Saturday, 17 November 2018

Chapter Twenty One



CHAPTER TWENTY - ONE

Parnika replies to every mail after reading as she reads the last email from Khushi. It was received a week before. She wrote about Jay’s depression. What is troubling him? Am I a reason for the depression? She wonders as she reads the email. She had attached his recent pictures when they had been to one event.  She said he secretly emails me everyday, but I haven’t received even a single email? Is she lying so I help her to tell Ma and Pa about their relationship? But as far as I know her, she might be mean but not selfish. Who knows? Time might have changed her. She shuts her laptop screen down and tries to sleep. It was quite early in the morning now and sun was about to rise.

She heard a knock on the door. She gets up and walks yawning and opens the door. It was Jake outside. He was bored so he wanted to hangout. Looking at her still yawning and drowsy with red eyes, he decided to let it pass and apologised for disturb her. He walks back to his room as she wonders what’s wrong with him now? She drags herself to the bed and sleeps till evening. It looked as if she was dead asleep on the bed for years now. They had a free week before they headed off to another campsite to help the people. She was least interested in going out as she was tired and wanted to sleep the whole time as they won’t be getting this comfy beds again at least until the work gets over there.

She opens her laptop and searches for some places around to explore while they were here. Meanwhile she hears a knock on the door. “Come in!” She shouts from the bed as Jake enters the room dressed in nice navy blue shirt and white pants. “Hey, I wanted to know if you wanted to hangout together?” Jake was appeared a bit nervous. “Uhm yes, I was a bit bored. You can sit for a while, I need to get ready.” She pulls off her blanket and walks into the bathroom taking some clothes with her. She comes out in red dress which had a nice dotted skirt which went just below her knees. She had bought this dress a day earlier and wanted to wear it but didn’t had a chance. She had one now and she wanted to just get her mind of these thoughts and enjoy her time here. “I’m ready, lets go.” She takes her purse and they head out.

Jake was from Florida. He was a dentist. Both were of close enough in age Jake being just a few years elder. Her team had two other Gemma and Clara. Gemma was young german physiotherapist while Clara was a paediatrician from Italy. They had been on such camps before but for Jake and Parnika it was the very first experience. Gemma and Clara had been already exploring around and Jake was being bored sitting alone. He was a kind of nerd and didn’t talk to anyone else much apart from their team. He was a skilled professional although his communication skills were bad in real life. He was really good in keeping kids calm during dental procedures. At times they used to wonder if he was actually hypnotising them. It was like the moment kids used to talk to him they used to calm down and happily let them work with their wounds.

There were times when the stress used to take over Parnika and there was no one other than Jake to calm her down. He had some magical convincing power that he could just calm down anyone even in the most worst of the situations. She was really happy to have him on her team. He often used to remind him of Jay. She shakes her head at that thought as they walk into the restaurant at the top of their hotel. They sit on the table and place their orders. The breakfast buffet was ready but they weren’t really interested in it today. She wanted to try something Indian for change as it had been long for her having something that she’s used to eating all her life now. It was quite difficult to choose as most items were non vegetarian. She asked the waitress and the orders the dish that she recommends her.

Jake had been behaving different around her since that last event. They were locked inside the store room because the key had broken inside the lock. They had to call someone from the city to get this lock changed. It took them 14 hours and all this while they were stuck in cold windowless storage room. They were freezing and shivering. They wished if they could get the temperatures a bit high but if they’d do that all the vaccines and other medicines would be destroyed. They couldn’t risk that happening as that would delay their campaigns for more than a month. It took more than 7 hours to for others to find out that they were inside that cold storage with key broken and stuck inside the door lock. All this while they were stuck in that cold storage with dressed in minimal cool keeping clothes and a doctor’s coat.

She had been shivering furiously because of cold and suddenly Jake had hugged her wrapping her like a shield from the cold vents that were blasted chilly waves. They somehow huddled close beneath the vents snuggling with each other as after almost a day they were brought out of the cold storage. It was the only way to have both of them warm in the chilled storage without any warm clothes. Luckily both of them were okay and were advised to have a rest for the next day even when both wanted to work. Since that day Jake was behaving a bit weirdly. He used to be all shy and nervous around her, more than ever. His cheeks used to be red when she used to compliment him.

Gemma and Clara had noticed this sudden change with them as they often teased Parnika that Jake is in love with her. But she never took it seriously. She had always seen him as a friend and nothing else. She had her heart given to someone else already. What if Jay sees me just as a friend? Like I do see Jake just as a friend? Maybe it’s just unrequited? Thought struck her mind making shocking realisations. But what if he’s scared to open up and tell me? Maybe he’s just as scared to tell me like I am? Her mind was constantly battling thoughts inside. She wanted to avoid those thoughts for once but again she was caught in the same thing. She wanted to get done with this once and for all.

After the breakfast, she comes and opens her laptop. She finds a new email from Khushi. She clicks open and begins to read.

Dear Pari

You don’t know how excited i am to write this to you. Bhai was happy about us being together. I didn’t even had to tell him. He knew about us all this while. It was such a shocking surprise for us. We had been worried about how to tell him but today he just surprised me. We are going off to the exhibit and it’s going to be fun. I am going to go now. I’ll write to you after coming back in this same letter.

So, here I am back after the event and guess what?! Bhai met a girl. Her name is Anjani. I am so sorry I couldn’t just write and finish this letter that day itself. She had a problem parallel parking and bhai had to help her just like he does with you. She is so pretty. She often reminds me of you as her behaviour is so close, it feels as if you’re here in her body. You know Hitesh and I think they both look so good together as a couple. They bonded so well just in one dinner tonight. I can’t tell you how happy I am. He’s finally out of depression. He had gone into deep depression after you left and he broke up with Shriya. He was all alone and sad. He skipped meals and had lost a ton of weight during this time.

But since they’ve met its been so awesome. They have been going out together and they are such a cute couple. You should probably see your twin. Although you are a lot prettier than her. Just don’t let bhai or her know that I told you this. But isn’t it great to have our own girl gang now? I just can’t wait for Ma and Pa to get back from the trip.

I am right now leaving for Canada and I am so happy to say that Bhai is finally happy. You know Anjani decided to move in with bhai for a week because her house was getting renovated. I couldn’t image bhai offering her to stay with him. But I am feeling that this would be good for both of them. I am sending you the pic from the last dinner we had been on. I am eager to read from you about your adventures from the remote areas of the world.

Love you,
Khushi

A little tear drop escapes her eye as she clicks to see a picture of all four of them together hugging each other. Her eyes lock upon Anjani. She’s just like what khushi had described. Does he really like her? He surely looks really close and happy with her. Does that mean my love is unrequited? Her eyes get wet as she shuts the laptop screen and digs her face in the pillow.

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Dhawal Joshi

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
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