Story : Friendship or Love (Chapter 6)

Chapter 6 [Realize]
……
Wanted to visit all those places where he lost it,
Her love, faith, trust and every li’l bit.
Can he go back and pray?
And get those things he missed on his way?
……
Sam was getting restless with each passing moment. She was going to get married in a day. Today was the prenuptial ritual. She was waiting for Arjun and Radhika to come. Neil had finally decided that he wouldn’t bless her with his presence at her wedding.
Neil.

She was still stuck on him. She had told Adarsh that he would never be able to get her as his wife as she would never be able to love him. He understood that she loved someone else. But who? That was something only Sam knew.
It was a week since she last saw him. He hadn’t attended any ritual. He said he was with Radhika. Helping her out of her gloominess.
Radhika was devastated. So was Arjun. She had threatened both of them to come today. She wanted them to patch up. She wanted them to be happy.
She had tried calling him too. But he didn’t answer. It was as if he was ignoring her. She could feel it.
She wasn’t happy. Yet she tried to be.
She was crying. Yet she tried not to.

She missed him. But seemed like it was just her.
A swarm of something indescribable passed through her body leaving her in a frenzy. It shook her to the core and her heart went running up and down haphazardly.
She leaned on the window sill turning to nature for immediate rescue from the weird sensation electrifying her. Sighing heavily she closed her eyes, inhaling a deep breath.
She picked the car keys and got out of her room. Everyone was asleep. They were tired due to the ongoing preparations for hers and Abhay’s marriage.

Piyali and Samrat and finally agreed to get Abhay married. Anshita and Abhay had themselves decided that they won’t abort the baby. Sam respected them for that.
Unbelievingly, Abhay was trying for a job. He had got a contractual one at a newly opened Automobile Company. They had given him the task of supervising the designs and checking the efficiency of the spare parts like the engine. Last night, he was keenly yapping about the engine he had recently modified. Apparently, the designs of the engine his company was using were old ones. The efficiency of the engine was 580hp or so. She couldn’t remember the details.
She remembered him telling them how he suggested to use a diesel engine instead of the one running on petrol. He further said that the designs were lacking something and after his so called extensive research, he had found that the company wanted to launch a new car for the people who preferred to travel in the night. Travelling at night in a city like theirs, usually lead to accidents. So he suggested the use of GPS and highly advanced sensors to help the drivers locate anything which could lead to an accident.

Sam felt he was bluffing. Anyone could suggest the methods he suggested. But as went on with his story of how he too felt the same at their stupidity, she couldn’t help being suspicious.
……………
I was lost and you knew.
I turned to you, but you flew.
………
Neil cussed. Frustration was something he couldn’t take at all. He was always the one with a short temper. Earlier, she was there to pull him out of the mess he would create. But now. No she. No saviour. Nothing. All he now had was zilch. An absolute zero.
Last week, he had talked to Piyali and lost her. If once was not enough, he lost his mother twice. The first time, on that night. And the second time was the previous week.
He still remembered what she had said.
“Since when Neil? Since yesterday or since this morning? And please do tell me when your love for her will fade away?” Piyali snapped when he told her that he loved Sam.
He was hurt that she said that. She was his mother after all. She was the
only one who knew why he was where he was right now.

But seemed liked she wasn’t finished with her queries.

“Oh. Are you tired of stringing around sluts? Do you want to try out some new flavour? If so, please spare my daughter, Neil.” She said, tears forming in her eyes.
That hurt. Sighing, he closed his eyes not wanting to be vulnerable in front of her. His mom. Who didn’t understand him. But he knew she was being a mother. Someone he had lost long ago. She was afraid for her daughter. He respected that.
But his heart sank realizing he lost her. First was Prerna and now he lost her too. Was he too bad a son?
“But he doesn’t deserve her.” He replied curt and short.
“So do you. You are no different.”
And that was the final blow.

He left Khanna Residence immediately but not before saying, “Was a fool to think you were her. Another mistake was to believe that you would understand what I did and where I came from.”
They both knew who he was referring to. Prerna.
Watching his retreating figure, she wallowed in self-pity. She pitied herself that he could never be her son. How could he? When she had hurt him bad.
But it maimed to know he had really took her for his mother. He could never give away Prerna’s place to anyone. And it broke her to know he had really crowned her with Prerna’s position.
He respected her. And what did she do?

Her knees wobbled and her throat convulsed. She sobbed.
Prerna was a great mom. A great person. She had helped Sam many a times. And this was how she was repaying her best friend. Piyali mocked her own self.
She knew he was devastated after their death. And that too, that he considered himself to be their murderer.

She felt being watched while her heart said a single name.
Prerna.
“What do I do?” She asked Prerna’s presence who would, by now, be broken to see Piyali doing this to her son.
She had never wanted to say such words. But recalling her daughter’s lifeless form in Samrat’s arms when she poured her heart out sobbing over Neil, Piyali had snapped at Neil when he said he loved her. It was too late for him to realize. It hurt to see Sam trying to move on from him and sacrifice everything for her mother and brother. The two people who had never given her what she deserved.
……….

He drifted away when she came ashore.
He did sway when she wished for more.
……..
Radhika cried. It was useless though. Squandering her time over him. It wasn’t fair on her part. He hadn’t even once tried to apologise.
But as she thought of the possible reasons, she felt something stab her heart hard.

There were two possibilities out there which as much as they seemed unrealistic, could be true.
The first was that he never took her for a friend. That he had always played her around. That what he showed her was just an act. An act that lasted for about fifteen long years ’cause that was the time they had been best friends for.
It seemed now that the words their self mocked her. It hurt. The ambivalence he showed on his part.
Though she knew how much of an uncaring and indifferent jerk he was, she still was stuck onto him. She still was crying over his hurtful and false accusations.
Good lord.

