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When They Met

Chapter I
They met each other, as others meet. They met again, then again and then again and again. First it was an ‘incidental’ meeting, when they saw each other at a shopping mall. Then they again met at the same place. Just casual introductions and they left for their respective ways. Third time they met at a fast food joint. Then they sat on a table and talked. After that they again met in a multiplex. When Ayaan (the boy) told Saniya (the girl) that they should be friends, as they have been meeting again and again; Saniya brushed off the meetings as a mere coincidence. But Ayaan believed it not. He said, “Fine, first time it is an incident, second time a co-incidence, but if they continue to meet, as it had happened with them, it cannot be a mere co-incidence.” “Destiny” he thought. He was a great believer in destiny. “Could this be a work of destiny?” he asked Saniya. She said maybe, with a hint of sarcasm. He wasn’t sure either.

One thing which Ayaan was sure of was that he was beginning to like Saniya very much; or he liked her right from the very first time they had met. While he was deeply engrossed in thoughts of their first meeting when he had seen her at the shopping mall and had followed her while she was busy shopping; Saniya said to him, “So let’s have a cup of coffee.” But it fell on deaf ears, as his mind was still in her thoughts. She then shook him a little and then began laughing as he was taken by surprise, as if shook from a deep slumber. They then went to a nearby cafe, ordered coffee and began to talk about their life.

Chapter II
Days went on, time went on. They both liked each other’s company, but for Ayaan it was more than just a liking. He was in love. His friends sensed the change in his attitude, his feelings and in everything he did; in his overall persona. His friends advised him to let Saniya know about his feelings. And the day Ayaan thought he would tell Saniya and propose her, he fixed a meet with her: a date, at their, by then, favourite cafe.

Chapter III
Ayaan was very happy and so was Saniya as she came out of her car after parking it in a nearby parking lot.

They exchanged Hi’s and Hello’s and then ordered their favourite coffee. Both were feeling restless, as if they both had to say something but didn’t know how to start. Then Ayaan said to Saniya, “I want to tell you something.” Saniya gulped down her coffee sip and hurriedly said, “I too want to tell you something.” “Ladies first” said Ayaan and after a much ‘you first’- ‘you first’, Saniya finally said, “You know, for the past few days I wanted to tell you this. I was thinking like how to tell you and should I, but eventually decided that I will tell you this. I feel we are good friends and you have been so caring and affectionate; a friend that I always wished for. But this is something I don’t know how you would react to.” She paused a bit and then added, “Ayaan, [again paused] there is a guy [smiling] whom I love very much and plan to marry.”

Ayaan felt so happy deep inside. Saniya continued, “He is a very good friend of mine and also loves me very much. I [a bit of hesitation] I, and he too, want..... [Ayaan had a smile on his face]..... want you ..... to..... meet him and tell me how he is.”

The last words struck Ayaan as anything. He was feeling choked. His heart missed a beat, but he didn’t want to make her feel what he was feeling. He asked, “Who is he?” And then Saniya began to describe her love interest. It was paining inside but Ayaan didn’t let his feelings show up. And when Saniya asked him to tell her what he wanted to; nothing came across Ayaan’s mind. He couldn’t tell her what he had to. Then somehow, he ‘invented’ an idea. He told her that he had to leave for outside as he had got a job somewhere. Though it could have been a good news; but she wasn’t happy. They left the café. Saniya sensed that something was wrong with Ayaan, as he wasn’t the same person she had entered with into the café. But she thought it was because he was leaving the place. They went to their respective houses.

