“Rashmi, you have no idea how happy I am! ” Ajay said, holding her hand lovingly.
“I am very happy too, Ajay. I can’t believe you just said that we will inform our parents that we want to get married. I mean, that’s what I’ve always wanted. But you wanted to wait for the right time. ” The day has arrived, ” Rashmi continued thoughtfully. “Finally!”, She exclaimed happily, pressing his hand.
“I know, you had to wait a long time for this day. But I had a reason for it.” He said, holding her hand.
“Yes, I agree. We were waiting for confirmation of the job. What an amazing opportunity it is! Everyone will be happy at home, and Amma and Appa will never say no to our alliance. ” Rashmi said cheerfully.
“Fingers crossed for everything that will happen now.” He said, looking at her. And then she kept looking into his eyes. Deep and firm! She was so sure about this moment, and so was he. It was as if they had waited for this moment to come.
It was a silent evening when they decided to meet, just like any other day. But Ajay had planned a small surprise for Rashmi, that they would now inform their parents that they wanted to get married. Rashmi’s joy had no limits that day. She was extremely happy.
They decided to meet the next day, as today they just wanted to live in the moment. So they enjoyed it with hot coffee and chocolate brownies. They were supposed to meet the next day and plan how to inform parents now. But God had some other plans.
As decided, Rashmi reached the cafe 15 minutes earlier than the decided time. When she did not see any sign of Ajay reaching the cafe, she tried to call him. But his phone was not reachable. She waited for some more time, but there was no contact. She became impatient and kept calling him, but his phone was still not reachable. She then got worried, but unfortunately, she could not call anyone to check where Ajay was. He has never done this before. He always turned up for a meeting. What must have happened? Is he okay? Or maybe he would have informed his parents about us and his parents did not agree, so maybe that’s why he did not come to meet me today? Oh God, what if it is true? No, but I spoke to him an hour ago. He said that he was coming to meet me.
Then what must have happened?
She kept thinking, dialing his number, expecting that at least once he would pick up the phone and tell her that he was fine. She was worried. After almost an hour, she decided to leave the cafe. For the first time, she did not touch the coffee she ordered. She paid the bill and left.
Days turned to weeks. It’s been two weeks since Ajay last made contact with me. He disappeared. But why? She kept thinking, but she did not get any answers in return. She started feeling restless. She could not even tell her parents what she was going through. They always took important decisions together. And that’s why she could not tell her parents about him.
Another day, when she was getting ready for the office, she got a call from an unknown number. She thought of not picking up, but when she saw the name on the true caller, she immediately picked up. It was Aryan Shetty. (Ajay’s brother)
“Hello?” She picked up.
“Am I speaking to Rashmi?” He asked.
“Rashmi, this is Aryan Shetty. Ajay’s brother. ” He said.
(Yes, I know you. Ajay has told me so much about you. But please tell me where Ajay is. She wanted to scream, but still said, “Yes, Aryan.”
“We haven’t spoken to each other before, but I know a lot about you.
“Right! From the same source, of course. ” She tried to sound positive.
“Yes, very much.” He said and continued. “Rashmi, I am sorry. Let me get straight to the point. Can we please meet?”
“Aaa…” She could not understand what to respond to. “Sure.”
“All right, this evening, 6 is okay for you? I know you leave the office at 5.30” He claimed it was simple.
How come he knows so much about me?
“Yes, that works. Aryan, quick help, please. May I speak to Ajay?” She spoke and then realised that it was too direct to ask Ajay’s brother about him. “I had to speak to him about work, actually.”
“I know what you mean, Rashmi. But let’s meet, and then I will tell you everything in detail.” He said in a low tone.
Rashmi, too, did not push for more information. She was just happy with the thought that at least she got to hear about Ajay after 3 weeks.
“All right, I will meet you in the evening then.” She said and before disconnecting the call.
She desperately waited for time to pass as fast as possible. So that she gets to meet Ajay or at least get to know more about him. She could not concentrate on work. She kept looking at her watch.
