One last time.
The sky was clear. There were no clouds. The sun was out, and the day was bright. It was one of those days when everything seemed clear. Radin could see the mountains at a distance. The other side of the mountains was a city named, Pephestpur.
His mind was as clear as the sky. The scene in front of him seemed like a painting. Everything was perfect.
Not an inch here. Not an inch there. Just perfect!
His phone rang loudly. He picked it up to realize that it was his father.
“The food is ready. Why aren’t you here yet?” Radin Sr. inquired.
“I’ll be there soon, Daddy.”
He headed home on foot. It was so satisfying to be at home. Khyberbagh had not changed a bit.
That’s the beauty of the home. No matter how long you are gone for, you can always come back to things just the way you had left them.
He entered the kitchen, and found his dad cooking.
“Finally, Lord Radin has decided to set foot in our humble abode! The lunch is almost ready, why don’t you lay the table till then?”
“Are you cooking mutton?”
“Of course, it is mutton! It is your favorite Gustaba!”
“I have kept the water bottles in the freezer. It is so hot these days. It is difficult to drink the water directly from the tap!”
“Roger Sir!” Radin replied with a grin and opened the cabinet to take out the plates.
Zahra, please don’t take another step. You need to open up to me and the world.
“Dyee, where are the forks? We will need them for rice.”
“They are in drawer next to the cabinet you are looking into. Open the drawer, and you’ll find them on the right-hand side.”
I have followed you to the parking now, Zahra. Pleading with you to stop and give this another chance. I understand what you feel, and I am there for you. I’m ready to take the leap, but you need to take a step towards me too. Why are you moving away? Why are we moving apart from each other?
“Found them, Dyee!”
“Good! Open the freezer and take out the bottles too.”
If this ends here, if this ends here in the parking lot of Mc Donald’s, then, what is the point, Zahra?
What’s the point of all the emotions, feelings and time we spent on each other? I was invested in you, you too were. Then, what’s the point of love if this is the end?
Is love not enough? Do we have to ruin the chance of happiness, by our insecurities and anxieties? Can’t we accept each other? Can’t we be together? Was it all for to move on in the end?
Why are you becoming cold? Cold…err! Answer me.
“Don’t start with your nonsense about dieting now. It takes hours to prepare Gustaba. So, you better eat well. There shouldn’t be any leftovers. I don’t like stuffing my fridge with unnecessary food.”
“Yes, Dyee! Anyway, I am headed back tomorrow. This is my last chance to devour your Gustaba. I will not disappoint you. I don’t like leftovers either.”
Two words that aptly described the morning after, when Radin woke up in his apartment. The alarm was ringing, and he turned it off calmly. He thought about his old phone that had fallen into the flush a few months ago.
“I used to be so careless!”
His WhatsApp notifications had already welcomed him to the office. There was a list of reports and emails that he had to check soon after logging in. He got up, picked a shirt, without giving it much thought.
While sitting in his office cab, he decided that it is wise to stick to just one kind of shirt. All successful men do this. Mark Zuckerberg, Nas Daily, they all wear the same kind of clothes every day. It saves time and increases productivity, he wondered.
He entered the floor, and the thought of pending meetings and deadlines was stuck in his mind. To him, they seemed like Demogorgons from Stranger Things.
With no appetite for breakfast, he opened his laptop and started working straight away. There were multiple emails that he had missed out on in the last few days. His messenger too was buzzing with multiple outdated messages. He went through them all, not really pondering over the names. The eco-friendly cabin lights dimmed while he sat straight working on the laptop without moving for too long.
“Hi, Radin! I am the new HR. My name is Nina. Can I have a word with you? I would like to get to know your team.”
The room suddenly lit up. Demogorgons were in motion again.
(This story is in continuation of the previous one. You can read the previous chapter here.)
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