home!” I exclaim. He gives the same confused look again, and I make up for my stupidity, “I mean, I just came out. I, eh, I have some work.” I say, but he still looks unconvinced.
“Then tell me where to drop you?” He asks, to which I instantly lie, “I’m going out for a coffee.” I’m surprised at the ease at which I speak, though he knows I’m lying.
“Would you mind if I accompany you?” He asks, to which, I again yell, “What?”
“It isn’t a compulsion, I mean, I was just suggesting. You can refuse.” He says, turning to his right, looking at me from the corner of his eye. “Okay, let’s go.” I say. He asks me to sit in his car, and I do, without a second thought.
I’m unsure, though. I’ve just met him, okay, not even met. I just ran into him. And we’re going for a coffee. Is it a date? Wait, I don’t even know his name yet. I think I should refuse, but he has already started driving. I stay mum.
“Oh, by the way, I’m Kartik.” He says, thrusting out his right hand.
“Shivani.” I say, shaking hands with him, asking him to leave my hand and drive. I think he’s into me. But it’s too early. Or maybe, I sounded desperate when I agreed for the coffee. Okay, maybe I am desperate for some company.
We reach the coffee shop and sit facing each other. He talks a lot. I like the way his eyes varies in its sizes depending on what he’s saying. I kinda like him. It is too early, I remind myself.
He asks for my phone and saves his number in it, when I tell him that I live alone. “Call me if you need anything, I’ll be there.” He says. I’ve carefully managed to hide about my past; I just told him that I lived with my grandmom who passed away a few days ago, and so, I’m alone. Some things are better left unsaid.
After the coffee, he drops me home. I’m overjoyed that I’ve finally found a friend, a person to be with. I take the newspaper and sit, looking for jobs. I need to work, too.
But then, it strikes me. Do I really want this? Can I trust him? I’ve seen my mom suffer; do I want to turn out to be like her? I like Kartik, and I’m sure he reciprocates, but am I sure to take things at the next level? I’m afraid so.
The next morning, I call Kartik to know what he is up to. He says he’s glad I called, and that he’s coming over. I’m hesitant, but I cannot say no to him. In half an hour he’s knocking at my door.
“I haven’t been able to sleep the last night. All I thought about is you.” He says, blushing a bit.
I’m so nervous right now; maybe it’s even visible on my face. “No, no, take your time. I’m just being straightforward. I’m bad at hiding things.” He winks, making me smile.
“Let’s wait, Kartik. I’m not certain about anything right now.” I say. He agrees.
“I had a thing about Kartik since the first day we met, but I decided to take it slow. I didn’t want to mess it up. It was special. He was special. But I didn’t know denying my feelings would...”
“Would?” Dr. Mehnaaz asks.
“Make me obsess over him.”
Four years ago.
It’s been a year of pure friendship, at least from his side. I can’t think of anything but him. What he must be doing, whom he must be around, who would hit on him, blah. I’m just insecure, insecure that he’d walk away. But why would he? I won’t let him.
It’s his birthday today, and I’m gonna confess that I love him. I’ve asked him to come over at 1, but it’s already 1.10, and he isn’t here. I’m calming myself down, trying not to get angry, making myself understand that he might be stuck somewhere. But why is everything else important to him? Am I not?
The door knocks, and I know it’s him. I open the door, and hug him. “Where’s my gift?” He right away asks. He thinks I’m gonna gift him some stupid videogame or watch. He’d once told me he hasn’t had his first kiss yet. My plans are wicked.
Being a girl, I get on my knees, and thrust my hand out. He’s SURPRISED, with all the letters in the uppercase. “Kartik, I love you, too. I always have. Do you promise to be mine, the rest of our lives?” I say, and he holds my arms and makes me stand up. “Of course!” He yells, and exclaims with joy. I’m so happy.
I cup his face in my hand, and plant a kiss on both of his cheeks. “You wanted your gift, right?” I say, and ask him to close his eyes. As soon as he does so, I kiss him, and he returns the favour.
“But, I always had a problem with his friends, colleagues, God, even neighbours.”
“And why did he leave?”
A month ago.
Our relationship was not an easy one. I remember my mom had once told me, to think about myself first, and my happiness as such. My happiness, but does it mean being without him? Maybe.
“Shivani, I’m fed up. You have a problem with everything I do. The people I talk to, the ones who talk to me. You want yourself to be always prioritized in my life, but get this straight. I have a life apart and ahead of you. You cannot impose yourself on me like this. God, let me breathe. Let me live, let me be free.” He says, and sits down on the floor, holding his head.
“Am I this bad?”
“Oh yes, you are this bad. Okay? You are. Four years, and you still don’t understand me. I don’t know why you are this way. Isn’t my love enough? Every story has a villain, and in ours, it’s YOU. You’re the villain in our love story. Chuck, I can’t take this anymore. I’m leaving.” He says, and I don’t stop him.
Tears flow out of my eyes, but I know I’m the one at fault. Maybe I am wrong in loving him to this extent. I understand obsession is bad, but how do I help myself? Maybe living without him will help.
He doesn’t even turn back, I know he’s done. He’s gone.
“He’d said, I’m the villain, but he never cared to ask me why I was that way. Everyone knows that a villain is evil, but what makes a person a villain? I wasn’t the villain. Maybe if he knew about my mom, he’d have a different view about me, maybe if he’d experienced the time I spent alone after the death of my grandmother, he’d think elsewise. I wasn’t the villain. There’s a reason I thought of only my happiness. I’ve seen my mom die, starving for happiness. I wanted him to prioritize me over everything because I know what it feels like to be left alone. I wasn’t the villain.” I begin crying. Dr. Mehnaaz puts her hand on my back, and rubs it gently.
Until then, I see Amrita coming. I realize it isn’t time yet. She joins us, and Dr. Mehnaaz says that we’ll continue the next time. We have a brief conversation on how I’m improving and then she leaves.
After Dr. Mehnaaz is gone, Amrita turns to me.
“I have something to tell you.” She says, and points to a person sitting on the next table. Seeing him, I freeze. I’m unable to speak, and just look at Amrita.
“How could you?” I begin to say, but the person comes up to me and hugs me right away.
“God, I missed you, Shivani. I’m sorry.” He says.
“Don’t say anything, I know, I overheard you and your doctor. I’m sorry, but I did. I missed you and tried contacting you, but couldn’t. So I called Amrita and she told me about your condition, and I felt so miserable for being the cause of your sadness. She told me you’re seeing this doctor, and I wanted to know what had made you this way. I’m so sorry, I love you. And all this while being without you, I’ve realized that I belong with you. I can’t be without you, Shivani. I love you.”
“Oh God, you two. I love you both. Thank you so much for everything, I love you.” I say, and hug both of them, and they hug me back.
I suddenly realize something, and release them. I take my phone and call Dr. Mehnaaz. “Did I forget something?” She asks, to which, I say, “I’m okay, now, Doc. I think we’re done. I’ll pay your fees, we don’t need another session.”
“You sound lightened up! Okay, great. Take care.” She says, and disconnects.
I hug Kartik again. “I love you,” he says. “I love you.”
really very niceReplyDelete
Really a fab thought.....ReplyDelete
Loved reading it.....
Had good tym reading it....