Remember

Rajat’s house, 9.30 AM

“Ma, I will be late tonight. I will be meeting Ruchi after college today.”

“Ok beta. Take care and don’t forget to take your medicines. Call me when you are free from college in the evening.”

“Yes Ma, don’t worry. I am fine. You just chill!”

Rajat’s mom smiled and bid him goodbye although in her heart, she would never stop worrying. Just like a mother.

*****

Ruchi’s house, 9.30 AM

“Ruchi, are you sure you want to continue? I mean it has been a while.”

“Yes Baba. I have to do this. I can’t just let it go so easily. It’s my entire life too.”

“Ok, as you feel. You know your Aai and Baba are always here, waiting for you if ever you need us.” Ruchi hugged her parents and walked out, grateful to God for blessing her with such wonderful parents.

*****

Café Blues, 6.30 PM

Rajat walked in dressed in his favourite blue jeans and white T-shirt. His feet clad in Puma sneakers and a Nike bag slung casually over his shoulders, Rajat drew attention wherever he went. He stood over 6 feet tall, with wide shoulders and a pleasing personality. Girls swooned over his brown eyes and charming smile. He grabbed the table in the corner, their favourite as he called it.

While he waited for Ruchi, he remembered the first time they had met at a common friend’s party. Their eyes met across the room and before they knew it, they were talking to each other. With common interests and a mutual attraction they felt, they decided to see where it all led. It had been a year since they were officially ‘a couple’.

The sound of the wind chime jangling brought him back to the present. There she was. She smiled and waved, walking the slow, languid walk that was her personality. A petite frame, she was casually dressed in maroon trousers and a strappy white top with a multihued scarf thrown around her neck. Ruchi sat down opposite him and asked him about his day. The waiter took their order and disappeared, leaving them alone.

“Rajat, what is happening with your US application?”

“Ruchi, I don’t have an answer yet. No news is good news they say!” Rajat smiled at that.

“How can no news be good news in this case? And you are just sitting and waiting around? We have been through this many times before, Rajat. You have to start applying to local colleges in the meantime for your higher education.”

“Come on Ruchi! How many times I have told you, I will not go to college here. US it is for me!”

“Rajat, life isn’t always about what you want, it’s about what you get. You can’t carry on like this! Firstly, you are spending too much time these days with Shreya in college. To top that, you are so unfocussed about your choice of career or life ahead. I can’t live like that.”

“Ruchi, what is wrong with you? Shreya is just a friend, don’t you get that? I am helping her out in a crisis, that’s all! And I know exactly what I want! More importantly, do you?” Saying so, Rajat walked out of the Café in a huff.

As he left, he failed to notice the tears that slipped down Ruchi’s cheeks. She had re-lived these moments many times in her mind since that day. The day that Rajat and she had fought at this very table and Rajat had walked out in a huff. And been hit by a car a few metres from here. The pain and agony that she had dealt with since then!

Rajat had suffered from post-traumatic amnesia. He had recovered physically, but his mental state was a different story. You could almost say that his memory was blocked. His mind had wiped out the memory of all that had transpired just before the accident. Therapy had been started and the psychiatrist had suggested that a familiar environment and similar scenario may help kick start his memory again. Both sets of parents had been sceptical but Ruchi was sure she wanted to try it. They had been visiting the same place for over a week re-living it through a fight she initiated every time, although he didn’t realise it yet. And they would do it all over again tomorrow. As long as it would take him to remember!

*****

Glossary:
Beta – Son
Aai – Mother
Baba – Father

************

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Sheetal Ashpalia

With a teenage son and a full time job, writing is what Sheetal enjoys in her spare time apart from singing and reading. She firmly believes that “Something beautiful is about to happen”.

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