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Mission 35: Forget Me Not
"Ssh...I won't hurt you I promise. I just need a place to hide for a few minutes."
"Because of you I got caught by Mrs. Henderson. I don't have to say sorry."
"Yes you do!"
"No, I don't!"
"Do you like the color orange? I think I'll call you Pumpkin! Pumpkin...Leher is a big fat pumpkin...pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!"
"Why are you following me?"
"This is the same way to my house."
"Um, do you want a popsicle? We have the Marvel Superheroes kind...Iron Man Strawberry Kiwi-Cherry-Lemon, Spider-Man Strawberry Kiwi-Cherry-Raspberry, and The Incredible Hulk Strawberry Kiwi-Green Apple-Grape. Which one you want?"
"Iron Man. You're strange you know that?"
"What do you mean by that?"
"I've been really mean to you and you're giving me a popsicle to eat."
"I just thought you would like one."
"My Mama and I live alone because Papa is always working. I never see him...he never comes home."
"Well, I wouldn't know anything about that. I don't have a Papa or a Mama."
"I'll pray that you get them."
"Is it about Father's Day? Did someone say something to you? Who said something to you? Tell me who it is and I'll have a talk with them."
"It's not something you can fix by fighting Prem. You can't go and beat up Stephanie."
"Why not? I never liked her...the moment we got to camp I just knew she wasn't nice...I don't think a lot of people like her. I would be doing everyone a favor."
"Promise me you won't go and try and start something with her."
"What do you mean promise? You're crying..."
"So...uh, I have this friend who wants to get something for someone but he's not quite sure what to give this person."
"Why doesn't your friend ask the person he's trying to get a gift for what they like?"
"Well, he can't do that because then it kind of ruins the surprise doesn't it? I mean if he goes and asks then she-um, the person would know right?"
"I think it doesn't really matter...as long as the gift you give is from the heart. You don't have to spend a lot of money. If you really want to make it special just think about what the person means to you and maybe something special you share with them or they have shared with you."
"Okay, I'll do that...I mean I'll tell him to do that. Thanks Pumpkin I can always count on you."
"Um, I was looking for you. Your Mom told me you went to the park for a walk. So, um...you know the thing we were talking about like a couple of weeks ago? Well, um...here. So, like...what do you think?"
"No, you're not a bad friend. I'm the bad friend. I'm sorry Leher. I'm sorry. Don't go...stay...at least until school's over...we still have exams...what about your exams? You can stay at my house."
"I can't Prem. I'm sorry I can't...I want to but I can't."
"What am I going to do without you? I'll always remember you, Pumpkin. I'll never forget you. You'll always be my best friend."
"It's me Prem...Prem Juneja. It's like a miracle...like one and a million chance that we would meet like this again. Wow, this is unbelievable! So, Heer Maan is Leher Singh or should I say Leher Singh is actually Heer Maan?"
"Where do you want to go tomorrow? It will be my treat. So it's a date?"
"It's a date."
"I know we're taking a big risk with our friendship. But, I want to find out where this is going. And the thing is...I know this is going to sound completely cheesy...I just can't stay away from you...and I don't want to stay away."
"This is me, Prem asking the questions...not Agent Deshmukh from the CIA. I need to know so I can help you. Let me help you."
"I don't want to just be your friend. Don't you understand? I need you just as much as you need me. I love you. I'm in love with you. I love you more than a friend. I'm sorry it's taken me this long to say this. I'm sorry for the way things have been going. I should have fixed the situation with Sanjana sooner...and I know this is going to sound crazy...but I was afraid of losing you. I was afraid if I said it out loud than the world would know and if the world knew then it would take you from me like everyone else...I can't lose you like that...I can't...you're the only life line I have in this world and if you left...I-I wouldn't know what to do with myself...I'd crumble. I only want to be with you. You're the only one for me."
