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I know you were here.
He bent down and kissed her forehead as she held his hand to her lips , her silent tears wetting his square compassionate hands. His deep ice-blue eyes healing all the pain she felt in her heart.
Piya ( raising her hand to touch his face )- You won't leave me and go, right?
Abhay ( patting her head )- No.
Piya ( her voice shaky )- But you always do that , Abhay. You always leave me and go.
Abhay ( smiles at her )- That is what you think, Piya. I have never left you I have always been with you and look, am still with you.
Piya ( her hand on Abhay's cheek )- You will always be here with me?
Abhay smiles at her , lies down next to her , holds her hand to his heart and caresses her curly hair, putting her to sleep.
Abhay ( whispering in her ear tenderly )- Always…..
Piya snuggled up to him and all her pain seemed to dissolve – the pain of her physical wounds and her aching heart as she found her warmth in Abhay's cold body. She closed her eyes and she felt she and Abhay fell into a valley of flowers . They both laughed a lot and fell into petals , laughing their hearts out…
Piya smiled and suddenly that vision of she and Abhay , laughing in flowers began to fade away and she felt she just rose from a deep beautiful sunshine dream . Suddenly, everything was dark and she could hear muffled voices of two men- becoming clear slowly and Abhay and her dream settling into a beautiful memory. There were men arguing around her and she slowly opened her eyes.
Piya blinked her eyes open and it took her some time to realize that she was in Dipannita's bedroom and Jeh's house! OH DAMN! Now, she remembered. Piya had followed Abhay to the jungle to fight with him as he had congratulated her and Jeh and even raised a toast for them. Angry and hurt, Piya had slapped Abhay hard after screaming at him. Abhay had said nothing – he just kept looking at her with pained eyes. Jeh had come after her with a girl in his car . He had screamed out her name and told her to stop arguing with Abhay and come back. Piya had left Abhay's collar and run back madly towards the road , her eyes streaming with tears ….and a car had zoomed by ….and everything had blanked out. Ah, so I met with an accident. ….but why is Jeh and this old man arguing?
Jeh ( angrily )- What do you mean by am joking , uncle? Of course Piya met with an accident .. she was injured and she was bleeding and…You are a doctor and… I mean, how can you not see?
Doctor ( flustered and irritated )- Jeh, how many times should I tell you that Piya is fine… ( sees that she has opened her eyes )… oh and look, she has even opened her eyes.
Jeh looks at Piya as she sits up as though nothing has happened to her. He rushes to her side and hugs her.
Jeh ( worriedly)- Piya! You okay?
Piya ( smiles weakly )- Am fine, Jeh. Just fine… why have you called a doctor?
Jeh ( confused)- You were bleeding …..that car…. ( looks at the doctor in confusion)….maybe there are some internal injuries…
Doctor ( shakes his head )- I don't know what imaginary accident or injuries you all are talking about … but for your sake , I will get Piya's X-Rays done, okay?
Jeh ( getting up )- Thank you, Uncle… and am so sorry I lost my head on you. I was just so worried for Piya …( pats her head)… come , I will drop you to your car ….( smiles at Piya)…. I will just be back , okay?
Piya nods at him and Jeh goes out with the doctor. As soon as they go out , Piya becomes restless and gets out of the bed. WHAT WAS THAT! She rushes to the mirror at the dresser and looks at herself…. No wonder the doctor was shocked – there is not a single scar or wound on her face or her arms … infact , Piya was not feeling a single spasm of pain in her body . Her mouth falls open in shock as she feels her face and arms.
Piya ( stunned )- I had hit my head…there was blood… then… then… how is it possible that…
Flash : A hazy image of Abhay kissing a small wound on her forehead and her pain coming to an end .
Piya ( holding her head and taking the support of the dresser to stop herself from collapsing) – Abhay ……..
At that moment , Piya hears the window panes beat against each-other and the curtains fly to her face. Piya goes towards the window to close it . But the wind seems to kiss her cheeks and she smiles as she remembers what Abhay had told her in her dream - I have never left you I have always been with you and look, am still with you. ….The very feel of Abhay's voice makes her blood warm up. PIYA! She scolds herself and closes the window. Stop thinking and dreaming about Abhay. You are dating Jeh now and think about him… see how considerate and nice he is .
