14. Aarav's POV
Manifestation. I had always wondered if the phenomenon was real. Does our mind really hold the power to change the universe? Do we possess the power to dictate future outcomes, purely through our mind?
Rhonda Brynes and the various others in her book ‘The Secret’ believed this to be true, but I had remained sceptical.
Our mind, as powerful as it was, couldn’t hold this great a power. I refused to believe so because if it was true and people knew how to harness this power, what could become of this world?
As flawed and selfish was we humans are, if the power reached the wrong hands, their mind alone could light the world on fire. It seemed too dangerous an idea to be true. I refused to believe that this world could be standing on such shaking ground.
My beliefs were set to trial this morning after I had witnessed first-hand the power and reality of negative manifestation. It could have been a coincidence, but the timing seemed too uncanny.
When her friend’s phone call had arrived, her body had visibly relaxed in my arms, eager to hear positive news, but the very next moment she had gone as still as ice. Her huge brown eyes watered and the heart that had functioned properly for my entire life clenched at the sight.
I didn’t enjoy seeing her this way, especially when I believed that the reason for her sadness could have been my doing.
Hearing her sobs late at night, I had approached her door. I didn’t know what I would have done, but I wanted to bring her some sort of comfort. To watch her like that was a heartbreaking experience. And my body crippled with guilt.
She had no reason to suffer; she hadn’t done anything wrong, but the worst part was she didn’t know the reason. I had a feeling that the unknown reason probably intensified the sufferings. I had told the same to her father, repeatedly; I didn’t see anything good coming out of keeping her in the dark. But he remained adamant and almost begged me to remain silent.
I had agreed, albeit grudgingly, because keeping something so important from her didn’t sit right with me. And the self-inflicted guilt had forced me to be more welcoming than I ever was.
I wasn’t antisocial, but I hated any interruptions during my work. To aid this, I had essentially divided my week into working and non-working days. Monday to Friday was for work - 24/7, and the weekends were to unwind – where I didn’t even think of work.
I had this idea a year after I first started working in my dad’s firm. I loved what I was doing and had forgotten all other aspects of my life. I was very close to burning out when this idea crossed my mind.
I had an all-or-nothing personality, I either got obsessed about a subject or didn’t care about it at all, there was no in-between. Thus, the division in workdays instead of work hours had worked well, and I had every intention to continue.
But with the lockdown imposed and of course, Riya’s arrival, the division was getting difficult. Since I couldn’t go out, I had hoped that I could work continuously and take up a new project, but in just three days of the lockdown, she had proved that this strategy wouldn’t work. I was her only companion, and she seemed to love company - even if she didn’t like them.
The same couldn’t be said for me. I was deliberate about choosing who I spent my time with because I couldn’t understand wasting it. Everything I did served a purpose – it either helped my finances, my career, my happiness, or my health. I didn’t spend time outside of these four spectrums, but yesterday I had, and I was doing the same today – entertaining thoughts about a woman who loved someone else.
After she barged in my study room yesterday, my head started malfunctioning - not following any of my instructions. While she remained silent, her presence had been disturbing. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her; my focus had shifted from my work and set on her.
While she was busy doing her work in an almost mindless state, I observed her. I noticed the way she bit her lip every so often when she bent down to lift too many files together. I noticed the way she would sometimes shake her head, her nose scrunching adorably. I noticed the way she moved, like she was the only one in the room and I found it attractive, immensely at that.
She was confident, but in a very non-verbal way. Her confidence wasn’t ‘bold-and-in-your-face’ but something that stemmed from internal strength, and that strength received my admiration.
I should have stopped my observations there.
But against my better judgement, my observation focused on her body. I noticed the shape of her; the curve of her hip and the round perky bum that begged to be smacked. I noticed her ample bosom and a flat stomach that forced me to imagine my head in between those globes. I noticed her thick thighs and short legs that I wanted to wrap around my torso as I pushed inside her in a punishing rhythym.
I wanted to watch her undress and worship her body.
I wanted to hear her moan and scream in ecstasy.
