Drona reached home from school-tired and exhausted. He was sweating badly due to the early summer heat of April. He went to this room opened his cupboard and took out a pair of jeans and his favorite t-shirt, making the day special even if it wasn’t.
He went to the washroom and undressed. His eyes didn’t went there, were most people’s eyes would go if they saw someone nude or themselves nude. He looked into his eyes. It was as if he could see through them, inside him and understand what he was going through. It is hard for people to understand what their mind is thinking and what their heart is feeling. They always need someone to do it for them, a friend, a partner or maybe a teacher. But for the first time in his life, and maybe the last time too, he could actually feel the pain and the chaos of emotions in him. His well-built body started feeling weak and light, as if he was high on drugs sans the happiness. He felt helpless and scared, as if an aura of darkness had enveloped him. It was like an imaginary hand of despair was in his body, which reached out to his heart and pulled it down, further down into the looser mood. He let out a cry, trying to unload himself of the strange heaviness that had developed in him. He kept on crying as he sat on the cool bathroom tiles till it was time he felt he should resume to his macho personality. Tears and weeping are not the qualities of a man he thought.
He washed his face and dressed himself into his casuals. It was like wearing a cover to hide the truth in him. A cover to hide the man he was. A cover that doesn’t let anyone peep into the real him. It wasn’t a split personality; it was the hypocritical change of mind and heart that every one of us is used to doing. Rest of the day was like any other.
Arika was late like she was earlier in the day. She was late for her tuition and late to arrive at the hospital. Her slow pace was to be blamed for her constant distraction into another world, a utopian one. She would daydream into a place were she could speak to someone, have fun with someone and be the intelligent girl that she was. She was missing Nathan, her best friend. The frequency that the two shared was simply amazing and equally startling.
Arika entered room no. 103 in the City Hospital. She brought in some flowers with her and arranged them in the vase kept in the room. Nathan was lying there in deep sleep. He had been injured in a car accident last week and went into coma. She felt incomplete without him. They were like Wilbur and Charlotte, strangest of beings yet so similar and comforting for each other. She kept looking at him wondering what might be worse.
She looked out towards the window. The sun was shinning brightly outside. It gave her no hope. It gave her no peace, for Nathan’s peace was too hurting. It gave her no energy. She recollected a time when they were talking on phone. Nathan was teasing her that he’d leave her and run away with some hot looking girl, who’d eventually take both places, that of a best friend and girl friend. She teased back saying she’ll marry Drona and live in some bungalow in some posh area. The memory made her smile but brought back the hopelessness of the situation. The doctor said he’ll be fine, but she couldn’t believe it until she saw it.
She wanted to cry very badly, but she held on. Nathan’s mother entered the room. She’d gone to have some food, while Arika watched over Nathan. There was nothing either of them could say that could comfort them. The silence of the room and the vacuum created by Nathan’s sleep seemed to have had too much of an effect on them.
Arika and the mother sat beside Nathan’s bed for a long time. Soon Nathan’s Dad came. Arika then motioned herself out of the room, feeling out of place; even though if Nathan wanted someone right now, it would have been her. Arika took a cab home.
Mohit had a very long day ahead of him. He had to unpack all his suitcases and cartons, for his family had just moved in. He rushed home excitedly. He ran from his bus stop to his home as if his Mom had made his favorite dish for lunch.
He started unpacking immediately after lunch. There was nothing that could stop him. He was desperate to start a new life, even if it included the pest like Drona. He just wanted something new. He kept humming the words of the High School Musical Song-The Start Of Something New. It was magical, tantalizing and beautiful. I am on cloud infinitum he thought.
It took him the entire day to sort his room out, with some stuff still left to sort out. He arranged everything the way he liked it. Among all the books he found one of them covered with a newspaper. He opened it and the first page read-
“To My Dearest Son.” He found his father’s signature on the right hand corner. He tore that page and threw the book into the bin.
It was as if his entire mood had swung. He felt agitated, annoyed and aggressive. The reason why he had moved on lived in him. He couldn’t ever get rid of it. These thoughts were erupting like hot lava from a volcano. He couldn’t bare this anymore. He reached for the book from the bin and started tearing all the pages. Bits of paper started falling here and there. When he was done, the room looked like a shredder box. He went towards his bed and lay there silently. He wanted to run away from reality by resorting to sleep. He slept.