Just then, the door opens a very fair , brown-haired girl with a rose smile peeps in. She smiles at Piya and smiles back at her. She comes in and puts her hand forward to shake hands with her.
Piya – You are….
Girl – Oh, I am Alina. Alina Khurana. The baby of the family …. In short , Neel and Jeh's sister..( Piya smiles warmly)…. You sure look fine now. But its abnormal… ( bites her lower lip in confusion)….the way all the wounds just disappeared … I mean, I wiped your blood but… the wounds… ( recalls something )…. Maybe that man was a magician.
Piya ( puzzled )- Man? Which man?
Alina ( seeming lost )- There was a man in the woods, standing right behind you… tall, very handsome , in black clothes and….he had such piercing eyes… he was at a distance but I felt his eyes would bore holes through iron sheets….
Piya ( her heart beating )- Abhay…. ( the vision of his ice blue eyes unsettling her )… that's Abhay…..
Alina ( her eyes lighting up on knowing his name )- Abhay? Means fearless. Wow. Suits him just fine, right? ….Umm, why were you fighting with him? Jeh was so worried , you know…. But I think Abhay cares about you… his eyes never left you until we drove out of sight.
Piya's heart melts on hearing that Abhay cares about her. Oh, how I wish that was true! But am sure he was just figuring out how to hurt me next!
Piya ( her heart threatening to burst from her bosom)- A-Alina, can we not talk about Abhay , please? It upsets me.
Alina blinks her pretty eyes at her and nods. She shrugs her shoulders and turns to go when the door opens and Misha and Pancchi come rushing in.
Misha ( running and hugging her )- Piya! Woman , you scared the hell out of us! …( checks jer top to bottom)… you fine?
Pancchi ( kissing her forehead )- I had a heart attack, baby! You attract accidents ? Good that Jeh and Alina… ( smiles at the sister who doesn't return her smile )… were there to save you.
Piya ( laughs )- Am absolutely fine! Look at me. All good. I hope Dad –Mom have not been informed. Don't spoil their Sikkim trip.
Pancchi – No, we didn't tell them anything because we came running here in panic and stupid Misha rammed the car into a lorry .
Piya ( taken aback)- What? Am sure the lorry is gone beyond repair. But then, how did you both come here? You both are too prissy to sit in a rickshaw.
Misha ( giggles)- Haha. There is just one man in Dehradun who comes to the rescue of all women – ABHAY RAICHAND. He gave us a lift and here we are…..( softly )… Jeh has gone to get medicines for you like a good boyfriend , so we told Abhay that he can come in.
Alina ( excitedly )- That man is here, you mean?...Are they talking about the same Abhay?
Piya ( her heart melting at the thought that Abhay was just a few meters away)- Y-Yes…..
Alina ( going out like a starry eyed teenager)- Abhay is here? In my house?...( looks down at the living room where Abhay is standing by the fireplace )…. HELLO MISTER!
Abhay looks up at the pretty young woman and he remembers her as the girl with Jeh.
Alina ( sweetly )- Won't you come up and see how Piya is doing? Humanity?
Abhay's face hides the pain inside very well and he nods. He slowly climbs up the stairs and comes to the room. Alina takes his hand and shakes it herself, much to the amusement of Mish and Pancchi and obvious displeasure of Piya.
Alina ( still shaking his hand)- Hi! I am Alina and I know that my brothers and Mon hate you … but I don't.
Abhay ( forced to smile )- Okay. Now, do I say thank you to you… ( pretends to think)…. Maybe I should because…( looks at Piya)…because at least you are not breaking my jaw.
Piya is stung by Abhay's sarcasm but gulps her anger. Ughs! Can Alina just leave Abhay's hand already? Misha, Pancchi , Maithli and…. WHAT! Who Maithli…. Piya, Abhay has put you and all women on drugs or what! GRRR!
Alina ( blinking her eyes at him)- You are magical, has anyone ever told you that?
Abhay( taken aback)- What?
Just then, Jeh's voice is heard downstairs and all the women are alarmed.
Alina ( anxiously )- Jeh!
Misha – Oh no , Jeh!
Pancchi – Damn, its Jeh !
