The pain and Disappointment.
“Why does your trip always have to include scary places ?!!” Keerti remarks as we stand outside the rehabilitation facility.
It’s eerily similar to the place where we’d gone to meet Alia. It looks like a British structure, really old and imposing. In fact, this place is a little worse than the mental asylum where we went. We go through the same exercise of asking the receptionist whether we could meet the patient. She asks us to wait in the visiting room.
It’s a little strange to think that Anushka has been here too. Naira tries to ask the receptionist if she can give us the details of Anushka and she refuses. She states that every patient signs a confidentiality clause when he or she is admitted that bars the hospital from revealing any information to anyone.
“I don’t really like Ranbir.” Keerti whispers in Naira’s ear.
“What ?!! You don’t even know him.” Naira says.
“Had he not been there, all of this wouldn’t have happened.” Keerti says.
A little later, we see a man walk towards us. I had prepared myself for the worst, but he is far more pitiable. He is much worse than I had imagined him to be. Ranbir looks nowhere near the stud, Virat had described him as.
He looks like a corpse. He must be a little older than me and is thin, scrawny, with barely any skin left on his face. He walks towards us with a limp. He has a little stubble and his skin is red with rashes. But I don’t feel sorry for him.
“Do I know you ?!!” he asks in his throaty voice.
It’s scary. He is a living example of why one shouldn’t get into drugs. His eyes look at us. They look dead and are sunken deep within their sockets. He looks dead already. It freaks us out. We just sit there and stare at him. We were angry at him for being the reason behind Virat and Anushka not being together, but now he evokes sympathy and pity.
“We are Virat’s friends.” Naira says.
She puts her hands on both Naksh and me to stop us from telling him the story. I know why she does that.
Naira too had been admitted to a rehabilitation facility in Delhi about seven years ago for her addiction to meth. She knows how to deal with these things. Naira told us while we were in the taxi today that when in rehab, you need reasons to continue your life. Often, the patients who are admitted are suicidal. She had been one of them.
“Virat ?!! Oh.” He remembers and smiles.
He has a few teeth missing. He might have stumbled down the stairs when stoned. It happens frequently, Naira had once told me. I wonder how she had managed to stay so spotlessly beautiful even after going through everything that Ranbir has.
“Do you know him ?!!” Keerti asks. We are surprised to see her piqued interest.
“Yes, I know him. Anushka’s friend. Sweet guy.” Ranbir says and coughs.
His voice is very strange. And he makes a strange face every time he says something. It looks like it hurts his throat each time he tries to talk.
Naksh asks what’s really important, “Are you in touch with Anushka ?!!”
Ranbir pauses. Our heartbeats stop, our breaths wait in our lungs while he looks at us with pitiable eyes. We try to read his eyes, but all we can see are hollow, sunken eyeballs.
“No, not really. I haven’t seen her in a long time.” he says with a sigh.
“How long ?!!” Naksh asks, exasperated.
Ranbir looks at Naksh strangely. Yes, we are all angry. How can he not know where Anushka has gone ?!!
He took Anushka away from Virat and now he doesn’t know where the heck she is. This is just unfair. He had been an unreasonable boyfriend and maybe he deserves what he’s going through. I have only hatred for him.
“It’s been long. I have run away from this place thrice to look for Anushka. I have never been able to find her…..” His voice trails off.
“I will never forgive myself for what I made her go through.” Ranbir adds.
Even though his face constantly tells me he is a person who is sad, morose and regretful of what he has done, I am still not moved. I was and will always be in Team Virat. Not with the guy who destroyed not one but two lives.
“What happened when you ran away the last time ?!!” Naira looks at him and asks.
Naira’s kind eyes make anyone open up his or her heart.
“I ran away from here and reached my house. I had been off medication for three weeks and was tired and sick. I called Anushka and she told me she never wanted to see me again. She was angry at herself and angrier at me. She wanted to be alone and she didn’t let me say anything.” Ranbir says.
“What would you have said ?!!” Naira asks further.
“I would have apologized and I would have told her that….” he pauses and adds in his barely audible voice, “that Virat loves her and she should be with him.”
“You knew ?!!” Naksh asks.
“It was obvious. One look at Virat’s face when he used to see Anushka and me together, and anyone could see the pain in his eyes.” he says.
The conversation just continues to make me hate Ranbir more and feel sorrier for Virat. Ranbir is and was such a bastard.
“You think Anushka knew about what Virat felt for her ?!!” Naira asks.
“I had told Anushka a few times, but she said I was wrong and that Virat could get a much better girl. She didn’t take me seriously. But she was ashamed about what happened. She said she had disappointed and let everyone down — Virat, her parents, her aunt in Mumbai, everyone. She was very disturbed. She said…..” Ranbir again trails off midway.
“Yes ?!! What did she say ?!!” I ask.
“She said that Virat was right about everything. That she should have stayed away from me. She was full of regret that she had spoilt her bond with Virat and fought with him for my sake. She told me she would never be able to face Virat again. Not after all that Virat had done for her and she repaid him only in pain.” Ranbir says.
Precap : Anushka’s Address.
I feel pity for Ranbir but the hatered just over comes it. The next Chapter will include the gang getting to know of Anushka’s address.
Will post next Chapter by evening.
Do comment. Keep smiling. Keep watching Yrkkh !!