Chapter IV
Ayaan, as obvious, was feeling dejected and sad. His memories reminded him of the moments they had passed together. He had grown very fond of her company and all of a sudden, he thought, he would have to let her go. But his heart wasn’t ready at all. He thought of his life, his feelings, and Destiny. Saniya too was sad. She too was thinking of those moments and was already feeling a void, somewhere around and inside. She liked him very much, his care and affection and felt like she would miss him. She took her phone and sent a sms to him. There was no reply. She called him. He didn’t answer the call. She called again and again there was no response. It was happening for the first time since they had been friends. She then called their mutual friend, but he said to her that he didn’t know what had happened. Saniya told him, humorously though, that if Ayaan doesn’t respond, she would kill him. And when the mutual friend told Ayaan so, he replied, “If she does that, I would consider me lucky”

Chapter V
When there was no contact for some time, she again called the mutual friend. This time the friend told her something that had Saniya in tears. He told her that Ayaan was avoiding her. When Saniya asked for the reason, the friend told her everything. He told her that Ayaan loved her very much. He even told her what Ayaan had said about her warning of killing him. Saniya put off the phone and thoughts began to flow. Thoughts of their meetings, their talks and those moments. And the expression on Ayaan’s face when she had told him about her boyfriend. She was all in tears, emotions were running high. Then she decided to meet him. On the insistence of the friend, Ayaan agreed to meet Saniya.

Chapter VI
Next day, he was waiting at the same coffee table, where they had had coffee so many times. They ordered their favourite coffee. This time the girl spoke first. She asked Ayaan, “Why didn’t you respond to my calls and messages?” “I will kill you if you don’t respond the next time.” Ayaan said, “I know you would kill me. Someone has already told me so.” “He has said that rightly”, Saniya said again. And then Ayaan added, “You want to kill me; kill me. I am all yours.” These words sliced through her heart. And then she asked, “Why are you doing this?” Ayaan answered, “I have no control over this. It happened and then went on.”

The girl told him that she also loved him but she had her ‘priorities’ and that he should forget her. Ayaan responded by saying, “Well you go on minding your own priorities and I will mine.” “There is nothing that will stop me from loving you.” He added, “I believe in Destiny and if this is what Destiny has for me, let it be.” Saniya was looking at him keenly. She felt being engrossed in his face, in his talks, in his emotions and feelings. She was thinking of, and feeling, his love; love which was only for her. She said nothing. Ayaan continued, “I wish you be happy. My heart will continue to love you till death stops it from beating and even after my death, my soul will always be around you. It won’t be contend till it feels your company. But I only request the Death that when I die, you should be by my side so that my eyes look at you and carry the glimpses of your face along with me to the next world.” That bought tears in Saniya’s eyes and she left the table saying, to Ayaan, “You are mad.” Ayaan replied, “If love is not madness; it is not love.”

Chapter VII

Saniya started her car and whirled away. Ayaan too left the café, after tendering the bill. Ayaan began walking. He was weeping but without tears in his eyes.

Saniya was so emotional that tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was thinking about him; of his feelings and what he had said in the café. She was thinking about what he had done to himself and what he would do. She didn’t want to lose him. He was, she thought, a very good friend. His affection, his care, his support and his feelings were all flashing in her mind. Moment after moment she reminisced the times she had spent with her; those good moments of life which, she thought, she will cherish always. She thought of her life and how she had met Ayaan. She thought of Destiny. And as she was pondering over all her thoughts, she suddenly applied brakes and halted her car. Tears continued to roll down her cheeks. She thought of the times when she needed her boyfriend the most but he wasn’t around. When she would call him but found him busy; when he would get angry even on slight things. And then she thought of Ayaan, who was always there for her whether she needed him or not. Who was just a call away whenever she needed help and support. Who would never get angry with her, even if she would and who made her happy always. She realized that it was Ayaan who had given her some of the life’s best moments and it was he who inspired her and made her forget all the worries and sadness. He had been always by her side, come what may. He had supported her when no one would.

