Tashan-E-Ishq: The Author Recognition Competition
She Stole My Heart-A Halloween Special Os
“Sir, we have arrived.”
The voice of my driver woke me up from my nap that I took in my car on the journey from work to home. I muttered a simple murmur and tossed my coat over my shoulder and headed inside my home. I had a few conference calls, leading to one of the latest work nights I have ever done. My home, as big and lavish as it was, it was empty. Being the owner of Sarna Industries, I moved to Mumbai, away from my family in Amritsar, so I could be closer to my office. Occasionally, I would bring Bebe and Maa over, but not for long. The only company given to me was my best friend Yuvraj and the workers in my home. I sleepily trotted upstairs to my bedroom and plopped down on my bed. As I was on the verge of sleeping, I could feel Maria taking my shoes off and putting a blanket over me. Maria was one of my closest maids. Although, she was more like a mother to me. That night it had rained, rather stormed outside. And that night, I had a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, I woke up to a bedroom filled with scattered files and papers.
“Maria!”, I yelled!
Maria came running inside and by her expression, I could tell she was shocked also.
“Sir, I think the door to the balcony was open and the storm from last night had major winds. Maybe the wind scattered all these papers. I will clean them right now.”
Indeed the door was open.
“No, it’s fine. U go serve my breakfast”, I replied.
As Maria left to serve my breakfast, I proceeded to pick up my papers. Then something caught my eye. There was a red finger print on one of my papers. That’s strange. Where did this fingerprint come from? Brushing the thought off my mind, I concluded it was probably my fingerprint that got imprinted by some red pen I was probably using. After breakfast, I waited outside of my home for the driver to take the car out of the garage. I checked the time on my watch as someone put a hand on my shoulder. I turned and a smile came to my face as I saw the face of my best friend, Uv. “Ready to go?” He asked me. “Anytime”, I replied. The driver brought the car and we both got inside. He was the manager of my company. I trusted him more than anyone. But lately, something was up with him. I felt like he was keeping secrets form me. So I decided to ask him. “Hey Uv, anything new? Or anything u want to tell me?”
“How did you know?”, he replied surprised. Yes, I attacked at the right target. He continued, “Yes, I have been meaning to tell you but I didn’t know how”.
“Just tell me yaar”, I said anxiously. He hesitantly replied, “I think I’m in love.”
I was shocked but somewhat happy for my best friend. The rest of the car ride went as he told me his love life. How they met, went on dates and slowly he fell in love with her. The only thing left was for him to propose. Our conversation ended as we arrived at the office. “Kunj, she stole my heart man.” I smiled and replied, “Yes she did. Now u have to propose.” And with that, Uv left for his cabin. Only then did I realize, I forgot to ask him what her name was.
The next day was the biggest shock of my life. I never though I would start a morning with the arrival of police at my doorway. As I opened the door the next morning, I was greeted with, “Mr. Kunj Sarna, do you know Mr. Yuvraj Luthra?” My heart only started beating faster as I entered the police jeep and drove to the morgue. There he was, my best friend, laying on the bed with his eyes closed and covered in a white sheet. I felt as if my heart stopped beating as the police explained to me. “Mr. Sarna, Mr. Luthra was found at the bottom of a cliff last night. He was stabbed in the heart multiple times. We are extremely sorry, but there seems to be no evidence of who the murderer is. So we cannot go further on with this case.”
My world stopped right there as my best friend, my brother, left me alone. The police continued, “Since there was no evidence of any murder, we will have to assume that this was suicide. A knife was found in Mr. Luthra’s hand.”
Suicide? No that can’t be right. Why would he commit suicide? Yesterday was supposed to be the best day of his life. Yesterday night, he was supposed to take that girl out on a date and propose to her. That girl! Where is she? Who is she? I don’t even know who she is. Uv couldn’t even make it to the love of his life….and then I fell on my knees and cried. I cried because a love story remained unfinished, I cried because a friendship remained unfinished….I cried because…..I lost my best friend.
I month had now passed since Uv’s death. Things were trying to go back to normal, but nothing would ever be normal again. Then I met her.
One day, I was jogging early in the morning when I saw a girl sitting on the road holding her ankle. I jogged up to her and asked if she needed help. Then I helped her over to a bench. She told me she had hurt her ankle while jogging. I called my driver and he came to pick us up. I took her to the doctor and had her ankle checked up. “Thank you so much….uhh”.
“Kunj”, I replied. “My name is Kunj”.
