“You know what?, Just fuck off. Go to hell.” , she screamed. The intensity of the moment felt a little too much for her to take in calmly. Her outburst was a necessity. Hell, I’d say it was bloody inevitable.
“Are you picking up a fight with me?” I teased her in my most playful tone. “Coz if your, It ain’t gonna work out. Not tonight. I’m not going to fight back tonight”
“Hmmm, Why?” , she replied after a moment’s deliberated thought.
I spread my arms wide open, inviting her to a hug. I patiently waited.
I met Ritu when we were in college. It was a funny meet of sorts. I was glued to my phone and I wasn’t particularly aware of where I was headed. I was caught up in this Facebook war. We were discussing something so irrelevant and so pointless that it had my utmost focused attention. The heated debate was over women rights activists who were full of themselves and I was busy trolling a pseudo feminist, who in my opinion was a sexist pig but was pretending to be a feminist. Sure, I hated his guts. Fucking twerp.
As the last of the messages sealed the poor bloke’s fate, a door slammed into me and I was left with a broken bleeding nose. That was the first time I met her. Ritu, a name that I would learn a few hours later. A person for whom I’d fall head over clueless heels much later. I was left in a state of dazed shock upon the sudden impact. ‘Da FUC’, I screamed out in reflex. I was quick enough to not complete the verb as my eyes caught the culprit.
I raised my hand to announce that I was ok. Blood trickled down my nose and that was it. She obviously felt guilty about her unintended accident. She apologized and made it a point to accompany me to the campus hospital.The doctor cleaned up the wound and bandaged it. And that was that.
“I’m Ritu”, the young girl enthusiastically introduced herself by offering a handshake. She managed to both shake my hand and life in time.
“Get lost. I’m not going to hug you”, she replied.
“Awww, don’t be like that.” I tried comforting her. “It’s not like I’ll be gone forever! I’m still gonna be around”
It was a hard choice. After years of being together, staying as one, this decision to separate was hard indeed. I knew I was going to miss her, but I never really worried myself. The world meant nothing to me and I meant nothing to it whatsoever! We both were happy with the status quo. For her it was different. The loss was more personal to her. I completed her in ways where she was left incomplete.
“No, that’s ok. I’m not going to hug you.” , she fought on.
She sure was a complicated little lady. She was a true Gemini. The whole concept of Geminis being dual was very much in line with her. She was both a beauty and a beast. She was an angel and the devil’s demon child too. Soft as a kitten and feral as a lynx. And tonight, yeah , she was being both sweet and stubborn. She was talking to me. That was a sign of her being sweet. She was still putting up a fight. She never backed off a fight after we met. She always went all in.
Ritu’s life was complicated. An abusive father, a deranged mother. She felt trapped between their worlds. Her father had his eyes set on taking advantage of her. Her mother blamed her youth and beauty. She’d accuse her of being a seductress. Ritu was trapped right in between two hells. There was very little comfort in her life those few years. New adulthood, plagued by fear and guilt, her life was getting miserable with each day passing.
She hated heading back home. When our friendship grew stronger , we both walked late into the nights with her holding my hand for a comfort. She loved talking to me. She told me her fears. She told me her dreams. I never spoke much in our relationship. I loved listening to her. I liked it that way. She would never run short of things to talk about. The challenges at home, her father’s perverted failed advances, her mother’s icy cold accusations, the guys at class, the jealous girls from class, she never really had to think long to strike a long conversation with me. Deep down I always knew we’d eventually be one.
I rested myself comfortable on the couch. Ritu stood. She never sat down when she was harboring anger. She felt that anything that stood to comfort her would mellow down the burning rage in her. She’d never drink water when she was angry. She liked the fuming burning anger in her. It consumed her and it gave her a twisted sense of comforting peace. It was that anger in her which helped her maintain balance in her world.
I sat and watched her twitch a little from time to time. Time flew by fast enough. Probably a quarter of an hour had passed before she sat down beside me by the couch. I still didn’t choose to say a word. Neither did she bother an attempt at breaking the silence. She leaned her head sideways and rested it on my shoulder.
“That’s it. So you are going away like that?” , she asked.
“I’m afraid so Ritu” , I replied.
“I thought you promised to look after me forever. Was that an empty promise ? ”
I couldn’t find the words to answer that question.
“It’s not going to be like that sweetie” , I assured her. “You really don’t need me to keep you safe and looked after. You are a strong , very strong woman. You don’t really need a bloke like me”, I said.
“Says who!”, she challenged me
I smiled at how adorable she had become. She was almost like a gentle child.
“You know”, I answered.
She turned to face me and hugged me tight.
“Get lost. Go to hell”, she gently whispered into my ears. “I’m going to miss you dude” , she said.
I felt our hearts beating as one for one last time.
“I’m going to slowly count down from five. You will grow awake and more awake with each count. Once I’m down to ONE, I’ll snap my fingers. When you fully wake up, You will no longer remember Karthik. He will no longer be the personality that your mind created as a self defence mechanism to keep you away from committing a suicide. You no longer need that baggage in your head Ritu.” , Doctor Verma spoke in a soothing comforting tone.
“And five….., four…, you are slowing waking up from your deeper inner self… three…. you are waking up as a complete person, strong and determined. two….. You are in control and you are going to do fine. One……. and now you are all set to fully wake up.”
And a finger snapped. One died, one was born again. A sun set at a distance and a moon rose high across the night sky.