Hello people 🙂 let’s begin with the episode directly. But before that, I would like to dedicate this episode to Diyaa and Shivika. Thanks a lot guys 🙂
EPISODE 4: LUCKY
“That’s why I asked you to not talk about home stuff too much around her. Please Dadi”, I heard Anika say as we neared the entrance. The Oberoi Mansion was huge, bigger than any place I had been to. In Anika’s words, the hall was big enough to play football. Since I didn’t hear Dadi’s reply, I assumed she must have nodded.
Anika was the most supportive person I have ever come across. Ours was friendship that had formed in an instant and lasted through the years regardless of our own conditions. It was true that I had lied to her too, for as long as two years. But she hadn’t been mad at me. Instead, she had asked me if I was okay. That was one of the few times when I cried with a witness.
She knew me really well. For instance, she knew the one thing that made me uncomfortable was talking about home. It seemed like a long time back, but that was a phase of my life I can never let go of. The best years of my life, and the most painful years after it. Om was walking a step behind me and I thought, “What is it about him? He always seems to hit the right spots with me!”
I wondered why Anika wanted me to stay here so bad. So much that she would actually tell Dadi to not talk of anything which might make me leave. I entered the house to a small circle of Dadi, Shivaay and Anika waiting for me. “I hope they don’t know about me yet. It will be really uncomfortable if they did”, I thought to myself. I smiled brightly and greeted them as I walked in. Dadi seemed really glad to have me there and I forgot my inhibitions. Anika seemed to know my mind as her face took on a hint of sadness and fear. She must think that I would be mad at her again! Silly Anika!
However, I didn’t clear her doubt, enjoying the effort she put into keeping me by her side.
Ishu’s smile itself told me that something was wrong. Had she heard me talking to Dadi? She would be really unhappy with me if she knew, I realized with some sadness. “She’ll go away again, without even saying bye, just like last time”, I thought to myself. So I distracted her immediately with stories of Sahil missing her. I handed her my phone after dialing Sahil’s number. He would keep her engaged until I found another reason for her to stay.
Although there was no good reason for me to keep her by my side, I wanted her by my side. Somehow Sahil’s surgery had made me very emotional and I didn’t want to miss her in this. Also, I had always wanted to show Ishu how much a family means for everyone, and there wasn’t a better family she could grow to love. I knew the pain of loss better than anyone. But her self-destructive traits always worried me. Her gift of loving intensely was as much a blessing as it was a curse for her. Shutting herself out from caring for other people was not the solution for heartache. I wish she understands this sooner than later.
My thoughts directly went to Sahil. He knew that Ishu doesn’t go to hospitals unless she’s the patient. I hope he didn’t bring it up or anything. Not that I thought Ishu can ever be angry with the kid. All through the day I was engaged in keeping Ishu engaged in some or the other work, not letting her talk for more than a minute. I often imagined that if I had a time machine and if I was allowed to change one event from the past, I think I would have changed that one day which altered her life so completely.
Sitting on the sofa silently, I reminisced the day I had held her while she cried herself to sleep. Her words rang in my ears as clear as bells. “You know very well what would happen if people come to know that a young girl lives here all alone. So, I told everyone that my father is in depression and he doesn’t want to meet anyone. The good thing is that these people think that depression is some kind of contagious disease!” she had said. It feels like it was yesterday, and we have come a long way from the deep dark pit we were thrown into by fate; or had we?
A gunshot from far away pulled me out of my reverie and I rushed towards the hall.
AROUND FIFTEENTEEN MINUTES AGO:
“There was definitely something there”, I thought to myself. I looked through my window to see if there was anything unusual. But the green lawn looked untainted now. I was considering going out and checking when I saw Shivaay coming out and talking to a group of security people. Khanna also came in a while from the opposite direction and they talked for some time. Shivaay ran his hand through his hair agitatedly and catching sight of me, assured me that nothing was wrong. I too nodded at him but I couldn’t shake off the weird feeling that there had been something on the ground there.
I turned back to my work when I saw Ishu walking in the corridor. I called out to her and she waited for me to join her. I went to stand in front of her, hesitant about talking to her regarding what happened earlier this day. Before I could say anything, she made me duck my head and pushed me forward in such a way that I fell. A gunshot resounded in the same instant and when I got up to see what happened, I saw a red dot hovering on Ishu’s chest. Apparently, she had noticed it too. She pushed me aside into my room and ran off. I came out to see Ishu kick a gun far away from a masked man. But that guy was also good at this and he held Ishu in a chokehold around the neck. I moved forward to help her but she didn’t need any as she hit him below the ribs with her elbow. Although she was free now, the guy managed to pull out a knife from his boots. Ishu utilized her small figure to the fullest while the bulky body of her opponent prevented him from being as agile as her. I joined them and we tried to corner the masked man together.
