Chapter Thirteen


Jay arrives home in the evening. He finds the door locked. He pulls out his keys from the pocket and opens the door. He looks around for Parnika but she’s not there. She must be still at hospital. He thinks and looks at the dining table. There’s a bowl and plate ready. There was a letter placed beneath the bowl. He picks up the letter and opens it. The letter brings tears in his eyes. He searches for his phone and dials Parnika’s number. The phone rings right beside him from the chair. This was her chair. He picks up her phone. It was his picture with her as the wallpaper and lockscreen.

He wanted to hug her and cry in her lap but she wasn’t there for him now. He dials up at her hospital. “Hello! Can I talk to Dr Chunawala?” “Sir, I am Jay. Can you share details about Pari’s flight? I mean Parnika Mehta’s flight?” “She forgot to tell you? Her flight was at noon today. She must be somewhere in remote africa by this time.” Jay glances at the clock it showed 8:30 pm. He was angry last night. He didn’t wanted to hurt Parnika anymore so he drives out thinking a drive would calm him down but eventually he crashed at Hitesh’s flat. Hitesh wanted to call Parnika and let her know about Jay being here when he paid heed to narration Jay just had shared but Jay didn’t want him to let Parnika know about it.

Jay slept almost whole day, when he opened his eyes the clock was showing 4:00 pm. He freshened up and had coffee that Hitesh made for him. His eyes were swollen and still red because of unable to sleep properly. His mind has constant thoughts about Parnika and last night . Finishing his coffee quickly he rushes back to the house.

His life had been falling apart now. Parnika wasn’t there anymore with him. Shriya played him. His parents were on world tour and he didn’t want them to cancel their trip and come home just for him. So he decided to deal with this himself. Since the project was over and he was hired for the project specific itself. He had no job as of now. He started taking freelancing projects. His life was now monotonous and emotionless. He used to order food once a day and eat it the whole day. He hardly used to go out and see anyone else. Hitesh often used to be worried about him and used to drop by on weekends.

Hitesh was working with his dad for awhile now and it wasn’t going quite well. He certainly wasn’t a business person at all. He often used to share the things that he learnt with his dad during that time. It was his attempt to take his mind off from the recent events and think about something else. But Jay had something else in his mind. He couldn’t remove that night out of his head. He missed Parnika’s presence around. She left her phone here on a purpose. She doesn’t want to talk to me anymore. I have hurt her really bad. I forgot the promise I had given to Seema aunty. Such thoughts often used to plague his mind.

Two months passed by and Hitesh decided if this goes on for any longer it

might be harmful for him. He couldn’t stay with him for long because of personal issues. He decided to call Khushi. Khushi was the only one who could help bring him out of the present situation. Khushi and Hitesh had been secretly seeing each other for a long time now. It was during their engineering days when Hitesh and Khushi fell in love with each other. Khushi later on moved out of the country for her course in fashion designing and decided to work there for a few years to gain experience. Khushi was now 22 year old charming young lady. She was independent and could live on her own.

“Hey!  How’s you?” Hitesh connects in a video call with Khushi “I am great, but just at feel lonely at times. I miss you and everyone else too much now.” “Khushi, I wanted to talk about something important.” Hitesh’s expression go on from casual to tensed. “ Don’t tell me you’re proposing me a marriage on video call. I want you to do that in person. Don’t be a shy.” Khushi jokes off thinking Hitesh must be asking her out but it was something He had been hiding from everyone for a couple of months now. He narrates the whole story so far to Khushi who was now concerned about her brother.

“I was thinking to come back already and this is making me worried. Why didn’t you tell me before Hitu.” Khushi was thinking to get back to India because she had enough working there as an intern. She was now feeling lonely as being lonely in apartment everyday and just to and fro from work had made her life hectic. But knowing this now, she wanted to get back as soon as possible. Not for herself but for her brother. She didn’t want him to drown himself in sorrows and do something abominable with his life. She had been seen a ton of movies on this and had known a few people who had actually attempted something that they shouldn’t had. It was a relief that Hitesh was with him in this time and Jay didn’t resort to any sort of addiction.

Khushi wanted to tell her brother about her and Hitesh being together but she worried how he’d react. They had been hiding it for a few years now. She guessed eventually sooner or later they’d have to tell their families about it so why not when she gets back this time. It’s a great time as their parents are out for world tour and Jay loved her so it would be easy to convince her brother. She wished Parnika was there to help her but with the present situations she had no clue what would be her next step. All her plans were sort of down the drain and she had to deal with something that no one in their family would’ve imagined. Parnika and Jay not talking to each other

Parnika used to often write Ma and Pa emails as she didn’t always had access to internet. Roaming around in remote regions of Wild Africa for 4 months now wasn’t easy at all. She used to send them pictures and little clips from her adventures. Khushi knew this because they had a chance to speak on video call for a while just a week back. Khushi had written Parnika about the plan she had in her mind. She needed her help to talk about Hitesh and her with her brother first. She knew no one knows Jay better than Parnika. She didn’t feel even a tinge of sadness or negativity from her during their half hour long video call which was abruptly disconnected because of some unknown network issue.

Khushi had no idea what was happening there with her brother in India. She had a sweet picture of his brother with Parnika in her mind.

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