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Anurag Kadel

Thriller


3.4  

Anurag Kadel

Thriller


Wrong Side Of Love

Wrong Side Of Love

11 mins 23.7K 11 mins 23.7K

Maya sat amongst the others waiting for her turn, in a dull looking waiting room with no magazines to read and light barely enough. The room blended perfectly with Maya’s appearance; sleep was scarce in the last few weeks, as a result of which she had two huge depressions just under her eyes. Even though her long hair appeared aesthetic, one could easily fathom that she was uninterested in caring for it. She wore a black T-shirt, and the tight jeans suited her long attractive legs, she had some makeup below her eyes in an attempt to cover up the depressions. The hustle bustle and the panic of the new city had deepened her depression and longing for her parents. ‘Boyfriend issues?’ asked a middle-aged woman, a stranger who sat next to her. ‘That would be a trivial reason to come here, don’t you think?’ Replied Maya in a rather sarcastic and rude manner. The stranger clearly taking offense from the reply decided to resume staring at a painting that hung above the receptionist’s table. From across the other end of the waiting room, a young man of almost Maya’s age grunted and shuffled in his chair after witnessing this amusing incident. He picked himself up from the chair and settled himself on a chair next to Maya’s. ‘You seem like you belong to this place’ he said trying to sound amusing and convincing. Maya thought to herself, turned her head to look at him, ready to blast him off, but his endearing face and unimpeachable eyes immediately extinguished the fire that rose inside of her. She altered her reply and with a straight face and questioned his motives. ‘Oh really, you want to hit on a woman, who’s next in the line to meet the psychiatrist?’, Maya had been living in the confines of her grandmother’s house since she had moved to the city, staying alone all day in her room, laying under a warm blanket and contemplating over the course of events. This trip to the psychiatrist had given her a motive to step out of the house. And the sudden interest from a cute guy in a new city, excited her, more importantly, distracted her, but she made sure not to make it obvious. Suddenly there was a buzz from within psychiatrist’s room and the receptionist stood up and without wasting a single second and announced Maya’s name. Maya made a move to the psychiatrist’s room without bothering to reply to the stranger’s question. ‘I’ll be waiting for you here’ shouted the stranger as Maya disappeared into the office.

 

Psychiatrist, Priya Rai, sat on a neatly arranged table, on one side of the table sat a huge pile of papers and on the opposite side stood a small lamp. Priya was busy reading a paper kept on her table, it had Maya’s name and age, 21, on it and it also mentioned that she was suffering from chronic depression due to the death of her parents. Priya was young and might say still new and learning the careful of psychiatry. The office was designed beautifully, paintings graced the grayish walls of the office and in a corner stood a rack of books. The door of her office flung open and Maya, trying to conceal a fading smile on her face, entered the office. The doctor stood up and greeted her. Maya still lost in her thoughts about the stranger, didn’t care to respond to the greeting. She seated herself on a comfortable looking couch. The trip to the psychiatrist had been routine for her. Priya, without wasting much time got to her business. She reminded Maya that whatever she says here would remain confidential come what may. She apologized for not giving her an appointment as soon as Maya had shifted to the city; Priya blamed it on the papers that reached her office late. ‘So, how is the city of Mumbai treating you, better than Delhi I suppose’ she continued. Maya raised her shoulders and responded to psychiatrist’s question.  ‘Let’s get to it then, you were being treated by my colleague Mrs. Kapoor back in Delhi, now your file says that you have made good progress, and there is nothing left but a sort of follow up, so nothing to worry about.’

‘So, how have you been feeling lately, Maya?’

‘Lonely, I guess’ Maya replied.

‘That is pretty normal given that you have shifted to a new city; you should get out and make some friends.'

‘What do you think of your parents’ accident?’ Priya continued the interrogation.

‘It was something that I had no control over’ replied Maya.

‘Did you start driving yet?’ the psychiatrist continued her interrogation.

Maya’s parents were killed in a car crash, a violent car crash. The crash was so severe that their car was thrown flying in midair as it came crash downing onto the wrong side of the road, past the divider. Maya knew the answer to that question wouldn’t please the psychiatrist, so she decided to keep mum instead. The session continued for another half an hour. The psychiatrist assigned her some tablets to relieve her from the stress and the anxiousness. Priya had a concerned look on her face as she escorted Maya out of her office.  Maya requested the receptionist a glass of water and gulped down the pills that she had acquired a few minutes back. She looked around to find the adorable guy she had met an hour back. Disappointed, she headed down the office on to the main road. She was surprised by the sight of the guy she was looking for. He introduced himself as Kabir. ‘There is a coffee shop at the end of the lane, interested?’ asked Kabir.

 

Kabir and Maya sat across a coffee table; each had a cup of coffee steaming before them, and an air of awkward silence lurked among them.

‘How long have you been living here, in Mumbai?’ Kabir took a shot at breaking the silence.

‘Not long, I shifted here three weeks back, from Delhi’ replied Maya.

‘That has to be the biggest coincidence ever, even I shifted from Delhi two months back,' exclaimed Kabir.

Maya reacted with a smile; she could feel destiny was up to something there.  

‘So what are you being treated for’ asked Maya sipping from the cup of coffee.

Kabir burst out laughing; he assured her that it was not him who was being treated, but his mother and he accompanies her to the psychiatrist. Maya felt a little embarrassed.

‘Oh, then I’m the only one on this table who is a bit of a crack then.'

‘What is your story,' asked Kabir trying to sound reassuring.