She felt his feelings. The words about how much he loved her were reverberating in her ears. And his request about ‘death’ pinched her heart. And she realized she needed him. She realized she couldn’t do without him and she realized that she too loved him so very much. A smile came across her lips; the smile of satisfaction that he was the one for her. She made up her mind to go back and tell him about her feelings and her love. And that she wanted to marry him. She started her car, turned it back and drove. She was excited, but at the same time thinking about him and as to how will he react. She was so engrossed that she forgot about everything else. She was smiling but tears were still in her eyes. Suddenly she heard a thumping sound and when she sensed what it was, she heard her heart beating faster. She realized she had hit something. Her car had hit something that made a thumping sound. She got down from her car. People were running towards her car. She was terrified when she saw a body lying near her car in a pool of blood. Her heart skipped a beat when she looked at the clothes worn by the body. She thought she had seen those clothes before too. She was dumbstruck and motionless. But when the body began to move, and with the help of few people; she got near to it. When she saw the face of the person, who was badly injured, a loud shriek came out of her mouth. She almost fainted.

Chapter VIII

 

It was Ayaan. Her car had hit the same guy whom she loved so very much and whom she was about to tell that she wanted to marry him. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Tears were now rolling down, unstoppable, from her eyes on to the cheeks; some even going inside her mouth. She was weeping like a child. She went near him and took his hand in her right hand and put her left arm around his head. She said, with tears flowing like a waterfall, “Ayaan you will be alright... Ayaan... you will be alright... you will be alright... Ayaan... you will be alright... Ayaan... Ayaan... I am sorry... Ayaan... I am sorry... and she placed her head on his chest.

The people had stopped a car and tried to pick Ayaan up to take him to hospital; but he refused and said, “I know I am going to die. I don’t want to go to a hospital and leave from here. Please don’t take me away. Destiny has heard me. My prayers have been answered. I want to die in her arms, with my head in her bosom. Hearing that, Saniya burst into more tears. She was weeping like she had never before in life. Then Ayaan said to her, “See this is destiny Saniya. You had said you would kill me and I had wished to die in your bosom. Destiny listened to both of us and here we are.” “But I had come back to tell you that I love you and want to marry you” said Saniya. Ayaan responded, tears mixing up with the blood from his head, “Well now I can die satisfied that you too love me and that I am dying in your arms and the last glimpse that would always be with me, locked in my eyes, is that of your beautiful and cute face.”

Ayaan added, “I have a request Saniya. You please always be happy, go on with your life and don’t ever think that you did this to me. This is not your fault. It is my destiny; my good fortune that at the time of my death, you are by my side. I couldn’t have asked for more. Please be happy always and keep smiling.” Ayaan’s body jerked a little, but he added, “Please, one last time, for me, put a smile on your face; for me please.” Saniya was weeping like a child, but on his insistence put up a fake smile. She then put her head on Ayaan’s chest and said, “Don't leave me Ayaan, don’t leave me. I love you and want you to be with me. Don’t leave me Ayaan or take me too with you”

Chapter IX
Suddenly she was numb. She didn’t talk, she didn’t move. Ayaan called her. “Saniya”... “Saniya”... “Get up Saniya... talk to me.” But she didn’t. Ayaan then pleaded to the people around to take her to hospital. He requested them, “Please take her to hospital... please... I don’t care for myself; but please take her to hospital.”

Chapter X
And then people felt that Ayaan wasn’t breathing. They shook both a little and Saniya opened her eyes. She looked at Ayaan and she too felt that he wasn’t breathing. She looked at his face. Eyes open, with tears still coming out; and a smile on his lips, as of contentment. But she herself forgot to breathe, momentarily, when she realised that her love was no more. Ayaan had died. She cried and cried and cried. She yelled at God, “You cannot do this to me. Ayaan cannot die. Please God give him back to me or take me too. She shook Ayaan’s head and body. He didn’t move. She touched him here and there and then placed her head on his heart, expecting a response; expecting a miracle. It didn’t happen. She was all crying. People took up Ayaan's body but she, like a mad woman, yelled, “Don’t take my Ayaan away; don’t take him away.” She held him closely, near her heart. She could still feel his warmth, which reminded her of the warmth he gave to her life; but she could feel no beats in his heart, which once was beating only for her.

