Chapter Thirty Two


It had been a few weeks after Jay was again left all by himself. This time no one to be by his side and hold him while he could just cry and vent out his pain. He embraced the pain this time and decided to fight back. He decided to just play with others just like that have been playing with him all the time.

He stopped communicating with everyone. He just used to reply to his parent’s email once in a while but he had stopped that and made some excuse for that as well. He just wanted to be alone and away from all those who know him. He had been promoted to a senior position and was earning handsomely than ever. That day when he was back home, he wanted to share the good knews with Anjani who had just left a letter for him and didn’t even feel worth talking to him.

For once he felt there was someone in his life that loved him back and she too left him without even facing him. Was not he even worth enough to be told that on his face? What was that silly excuse that he loved someone else and not her? The thoughts plagued his minds all day long.

It was sunday and he was scrolling through his social media. He recently had joined a social media to get himself some new friends that didn’t leave him and would stay connected unlike the ones who never responded to his emails. His eyes get stuck on a post while scrolling. He clicks to read the whole post.

Looking for recommendations

I am working on a book and visiting Ahemdabad for the same. I’d be glad if anyone could suggest me some good locations where I could stay as paying guest? I don’t want hotels as it’d be for a month or more and staying in hotel for that long wouldn’t fit my budgets.

Jay smiles and opens the comment box and types in

You can stay at my place, I have a few rooms empty that I won’t mind lending in to a friend for sometime.

Jay continued scrolling as there was a message from Miral. He opens the chat and waits as she was typing something.

Miral : Hi! Thanks a lot for the invite. I’d be happy to accept your offer. But there’s one minor issue.

Jay : What’s the issue?

Miral : I hope Parnika doesn’t mind me staying at your place. I know you two are still pretty close.

Jay : hahah! No, she won’t mind you at all. Also, you’d be paying guest hence even my parents won’t mind. I am not doing any favours on you, just helping a friend to find a safe place to stay while she works on her book.

Miral : Thanks a lot Jay! I’ll text you my flight arrival details soon. Please send me your address so I can get a taxi to your place.

Jay : Oh don’t be so formal. We are friends. I’ll pick you up from airport. Just send the flight details.

Miral: Ohkay! Thank you a ton!

Jay smiles closing the chat before heading back to his social media scrolling. Miral Jain was a old school friend to Jay.
[1]  But to Parnika, Miral was an arch rival. There were always sparks flying between both of them as Parnika was always a queen bee of the class. Miral wanted to be the same but there can’t be two queens in one hive. Their rivalry kept increasing until they got chose different career paths and almost lost contact with each other. The main reason for their rivalry was Jay. Apart from the struggle to be the queen bee, the school president, both Parnika and Miral had feelings for Jay.

As it usually was, Jay had no idea about about this and spent his school life being totally unaware of a fight just because of him. For him, Miral was just an old friend who was making her entry back into his life. Miral was rival to Parnika in every aspect right from academics to appearance.

Jay used to often compliment Miral at her beauty which were more of desperate attempts to lure him away from Parnika. Such things made Parnika more wary of Miral and she often later started being possessive about him, letting no girl come near him since then. Miral later had moved to Australia as her father worked in the Indian embassy and wanted his family to stay with him as Miral’s school education was now completed. Hence it ended the arch rivalry of the queen bee’s for the time being.

Miral had no idea about the current relationship between Parnika and Jay. She assumed that they’d be dating each other as it was quite obvious from school days. Miral might be scared of Parnika for once but she still had feelings for Jay the same way Parnika had. She thought it’d be difficult keeping herself sane and working on the thing that she had been visiting Ahemdabad for. The least of her worries were indulging with Parnika in a silly cat fight, there was something way more in her plate that needed to be dealt with.

Jay reaches the airport as Miral had previously texted him the flight details. Jay heads inside the common waiting area holding a little placard with ‘Miral Jain’ written on it. Jay had uploaded his profile picture on the social media but Miral had a candid picture of her in yellow salwar suit holding a diya as he long brown hair covered most of her face. Jay had no idea who he was looking for as the flight had landed and he could see people arriving from the terminals taking their luggage from the luggage belts close by.

Jay turns around shocked as someone taps on his shoulder from back. He moves to find a beautiful girl behind him smiling at him. She points at the placard and then points at herself. Miral had now grown into a 5’ 3’’ tall young woman. Her smooth and fair skin complimented her pink luscious lips as she tucks her long brown hair behind her ear. She moves sunglasses over her head as her coral green eyes come into vision and hugs him. “It’s so good to see you after all these long years.” Jay hugs her back.