‘Story?’ Maya sounded unsure.

‘Yes, I mean the visits to the psychiatrist’ continued Kabir.

‘Looking at the way you laughed at me five minutes back, I don’t think I can trust you enough,' said Maya.

‘Woah, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you’ said a concerned Kabir. Kabir had been visiting the clinic almost thrice a week for nearly two months now; he had encountered many women, but none of them was as attractive as her. He thought of them as easy targets, always looking for closure. But this one was special, he could feel.  

Maya tried to convince him that it was not his fault but her own and how she lacked the general instinct of trusting the people around her.

‘Give me a count then, of the number of dates you need before you can trust a guy,' said Kabir.

‘Well that is up to you,' replied Maya.

‘Changing the topic, are you studying or working,' asked Kabir.

‘Studying, what about you?’ replied Maya.

‘Never survived jobs, never studied enough, but dad’s rich,' chuckled Kabir.

‘Really? Who’s he? Your dad?’ Maya sounded curious.

‘Heard of Sanjay Mehra?’

‘Sanjay Mehra, as in the king of real estate? ’, asked Maya.

Sanjay Mehra was one of the richest men in the country; he started off as a small-time real estate agent and over the years he learned the trade, capitalized on his opportunities and established himself as the king of real estate in the country. Sanjay Mehra was always in the limelight for his exorbitant lifestyle. They went on chatting for half an hour. Kabir really liked her; she was not like the other girls, she was calm, sophisticated and did not fancy the money much, all she was looking for was some good company.          

‘I think we have had enough for the night, I’ve to be somewhere,' lied Maya, as she sipped what was left of her coffee. They exchanged phone numbers and conveyed their last goodbyes.

 

It was almost fifteen past three in the am. A sleepy tired Maya had her eyes transfixed on a phone that she clutched in between her fingers. It had been a week since the rendezvous. They had become the best of friends, or as an outsider would say, they had started growing fond of each other. Texting between them grew as frequent as the expansion and the contraction of the lifelong beating heart. They shared everything. He was her escape route from the problems, which like an anchor, pulled her down. Kabir caught up with Maya after her sessions with the psychiatrist; they wandered the streets for hours and hours, talking about anything and everything. Even her psychiatrist could notice the changes that were occurring gradually within Maya. She had declared that the next two sessions, Maya would complete her therapy for good. Through the curtains of her window, Maya peaked out, the city night appeared calm and still, the moon and vast expanse of the stars illuminated the sky. She picked up her phone and typed in a message.

The message read ‘It’s my birthday, the day after and you are the only one I know in the city. Can we celebrate it together?’ Within seconds, Kabir’s reply popped up on her phone.

 

The chariot was a fine dine restaurant that served the best food in town. A quite little place, with candles floating in a tray of water at the center of each table, majorly occupied by couples sharing a bottle of wine to go along with the sumptuous food. Maya and Kabir sauntered towards one of the tables. Maya looked beautiful; she was wearing a black dress that suited the occasion. Kabir chivalrously pulled out a chair for Maya. They sat facing each other, their faces illuminated by the light from the candles. A perfect setting for a second date. Maya ordered a long island iced tea and Kabir ordered a beer. Their conversation started with talks about the weather and slowly moved onto how they had changed each other’s life. They giggled, laughed, ate and drank.

Suddenly they ran out of topics to talk about and maybe it was because of the alcohol, Kabir began in a hesitant voice, 'I feel guilty about lying to you.'

‘Lying about what?’ asked Maya.

‘We started off with a lie, and I want to change that, it was me who was being treated at the psychiatrist and not my mother, I was too ashamed of what I had done, so I lied,' he replied.

Tears started coming down Maya’s eyes.

‘Did I do something wrong’ Kabir sounded concerned.

‘No, no, absolutely not, it’s just that if not for the death of my parents I wouldn’t have met you’ said Maya wiping the tears from her eyes.

‘Since they died I haven’t felt this way, and I’m happy we met, but then I ask myself, am I happy they died?’ continued Maya.

‘I’ve always been scared of asking you this, what caused your parents’ death?’ asked Kabir.

‘They died in a car crash. A car came racing down from the wrong side of the road and crashed into theirs, after that I was sent here to Mumbai, and we met’, she started sobbing louder, a few people around turned their heads. ‘To make things worse, the police could not find the other driver,' continued Maya.  She looked up to see Kabir staring down at her, his eyes wide open; he appeared flabbergasted, he stood up from the table and muttered something to himself. Maya stood up too, ‘Is something wrong?’ she asked. ‘This is not possible!’ Exclaimed Kabir. He started trotting towards the exit and within seconds disappeared into the night. Maya stood there alone staring into the darkness.    

    

She reached home and tried calling Kabir, but it was unavailable. She couldn’t understand what was wrong, she started typing a message and pressed enter, a small icon beside the message indicated that the message had been delivered.

She willed herself not to check her phone to see if he had replied. It had been about three days now. She hated that she was constantly checking his 'last seen at' status and yes, he had logged in just five minutes ago. Yet, she couldn't stop herself. This sinking feeling to find absolutely no communication from him was becoming unbearable, almost torturous.

 

And then, just as she sat down in her chair, her phone vibrated. With her heart thudding in her ear, she unlocked her phone and stared at the screen. Finally! It was his message.

But when she opened it and read it, she nearly stopped breathing. She didn't know if he was joking or not. What was this?

 

The message read, ‘It was me, driving that night, on the wrong side of the road.'    


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