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Rukhsar Shafi

Drama Fantasy


4.3  

Rukhsar Shafi

Drama Fantasy


Mad Court: Ch. 5 A Heart Was Meant To Break

Mad Court: Ch. 5 A Heart Was Meant To Break

9 mins 249 9 mins 249

*Four Years Ago*

“Alisa, we are getting late!” Maira hollered. She checked herself in the mirror, fixing her hair for the nth time and checking whether her minimal make-up was on point.

“I’m coming,” Alisa replied. “August, get the hell up off of me. No, we can’t have sex. I don’t care even if it’s for a couple of minutes. Listen to me, Augustus Tiberius Murena, if I get late one more time because of you, we’re over.”

Maira stood by the main door, trying to zone out the conversation she overheard. Alisa was a lot of things but quiet, she was not. But Maira was glad that she had met Alisa Tarasova during their first year. Being the honor roll student was tiresome but with Alisa, a fellow cellist, it was easier to convince her mother to let her rent out an apartment outside the campus in their second year. Dorm roommates to apartment-mates, Alisa had been great to live with. 

Greyhill University was the second best music school in the world. Though Maira’s mother had wanted her to attend Mountainridge, something about Greyhill called out to her. She loved the campus, the landscape, and the faculty. They weren’t uptight and old-fashioned like MSFA. They had a great orchestral program, led by the alumni of MSFA and the principal cellist of the renowned orchestra, Howard Strings, Kristine Damgaard.

Alisa finally rushed out of her room with August looking extremely glum. “Come on. Let’s hurry.” Maira chuckled at his pouty expression.

The girls were driven to school by August in his white Buick. August and Alisa continued to bicker but in a more flirty manner. Alisa’s mother was the world famous Prima Donna Yuliya Tarasova and she was the coolest opera singer Maira had ever met. Yuliya’s parents had been strict while she was growing up in Russia that she decided her children would not suffer the same fate as her. Alisa’s older brother, Alexey, was a pretty good DJ who played at Tomorrowland, Coachella, and the Electric Daisy Carnivals. Her second brother, Anton, was a hot-shot financial analyst for a big MNC back in Russia. Alisa was the only one who had inherited her mother’s classical ear.

Maira dreamed of becoming the principal cellist in the Royal Symphony Orchestra while Alisa wanted to join the Sounds of the Abyss, an orchestral rock band. Though their dreams were different, they both shared their love for cello.

Maira stared at the heavy grey clouds rolling in while the wind blew atrociously, wobbling August’s car. As soon as they reached the campus ground, it began to pour down heavily. The girls ran towards the university, followed by August.

“What is going on?” Alisa exclaimed. “Rain at this time of the year? Odd.” She clutched the light beige jacket she had worn tighter around her.

“No clue. Let me check the weather report.” August swiped out his phone from his pocket. “Oh no. It says a cyclones’ coming our way.”

“How is that possible?” Maira leaned in to check the phone. “We don’t live by the ocean or the sea.”

“Global warming is real, guys. This is the end,” Brett’s nagging voice echoed from behind them. His floppy blond hair blew in the gust of the wind.

Maira controlled her urge to not roll her eyes. It wasn’t that Brett was a bad guy. He was funny, charming, and extremely loyal to his friends. But it was all negated by his tool-like personality. He went through girls like yesterday’s newspaper and sometimes wouldn’t even remember their names. It irked her that so many girls would fall for his boyish-charms.

She exhaled heavily. “There is global warming but I’m sure this isn’t the end.”

DING-DONG-DANG! 

The university bell rang and the speaker boomed with the chancellor’s voice. “Students, I regret to inform you that the classes have been cancelled and it’s been reported that the roads are unsafe. Please gather in the auditorium for shelter. Food and water will be supplied to you.”

“Well, this is unnatural,” Maira said.

“It’s the end. It’s not unnatural.” Brett draped his hand over her shoulder. Maira moved away. “Don’t be like this. Who knows how long we have. Might as well let’s do it.”

Maira raised a brow. “Do what?”

“You know. Hugging and cuddling under one blanket that will slowly turn frisky.” Brett wagged his brows.

“Why in Lord’s name would we cuddle? And frisky? How are you even?”

Alisa began to laugh. August narrowed his eyes at Brett. “Brett, cut it out. She’s not interested in having sex with you.”

Sex?

“Hold on! Frisky meant sex?” Maira looked utterly surprised.

“What did you think it meant, sweetheart?” Brett asked.

“I don’t know. But EW! You and I will never have sex, Brett. At least not in this lifetime.” Maira brushed her hair back and sped her paces forward.

“So, I have a chance! Yes!” Brett whistled as he began to walk faster as well. Maira picked up her speed and rushed towards the auditorium. As Brett chased her, she couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. Although their behaviour had been childish, she couldn’t stop herself from giggling like a schoolgirl. Just as she rounded a corner, she crashed into somebody.

“Oh God, I’m so sorry,” she apologized. Looking up, she noticed Leon standing in front of her, in his normal nonchalance. His usual tightly pulled back hair was disheveled and a smudge of a lipstick stain smeared his lips. Maira’s grin dropped as she stumbled back. A girl, shorter than Maira, had her arms wound around Leon’s neck.

