Updated: Mar 14
Chapter 1: LIFE THAT LOVES YOU
‘Deserted, in the mizzle
Drops chisel, my tears concerted
Drizzle tears my soul demented
Torment of your loss, abyssal’
Tear rolled down her cheek as she clutched the eulogy she never spoke. “Are you alright?” asked her dad, searching for her eyes through the rear-view mirror. “Keep your eyes on the road dad” she replied, face down.
“I am very happy that you’re finally seeing someone Jez”. “We will see how far that goes dad” she replied, still facing down. “Great! Air conditioning is down again. Do you want me to open windows for you? I know you don’t like them closed” Jezebel looked at him, carrying her chin up “No, unless you want him to never call me after today. I hope you understand that besides whatever I am not, nothing is really going to make him call me”.
Her eyes teared up again, just this time she didn’t want to ruin her makeup. She has to get this right. Still clutching the paper in her hands, the one she should’ve burned the day they burned him. She wore a black boatneck, something that her fiancée got her, just before he died. Arjun got her this dress to wear for their last date as bachelors.
She wished to stop the car and get out immediately, something told her what she was about to do, was heinous. ‘No one has to suffer more than they have’ she thought. “Dad, let’s just go back” “What! What happened Jez?” Arthur peeking again at the mirror “Is that the damn letter you keep reading?” Jezebel square folded her eulogy.
“You will never get over him like this Jez. I know you loved him but he’s gone, and there’s nothing that can ever bring back what you’ve lost”. “At least, I am not ruining anyone’s life dad, can you say the same about you? Was forgetting her so easy for you?” “No, it wasn’t. You should stop just pretending that everything that’s murky happens just to you”.
“Maybe, it does.” “Listen to me Jez, this is right, trust me.”
‘I wish’ said she, under her breath.
‘Ends of my heart, lord tore
More grief he sends,
Thence, is my yearn of your
Hand in my hands,
“Your life is in your hands!” said Abhimanyu to the kid, cleaning his bike. “Move aside kid, this is going to be rough, in ten seconds I get green, I don’t want to be late son” “Thik hai bhaiya” (okay brother) “Aye! Who did you call bhaiya moron! Do I look like your brother?” Abhimanyu was furious, but the green light demanded him to be fast. ‘At last, a date with a rich girl’ he thought.
Abhimanyu was going faster than he ever did on his bike. ‘The Plaza at 8’ is all that is going through his mind. He doesn’t want to keep her waiting. Its already past 8. Ever less hesitant to break a couple of traffic rules, he finally reached The Plaza. He took out his phone. ‘pickup the phone abhi’ his dad had messaged. ‘I can’t right now dad, busy.’ It was already 8:33.
That was least of his worries right now. The tricky part was recognising her. Even worse, explaining his casual white tee. Abhimanyu’s favourite rule - when in doubt of the identity of your date, pick the most beautiful girl you see, and forget everything else. But today, was different. With a slight modification to his rule he started looking for the most overdressed girl he could see. He couldn’t see anyone overdressed yet. ‘Thank god!’ he thought.
A Benz pulled over. Abhimanyu was shocked. He never knew a day would come in his life when he would see someone like Arthur George driving his own car. One among the richest in the city. Also the man about to ruin his life. Back door opened. His date was here.
Abhimanyu’s jaws were already on the floor.
Abhimanyu took a good look at himself again. ‘Damn it! I wish I don’t mess this up’. ‘You can do this, you are the champ!’ said he under his breath. “Hi! We talked over the phone? This is Abhi.” “Oh, Hi Abhimanyu” “Don’t bother to say my full name Jez” said he.
“Jezebel” she replied.
He took his handkerchief out. Swiping his forehead hard he thought ‘Idiot you have seen enough movies to know this stuff damn it! Say something funny’. “You look beautiful tonight” ‘That wasn’t funny perv!’ “Thank you.” She said with a smile on her face, for the first time tonight. ‘Wow that actually worked, keep going.’ “I never thought you would actually come here.” “Why did you think so?” she asked. “I don’t remember, you’re so pretty I forgot what I was going to say.”
He was hoping for a blush. ‘Dumb idiot’ he thought. She looked at him the way a serial killer might look at his victim. ‘This was a bad idea.’ He murmured. Awkward silence.
“So Abhi, you forgot the only pickup line you knew?” “Huh?” she placed her hand on her forehead and said “Lets do this again silly.” Moving her hand forward she said “Hi, I’m Jez”. He shook her hand and said “Hi, I’m Abhimanyu” “Nice name, Abhi.”
“Abhimanyu” he replied.
She burst into laughter, with a hand on her stomach, he joined. “Have you ever got a girl being this nervous?” still laughing. He asked “Hahaha no, Have you?” what he said took out life out of her laughter. ‘Has she?’ he thought.
“I’m sorry did I say something wrong?” he asked. His phone started ringing. “Excuse me, it’s my dad” he went ten steps away only to cut the call and message ‘What happened dad?’ waiting for his reply he turned. He saw her running back to a different car than which she came in. Surprised by this he threw his hands up in the air. He looked down and thought ‘I don’t know about you, but I have to get you’
She rushed back to her car. ‘I can’t do this!’ thought she. She opened the gate, sat down and slammed it back again. Her eyes teared up. She started scouring for the eulogy in her purse, chain after chain, while suddenly she heard a voice from beside “You know that letter is not what’s going to bring him back from the dead”
Back at The Plaza Abhimanyu had no idea what his dad wanted to say to him. Scratching his head about that abrupt exit he just witnessed. His phone beeped. ‘The lawyer has agreed to take the case son.’ Sudden angst and heat of remorse jolted down his body. “Maybe I can never leave you behind Parikshit.” Said the boy who lost his brother two weeks ago.
“I see that you’ve used only one of the three pills I gave you” the man in car continued. “I know our deal” she said, still a bit surprised she continued “you cannot appear like this in my private space Saman.” Said she still a bit agitated. The black cloud began taking the form of human. She yelled “This is my car!” “And this is my world! I have lived hundreds of years and will continue to live on, what are you? Petty girl.” She began breathing heavily “Don’t do this to me Saman, why do you need another life while I have already given you one.” A tear rolled down her eyes “Isn’t one death enough for you?” “Don’t start your pathetic human performance in front of me” looking dead straight into her eyes, he continued “I told you, to get his life back” with fear she looked dead straight into his eyes and said “You’re a monster! Don’t say that, I beg you!” “…to get his life back, you have to take a life that loves you.”
To be continued….
Feedback will be a blessing :)