Chapter : 2 (An insight into the past)
Sam woke up with a jerk in the middle of the night. She sat on the bed and heaved heavily. What was it?
A nightmare. Why was he after her? Couldn’t he let her sleep peacefully? Even after all these years, he still haunted her. Why?
She got up from the bed and went inside the washroom. She washed her face. Once. Twice. Thrice and looked at her image in the mirror. Her hair were ruffled and she had dark circles too. She tried to comb her hair with her fingers but they were trembling.
Her whole body was shivering. Her breath was coming out in short pants. She hurriedly went back into the room and looked for water. But there was no sign of it.
She forgot to keep a jug of water. What else did she forget today?
She went towards the kitchen and drank a glass of water. She felt as if the world was swirling around her. She turned to go into the room but her feet took her towards the garden.
The garden was serene and welcoming. She stood in the middle of the garden.
What turn had her life taken?
First that bastard Anil….
Then, this idiot Neil…..
And now, that player Adarsh……
Why was she stuck between them? Couldn’t she live a peaceful life like others.
Couldn’t her story end like those common love stories where a girl and a boy fall in love, get married and live happily ever after?
When would that ‘lived happily ever after’ come in her life? Or was it her destiny to cry and blame her life?
A lone tear escaped her eye as she was thinking about all this. She hastily rubbed it off and asked her mind to shut all this rubbish..
She knew that if she thought more about this issue then it won’t be a single tear but an ocean of those flowing down her cheeks.
Why was she so melodramatic? Always making a huge issue out of nothing.. Couldn’t she be a bit more practical?
Why was she so intent on being a cry baby, an idiot, stupid and an emotional fool?
She stopped cursing herself when she heard the sound of a car. Who was such an idiot to roam around this late?
Arjun… He was outside again. He had a bad habit of roaming around this late in the night. If Radhika came to know of it……, then even God won’t be able to save him..
She waited for him to come towards the garden..
She saw his silhouette moving in her direction. He was tottering. Was he drunk?
No… Arjun doesn’t drink…, she kept telling herself continuously.
As he came nearer, she saw his face clearly. He was….. Neil…
What was he doing?
She saw him coming. His clothes were a mess.. His hair were a mess too.
“Neil… What have you done to yourself?”, she asked flaggerbasted.
He didn’t reply but came and stood near her.
“Neil….you are drunk..”
He didn’t say anything but caught hold of her hair and pulled her face towards his.
And on impulse, her hands went to the back of her head, trying to loosen his grip. Even after being so drunk, he had an upper hand at her.
“Neil.. You are hurting me…”, she replied and willed herself not to cry. She was already emotionally broken and he was hurting her physically too.
“Oh.. So you are hurt…” , he said with a look of pure derision colouring his features.
“Wasn’t I hurt when you said that you are going to marry him?
Wasn’t I hurt when you said that you are going away?”, he whispered in a pained voice.
Hurt was written all over his face.
So he was hurt as she was marrying. But why?
She opened her mouth to say something but he closed it shut with his covering hers..
She could feel the taste of his drink….. Was it tequila? She asked herself but then came back into reality when he pulled her hair harder.
As she tried to free herself, he loosened his grip on her hair.
“Why don’t you understand, Sam?”, he spoke softly..
“Understand what?”, she said still trying to take off his hand from her hair.
That was it… She got this much time only..
He pulled her again towards him.. His hold on her hair tightened and she feared that her hair would fall off from her head. As if this wasn’t enough to torture her, his other hand pulled at her waist. His fingers seemed to dig inside her skin.
“That you are mine…”, he said turning her face towards him completely.
She felt a throng of pleasure coursing through her blood when he said it. It was him. The same old Neil she fell in love with…
But was it true? His claims. Was it so easy for him to roam around with those b*t*hes swinging in his arms and then come and claim her. Was she so easy to claim? Didn’t she have any worth, any self- esteem?
“…..Just mine”. And with that, he kissed her again as if asking her to nod in affirmative.
She tried to step back, free herself from his clutches and run far away….to such a place where no one will find her. Touch her. Harm her.
