“Why don’t you understand, Doc? I don’t need therapy. I don’t want therapy. She’s right here. She’s fucking standing behind you. Would you kindly turn the fuck around and open those tiny eyes of yours?”
“I understand your condition, but this is no time to be pretentious. Your sister is paying me a thousand bucks per hour. I don’t get any pleasure by making you rant out your woes to me. So either speak or watch me suck on your bank balance like a leech. ”
“Okay then. Where were we?”
January was a splendid month. The cool weather and calm skies made everyone cheerful. Well, almost everyone.
She sat there at her usual spot. The half rotten wooden bench, with cornice-like moss surrounding it’s legs. This time, there was a book in her hand-“The Fault In Our Stars”.
“Cliché, as usual”, I thought.
Taking advantage of the empty seat beside her, I plonked my rucksack down and tried to accomodate my body onto the tiny bench. After exchanging a few casual greetings, I realized that she was conversation worthy, after all.
“Some book you got there.”
“People said it’s good. I wanted to know why. I’m on page 178 and I yet haven’t figured it out.”
She seemed to be a shade better than the other girls with mainstream choices.
“Would you like to have a Cappuccino with me? I know a café nearby that brews one of the best blends that I’ve tasted.”
“Sure thing, Zoaib.”
“Wait. How do you know my name?”
“The college identity card hanging from the collar of your wrinkled shirt doesn’t lie.”
“You’re not the first one to tell me that.”
“Then? Skip to the important part. I don’t have all day.”
“Wait Doctor. You’re supposed to handle patients with patience. You’ll be paid all your dues. Give me a minute.”
By March, we had become close. Really fucking close. I was hanging from that relationship thread which you might call “The Friendzone”. I knew I’d get out of there.
“I love the way how you look at me, Zoaib.”
“How do I look at you? Do I seem creepy?”
“No. Not at all. You look at me as if I’m the only person in the room.”
“Oh”, I said as I bent forward and kissed her cheek. She appreciated the gesture and kissed back.
“That all is adorable but I need to know about that incident. Tell me about that.”
How does a regular person spend his Friday night? At a party? Drinking with friends?
Well, I spent my Friday night in a different way. I was running away from the men who wanted to kill me. Three of them. All were well built and carried hockey sticks. I had found a stash of drugs that their gang was selling, and then called the police. These men wanted to kill me. They wanted to smash my fucking brains out. I ran into a small shack and called Amira. I needed to tell her something before I died.
“Hi. Hello. Listen. Don’t freak out. I’m about to die. I’m in a shed near Sweet Kitchen. I’m being chased. I wanted to say something.”
“Wait what? I’ll call the cops and be there in a minute.”
“No. Don’t do anything please. Just fucking listen to me.”
“I love you. Okay bye.”
I heard a few voices. In a few seconds, I saw the window being smashed open. They found me.
“This is it”, I thought.
My skull throbbed with pain. The last thing I heard was sirens and the sound of a girl, crying.
When I woke up, I was in the a strange room with people in white coats rushing around. The hospital ICU. A nurse alerted the doctor of my consciousness.
“How do you feel?”
“You were knocked out for a week.”
“Where the fuck is Amira?”
The doctor looked dismayed. He showed me a stale newspaper.
‘Teenage Girl Killed In A Bid To Save Her Boyfriend’
I had always wanted to be on the front page of the newspaper, but definitely not in this way.
“I know it’s going to be hard”, the doctor said as he patted my back.
I didn’t cry.
I couldn’t cry.
What was there to cry about?
She was right there.
She was standing in front of me. In white robes.
“Yes Doc. That’s it.”
Dr. Kapadia handed me a report with ‘Hallucination’ written as the header.
“I’m not hallucinating. I can feel her presence. Like how a bee can sense pollen.”
“I want you to stay at home for atleast a week. Also, throw away everything that reminds you of her. She’s dead. She was dead, is dead and will always remain dead. No one can change that.”
“I wish she could see me now”, I said as I watched the letters of her name carve themselves on my tear stained face in the mirror