She has changed a lot. A lot more than necessary. She wasn’t like this earlier. She was one strong willed and courageous lady. She was very much affected about her self-esteem. The one thing he had hurt the worst.
Reflecting back on how she reacted to his allegations, she cursed herself for spilling out her secret. Her true feelings for him which she had long hidden. Which she didn’t feel the need to disclose. Yet she spilled them out. Why?

Because she was frustrated as he didn’t understand her. He didn’t know of her never ending internal battles. And he would never. He wouldn’t understand how her brain functioned. How it co-ordinated with her heart to pull her out of a mess. But this time, her heart had betrayed her. And so did brain. She was unable to keep a check on those traitors. They both had betrayed her.
The second reason for his so called absence was much more dreadful. She did not want to think about it. Yet she knew that it could be true. She knew what it meant. The second reason was more plausible. More solid. Having known him for years, her heart said it wasn’t him accusing her, but his frustration.
Yeah right. Her mind mocked.

Whatever it was, him, his anger or his frustration, he had hurt her real bad and there was no denying.
But deep down she knew he would have long ago realized his mistake. And that was the reason he couldn’t come up to her. He wasn’t the one to express his emotions easily. He just couldn’t go on expressing everything which bubbled inside him.
He was always the calm and collected one. Even if one would throw him into a raging storm, all he would do will be blinking of his eyes and a small smug smile playing on his lips. There would be no desperation in his eyes, mind, or soul.

He was the one to tame his anger and frustration very well. He never showed his anger, frustration in front of anyone else.
Not in front of Sam. Or in front of Neil. Or in front of his beloved mother.
Yet she had seen it. She had seen him vulnerable. She had seen him angry. Frustrated. Upset. Broken. Susceptible.
As rare it was, she had always been at the receiving end of his anger and frustration. And she was the only one to calm him. It was only her who could soothe him and tame his temper.
All in all, she was the only one to see his other side.

With this information came a realization which struck her as hard as lightening.
Everything made sense now. His sweetness. His anger. Everything fell into place.
It was years ago when he had started pulling back from her. It was years ago since he started being like this to her. Years s
ince he unanimously came closer to her.
It was weird that she was realizing this all when he was away. When he had hurt her.
Though she was hurt but thinking about what she had so spontaneously realized sent a deep sense of euphoria all over her.
He loved her.

She was ecstatic. Happy that her love wasn’t unrequited.
“He loves me.” She said aloud to herself. A strange happiness coloured her soul. Her heart fluttered. Her heartbeats increased and a smile crept on her previously tired, puckered and haggard face.
She laid down on her bed hugging Jay. Her pastime buddy, her sobbing partner, her first crush. Her big brown, cute and soft teddy bear, Jay.

“He loves me Jay. He loves me. He loves me.” She said repeatedly hugging the big eyed brownie bear.
Jay seemed happy too. She nuzzled his cute little nose and kissed it saying,”I am so happy, Jay.”
But then. Cold water.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid Radhika.
How could he love her? He probably didn’t.
Because if he did, he wouldn’t have said what he said. He wouldn’t have dared to hurt her. He would have understood her instead of calling her desperate and slutty. He would have cared for her. Understood her pain.

Because one could never hurt his loved ones. He should have thought about her.
But did he? No. He didn’t. Then why was she intent on thinking about the same man who had hurt her self-esteem? Why was she being happy at the thought of his reciprocating her love?
……….
Adarsh smiled looking at her photograph he had taken the other day when they went on their seventh date. She was smiling wide while hugging a kid. They were in the park and he had taken her picture without her noticing it.
Cliché. He knew.

But she was cute. Pretty. Beautiful.
Her black wavy hair which just reached her hipbones were pulled up in a tight messy bun.
She was wearing a complete outgoing look. Her jean clad legs were bent and her long slender hands were busy caressing the kid’s back. She looked so serene.

An epitome of peace and tranquillity. A storehouse of never ending smiles.
A small smile kept playing at his lips while he stared at the photo.
“Adarsh.” A highly nasal voice boomed the corridor and he exited the gallery keeping his phone under his pillow while he acted seeming to be lost somewhere.

Way to vaporise his once in a lifetime happy moment.
“Have you told her?” She asked as soon as she closed his bedroom door.
His head jerked up in her direction and she dragged her feet towards him.
“Not yet.” He said looking directly into her grey eyes.

Sighing she sat beside him. Her right hand went up in his hair on its own accord and she caressed his face.
“When are you planning to? Tomorrow’s your wedding and she is still unaware of our plans.” She asked taking his hands in hers.

“I donno. Maybe in the evening. She will be enjoying with her family now and I don’t want to disturb her quality time.” He replied honestly.
Her brows raised in question and he fought his urge to roll his eyes. She was so dramatic sometimes. Yet he still loved her like before.
“You care for her.” Her tone was accusing and hurt.

She got up from beside him and went towards the door without kissing his forehead and ruffling his hair.
She always did that. It was annoying but at times like this, he missed it. He respected her. He loved her.
Sighing, he said loud enough for her to hear, “Fine Mom, I’ll call her. But let me freshen up before that.”
She nodded and left him alone.
………
She was there when he needed her.
She was there when he pleaded her.
…….

She was here. Sitting on his bed beside him. Caressing his hair. He could feel it. Her warmth. Her sweet intoxicating fragrance engulfed him. She was finally here. She was here…
He opened his eyes blinking and saw her smiling that beautiful smile of hers.
He smiled in return. It was his first smile in more than a month’s time. She was here. He snuggled closer to her. Hugged her tight. But as soon as hugged her, she disappeared.
She hadn’t forgiven him yet. He cringed.