"I know I didn't exactly make things easy on you in the beginning...making fun and calling you names like Pumpkin. But on that day you found me laying on the blacktop...my pride completely bruised and battered...you didn't judge me...you offered me a popsicle instead and your friendship. I never forgot what you did for me that day and for the nine years that followed...helping me take notes, getting me out of trouble, listening to my trivial problems, giving me advice even when I didn't want it...you were a true friend...my best friend. Because of you I got my parents...because of you I became the man I am today. I want to thank you for everything you've done for me...the prayers...the advice...for caring for me...for loving me even when I didn't realize and probably hurt you in the process. Thank you Heer for always being there for me. Now, it's my turn to be there for you...to take care of you and love you the way you deserved to be loved and taken care of for the rest of our lives and the seven life times after. Will you...Heer 'Pumpkin Leher Singh' Maan marry me Prem Juneja 'Pancake' Deshmukh?"
"Sorry...I'm sorry. You've always been there for me and I treated you like this...I'm sorry. I never hated you. Never. I...I...was angry but you didn't deserve my anger...no, I shouldn't have done that. I love you. I Love You."
"Are you asking for punishment?"
"Okay. Your punishment is to never leave me again."
"I promise I won't ever leave you again. We are forever bound to each other. No matter how many times we return to this physical world...I'll always be yours. I belong to you and no one else. I'll ask for you and only you in my heart until my prayers are answered and we met again. I promise you this."
"Geez, this makes it difficult then...do I have to make appointments with you for quality time? Eventually our parents will want us to make little Pumpkin Pancakes..."
"You know I'm doing the same thing...warding off all the single guys. You're my Pumpkin. You belong to me and nobody else."
"That's because they don't have you. You keep me sane Heer. You remind me what's important...not to focus on the hate and the injustice that's been done but what I do have...a father who loves me...friends who support me...future in-laws that care about me. And you...you and your love...just the sound of your voice makes me forget my worries...just the touch of your hand gives me the strength to move onward...and just one of your smiles can light me up even during my darkest days. I'm so thankful for you."
"I love you Pumpkin."
"You are my best friend, my shoulder to lean on, the one person I know I can count on, you're the love of my life, you're my one and only, you're my everything."
"Please calm down. I wanted to tell you the minute I decided this but I wanted to talk to our parents first...your Dad. But he's out there Heer and I can't rest easy knowing he's hiding out there. I don't want to have to look over my shoulder every day. I don't want my family...our family to go through this. I don't want our kids to be afraid...to think twice about spending the night at their friend's house or to take a class trip. I don't want that for them...not if I can stop it."
"Please Heer listen to me...if this was something totally different I wouldn't mind you coming along with me. I would trust you with my life. But Jaywant is dangerous. He killed his own sister to hide his secret. My mother found out about his connection to my parent's death and he didn't think twice about killing her. He knows I love you. He knows the quickest way to get to me is through you. I would never forgive myself if something happened to you. You're safer here. I can't risk losing you."
"I promise you I'll come back. I won't do anything unnecessary. I'm just going to see if I can find him...he's taught me a lot of things...I know how he thinks and I can use that knowledge to track him down. If things get really dangerous I promise to call for help. Interpol is willing to cooperate with us."
"Please come back."
"I will. Don't worry."
"I miss you."
"I miss you too Pumpkin."
"Are you eating properly?"
"Yes I am. I eat three square meals a day and take daily showers. I brush my teeth too."
"Come home safely."
"I will. Don't worry about me."
"I love you."
"Love you too...even more today than yesterday. I'll see you soon. Bye."
