Chapter 36: The Glint of Someday
It was dark, but he assumed that it was because his eyes were closed. He knew that he was asleep a moment ago, and dreaming. Although what his dream was about, he couldn't recall. Now he was hovering on the verge of consciousness. He was almost awake, but he wasn't quite aware of his surroundings yet.
As he was coming to, he could start to hear a rhythmic electronic beep, and a slow, almost silent dripping sound. It comforted him in a way, but he couldn't quite place what the sound belonged to or why it soothed him so much. He then felt his body and all he could think about was what had happened to him that had caused him this much agony. He wasn't in any real pain, but he was immensely sore, his head was buzzing slightly, and he couldn't move.
Ranveer opened his eyes only to be assaulted with a blindingly sterile white. It was so bright that he immediately closed them against the offensive light. He waited a moment, this time bracing himself, and opened his eyes again. He blinked a couple of times to clear his vision, and found himself to be lying in a bed. It was obvious to him that he was in a hospital room.
He looked around the small room. There was a heart monitor and an IV drip to his right. A window was situated to the left with the blinds open, and he could see it was day outside. He tried to get up, but it was no use, given that his body was weak and tired. Ranveer then saw a doctor standing over him, a grim look over his face. His features softened however, the moment he saw Ranveer awake. He gave him a smile and spoke not unkindly.
"You're really lucky to be alive, son. Someone up there must really like you." The doctor left the room and five minutes later, Ranveer saw Ishaani standing by the doorpost, her arms crossed and a small smile on her face.
Ranveer felt an involuntary smile cross his face and instantly regretted it as he felt a spasm of pain shoot up. His shut his eyes quickly and wait for the pain to abate before he opened them again.
"Hey." Ranveer felt his voice crack and sound grated while his throat felt parched. He wondered when he had last had some water. Ishaani entered the room and sat by his side, immediately taking his hand into her own. She raised the bed a little higher, so that Ranveer was more comfortable, and she smiled.
"Hey." Ishaani stared at Ranveer for a few moments, before she gently took off his oxygen mask.
"Can you breathe without it?" Ranveer nodded his head slowly and she noticed his slight discomfort in speaking. She picked up a cup of water in her hand from the nightstand and made him drink some water through the straw. He felt the water soothe his throat and smiled, this time the pain not that evident. Ishaani smiled back at him and kept the cup aside.
"Loads." Ranveer could get the words out much easier this time and they sounded less grated. Ishaani made to put the mask back on his face but he shook his head. Ranveer looked outside the window and saw the sun streaming in the room. He looked at Ishaani once again and asked slowly. "What day is it?"
"Someday." Ranveer smiled at Ishaani and spoke slowly.
"This day was definitely not a part of my bucket list."
"It wasn't on my own either." The two of them stared at each other for several minutes before Ranveer spoke again.
"How long has it been?" Ishaani looked at him painfully before she replied.
"Four days." Ranveer chuckled to himself slowly.
"That long, huh?" Ishaani glared at him and he turned solemn once again.
"Don't even get me started."
"Ishaani..." Ranveer couldn't continue his sentence as he felt a strong pain erupt in his arm and he shut his eyes, trying not to make a sound. He opened them a few moments later and saw Ishaani staring at him teary-eyed.
"Look at you..." Ishaani stroked his cheek gently and Ranveer felt a sharp pang in his heart.
"I was such an idiot."
"That you are. Why on Earth did you have to leave the house in the first place?!"
"I needed time to think."
"And kneeling in the middle of the road was the best way?" Ranveer smiled at her remark sheepishly and Ishaani felt her lips twitch.
"There were better ways, I admit." Ishaani stared at Ranveer, her eyes ablaze before she spoke again.
"I swear, I wanted to be mad at you forever."
"I deserved it." Ishaani felt a tear fall from her eye before Ranveer tried to raise his arms slowly. He managed to bring them to arm level, even though he winced a lot, and Ishaani fell into his arms, making sure not to hurt him too much. Ranveer hissed as Ishaani's head made contact with his chest, but he didn't mind.
"I don't know what I'd have done." Ranveer could hear the fear and helplessness in her voice and felt ashamed for putting her through so much. Ishaani separated from the hug sometime later and both of them smiled at each other.
"So we're good?"
Before they could say anything, the doctor entered the room and broke up their party.
"Hello, Mr. Vaghela. How are you feeling?" Ranveer rolled his eyes and the response left his lips before he even intended to say it.
"Splendid." The doctor cocked up his eyebrow and gave him a sharp look.
"Hmmm... that means you don't have any mental damage, which is good. Though try this cheek with me again, and I'll personally make sure to have you stuck up over here for another week." When Ranveer gave the doctor a terrified look, the doctor smirked. "Good. Now let's get to the serious part. How do you feel?"
"My arm hurts a lot and I feel extremely sore."
