Rehaana - the beginning
Rehaana - part 2 - the twilight
Rehaana - part 3 - the phone call
Rehaana - part 4 - the first period
Rehaana - part 5 - the dreamer waits
Rehaana - part 6 - the homecoming
Rehaana - part 7 - Popcorn Confessions
Rehaana - part 8 - Buon giorno Principessa
Rehaana - part 9 - The Mojito
Rehaana - part 10 - The fort falls
Rehaana - part 11 - The conversation
Rehaana - part 12 - her fear
Rehaana - part 13 - not wanting to be found
He saw her text, he didn't know whether to smile or to cry. They had been so close, the next step had seemed so simply real. Yeah it would have been a little messy, but he was there for her, why was it so difficult for her, why.
The other he in the story, the husband came into the picture now, and not in a pleasant way. He had decided to settle down in the US, wanted his parents to also shift. He didn't see himself in the leather business. He wanted to sell it off.
Fights day in and day out. Half the time she was trying to get the business done rest half she was convincing him to not sell out. She was tired, so very tired. She just fell asleep one Wednesday, didn't go to office. Maybe that is what she had needed, cause when she woke up, she knew who to call.
But our author had something else on his mind
"How've you been? I am so sorry, scream at me as much as you may, but I just needed some time"
"Grandpa passed away...I needed you"
"I am so sorry"
"Yeah neways, how've you been"
But she knew she had lost him, he wasn't his usual self...
She got back to her work, her work that she loved, her work that didn't ask her questions, her work that rewarded her back. she had made the biggest comeback with her firm, her employees were happy and engaged and together they had made a big splash on the European scene.
He messaged her a week later, and then again the next day, followed by calls. The more he would call, the less she wanted to talk to him, she wanted to pull back. She was afraid, he would also break her heart.
And he wondered. what about his love did she find deficient. Why couldn't she love him back. Why did Abhyut weigh more on her mind than he did, why did her work matter to her more than he did. He knew about her friends, he knew she was talking to them, meeting them, but she was too busy to even sms him. She wanted to take the effort to make everything else in this world work, but his smile, who would worry about putting a smile on his face.
He was shaken to his root, what more could he do, he knew love needn't be all that simple, but did it have to be so damn tough. He remembered his conversation with the author, he looked up at him, the author just shrugged his shoulders, like he didn't know either.
He realized it was finally upto her, whether she chose to love him, give her life to his happiness or to choose something else as her priority. Not everyone was a dreamer. He just wished she knew what she wanted, what a waste playing pennies and dimes, life should be a game where you are all in or all out. Ever since she had lost a hundred bucks, she had been playing safe, just pennies and dimes.
One week before the final data had to be submitted, she had been busy getting an order from a presitigious fashion house. This would be the clincher. She was so excited she had to tell someone. She called him "Dude, I am gonna get this one, I am gonna so get this one and then I'm gonna nail Abhyut's ass, he won't even know what him. This is the sign I was waiting for"
"Damn you, damn your fucking Abhyut, and damn your prize. When in the night you come back home have a nice lovely dinner with your fucking trophy"
She cried that night, she had never heard him that angry, she had never heard him that mean. Didn't he know how much this meant to her. She wiped her tears, she liked her work and nobody was going to talk to her like that. They were all the same, in the end, they were all the same. Why couldn't he have waited a few weeks, in a few weeks the trophy would be hers, then the happy times would come, no but he couldn't, he was a man, he just didn't understand her.
He was driving back from Gurgaon to Noida, his daily routine. Tired and alone. He had been unsuccesfully been trying to keep her thoughts away while at work, in the car it was impossible. Just him, and her thoughts. He tried to think why he loved her so much. It was because when she talked to him, words would jst flow, it was like the buddy he had always been looking for, but ofcourse when she talked to him, which was rather infrequent.
