THE STONE HEARTS

3. Who is she?

Rayansh.

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Ray couldn’t believe his eyes when he read the poem, for that moment he felt like everything was normal, as if nothing ever happened, as if Mel had never attempted suicide and it was all a nightmare, but the next message derailed his assumptions.

Hey Ray! This is Shikha, Mel’s cousin. I found this in the draft mails saved in your name. I thought this would help you to hang on.

P.S. She has shown some progress, not much though, our hopes have risen manifold. Do take care of yourself, don’t worry too much, she’ll be fine.

Ray sighed in despair. How he had wished it could be Mel… but wait! What was it that Shikha was saying? Saved as draft in his name? how could that be possible? Did this mean thst she actually loved him? He felt happy, he was actually more than happy, he was on cloud nine… or lets say cloud infinity, if there existed one. He wished Mel could be with him, he desperately wanted her to be by his side, he wanted to see the smile on her face and wanted to live with its radiance for the rest of his life.

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At that moment he had completely forgotten the entire world, and the fact that Muskaan was around. She was very confused, he could see it in her face, but he did not want to share anything about the poem, yet. So he decided to bid her goodbye and leave. “Its late now… I suppose you should leave now.” He says going to her.

Muskaan feels dejected, she doesn’t want to leave as yet. She wants to sit there, holding his warm hands and she wants to know the whole story. She had fallen for him, the very moment she had seen him. She had felt so lucky about herself to have shared a kiss with him within moments of seeing him. But somehow, it didn’t affect her much to know that there was someone else in his life. Somehow this fact just skipped her mind and she was falling for him deeply each second.

” Muskaan… are you even listening to me?” Ray had waved his hand in front of her face. “I … umm… lets have something to eat before I go… my treat, as an apology?” She had said smiling. Ray was taken aback. “Listen, there’s no need for it, I’ve forgiven you and just…” Ray had begun, but Muskaan had interrupted him, “Please, if you’ve truly forgiven me, you shouldn’t be saying no now…” She added wittily.

Though Ray couldn’t understand what exactly, he was doing with a girl, who had kissed him just a few days back, though it was just a plate of snacks in the college cafeteria, he wasn’t actually there. He wanted to leave as soon as possible. After what seemed like eternity to him, Muskaan stood up to leave. And before she could come up with something else to take up his time, he excused himself saying that it was already time for hid gym and he left.

Ray was on cloud nine, he kept reading the poem over and over again the entire night. He was desperate to hear form her. ‘Will you take my hand?’ She had asked him in her poem. He felt blessed to have such an angel in his life. He closed his eyes and all he could hear was her sweet child-like voice asking him over and over again.  WILL YOU TAKE MY HAND? In his peripheral vision, he was already holding her hand, he held her close to his heart. She indeed was her guardian angel.

Early next morning, he had woken up with a start upon the constant ringing of his phone It had been Shikha. “Hello?” He spoke anxiously. “Ray…” She had been crying. He was jolted awake by then. “Shikha… is everything alright? Are you ok? Is Mel alright? Why are you crying? Will you just stop crying and speak up GODDAMMIT!” He had screamed. His mind had been drawing horrible conclusions and that pissed him off even more.

“She… She woke up.” Shikha finally managed to say. “What? OMG! That’s awesome!! You scared the shit out of me.” He had sighed, relieved. “No please listen to me… she woke up last night, she looked fine. But then, she declined knowing any of us. She was scared for some reason, she kept saying, ‘please let me go, someone’s waiting for me.’ At first, I thought its you, but when she said, ‘she-is-waiting’, I was astounded. Who could this she be? Then she started screaming, she is behaving completely out of the blue, I haven’t budged an inch form here since last night, I’m scared…” She burst out again.

 

 

 

 

 

THE STONE HEARTS

 

             2. Can’t we be together?

Her feelings…

 

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A week later, when she was returning to her dorm, she spotted Max and Ray sitting in the garden. She decided to speak to him, so she walked in their direction. ” Ray, just calm down. Don’t worry too much, she’ll be fine…” Max was patting Ray’s shoulders, trying to console him. ” I know, but I ‘ve got so used to her that I’m just unable to wait around anymore. I hope she gets well soon.” Ray’s voice is broken.

Muskaan wondered if this particular she was his girlfriend. She remained hidden, to hear more. But Max left soon after. She cursed him, but she knew she couldn’t do much either. She turned around to leave.

” Where are you going now?” She heard him ask. She stopped dead in her tracks. ” I’m so sorry, I was just passing by, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop.” She stammered. ” Well, I for one thing, know that you weren’t just passing by. Anyway, you owe me two apologies now.” Ray said authoritatively. She turned around, he hadn’t moved an inch from his seat, he was facing the other way. She wondered how he knew of her presence.

She slowly walked upto him and sat beside him. ” I’m sorry, sir.” She said. ” Ray!” He said calmly. She gave a tight smile. Being in his presence, made her feel awkward. She knew she owes him an apology for the kiss, but she didn’t have the guts to raise the topic.

” Sir, I mean, Ray… I’m sorry for the other day. I wanted to teach them a lesson, I didn’t know whom to kiss…” She mumbled. ” Her name is Melina.” Ray interrupted her calmly. ” The one I love, we haven’t met yet, but I love her extremely.” he said with so much love and warmth in his eyes that Muskaan almost felt jealous. “She isn’t well, she’s being treated now…” He says, his eyes tearing up.