Finally, she was going to meet Aryan at the cafe. She felt nervous and anxious at the same time.
Then a young man, probably 3 to 4 years younger than Ajay, approached Rashmi.
Rashmi expected him to be Aryan. Yet, she waited for him to say something.
“Rashmi?” He asked.
“Yes. Aryan?” She said, raising her eyebrows.
“Please take a seat,” she said, smiling, and continued, “How did you recognise me? I did not even mention in the morning what I looked like or how we should recognise each other.”
“Because of this, I could easily spot you.” He said, moving Rashmi’s photo in front of her.
“Oh, where did you get this from?” She was surprised.
“Bhaiya showed me.”
“You mean….?” Before she completed her sentence, he cut the line and said, “Yes, I know about you two.”
“Okay.” That was all she had to say.
“Rashmi, I have to tell you something. But just listen to what I am saying with a strong heart.” Aryan said, moving closer to Rashmi.
“What happened, Aryan? I just want to know where Ajay is. I have been trying to reach him for so many weeks. But his phone is switched off. Imagine how I would have lived without hearing anything about him. Is he okay?” By now, Rashmi was sure that there was some bad news.
“Yes… I … have…. To tell you that.. Ajay…” He said looking into her eyes. She expected so many answers. But he had no choice but to tell her the truth. “Ajay is no more.”
Her world collapsed. She could not react. She froze. She kept looking at Aryan without blinking. She was trying to process what she had heard.
“There has to be some mistake. Either you said something incorrectly or I must have heard something really bad. Can you come again?” She did not want to accept what she heard.
“No Rashmi. You heard it right. Bhaiya is no more.” He chose his words carefully.
“Aryan, I don’t get it. Please tell me what happened.”
“He was travelling to meet you some weeks back and on the way, he met with an accident. He was on a bike and a truck hit him so hard that he got severe injuries and he was critical. His left leg was smashed, and so the doctor advised surgery, but there were very low chances that he would walk again. The family still wanted to take a chance and we decided to go ahead with the surgery, but that night his condition worsened as the internal bleeding started. The doctor then declared that now there was no point in going ahead with the surgery. Anything can happen during the surgery. And the doctor confirmed that he would not survive for long.
We were all shocked. The day before the accident, he was so happy. He came home and gave us the news about his job, and he told all of us that he had another surprise for all of us. And then this happened.
We were all shocked. He survived only two days after being declared critically ill. Then one evening, he called me and told me about you. He was so happy when he was speaking about you two. And then I realised that he was going to tell you about you two.
He asked me to get the pen and paper. He wanted to write a message to you, but he could not because of his condition, and so he asked me to write a letter to you.
He was sure that you could not have seen him in the state he was in. And believe me, he was right. Bhaiya’s face was damaged. No one could have recognised him. Knowing how much you love him, he never wanted you to see him like that. And that is the reason he would not let me call you.
But I have something for you. Bhaiya had penned down his thoughts just the day before he left. ” Aryan said, passing a letter to me and kept mum.
Rashmi took the letter and kissed them. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she started sobbing.
“Why Ajay? Why? Didn’t you feel like meeting me for the last time? Why did you do this?” She said, holding the letter tightly.
“I know what you are going through. But we have all gone through this time. I can’t even ask you to stop crying.” He said and kept looking at her. He felt helpless. He knew what this loss felt like because he had also lost his brother.
“Aryan, we were supposed to inform our parents that we wanted to get married, and that’s what we were supposed to plan. But we could not meet. And all I have with me is this letter. But where is Ajay?” She started sobbing again.
“Rashmi, I know this pain is beyond describing in words, but we will have to accept it.” He said, consoling her.
“How are your parents doing?” She asked, wiping her tears.
“Everyone is sailing in the same boat and trying to support each other.” He said, looking down.
“I am sure, but please look after your parents and yourself too. It is a huge loss for all of you.” She said in a low voice.