He blamed himself for some part of what had happened. Maybe he had given her too much to soon and she never really got a chance to know how much she wanted him. Its only when you are hungry you enjoy your meal. The moment she had opened her mouth he had filled it with everything in his kitchen.
Something was wrong up ahead. He heard the screech of tyres, the cars ahead of him looked ok, further down he heard a big crash, with that sound the landcruiser in front of him jammed his breaks fully.
"don't pull your hand brake, don't" he could almost hear himself shout "you're gonna be fine, just don't pull your hand brake"
They did, the landcruiser spun almost 90 degrees as soon as the handbrake was applied and came to a stop bang in the middle. His own breaks were fully jammed. 100 feet, 90 feet...he knew it was gonna be ok. He would bang into the landcruiser but he wouldn't hit it with much impact, his front would get smashed a little, but it was gonna be ok. He didn't want to pull his handbrake lest the guy from behind come and get him from the side.
60 feet, 50...what the $%$#%. A woman stepped out of the back door of the car, evidently dazed, she was holding something in her arms, shucks it was a baby. Her back was towards him.
"Crazy, idiotic woman" he thought
25 feet. The baby looked up at him and smiled. Such a cute baby, he smiled back.
He knew what had to be done, in such situations where most people get frigid, his mind went into an auto analysis mode.
He waved at the baby one last time. 15 feet, he wished, someday he would have a baby like that, and then with his left hand he yanked the wheel left and with his right he went for the cell.
Even at the low speed the car went over the railing. Ask any of the engineers and they would be ruffled as to how it was possible, the railing was so designed that cars would not topple over, well they didn't know that our author had seen a few bollywood films with Dharam paaji beating a whole stadium full of people with a handpump.
The car hit the road below bumper first, the height from which it fell and the fact that it was a maruti car with no airbags, didn't help the his cause much. However he was fast, he knew what the author was upto and he wanted to warn her
"believe in the happy story" he typed out in almost milliseconds, if somebody had been recording it he would have gotten the Guiness record for this act.
But the author got to him before he could press send as the steering wheel came crashing into his chest. His ribs broke and punctured his lungs and his heart. the cell fell from his hands. He didn't go immediately, he thought about his mom, he thought about her, he thought about the little Rehaana whose story he hadn't been able to complete, "now you're just acting like a bouncer" he joked witht the author, he made his peace with him. Five minutes after his car hit the ground his heart stopped beating.
It took them another half an hour to get his body out of the mangled mess
"This year's entrepreneur of the year can be none other that Rehaana, she took a small loss making leather garment unit and has made it an icon of shining India, and the also and indesputable part of the World's fashion industry.
She was on the stage, the trophy beautifully carfted by the house of Cartier itself in her hands. Abhyut was there, in the first row, she could see that it burnt him, that he couldn't look her in the eye today. But she didn't feel happy.
At that time everything seemed to be clear to her. What she wanted was to be in his arms, he giving her a foot massage, she feeding him french toast that she made. She could almost feel him, nothing was complete without him.
She was caught in the cocktail party, she wanted to run, she wanted to scream, she wanted to be free. She kept trying his number, but his cell was unreachable.
She cried that night, she was alone, she wanted him, today she knew so clearly that she wanted him.
It took her a week to find out about him. She thought it was a joke. He couldn't leave her like that could he. A few months wasn't too long for someone to wait was it. This wasn't a movie damm it, this wasn't city of angels, this was her life.
She went to his grave. He was a hindu, but he had always wanted to be buried. Not because he liked the earth so much, but because he wanted to have the last word.
She wasn't sure what flowers to take for him, she didn't know, she had never asked. She took orchids, she liked them the most, she knew he'd anyways like whatever she liked, he was that types.
His tombstone was blank, she sat in awe...he had had the last word and it was so beautiful.
"You weren't supposed to leave me, you promised me a happy story, remember?"
"It is a happy story. You just haven't decided its yours or the author's...."
she turned around, there he stood like always, holding out his comforting hand to her...outside the book