I was down the my lane, strolling towards the supermarket. The fog scattered all around. I barely could see. It was blood congealing winter outside. My stubborn son four-years-old wanted the soup anyhow, urgently. My body was shivering, albeit I wore winter garments, a hoodie, and my favorite monkey cap. It was the devastating winter of North India that came too soon. It had predicted starting this year it will be the coldest year, ever since.
I quickly grabbed the ready to drink soup; my son was alone, waiting for me. He might afraid. My wife Helena died of Cancer this year before the beginning of the rain. Even the rainy season was dry without her, but tears of my son Jane made the land wet, even without rain. Soon, I came out of the store as the unheralded cloud started sprinkling. Eventually, it became the soft snow since the temperature had fallen below zero. I was ascending hurriedly towards my home, but a familiar whimsical voice crocked far from my ears. I turned to be sure. I felt somebody was calling my name since everything faded in my head. I worried about Jane. I had had to reach home before Jane catches a cold; he didn’t wear enough clothes.
“Vyom… My boy…” the fog made him sound vague.
I turned to see a man waving at me, and his mouth covered with a muffler, and my vision was a blur. He scurried towards me with his traveling backpack lurching on his back. I burst into nostalgic tears. Miraculous, divinely happiness covered my face as the unruly snow to the entire valley. I saw him in a while after college farewell, more than ten years ago.
I too hurried towards him, my friend Oliver. I hugged him with such ardent that the love maniac met after centuries. I cried on his shoulder. My tears froze like chunk over his hoodie.
“Oliver, where have you been?”
He swiftly caressed his fingers under his eyes to wipe away his tears.
“Vyom, how are you doing?” he asked with strain on his chocked throat.
“As you can see,” I said. “I thought you forget me. I never imagined to see you again. I even abandoned you from my memories. As you ran away without any notice. I invited you to my wedding. I had a lot of complaints from you. However, it vanishes with time.”
“Don’t be innocent, Vyom. You would better know why I didn’t come to your wedding? How is Helena?”
I sulked. I cocked my head sideways so as not to see his tears, anyway. I had realized late in my life that I was the reason for his grievous life.
“I am sorry, Oliver.” Well, his mother truly named him Oliver since his eyes were dark green like an olive.
“It’s okay, man,” Oliver said. “I came here in search of, Swara.”
“Come on dude, at least take her name, eloquently. You have been knowing each other since childhood. You didn’t even know to pronounce her name. What happened to her?”
“She isn’t talking to me. She back to India from Seattle and not accepting my call.”
“Yeah! Dude, you made it,” I said.
“A house in the USA. What did you say? She isn’t talking to you? Are you cheating on her? Yeah, man, a boy or a girl?” I asked to pull his leg.
“Shut up! She wants kids, and I don’t. I hate kids.”
“Fuck!” I said. “Common run behind me, Oliver. Jane would be frozen, yet.” I hurried towards home.
He would die of cold. But I saw somebody was holding him in the arms. He slept in the warmth.
“Swara?” I asked.
“Man. I am tired… Swara, what the fuck you doing here?” he was panting but managed to speak. His surprise was culminating.
I hugged Swara gently. She sulked at Oliver.
“I heard you ran away from this, asshole,” I smirked.
She nodded with coy.
“Dude, are you kidding me? Where is Helena?” he asked as excited as my kid becomes, sometimes for the fairy tales.
“I am sorry. She had passed away this year. The cancer had eaten her.”
A tear splashed from his olive-eyes. Swara had no such exaggerating expressions as she knew already. I patted Oliver’s back.
“Scotch (like a man) or Coffee (like a dude),” I asked.
“Scotch,” Oliver replied with a fake pleasing smile over my nasty joke.
I saw the second most disappointed person on Helena’s death after my son.
“I’m making coffee, tell me if you want Vyom. I’m not making for this son of a bitch,” she smirked at him.
The room filled with our hilarious laugh.
I lost in reverie. The old captivating memories that never failed to make me feel delighted.
“I met a bastard named Oliver in the canteen on the first day of my college, and Swara was his childhood family friend. Oliver was a hybrid creature of an English father and an Indian mom. They lived in the capital of India, Delhi. His father was the descendent of the reign of British India. Swara was born with a silver spoon. The youngest, extravagantly stylish, and beautiful girl in the campus. Audi and Rolls Royce kind of luxury was not a big deal for her. She had a personality anyone could fall in love with her.
