“Stop making story after story! Why are we waiting here? Aren’t we supposed to go home?”, she asked him, out of patience and scared for what was to come. He sat there looking down at his fingers that were twisting and untwisting continuously. He was nervous, but why?
“There is no home.”, he said. It was almost a whisper but he was clear.
“What do you mean there is no home?”, the color of her face had drained. She was looking at him. Her urgency and desperation for an answer felt like a heave weight in air. He was still looking at his fingers, they hadn’t stopped twisting and curling. His palms were sweaty when she took them into her hand.
“Stop fiddling with your fingers and answer me. Why are we waiting here?” Growing angry and impatient, she almost screamed.
“We’ve lost it Kaaya. It’s been 4 weeks. There is no home.” he was looking at her.
She felt as if all the blood had drained out, her heart was empty, and its thumping echoed louder in her ears now. The picture of an apartment flashed in her mind. Its white walls, wooden furniture, and him.
“Where is he?” she was shocked at her ignorance. She should have asked about him before. He was there when she left the house. Now she couldn’t find him anywhere. Why hadn’t he come to pick her up?
“He always comes to pick me up from office. Was he busy?”, she asked trying to keep calm.
“Yes. Yes, he went to a friend’s house. Said it was an emergency, that someone needed his help.” But she could sense the quiver, the crack in his voice when he spoke was very much evident.
“Do you remember his face?”, he asked hesitantly.
“What do you mean? What kind of question is this? Why would I not remember the face of a guy I have been living with since months now?” He could see she was aggressive and he had made her angry but he kept persisting.
“So tell me. How did he look?”
“Oh he is very handsome. And intelligent.” she said proudly. He could see she was trying to make him feel jealous. Trying to tell him that how much better her love was than him. It was hurting him. Her words felt like a pang but he continued.
“And what makes him so handsome?”
“His eyes. They are the color of……” she stopped.
“Brown?” he added
“Yes. No no. Not brown. They were black. Or… I can’t remember. His hair, his face, his eyes, his voice, nothing. I remember nothing.” she was panicking. Her forehead was sweating, her eyes wide open, and her lips shivering.
“Calm down. Its OK.” he tried to comfort her. She was crying now. Sobbing like a child.
“Go away.” she screamed “Leave me alone.”
He was trying to hold her by her arms. She looked like she’d seen a ghost. Her mind was racing and he sensed it. “It’s OK Kaaya” he repeated with all the calmness and composure he could feign.
“Where is he? Has he left me? Is that why I don’t have a home anymore? Has he forsaken me? Am I mad? Is this why we are waiting here in this hospital? I saw a doctor with all the shock-therapy tools. You said we were going to see a friend who’s fallen ill and you brought me here. Is this an asylum? Have you dragged me to this mad house to get me locked in one of its cells? Get away from me. Leave me alone. Leave my hand and let me go. Let me get out of here. I want to go home.” she was crying and screaming. Her sobs had made her weak. She tried to pull herself away from him but fell short of energy and strength.
“Shhhh..quiet.” he said with all the love he had for her. “No one has left you. I am not leaving you here. It will just take ten minutes. It’s not an asylum I promise. No one will do that with a beautiful, kind girl like you. Just a few scans and tests and you will be fine. You will remember him. You will remember everything.” last four words were barely even spoken out loud but Kaaya heard them.
“Everything else? What everything else?” she was panting because of all the sobbing.
“What are you hiding from me? Where is he? Is he dead?”
“No no. No one is dead. Listen to me..”
“Where is he?”
She saw everywhere, her eyes looked for a familiar face but found none. Irritated she shouted “Don’t talk to me in riddles….whatever your name is. Just tell me where the fuck is he?”
He looked at her. His eyes were wet and a tear rolled down his cheek. She barely understood the reaction and expected to get bad news. When he spoke, he could barely keep himself composed. His shoulders were tight when he took a photo out of his pocket and showed to her. In her irritation she snatched the photo and looked at it. A couple getting married. She could barely believe what she saw. The boy in front of him was in the photo, newly married, standing there, all dressed up like a groom. Beside him was Kaaya. She looked terrifically beautiful bride. Both were laughing. It was the happiest day before they lost everything to a train wreck. He had lost his house and everything he had ever earned to keep her alive. The girl he loved the most, the girl who didn’t remember him anymore.
He was looking at her looking at the photo. Confused and frustrated, she kept staring. And finally, she said,
“What the fuck is this? Where is he? Why am I being shown a picture completely irrelevant to this situation? WHERE IS HE? And who is she?”
He broke down and cried.
“The girl I love, the girl I lost three months ago.”