She couldn’t feel her beats too. People were calling her. “Ma’am” “Ma’am” but there was no response. There was sadness and gloom all around. It seemed that the whole world was sad. People thought that she too wasn’t breathing, but when one among them touched her, she cried. She cried and thought of the talk she had with the mutual friend: the talk of killing Ayaan and Ayaan’s wish that he should die in her arms. And she thought of the moments they had lived together. Now there were only memories; he wasn’t with her. She felt that void, again; but this time a severe and a permanent one.

Chapter XI
Days later, she went to the graveyard where Ayaan was buried. She read the epitaph and touched it, feeling his name, engraved on it and on her heart and mind too. She sat besides the grave and put a rose on the grave, exactly where Ayaan’s heart could have been, had he been laid there on the grave. She bent down and placed her head near the rose, as if to hear his heart beat; but there wasn’t any. And she thought of Destiny; Ayaan’s belief in Destiny. She felt like cursing destiny. And thought, was it destined to happen...?

The mutual friend showed her the letter Ayaan had written for her. She read it with tearful eyes. At the end of it was written, “Friends and friendship will never end but one day when I will disappear. My friends will be surrounded by many but not me. I will take along the sweet memories and perhaps I will realise it was never they but me who was in loss then and now in gain. My eyes will blur, I will be desperate to tell them all what they mean to me.” At home her parents told her to marry the guy who once was her ‘boyfriend’; but she refused saying that she cannot forget Ayaan; she couldn’t. She couldn’t forget him, his love, and those moments. She couldn’t forget his face that had a smile when he was dying. And she couldn’t forget that she was the one who had killed him.

Chapter XII
And Saniya was awakened by a nurse calling her. She opened her eyes and looked around, perplexed. Tears were in her eyes. “Where am I?” “Is this a hospital?” she asked the nurse. “When was I bought here?” “And where is Ayaan?” she asked again. “Where is he?” “What happened to him?” and she screamed. The nurse tried to pacify her, but all in vain. She tried to get away from her bed, but the nurse got hold of her hand, and held her tightly; whilst calling for support. Other nurses and hospital support staff came and put Saniya on the bed. She pleaded, “Leave me please... leave me. I want to go.” Where is Ayaan? Where is my Ayaan?” “Tell me please... tell me... Ayaan... Ayaan...” and she fainted.

She was in deep sleep and had a dream. She dreamt that Ayaan was hit by her car and was badly injured. Seeing his condition she faints and when she opens her eyes, she sees herself being carried on a stretcher and taken inside a hospital. She also saw another stretcher. On it was being carried Ayaan. While she was taken to casualty; Ayaan was taken to the operation theatre. She was weeping, but looking towards Ayaan. He too was looking towards her and murmuring, “Please save her.” She fainted. And while in the dream, when she opened her eyes days later, she found Ayaan by her bedside. Bandages across his head and face; and tears in his eyes. She was happy and smiling that he was with her, alive.

Chapter XIII

“Saniya open your eyes, Saniya.” She heard someone calling her. Her dream was broken and she came back to her senses. Her smile, which she had carried from her dream, waned away when it dawned upon her that Ayaan was not alive. She had had a dream. Her eyes again came full of tears when she thought that it was she who killed Ayaan. She then thought about the dream. She thought if it could have been real. If it could have been a possibility. If Ayaan could have been alive. She also thought that she would have been the happiest person on earth if it could have been and with that thought she began to weep, burying her face on the left side under the pillow.

“Saniya”, she heard her name being called by someone. “Saniya look around” again the voice said. She felt it was a familiar voice. “Look at me Saniya.” And she thought it was Ayaan. She abruptly looked around and to her amazement and heartfelt happiness, she found him sitting on a tool, by her bed on the right side. “Ayaan”, she said, “is it you?” “Yes Saniya it is me.” Said Ayaan. She felt him by her hand and then put her arms around him and hugged him tightly. “Ayaan” She cried, “Oh God is it true.” [Tears rolling down.] “Ayaan are you alright?” She looked into his eyes. “Ayaan... Oh God... Thank You... Thank You God for keeping Ayaan alive.”

