Surprise!!! Look I didn’t die yet. I’m alive. A late Happy birthday to Alina nd Riya. Sorry for not commenting on the updates for last few days. Trust me I’m crazily busy. Generally I might delay on posting my stry but I do comment but this time life is soooooooooooooo messed up that I can’t even breathe. I’ll catch up soon as holidays r coming!
I was planning to stop this ff as maintaining it is getting really stressful for me. I hate giving dates and not reaching up for it. Like now I’m posting a week after the due date. Idk… Pls suggest should I end it (obv abruptly!) or keep posting after ages…
I tried making this epi long to cover up the delay but sry as it’ll bring up more mysteries than unfolding them. But u’ll started having clear ideas about previous problems from this chap onwards
CHAPTER 6: GREATFULNESS
It was just yesterday when I stepped into the rough maple floor and stood right in the center of this large living room facing my best friend’s elder brother The Shravan Malhotra convincing to stay together and share breads. Those craziness, arguments, madness, joy- all were just hours back. Or probably months back… That’s what my heart spoke convincing both reality and imagines, but as if the world would change for me. The calendar right in front of my eyes clearly reflected the truth- a bitter one- it has been two years of us together under the same roof. Both fortunately and unfortunately, U of T never managed a room on their hostel for me. I mean they did a hell lot of times but then it was co-share, and I firmly denied living with guys. Stupid eh? I’m living with two guys who are currently seating right under my nose yet I denied sharing a room with one.
Push had been my bestie since the first day of university. Well I mean the 1st day I walked into the university- The scholarship examination day and Shravan… we share a lot… of what? I’m unaware. My friendship with Push was a gifted miracle. 100% from the start. But with Shravan, whom I was supposed to call bhaiya, I really don’t know. Our relationship grew over time, slowly, at a turtle pace. Probably that’s what makes me feel the time went on… Enemies to friends to… I’ll pause at very good friends.
The point isn’t of me recalling all those garbage and soothing memories but of the fact that Shravan is wearing his loose black coat, a perfect sharp ended with tasselled hat, and holding a scroll tied with red ribbon with his fingers….something completely unusual. His pinkie finger under the pressure of the feathery light iron ring. His face was lighted up with a broad curved smile as he giggled at words with his mates.
“Can’t believe you graduated. Congrats Bhaiya, I want a huge treat. It has been long I don’t have tasty food” Pushkar voice followed by his body rushed across me to that tall tower.
“Excuse me,” I popped up between their conversations. It was uncomfortable to jump into a table filled with only guys but now it hurt my emotions. “Push do u mean I cook bad food?” I widened my eyes to look at him threateningly.
I saw Chote looking at me with ‘help wanted’ eyes as he gulped under pressure. My look followed Sumo who wasn’t even aware of my presence at this moment. She was under seriousness thinking of her only co-curriculum talent.
“I don’t dare open my mouth on this matter.” I said teasing my brother’s puppy face.
“Bhaiya you can’t just-”
“To Paradise with you Malhotra brothers!” I saw her fawning which made me laugh harder even after ignoring her statement. Really? Paradise? Seems like future Dr. Sumo found another epic logic to curse people using heavenly words.
“Thanks yaar. Paradise got better food-pakka wala sure,” Pushkar declared winking at her as she walked in frustration. I called her name but too late- she mixed into the crowd of other students. “Wow seriously? She can act like a normal sensitive girl!!! New look of Sumo” Pushkar continued as I still kept wondering. She just can’t leave for that!
How can someone always manage vanishing into thin air? I have been chasing for so long. Outcome till date- ZERO! Life is sounding more like a mess since that day in the library. Shravan’s unusual behaviour isn’t consistent. Sometimes he would laugh out his stomach and the other time he gets absorbed into a mystery lamp. To spice up it all even more, Push sounds less supportive every time I ask him for help. I know he has the answers of all my ‘why’ questions but whenever I inquire for it, he ends with that old questionable statement –“You don’t know Shravan bhaiya”-In an addition to Shravan’s mind puzzle and Push’s cold shoulder, comes that red haired girl. She wasn’t there on the library with be accidentally, but intentionally, following me. Sounds horrifying- or filmy I guess. But all my life has been till today was a film. Making that even worse adds up that she is following me everywhere every time. More than a billion times I traced her standing outside my classroom staring at me like a crazy fan waiting for autograph! With the least limit of privacy, she even spends her nights under my room’s window. A horror air blew through my soul every time I thought of the critical chances whether she is somehow related to them (sry for interruption but note this ‘them’) and looking for me. Then…I have had enough of hide and seek. How long can life be like this? Why should I keep my soul hidden from the world? Death comes to all at the end so it’s better to live a life full of spirit- like Sumo.
Now that I decided to live boldly, things don’t work out well. I have been chasing her back each time like – being a spy and spying on the spy who is spying on me! But then whenever I follow her, she vanishes into thin air. Not a single day I managed catching her air. Why is she running away when all she wants is me?
