(An Indian-fiction story, with a flavour of thrill and romance)
What if one day you come back home after school or college or office and find a letter at your doorstep and the letter reveals your unpleasant past? What if one day someone at the door knocks and when you see the person your jaw fell open because it meant something to you at sometime? What if one day your phone rings and when you hear the voice you just find your heart beating faster than ever because the voice was familiar?
Some people take in grant their present and when in future, they meet their past they find themselves uncomfortable. They couldn’t forget the time spend with them but just forget them and move on.
It was Friday night. Dev and Radhika were returning back home from their office.
‘Dev, it was such a tiring day. I mean, the boss wants us to get all the plans ready by next month.’ Radhika said, putting her spectacles in her purse.
‘Yeah, but your mom still don’t know about your plans of internship at Singapore, I guess,’ Dev said.
‘I will tell her today for sure. I just expect a good and spicy dinner this night. I wish mom would have prepared something like it,’
‘Tell her that I am coming next week for dinner,’ he said and took a turn for Radhika’s house. They reached and got off from the car.
‘Why don’t you come right now for the dinner?’ She said, while hugging Dev.
‘No, it is just fine. My friends are waiting for me and I have to reach as fast as I can. I hope this traffic would leave me today,’ Dev said and waved hand while leaving from there. Dev was living in Shine Blue Apartment in Andheri East, Mumbai with two friends. Rather, he belonged to Delhi but for pursuing further studies, he arrived to Mumbai. Afterwards, he fell in love with Radhika when he was college. He wasn’t a rich man although, but his friend, Ronak had already planned his living with him. They became friends in initial struggling days of their college and meanwhile, Ronak asked him to live with him and his one more friend, Abhishek. Now, he was working at Wipro as a software engineer with Radhika.
Dev reached at the apartment in half-an-hour. He parked his car and went upstairs. He unlocked the door. Abhishek and Ronak were lying on the couch and watching the India-Pakistan Final Match, Micromax Cup.
‘Hello guys…’ Dev yelled. Without turning, they waved hands in air. Dev went in his room and got freshen-up. He came out and went in the kitchen to fetch some stuff to stuff. He was damn hungry. He found two Domino’s capsicum pizzas, with extra cheese and a bottle of beer. He fetched it and went in the living room.
‘What the fuck these men are doing? They missed such a simple ball,’ Ronak commented while stuffing his last piece of pizza.
‘They wouldn’t win until they miss few good balls and opportunities of hitting boundaries,’ Abhishek japed. The game went slow and somewhat boring up to 41 over but after that Pakistan was just counting the boundaries.
‘It is MS after all,’ Ronak said, as MS Dhoni hit a six. India needed just 20 runs in next 11 balls. Raina was on the strike. Shahid Afridi placed a short length ball and Raina smashed it out of the ground.
‘Check your balls, if possible…’ Ronak laughed. The match was won by India at last. Ronak switched off the television.
‘So, how was your office today?’ He asked.
‘Bad enough, dude. Mr. Kukreja just wants me to work faster for the upcoming project,’ Dev said and sat on the sofa.
‘So, is there any plan for tomorrow of you and Radhika?’
‘No, not yet. By the way, how’s your office going on?’
‘Don’t ask man… It has turned horrifying. Ask Abhishek about what happened today…’ he pointed Abhishek.
‘Oh fuck… Mr. Kukreja is a perfect gay. He called both of us in his office and asked us to find his documents from a bundle of files lying on his desk. Then, suddenly, he stood up and placed his hand on my shoulder and said-“You are such a fit man”. I just passed him an unpleasant smile. He then went to Ronak and said-“Just learn something from him. See how sexy… I mean how fit he is…” and he just nodded. He is such a nightmare in our life,’ he completed and Dev couldn’t control his laughter.
‘Just leave it, what is the plan for tomorrow?’ Ronak asked.
‘See, I want to take rest tomorrow. I am so fucked-up in this week I can’t tell you guys…’
‘That was only the reason why I was planning for a plan. C’mon man…’ Ronak said while facing Dev.