"Well, that was to be expected. We had to give you 25 stitches up your arm. We were hoping that you weren't having any internal bleeding and I'm glad that you didn't. You had an infection because of your wounds being exposed in the rains for quite some time, but we've managed to overcome that. Your MRI scans are all clear, though you did have a slight swelling, but that's normal in such cases. Your X-Rays also are pretty normal thankfully, except for sprains in your ankle and your left wrist. But those should heal pretty quickly enough. You've had quite a lot of bruises over your chest though, but luckily, they aren't deep. Unfortunately, it's going to hurt for some time. You've had a blood transfusion as well. But your vitals are pretty much normal now, so that's the good part."
Ranveer looked at the doctor dazed and only muttered an 'Oh'. The doctor looked at him apologetically and said.
"I know that's a lot of information to take in." Ranveer nodded his head sheepishly and the doctor continued. "I'll be giving you some morphine. That should lessen the pain for now."
"Morphine? I don't want any morphine! I just woke up!"
"Ranveer, you are in no position to throw tantrums around here." Ranveer strained his neck towards the door and saw Claudine standing over there, her hand over her hip. Ranveer smiled at Claudine happily before his look faltered.
"I'm fine. Really! See... ouch!" Ranveer tried to raise his injured arm up too quick and felt a sharp jab of pain in it. The doctor quickly rushed up to check whether he had pulled any of his stitches and heaved a sigh of relief that Ranveer hadn't. Claudine glared at Ranveer as she came to stand beside Ishaani.
"You are not fine!" Ishaani backed away as Claudine and Ranveer both glared at each other.
"Hey! You can't boss me here. You're not even my case doctor!"
"These things require brains, not being your case doctor. But I'm not going to argue with you now, seeing that you aren't in a position for it. The nurse will be getting the morphine and coming. Period." Before Ranveer could react, both the doctor and Claudine left the room and Ishaani smiled at him.
"It's for your own good, you know." Ranveer looked at her, annoyed at this turn of events, but couldn't help smiling at her. The nurse entered two minutes later, as Ishaani sat by Ranveer's side, taking his hand into her own once again. Ranveer saw the nurse fill the syringe, squirt it out for any bubbles and inject the plunger into the IV.
Ranveer could feel the drugs wriggle its way into his system and felt his vision begin to blur. The nurse slipped over the oxygen mask on his face once again and Ranveer felt the extra air more than welcome. He turned his head in Ishaani's direction, wanting to get one more answer before his world faded away.
"Ishaani... promise me that you'll be here when I open my eyes again." Ishaani looked at him and smiled.
"Promise." Ranveer smiled at her blur form as he felt his vision go topsy-turvy, before he felt himself sink back into the same, calm abyss once again.
Ranveer felt a jerk in his body as he felt his eyes open suddenly, a shriek escaping from his lips. Ishaani, who was half asleep on his hand, got up suddenly and looked at Ranveer in shock.
Ranveer looked about the room in panic, his mind unable to grasp anything, He felt tears and sweat alike on his face and he saw Ishaani's face hovering over him, her eyes panic-stricken.
"Ranveer, what's wrong?" Ishaani stroked his hair continuously and Ranveer stared at her blankly. When he didn't reply, Ishaani looked at the heart monitor and then at him wide-eyed. "I'm calling the doctors... wait. Hang in there, okay?"
Ishaani made to leave, but Ranveer caught her hand.
"No... No... I'm fine. I'm alright." Ranveer took deep breaths and stared at Ishaani while the latter relaxed a bit as she saw his heart beats return back to normal. She gently raised the bed up for him again and he sighed. She took his hand into her own and rubbed it gently.
"What was that about?"
"Had a nightmare about... about my accident." Ishaani stared at him unsure, but took her seat again.
"The doctor did tell me that something like this could happen." Ranveer gave her a confused look.
"What do you mean?"
"Ever heard of post-traumatic stress disorder?" Ranveer's eyes widened in understanding and he nodded his head.
"Oh, that." Ishaani understood his hesitance and asked him cautiously.
"You didn't have it the last time though, did you?" Ranveer shook his head, his voice bitter with resentment.
"No... We were pretty occupied with all the other stuff." Ishaani quickly made to change the topic, before Ranveer could get more distressed.
"It doesn't necessarily mean that you have it this time. Nightmares about the accident are bound to occur." Ranveer looked at her and blinked his eyes sleepily. He looked outside the window and saw that the sun was still out, sighing in relief that it had barely been a couple of hours only.
"How long have I been dozing out for?"
"You slept through the night." Ranveer's eyes widened in shock and he looked at her, surprise evident on his face.
"What!? But I didn't realize..."
"Yeah." Ranveer looked stunned before Ishaani cleared her throat and continued. "The doctors did a full check up in the morning. They are pretty happy with your progress, which is why they’ve taken you off the extra oxygen. They say that if things go on the same way, you'll be discharged within three days, but with fifteen days of strict bed rest." Ranveer's face brightened and Ishaani couldn't help but smile.