He hallucinated her. An illusion of her smiling at him was far better than the guilt pricking his heart.
He tried inhaling her inexistent scent.
What was he doing?
Getting up, he slowly treaded towards the washroom. Brushing his teeth, he felt he saw her again. In the mirror. Standing behind him with a mischievous smile of hers.
f**k. What in hell’s name was he doing?

Thinking that he had no control over his mind, he cursed out aloud and punched the mirror.
Really Arjun?
The glass broke with a shattering sound. He picked up the biggest shard of glass and kept it on the basin. Looking into it, he realized he was going to turn mad. Punching the shard again, he went into the shower.
He turned the faucet on. Cold water gushed down his hair. Closing his eyes, he hung his head low and whispered her name with an unexplainable delicacy. He was pained. Grieving.
Water flowed down his face, unto his chest and then down his torso. His right hand, which he had earlier used as his weapon was bleeding. But it didn’t matter.
Nothing else mattered. Except her.

Realizing his love for her was damn hard but heart-warming as well. Believing he could love her righteously was not so convincing.
But what could he do? Other than harrowing helplessly for her. Other than regretting his every action.
What could he probably do?

He cringed at the realization that she was making him do things he never thought of. She brought out those emotions in him which he couldn’t tame. She was turning him into a lovesick pup roaming behind her wagging his tail. She made him loose his self-control. She was making him go mad at the thought of her being away. She was unknowingly arousing the demon inside him. The wild uncontrollable animal he had very difficultly learnt to tame. She was invoking his inner devil who wanted to possess her wholly and completely.

But he knew not to. Though she was brave, courageous and determined, she was delicate and fragile in her own way. She was strong yet feeble. And he didn’t want to hurt her.
Hurt her. A low chuckle rumbled inside his throat at the irony. Hadn’t he hurt her enough?
His phone buzzed from in the room. Cursing, he took the towel and hung it around his abdomen.
The phone rang again. f**k. Who was such an idiot to disturb him early in the morning?

Coming out of the bathroom, he picked his currently buzzing phone.
“Who is it?” He snapped not minding to check who was on the other side.
“Good morning, grumpy pants.” Came a cheerful voice from the other side.
His previously tensed up body relaxed and he felt a little better hearing her voice.
“How are you, Princess?” He asked softly.

“I called just to remind you that your best friend is getting married tomorrow. So, respected Saint Shri Arjun Ji would you be able to bless her with your presence today and tomorrow too?” She snapped sarcastically.

And then a long dreadful pause.
He didn’t reply. He didn’t want to go out of his hell-hole. But didn’t want to upset her either.
“Listen you idiotic douche bag, if I don’t see you at my place till ten a.m. , then pray for your safety cause I am going to raid your hell-hole. And Do. Not. Take. Me. Lightly.” She warned.
“Hmm.”
“Arjun.” She snapped.
“Stop humming and get your lazy butt here at my place before I decide to sue you.” She said, irritation visible in her voice.

Had it been some other time, he would have laughed at her impossible nature. But he wasn’t going to.
“Princess, she too will be there. I can’t…” He reasoned softly.
“You can’t avoid her forever. Man up, muster some courage and open your heart to her.” She told him honestly.
“I will get married once. Maybe. So you wouldn’t miss it for the world. Right?” She asked silently warning him about the consequences of his absence.

………..
“Has he joined?” She asked as she sat in front of him. The chair was old and its leg would break anytime.
The room they were in was old. The wallpaper was falling off. The fan made an eerie noise as it rotated about its axis. The curtains were drawn even though they were alone.
She looked at him. He had brown eyes, just like hers. His hair were black and fell over his forehead. He was handsome. No doubt.

His hands were on the armrest of the chair he was sitting on.
“Yeah. He is a stupid. After all he is her brother.” He chuckled evilly.
“But won’t they be suspicious?” She asked trying to be careful.
They had to be very discreet. No one could know about their plan. Yet she laughed. It was true though. Samaira Khanna was stupid.

“No worries. Even if she is suspicious and warns Abhay, he won’t pay heed to her.” He said confidently.
“How are you so sure?” She asked bewildered. Why wouldn’t he believe her? He was her brother for God’s sake.
“He has some unsolved issues with her. And I am more than willing to use them for our use.” He stated.
He looked at her. She had brown eyes. Just like him. Her hair were brown too. Her face shone with happiness. But then, a frown marred her face. Her eyebrow shot up confused. Yeah. She was confused and beautiful too.

Though confused, she did not pry.
“Just be safe.” She said getting up. It was time for her to go. He didn’t want her to go. He wanted to lay his head in his lap while she caressed his face. It was soothing. Her touch and her voice too.
“Yeah. You too be safe.” Hugging her, he turned around to leave but he said something which made her halt. “I will miss you.” There. He had finally said it. It was a long time since he wanted to say that. And today he had finally did it. He patted himself and went away.

She was shocked. Surprised. Flagger basted. It was the closest to him saying ‘I love you.’ She smiled. For how long had she waited for this moment? To hear it from his mouth. Rolling the words on her tongue, she grinned wider now. Shaking her head a little, she too went away without turning back.
…………
(Past)

She couldn’t believe it. They had hidden it from her for a long time. What was she? Ten? That she couldn’t handle it.
She would have been hurt but lesser than what she was now. She would have cried, that was sure yet she would have composed herself. But now, she was going feverish. Fanatic. It pained. Her heart hurt. And head spinned. She couldn’t take it now. She had trusted them all and they had hidden it from her. Didn’t she deserve it? An opportunity to see them for the last time. Would it have killed them to tell her?