“Neil stop it…”, she pleaded.
He seemed to listen her plea and left her.
“Why are you doing this?”, she asked him in between her rising sobs.
“What..?”, he asked casually.
She felt anger coursing through her veins. That was it. He had the dare to irritate the hell out of her and then innocently ask what happened to her. Couldn’t he acknowledge it, their relationship? Why was he making it hard for her to forget him? Why was he intent on hurting her with his behaviour?
She tried to tame down those rising sobs. But it was too late. Tears found their way down her cheeks..
“Sam”, he said softly keeping his hand on her shoulder.
She immediately jerked him away. “Don’t you dare..
Don’t you dare touch me or come near me.. Don’t you dare call me Sam….”, she said angrily and ran inside.
She went into her room and locked it..
She went towards the bed and sat on it.
Why was Neil doing all this?
She saw Radhika sleeping peacefully. Radhika. It was all due to her. She was the one who asked her to stay at his apartment. Hadn’t she told about it, Sam would not have gone there.
But why was she blaming Radhika? What was her fault in all this. Radhika just wanted Sam and Neil to be friends. And it was Sam who expected more out of his friendship.
It was her heart which skipped a beat when he came to pick her up.
Sam went into the foggy collections….
That day when he came to pick her up…
It took them half an hour to reach his apartment. The apartment was away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A serene atmosphere. Sam wondered since when did Neil start liking peace and loneliness. It was all peaceful here. No honking of cars. No loudspeakers. Nothing. Just chirping of birds. He was staying alone. In this big apartment?
Was he alright? It didn’t seem so. He changed so much, she observed again. But what happened?
He was silent all along the way. Sam was happy that they didn’t argue like they did earlier. But something was not right. His silence tensed her. It rattled her nerves and made her restless. She would have asked him about his well being but she didn’t want to give him the impression that she was interested in him. So she stayed silent.
All along the way, she had felt that he was looking at her. Wanting to say something. But she stared outside in the darkness. Wasn’t she a fool to act interested in the things right down there. Out in the dark. Oh! How foolish. But she had no other way to avoid him and the possible fights.
After reaching the apartment, he took out her luggage and went inside. She had to follow him again. He left the luggage in the room and went outside. How rude? He didn’t even ask her if she needed something. He just showed her the room and went away. How could she expect anything else from him.
Sam kept her bags beside the wardrobe. She gave a quick glance to her surroundings. The walls were a combination of azure and auburn. Weird combination it was. Everything about him was weird. Huh.
There were no hangings on those walls. They were just plain and a bit spooky. No worries. She would decorate them with her paintings.
Though she wasn’t a professional artist or sorts but she was very much inclined towards arts and literature. Be it literature or poetry or craft or any other thing. She was a lover of art. Art was her leisure time activity and her stress reliever also. Whenever she felt tensed, sad or off road, she drew something or the other and her worries would vanish. Or she simply read out a piece of prose or poetry and the next moment, she would be all lively and chirpy.
She sighed and went towards the window. The moonlight spread all over the garden. Though she couldn’t identify the plants clearly. But she was sure there was a combination of her favourite shrubs. She could smell the scent of Moonflower and Rosemary. She wondered if he kept a garden too with these kind of shrubs.
She then remembered the avid interest he had in observing nature, be it scented plants or small beautiful birds.
After observing her surroundings and arranging her clothes and accessories in the wardrobe for about an hour, she felt dog tired. She needed to bathe right now.
She took out her pyjamas and a long tee shirt and went towards the washroom. She stopped midway, groaning, when she realized what she had done to her hair. Her hair were a mess.
She hurried back towards the wardrobe and opened it. She took out her shampoo from the locker.
She then went into the washroom, shoved her clothes on the hanger and turned on the shower. Water came gushing in on her head. It flowed from her head to her feet. It cooled her body and soothed her irate nerves. She could feel her body relaxing with the effect of it.
Though the water was extraordinarily cool but it was all she needed in this hot and humid weather. She then took the shampoo and washed her hair. All the while humming her favourite song.
“Lately I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep….
