" It's so beautiful" A girl gushes as she runs towards the center of the meadow. Her brown hairs following behind her as her eyes sparkle in the moon light .
She inhales deeply and her eyes takes in the glistening lake before her. The soft grass tickling her bare toes and cold breeze playing with her white long chiffon dress, making her look like an angel . Goosebumps appears on her skin as she feels the presence behind.
"Cadet!! I told you there isn't much to see here" A man dressed in jeans and shirt walks towards the girl. His eyes trailed on the girl's face, admiring her smile, something rarely seen on her face.
" It is special ! It must be. Nathan mentioned this place several times in his diary. He called it 'scared'. I want to know Sir! Why did he called it scared" The girl pouts and turns towards him. Some winds blows the hair on her face, covering it partially.
" Idiot!!! Can't keep a secret even after dying on me" The man mummers before holding her shoulders and turning her towards left. Her back pressed against his front," This isn't 'Scared' Cadet. That is Scared!" He points his head towards a small cottage,decorated in fairylights between a field of red roses.
" Wow!!!" The man chuckles as he sees her mouth open, he takes her hand and drags her towards the cottage.
" Cadet do you wanna know why it's scared place for me and him" The girl nods eagerly and interwines their fingers . A spark runs along the man's arm and a smile settles on his face.
"Whose cottage is it?" The girl asks as she runs her fingers on the roses while they walk towards the door.The man smiles down at her.
" Our fairy godmother!" The girl laughs at his words.
" So that make you and Nathan the Cinderella of this story" the man chuckles as they stop on the porch and knocks on the door.
" Not only me and Nathan but our whole gang. She was the sweetest woman I ever met, just like a warm blanket. One day while trekking down from NMA, we all got lost in trail and found this cottage behind the trees. It was already dark by the time we reached there but she welcomed us in her house without any question. We spend our whole weekend with her family and it became a tradition , our second home."The girl turns towards the man, her eyes fixed on his face as he relishes in his own memories. She wanted to move her eyes away but her heart thumped with emotions she wasn't aware herself.
" She is an utter romantic. We promised her to bring our love here, to our scared place. She will..."the man turns towards her only to have his eyes locked with her. Her brown orbs drowning him , her scent melting him and his emotions heightened. The emotion he shouldn't feel for her , for his protégée.
"I..you will love...."
" Sir, we have arrived at your destination!" The old driver speaks as he pulls the cab before a huge black iron gate jerking his customer out of his sleep, of his dream.
" Oh!! Yeah!! Thanks. Here is the change!" The man sighs and rubs away his sleep before gathering his things and exiting the cab.
" Back here Again!!!" The man's eye shimmers with emotions as he takes a step into the huge iron gate . A board stood on the top of the gate displaying- NMA- Nubra Military Academy , Kasauli.
Memories flood his mind as he takes in the familiar surrounding. A place where his dreams were fullfilled, where he experienced friendship, love, heartbreak and betrayal.
"We the soldiers of Indian army takes pledge of this holy matyrs torch to serve our nation with determination, pride and strength.We shall always seek truth and provide justice for the same. Our determination will be as strong as our friendship." Memories of their own first promise around the torch as the leiutanants and as friends echoes through his mind.
'What happened today will have dire consequences Raj. She is your student and these rumours will not only finish her careers but yours also."
" I don't see her like this Ella. She.."
" Don't lie to me Raj, I have seen how you look at her. I have seen how territorial you became when you defended her. Yes ! She isn't at fault. Yes! She is your best friend's baby sister and Yes! She is your protégée but now she has become more for you that all these. You need to stop this before it destroys you both."
Another memory flashes -
" No! I won't go until you give an answer.I want to know what my fault. You can't just step back away from being my mentor.I need to know the reason. It's been a month since you are avoiding me and now suddenly you withdraw your mentorship. You promised me to be there for me, to find the truth. Please...please please tell me Sir!!" She tries to keep her voice strong but he could hear her voice trembles. He wanted to turn around and hug her pain away but he knew better to stay away, better for her , better for him
" I don't think I am obliged to explain you anything but since you insist. I don't like to stress my fiancee about some silly rumours and teenage infatuation. " He hear her gasps.
" Yes , my fiancée Dr. Tamira Singh, the guest doctor. She has been stressed with all that has been going on. You and especially cadets have taken my pity as something else. I want to end them , especially since my engagement is tomorrow. So I guess I cleared myself . Now excuse yourself from my room cadet. I don't want anybody to see you here" He expected some words but all he heard was silence , a silence which will eat him alive. He knew he hurted her bad especially after knowing Tamira's past but it has to be done. Any string attached to her, needs to be broken. He can't risk her career.
His trail of memories ends as finds himself before the Holy Martyr's Torch, lighted in the middle of the administrative block. His eyes sparkle with determination as he recalls his oath for his duty. A duty for which he has again set foot here after 5 yrs but this time , he is a shell of a soldier, alone and hollow, haunted by the yearning for one person that he lost forever.