“No, we are sorry,” The girl said, giggling. “We shouldn’t have been doing this in the middle of the corridor.”

“Hey, is that Poppy? When did you come back from London?” Brett spoke with a flirtatious smirk.

“Brett,” Leon said in a low, threatening voice.

Shivers went up Maira’s arms. Brett raised his hands, chuckling softly. August and Alisa reached the scene and Alisa’s arms immediately wound around her. She had been the only one who knew about her crush on Leon.

“Hey, I’m Alisa, August’s girl and you are?” She extended her free hand towards the short girl in front of them.

The girl beamed as she shook Alisa’s hand vehemently. Alisa retracted her hand in the fear of being pulled out completely. “I know. I’ve heard a lot about you. Actually all of you. I obviously know Brett.” Her eyes moved towards Maira. “My name is Poppy Wilbur. I’m pursuing painting specialization here. And I’m Leon’s girlfriend.”

Leon had a girlfriend? And he was kissing her in the middle of the hallway? Maira’s head spun. How could Leon do that? He always portrayed that he had no time for girls. He would dismiss those who came up to him, bearing their hearts, kindly so that they wouldn’t get hurt. He believed that when the time was right, he would find his ‘soul-mate’ or whatever he believed in. He wanted to concentrate on his music and make it big before he thought of settling down with a girl. He was known as a musical genius for a reason.

Has he now found his soul mate? Was Poppy the one?

Maira looked at Leon, hoping to find the same kindness he always carried with him, but his expression remained blank. He hadn’t cared that his friends saw him with a girl. Heck, Brett knew Leon was dating someone and he hadn’t bothered to tell them. Because if he had, the impact of the reveal would have not been so devastating for Maira. She realized that Leon didn’t care that she had seen him kissing another girl. Leon’s indifference to the incident shattered her heart. She turned around and ran into the pouring rain.

Even though her perfectly styled hair matted the side of her face, she didn’t care that she might have looked like a drenched dog. Or the water ruined her designer clothes that her mother carefully picked after hours of shopping. Her book bag began to weigh heavier on her shoulders after absorbing all the water. All she wished was the Earth to open up and swallow her whole.

Tears poured down her cheeks uncontrollably as she cursed herself for her wishful thinking and believing that Leon would pick her. That she could be the chosen one for him. She cursed at her naiveté. How could she have thought of that notion? They hardly spoke to each other. She had embarrassed herself on one too many occasions. Why had she believed that Leon would like her quirkiness and fall for her? Damn, these romantic-comedies, ruining love and relationships for every adolescent and pubertal teenage girl!

She heard her name being hollered from behind. She stopped mid-track and slowly turned to the voice. Leon had not straightened out his hair and locks of his wavy brown hair fell upon his face. “Maira,” he breathed.

“What are you doing here?” Her voice had been so soft that she could barely hear it herself over the noise of the wind blowing.

Brushing his hair back, he panted. “Man, you run fast.” He exhaled slowly, controlling his breath. “Why did you run away?”

Her face turned red. How could she tell him that she had a massive crush on him and witnessing him with another girl, embraced in each other’s arms, broke her heart into a million tiny pieces? “I…”

“Do you like me?” Leon sprung the question out of nowhere. Though he gasped for breath, his soft green eyes stared at her intently.

‘Oh, Mother Nature, I beg you. Begin your continental drift right where I stand so I no longer feel this shame.’ Maira’s face had turned a brighter shade than tomato.

“Maira, you look-”

“Yes,” I blundered.

Leon looked taken aback but also not surprised. He hung his head low before nodding slowly. “I see.”

“I know you don’t like me, so you don’t have to say anything.”

“I’m sorry, Maira.”

“Though, why didn’t you tell us about Poppy?”

Leon took in a long breath. “It’s not that I didn’t want to tell you. I was just…” he trailed.

She noted that he mentioned her and not the rest of the band. Had they known too? Were they protecting him? Or… were they protecting her? “You knew that I liked you?” asked Maira.

“I speculated. But that wasn’t the reason why I didn’t tell you. Maira, my relationship with Poppy was something that sprung at me from nowhere.” He stepped closer to her. Maira’s legs betrayed her as they stood intact on the ground though she tried willing them to move. Move away from him. “I… I didn’t know when I began to fall in love with her.”

Maira exhaled sharply. “You love her?”

“I do. Maira, I…” Though a smile stretched upon Leon’s face, the pity in his eyes was indiscreet. The pity broke her heart even more.

“I understand. I truly do. And I’m glad you’ve found her. Your soul-mate. Poppy seems wonderful.” Leon’s eyes widened in astonishment and his brows were slowly bunching up in the middle. She side-stepped him and walked back to the university. She wept as she strolled. Her eyes had turned red and were swollen. Alisa tried comforting her but Maira knew her heart was meant to break. She had been a fool. Leon had never been hers to begin with. Her mind molded a beautiful story that she believed foolishly for too long.

Due to the cyclone, all the students were asked to remain at the campus for two days and were given a week holiday to recuperate. The town had been hit quite badly with a few stores in the town square being wrecked completely. She stayed clear from Leon and the rest of the band. Alisa had tried to get her to listen to Euphonic Cavalry but Maira couldn’t face Leon after being rejected so terribly. Everyone would be able to see the Friendzone mark that she bore on her forehead.


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