We had the naughtiest gang in the college. I was the bastard of all until Helena knocked in my life.
She was alluring, the deity of beauty. Her deep eyes were like the enigma of the dark sky. Her blonde wavy-hair springing beneath her chicks when she walked. The curvy physique like the drop of rain to the eyes of boys. Oliver, too started, chasing her behind my back. He liked her with a coquettish hope to get laid with her. He was hypersexual. Damn horny. He wanted sex every weekend, and surprisingly, he managed to get a new girl. Swara too on his list. After, I pleaded him not to come between me and Helena. I don’t want the dreadful end of our friendship. I want it to go for eternity. I told him. He accepted my plea with his killer smile of what he trapped the girls. He hugged me, his heartbeats were lilting. Eventually, after college over; I decided to marry Helena. I invited him. But he didn’t come to my wedding. I went to his house. I had no luck there. I fed him the last morsel of the cake at the farewell that was the last time I had seen him. Now today. He was lively as before but bit his face bit contorted. Swara too didn’t change much.
“Here is your coffee. Monsieur.”
I resuscitated back in my present. He was kissing my son, and she was slurping the coffee with relaxation.
“How do you know my address, Swara?” curiously, I asked.
“Helena was my sweetheart, she told me. When I heard about her death. I came to see, Jane. He is too small. I’m feeling bad for him,” she replied almost, stammered with an inner sob.
“Babe. Let’s take Jane home. He is cute like, Vyom. I can see his future. He is a playboy like his father,” said Oliver and laughed.
I showed him the middle finger with a sneer.
“Why? You don’t have the capability to make your own baby like this.” She furrowed her brows up and smirked, aloof. She got a new habit of smirking. I never saw her smirking, earlier.
“Vyom. I wanted to talk to you. It is serious. I hope you understand,” Oliver turned serious, suddenly.
“What happened, brother?”
“Swara likes you from college. I think I can gift you - as the best gift of her life. I think it’s the right time and right moment. Nature is with us. Jane needs a mother, and she needs you. Hold her in your arms forever.”
Tears splashed from his olive eyes, glinting in grief. They were never looked soo serious before. I got up from my chair and hugged him ardently. His heartbeats were high like it wanted to be free. Swara wept badly.
“Oliver. I love you.” Swara replied, stunned.
“Love you too, baby,” he said. “Will you, Vyom?”
I couldn’t resist myself from nodding in favor. He again hugged me with sharp lines on his forehead and turned to leave.
“Honey, why are you sacrificing your love for me?” Swara couldn’t resist herself to bark.
I filled with chaos. What love she is talking about?
He turned to see her. He was red in grief. He gesticulated with his finger on his mouth.
“Let me speak, Olive. I remained calm. Your diary told me everything. She never lied to me. As you did.”
“What love, guys?” I asked irritatingly. I couldn’t wait.
“He loves you from college. We were his closest companion, but a dainty, ugly diary knows more about him than you and me. He is a bisexual. When you asked him to stay away from Helena, he loved her heartedly. How could he see the two love of his life was going too far away from him? They were marrying each other. It was more like a chocking his throat with a noose. So, he didn’t come to your wedding. I like you, but he likes you more than anything in this entire world. The shine you see on his face is because of you. He is suffering from TN (Trigeminal Neuralgia). Soon, he might lose his eyes. God knows what will happen to him. I inveigled him to made him come to India with a purpose to the reunion with you guys, but Oliver turned the table almost.
"Now it is my time to RETURN your sacrifices. You did a lot." She said with pride.
Now, I can die peacefully. Else I shall have the regret of a lifetime I failed in patching up my two best friends.”
My tears were deluging my floor. I wanted to hug him. I hugged him harder in the divinity of the selfless love he did to me.
I always believed, love is love, whatever way it comes. The decision paper of my choice was in my hand. I had to prove almighty that my beliefs are my choice, and they are as real as him.
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Great story! I like the way you describe his past memories of meeting Helena and Oliver! Keep up the good work and keep writing!!
Thank you so much.
Wowwww Utkarsh!! This is really great!🙌
Thank You, Saumya.
A heart-wrenching tale of relationships. Really enjoyed reading it. I do see some grammatical errors. Maybe you could use something like grammarly to fix them? You still have time. Otherwise this was a great read. Well-done!
Thanks, Roshna. I appreciate your feedback. I am working to figure out the errors. Thank You.