Before reading this post author requests you to read part-1 of this story. That will help you enjoy the story better.
Nihal was in deep sleep, when the phone ring disturbed him. In half sleep he saw Surbhi’s number flashing on his phone. His beloved’s call at such odd time made him worried.
“Hello Surbhi, what happened? Are you alright? Why are you calling so late? Is everything fine?” he asked all this in one breath.
“Nihal….” Voice came from other side, it was Surbhi only.
“Yes baby tell me. What happen?”
“Nihal….. I am pregnant” she said in trembling voice.
“What?” the last word took away his sleep. He was shocked.
He sat on his bed, thought for a while and said “Don’t worry Surbhi, tomorrow only we will go to some gyno and get the abortion done.”
“Abortion....” “But why? We can get married, right?”
“Marriage is not possible for me now. I have to make my career first. We have no money for all this” Nihal shouted, he was trying hard to handle the situation.
“We will manage Nihal, I will also work somewhere. Everything will be alright. You don’t take tension baby” Surbhi tried to calm down him. But he was not able to digest the pregnancy news.
“See Surbhi you do not understand. I can’t commit now. I am not ready for the responsibilities” He shouted and abruptly disconnected the call, without bothering to listen to what Surbhi was saying at the other end.
Surbhi called again and again, but he didn’t pickup and switched of the phone. He was feeling very restless, scared, worried. He went on the hostel terrace and started walking restlessly. He knew Surbhi very well. If she decides something she will not listen to anyone. She won’t get ready for abortion. And on any case he can’t think of marriage right now. He has his dreams to fulfill. He won’t let them go on any case. But then what about Surbhi? Full night he had this fight between his heart and brain. His was tired thinking about all the consequences this pregnancy can create.
At the end he gave up, and decided to run away from the problem. Next day, early morning he left his hostel and Agra forever. He did not give his contact details to any of his friends. And after that day he never called Surbhi ever.
He went to his grandparent’s place and took admission in a college there, to complete his final year of studies. Sometimes he used to feel guilty for running away from his responsibilities, he used to remember Surbhi and cry full night but never got the guts to go back and accept them.
Time passed, he completed his studies and got a very good job in the USA and moved from India.
With time these memories faded, but the guilt of acting coward was still there. Today after 5 years of that night this small girl’s eyes made him revisit that part of his life which he avoided always.
“Uncle you want candies?” It was Sur’s voice, which brought him back to the present world. The small girl had 5 different colored candies on her palm and was offering them to Nihal. He smiled and picked one.
“No don’t take that.” Sur shouted.
“You take some other color, this one I will eat. Red is my favorite color” She smile and said. Nihal smiled and gave back the red candy to her. He noticed Sur has dimples, and her smile is something to die for. Again that made him think of Surbhi and the guilt came back. He didn’t want to think of the past at all. So he started talking to Sur.
“So Sur do you go to school?” Sur nodded her hade on Nihal’s question.
“Which class you study in?”
“L K G. And this year I got A+” the way Sur was flaunting her A grade made Nihal laugh. Then he asked her to sing some L K G rhymes. They both were enjoying each other’s company.
“Sur, what is your papa’s name?”
“My papa’s name is Mr. Ujjwal Mathur.” She replied in same way as children reply for viva exam in school. Nihal remembered that he had some chocolates in his bag, which he bought for his relative’s kids. He took out one chocolate from his laptop bag offered it to Sur and asked “And what’s your mommy’s name?”
She got a spark in her eyes after seeing chocolate. She snatched it from Nihal’s hand and replied “My mommy’s name is Surbhi Saxena Mathur”
“Surbhi Saxena” That name made him go weak on his knees. Nihal was speechless. From past five years he is running away from his past and it is coming back to him like this. He became nervousness and started to sweat.
“Sur’s naani lives in Agra and her mom’s name is Surbhi Saxena Mathur…. So Sur is Surbhi’s daughter? Surbhi must be here somewhere here then. I can’t face her. I can’t do this” He was breathing very fast. He turned towards his bag, and decided to escape.
But as he stood up, his heart said “Don’t act like a coward again. Be here and face her. You did wrong with her and was always guilty for the same. God is giving you one chance to reduce your guilt, face her. Tell her how much sorry you are for your act” But mind never let the heart to dominate “Don’t act foolish Nihal. Just leave this place. You can’t face her. You can never give answers to her questions. Just move from here”. The fight between heart and mind was very intense. He felt that the world gone upside down and he just sat on the chair. After some time he took a deep breath and said out loud “I won’t act coward any more. I will accept my mistakes. I will face her. I will meet Surbhi”. He was feeling suffocated and restless so he moved towards the window.
Nihal was pointlessly staring at the sky when he heard her voice.
“Hey baby. Mommy is back. What my sweetheart is doing?”
Yes it’s Surbhi’s voice. Nihal’s heart was beating fast, very fast. He wanted to turn back and go to Surbhi but his legs were too heavy to move that time.
“Who gave you chocolate sweetie?” Surbhi asked Sur. For which Sur pointed her finger towards Nihal. “Did you say thanks to uncle?” Surbhi smiled and moved to Nihal to say thanks.
“Excuse me”. It was Surbhi standing behind Nihal. She came to say thanks to him. Nihal got ready for his encounter with the past. He took a deep breath and turned to face her.
Surbhi never-ever expected Nihal there. She was shocked. She stood there numb for a while with her mouth wide open. Facing Nihal made her go through all the pain again.
Nihal looked in her wide sea green eyes, her lips, and her hairs. She was as gorgeous as she was 5 years back.
Nihal couldn’t take his eyes of her, Surbhi felt uncomfortable. She managed herself and said “How are you? And where were you all these years?”
“I was in USA”
There was endless salience between them. No one was getting what to say, as they both had so much to ask and say they didn’t knew where to start from. Nihal wanted to confess his guilt to Surbhi as early as possible. But he was running short of words.
“Your daughter is very cute” He tried to start conversation.
“Thanks” Surbhi said with fake smile.
“Actually, I am very sorry Surbhi.”
Nihal was expecting Surbhi to be angry on him but she looked more calm and composed. He continued “I know what I did to you was wrong. I left you all alone when u needed me the most. I acted coward. I don’t know you can forgive me or not but I always had this guilt feeling with me….. Please forgive me Surbhi. I am really sorry” He knew it won’t be easy to get forgiveness for his act.
He was trying to put his feelings in word when Surbhi said “It’s ok. I have moved on in life. That was the worst phase of my life, but now it’s over. I don’t want to go back in time and hurt myself again. Better you also move on.” They both were talking without any eye contact. That one night had turned a beautiful relation into an awkward one.
Nihal felt little light after hearing that Surbhi has left the past behind. Still he had many other questions running restlessly in his mind. “Did you abort that child?” he asked hesitatingly.
“Child! I was not pregnant that time Nihal”
“What! You were not pregnant?” He was confused like hell.
“No, I was not. It was just a silly prank I played with you for fun. You knew that I loved to play pranks on you. But I never thought my prank will come back on me like that.” Surbhi continued “I called you so many times, searched for you everywhere. But you were so much scared of responsibilities that you left me all alone and ran away. I never expected that from the man I loved.”
Nihal failed to keep his balance and fell on the chair. Till now he had the hope, that once Surbhi forgives him he will be free from this guilt. But now whatever he came to know, that took away all his self confidence. Now he has to live with this guilt of being a coward throughout his life.
Terrible Tragedy #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z
13 hours ago