Atleast it would have saved her from this guilt. Remorse and regret. It would have saved her all those nights when she dreamt of seeing them, hugging them, and being able to talk to them. It would have definitely saved her from the pain she was feeling now.
Sand slipped from her hand. And she realized she had lost the chance. The last chance to see them.
In the morning, she had been mature and consoled him. But looking around, she realized there was no one to console her. No one to take her pain away. No one to tell her that everything could be fine.
They were her mentors. Her friends. The reason of her optimism. Her motivation. Her everything. And she had lost them. How selfishly she had declined their request to meet. Her last chance.
Seeing the flowing river in front of her, she lost herself in their memories.
Her sweet, angelic face and his loving, caring voice.
It hurt immensely but no tears came. She stood up and took a step towards the water. It was cold. The night was cold. Everyone was cold. They were cold-hearted. Her parents and besties too. Everyone was selfish. Mean. Standing in the ice cold water she closed her eyes and willed herself to cry. To pour her heart out to the moon, the stars. To the dark night. Yet none came.

She tentatively took a step forward. A few steps and there were chances of her flowing with the water. Chances of her drowning in the ice cold water. Chances of her death. Atleast then, she could see them. Or maybe hug them. Talk to them. And see them smile. Her Prerna aunty and Shiv uncle. Those whom she had been snatched the right of seeing for the last time.

“Hey. What are you doing?” A distant voice asked.
Turning around, she saw a dark figure running towards her. The face wasn’t visible due to the darkness of the night, but it seemed to be a man.
Now what had she done to him?
She turned towards the water and stepped forward. The water now reached her mid-thighs.
“Hey. Stop. Don’t go in there. The water’s deep.” The voice, now nearer than before, said.
She stopped abruptly. What was she doing? Trying to kill herself? They hadn’t taught her so. Extreme shame engulfed her and she stepped back. They hadn’t taught her to be such a coward to give up her life. She had disappointed them. She took another step backward.

She mentally thanked the stranger to have saved her from what she was going to.
Two more steps backward and she was standing at the edge of the river. The water now touching her ankles. Her jeans were wet. But her face wasn’t.
“Are you mad?” The guy asked as he approached her.
“I wasn’t going to suicide.” She said ignoring his question.
“Sure you weren’t.” He said standing behind her.

He looked at her. This girl was mad. She was definitely going to kill herself. The river would have taken her away had she stepped a little further.
He couldn’t understand why people tried to kill themselves. There were a number of deaths occurring due to accidents, murders, diseases and the natural reasons too. Was it necessary to increase the death toll only to give immense pain to your beloved ones?

She felt a familiarity in his voice. It was as if she had known him for a long time. Idiotic. This guy here, saved her from taking a wrong step and she instead of thanking him was keen on his familiarity.
“Alright. I was going to. But thanks for stopping me.” She said turning around.
His ears perked up at her confession. But her face, gave him another wave of shock. Samaira. Was she really going to suicide? Why? What had happened?
Her breath hitched in her throat. Neil. What was he doing here?

She abruptly moved forward not wanting to disclose anything. They were his parents and yet whenever she asked him about them, he had answered in monosyllables. She was suspicious yet she never tried to contact them. The last time she had talked to them was two years ago, over the phone. Now as she thought about it, she realized how foolishly she had believed them. That they weren’t here. That they were abroad and thus couldn’t contact her. It all seemed childish but she had blindly believed them.
He could have told her. But he didn’t. He knew how much she respected them. Loved them. Yet he didn’t.

“Not so fast, sweetheart.” He said catching her elbow and turned her around.
“Leave me, Neil.” She said, trying to loosen his hold.
“Not before you give me some answers.” He said pulling her closer.

“I don’t want to.” She snapped.
“The f**k you don’t want to.” He shot back.
“What the hell was going on in that useless brain of yours?” He asked.
“Leave me, Neil. Let go.” She pleaded.
“Answer me, Samaira.” He asked annoyed. Grabbing her jaw, he turned her face towards him.
“It’s hurting.” She said when he didn’t leave her.

His eyes, full of anger locked with hers, and glued her to the ground.
“Leave me.” She spat.
“Did you think about the pain they would bear, when they would come to know about your… death?” He said the last word softly. It wasn’t easy for him to think about death after theirs’. He left her abruptly.
Knowing that he was referring to her parents, Arjun and Radhika, her blood boiled.

“Pain. My foot. Did they think about the pain I am going through right now, when they decided to hide that… incident from me? Did they think about how much it is hurting me? Did they think about the amount of guilt and regret I am feeling?” She asked clutching the collar of his shirt.
Tears brimmed down her eyes as she punched his chest. Tears. They decided to flow now.
His body stiffened at her question. He knew she loved his parents, but he never thought she would break down this bad. That she would be so vulnerable.
“No. They didn’t. Then why should I? Why should I be the selfless one?” She asked him softly leaving his collar.
“Why me?” She asked again stepping back.

“Sam.” He called softly. She stopped. But her tears didn’t. Her hands went to her mouth to muffle her sobs and he treaded towards her.
He enveloped her in a hug, caressing her hair. Soothing her. Trying to ease her pain. To lighten her sobs. But her cries didn’t waver. She cried in his embrace.
“Why couldn’t they call me? Just one call would have been enough. They could have said that th… they were sick. I would have come running.” She rambled.

“We thought you wouldn’t handle it. You loved them. It would have broken you.” He explained.
She cried. She knew he was right. After a few seconds, she replied,” That would have been less painful. Atleast I could have seen them. For the last time. Could have touched them. Hugged them. Atleast I wouldn’t be feeling guilty and regretful now.” She sobbed hugging him tight.
Neil felt something pierce his heart. It was his mistake. His fault. Had he been a bit mature, he wouldn’t have lost them. He was nineteen for f**k’s sake. He could have been mature. He shouldn’t have acted childishly.
“I am sorry.” He confessed trying to step back.
“It’s my fault. I am really sorry. It’s my mistake.” He continued.