She again hugged him. Tears continued to flow from her eyes; but this time they were the tears of joy, of happiness. Happiness that Ayaan was alive and with her. “Are you okay Saniya?” “Yes I am.” “I am happy that you are with me” Ayaan thanked God. She continued, “I am happy Ayaan. I am happy that you are alive, that you are with me and that I can see you, feel you. Now please don’t ever leave me. Don’t ever. Never Ayaan never. My world is nothing without you. I cannot live without you. “Me too Saniya.” Said Ayaan. “I too cannot live without you. Please don’t ever go away from my eyes. I cannot live without you Saniya; I can never think of living without you.” She again hugged him and this time so tightly that he shrieked (with pain). It had pained his wounds. They were still raw. “Oh sorry... sorry... I am sorry.” “Is it paining?” She said. Ayaan responded, “Yes; they are still raw.” She then kissed him on his forehead. Then suddenly...

Chapter XIV
Suddenly she remembered the scene on the road. She remembered that after she had hit Ayaan by her car, he was lying injured and bleeding profusely and she thought he was going to die. She asked him, “What happened after you were in my arms on the road? I was weeping and you requested me to put up a smile so that you can di... [She didn’t utter the word] I don’t remember anything afterwards.

Ayaan said to her, “After you cried ‘Don't leave me Ayaan, don’t leave me...’, you fainted and laid down on my chest. I called your name, touched you and shook you a little. I said, “Saniya”... “Saniya”... “Get up Saniya... talk to me.” But you didn’t and then I pleaded the people around to take you to hospital. I pleaded them to forget about me and take you to hospital. And they picked you up and then me. We were driven to this hospital. You were taken to causality and I was taken to operation theatre; and while we were being carried on stretchers, I felt like you were looking at me. I thought your eyes were open. She realised, at once, that she had had a dream about Ayaan’s death after she had fainted and was not in her senses. She had dreamt that Ayaan had died and that she went to the graveyard. “So”, she said, “it was all a dream. That I dreamt that after you were in my arms, you didn’t seem like breathing and people shook you a little and me too. I opened my eyes and found you not responding; not breathing. Found you dead.”

Well she thought and told so to Ayaan also that she actually had two dreams. One, the first one, was not real but the second one was real. What she had seen in her second dream was what had actually happened; in real. She sighed and said to Ayaan, “Let’s start it all over again.” And she got down from the bed, sat on her knees, head looking up towards Ayaan and picked his right hand in her hand and said, “I love you Ayaan and want to marry you. Do you?” [She was proposing him] Ayaan said, “I do.” “Yes I do.” And then Ayaan hugged her and kissed her... on her eyes. She asked him as to why did he kiss her eyes. He said, “These are the ones who look at me; who do sent a message to your brain and heart that he is Ayaan, whom you love. These are the ones who make you crave me and these are the ones where I see my world. Hearing that Saniya too kissed his eyes. And everybody around clapped but there were tears in their eyes too.

Chapter XV

Days after, when they were in their bedroom, happily married, Saniya asked Ayaan, “Do you have any idea what led to your accident? “Yes I have” he said sounding funny, “You had said you will kill me and you tried that.” However he quickly added, “I was just kidding. I don’t know what it was. Maybe Destiny.” Then Saniya said, “It was your wish. And it all began when you didn’t respond to my messages and calls. So always respond to my messages and calls. And if you don’t then.” “Then what” interrupted Ayaan, “You would kill me; yeah?” “No”, Saniya retorted back, “I would kill me. Because it pains when you don’t respond.” And then she shared a thought with Ayaan... Always respond to the messages and calls of your dears and loved ones. Let nothing come in between; not even Destiny. And they lived “Happily Ever After”...

Contributing Story Teller   Sheikh Suhail  fictional story with a touch of reality. suhailbsheikh@gmail.com


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