3. Who is she?
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.
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.