Heer's eyes shot open at the sound of her alarm going off. She quickly slung her hand over the alarm clock and turned it off. She blinked a few times and hazily sat up. It had been two months since Prem's death and somehow she managed to get up every morning. In the beginning she thought she was dreaming that any moment he would walk through the front doors of the house and announce to everyone he wasn't dead. It wasn't him who died in that building. He was alive and well. But as the days wore on the reality of the situation slowly seeped into her that he was gone and nothing was going to bring him back. The funeral seemed to have sealed that fact into her brain. All the sympathetic faces and wishes of condolences nearly drive her mad. She couldn't stand people trying to understand what she was going through because they could never truly understand the relationship she and Prem had. She found herself making tiny prayers hoping there could be some sort of exchange she could make with God so Prem could come back. She prayed that she would give up chocolate cake and ice cream and drinking if God would be merciful enough to bring Prem back. Of course it was rather silly and she knew it deep down inside but it didn't stop her daily prayers and pleads to God to make this all a bad dream. Then the pain and guilt started. She blamed herself for not being adamant enough to go with him on the mission. Maybe if she had been there he wouldn't have gone into that building and he would be alive.
There were a lot of things she wished she had done differently but it was too late to change the outcome of the situation. Or was it? She took a deep breath and walked into the bathroom to take a proper shower and brush her teeth. Twenty minutes later she was out and making her way to the closet to put on an outfit, Prem's favorite outfit to be exact. There was a sense of lightness in her steps as her feet hit the soft bedroom carpet. She was rather thankful that Meher and Debbie were no longer sleeping in her room. They had been as supportive as they could to her during the first month. She didn't make it easy on them but through time she was making improvements in their eyes and they relaxed their hold on her. Debbie couldn't stay indefinably as she had a husband and career back home to attend to. She stayed only two weeks. Meher continued to stay until last week. She was convinced that Heer had finally turned the corner was more stable. Heer smiled as she looked at herself in the full length mirror. She was wearing something very simple; a white summer sundress. Prem had told her that he had loved the white sundress she wore on their first night in Goa. He told her that he had fallen in love with her right then and there that night. Of course he stated he had always been in loved with her but he just never knew. Luckily, the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation agency had kept their luggage and things in their evidence locker during their winter mission escapade. When their mission was completed and the real culprits were caught their things had been sent back to them.
Heer placed the wooden pendent necklace around her neck and then put her hair back into a clip. She smiled at her imagine in the mirror and then put on some light makeup just like she had done that night in Goa. She was ready as she could ever be. Heer walked to her night stand and pulled out the drawer. She lifted some books up and took out a thin notebook. She opened the cover and carefully tore out a page from the notebook before putting the notebook back inside the drawer. She then walked to her desk and located an envelope. Heer folded the page she had torn out and neatly stuffed it inside the envelope. She then took a pen and thoughtfully pondered what she was going to write on the front of the envelope. The only word that could come to her mind was sorry. So she wrote it. She propped the envelope up so it would be noticeable to whomever it was that would come looking for her.
Heer then took her clutch purse into her hands and quietly opened her bedroom door making her way to the foyer. She searched for her father's keys in the drawer in the hallway table where the family kept their car keys. Once the keys to the BWM were found she stealthily walked out the front door of the house and got into the car. She pulled the car out of the drive way and turned down the street ready to face her fate. This was a decision she had wrestled with for a long time. She knew Prem wouldn't have approved. But in her mind it was the only way; the only way to end the pain and suffering she felt. She turned the CD player on and immediately heard the rhythmic sounds of strings strumming. It wasn't long before a crisp warm voice began to sing a song. (Click here to hear to listen. It will really set the mood. Aas Pass Hai Khuda [unplugged version] - Anjaana Anjaani http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvZ7FLGTfpI)
A song filled with hope and faith filled the car cabin but ironically, the lyrics were falling on deaf ears as Heer continued to drive down the road too caught up in her own sorrow of the last few months to pay attention. The pain that she couldn't shake no matter how she tried was eating away at her. She was tired. She was tired of fighting a fight that she couldn't win. She knew what she was doing was wrong but she couldn't see any other option.