What was he saying? She looked up at his face. He was hurt, ashamed and guilty?
No. No. No. He couldn’t go back there. He wasn’t at fault. She wasn’t blaming him but herself. But knowing him, she decided to not use the traditional approach and soothe him.
“Oh really?” She sneered as he took a step back.
“Tell me how you killed them. Strangled them? Smothered them? Shot them? Or murdered them brutally? Tell me?” She asked wiping her tears.
He froze.

“Cat caught your tongue?” She queried. “Ashamed to confess now?” She stepped forward.
“Aw. Don’t have any answer?” She mocked. “Then don’t guilt yourself of something you didn’t do.” She snapped. “You ain’t a kid. Stop blaming yourself. It wasn’t your mistake. It was our…. fate.” She spoke softly.
And then she broke down into tears. She cried hard. After a few minutes, she composed herself. Wiped her tears and looked up at him. Her eyes were swollen.
“You drink. Right? Does it help?” She asked suddenly.

He wondered what she was upto now.
“Does it lessen the pain?” She asked again.
What? She couldn’t probably mean it. She wouldn’t drink. It was so unlike her.
“Listen Sam, I don’t think…” She cut him in the middle. “Does it? Yes or no?” She enunciated.
“Just a little bit.” He surrendered.

She turned around and started walking towards her car. He came running behind her.
“Where are you going now?” He asked bewildered at her abrupt mood swings.
“To ‘Sinner’s’.” She said referring to the only bar she knew around here. Having said that, she tried unlocking her car. She needed a drink down her throat. Maybe more than one.
He snatched the keys from her hand. “The hell you are.” He said and grabbed her right arm dragging her to his Aston Martin.

Opening the window, he pushed her in the car and buckled her seatbelt ignoring her frantic assaults on him.
“What are you doing?” She asked fanatically as he seated himself on the driver’s. She tried to unlock the car, but he put it on child lock. As he put the car in reverse, she cried shocked, “My car.”
“Will get it in the morning.” He assured her.

“Where are we going?” She queried exasperated. She was tired from all the struggling. All she wanted to do was gulp down a large amount of alcohol and then curl up in her soft bed.
Her bed. No. She wasn’t going back home tonight. She would stay at a hotel. Yeah right idea.
“My place.” He answered softly bringing her out of her haze.
“No.” She shrieked.
He felt his eardrum vibrating so hard that it would burst.
“Calm your horses. Am not gonna rape you.” He joked.

“No. No. No. I want to go to the Sinner’s. I want to get drunk. Do you get that? Drive me there. I want to get drunk.” She shouted.
“You ain’t going to that place. You can drink at my place.” He coaxed. He wouldn’t let her drink much. He had to get her at his home first. If she went to the bar, there were chances of her getting extremely drunk and high and doing something she would later regret heavily.
“You have drinks at your home?” She asked calming down.
He nodded.
….

He poured her a glass of beer but she grabbed the bottle itself.
“Sam, think again. It is just a temporary solution to your problems.” He cajoled trying to change her decision.
“No worries.” She said drinking a sip through the bottle. The effect was immediate. Her eyes turned red and her throat burned. Her head spinned. She took a big gulp of beer now. Her eyes started to sting and she went on blabbering.

“You see, Neil, they wanted to meet me as soon as possible.” She said and he knew she was talking about his parents.
Another shot down. And then another. Another. She had gulped half the contents of the beer bottle.
“They wanted me to do them a favour. I asked them to tell me over the phone.” She continued now slurring between her words.

“They said it was very important and they wanted to tell me in person. That was the first time they had asked anything from me and what did I do?” She asked and took another big gulp from the bottle.
“I being the selfish b***c I am, did not try to come and meet them. Had a project going on. Told them I would come later. And that later never came. I took them for granted.” She sobbed.
Neil took the bottle from her hand and put it over the counter.

“Let’s put you in the bed.” He said putting her left arm around his neck. His right hand circled her waist while both of their left hands were clasped together.
“I want to drink.” Sam pouted. She was feeling light headed. So alcohol does help. She concluded.
He ignored her protest and kept on dragging her towards the bedroom. She was heavy. She didn’t look like though.
“Come on, Sam.” He encouraged.
..

She was in a room. Alone. And then he passed by near the window. She smiled seeing him. And he went away.
She was alone again.

Another shadow passed by the window. She did not recognise it. She turned around to have a proper look at the room. It was old. The wallpaper was falling off. Above, the fan made an indistinguishable noise. In the centre of the room, were two chairs. Their legs on the verge of breaking. There was an old bed at one corner of the room. The bedsheet was new. There were two pillows kept at the edge of the bed alongside the black fluffy blanket. There was an A.C. too. But it made horrible noise while water continuously dripped from it.

The door behind her, creaked open. A tall guy with brown eyes and black hair entered the room and sauntered towards her. He was good looking but gave off a negative vibe.
“Sweetheart, now that you are here let’s not waste our time.” He said pulling her towards him.
“What are you doing?” She asked stuttering.

“Don’t act so naive.” He said and leaned closer.
“What… what are you talking about?” She asked pushing him away.
He staggered but then came near her again.

“Enough of this. Let’s get to work now.” He spoke annoyed and dragged her towards the wall.
She wriggled and wiggled, trying to save herself but he didn’t let go. She tried kneeing him ‘where the sun doesn’t shine’ but he pushed her to the wall and plastered his front on hers. She tried to scream next. A wild shriek left her throat alerting him. He caught her both hands in his right one and kept them over their heads. Leaning in, he grabbed her chin towards him and kissed her.
She struggled but he overpowered her. He kissed her rough and hard, biting her lips, pushing himself on her. She tried resisting, fighting back but he won as his left hand travelled down her shoulder and on her waist.