Soon I realized, following her all the way today, I came to the Crescent Park near Gledhill Lake. It was all wet. Early autumn. Maple leafs all cinnamon pale ready to fall any moment a cold wind would blow through. Slowly I allowed my body to fall on the sloppy land covered with yellow green grasses and stare at the sky.
The warm golden ray penetrated through my skin as I opened my eyes slowly to realize it was almost 5 pm. How did my eyes close? Not just close Sumo but in this stupid park. Oh man what will Shravan and Push be think of me? I left them in between a food war just to catch that mysterious red haired girl but and never returned. I took the phone out of my jeans pocket and waited for the screen to get bright. No missed calls, no msgs, no voice mails, nothing! Wow they forgot me! Rudeeeee….
I placed my phone back to its own spot as I kept staring at the sky. It wasn’t clear. The sun wasn’t visible any longer as it was almost about to set but the golden sky was covered with light dusty clouds…
Pink clouds!!! I saw pink clouds…Green clouds…I saw mint green clouds… Pause what? I rubbed my eyes as I opened them again and saw all flamingos pink and mint green color covering my vision. Turning my head around wondering, I saw a brown Mark’s boot on the uncountable grass beside me. No longer than a sec I smiled getting into my feet wheezing “Shravan” lightly.
It was Push and Shravan standing on my both sides with each holding a cotton candy. Pushkar having the mint one- obv green tea is his favourite flavour and Shravan holding the common pink one smiling at me. Before I could utter a word, Push started his regular drama.
“Hawwww Sumo u r soooooo nice. U forgot ur best friend and remember his brother.”
“How can I forget my bestestest friend? I just saw Shravan’s boots-”
“That sounds even more marvelous. U remember Bhaiya’s boots not mine. See Bhaiya, there is a reason why I want you to marry her. She remembers every bit of u and ur belongings.”
“Push!!!” I protested boldly. He has this new topic to talk about lately. Me and Shravan…
I was about to ask for my cotton candy when I saw Push’s free hand gently throwing me back. My body, unprepared to his action, fell on the ground losing balance, right like my butt over Shravan’s feet and backbone leaning on his strong legs.
“Sumo you okay?” Shravan threw his hand helping me get up.
“Umm yah! Shravan please buy better boots, this is very hard. And Push what was that?” I asked him confusingly.
“U ordered me to push so I did. And look how ur to-be-husband helped u get up. Nice Bhaiya,” He winked looking at us as we both gave him a neglected glance. I looked at Shravan just neutrally, when I saw his cheeks going cameo. It allowed my skin to burn as I heard Push muttering rubbish again. “OMG!!! Look who is blushing- Shravan Malhotra. Bhaiya now don’t deny to the fact. My dreams…”
“Look Chote, it’s getting dark and the temperature is also falling so as usual my tone is giving out shades. Now instead of blabbering more of ur nonsense, let’s come to the point.” Shravan walked to Push completely ignoring me as they look around and showed some weird signals to the air.
I looked at them questioningly as they kept smiling with a 400 volt. Soon my questioning eyes enlarged letting my mouth open wide. The sky was patterned with small fire lanterns wording “FAMILY” The time paused as those lanterns kept flying up in the air. I was smiling with tearful eyes- it has been long I came across ‘family’. As I looked back at the brothers to thank them, Push cried out , “More to come Sumo.”
As Chote’s words echoed to my ears, we both walked to her syncing. There was that sudden fear on her face which always stood as a boundary between us whenever we come close but today she tried fighting with it. My heart was beating off my body as I went dry and cold. Slowly I let my heart out my mouth…
“Sumo look, I really can’t big not act big. All these great ideas: romantic or friendly ones, never work inside my head. U knw I’m very cold and opaque but ummm…All I wanna say is Thank You. I said that to u a thousand times by now for all that u did but I owe u sooooo much. Honestly, I did hate ur interference in my life at the beginning but now I love ur strawberry perfume all over the house. No thanks but again thanks for cleaning the house, laundering our cloths, including my socks,”
“And our boxers” Pushkar interrupted as I felt my skin turning hot in embarrassment.
Not letting Chote spoil this perfect moment I continued, “Ignore this brat. Back to point. Your food is great. We lovvveeeee it. U knw it smells delicious and the taste…-”
“Muuuahhhhh” Pushkar cut me off again with his voice as he gave her an appreciating flying kiss.
I had no clue what was going on. Too much for what I asked. For a moment I felt my messed up wondering soul was resting as Shravan spoke. This guy should stop mumming me. He always-ALWAYS brings up something new to make me fall for….umm I meant that personality. As for Push, can anyone be more adorable? I’m blessed to have him. He can make Shravan go from ice to water vapour back to ice. I wish he could just help me solve the puzzle.
“Chote go on. I’m done. Too much of words for me. I hate giving speeches.” Shravan make a annoyed faced looking at Push as he continued,
“Ok bhaiya…So for food- Not joking but really yaar u have magic. U know after years we tasted homemade food in sense of that. Bhaiya always burnt my rotis and I can’t even boil egg. Ever since-”
“You walked into the kitchen, it turned lively” Shravan interrupted as he spoke with a cold tone at an unusally fast pace.