‘Man, I can’t. I have to take rest for next two days. I have to compromise for my future project. Sorry, but next weekend, I promise, I won’t deny…’ Dev said and went for sleep.
It was Tuesday and Dev was working in his office. Suddenly, he got a call from an unknown number. He didn’t answer it. After a while, he got a call from same number. He again ignored. He went to check his department’s working. He managed and updated his colleagues how to work. Afterwards, he went to Radhika. She was busy with her stuff but came out and hugged him.
‘It is becoming really tiring. I want some break,’
‘That’s why I came here baby,’ he said and smiled. They had a little walk and then both went to their work. Eventually, Dev found himself free so picked up his phone. 17 Missed Calls– the screen displayed. The missed calls were from the same number which he was ignoring. Again, in a second or two he got the call from same number. This time he picked it up.
‘Forgot me Dev? Story is still to end. I am sure it won’t be a ‘Missed One’. Love you forever… beep… beep… beep…’ the call was disconnected. Dev was shivering. He recognized the voice. It was the voice of her ex-girlfriend, Neha, who was dead three years ago! She attempted suicide. No reason! No Evidence! Nothing! But how come she was calling Dev? Was she still alive? Was she dead but her soul never rested in peace? Was someone playing some prank with Dev? Dev was disturbed by all that. When he returned back home, he decided not to think of it.
Three week passed away. Dev got a letter after that. It was red at some places, not with blood drops, but with the nail-paint he gifted Neha. He easily recognized it as it was having the same fragrance which Neha loved. He was disturbed. He went to psychologist that day and explained her all the things.
‘It is possible that her soul hasn’t rested in peace, but one more thing I am getting is that how come the soul started disturbing you after three years?’
‘I don’t know,’ Dev yelled and went off from there. He didn’t discuss this matter with Radhika; he thought that it might affect their relationship. He reached at his apartment. He entered in the lift and pressed three and suddenly, the lights went off. He got stuck in the lift. He was shivering because of uncanny things that were happening with him. When he was about to call emergency his phone fell down and got switched off.
‘What the fuck?’ He yelled. After a while, the lights were switched on. The lift again started. He reached at his floor. Suddenly, someone grabbed his shoulder.
‘Don’t move!’ Someone said in a sweet voice which seemed to be seductive. His forehead turned wet. He turned and finally relaxed. It was Radhika.
‘You just scared me!’ He said while shaking her.
‘What? Scared? I thought it was romantic,’ she said and her face faded.
‘I was just kidding baby…’ he said and asked her to come in but she denied.
‘I just came to hand these extra files and documents for our future project,’ she said and was about to leave when Dev caught her hand and pulled her near to him.
‘I love you,’ he said and placed some gentle pecks on her cheeks.
‘I know,’ she said and smiled. She hugged him and went off. He went inside and found his buddies already slept. He checked the time, it was 11:30.
‘Strange!’ He murmured as his friends never slept before midnight.
His days were becoming creepier. Although, he was not getting any more unpleasant surprises but his job was becoming more stressful. Dev and Radhika were hardly getting time to talk. It’d been days they’d a walk together. After a month, they both got a project in Delhi, at Dev’s hometown. He was excited as he would also talk about his relationship with Radhika at home and she would be living with him. They took a flight to Delhi the next day.
‘Welcome to my city!’ Dev welcomed Radhika as the flight landed.
‘It is too hot Dev.’ Radhika complained.
‘Yes baby, just like you…’ Dev said and smiled. He waved hand at the cab he had booked. They settled their luggage and left for home.
‘I’m sure you’d already informed your mom that I’m coming with you.’ She said.
‘Yes…’ Dev said and she smiled. They reached in half-an-hour at home. Dev paid the taxi. He knocked at the door.
‘Dev, my son…’ his mom hugged him.
‘Mom, Radhika. Radhika, mom,’ Radhika did namaste but Dev’s mother hugged her.