Hot tears streamed down her face as his hand slipped inside her shirt and travelled up her stomach to her br*asts. His lips now no longer on hers, were busy kissing her jawline and then her neck. He didn’t mind those tears rolling down her cheeks as he kept on forcing himself on her.
She lost the battle. She stopped struggling. She stopped screaming and fighting back. She gave in. To him. To her fate.

He sensed her defeat and stopped for a second. Then looking at her tear-stricken face, he said, “Good girl.”
She thought he was done. But he wasn’t. His mouth again found hers and his hands, now both available, went up and down her body.
She felt disgusted. She wanted to puke. She wanted to wash her body with something which would clean all the traces of his filthy touch.

He wasn’t satisfied yet. His one hand went to her shorts and in a single tug, he pulled them down. She gasped and then cried more. He didn’t falter. Instead he kept on staring at her legs. She clasped her legs together.
“No need to hide from me, sweetheart.” He said smiling that evil smile of his.
His pulled her shirt out next. Her hands immediately went to cover her body while a sudden desperation filled her. With another wave of hot tears flowing down her cheeks, she pleaded him. Begged him. To leave her. To let her go.

“Please. Don’t do this. Please let me go. Please.” She cried. But he didn’t listen.
He pulled her closer and started his assault on her again. He kissed her again. Rough and hard.
It disgusted her. She tried pushing him away. He grabbed her hair and bit her lip.
Dragging her with her hair, he pushed her on the bed and got on top of her and started kissing her again.
“Please. Let me go. Please.” She pleaded.

He ignored her yet again and went on kissing her whole body. She struggled, wiggled and wriggled but to no avail.
But when he stood up to remove his clothes, she got up from the bed hastily and made a dash towards the door. Having strong reflexes, he caught her elbow. She turned around and kicked him in the shin and ran towards the door and grabbed her shirt lying near the door. Getting out, she bolted the door and ran in the unknown. Behind, there were sounds of shouting and banging. She didn’t stop. Instead she kept on running. The road was lone. There was no one around.

That’s why no one came to help her. She ran with all her might, though the sounds were very distant now. She ran until she could no longer run. She stumbled and fell down. Breathing heavily, she looked at herself and then at her shirt which was miraculously still in her hand. She put it on hastily not wanting anyone to see her like this. Getting up she started running again until she reached a dead end. A dense forest.
She finally decided to tread into the forest. She stooped somewhere near a big banyan tree. Suddenly someone grabbed her arms and she started kicking, struggling trying to save herself.
Hot tears streamed down again while she kept on struggling.

“Sam.” Someone called her name. And she started kicking hard.
“Sam. Calm down. You are fine.” The voice said again. The voice was near. She shouted at her captor, “Leave me. Let go.”

“Sam. It’s me. Neil. Wake up.”
Neil. He was here. He was here earlier too near the window. He would save her. She struggled again kicking her captor.
“Wake up Sam.” He whispered shaking her hard.
But she didn’t. Instead she started kicking him wildly. Fresh tears streamed down her eyes and it pained him to see her like that.

He let go her at once and grabbed the jug of water he had previously kept on the table. Coming near the bed again he saw her still wiggling and crying. He abruptly poured the jug on her face. Her eyes flew open and she sat upright. He kept the jug near the bed and hugged her.
She was still crying. He soothed her.
“Shh. Its fine now. You are not hurt. It was a nightmare.” He cooed.
She kept on crying. He pulled her out of the hug and cupped her face. Her gaze lowered and head hung low. She was ashamed, but of what?

He wiped her tears and rubbed his thumbs under her eyes. She looked at him through her swollen eyelids.
“Want to talk about it?” He offered and she broke down feeling ashamed of herself. She could still feel his filthy hands on her. His mouth on her jawline, her neck. She could still feel the taste of her own blood. Neil hugged her again.
“Alright. We won’t talk about. Don’t cry. No one’s gonna hurt you.” He coaxed and kept on rubbing her back.

“Want to go home? You can talk to them if you want.” He offered.
“No.” She retaliated. Nobody knew about her nightmares and also she was not willing to meet them yet. “I don’t want to go there. Can I stay here until we leave for Delhi? Please?” She asked now calmer than before.
He nodded and got up to leave. “Take a shower and change into my clothes if you want. I will get your car and clothes.”

She got up too and held his hand. “Don’t tell them about it. And leave my car at their place. Will you?” She queried.
With a curt nod he left her in the room alone.
….
After he left, she went into the balcony. Sunlight pierced inside and she flinched. It was past noon. Had she slept till late? Must be the alcohol.

She then went towards his closet to take out some clothes. Searching through it, she found a crisp blue shirt hung around the hanger. She took it out and looked for the trousers. Fumbling through them, she found that all of them were not her size. They were too loose. She opened the other closet and saw piles of clothes kept neatly folded. They were his old clothes, she concluded searching through them. Being done, she took a short that would fit her. She arranged the other clothes as they were previously kept.
Then she went inside the shower ignoring the slight pounding of her head.
After brushing her teeth with the spare toothbrush she had found in his closet, she took a warm shower and changed into the blue shirt and the white shorts.

Stomping out of the washroom, she went inside the living room and crashed on the couch. The headache was increasing and so did her pain after looking at the photos of them hanging on the walls.
She closed her eyes and felt tears flowing. It hurt. Everything was a mess. Wasn’t it her fault to not pay heed to their request? Wasn’t it her who had decided to meet them after her project and then after her exams? Wasn’t it her who kept on delaying meeting them? Then why was she crying now? She had been selfish and now she was paying for it.