As the black BWM drove down the lonely road, Heer could feel the stillness in her surroundings at five in the morning. She wondered if this was what Prem felt before he passed. Would this be the same feeling she would be experiencing in a few hours. Silent tears ran down her cheeks as she continued this drive heading to a destination that she thought would be the most fitting. She couldn't help but think how her parents were going to react to her letter. She would miss them. She would miss Kiran Uncle too. A part of her fleetingly thought to turn the car around and head back home. She couldn't do this to them. She couldn't say goodbye like this. But still her body compelled her to drive onward.
Heer slowly merged the vehicle onto the interstate that would take her into Maryland. She hardly noticed that there was a car slowly following behind her. She blinked and more tears fell down her face. Her dreams of late had been invaded by memories of her times with Prem. It was always the same dream. She would be sitting in the pitch black darkness of a room unable to see anything but only able to hear his voice. It was like snap shot of lines that he had said to her as their relationship evolved from becoming friends to lovers. The last line was always Prem saying how he was going to return home and for her to not worry. She'd awake feeling drain and her mind hazy.
Eventually Heer reached her destination and she got off the interstate to take the local road into town. She made her way to a cemetery and parked her car in the parking lot. She then got out and walked down the pathway in search of the tombstones. Prem had taken her to his parent's grave site a few days after their romantic day out. He had introduced her to them and they both bent down and took blessings from their stone tablets. Now she was back again to tell them that their son was no longer in this world.
"Ma...Bauji'" Heer softly spoke as she stood in front of their placards. "Pr...Pr-em..he's no longer here in this world. He was trying to catch the man who killed you but in the end his life was taken. I'm sure...I know he's probably with you right now," trying to fight back tears but failing miserably as she wept, "I...I'm sorry...we...couldn't...fulfill the promises we made'" sniffling as a moment of calmness suddenly rose within her, "To tell you that we were pregnant and were bringing a Juneja into the world. I'm sorry. I'm sorry...I didn't try hard enough to persuade Prem not to go after Jaywant. It was my fault. I let the man...the man I love walk into a danger-ous situation that he had no business being in. I miss him so much. It hurts every single day. It just hurts so much...I'm sorry for not being strong...enough." She wiped her tears away and tried to regain some composure. "I just want to be with him...that's all I want. Please forgive me." Heer opened her purse and pulled out a bottle of sleeping pills her mother kept around the house. She opened the top and let the lid fall to the ground. "I'm so sorry," she said and then closed her eyes ready to swallow the entire container of sleeping pills.
Just as her lips were about to touch the bottle she felt a sudden jerk as someone gripped her hand forcing the pills to scatter everywhere. Heer's eyes snapped opened and the next thing she knew she was landed onto someone's chest. "Prem..." she cried and hugged onto the body tightly.
The person stood still letting her cry out her sorrow at what she had almost attempted to do. Eventually Heer pulled back and let her watery eyes focus in on her savior. "Preet..."
He stood there with a slightly disapproving expression but then his eyes suddenly softened and he proclaimed, "He's alive Heer. He's alive. I found him. Prem's not dead."
Heer's eyes swelled again with tears but this time it was a different emotion causing them. She looked earnestly at Preet who nodded his head happily. "There were some things that weren't adding about that explosion at the building. So I called in a few favors and because it was Prem...he knew a lot of people...there were a lot of agents and informants willing to help. I found him...I have a location. I was staying late at the office when I received the email from a contact of mine. I was on my way to your house when I saw you drive off. I knew something wasn't right...it was 5am and you were wearing a sundress. So I followed you here," shaking his head, "Heer suicide isn't the answer. You wouldn't have been able to meet him if you did...if he had actually died. Don't you ever do that again, understand? He would have never forgiven you if you did that. Just because it ended abruptly in this lifetime doesn't mean you couldn't have gotten him in your next life. And what about your parents? Did you ever think of them? They just lost a son-in-law and you were about to make them lose a daughter too? What about all your friends who care and love you? Don't you know how hurt we would have been? So don't you ever do that again." Heer gently nodded her head. "I want you to promise me. I want to hear you say it."