Dreaming about the things that we could be………
But, baby I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard…..
Said no more counting dollars, we’ll be counting stars……
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars……….”
She stopped humming when she finished washing her hair. Then she took out her soap she had brought in earlier and rubbed it all over her skin. The smell of cocoa beans reached her nostrils. It had a great effect on her tired and dull mind. She felt bright again…
Enough of melodrama now, she thought when she heard her stomach rumbling with hunger. She needed to eat something, right now.
She stood under the shower for a minute until the soap washed away and then hurriedly rubbed the towel all over her skin and got into the pyjama and t-shirt.
Sam had trouble finding the kitchen. It took her a good amount of time to find something to cook. She had checked almost all the drawers and the boxes kept over the shelf. Thankfully, she found a packet of instant noodles. It wasn’t enough, she thought. But eating it rather than staying hungry seemed to be a better option.
She took out a pan from the lower drawer and poured some water in it. She kept it over the stove and ignited the gas stove. Good lord, she got something to eat. She hadn’t eaten anything since morning when Arjun and Radhika dropped her at the airport.
Radhika. Yeah, she needed to be taught a lesson for instigating mum and dad to make her stay at Neil’s apartment.
Before she could think of a plan, she heard someone coming in her direction. Who can it be?, she asked herself.
Dumbo, its obviously Neil. Have you seen anyone else here? , her mind answered.
Yeah, it was Neil only. She saw him coming in the kitchen. He stopped abruptly when he saw her beside the counter. But then, it was only for a second. He came back to his normal self. She was still gaping at him like an idiot.
“What?”, he asked in a low but deep voice.
“Um….Er…. Nothing”, she replied nervously making a fool out of herself..
He took out a tiffin of a sort from the refrigerator. He opened it and took out a sandwich and took a bite from it.
He didn’t offer her. How rude..
Anyways she was making something for herself and she wouldn’t ask him like he didn’t.
“What are you doing?”, he asked after sensing her eyes on him.
Was he blind? Couldn’t he see himself what she was doing.
“Can’t you use your common sense?”, she mumbled.
“What are you doing?”, he asked again, this time a bit angrily.
“Making something to eat.”, she said sullenly when he took another bite from the sandwich.
“Why?”, he interrogated.
What why? Sam was sure he had lost his brain. He was asking her why was she making something to eat. Idiot.
First he left her in the room without asking if she needed something. Then, he ate those sandwiches alone. And now, when she was helping herself, he was having a problem with it too. Good at heart, didn’t Radhika say this about him? He and good at heart. No way…..
“Sam…..”, he said in a questioning tone..
“I asked you something”
Ughhh….. Couldn’t he understand himself. Why was he pestering her with those nonsensical questions. Sam wondered if he wanted to argue and fight with her…..
She was in no mood even if he wanted to…
“I am a living being…..”, she answered.
“So….”, he drawled….
“Living beings need food. I hope you know.”, she whispered in an annoyed tone.
“So… You think you are a human…..”, he said mockingly.
“What’s there to think about it? Anyone can say it.. But since you are not a human, you can’t know it….”
He seemed to be not at all interested in what she was saying.
“Be ready at eight tomorrow.”, he said and turned around to go..
Ready at eight. Why?
“Why?”, she asked.
“I have to take you to college.”
Oh… So he was going to take her to college.
“I can go alone, by myself.”
“Go alone and never return home.”, he faced her and she saw laughter lines creasing his face..
He was mocking her. How dare he?
“I can find my way back.”, she shot out and poured the noodles into a bowl after turning off the knob of the gas stove.
“Yeah.. You can find your way back.. Why not?..” , he replied with a rising bout of mock in his tone.
“Ughh……..”, she stomped her feet standing beside the counter.
He chuckled seeing her getting irritated.
He.. He… He was going to be murdered. And this auspicious deed would be done by her..
“So you are going to college like this.. I mean lost in thoughts….”, he taunted.
Sam felt as if she would burst with the rising apoplexy.
She stormed out of the kitchen flailing her hands but froze midway when he said, “I wonder if I can eat it. Who knows if she has cooked well.”
