Could it be possible? He thought this every single day of his life.
* * *
Azhar was sitting across her and talking animatedly about this new novel he was reading. She watched him gesticulate, nod his head a lot and basically make all sorts of attempts to impress upon her as to how great the book really was.
It is not his influence that bothers me so much as much as your reasons to be with him
Devyani remembered her mother’s words in that moment. She shuddered inside to think how accurate they really were. But not even in her darkest moments could she come to terms with them.
“Are you not listening?” he suddenly jerked her out of her thoughts.
* * *
“How was college?” her mother gently asked.
“It was good. We had an extra class and hence I got late,” she flawlessly lied knowing fully well her mother would not buy it.
“Of course,” her mother only smiled.
They sat in silence as both sipped their hot tea. For them together in the house this was the happiest time. It was usually broken by the augment of her father to the table.
“I was wondering if you would perhaps like to eat brinjal tonight?” her mother spoke softly.
“Brinjal. Again? Is there anything else in this house that we can get to eat?” her father’s sharp voice came through the air.
They both quietly left the table and went in opposite directions. One towards the kitchen other back into her room.
“Where are you going? Go get me my blue file from the cupboard. And get it now,” he spoke in higher volumes.
* * *
She was rummaging through the cupboard trying to locate the file, when something slipped to the ground. She bent to pick it up. A photograph.
Her eyes were fixated on the smile. The one that irritated her the most. Even back then as a five year old she had the sense to know people by their faces. And this one face always seem to rub her the wrong way. He looked so young and so much alive. Or perhaps watching him for years as a dead body in her dreams had made her forget his real self.
“Devyani,” her mother’s voice suddenly broke her train of thoughts and she quickly put back the file.
* * *
Rajlakshmi was yet to get some sleep again. With every passing nightmare of her daughter, her insomnia had gotten deeper. So much so that now every night she would spend more hours waking than asleep.
And in one of these times that single photograph kept inside the cupboard drew her towards itself. The only last memory of him she could not part with.