‘Stay happy and god bless you.’ She blessed her and we went inside. The house was looking like a mansion. At the entrance, there were different flower pots with their aroma. In the dining hall, which was right after the entrance, was entirely filled with achievements of Dev’s family. The room of Dev on the second floor, was stuffed with video games, DVDs, gadgets etc. Room of his parents, which was opposite of Dev’s room, was full of emotion and love. There was a family picture just above the bed, highlighted by the lamp-shaped CFL blub. A typewriter was placed on study table. It was Dev’s grandfather who bought it for his father for preparing documents and applications faster. Kitchen was looking like the ultimate place to cook with a backyard other side. Everything was well-arranged and was enough for cooking at least Indian food. There was also a guest room but wasn’t opened from years.
‘Dev… Where I’m going to stay?’ Radhika whispered in his ears.
‘In the guest room…’ he said and settled their luggage in his room. He asked Radhika to freshen-up.
After an hour or so, Dev’s father reached home. It was seven of the evening. All were sitting in the backyard.
‘So my hero has landed here finally, after a year…’ his dad said and Dev jumped upon him.
‘Dad, I missed you a lot…’ he said and his eyes turned wet.
‘Hello princess…’ his dad said to Radhika and she smiled. She was touching uncle’s leg for namaste but he held him and gave her a hug. Dev’s dad knew her when he went to Mumbai for Dev’s commencement ceremony.
‘It’s okay, beta… God bless you…’ he said went to change in night suit. After a while, they’d little talk while having dinner.
‘Where are you man?’ Abhishek asked.
‘Dude, I’m Delhi…’ Dev said.
‘Brother, you never intimated us that you will be going there…’ he said in a very lost way.
‘Sorry Abhi… Actually I was so busy that I couldn’t intimate you both. Well, don’t worry I will be there by next week…’
‘You went with…’
‘Radhika, now stop being irritating…’
‘Hahaha…’ he laughed so aloud on the phone which was enough to blow off anyone’s eardrum.
‘Ok bro… Bye and take care,’
‘Bye brother…’ Dev said. He went to the guest room to meet Radhika. She was getting ready. He went near to her without letting her know that he was standing before him.
‘So Miss Radhika, how are you feeling here?’ Dev said and Radhika screamed. Dev immediately covered her mouth with his hands.
‘Are you mad?’ Dev whispered.
‘I am mad? You are mad. You scared me…’
‘Is everything okay, Radhika?’ Dev’s mother asked from kitchen.
‘Yes aunty… Just a cockroach under the bed…’ she yelled.
‘Wait, I’m coming…’ she said and proceeded towards guest room.
‘Couldn’t you make any other excuse better than this? Now listen, I am hiding before this cupboard, don’t say anything to mom…’ he said and she nodded. His mother entered in the room.
‘Where it is?’ His mother asked.
‘Aunty, it went away,’
‘Okay, if you find some problem then let me know…’ she said and went away. Dev was coming out when he got stuck before the cupboard. Few files fell down from the top of it. Firstly, he managed to come out from there and explored the files. Eventually, her ex’s picture fell down. There was something return on the picture. He tried to read it- ‘With Best Wishes… Your Neha…’ He was in shock as he’d burnt and dumped all the stuff he’d kept with him related to her. Radhika came and kept her hand on his shoulders and he shivered.
‘What happened to you? Aunty went away…’ she said while laughing.
‘Nothing…’ he said and went off from the room. Radhika gave a puzzled look to him. He went in his room and locked it. He started checking his stuff and found nothing. Suddenly, his phone rang. He picked it up.
‘Welcome to Delhi my love…’ Neha said, the voice was of her.
‘Who are you? I know you aren’t Neha…’ he yelled.
‘You can’t recognize my voice? How come you forget me? I am your love. I am alive,’ she said and he shivered again.
‘How it is possible?’ He said and started crying.
‘Stop crying Dev! Meet me in the graveyard at 8 in the evening and yes, don’t come with Radhika…’
‘Radhika? How come you know that she is with me?’ Tell me…’ he yelled but the voice gave just a little weird-laugh and the call was ended.