She turned around to see him smiling, holding the bowl in his hand. He was swirling the spoon in the bowl.
“Whatever…”, she mumbled and went inside her room. But he came there too. Sam was sure he wanted to fight with her. He wouldn’t have got anyone to fight with since days.
“So you don’t wanna eat it. Then I can eat it….”, he lazily drawled each word to draw her attention.
Oh. He was going to eat it.
Sam snatched the bowl from him and heard him chuckling..
“I won’t wait for even a second. Got it.”, he said while going outside.
“Won’t wait for a second….”, Sam mimicked him and her face brightened as an idea struck her mind. What if she isn’t ready till eight. He won’t wait and then Sam could go alone.
He turned and came to know of her plan after reading the look on her face.
“And if you are not ready till then. I will drag you to college in your nightclothes only.. So don’t try to be over smart…”
And the next day……..
They were returning from college when Sam heard her phone ringing…
It was Radhika….. She answered the call…
“Hey Sammy, how was your day? Did Neil take you safely?”, Sam heard Radhika’s ever sweet and fresh voice.
So she told Neil to take Sam to college..
“Yeah…. It was fine and he took me safely…..”
Radhika cut her in middle of her sentence..,”I told you… He is good at heart…”
“Ya….”, Sam said.
“Okay then, I will call you later… Have to go now…Bye.. Take care…”, Radhika chirped….
Right then Sam felt as if someone pushed her.. She turned around to see who it was and in the process, she sprained her ankle…..
“Ahh…”, she cried in pain.
His form stiffened listening her cry. “What happened?”, he asked softly.
“Uh. Nothing..”,she replied trying not to be a cry baby in front of him. But he seemed to know of it when he saw her limping on her right foot.
“Can’t you be a bit more careful?”, he asked and helped her to walk. His right hand was around her waist and with the other, he caught hold of her right hand.
He was going to say something when they heard the sound of footsteps.
Sam turned around and saw a girl catwalking in their direction. She was Elsie, Neil’s girlfriend. Sam got of know of it from her new friends: Lavanya, Shrujal, Hanan and Pranav. They were so nice in their approach. Sam felt as if she knew them since ages. They were fun-loving and happy-go-lucky sorts.
But Elsie was not at all friendly and considered herself a style icon.
Now she will shout and yell and make a fuss.
Elsie came and stopped near them. And as expected, she made a huge issue about Neil helping Sam. She went on and on shouting at Sam and Neil too.
Neil, who was silent all along, said in an annoyed tone, “Stop it Elsie. Its nothing like you think.”
Sam too tried to tell her that it was not that what she was thinking but she didn’t let Sam speak. Instead she said, “Shut up, you slag. I know you were trying to woo him. I have seen many girls like you. So you better not try to lie to me.” And she then went tick tocking in the opposite direction.
Sam was shocked at her behaviour. But, after all she was Neil’s girlfriend, rude and arrogant.
Neil sighed and took her towards the parking lot and made her sit in the car. He then bent down and inspected her ankle..
“Its swollen..”, he said pressing the swollen part.
“Ouch.. Can’t you be a bit soft in your approach?”, she almost shouted in pain and anguish.
He just stared her with a raised eyebrow..
“What? Are you going to sit like this the whole day? Listen.. I am already fed up due to your idiotic girlfriend. So you better be fast.. Or shall I go myself?….”, she wittered.
“Shut up…..”, came the irritated-to-the-core reply.
Sam came out of the memories as she felt Radhika moving beside her.. She caressed her hair and tried to sleep..
Neil saw her going inside. He knew she was crying and this too that he shouldn’t have hurt her like this. But she wouldn’t understand the other way.
He didn’t want to hurt her. He just wanted her to realize that he couldn’t let go of her. But now she was hurt and that too very much.
He went inside and sat on the couch in the lobby. She was the one who made him what he was today. She was the one who brought back those sweet memories. But she was going now..
They got a week’s holiday from the college. She wanted to meet her family and when they got to know that college was off for a week, they asked him to come too.