“Yes, btw you look gorgeous even in this turquoise dress. Were you actually wearing this during the whole flight?” Jay pulls out from the hug. Miral looks down and smiles, “Yes, I was back from a party and was already late for the flight hence didn’t have time to change.” Miral blushes at Jake’s compliment as she looks at his lips. “So, shall we leave? Let me take this.” Jay picks up her bag and starts walking as Miral walks shyly behind him thinking what if he was actually her boyfriend? It felt just like as if Jay being her boyfriend is picking her up from airport.

But she shakes her head and thinks about the work she is come here for. She sits on the passenger side as Jay puts the luggage on the backseat and takes the driver seat. She looks at him with smile and mentally hopes if she could spend more time with him. But she won’t have much time to spend with him. “How’s your family and Parnika?” She asked emphasizing more on Parnika as she desperately wanted to know if she still had some chance or not.

When Jay had commented on her post it was like a dream come true, as if life was giving her a second chance and compensation for everything that was taken from her when she left India long back. “They’re all healthy and happy. All away from me.” Jay replies in a stern voice as if something was hurting him. She sensed something was wrong. She places hand on his arm, “What do you mean? Isn’t Parnika the closest one to you?” She smiles looking him. “I don’t think she is. She’s far away from me right now. I don’t know anything about her so kindly stop bringing her up again and again. I know you two had a connection back in school days. But now the last thing I want is to talk about her.” Jay replies without looking at her. But the expression on his face had changed and it was now that cold look which Miral had never seen on his face before ever.

For a moment she shivered looking at Jay in this condition. She felt as if he had some deep pain inside him which was somehow related with Parnika. She assumed something really serious must have happened between both of them as it was really hard to seperate Jay from Parnika even back then in school days. Time must have had changed them, she thought. She was happy that now she could have her childhood crush for once without any disturbance. She could spend all time with her without worrying about Parnika coming in between.

Jay opens the guest room for Miral upstairs which was just opposite to Jay’s room. “Right now it’s only me who lives here and now you. If you need anything don’t hesitate to ask. I assume since you are here for some book research you’d need something to get around in the city. I have a spare car the garage, if you want to use it I’d get it serviced up since it’s been in the garage for a long time now. You’d have to pay for the servicing and fuel although.” Jay places the baggage in the room. He was referring to the car which he had bought for Anjani. The car was never used and was just parked in garage after she left.

“Thanks, that’d be of great help. Thank you so much Jay. Its really way more than I had expected.” Miral hugs Jay who feels a bit weirded out by her sudden closeness with him. Miral’s happiness knew no bounds as it felt heaven to her here. Just her and Jay, alone in a house, no disturbance, no talks about Parnika. It was as if some god had granted all her childhood wishes. She always used to imagine what if she gets married to Jay and they have their own house as a child. It felt as if her childhood dreams come true.

Jay walks downstairs to get the car to the servicing centre as Miral walks around the room taking a look. She opens her suitcase and brings out some hospital files along with a diary and a notepad. She pulls out her laptop from its case and starts searching for J.K.Shah Hospital on the Internet. It was just 5 kilometers away from their place. She quickly clears her search history and then keeps the files back in her suitcase and locks it up back again. She arranges her belongings into the room and heads for shower.

A few hours later, Jay is back from the garage and the car looked as good as new. He hands the keys over to Miral. “Here are your keys, enjoy your stay here. Also, that car belonged to someone special so please be careful with it. Drivers are a bit reckless here.” Jay smiles looking at the black hatchback which brought back memories of Anjani. He sighs and shakes his head before heading out of the house. Miral tries to stop him but he seemed to be engrossed deeply into his own thoughts.

Jay gets into the car and heads for the market. He needed to back up some supplies for the week as it was sunday and he wasn’t alone in the house anymore. Usually he never bothered about keeping up groceries in the house as he was alone and barely had any regular eating habits. He usually used to eat lunch in his office canteen and rarely had anything for dinner. His breakfast most of the times used to be a packet of bread with some tea while at times he used to just skip it and order tea while being at work.

To Jay it felt similar as if someone close to him was back home. He smiles thinking about Parnika for a moment looking at the bottle of jam. He smiles remembering how they used to bicker over a Jam flavour as Parnika loved the mixed fruit and Jay was fond of strawberry. He picks up the bottle of mixed fruit jam and places it in the trolly. He finishes the grocery shopping and heads back home with a smile. Coming back makes him realise that he is just alone. Everyone has left him and this is just a friend who he really used to know back in the day but now knows nothing about her.

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