Abhay ( shrugs his shoulders )- Good, I will go and say hi to him.
Alina ( holding him back)- Are you crazy? Brother will kill me if he comes to know I let you in here … in Piya's room?
Abhay ( looking at Piya )- Why? Jeh lives with Piya in this room or what?
Piya ( angrily )- SHUT UP ABHAY!
Misha ( urgently )- Listen! We don't want any more wrestling matches here. We are going downstairs and we will take Jeh out of the house somehow.
Pancchi- Right! And I will buzz you Abhay at the right time . You get out of the house at that time, okay? Come on girls, before Jeh comes up.
The three girls rush out before Abhay or Piya can react and they lock them in. Abhay and Piya look at each-other grimly.
Piya ( furiously )- Before you say anything or try to talk to me , let me tell you that am not interested in talking to you or listen to your stay-away-from-Jeh anthems . Am very happy with him.
Abhay ( shrugging his shoulders )- Did I even say anything, Piya? No, right? So, chill…. ( picks up a newspaper and sits in an armchair )….. Hopefully , you will keep quiet while I read this newspaper.
Piya is about to lash back at him but controls herself . She keeps glaring at Abhay for a few seconds and then, stamping her feet, goes back and sits on the bed, restless, angry and strangely still jealous. Abhay was such a LOSER! She had fought with him, slapped him, screamed at him a few hours ago , she had met with an accident in front of his eyes and he was giving this ATTITUDE to her and going all sweet and nice over that lollipop-eyed Alina? Piya kept on looking at Abhay but his eyes were calmly running over the newspaper. Piya couldn't take it anymore. She got up and went straight to Abhay, putting her hands on her hips. She snatched the newspaper away from Abhay's hands and tears it to pieces.
Abhay ( calmly getting up)- That is Jeh's newspaper , Piya and its strange you have so much energy even after an accident to make garbage out of newspaper.
Piya ( fuming)- You are not funny, Abhay ,so don't even try that , okay? ….What are you trying to do, huh?
Abhay ( putting a hand on his ear and closing his eyes )- Low. Keep your volume low, Piya or else yoiur precious Jeh will come running up and accuse me of sexual assaults on you. ….and what am I doing , hmm?
Piya ( whining like a child and pacing around like a caged tigress )- You know what you are doing! What's with celebrating mine and Jeh's relationship ?... Why are you throwing parties to hurt me?...( beginning to cry now)…. Why didn't you even once ask how I was feeling? …..Why didn't you do anything to get me back?...how did you forget me , Abhay ?...How….. how did you ever look at any other woman other than me…. How…..
Abhay's heart lurches as he sees Piya break down and all his icy demenour goes out of the window . He goes and sits next to her on the carpet as she continues to sob. He puts his hand on her head and she looks at him. He wipes her tears and looks into her eyes.
Abhay ( intensely)- I have no answers to your questions, Piya…. As beaten , as repetitive, as sick as it sounds , I cannot say anything that will make you feel better except that…. ( gulps his own pain)….that its not like what you think, Piya. I never stopped caring about you. Not even for a blink of an eye…..( caresses her hair)…. I don't know if I will live long enough or be around enough to say it again but… ( bends over and kisses her forehead )… I love you. I always have . I always will. …..There is no answer to why we can't be together but……I will always be there with you.
Piya ( holding his hand under her chin like a baby)- Always?
Abhay ( his eyes glistening with tears )- Always. Even when you no longer see me…..
Piya feels such a lurch in her heart that she throws her arms around Abhay and hugs him – not crying but with the lost expression of a baby. Abhay puts his chin on her head and rubs her back to calm her down.
Piya ( falling asleep)- Abhay….
Abhay( kissing her hair to keep her calm)- Hmm…
Piya ( her eyes drooping )- I know you were here…. A little while ago…..you did something that took away all my pain.
Abhay( holding her like a doll)- No, Piya. I was not here at all.
Piya( snuggling to his chest like a child )- You were. I know it…. Abhay?
Abhay( softly )- Piya….
Piya ( falling into slumber)- Come back to me, Abhay……Come back….
Abhay ( kissing her lips softly as she falls asleep in his arms)- I never left you, Piya. I live in you and I will always live in you…….Always.