Two days had passed by since the accident. To say that I was okay, would be an understatement. I was scared. I could not forget what had happened two years ago. That incident was fixed in my mind forever. Even the slightest memory of it made me shiver.
Thankfully, I was out of the depressing hospital within a day, with just a few bruises and a hairline fractured wrist. There was nothing to be worried about. But the only thing that bugged me, was Nandini. There was no trace of her since the accident. No calls, no messages, nothing.
I sat alone in my room. My finger hovered over the green button on my phone’s screen. I debated whether to call Nandini or not. She had her phone switched off. I was afraid, that she might have gone back to London. So, I asked my mom about it. All she said, was that, Nandini was in Delhi itself. I was relieved. As I finally decided to give it a go and call her once again, the door cracked open. Mom stood outside.
“Hey. Nandini’s here,” She said and moved out of the way to reveal a very pale looking Nandini. “I’ll leave you to alone. I’m gonna get some snacks for you.” Ma said and left the room, shutting the door behind.
Nandini smiled at me, which I did not return. “How are you feeling?” She asked.
“Top of the world.” I said. She rolled her eyes and poked me to scoot over. I did so as she made herself comfortable beside me.
“Hey, I’m sorry, okay? I missed you.” She said, tracing her fingers over my stubble.
“Why were you avoiding me?” I asked.
“I wasn’t.” She snapped causing me to raise my brows. “I was just, busy with some stuff.” She said. And now, she was expecting me to buy that.
“Why don’t you tell me the truth, for a change?” I asked. She hesitated for a second and untangled her arm from mine. I wished I could guess what was going on in her mind. It was just too hard to figure her out.
“What is it? Tell me,” I said. She shook her head and looked away. “Nandini. Jaan, you cannot just keep everything buried inside you. I can see that something’s troubling you. Just let it out for once. What are you afraid of?” I asked.
“I’m afraid of losing you, Manik…” She said. Her voice cracked in the end. I knew she was crying, but somehow, her words relieved me. I engulfed her in my arms and let her sob.
“You’re never gonna lose me, baby. Even if I’m gone, you’ll always have a part of me. What makes you think that you’ll lose me? I’m right here. With you.” I rocked her back and forth.
“Its not that easy. I’ve lost you once. I can’t do it again.” She said.
“What do you mean?” I asked. She did not respond, instead, just clung on to me and cried. Her behavior was unusual and confusing.
“Just hold me, Manik. I need you right now.” She cried.
“Nandini, what’s wr-” She cut me off.
“Please. Please…” She pleaded. I wrapped my arms around her in an instant. Nandini was the kind of girl, who would never bow down in front of anyone for help. She would do anything to make it on her own. Hearing her, begging me to hold her, told me how broken this girl was. That broke me too.
She cried in my arms for a while, and then finally pulled back. “Are you okay?” I asked, wiping her tears with my thumb. She nodded slightly. Her hands ruffled my hair before tugging on to the collar of my shirt. She inched closer to me and was about kiss me, when I interrupted.
“Hey, Nandini, just relax, okay. I know, I want to kiss you too. But, I just want to know what’s wrong. Please tell me, baby…” I said. She took a deep, unsteady breath.
“I will. But before that, I want you to love me. Love me like its our last time together…” She said. That struck a cord. Last time together. Was she leaving?
“I – You – You’re not leaving, are you?” I asked. My heart was thumping out of my chest. I was longing to hear her answer, which I was 99% sure, was a no. But still, I held on to that 1%. She looked up at me. Her eyes glistening with tears again.
“I was going to tell you but -” I cut her off in the middle. I was pissed off. I felt cheated. She had played with my heart ruthlessly. She was leaving me alone… again.
“Tell me, when? After kissing me? After leading me on till here?” I asked and got out of the bed. “Why, Nandini? Why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this from you? Answer me…” I said. She got up.
“I’m sorry. Its not your fault. Its-”
“I said, answer me, dammit!” I yelled. I could feel the anger boiling inside me. I couldn’t contain it anymore. It had to come out someday, and that day, it just did. She was startled by the sudden outburst.