…….
When he came back home, he saw her lying lifelessly on the couch. She was wearing his clothes. Blue shirt and white nicker.
His blood boiled. She had opened his closet. And took out one of his most valuable things. He himself hadn’t dared to take out those old clothes. His clothes from when he was young. From when they were still alive. He would open the closet daily, touch the neatly arranged piles of clothes and remember how she used to scold him for throwing his clothes in his whole room. They were the last piles she had arranged.

Seeing her lying on the couch, he wanted to throttle her to death. But then he saw her face. Tear-stricken, tired and haggard. Her hands were holding her head and her eyes were close shut. Must be the headache.

He sympathised her. He too had taken to drinking and one night stands to lessen the pain. But nothing helped. He had realised it when he already regretted his actions. But he wouldn’t let her go there. Though he still kept on with those habits, he vowed not to let her go there.
He had promised them. And he would keep his promise forever. He wouldn’t let her fall.

He recalled the time when the air around him was metallic. And there was blood everywhere. They were in the front breathing hard. He ran out of the crushed car desperately shouting for help. Rain drenched him from head to toe but he kept on running fanatically.
“Neil. Come here son.” His father’s pained voice called him.
He had tried getting them out of the car. But with his puny and weak body, he wasn’t able to open the stuck door of the car. He ran towards them.

The air bags had come in action before the collision. But their injuries were major. They both had hurt their heads. Pieces of glass were pierced into their faces. Blood kept dripping. He was himself injured but that was nothing compared to what they were going through.
His father was bleeding profusely. While his mother was in deep pain. Yet they were holding hands. He cried seeing their love for each other. They had stopped fighting already. They had given up. He was trying to open the jammed door. But it didn’t work.

“Let it be, son.” His mother said. They had already called the authorities but they said that it would take them atleast an hour to reach them.
“Mom, dad. I am sorry. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have been so stubborn.” He cried.
They shook their heads smiling at him. “No it isn’t. It was bound to happen some day or other.” His father said.
He thought about what his father meant when his mother continued, “One has to die one day.”
“No. You aren’t going to die. They will be coming soon.” He enthused.

They smiled a sad one and his father held Neil’s hands in his.
“We won’t make it, son. And we want you to listen.”
“You will make it. You will be fine.”
“Neil, honey, hear us out. Alright?” His mother asked.

His heart pained to see his mother looking so pale and lifeless.
“Tell Sam that we love her. Give her my closet keys.” His mother said while his father smiled.
His anger rose. At a time like this, they were still thinking of her.
Shiv seemed to read his thoughts so he squeezed his hand in assurance.
“We are glad to have you as your son. We both love you, Neil.”

“Don’t take it the other way son, but promise us you will be with her. Always. And don’t let her fall.” His father said looking at him lovingly.
He couldn’t understand what they meant. His mother explained.
“Sam is a sweet girl. But she has been through her share of ups and downs. Be with her when we aren’t.”
“But mom… dad….”
….

Neil sighed as he came out of the memory lane. Taking one last look at her tear stricken face, he kept the luggage near the door itself and went straight into the kitchen.
She seemed to be aware of the noise coming from the kitchen as she opened her eyes.
“Neil, is it you?” She asked the obvious.
He sauntered back towards the couch and handed her a white round tablet. He was holding a glass of water.
“What’s it?” She asked as he tried passing her the tablet.

“Gulp it down.” He replied curt and short.
The nerve of him. Why should she? It could be anything. She hadn’t lost her senses.
He saw her shaking her head vigorously. She wouldn’t comply. He thought bitterly. He kept the glass on the stool and grabbed her jaw, flinging her mouth open. He popped inside the tablet and then made her drink water.
Everything happened so swiftly that she didn’t get the chance to protest. Her eyes watered immediately and he got up.
“Will help with the hangover.” He said sauntering lazily into the kitchen.
Jerk. Could have told her earlier. Idiot. Douche. Stupid.

“I have brought your clothes. You can change into them if you want to.” He hollered from the kitchen.
“Nah. These are far more comfortable than mine.” She sing sang.
He smiled a little at her childishness. She came into the kitchen.
“What are you doing?” She asked when she saw him gathering the veggies.
“Making lunch.” He replied while chopping the tomatoes.
She jumped and sat on the counter. Her legs dangling down.
“I don’t like onions.” She mused.
“I know.”

“Uh. Can I help you?” She asked politely.
“Yeah. Do me one favour. Keep sitting wherever you are and don’t touch anything.”
Her cheeks burned. She felt humiliated. She wanted to chop him just like he was chopping those tomatoes. But she kept her calm. “But that makes two.” She said instead.
“Oh. Shut up. Will you?” He asked irritated.
Seeing him angry, she mentally patted herself and danced happily. Then, she kept mum.
She watched him cook. While he chopped the veggies furiously, she saw his muscles flex. He wasn’t bad afterall, she concluded.
…….…
Heyaa dearies. I said I would post after September, but couldn’t. so here it is.
Tell me what you think about it. There’s a lot to the story. But I think I won’t be able to do it so well. I feel like I am dragging the story. I am still stuck to ArDhika’s fight and Sam’s marriage. It’s a month. In the story, yet feels like the same, right?

Sorry it has been more than two months since I updated this. I was busy updating Being Me.
And Jessie, I hope you like it. Sorry, I kept you waiting.
………….
There’s a lot more to Sam’s and Neil, much more to Sam’s past and with Adarsh in the picture, I promise the plot will be interesting, but can’t guarantee about my presentation.
……..
Love you all. Be happy. Smile. Enjoy life. Be the one to help others. I know I said it earlier. But guys, if you see someone upset, try bringing a smile on their face. If you feel someone’s sinking, try lending a hand and pull them out.