I wanted to be the one to deliver her pleasure, a pleasure so intense she screamed my name.
These unwarranted thoughts in my head and the painful erection in my trousers made me uncomfortable, creepy. Not only had I wasted my time, but I had also taken the liberty to that wasn’t provided to me. Fantasizing about a woman I wasn’t romantically connected with, unbeknownst to her, was against my morals, and hated that I had essentially objectified her. She wasn’t mine, for lack of a better word, and she hadn’t given me the right to imagine her in erotic situations.
My mind and my dick had never reacted this way to any other woman. If it were anyone else, I would have approached them. Took them out on a date, got to know them, but this woman? She was already in love with someone else, and I had to respect that.
That’s why when I heard her crying and wanted to comfort her, I didn’t. I didn’t because I wanted to respect the ‘I love you’s’ she was spewing at him. I had to respect it. And I did, physically, but my mind was another challenge.
Green rage and envy bubbled in my heart. Instead of retiring to my bedroom, I ended up in my gym in front of a punching bag. I clenched my fist and punched it hard; imagining her ‘whoever it was’s’ pathetic face. I punched the shit out of the bag, and with every punch I imagined him injured more. I wanted him to get away from her, leave her, whatever way he could. I wanted him gone.
I had no idea where the rage emerged from, but it was there and at that moment, my entire focus was on rearranging his face. He had her when I couldn’t. He had her when she made me feel this way. He had her in the way I wanted her. He had her in a way I couldn’t.
I hated the rage that spread through my body. I hated the dark emotions clouding my head. For every punch I hit, my mood got darker. For every punch I hit, I got more violent.
I hadn’t known how to handle this unjustified jealousy. I punched, each hit getting harder and harder, but all it did was speed up my breathing and increase my heartbeat.
By the time I had lost the sense of my body, it was four in the morning and after freshening up, I checked on her and my heart stilled at the sight inside. Her hair was a mess, her eyes bloodshot red and her entire body was still, standing on the side rippling with fear, a broken phone in her hand.
I stilled, not knowing what to do and feeling like I was witnessing a moment that was private to her. I shut the door softly, moving away from the private bubble I had entered uninvited and knocked immediately.
When she told me what was wrong, I inhaled sharply and my jaw clenched hard.
I had wanted him out of my life so badly - I think I might have accidentally manifested it. What else could it be? They were talking late at night and just after I beat the living shit out of his imaginary face; she was crying over my shoulders, worried out of her mind. The timing seemed too uncanny, very like the whole ‘manifestation phenomenon’.
The doubts that perhaps I might have been the reason for his serious injuries, festered huge guilt in me. While practically, I knew it couldn’t be true, the nagging little ‘what if’ never let go of my head and so as I struggled to comfort her in my rigid hug, I prayed that it wasn’t true.
I didn’t want to be responsible for another one of her miseries.
I direly hoped I wasn’t.
So when Liam finally called, I waited with bated breath as I saw the various emotions build on her face. Her face was very expressive; it made reading her very easy, especially for those who paid attention to every line and curve that drew on her face.
She picked up the phone with an eager smile, her shoulders relaxing as hope flared in her eyes. But with every second that passed, her body grew rigid and dark brown eyes watered. She gulped and the eager hope in her eyes died immediately.
It hurt to watch her so tense, to know that the worry creasing on her forehead might be my doing and to learn that there was nothing I could do to help.
I felt helpless.
And I didn’t like the feeling one bit. So when the call ended, I gripped her shoulders and with a gentle hold on her jaw; I turned it to meet my eyes. Dark brown orbs filled with worry stared back at me and my heart palpitated.
I didn’t understand these reactions. I didn’t know why my mind and body reacted to her this way when I knew nothing about her. All I knew was that it was, and I had to figure out how to handle them.
For now, though, my emotions took over my lips and asked, “Is...Is… he alright?”, and I couldn’t hide the disdain in the single syllable ‘he’ from my voice.
“No”, she cried, “He is hospitalised”
Suddenly, it felt like my worst fears had come to life.