“Why did you lead me on? Why did you give me a hope? For once, Nandini, once in the past two years, I was happy. I felt… complete. Then, why are you so keen on ruining me again? This is not some videogame you’ve played with. Its my heart.” I said.
“I’m sorry, Manik…”
“Bullshit. Tell me something new.” I said.
“That’s why I came here. To tell you the truth. The truth about why I left,” She said. I was all ears. “Do you remember the accident that occurred two years back?” She asked. I nodded.
“It was after that. I found myself in the hospital. You were there too. The doctors had almost given up on you. Even I could see you going away from me. I was devastated. I didn’t want to lose you. So that night, in the hospital, I vowed. In return of your life, I sacrificed something that I loved the most… you. I vowed to never meet you or see you again. Two years, that was me, keeping my promise. But when I came back to India, I did not expect to see you at all. Those memories started haunting me again. I couldn’t stay away from you. Every moment spent with you was magical. You brought me back to life.” She said.
I was stunned. I did not know how to react. She left me only because of that silly vow? Wow. How ironic. I let her continue.
“I had almost changed my mind. I convinced myself to stop being immature and stay back here with you and mom and dad. But it all changed two days back. It was a close shave and I realized that I had almost lost you… again. It was some kind of a warning. I know it, Manik. That is why, I chose to stay away from you.” She said.
I couldn’t understand whether I had to be happy; that she loved me so much or I had to curse my fate; that the girl I loved was so stupid. I ended up staying in the middle. I loved her too much. But I also dreaded her for making me suffer for two long years.
“Say something!” She cried.
“What do you want me to say? Do you want me to say ‘Its okay, Nandini. What you did to me was completely justified. You’re not wrong. You’re just stupid and f**king immature.’ Do you want me to say that ?!” I yelled. I myself had no idea of what I was going to do.
In every human being, there is a limit. A limit to stay calm. A limit to stay patient. And that day, Nandini had caused me to cross all the possible limits. All the anger, the frustration, the doubts, the insecurities and what not, was coming out of me that day. I couldn’t hold back.
“How can you be so… I don’t even have a word for that. You’re so so so stupid! Why do I even love you so much?” I cried.
“I know you’ll think of me as someone who’s immature and silly to have believed in this. But I really do, Manik. And I believe, that whatever happened two days ago was because of me. Its my deeds that you’ve been punished for. And I can’t let anything happen to you. I love you.” She said.
I let out a sarcastic dry laugh. What kind of love was this? Where I could call her mine, but never be with her.
“Really? I don’t call this love. This is nothing but bullshit. The truth is, you are very timid, Nandini. You’re too scared to do anything. You can’t even love anyone. That’s what you are – a coward. You run away from things. You disgrace yourself. You’re nothing but a screwed up mess.” I said.
She was blank for a moment. Both of our eyes were filled with tears. “I’m sorry. I’m doing this for you. I don’t want to lose you.” She said.
“You’ve already lost me! There is nothing left now! Two years ago, you broke up with me. But today, I am breaking up with you. Its over. I’m done with dealing with you and your shit.” I spat.
She tried to catch a hold of my hand but I pulled back. She took a few steps away from me. I did not dare look at her again. She made me feel used. She made me look dumb in this whole situation. I turned my face from her.
“You’ll never understand, Manik. But I still love you. I always will.” She said. My heart screamed, provoking me to tell her how much I loved her. I knew I did. I was going to love her till the end.
As she started to walk out of my room, I caught a hold of her hand and spun her round. She was startled by the sudden reaction as I pinned her to the wall behind.
“Don’t ever show me your face again. I’ll kill you, I swear.” I threatened. A weird feeling for disgust and pain washed over me. I couldn’t believe those words that had escaped my mouth. Somewhere, I meant them.
She didn’t say anything. She let a few tears slip her eyes as she sprinted out of my room.
I sighed, once she was gone. Two years ago. Exactly two years ago, she had left me here. In the same room. And now, again, we were separated in the same place.
That day, I realized –
Falling in love is easy. Is beautiful. But falling out of love is difficult. Sometimes, impossible even. In my case, it was the later. It was like walking on a road of thorns for my entire life. . .
A really really sad chapter it was. But what do you think? Will Nans change her decision? Or will she leave for London?
Credit to: Nish