Too Late

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Chapter -5:Her Heartbreak

Rishi was driving at full speed. And almost got hit by a car as he tried to overtake. He was scared but beyond furious. All he wanted was to get to his sister in no time.

Soon, he reached the hospital and saw a lot of media people and police cars. Without acknowledging them he went straight to ICU. There he saw Paul and his family getting treated by doctors and noticed how police were providing them protection.

Then he heard a nurse asking, "Does anyone contacted Rishika's family?"

On cue Rishi, walked to the doctor beside that nurse. The doctor informed him that due to the attack Rishika has two broken ribs. So, it will take time to heal.

It was like someone put cold water on him. "Where is she?" He asked and the doctor starts showing him the way as he said, "I will suggest some visits to a psychiatrist too." Rishi only nodded at his advice while his eyes just wander for his Rishika. He could feel his heartbeat. His hands were trembling. And breathing irrational.

And there she was frustratingly looking at the nurse as she was going to inject her yet another injection. "Don't you dare to intimidate her?" He warned Rishika.

The moment she looked at her brother her eyes become teary and next she found herself engulfed by her brother's hug. A groan escaped her mouth as she hauled with pain.

"Does it hurt too much?" Rishi asked cupping her face and carefully looking at her cut on the lip.

"I am sorry," She mumbled with her eyes down.

"Don't you dare to give me that. You didn't even think of me for a single moment. Tell me, Rishika how I am ever supposed to live without you."

"I,... I was just returning the book. And then, everything happened." Rishika mumbled with guilt as her eyes felt heavy. She was in no position to have this interrogation and Rishi guessed it too but he needs to make sure that she understands even in her unconscious state he said carefully.

" Rishika, I need you to promise that you will never put yourself in such events ever." He stopped to get her hair behind her ear and pulled the sheets to cover her as he continued. "You detect danger. You run. It is this simple. Promise me." He patted her head lightly. She gave him a weak nod before getting into the sleep.

Rishi got out and saw Paul in the waiting area with a little bandage on his head and a sling around his arm.

He still feels a shiver recalling the moment when he saw someone about being abused for years and the next thing he read was about the heroic act of Mehra's daughter with Rishika's body taken inside the hospital's building on the screen.

He walked to him. He was watching Paul for the first time. And regrets not having a track on Rishika's circle. So, he decided to do it now.

"you know she always talks about you. You are her idol. She loves you a lot."

Paul said when he saw Rishi sitting beside him for fifteen minutes now. "I am really sorry that her life was put into danger because of me" Watching Rishi's popping vein on his temples he stopped before continuing, "I can only imagine if anything happens to you, she will create havoc to get you back," Paul said it otherwise because he knew the whole situation of Avantika, Rishi, and Rishika. Before he can continue, Rishi cuts him off, "Do you like her?"

Paul laughed at the thought and replied, "Yes, but she is like my sister. For me, she is like a bird, who should never be in a cage because she belongs to the sky. "

Rishi nodded at this and said with a proud smirk, "Even if you like her, I'll make sure you two don't have a future. She is not supposed to live with a broken person like you."

Paul still looked composed. And this irks Rishi a little but he continued, "I know you were the victim of circumstances, but I know my sister. If she puts her life in saving you, it means you are very special to her. But remember, she is like a bird who belongs to the sky, she cannot be someone to heal you. I won't allow her."

Paul looked at Rishi and smiled "If I were you. I would also do the same. I'm not at all offended. I'm glad that she has someone who will always be with her." With that, Paul got up and left without saying goodbye.

The next day, Rishika slowly opened her eyes and saw Rishi was looking outside the window.

"What are you doing here?" Rishika was shocked to see Rishi there.

"Oh, then whom you want to see, Paul?" Rishi smirked. Rishika flushed at this and felt embarrassed in front of her brother then enquired about Paul.

Rishi informed her, "Thanks to you, they all are alright. The stunt you pulled it was smart as well as foolish. When you have already called the police, why did you go inside? It was this easy to wait,...."

