Rudra stood on the balcony and looked at the city stretched out in front of him. The golden glow of the setting sun had washed everything in a fiery hue. As he looked on, the images of the past started to form inside his head.
The fire, burned bodies, blood; his dead parents and sister.
Tormented, he closed his eyes instantly to block the vision and then sighed hard as they faded away.
A soft woof behind him and gentle rubbing on the back of his leg brought his senses back. He sat down on the ground and instantly Scar jumped on his lap and scrubbed her nose on his chin.
Rudra buried his face in her coat and closed his eyes. Scar whined affectionately just as he petted her.
“She has to wake up soon,” he said into her coat.
As a small woof answered him, he hugged her hard and then let go. Standing up, he strode inside his bedroom in Genus and sat down on the bed. Scar jumped on the bed and settled next to him.
It had been more than a week after he had gone to the hospital. Although she was breathing, she wasn’t awake.
He was worried, not because she hadn’t woken up but his plans had become stagnate.
He couldn’t wait to see her eyes and face filled with pain.
Ishani was still sitting next to the container looking at her frozen face however, this time she was inside a forest and it looked quite familiar. Ignoring her surroundings, she looked back at the container. As she touched the ice, its coldness settled inside her.
But there was a certain kind of warmth. It was as if somebody had breathed life into her again. But she didn’t need life.
She has to go. There was nothing left for her now.
Time was waiting for her.
She got up and started walking away from the container towards an infinite end, which had been calling her for long. As her steps neared it, a serene silence started to settle inside her.
The call shattered the serenity inside her.
She turned and looked here and there, however saw nothing.
There was it again. That voice, that name, that call just scratched the ever-bleeding part of her heart. She shook her head and started walking towards the end.
She inwardly shouted and pressed her hands on her ears trying the block the ricocheting sound. But suddenly a flash of something lying on the grass caught her eye and her hands fell away.
She was about to pick it up when several shadows fell on her. She looked up and saw some men holding a boy captive.
She recognised each and every face but the minute her eyes collided with the boy’s, her mind lost it. A silent and numbing fear settled inside her as her gaze flicked to the knife digging at the boy’s throat.
The vision went black in a matter of seconds and pain sliced through her heart and settled somewhere deep inside her.
She wanted to cry, she wanted to scream, she wanted to save him but instead she stood there motionless waiting for that numbing pain to take hold of her mind fully.
No, shouted her brain. The memories were too painful; they were better locked up somewhere unknown to her.
Shaking her head vigorously, she forced herself to block the images.
There would be no darkness on the other side. There would be a light on the other side that it would diminish every dark corner within her.
And there would be no memories, no pain, there would be nothing.
She would finally be at peace.
Just as she was turning, a shadow fell on her side.
She flicked her gaze up and settled her eyes on a face that was slowly materialising. As it formed into a proper image, her eyes widened as recognition settled in.
Ishani tried to turn away and walk but somebody pulled her back. She collided with a chest and instantly her eyes shot up.
Sheer black orbs shone on her and slowly the face started to come closer to hers.
“Ishi, I’ll come back.”
Tears slipped out as memories flooded her mind again. She raised her hand, touched his face, tracing the lines.
He shook his head gently and pressed even closer.
His lips instantly found her palm, touching it softly at first and then kissing it fully.
Not able to bear it, she dragged her hand away and turned. But before she could take one more step, she was engulfed into his arms from behind.
He buried his face in her neck and whispered in her ear.
“Ishi! I came back. For you.”
Ishani turned and clutched his face in her hands and looked intently into those emotionless eyes.
There was not even a hint of Veera in them.
Dejected, she was about to step away, when he linked his forehead to hers.
“There are too many demons inside you and me. Demons full of deceit and anguish. There is no love for us. Love doesn’t exist. But pain does and that’s what we believe in; that’s what keeps us alive. Both of us are too deep into this to let go.”
Then he raised his forehead and looked into her eyes.
“Let’s welcome the torment and suffer. When it’s all over, I promise we’ll leave. Together.”
The torturous feeling returned filling every portion of her body, burning the cold away.
Closing her eyes, she slipped into his arms and became one.
Ishani’s eyes flickered a little and then opened. As the light inside the room blinded her, she closed them again and breathed hard.
An excruciating pain shot through her and she tried to twist her body but couldn’t. It seemed as if it was completely immobile. She tried to raise her hand but couldn’t.
Seconds later, somebody was calling her name. Blinking her eyes, she opened them and fixed on the face in front of her. The different blurred images formed into one entity slowly.
Someone in a doctor’s coat.
She tried to move her body and felt his hand stopping her.
Then she heard him instruct someone to check her vitals. As one of the nurses checked her, she watched him walk out of the room.
How did she get here?
Who brought her here?
She tried to speak but discovered that she couldn’t. Panic started to build inside her and the moment her eyes widened with shock penetrating her brain, she saw one of the nurses rushing out of the room while the others tried to calm her down.