She ran with all her might, like there was no tomorrow. Her green studded lehenga was now well above her ankles, her bare feet scraped against the cement roads as she charged behind the speeding car. She wasn’t sure if her feet were bleeding, but she felt no pain. None whatsoever. All she saw was a car racing ahead of her and it had to stop. He was seated at the backseat of the red colored Maruti Zen, looking away from her. She called out his name, screamed with all her might as she raced through the bylanes of her neighbourhood. “Please just look at me once”, she prayed. Onlookers curiosuly peeped from balconies, traffic slowed down to watch the plight of a young teary eyed girl , storming through the road. Her breath gave up on her as the car sped seemingly away. Her vision blurred and she fell flat head first on the concrete road. “Don’t go”, her arm stretched out as she swirled into the dark world of unconsciousness.
“Someone is here to see you Nishka”, Aditi called out to her boss knocking gently on the latter’s glass cabin door. Nishka did not react, she was typing continually on her laptop placed on a brown marble table. Aditi waited patiently, she was accustomed to Nishka’s temperaments. Nishka nodded and hinted Aditi to let the visitor in. Minutes later she heard a knock on her door.
“Walk right in”, she called out inspecting her email on the screen. Quite footsteps approached her desk, the walk of her visitor sounded nervous.
“Nish”, she heard a familiar voice and froze. For a second, she couldn’t believe her ears. She shifted her gaze from her laptop to the 5’11 inches tall man standing in her cabin. He was here, right here inside her cabin. Was she dreaming? Perhaps not. She tightly knit her palms until her nails hurt her skin and sighed slowly, still looking at her estranged visitor.
“How can I help you?”, she replied curtly with a poker face.
“I am so sorry Nish, I didn’t know. I ..”, Ruhan approached her with an apologitic tone and settled on a chair placed opposite Nishka’s.
“It’s Nishka for you. Besides, your apology doesn’t make a dime of a difference to my life. You can keep it with you and walk right out”, Nishka spoke furiosuly and went back to typing on her laptop.
“I didn’t know about uncle and aunty, Nish. And Nachi. I am so sorry”, Ruhan expressed his condolences for her loss.
Nishka stopped typing. She recalled losing her parents 11 years ago, while she was still in college. Her biology lab practicals were in session when a phone call changed her life forever. Her parents passed away in a fatal plane crash. She rushed to pick up her younger brother, Nachiket from school and the duo sobbed inconsolably. Inheriting insurance money, the siblings completed their education. In no time, Nishka took up a job at an insurance agency and swiftly moved to an executive rank within eight years. Nachiket saw his parents in her, she was his mother, father, sister, friend and pretty much the center of his universe. Nishka swore to her close friends, the only reason for her existence was her younger brother. The sibling duo were inseparable. While studying his final year, Nachiket insisted his sister settled down. But her past still haunted her, Ruhan’s sudden exit from her life was irreparable.
“Nish, please let me explain”, Ruhan pleaded
“Explain what? You went away to the U.S and that’s it. End of story.”, Nishka cut Ruhan abruptly clearly agitated with his presence.
“It’s not like that. Mom fed me with these stories, she said you were cheating on me and..”
“And you believed her. What is the point of your apology now? You are married and I am not interested in you anymore”, she rose from her chair and let her arm out indicating him to leave her cabin.
“Relax Nish, Nachi called me last month and asked me to come see you. He said you needed to move on, you deserved closure. I wasn’t aware he would take his own life..”, he stopped mid-way as he saw tears roll down Nishka’s eyes.
Ruhan saw a shocked 28-year-old woman sink helplessly into her chair.