She smiled and said, “Hi Kunj, my name is Maya.” And that’s where our friendship started. We started calling each other and soon my happiness and laughter with her became the only thing on my mind. We would often go out for dinners and those nights were the best nights for me. Engrossed in Maya, I had totally forgotten about the need for a personal assistance at the office. My thoughts were disturbed as someone knocked on my door.
A girl walked in. She was dressed professionally and had simple makeup on. I must say, she was beautiful.
“Hello sir, I am your new PA, Twinkle Taneja”.
I shook her hand and welcomed her.
“Welcome Twinkle, to Sarna Industries.”
Twinkle was very diligent at her work, for which I started to admire her for. She never let her personal problems interfere with her work and always got everything completed on time. To get her out of the rigid work structure, I would constantly force her to get a coffee and ice cream. I didn’t realize when and how but I created a really great bond with Twinkle. In my attempts to make Twinkle smile and feel relaxed, I often forgot about Maya. Many of our dinner dates were cancelled because I was spending time with Twinkle and forgot about Maya. I apologized to Maya and made up by promising her a dinner tomorrow night. Before heading to pick Maya up, I stopped by Uv’s apartment because I was missing him. This was the first time I came after his death. His servant let me in and I walked around his room, reliving our old memories. I found his phone on his bed and picked it up. I pressed the power button but didn’t expect it to turn on after one month, but surprisingly, it turned on. His selfie greeted me as I looked at his wallpaper and smiled. I went to his photos and laughed happily at the silly pictures he had taken in front of his bathroom mirror. I swiped left to the next picture and was shocked. There Uv was…with her. He was with Maya. I kept swiping left and looking at the pictures and all the pictures were of them. They were holding hands, having dinner, hugging. I was shocked. I went on his contact list and found: “Maya ❤️”. Nothing could explain the shock I got when I read her last text: “Meet me at the cliff tonight”.
Maya had called him to that same cliff where UV died. My mind stopped working and my head spun as I ran out to meet Maya and get answers to all my questions.
I reached Maya’s building and took a deep breath and rang the bell. Maya opened the door for me.
“Oh Kunj, u are early. Ok come inside. I will be ready in just 5 minutes”.
I walked inside with her and looked around her apartment for the first time. Maya went inside the bathroom. I looked around and saw what a typical apartment has, some furniture and decorations. My throat had dried up so I went to the kitchen to get some water. I opened my fridge and saw a ghastly sight. The fridge was filled with wooden boxes, each had a name imprinted on it. I saw Ramin, Raj, Kunal, Ankush…..and Yuvraj. My hand shivered as I reached for the box with Uv’s name on it. I opened it and my breath stopped as I felt Maya’s presence around me. She glared at me intently and calmly said, “U were not supposed to see that Kunj.”
My voice shook as I tried to speak. “Maya….what….what is this?”
Her gaze went to the box in my hand, which held a beating heart in it. Maya smiled and left the kitchen. She returned with another wooden box and a marker.
“Kunj, Yuvraj was such a sweetheart. He just made me steal his heart. Then I found you Kunj. U have an even bigger and sweeter heart. Won’t u give it to me?”
Then she neatly wrote those four letters on the box: “K…U…N…J”. I took a step back as she advanced towards me. Suddenly someone hit Maya with a stick. Maya fell unconscious in front of me as I saw Twinkle standing behind her. I ran and hugged Twinkle tightly, calming my now fast pacing heart. She hugged me back tightly and rubbed my back, ridding me of my fears. We broke the hug and Twinkle cupped my face and made me look into her eyes.
“It’s ok Kunj. Look at me. Everything will be fine. I’m here with you”.
I still looked around in fear and sat on the chair. She understood my fear and pulled me into another hug, this time, I buried my face into her stomach and wrapped my arms around her waist as she ran her fingers through my hair. We were disturbed as Maya regained conscious. She jumped up like a wild beast, her hands encircling my neck. I pushed Twinkle behind me as an attempt to protect her. Maya’s nails scratched my cheek as I struggled to tame the wild beast. I did not fight her, but rather controlled her. The craziness was evident in her eyes as she picked up a match and lit it. She crooked her head slightly and spoke, “Kunj, won’t u give me ur heart?” She advanced towards me and Twinkle pushed her. The match fell and the kitchen caught on fire. She was trapped. I led Twinkle out of the kitchen and left the apartment for good, but not before shouting back at Maya, “Sorry Maya, but Twinkle already stole my heart!”
Hello, everyone. So, here was my One Shot. How was it? Drop down your comments below as I’d be waiting to know your views about it. Keep guessing me and do go through all the other updates being updated for this competition and guess those authors too. Kruti and Ria would be updating you all with the author names and their respective stories soon after the competition ends.
Ria, Kruti and the author