Dev had decided to go, without Radhika. He disposed the photo of Neha. It wasn’t sure that she was still alive but the voice seemed to be of her. Dev was having a great mountain of questions and doubts. He felt asking his mom all about it but his mother was too emotional about him so he erased that idea from his mind. Radhika knew nothing about Dev’s story which was hitting him now. Although, she knew who Neha was. Would it be turning hilarious or a prank? Let’s hope for the best…
It was quarter-to-eight when Dev decided to go to graveyard. He took his car. He reached there in fifteen minutes. He parked the car under a street light and went inside. It wasn’t scary but still, the Neha’s thought made him scared. He went at the grave of Neha.
‘I don’t know what to say? I don’t know why I’d left without attending your funeral? The day I still remember… It was my birthday and you called me first but you were feeling low. I was very happy. I got ready and was about to come to your home when father came with a news that you attempted suicide. I used to love you… But now, I love Radhika and I can’t hurt her.’ He said and sat near to her grave and wept. Meanwhile, a shadow appeared in front of him. He got up and turned around. He was startled. He could feel his heartbeats in his ears. His forehead was covered with sweat. He was breathing faster and faster.
‘Neha?’ Dev said and couldn’t believe his eyes. She was in front of his eyes. Wasn’t she dead? Hadn’t she attempted suicide? It was all looking dramatic. He moved forward and touched her face.
‘I am alive, Dev. I was not dead. I don’t know why you never called me back? I don’t know why you stopped loving me? I don’t know why you starting loving Radhika? I just know that I lived my every moment loving you…’
‘You are… alive… I mean, your parents left the town after your funeral. They said that you told them that I shouldn’t be there for you and I should also leave the place to cope up from your death. My parents said that it wasn’t expected but your last wish was that I shouldn’t keep anything of you with myself, so that I could heal myself. Keeping everything aside, whose grave is this?’
‘It is nothing… Just a wooden bier… My parents never wanted you with me so they told the same to your parents and planned all this rubbish. They sent me Bengaluru for my higher studies. I just wanted to make you aware that I am still there, on the Earth. We were in senior secondary when this all happened. It’s been a long time. I thought you forgot me, but I was still alive in you somewhere like a little spark. That’s all for me. I still love you.’
‘Okay. Why you called me here then?’
‘You are still dumb dude… Just to prove that this grave isn’t of me… There is just trash in it. Could you see any epitaph here? How can you judge that this grave is of me? ’
‘Because your parents wanted to keep you a secret and all unique… My parents told me…’
‘Oh my goodness, how dramatic my parents were…’
‘Were? What do you mean?’
‘They are no more… They passed away in a car accident last year.’
‘Oh my god… Now where are you living? With whom you are living?’
‘I am alright, Dev. I am living with my uncle in Bengaluru. I think I should leave now, have to catch flight in an hour. Sorry man, for troubling and scaring you so much…’ she said and giggled. He gave a puzzled smile to her.
‘Have a happy and lovely life, Dev. And yes, call me anytime when you feel low and troublesome. I will always be there for you. I’ll love you till my heart stop beating. Bye and take care. Well, she is very good looking, I mean, Radhika. Love her like you used to love me. Never leave her alone…’ she said and hugged him probably for the last time. Dev spoke not a single word and went back home. He reached home.
‘Where were you, Dev? I was waiting for you…’ Radhika said and Dev caught her hand and took her in his room.
‘Ouch! Dev, it’s hurting,’ she complained but Dev kept his finger over her lips. His eyes were wet. He kissed her and hugged her deeply.
‘I won’t leave you… Never… And I wish, you will also not leave me…’
‘What happened, Dev?’
‘Say you love me!’ He screamed.
‘I love you, Dev… But would you tell me what exactly happened?’
‘Shhhh… Keep quite… I love you too…’ He said and again hugged her deeply with all his emotions. That day, he promised himself that he will be giving her unexpected love for whole life; he would always be there for her anytime she will be low or uncomfortable, and he promised himself that he would be breathing for her and only for her.
The Unpleasant Surprise… A caption just opposite of the story…
End of the Story…
By- Hardik Taparia…
Comment, Like, Hate, Argue, and Judge it…
Share it! Spread Happiness and A Story Too…