I held his hand as he swung the knife, but he managed to cut my arm with a flick of his wrist. I jerked my hand away while Ishu tried landing a high kick on him. The knife sliced through the flimsy fabric of her dress and the skin beneath, but she held on to his neck fastidiously. The big space behind him allowed him to swing her up and attempt to throw her off, but I kicked him trying to knock his legs under him. It didn’t work though and two seconds later Ishu was on the ground, shouting out profanities in pain. While my attention shifted to her, the assailant ran off. It was a moment later that I realized she was shouting at me to go and catch him. Her head was bleeding profusely but she repeatedly asked me to go behind him. I chose to ignore her constant demand to go away and struggled to pick her up in my arms to take her into my room, but the fresh cuts in my hand made it difficult.
Even in that condition, she pushed me away, trying to turn me around and dumped herself on my back. I understood what she was doing and piggybacked her into my room. Shivaay came running to me and he stood motionlessly at the door, looking at Ishu’s bleeding head, while I held a cloth to the wound. I had to shout at him to pull him out of his trance and he hurriedly called the doctor to come immediately. Anika had also come now and tears started flowing out of her eyes as soon as she saw her friend. I barely noticed everyone else coming to the door and Shivaay assuring Anika that nothing will happen to Ishu. I tried to believe that too as I looked at a now unconscious Ishu. I checked her pulse and it was erratic. I was worried sick but I talked to her, trying to bring her back to consciousness.
Shivaay was still saying something and it took me a moment to register that. I turned back to him and asked him to repeat it. He said, “The attacker has been caught. We can check on him later.” I turned to Ishu again and ignored the weird and queasy feeling in my stomach until the doctor came. I wished her to be back on her feet in a jiffy. I wouldn’t be able to live if anything happened to her.
I saw a long haired guy talking to me. His light beard was a blur in my eyes while I desperately tried to avoid the pain. Why couldn’t Death come sooner? Immaturely, I imagined how I would complain when he did come for me. And before I thought it, he materialized in front of me. It felt as if Death was the long lost love I was waiting for, but when he comes, I will be really mad at him for being late. Our date was full of sweet moments where I acted sulky and upset and he tried to bring me around and did all the sweet things to win me over. The only disturbance in my fantasy was a soft voice which kept calling out to me. It was ironical how the velvety voice could be anything close to disquieting.
That was the moment when I got to know how jealous Death could be. He was clearly angry with the other guy calling me when at last we were going to be one. I reluctantly turned my eyes to the distracting voice. I saw a blood-stained shirt which worried me. A shiver ran down my spine as something cold touched the back of my head. I tried to remember something but found it difficult to think. I closed my eyes again, exhausted with the effort and turned my attention to Death again. He was a patient guy, I noted. Chiseled features and kind eyes accentuated by the black suit he wore; he looked like the protagonist of a classic novel. Just my type! He held out his hand for me and I took it. The touch was warm and comforting and I lay my head against his shoulder. I let myself float into the clouds with him without any concerns.
He brought me to a familiar house and I turned to him with surprise. He lifted me up in his arms. As he walked, he said in a honey-like voice, “Wait for a little longer, my love. For now, he needs you more than I do. So I have to let you go. I promise we’ll meet soon.” I made a face at that as another the lights started dimming. “No, I don’t want to. I’ve already waited for so long. Won’t you take me with you?” I complained, fervently wishing him to take me. I let my arms close around his neck, snuggling into his warm chest.
His pink lips curved in a smile as he comforted me, “Patience, love. I already promised I’ll come soon. Wait a little more, please.” He carefully lay me down on a bed but I was reluctant to let go. He twisted my hands as softly as possible, pulling them away from him. I felt a sudden stab in my heart and I wanted to cry out loud. Death was still waiting for me, holding my hand, and I told him that. He nodded knowingly and said, “You’ll be fine, Ishu. I’m right here.” I reminded him that he will go away, and he was amused at that. He didn’t offer an explanation and I didn’t know what else to say. Before long he kissed me goodbye and disappeared. I slipped into darkness.
SNEAK PEEK: Ishu wakes up and freaks out.
I really don’t believe that only 4 people commented on the previous episode! I didn’t really want to post today’s episode, but I realized at least some people, including myself, might be hurt if I wrote only for comments. I would like to wrap this up as soon as possible but I don’t want to do away with this. To be honest, I really wanted to come back and write this ff to the same enthusiastic crowd of people I got to know while writing Precious. Anyways, let’s try not to hope for any more than 2 comments 😐
Sorry to end on such a bad note guys, I hope you don’t think too much of it 🙂