“Yes, you too, take care. And try to recover. Read the letter, it will help you.” He said it in a supportive way.
“Sure, I will. And thank you for this letter and for understanding my situation.” She said.
“I would have loved to meet for a different reason than to tell you that someone you love is now no more. Please look after yourself. It was nice to meet you.”
As she reached home, she could not stop reading the letter. She locked herself in her room and read the first letter.
By now you must have understood what I have been through, and I am sure that I am soon leaving this world. I don’t want to make you feel sad, but believe me, I am not in good condition at all and I do not want you to see me like this.
I am sorry to leave you alone. But my time has come. Maybe we were destined to be with each other only this far. I wanted to marry you. We were supposed to inform our parents, but look what happened. I am really sorry for not being with you. I never lied about the marriage. I really wanted to marry you. You are an amazing woman and I am so blessed to have you in my life. I love you so much that when Aryan is writing this for me, I feel that I am speaking to you. I will always be around you. Do not worry. I am just not going to be physically with you. But my thoughts and my presence will always be around you. And you will soon experience that.
I want you to do the things that we planned together. I know we won’t be doing it together anymore. But you will do this alone. Promise me that. You can’t skip or avoid this.
Here is the first thing.
I was about to tell Amma and Appa about us. Now that I am not there anymore, go to my house and make Amma and Appa sit in front of you and tell them that we were supposed to get married. I want you to meet my parents. It does not matter if you are alone. Before that, inform your parents as well, about us.
Once you finish this, you will read the next letter.
PS: No cheating, I am watching you.
Rashmi felt his presence around her when she read each word. She read and re-read the letter. She was tempted to read the next one, but she was sure that Ajay was looking at the skies.
She could not sleep the whole night. She kept tossing in bed, thinking about Ajay. She wished to meet him at least one last time. She was completely unaware of how she could handle things all alone. They have been together for the last 6 years. They shared so much with each other, and now she could not imagine her world without him.
She gathered all her courage and decided to face the world. She remembered each word he wrote.
She dressed up and went to see her parents, who were having breakfast.
“Amma, Appa, I have to tell you something.” She announced. Her parents were a little surprised by her statement, and they kept staring at her.
“I have been in love with someone for the past 6 years. We wanted to get married, but unfortunately, he had an accident some days back, and now he is no more.” She stopped and kept staring at his parents’ expressions.
She sat on the chair, sipped water, and took a deep breath.
“Are you okay?” Her mother reached out to her and asked affectionately.
“I am…” She could not utter a word. “I recently found out about his demise. And so I am still accepting the fact that he is no more. We were supposed to tell you and his parents, but on the day we were supposed to plan things, he met with an accident on the same day. I could not even meet him then.” Her voice was heavy and she was carefully choosing her words.
“He then wrote me a letter, and it was his wish that, even without him, I should tell our parents that we wanted to get married. And so here I am telling you this today.” She said and looked down.
And soon she started sobbing. Her parents tried to console her, but it was very difficult for her to accept the reality.
“Rashmi, calm down. I am sure it is not easy for you to accept this fact. But what I understand is that you both loved each other genuinely and you both had pure intentions of being together, so I can imagine how difficult it was for you to accept all this.
But he is gone. And you have his letter with you. So start living your life. Maybe it is too early for you to live a normal life. Take your time. Keep him in your heart and start your life once again. ” Her mother said as she kissed her forehead and hugged her tight.
“Thank you, Amma. I will try my best.” Rashmi said and sipped water.
“I will be meeting his family today. This is the first time I will be meeting them. But it’s his wish that I should do this. Alone!” She said, stressing the last word.
“You will be fine.” Her mother said.
Rashmi then reached Ajay’s place. She reached the door and gulped before ringing the doorbell.
A lady in her late forties opened the door.
“Namaste Aunty.” Rashmi said, folding her hands.
“Namaste,” the lady said in return.
Rashmi could not understand how to introduce herself. She kept thinking and staring blankly at the lady’s face.
“Whom do you want to meet?” She asked.
