Is it a dream or... (part 4)
I would suggest you to read first, second and third part if you haven't already...
I couldn’t sleep after that. I never thought my one mistake would come back and haunt me after so many years… that too in such an unusual way. I tried recollecting the scene when my phone started to ring. It scared the hell out of me as I kept wondering whether to look or not to look at my cell. “Who would possibly be calling me at this time..! Or.. Am I still dreaming?” I sat there on my bed frozen, watching my cell phone ringing… It continued for some time, when my heart beat reached its peak. And then it stopped ringing. I outstretched my shivering hand to pick up the cell. I rubbed my eyes for a clear vision to see who had called… Alas! What a relief. It was just my alarm!
It was early morning 6AM, but the environment was dull and gloomy due to overcast conditions. Within an hour I got up ready to office. I was combing my hair looking at the mirror, an unusual feeling struck me as if someone is watching me from behind. For once, I even felt that I saw someone in the mirror, standing next to me… watching me... I turned around at once to find nothing but the curtains… I consoled myself declaring that it is just my imagination and the result of stressful nightmare…
“There are no ghosts or anything of that sort.. it is just my imagination…” I told my reflection. God damn, why do I watch such so-called-scary movies! Without my knowledge, I started chanting some ‘shloka’ as I hurried to get myself out of the house. Nothing unusual happened like lights going dim or doors getting closed - that reassured that I was safe.
I was upset and couldn’t concentrate much on work. My colleagues and friends at work figured out something was wrong with me just by looking at my frowned face. But I didn’t tell anything to anyone. I left early posing illness after taking permission from my lead. While on my way back, I decided to have some coffee in the open restaurant that I usually visit. That day, there were less people. I sat there, lost in my thoughts all alone, with a cup filled with fresh ground coffee on my table. I was waiting for my coffee to cool down a bit as it was too hot for me to have. The hot fumes of coffee took me back to that Sunday….
Isha lived in the adjacent flat and we were neighbors for more than 10 years. Our parents knew each other pretty well and eventually I and Isha became very close. Since we were in the same school, we always went together. We were very good friends and she always treated me like her elder brother. That day after finishing the rehearsal for our annual day celebration, I was waiting for her near her class room.
“Shall we go Isha” I asked her when she came out.
“Actually, I have something to finalize on the costumes. I will be late. You can go if you want” she replied.
I said I shall wait for her until she completes her work. While I was waiting, I sat below the banyan tree, going through my script for our play. After about an hour or so, few of her friends came out. I kept the script in my bag and waited for Isha to come. Almost all of her friends came out but I couldn’t find Isha. I went inside the room but it was empty. Then I left the room and started looking for her in other adjacent rooms.
I heard her voice. It felt like she was shouting at someone. I traced the voice and reached the place from where it was coming. It was that room which we used to dump all the broken furniture’s. It was more like a storage room. When I went close to the room, voices became more clear. She was having some argument with a guy. He was none other than her long time crush & classmate – Sujith. I decided not to interrupt unless he poses some threat to her. So, I stood near the partially closed door from outside.
“Look Isha, I really love you a lot .. And I know you too have some feelings. Then why don’t you admit it...” I heard him with saying with a mild tone.
“Before that, how dare you take my friend’s help and get me here… that too in a place like this! Do you have any idea what people would think if they find us in here? God! I hate her for this... And you… I don’t deny I have always had a crush on you… But ‘love’, are you insane! Don’t you think it is too early…” she uttered.
“I know this isn’t the right place. But I couldn’t find any other better place for a private talk… Just tell me that you feel the same about me… Then you can go…”
“What… what do you mean… ” I felt that she was scared then so I broke in. Both of them had not expected me… Sujith felt that he was in trouble as the matter now can go out public. So, he rushed outside pushing me aside. But we never had any idea he would come back!
As soon as he left, Isha started crying. When I was about to console her Sujith came back and pushed me aside with great force. I fell down. Then he threatened us not to tell this matter to anyone. I got up and I didn’t know what I was thinking, I jumped on him. It was a nasty fight as both of delivered some punches across each other’s face.. Then with all my strength… I pushed him… I pushed him too hard. But I didn’t realize Isha was standing behind him. While he was falling back, he couldn’t control himself and he in turn pushed her… The next thing I remember, she was in the pool of blood with no movement. While she was falling down, one of the broken pieces of wood with sharp edges had pierced her head!! The fight we took had never meant to end like that… And at what cost?
We both were scared now. Sujith, blaming me for pushing him, which resulted in the accident ran away from the spot. With the guilt of committing what I never actually meant, I went close to Isha… She wasn’t breathing… I took her life… I was too young to even think what is right to do next… So… …
“Excuse me Sir, would you like to have anything else?” the voice of the waiter brought me back out of my thoughts. I slowly wiped my face trying not to show him my tears…
“Ah, nothing. Thank you. Bill please…” I replied. I gulped down the coffee which was in normal temperature now. Suddenly, I found someone familiar sitting next to my table. I felt as if I had seen her recently but… wait a minute! Is that Sneha…!!! Yes it is her.. I can never forget that face… Damn! The same girl from my dreams… right in front of me!!!
To be Contd…
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