Rishi knew that she was in no state to listen to him scolding but it seems important to him. He needs to make her understand how important it was for her to be saved.

"He was going to kill him. .I tried to stay hidden but I couldn't let that happen." Rishika cut him off and make him at a loss of words.

He noticed that she was a bit traumatized and decided to drop the topic. He brought her favorite breakfast. And asked as she chews her food.

"Tell me all about, Paul," Rishi asked.

"You have time?" Rishika attempt to stall.

"Of course, the whole day, so I want details."

Rishika blabbered about a whole hour only skipping the times when she discussed Rishi and Avantika with Paul. He noticed how she reacted or blushed to talk about him. And if not, the way she was telling Rishi about the times she took lunch for him was enough for Rishi to know that she was trying too hard.

'Don't go there Rishika. I will not allow you. I know you like him but he is not the one for you. If anything would have happened to you, I would have killed Paul.' Rishi thought as he prepared another plate for her.

Once she was done he informed about her being discharged from the hospital as he had arranged a nurse and medical equipment at home, he helped her packed and Rishika enjoyed every second of him being attentive. She inhaled deeply as he took her wheelchair out of the hospital and to the garden nearby as she insisted and talk about or hint over Paul from time to time. "If you are done we should go home. Everyone is waiting for you. Mom and dad were really tensed. We thought we lost you." He said the last part lowly. All he wanted was to make her understand that she is important and needed.

"You mean your and Avantika's mom and dad. I think you forgot she asked me to call her Ma'am and Sir. Then why pretend now?" Rishika sarcastically replied.

He tsked. "Forget about it Rishika. move on! Sometimes we have to make our place. Can't you At least try a little? They were worried and you should try to connect to them."

"Why I never saw anyone else at my school making an effort to connect to their parents?" Rishika asked accusingly.

"Rishika... " Rishi's voice roared at this as he tried to control his anger but looking Rishika flinched he took her hands and kissed on her head. He made her comfortable again and took her to their home.

Rishika was at bed rest but she was in contact with Paul through her cell phone all the time. They video call each other. Paul informed her that things are going great for him. Turns out her mother was a daughter of a very rich businessman and his father has kidnapped her for some revenge game, but now they are going back to Germany after six weeks.

"You gotta meet my grandfather. He wants to see you once he is in India."

Paul said at something. She could see that Paul wasn't gloomy at all. The news channels and papers were annoying him as he doesn't want anyone else about his personal life too much but she was making him look at the bright side.

She would look for the universities in Germany when she wasn't talking to Paul. This is where she was going to live her life. She knew she would miss Rishi but then she can make Rishi move too.

A few days later Rishika was allowed to attend school. Paul started picking her up from home. Rishi did give him looks that he returned with an assuring nod.

She was happy. She made lunch for him every day. She loved to hear him playing the violin. His violin was still sad. But she was determined. Determined to remove his every scar with her soft touch.

"..... moving to Germany?" He asked.

"Yes, won't you like me there." She asked.

"No, I am just,... You are welcome. I will show you around. But first gets a little taller." He made a joke at her height. She was still growing and only 13. Stomping her foot on the ground she said rudely, "I will only show you my face when I am taller. But remember Paul you are so narcissistic."

Letting out a loud laugh he chased her calling her name. But then she heard a loud cry and this made Paul and Rishika both turn their faces to the direction of that sound.

They saw a girl crying and begging a boy to accept her because she was pregnant already.

When Rishika saw the boy, she rolled her eyes at him and murmured, "Not again". Paul heard her saying this and asked her. She told him that he is Jay Verma, her senior. He is like a goon of a school. "I have heard that he belongs

to mafia family but his whole family has always been a politician....." She could have continued for hours but the moment Jay slapped the girl making her fall on her back she stopped. Paul ran to save the girl but couldn't. And next, she saw Paul throwing a punch at Jay making him wince and fall on the floor. Rishika gasped with her hands on her mouth.