He didn’t want to go but they loved him like their own son. So he thought not to hurt them.
And when he reached there, they welcomed him heartily.
And the other day when he got drunk, she took him to his apartment and stayed with him for the whole night…
She called Radhika and asked her to tell aunty that he and Sam were at her place.
The next morning…
When he got up, he saw her making breakfast. He wondered how she got to know of eatables.
It was all right until she asked him about Mom and Dad. He acted as if he didn’t hear. She asked him again.
She unknowingly raked up the past. The images of Mom and Dad dying flashed in his mind. It was all his fault. Had he not asked Dad for a long drive, it would have not happened. Had he not asked Dad to drive a little faster, it would not have happened. Had he arranged some help at that time, they wouldn’t have died in front if his very own eyes.
It was all his fault and whosoever came to know about it, just consoled him, sympathized him and said that it was not at all his fault. But it was only out of pity. Their sympathies and consolations were just out of pity.
That is why he didn’t want to share it with her. There were already many people who pitied him and she too would become one of them. And he didn’t want it to happen. He didn’t want anyone’s pity.
But she was different. When she came to know of it, she said, “I agree with you. Its all your mistake. You are at fault. Its your mistake that Uncle and Aunty agreed to go for a long drive even after knowing that it was too late in the night. Its your mistake that the brakes failed. Its your mistake that there was no one so helpful to hospitalize your family.”
….”Grow up Neil, stop spoiling your present for your past. You know sometimes we want to cry hard forgetting everything and ending up in the deep chasm of darkness where not even a speck of light can enter.
But but but…… life never gives us everything we want. We just get those things we need desperately. And at that time you need light, bright light. Life gives you light to come out of the darkness. It gives you a reason, a hope to move on when all you want is to revert to the past and rectify your erratic deeds. At that point of time, you forget that once gone is gone forever. You forget that forgetting isn’t always needed. But forgiving is. You forget that past is past whether good one or bad and that present is a pleasant gift. Its all we need. Its all we have. Its all we can change……..
…..”Enough of philosophical classes now. Right?”, she asked smiling.
He concluded from her talks that she has grown up, matured. But what she said next made him doubt his conclusion. She became a child again and said, “You must be missing your Mom and Dad… I have a solution for it….”
He saw her face brightening.
“Since Mom and Dad consider you their son, you can call them your Mom and Dad. Right. I will tell mom and dad about it. They will be very happy.”
She was a child. And her childishness was the most beautiful thing about her. She was innocent and adorable.
And when they went back to her place, she really told Uncle and Aunty about it.
They just hugged him when she said that he should call them Mom and Dad.
She came and broke the hug.. “Did you forget me?”, she asked like a little baby.
They all laughed at her childishness. Samrat Dad and Piyali Mom hugged both of them together.
“Are you happy now?”, she asked still hugging Mom and Dad.
“But don’t you think that we are friends. We are still in the opposite teams. Got it.”, she said denying him the chance to answer her previous questions.
Sam woke up in the morning rubbing her eyes. She got ready and went in the lobby. Arjun was talking to someone over the phone. Radhika was going towards the kitchen. Sam too went behind her but someone caught hold of her wrist.
If it was Neil then Sam was not going to spare him. After what he said the previous night, how could he expect her to talk with him. He had hurt her. And she wasn’t going to forgive him so easily.
Thankfully it wasn’t him.
She turned around and saw Arjun smiling at her.
“What have you done to yourself?”, he asked putting his left arm around her left shoulder.
“What..?”, she asked. She didn’t know what was he talking about..
“You have lost so much weight….You are looking puny.”, he said in a criticizing tone.
She just stared him..
He then suddenly called Radhika.
“What happened?”, Radhika asked.
“Don’t you think Sam has lost weight?”, he asked Radhika.
“Yeah..but you noticed it now..?”, Radhika replied in an angry tone.
“Since she has lost some weight, why don’t you lend her some.”, he whispered teasingly.
Oh.. Was he calling Radhika fat? No.. Not again ..
“What do you mean?”, Radhika said nearing them. She seemed to be very cross at Arjun’s stupid remark.