Depression isn’t something to be ashamed of. Neither something to mock and make fun of. Don’t close up, speak up, say something. Visit a counsellor, if you can’t talk to known ones.
…….
Am saying cause I know. Have been there. Am still struggling. So dear lovely people, get up, be happy, make others happy.
………..
And those, locked in their own shells, come out, talk. Someone will definitely understand.
…..
Sry for the low key note, but had to write. Want to help.
See u in the comment section. Till then.
Bye. Take care. Be hearty and healthy. Happy. Smile.
…..
Yours
anu
…..

23 comments

  1. amita

    wow anu superb chappy yr……….m so so happy u came.back yr….boht wait kraya apne………..n Sam dream scary yr……. awesome update will eagerly wait for next plz be update soon

  2. Jessie

    |Registered Member

    Anu.. U updated.. Yippee.. am so happy.. I missed catching Being me.. So sorry dear.. will catch it soon… I ws surprised when I saw d story name.. 2 updates.. ! wow.. Just now read the OS.. now gonna read this too.. Will read n comment.

    • Jessie

      |Registered Member

      Anuuuu…. Chalo.. Bear hugs.. you gave a lengthy one !! u made our wait a worthy one deary..
      And.. the dream was tooo scary.. gosh.. Tears welled up at one point.. sam – Neil’s parents affectionate bond is something extra ordinary.. Neil- Piyali.. gosh.. and there’s one more he and she.. u kept as secret..!! hmmm.. eager for d revelation.. Ardhikaaa.. Main kya kahun.. Arjun’s dilema.. Oh.. my..my.. Man why did detach urself at first place.. not good in expressing emotions.. Arjun .. Man ..now other way.. go apologise,…
      Radz the sweety.. I did like her part a lot.. The wandering thoughts took a halt at d realization of his love.. tat part was sweeet..

      Now… Anu am more curious than before.. waiting for next update.. and.. and… yaar U did Remember me!! Am just jumping in happiness… Its a long time.. isn’t..Love u loads my lil sissy… U surprised me with my name mentioned here also.Pls don’t say sorry.. Am so happy u did continue your story.. Stay happy.. Keep smiling… TC.. Lotssa love to u..

    • Anu-Annie

      |Author

      thanks jessie. u r a sweetheart, u know. i smile everytime i read ur comment.

      take care. love ya. bear hugs too. but tighter than yours

      🙂

  3. Gauri

    |Registered Member

    Anu darling you write flawless …and one day you will make big….do the medicals and keep writing…I had been waiting for your story for so long 🙂 you are gifted to play and experiment with pen…keep it going 🙂 amzing awesome…and should say mindblowing 🙂 just WOW wiating for the next but take ur time…ur story is worth waiting 🙂 love u

    • Anu-Annie

      |Author

      gauri di. ur words brought me to the top of the world.

      i don’t feel worthy of all this praise. and that too coming from someone so talented as u.

      u have brought this smile on my face. 100 watt smile. u know.

      and i love you for this. next update is lost somwhere. will try finding it as soon as possible. FBI is currently supervising the case.

      lol.. am gone case now.

      thanks again. am waiting for crossroads.

      and di if u get time, could u please read ‘being me’ and tell me how is it.

  4. farjana

    Hi anu.. after a long time, u posted it with a bang.. awsm.. pls update sn dear.. u can take your time to build this plot as it has alot if potential.. good luck..

    • Anu-Annie

      |Author

      @farjana thanks yaar. long time. i know. couldn’t post.

      i was feeling bad myself. i had decided to update mid october cause exams ended today.

      but then i updated.

      next part….

      will come up.. but not soon. sry for that.

  5. Myra

    |Registered Member

    Anu….wow! Commendable job you have done. Dont worry about your presentation…..it is seriously amazing. So life like. You know i felt as if i was seeing everything taking place right in front of my eyes. I am still dazzled…..please update soon 🙂

    • Anu-Annie

      |Author

      myra di. thankx. thanx. thanx. gone mad now.

      dont praise me so much. there are chances i will go high and mad. utterly excited.

      squealing. delighted.

      u…..

      ugh… donno what i wanna say. forgot.

      anyways… thank u so much.. much.. much…

      love u loads loads loads.

      my speaker is on repeat.

      take care

  6. Sweetie

    |Registered Member

    Anu..Hugs for posting such a lengthy one..I must say girl,you are truly gifted.. 😀 The way you write the emotions is awesome and like a candy to my eyes..So Adarsh loves Sam too??The relationship Sam had with Neil’s parents is like,I don’t know,I don’t have a word to express that relation..I’m truly amazed to see the love they have for Sam.. 🙂 Arjun realized his feelings for Radhika,too good.. 🙂 Love you loads and take care sweetheart.. 🙂

    • Anu-Annie

      |Author

      thank u so very much for the compliment.

      and hugs.. (squeal)

      i got it now.

      u, jessie, gauri di and myra di have decided to get me smiling so much that my cheeks hurt.

      never thought u guys could be so evil.

      and that candy to eyes.

      i swear i am gonna dissolve into a pudsle of water.

      adarsh just likes her. but will fall in love with. what to do, Sam is so sweet.

      and Sam-Prerna-Shiv bond is really extraordinary. they were practically parents to her.

      and there is something else too.

      there are many revelations to do. but look at me. i am such a lazy sod. its been more than six months and i have just uodated around 10 times and.juat 6 chapters..

      i feel like i am dragging the story.

  7. Anu-Annie

    |Author

    @swathi thanks a lot dear. i am honoured to be praised this much.

    thank u for liking it. and i hope that i din’t disappoint u in the next update qhich won’t be anytime soon.

    take care. stay happy.:-)

  8. _Ritu

    |Registered Member

    Its fab dear….ur writing nd ur presentation both r stupendous…loved it to d core…waiting for nxt…loads of love 🙂

  9. Roma

    Awesome, marvellous, outstanding. ..loved it to the coreeeee anuuu…keep it up honeyyy. Love you loads

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