He again raised his hand in anger but Jay was quick to stop him. "Oh! please, do tell me how to behave with girls? At least I only slapped her, but your father used to kill. Did you ever raise a hand on him? Were you able to protect your family? You are so pathetic." He sneered and spit blood before leaving.

She saw how Paul was broken, still and embarrassed. The sadness in his eyes cuts her deep. Paul left but she didn't follow him. She took long strides to follow Jay Verma. And once she was close enough she screamed his name.

"Oye, Jay Verma. I dare you to hurt Paul. Look at yourself, you scum. Some low-class criminals? What are you doing, scaring other people? Dare to show your face to me and face the wrath of Mehra's." Her voice was so loud that even walls seem to shake. A lot of kids were surrounding them now when she gestured him a warning sign with her flaring nostrils.

Then she addressed the school audience and continued, "You know guys, Jay Verma scares you people, because deep inside she is a scared girl trapped inside in a boy's body. I'm sure he pisses in his pants at night. And if not from now on he will," Rishika smirked looking at Jay, went towards him, looked up at him and whisper, "You may be a criminal but I give a damn."

When she looked around she saw Paul and everyone at school is looking at her with their jaws dropped. Omg, she never wanted Paul to witness her so Unlady like act.

'OMG, my voice was so high pitched. '

When she turned around she finds Jay looking at her furiously. Before he can say or react anything she and Paul went from there leaving humiliated Jay all alone there.

Rishika got busy making a card and letter for Paul, in which she expressed her feelings through poetry. She planned to give him this card at Valentine's Day which was coming in a few days. She knew it was time and one of them has to declare love. And it doesn't matter for her if she was a girl.

Because right now she was too occupied imagining her first kiss, with Paul. She started watching all the YouTube videos about how to be the best kisser. And now, She badly wanted to kiss him.

On Valentine's Day, Rishika was looking for Paul at school, then someone informed her that he is in the library.

The moment she went there she stumbled back looking at the scene she never thought of in her wildest dreams. Tears slide down from her cheeks when she saw Paul kissing another girl.

Rishika just stood at the door with trembling hands. The card fell from her hands and she went from there crying badly. Skipping her whole day from school she cried herself to sleep. She feels like she was the most stupid girl. Her every dream came crashing down.

Paul looked at Shreya holding her hands and said, "I'm so excited and nervous. I want you to meet Rishika today. Trust me you will love her." On this Shreya smiled and said, "Even I want to meet her. She is famous but we never get to converse with each other." Shreya was the hottest girl in their school. The epitome of beauty. She was rich and brand conscious. And talks so sweet, just like Paul.

With this, Paul and Shreya went towards the exit. But Shreya excused herself as she wanted to use the bathroom. Paul decided to wait for her in the library, he was roaming in the library. When he noticed a beautiful card.

When he read the card, his face turned pale. He never realized that Rishika was in love with him. He decides to make her understand without embarrassing her.

Soon Shreya came back and said, "shall we go? "

Paul cannot tell this to Shreya because she was very possessive of him. He can't stand the fact that two important girls of his like fighting with each other for him. He excused himself that his mother called and he needs to go. He hated lying to Shreya, but it needs to be done.

Paul called Rishika, but she didn't pick up. He was calling her from four days but she wasn't picking his calls. He badly wanted to talk to her. But Rishika cuts all her contacts with him.

Rishika was crying for one week. She was looking at the FB pictures of Paul and Shreya while stuffing her mouth with junk food. She was crying and criticizing herself. She thought,

" I'm so stupid, I never noticed that he loves someone else. I should be the one standing there instead of Shreya. How can I forget she is my senior. And definitely, she was with full-grown boobs. Comparing to her she was still a kid and eight years younger to Paul." She was stuffing her mouth with ice cream now and crying with hot tears. Her eating habits were so disturbed as she was found eating all the time.

Then Rishi entered her room, he noticed the condition of her room and said, "Why are you not returning Paul's call? He called me for the thousandth time today, asking for you. Stop being an attention seeker for once, Rishika."