"I promise Preet I won't ever think about committing suicide again," Heer replied. "I'm sorry."
Preet gave her a caring hug. "I'm glad you're all right now. So, I think this goes without saying. Pack your bags...we have a flight to catch."
"Where are we going?" Heer said picking up her purse and the empty bottle of sleeping pills.
"What are you doing?" Preet inquired.
"Picking up the pills..."
"Don't you want to find Prem?" Preet asked.
"Of course I do...but I made a mess in front of Ma and Bauji's grave," Heer explained.
Preet turned around and folded his hands in front of him. "Please forgive her...Ma...Bauji...please forgive us...we need to go so we can bring back your son. We'll bring the criminal who took your lives to justice...that's a promise." He then looked at Heer, "Okay, we've apologized let's go. They have property caretakers who can clean this up besides the pills are scattered everywhere. We won't be able to find them all. Hurry up we need to go to the airport."
Heer got up from her crouching position and folded her hands in front of her, "Please forgive me," and then quickly started to follow Preet. "You still haven't answered my question. And did you book the tickets already?"
"I'll book them on the drive back home. We're going to India Heer," Preet answered.
"India?" Heer repeated.
"Yeah India," Preet confirmed.
When Heer and Preet walked through front door of the Maan household they could hear weeping and angry words being yelled into a phone. There was a shuffling of footsteps as Kiran and Balraaj raced towards the foyer. "Heer?!" her father shouted in relief and concern. "What do you think you were doing?!" Kiran placed his hand on Balraaj's shoulder reminding him of the fact that Heer was alive and well unlike the letter she had left them. "I'm sorry," Heer replied bowing her head.
"Hello? Balraaj you there? What's going on? Is she all right?" Rishabh yelled on the other end of the phone. Balraaj placed the cordless phone back to his ear and replied, "Yes, she's fine. She's back...just walked in with Preet. You can cancel the search."
"Good. I'm glad she's okay. A tragedy has already occurred once I don't want it happening again. You all take care. I'll see you later at the office," Rishabh replied.
Balraaj hung up the phone and looked at his daughter, "Please don't ever scare us like that again. You're mother is...well...you hear her don't you?"
"I'm sorry Papa," Heer replied. "I won't do it again. I swear."
"I'm glad you are all right," Balraaj said giving her a tight hug.
Heer looked at Kiran and gave a very apologetic expression. He sighed, "I lost a son already...I don't want to lose a daughter too." Heer felt the guilt of what she had planned to do wash over her and she shifted her eyes away. "I know it's not easy. But you're not alone in this. And you're my daughter...you understand? You're suppose to take care of me now that..." taking a heavy pause, "now that...Prem's gone. Okay?" Heer nodded her head. Kiran lifted her chin and frowned as he wiped her tears away. "Let's go calm your mother down."
They walked into the living room to see Meher trying to comfort Teji who was crying uncontrollably holding tightly onto the suicide note Heer had left in her room. "Why? I should have known something was wrong...it was like she suddenly got better. She was out of her room too soon...it was all too soon...I should have slept in her room when you girls left. I should have been there. I know it was hard on her...she was going through so much...you could see the pain in her eyes. It was like she lost a piece of herself."
"There was no way of knowing...everyone goes through the mourning process differently. I'm sorry. I'm the one who let you down...I should have stayed longer," Meher replied.
"No dear, you've been such a good friend to Heer," Teji said.
"Mama, I'm fine," Heer announced.
"Heer!" Teji shouted in happiness. She ran to her daughter and hugged her tightly and then cupped her face trying to make sure she was really there in person and not some figment of her imagination. "My baby," she said and hugged her again.
"I'm so sorry for making you worry," Heer replied.
"It's okay," Teji sniffled. "You won't try to commit it again will you?"
"No," Heer said shaking her head. "It was wrong of me and very stupid of me to do something so selfish and hurt you all. I won't do it again." She then looked at Meher and hugged her, "I'm so sorry."
