9: I loved, but whom did I?
Cut back: Meera wanted to thank Ashruth for saving her life. Her heart already started beating few times exclusively for him. Ashruth left to Chennai that night itself. He had come there just to attend the grand birthday party of Santhosh, just because Prabhu had insisted. Prabhu was going to invest in Ashruth’s hospital project. Meera spent the whole night speaking to the darkness of her room about Ashruth. She was confused if what she had for him was respect or crush or love. She had been in a relationship before also but this feeling was entirely different.
She closed her eyes and tried her best to avoid thinking about him, she couldn’t. The darkness, when she closed her eyes, reminded her of his dark dense hair and moustache. She opened her eyes to avoid seeing the darkness but it was dark outside her eye lids as well. This darkness reminded her of his colour. She got up and switched on the light to avoid thinking about him. To her surprise he was standing right there, in front of her. He was wearing the same shirt she had torn. He was smiling at her, his teeth sparkled. She felt like running to him to hug him tight. She walked near him and suddenly realized that it was the image of him she had stored at the back of her head. The image of the guy when a girl falls in love gets stored in her mind for ever. She avoided looking at the direction where he stood in her room.
She looked away and there she was ‘Victoria’, her diary. ‘Wait Miss.Victoria’ echoed in his voice all over the place. She shut her ears and the silence reminded her of the way he stood without speaking a word when she insulted him. She walked to the table near her heart-shaped red colour bed and picked up the water bottle. She drank water. Each drop of water reminded her of the tears that edged his eyes when she embarrassed him in the party the previous night. She spit the water she had poured into her mouth, closed the bottle and placed it back.
Everything she saw when her lids were open and close; everything she heard when her ears were open and close; everything around her whether they really exist or not, reminded her of him. She was in love, deeply in love with him. She wanted to live every moment that followed with him and only him. She wanted to tell him she loved him but she was a little reluctant. She wanted to make sure that it was ‘Love’ this time. She didn’t want to hurry up like last time and end up getting dumped.
(Adam: Why do you girls take so much time to confirm love?
Eve: We want to make sure that the guy we choose comes along with us till death.
Adam: ewww... Same guy? Till death?
Eve: Won’t you take time to confirm that you are in love?
Adam: No way. Just meet once, beautiful face? Yeah. Then propose. Else call it friendship. The only difference is we don’t call the girl ‘Sister’ if she is not ok. You girls look at the guy, if he is ok, you call it ‘Love’ else you call him ‘Brother’. )
With the confusion about her forgotten past Meera fell asleep. The next morning she woke up and ran to Santhosh’s room. He had left already, obviously to the bar. He was never found home when Prabhu was awake. Prabhu thought he was busy with his work. He had resigned his job long back. The only work he did was to drink all the time. Meera asked the maid about Santhosh’s whereabouts.
“Amma, Santhosh ayya is not staying home after 6 am these days. After you met with that accident he has changed a lot. I still remember those days when you woke him up, banging the door, to help me give him the coffee. He never obeyed anyone but he would even stand upside down for you. Those days were nice to see. Happiness of this family was spread all over. Some bad omen is the reason for all this disaster” Maya ma, the maid said.
‘He would stand upside down for me? Does that mean he was crazily in love with me? Did I love him? How do I ask anyone about it?’ Meera thought to herself.
“Maya ma, can you tell more about me and Santhosh? I mean how we were and....” She hesitated to ask her straight if there were any marriage talks or love talks.
“You both were the best amma. He did everything for you right from school. He dropped you in school. He waited for hours after his class got over just to pick you, even as a child. On every birthday of yours, he will celebrate it like a festival. He always decorated the entire bungalow like a palace all by himself; he won’t even allow us to move a single thing. Last birthday of yours, he donated his organs and surprised you with his donor card. You were in tears seeing that, you hugged him and kept thanking him for hours together. Still that scene is so alive in my memories.”
“What? He took care of me so much?” Meera asked. Now this female had stirred up her already-very-confused mind.
“Why amma?” the maid asked.
“Nothing. I just asked to know.” Already Meera’s tears peeped out of her eyes. She didn’t want the maid to know anything that was going on.