She always hated this word for her and started spilling even more tears as she hid her face in the pillow.

"I am right, Rishika. You are bothering him just like you bothers us." He stopped in the middle and looked at her face and huffed. Then he came to pull her out of her bed and hugged her making circles at her back. She was a little feverish. He hugged her tightly and tried to make her understand that just because she loves him that doesn't mean he also has to love her back. He makes her understand that he is a good guy. So, She should not let it affect her friendship. He informed her that he is going back to Germany tomorrow. And Paul had asked to see her for once. Rishi spent a whole hour and try to make her realize that she was strong and can easily handle it. He didn't know if she had understood it all but he knew that she was Mehra and has to be strong.

The next day Rishika went to the airport and saw Paul getting into the airport. She decided not to go and see him and embarrassed herself once more. So, she got to the park near but she just got there when she found a hand around her wrist. Looking up she found Paul who wasted no time to drag her to some VIP section of the airport.

Silence surrounds them but then she decided to ask, "Where is your family?"

"They left three days ago. I stayed because I wanted to see you for the last time. And you didn't even remember your promise to see my grandpa."

He kept on talking as she tried her hardest not to let any sob come out. She knew all too well that even if she uttered a single word she will be a sobbing mess.

He looked at her for a brief moment. Her pink nose and small lips looked so attractive. And knowing that she was interested in him was doing things to him. But No! He knew that he loved Shreya. Shreya was the only girl he ever wanted. He could never imagine a life without her beside him.

But the thing he did next even surprised him. He hugged her for a few minutes and make her sit beside him. He remembered how he used to be when he used to crush over Shreya. If he ever came to knew that Shreya loved someone else. Damn! He doesn't want to imagine it.

So, he somehow knew that he can't do anything. Nothing he will say to Rishika right now will ease her pain. So, he chooses to stay silent.

"So, you are really leaving? Will you forget about me?" asked Rishika with her hoarse voice.

Paul replied, "Yes, I'm going back. But forgetting you is kind of impossible," He stopped to look in her eyes and continued with his expression hard, "Because of you my whole family is free from that monster. Every breath I take, I owe you. Plus, you aren't someone that one can forget."

Rishika hummed on this, but again with some hope, she asked, "Your girlfriend? how she is reacting. She must be heartbroken with the breakup..."

Paul cuts her and said, "Next month she is also coming to Germany. We both are planning our future together." He did notice the painful look on her face.

He hugged her again and said, "Rishika, listen very clearly. I'm always with you. Whenever you need me you just have to call me. OK? I promise. I will always be there with you. And I will never forget about you. You are my little bird."

Soon their conversation was interrupted by the announcement regarding the Germany flight. Rishika hugged him to say goodbye to him.

When she came out of the airport she realized that she forgets to take his contact number or any e-mail id.

She was sobbing and was hardly able to control her emotions. She went to Rishi's room and saw Avantika there. Ignoring her, she asked Rishi to send her to her room. She wanted to talk to him.

Rishi knew what she wants to talk about, so he sent Avantika away.

When Avantika left the room, Rishika came running and hugged him as she cried.

She said, "I love him, Bhai. I love him so much but he is gone. He never loved me. He always considers me as his friend. I'm so stupid. I had my whole life planned with him. I, I so much wanted to kiss him." She said and broke into tears.

"Too much information for your brother, sweety. I don't want to know the details of your imaginary first kiss, Rishika. But trust me, he also doesn't want to see you like this. If not for him then for me. I cannot see you like this. You look like a mess." Rishi noticed in the mirror that while patting her head she slept in his lap. He gently holds her and let her sleep on his bed and went outside to order all her favorite things for breakfast.

He noticed her face and sadly smiled. He cannot see her like this. He decided to ask her to help him in business so that she won't get time to think about Paul. Because he was at the same age when he started accompanying the father to the business meetings.

She will notice him and learn how to deal. He was excited that his little sister is gonna be with him after school all the time and this might help her learning how important she was for him.

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