Both brothers shared a look of pain and depth as I felt left over. Will this end? I’m not done unfolding one mystery other pops up! Now what is this?
“Hmmm yah yah Sumo. The point of all these blabbering is that u gave us a family, a home and we are grateful to u for that.” Push completed his words as I jumped onto him for a teddy hug not letting him speak more. I could feel his muscles bend into a smile as I broke off to look at Shravam who felt out zoned yet happy.
“Do I need to personally post a letter inviting you do join us in this hug or you mind just walking into?” I asked as he smiled hesitantly.
“Bhiaya the ‘family’ word was ur idea and u just can’t miss out this hug!” Pushkar demamded pulled him into us and squishing all of us into one.
I was already in the highest level of warmth by their words, but this hug had something very special. With the final statement- Shravan being the one thinking of the word ‘family’ and ‘us’ made me go to the seventh heaven. I felt healed after ages. (Knock knock: point the ‘heal after ages’) Something that forced the watch to break, second hand to stop tictoc-ing and the time to pause…
“By the way are u guys planning to throw me away? All of these gratefulness all of a sudden?” I asked breaking the hug.
“Neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. Sumo u have been with us for two years, in a year we’ll graduate like bhaiya did today so u don’t have to switch on the last minute. Stay with us till the end.” Pushkar pleaded as my heart shank in fear. It was a reminder. After one more year I’ll have to leave. I promised Shravan on my 1st day.
“Hey Sumo listen… strange, awkward, weird, or whatever but u can stay with us till u r willing to settle on ur own. I mean after u graduate too. Forget the deal we made on our 1st meet. Besides, I wouldn’t mind getting a helping hand for house-hold works a bit longer. And most of all, we count u in as a family.” Shravan said at his regular voice. I would’ve enjoyed a bit more of warmth but seems like I’m going greedy. Let’s stay happy for having a permanent shade over the head for now till I get settled and the title of being in their family. Just hope he didn’t mean a sister!
“But don’t forget my deal…eeerrrmmm offer I mean. Look guys why do u have to work so hard? Today Sumo will live with us, tmrw she’ll leave when she gets a job, blah blah blah. Take my offer and get a permanent helping hand, Bhaiya. Sumo, forget all those nonsense Bhaiya said. U can stay with us FOREVER…. And as for those ‘a girl living with guys’ issue, marry Bhaiya. U both look perfect together. And he called u a family now.”
Doneeeeee with this kinda clueless chap. WS- sry girl but I need to screw ur head off even more
So here r the noticing points (few more than usual)
-Sumo’s confusion regarding her relationship with Shravan (pretty obv conclusion to this point)
-Shravan’s odd behaviour (look at Sumo’s 2nd POV where she talks about the red haired girl)- Sry couldn’t give much hints abt his attitude but on the nxt chap u’ll explore more abt this topic.
-Pushkar ignoring Sumo whenever she wants to reveal Shravan and saying “You don’t know Shravan Bhaiya”
-The red haired girl….
-Sumo suggesting ‘them’ again (Connoting dots- Remember she used ‘they’ on Shravan’s prank? Clue- they r connected)
– Sumo saying her life is a hide and seek game.
-“Why is she running away when all she wants is me?” Hmmm…Who want’s Sumo and why? (Connecting dots: She said to Shravan on his prank, “Don’t harm Shravan. I know u want me”)
-Pushkar brought up the “ever since” topic once again. (Question: Is that related to Shravan’s puzzle?)
AND THE BIGGEST CLUE I’LL LEAVE BEHIND….(SOLVE IT AND U SOLVE MY WHOLE PUZZLE or wait till I solve it for u)
-“it’s better to live a life full of spirit- like Sumo.” It was Sumo’s POV. Who says like that? Recommending ur life with urself? (Hint: I never disclosed her past, nor her full name. Remember how Pushkar said at the beginning of the story -5 years later- “Both u and I knw her name isn’t Sumo”) Question: Who is she? What if all these “Sumo’s POV” I’m giving to u is fake? Remember she is missing… Her diary can be written by anyone and conclude with complete biased + false info. Is there even a Sumo or a girl like that? Just CONNECT ALL THE SUMO RELATED POINTS WITH THIS CLUE and if u can solve it- wala!
Idk when’ll b the next update but promise soon one of the secret will have little revelation- but I won’t leave away the story.
PS: All fruits, vegeies and shoes allowed. Wrote it in 30 mins so u’ll find mistakes scattered all over. Criticisms warmly welcomed. Do comment nd sry again
PPS: Should I write slowly or stop? Pls help meeeeeee
PPPS: A special offer- As I’ll take time posting (if I continue writing) so I can give u little bit extra personal clue. PM me here, DM me on twitter (@Aryana1806_ ) or on Wattpad (@Aru1806) but u can’t share it with anyone else