"I'm just glad you're fine," Meher said.
"Well, there won't ever be a reason again because Prem is alive," Preet boldly stated to the room.
"Alive?" Meher gasped.
"How do you know?" Kiran inquired.
"Do you have proof of this?" Balraaj questioned.
"I have some confirmed sources and they state that a man matching his description washed ashore on the river banks of a remote village in India," Preet answered. "Heer and I are going there."
"How can you be sure?" Balraaj furthered probed. "It's not that I don't want to believe but...that building and the way it exploded."
"Behind that building was a river and that same river flows through that village," Preet said. "We don't have a moment to spare. Jaywant is still out there and we need to get to Prem before he gets to him," Preet said.
"Tell me the location and I'll get some agents there," Balraaj said turning on the cordless phone ready to dial.
"No wait," Preet said. "If we mobilize Jaywant will know we've found him and he'll try something. It's better right now for him to think he's dead. Once Heer and I get there we take Jaywant out."
"What if he thinks Prem isn't dead?" Kiran asked.
"Prem's a trained agent...he'll know what to do," Balraaj replied. "If he hasn't called for help he must have things under control."
"It's a bit risky don't you think?"
"Which is all the more reason Heer and I have to go now," Preet said. "Just gives us twenty-four hours to find him."
Balraaj tightened his jaw and pondered for a few seconds. "Okay. Twenty-four hours. If you can't locate him I want you to call it in. You understand?"
"Yes sir," Preet replied.
After getting the go ahead Heer quickly raced up the stairs to pack her duffle bag. Preet sat down in an arm chair and patiently waited. "Thank you." Preet raised his eyes to look at Balraaj. "You obviously stopped her."
"I was just lucky. When I received the news from my contact about Prem's location I drove to the house. I saw her get into your car and drive away. I had this gut feeling that something wasn't right. So I followed her. She was at Lalit and Gayatri Juneja's gravesite. She was about to swallow a whole bottle full of sleeping pills," Preet replied.
"The sleeping pills I got from the doctor when I was sick," Teji gasped. "I left them in the medicine drawer in the kitchen.
"Well, there aren't any more so I think it will be okay," Preet said. "And she's pretty focused now on finding Prem."
"But if things don't work out the way we hope...if it's too late...or something happens..." Kiran pondered out loud.
"I'll keep an eye on her," Preet reassured.
"Even if it was luck...it was very good luck Preet. Thank you," Balraaj gratefully said.
They turned their heads when they heard Heer's footsteps come down the stairs. She was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. Her hair was pulled back into a high ponytail and she had a determined look on her face. "I'm ready," she announced.
Preet nodded and got up with everyone else following them to the door to say goodbye. "Be careful," Teji said as she hugged her daughter.
"I will Mama," Heer replied.
Preet and Meher stood on the porch having their own farewell conversation. "I promise Meher I won't do anything crazy."
"Promise..." she repeated. "That's the exact same thing Prem said to Heer before he left."
"I know...I don't think there is anything I could say to make this less difficult. I don't know what's going to happen out there. I'll do my best to come back to you in one piece," taking her hands into his, "You mean the world to me. I love you so much. I want you to know that. If something should happen to me I want you to know I love you...that my last words to you is the feeling of me loving you," Preet replied. He swallowed the lump in his throat and gently wiped the tears falling from her eyes. "I want you to know I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Meher's eyes flexed at his words and looked at him trying to understand if what she thought he was trying to say to her was what he was indeed saying. Preet nodded his head. "I wanted to tell you in a more romantic way. Even though it may not have seemed like it...I was paying attention to this whole wedding process."
"Preet..." Meher softly uttered.
"When I come back I'll ask my question more properly," he replied. He glanced over to where Heer and her family were standing saying their own private goodbyes and then back at his girlfriend. "We need to get going."