"Great! I can't wait to get shot of here. I'm bored of this place already." Ishaani cocked her eyebrows up shrewdly and smirked.
"Well, seeing as this is entirely your fault, I don't see why you are complaining now." Ranveer glared at her and she smiled.
"Ha. Ha. Very funny." Ishaani stuck her tongue out at him and he laughed, making sure not to hurt his chest in any way. Ishaani supported her head on her elbow and stared at Ranveer hard for a few moments, before she spoke again.
"By the way, how do you feel now?"
"I'm still sore but I feel much better." Ishaani nodded her head and looked at him curiously.
"Can you raise your arm without straining it a lot?"
"Let me see." Ranveer raised his arm, this time much more smoothly, wincing only slightly.
"Good. Can you catch this?" Ishaani handed him a Styrofoam cup and he caught it. Ishaani caught his hand so that it didn't cause him too much strain. "Just hold it like this for a minute."
Ranveer stared at her confused as she put a straw in it and sipped the water.
"Sunny, what are you doing?" Ishaani smiled at the mention of him calling her 'Sunny' and looked up once again.
"Oh sorry, I forgot to tell you. I was getting my fast broken with your hands." Ranveer gave her a puzzled look.
"Fast? What fast?" Ishaani looked a little unsure before she replied.
"It was Karva Chaut two days back." Ranveer gave her a blank look even though several contrasting emotions rose in his chest at the sound of it. Ishaani looked at him steadily and he replied lamely.
"But I don't understand."
"Don't understand what?"
"Why didn't you break your fast already?" Ishaani smiled at him understandingly.
"You were asleep. I was waiting for you to wake up." Ranveer shook his head and Ishaani looked bewildered
"That's not my point. I was awake yesterday. You could have broken your fast yesterday itself. Why didn't you break it?" Ishaani gave him an embarrassed look.
"It's silly really." Ranveer gave her a deadpan look and Ishaani averted her gaze away from his own.
"Stop playing riddles." Ishaani let out a frustrated sigh and Ranveer smiled triumphantly.
"Alright, fine. I don't celebrate Karva Chaut the usual way. I always break my fast at the end of the second day of being hungry." Ranveer's smile faltered and was replaced with a puzzled look.
"It's because you broke my fast the first time after two days. That's why." Ranveer shut his eyes in shame at the memory of the part where he was supposed to break her fast.
"I was a git."
"Back then or now?" Ranveer gave her a serious look and she shrugged her shoulders. Now that he looked at her closely, he realized that Ishaani looked miserable. Her hair was quite unkempt, her eyes had bags and circles under them and her cheeks had sunk in a bit more than before. Her cheeks were blotchy and she looked like she would faint anytime.
"Whichever way you take it. But Sunny, you need to go home. You look terrible."
"Atleast I still look better than you." Ranveer gave her a serious look and she sobered down instantly.
"Sunny, go have something to eat atleast. Besides, you didn't have to do any of this madness." Ishaani could sense the discomfort in Ranveer's voice and spoke lovingly.
"Sweetie, I've been doing the same thing for the three years when we were apart as well. On the day of Karva Chaut, I usually spend the whole day in the church, praying for your good health and success and the next day, I go about with my work. So I'm used to staying hungry for two days straight, don't worry. This time, it got a bit prolonged because I was hoping that you'd wake up by yesterday evening, but you woke up right now. But still, I'm alright."
Ranveer gave her a guilty look and turned his face away from her own. Ishaani looked worried and spoke softly.
"Ranveer, what's wrong?"
"Wrong? Wrong? I've wronged you in every way!" Ishaani shook her head in disapproval and Ranveer refused to meet her eyes.
"Ranveer, look at me. Please." Ranveer grudgingly turned to look at her again and Ishaani noticed that he was teary-eyed. She wiped away the tears from his eyes and spoke lovingly. "Ranveer, please don't forget your own first aid rules. You have a lot of physical wounds to suffice without breaking out with the mental ones as well. Besides, I was just as wrong over here. We were both right and wrong in our own way and now we're good. So let that be, please. Keep that mistake as a keepsake for the future, not something that we hold grudges against for the rest of our lives. Get it?"
Ranveer nodded his head unsatisfactorily, his retort about his first aid rules dying away on his lips as Ishaani proceeded. Ishaani got the gist of what Ranveer wanted to say however and smiled.
"I'll be going home for a while now. Take some rest. Martin should be here in a few minutes." Ranveer nodded his head and Ishaani got up. She bent over him and placed a soft kiss over his forehead, making sure not to disturb his bandage. He smiled as she kissed his cheek next and separated.
"I hope this medicine was more effective than the ones the doctor gives."
Ranveer smiled and felt himself drift away in his sleep once again as Ishaani left the room, her mind finally at ease.