“Actually… aunty… My name is Rashmi and I am …”
Aunty cut her off before she could finish her thought, “Oh, are you here to meet Aryan? Wait, please come in.”
Rashmi entered the house and how terribly she missed Ajay not being around. If Ajay was alive, she could have entered the house in a different way.
“Aunty, actually, I am here to meet you. I mean, I know Aryan. But I am not his friend.” As she finished saying this, Aryan entered.
“Hi Rashmi, how are you?” He asked.
“I am fine, Aryan.”
“Please take a seat, beta.” Aunty asked Rashmi. “So if you are not here to meet Aryan, then how come you are here. I don’t think we know each other.” Aunty expressed herself politely.
“Yes, you are right, aunty. We don’t know each other.”
Meanwhile, Aryan came with a glass of water from the kitchen.
Rashmi sipped water before saying anything. She then looked at Aryan. Aryan gestured for her to speak.
“Aunty, I am Ajay’s friend.” She said, and took a pause.
“Oh,” Aunty said, looking down. “Look what happened?” She had tears in her eyes.
“I know, Aunty. I can’t imagine how you are living his sudden exit from your life.” Rashmi said, holding her hand.
“Aunty, I am here to tell you something really important. Is Uncle around yet? I don’t mean to disturb you. But I would want him to hear what I was saying.” Rashmi said, gathering all her confidence.
“Sure. Aryan, call appa.” Aunty said.
Soon, Aryan came out of the room and Uncle followed him.
“Namaste, uncle.” Rashmi said politely.
“Namaste beta,” Uncle said without asking anything. Aryan must have told him that I was Ajay’s friend.
“Sorry uncle, I did not mean to disturb you if you were relaxing.” Rashmi said.
“No beta. We can’t relax peacefully anymore.” He said, looking down.
“I understand, uncle, what you are all going through. It’s not easy and it can’t be expressed in words. But I won’t take too long. I am here to speak to you, aunty, and Aryan. Of course, Aryan knows a lot about it. So I am here to speak to you and Aunty today.
“Aunty, I and Ajay wanted to get married.” She said as she looked at them. They were equally surprised. “We have been together for the last 6 years, and on the day he got the new job, we decided to tell our parents that we wanted to marry.
“But something unfortunate happened and I could not even meet him.
“He wrote me a letter where he mentioned that I should inform both parents that we wanted to get married. He wanted you to meet me.” She said. It became too difficult for her to continue. Tears rolled down her cheek.
“Oh beta. We are so fortunate to have kids like you. I can see that his choice was just perfect. And it is good that he wrote to you to meet us, and I am so happy that you came.” Aunty said this as she hugged her.
It’s so nice to meet you, beta.” Uncle also said, happily. “It is not easy for all of us to accept the reality, but I am thankful to Ajay that he introduced us to you.”
“Thank you, uncle. I am extremely blessed to have parents like you.” She said, touching his feet. She bent to touch the aunties’ feet, but aunty stopped her and hugged her once again.
“Arey, nahi beta.” She said, hugging her.
“This is for you.” Aunty removed her bangle and slipped it on Rashmi’s wrist.
“No, aunty. I don’t need this. I have you, Uncle and Aryan. What else do I want?” Rashmi said, surprisingly.
“Beta, this is Shagun. I would have done the same thing if Ajay had introduced you to us one day. And we are no different today, right?” She asked, smiling at Rashmi.
“Yes, Aunty. I will be there for you.” Rashmi said, emotionally.
She then looked at Ajay’s photo hanging on the wall.
Are you happy? Well, I am very happy to meet your parents. Thank you! I am sure you are smiling.
Hello, everyone! If you liked this Short Story, do check out the related posts. Comment and like if you would like to read more similar works from the author. And don’t forget to share this on your social media channels.
Hello, I am Pooja Rasal.
I am a happy combination of a reader, amateur writer, music and coffee lover. I am busy taking a tour of my life, learning a lot and implementing the best way to live my life to the fullest
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