Muskaan remained quiet. ” I love her a lot, though I haven’t confessed her yet, I hope she’d understand my emotions, she is my world. I love to hear her chirpy voice, I fantasize waking up to her sweet good morning everyday. but I don’t want to ruin things with her. You see, I’ve made decisions that I’m not very proud of. I’ve been with others, then I hadn’t been so sure about her, but now, finally, when I am, she isn’t in a position to hear me.” By the time he had finished speaking, Muskaan was almost in tears.  “I’m really sorry, I’ve added to your insecurity.” She said. Ray laughed at that and said, ” Trust me, at this point, it can’t get more complicated.” Ray’s eyes were sad.

“What happened to her?” She asked him. “She tried to kill herself.” He said bluntly. Muskaan was stunned beyond words. “I am the reason for it.” He added. Muskaan didn’t know what to say. Though she wanted to know the whole story, she couldn’t ask him much because that would make him more upset. Hence, she held his hand. He did not retrace his hand, but smiled a bit. “She’ll be fine. Please don’t worry too much.” She consoled him. He nodded his head an closed his eyes. Just then his phone had begun buzzing with an incoming message, he ignored it. His phone buzzed again. This time he looked at it, his eyes popped out, as the screen displayed, ‘message from Mel’.

“What is it?” Muskaan asked him seeing his change in expression. “Its a message from Mel… but she’s in coma… she hasn’t woken up since a month…” He looks at her confused. He retraces his hand from hers and wipes his face before opening the message:

You make me smile,

that covers all these miles.

You are the person,

who drives away all my desperations.

 

How did I fall for you?

our days were only a few.

Still my heart calls out your name,

and I’m always baffled by your fame.

 

I wonder if you would,

accept me for what I could,

be for this lifetime.

Will you take my hand this time?

He couldn’t believe his eyes. It was a confession poem from Mel. But wasn’t she unconscious? When did she wake up? That’s when the next message caught his eye.

 

 

 

 

THE STONE HEARTS.

 

            1. The Prince Charming.

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His story ……

It was around the start of senior year in college. He had been running late. That particular day had reminded him of his first day in college, he had been ragged and had taken a oath to be against ragging.

Hence he just couldn’t stand it when he saw his friends doing the same. He entered the room, where his friends were with a few freshers. He walked  up to them,  “Hey Ray!! Come-on, you are so late. You missed the fun. Anyway, there’s still the climax.” said Max. He was about to ask them to stop the nonsense, when max asked a girl to step forward. She had mid-length wavy hair with curls down her shoulder and her complexion was honey coloured, paired with hazel eyes. Her lips were pouty and she had a sharp nose. She was beautiful in a way that one could only like her helplessly.

“So, What’s your name?” Max asked her. For a second her eyes fused with his and for that fleeting second, he thought that her stare was somehow familiar, but the feeling was gone the next moment. “Muskaan.” He heard her charmingly sweet voice say. Max looked around, Ray knew something was cooking in his mind, he was about to stop him when Max spoke up, “Look around you, and kiss any guy in this room that you like.” Max ordered her. Ray could sense her apprehension, also he was furious at Max, but her next move, took him by surprise, and not just him, but everyone else in the room.

She had directly walked upto him and kissed him. Every single person in that room were too shocked to react. Ray had been stunned at first, then when he had come around, he had pushed her away. “You…!!” He clenched his fists in anger, but then, he turned towards Max, with glazing eyes. “Ray, dude, just calm down…” Max too had been shocked and his mind hadn’t been too functional, to frame the right words. He hadn’t expected it to turn out this way. Max was well aware of Ray’s dedicated love story.

Ray had just left silently. ” Are you crazy? How can you kiss him??” Max had screamed at Muskaan. “Well he was the only one kissable around here.” She had shrugged and walked towards the door, only to bump into Ray. He had heard her, he had been too furious to speak. She had left wordlessly. Though she had wanted to apologise, she had known, that wasn’t the right time.

 

 

Just an intro for now…

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She had always been the one who preferred hiding behind the screen rather than facing the world…

 

It was indeed an unnatural day, some may even call it jinxed. His day too had started with the impression that it would be a black-day in his life, given nothing was going as expected for him. Even the smallest of situations turned into devastating circumstances and he wished that he had never woken up to the morning’s sun.

Being in the army was his dream, he had gone against everyone to live the way he had wanted. He had left behind many things, just for this. Of the ones he had left behind, there was someone, he craved for. He had never intended to leave that someone, it had been a year since he left home, his parents had come around a few months ago.

But the person he had always dreamt of, the person who had always been by his side, who had always admired his decisions, wasn’t by him anymore. He wished for a single chance, only once more and he promised he would set everything straight. But then, getting another chance isn’t as easy as it sounds.

He wondered if this is how it would be, the monotonous and simple life that he led. Just him and his work. He looked ahead in time, the downpour seemed to worsen by the minute. He had a feeling that if this continued, there would be emergency evacuations. He was sitting in his makeshift tent, he was holding a flask of whiskey and was sipping on it occasionally, while his thoughts decided to rove over the past grounds, a place that held most of his memorable times.

 

 

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