Meher engulfed Preet into a tight hug and whispered into his ear, "I love you Preet Rajput and my answer is yes." Preet beamed a wide grin in happiness. Meher gave him a sweet peck on the lips and smiled, "Come back to me soon. Bring Prem back and catch Jaywant."
"Yes ma'am," Preet replied. He then let her go and walked towards Heer who gave a nod that she was ready. They got into Preet's silver SUV and drove away towards the airport.
Preet rubbed his right eye sleepily as he walked back towards his seat after having visited the restroom. He gave a gentle grin as he sat down, "Can't sleep?"
Heer leaned her head back in frustration trying to adjust the mini pillow behind her. "Why does the flight to India have to be so long? I can't find a good position to sleep in. I think I strained my neck."
"You should get as much rest as you can. There is even more traveling to do once we touch down," Preet said.
"You know I have a question and I forgot to ask you. When did you pack?" Heer asked.
Preet chuckled. "I always have a packed duffle bag in my trunk. You never know when you need to go on a special assignment. Prem taught me that."
"I never saw anything in his trunk before," Heer replied.
"He's no longer a covert field agent. So, it doesn't make sense for him to have something back there," Preet reasoned.
Heer nodded and then turned somber. "Preet, I want to thank you for what you did today. If it hadn't been for you...I may not---"
"We would have had a Romeo and Juliette ending," Preet cut in with a slight joke. He then gave a thoughtful look, "I'm glad you're all right. Don't dwell on it. But I want you to prepare yourself for the worst...if my tip is wrong and we don't find him or we found out that he really did perish in that building explosion..."
"I know. But for the first time in a long time I feel I have some hope. I know it was stupid of me and I feel ashamed that I could think of doing such a thing," Heer replied.
"A moment of weakness. We all have those moments...no one can be expected to be strong all the time. Sometimes it's good to talk to someone...you have a lot of people who care about you...and I'm not saying you have to talk to someone within the group, you know. I know how hard that can be sometimes. But the important thing is that you know there are people out there who can help...someone to talk to or just listen...whether professional or not," Preet said.
"I can see why Prem is such good friends with you."
"Prem's like my bhaiya so that makes you my bhabhi. I love my bhaiya and want to take care of him. And I love my bhabhi and I want to take care of her," Preet grinned.
Heer gave a teary smile and hugged him, "Thank you."
"Anytime," Preet replied and then offered her a tissue, "Bhaiya is not going to be happy seeing these tears so you better put a stop to them." Heer chortled softly as she took the tissue and started dabbing her eyes dry.
Head Nurse Lata Oberoi shook her head as she looked at the clock on the wall at the nurses' station. "Where is that girl? Did she over sleep again?"
"She was probably up late talking to patient 225," a nurse with curly hair snickered.
"I know she just became a nurse and is very enthusiastic about this job...she does spend a lot of time getting to know the patients. She's a very sweet girl and the patients do enjoy her company," another nurse replied.
"Well, I know that she was spending a lot of time with the patient 225 yesterday. He only woke up a few weeks ago and he is very cute," a nurse with short hair said. "It's a pity he doesn't remember anything,"
"Maybe she's hoping he's going to turn out to be a millionaire," the nurse with the curly hair joked causing the rest of the other nurses to laugh along with her.
"He didn't have any identification on him when he was brought here. Geet's grandfather found him and brought him in. Dr. Sahdev has been the only visitor for patient 225," shaking her head sadly, "He did sustain some heavy injuries. Was in a coma for about a month or so...the only reason they continued treatment is because Dr. Sahdev and his family own this hospital," said one of the nurses.
"So did Geet give him a name yet? It's better than referring to him as patient 225," the nurse with short hair asked.
"I think she's decided to name him Gaurav Sharma," the nurse with curly hair responded. "The last name Sherma because Dr. Sherma is treating him and the first name Gaurav because she likes the serial actor Gaurav Khanna." Another round of cheerful laughter erupted from the nursing station.