“I just mean that Sam needs to gain kilos and you…… need to loose them.” Arjun was again after Radhika. He won’t change.
Sam tried to interrupt but..
“Did I seek your advice? And why does it matter you.. Me gaining or losing kilos?” Radhika asked.
“It matters me, I don’t want anyone to tell me that my wife is fat or obese…”, Arjun answered calmly.
What did he do? He called her fat.. Radhika couldn’t tolerate anyone pointing a finger at her and he just called her obese. Why was he intent on spoiling his marital life.
“I am not your wife.”, she hollered.
“You are going to be…”, he shot back.
“I hate you Arjun.. I hate you to the core…”, Radhika replied pejoratively and went inside their room.
“Look you have hurt her..”, Sam jerked away Arjun hand from her shoulder and stared him angrily.
“I was just teasing her…”, he replied innocently.
“Oh really.. And if your teasing is over then go and apologise.”, she said pointing her index finger to the room Radhika just went in..
“As you say.. Princess..”, he bowed his head as if she really was the princess ordering him to go and fight the war.
“Go now…”, she said pushing him.
Radhika came into the room and looked into the mirror. Was she really fat? Had she gained kilos.. She heard the ruffle of footsteps. It must be Sam.
“Sam can you give me some tips to lose these extra kilos…”, she asked Sam still looking into the mirror.
“So you admit that you are fat…”, the reply was immediate, deep and low.
And she recognized the voice.. Arjun.
He hugged her from behind and burrowed his face into her neck.
“I am not talking to you…”, she replied trying not to sound affected by his proximity..
“Really..?”, he asked amused.
She just nodded her head in a yes.
“Alright. I thought to help you. But since you are not talking…..”
“You can help me?”, she asked excited..
“Yes.. I have a wonderful idea which will benefit us both”, he whispered gravelly.
“What…?” , she asked looking in his eyes through the mirror.
“Let me eat you……”, he muttered huskily in her ear.
She felt her cheeks heating up with the effect of his words. Her cheeks bloomed pink.
“Arjun….”, she pushed him hard trying to free herself but he didn’t let go of her.
“I wanna taste you… Can I?”, he said planting small snogs behind her earshell..
“Arjun…”, she averted her face to the other side..
He loosened his hold on her waist and stepped back.
“Be swift.. After breakfast I have to drop you home.”
His hands which were around her waist just a few seconds ago, were now in the pockets of his trousers.
He pulled away again. Radhika sighed and went out..
Arjun was standing alone in the room. He wondered why he always lost his senses around her. He wanted her to be in his arms forever but whenever she was in his arms, he just lost his senses and acted like fools..
He cursed himself for being so stupid and went outside. He decided that next time he won’t lose his self control.
Soon the crazy freaks parted ways only to meet again and entangle their lives forever.
None of them knew what life had in store for them. They just hoped that life would give them pleasant surprises.
But life is life..
It isn’t smooth always…
Neither is it rough for too long….
Arjun dropped Radhika at her place and went to his home… He didn’t want to work today. He was just lost in her thoughts. Never wanting to let her go.. But at the same time, he did not want to make a fool out of himself in front of her.
He didn’t realize that her every antic made him crazy. Made him fall deep.. Deeper in love with her.
Sorry sorry sorry…. For the late update. This part was almost NeSam.
Am thinking to post ArDhika part separately. But but but… I can’t post the next part until 20th of March. Though pre boards are over but board exam are gonna start by 2nd of March and I won’t be able to study if I try to post the next part. Hope you all will understand and won’t forget me and my story till then…
I was going down that day and was acting too much melodramatic… But but but… Its me.. The one and only….’anu’ and nothing can upset me for long…..
So as usual I got on the right track soon…. Thank you so much dearies for your concern. Love you truckloads…
I got too much philosophical that day….
It happens at times. The philosopher inside me wakes up..
Bye Dearies….. Am really sorry as I can’t post the next part soon..
But pls pls pls.. Leave your valuable feedback… I will more than happy to read your comments if I get time…