"Enough chit-chat...don't you all have some place to be?" Lata asked. "I think I see Geet coming." The rest of the nurses all meekly nodded their heads and dispersed to take on their daily scheduled routines.
"I'm sooo sorry," Geet huffed as she ran up panting. She leaned her hand against the counter to steady herself. "There was horrible traffic because of an accident on the road. I went to help some of the victims on the road."
Lata crossed her arms around her chest and frowned, "Please don't lie."
"Okay so I slept in just a little bit. I set the alarm but it didn't go off and I woke up late. I accidentally set the alarm for 6pm instead of 6am. But there really was a traffic accident and I helped. See," Geet said handing her a slip of paper. "Got the paramedics who arrived on the scene to write me a note...see names, mobile number, and ambulance number."
Lata sighed, "Okay, but you really need to make sure you come on time for work. And if there is an emergency you have to call. If it was any other nurse you would have been fired already. You understand?"
"Thank you Aunty," Geet said giving her a hug.
Lata's eyes widened and she gently pulled away, "Not in front of everyone. We can't let people think I'm showing favor to you because you are my niece."
"Okay," she replied bowing her head.
"Now go do your rounds," Lata ordered.
"Yes my rounds," Geet said with enthusiasm as she started running down the hallway.
"And don't spend so much time with Gaurav!" Lata yelled. Geet briefly turned around and nodded her head and then continued running to check on her first patient.
Piercing brown eyes stared out a window in a green walled hospital room. They were searching for something but weren't quite sure what it was they were searching for. All they knew was there was something out there for them. He sighed inwardly and wondered why he couldn't remember anything. The doctor had told him not to put too much stress on himself. He shouldn't try to force himself to remember as he could be detrimental to his health and recovery. Eventually things could come to him but the doctor had also told him there was also the possibility that he may never remember.
He lifted his bandaged right arm and gently rubbed the side of his temple thinking if he had any loved ones back home waiting for him. If he did how was he going to return to them? The one thing he did know was he could speak Hindi and apparently very good English. He could only surmise that he must have studied aboard in America or perhaps his family had moved there and he grew up in the States. His head turned when he heard a gentle knock and the sound of the door opening. "How are you feeling today Mr. Sharma?" He smiled at the nurse walking into his room. She was very cheery and bubbly; the perfect personality to have in her line of work. She could make even the crankiest of patients happy and at ease.
"Hey Geet," he replied. "And why are you calling me Mr. Sharma?"
"Okay, sorry...Gaurav," Geet said. "Sleep okay?"
"Like a baby," he smiled. "What about you? Came to work late?"
"No," Geet answered shaking her head.
"Lair," Gaurav teased.
"How do you know?" Geet asked putting her hands on her hips in an angry stance.
Gaurav laughed, "Because you usual get to my room by 9:15am. It's 10:30am now."
"Wow, you kept track?" Geet gasped.
Shrugging his shoulders, "It's just something I noticed. I sort of notice a lot of things," Gaurav replied in contemplation.
"Maybe you worked for a watch company," Geet suggested.
"Since I keep track of time?"
"Uh-huh," Geet nodded. "So it's time to remove the bandages and put on some new ones. Does it still hurt?"
Gaurav looked at his right arm and his left leg and gave a half grin. "Not as badly. But then again Dr. Sharma has me on some strong medication."
should be able to get of the bed soon and walk around. Arm please," Geet said as she pushed the bed
tray over and placed a silver sterile plate carrying bandages, cotton swabs, a
pair of scissors, and burn ointment.
Gaurav obediently did as she instructed and they began chatting. Geet filled him in on the TV serials she
watched and complained how she couldn't make puris like her mother. Gaurav smiled and nodded his head thoughtfully
listening unaware his past was about to come looking for him.
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new ff dil ka rishta chpt 2
Author: lub.harshiti Replies: 6 Views: 889
|lub.harshiti||6||889||08 March 2010 at 12:55am by ...Nikhita...|
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