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Hey guys. Sorry for the late (it's only been two weeks) update. Thanks for the comments :) Also, some parts may seem bizarre and the only way I can justify myself is that this was written during exam week. :/
Jeevika entered the room and found Viraat sleeping peacefully. She sat on the armchair beside his bed and smiled. He looked so innocent, so childlike sleeping soundly. Her eyes then adjusted to his wired body and bare skull, so fragile and soft, that her smile faded away. 'He didn't deserve this,' she thought angrily. 'How was this fair on any level?' Jeevika wasn't one to get angry easily. She always thought optimistically about everything. People saw bad traffic; she saw more time to enjoy listening to your favourite songs. Others cried when there was no internet connection; she found a good book to curl up with. Teachers grade you a bad mark, she found it as a wakeup call to get your shit together and start working. But how, HOW could she possibly find anything optimistic from this? How was him having cancer helping anyone?
"And I thought me and Bhai had weird habits but you sisters have got us beat. I mean watching me sleep, really?"
His voice brought her out of her thoughts and she smiled at him. "You're meant to be sleeping," she said softly. He sat up. "I only did that to get Bhai out of the room. Didn't want him feeling suffocated by all this." He indicated himself and she shook her head. "Viraat, he will never feel suffocated by you." She watched him fiddle with the lumens on his arms and a pang of guilt rushed inside of her. "How are you feeling?" she asked too quickly. He smirked, "Feeling uncomfortable?" "No!" she replied instantly. "I mean, I was just, I mean, you're and I didn't ask and," she cursed herself for being insensitive. "Relax Di, its okay," he said reassuringly. She sighed in relief but didn't know what to say next so she stared at the clipboard on his bed. It wasn't that she didn't know what to say to him, it was just she was worried about saying the wrong thing again. She convinced herself she was being stupid, after all he did say, 'Relax Di,' then why was she doing the opposite? Hang on.. 'Di.'
"Hey, you remembered," she said suddenly. He shrugged. "Of course I remembered. Maanvi talks about you all the time, Di this, Di that, my Di, that now I've started to think that you're my sister too," he paused, "you don't mind do you?" She waved her hand in the air. "Don't be silly, I love being a big sister." She gleamed as she spoke. "You know, before Maanvi came to St. Clems' all I wanted was to be called Di. When my Mom and Dad were alive, they used to tell me stories of how I was going to have somebody call me Di, hold my hand and be just like me. I was so excited that every Christmas I would ask for a baby brother or sister that the day it became true I visited five different malls to thank him personally." Her voice suddenly switched from a high to a low. "But then, the fire and the flames came and my title was snatched before.." her voice faltered and her hands gripped on to her cardigan sleeve. She didn't lose two family members that day; she lost three. The unborn baby in her mother's stomach burnt in the flames too.
Viraat passed her a cup of water. He felt kind of responsible for upsetting her. "Well then I guess you'll have to put up with me. From now on you're not only Maanvi's Di but mine too." She took the cup and he could imagine his roller coaster slowly filling up. What was he doing? "Really?" she asked her eyes full of hope. He wanted to take it back, but he was stuck in between making as many people as he could happy and at the same time stop taking on more passengers. He sighed and nodded. One look at her face and he picked her happiness.
"By the way, I'm very competitive, so that means I expect you to side me over Miss Sherni. Do you accept?" He watched her think for a while before nodding. "As long as you side me over your brother," she added. His eyes widened, "Bhai and quarrelling? No way! This I have to see." She laughed. "Your brother is capable of more than just quarrelling; he'll do anything to get his way." He raised an eyebrow. "Anything?" he questioned mischievously. "What is this anything my saint like brother is capable of?" He watched her cheeks turn a dark crimson red out of embarrassment as she tried multiple ways to convince him it's nothing. He laughed. The minute he met Jeevika he took an instant liking towards her, but now he seemed to like her even more. She was almost perfect for his brother. And almost perfect is always better than perfect.
Viren sat with his back to the fire escape next to Maanvi. Neither one spoke, neither one moved, they just sat.
"Thank you," he said breaking the silence. She looked ahead as she spoke. "For what?" He put his left hand in his pocket and grazed the cool metal of his keychain. "For helping me back there." She nodded. "And also for taking care of him and loving him," he added. She turned to face him. "Oh. Then I'm sorry but I can't accept your apology." He stopped grazing and looked at her. "Sorry? Why?" he questioned. Did she not love his brother? Did she not care for him? Was she going to hurt him? She looked back ahead at the picture perfect skyline. "Why should I accept your thanks when I did nothing extraordinary to deserve it? I did what every human has been during since the day they were born and will be doing for future generations to come. I did the simplest thing in the world; I loved. Nothing thank worthy there." He looked at Maanvi, really looked at her and said something he never had the guts to say before. "Can we be friends?" She peered at him in shame and he wondered why. "Do you forgive me for the egg incident?" she questioned. He laughed. "I forgave you five years ago Maanvi." She smiled. "Then yes, we can be friends."
"You stole the keys to my room?" he asked in disbelief. Jeevika shook her head. "I BORROWED the keys and yes I went in to your room but it was for a good cause." He laughed. "So if there's anyone to blame for this whole finding me thing it's you." She brushed her shoulders. "What can I say; I've always loved playing Santa and the fairy godmother." An idea flashed through his head and he bolted upright. "Hold on to that thought." She asked why, to which he replied, "In case I want an early Christmas gift and Santa's unavailable." She looked at him quizzically and he knew she was confused but he still hoped she would agree to it. "Erm, okay," she said. "Promise?" "Yes Viraat, I promise." He closed his eyes in relief, perhaps something could be done after all.
"You know this is the longest conversation we've ever had?" Viren said as they sat facing each other now. Her eyes lit up. "It is, isn't it?" They shared a smile and he helped her stand up. "I forgot to say I'm sorry for keeping my real identity hidden," he said holding the door open for her letting her walk ahead. "It's okay; you're not a bad guy Viren." He laughed slightly, "And you're not at as scary as I thought you'd be." The noise of machinery, and medical vocabulary swam around them as they walked down the hospital corridors. "Can I tell you something," he asked uncertainly. She gave him a warm smile. "Do you want to tell me?" He nodded. "But you can't tell Champ, I mean Viraat or Jeevika." He waited for her to reply but to his dismay she turned around and walked away from him. He followed behind and stopped the same time she did and waited patiently as she fiddled with the whirring coffee machine. "Here you go," she said passing him a cup. "Now tell me what you want to say."
She passed him the recycled polyester cup with the steaming coffee and looked up at him. She wanted to say something too. Something along the lines of 'Why didn't I ever realise your kindness before?' or 'Why did I never give you the chance to be my friend?' and most importantly, she wanted to say 'I'm sorry for judging you before I got to know you.' But she didn't say either of those things. Instead, Maanvi sat down on the chair indicating that he should sit down too. "Maanvi?" he whispered. "Is it wrong to be afraid?" She was taken aback by his question. This was the very same question she asked herself every day when she woke and every night before she forced herself to sleep. She closed her eyes and let some air escape between her teeth before saying, "No, it's not wrong." He put his head in his hands. "Then why does it feel like it is?" She turned to face his broken state and answered, "Because Viren, it's not what stands in front of us we're afraid of, it's fear itself. Ultimately, we are all scared of being scared and that's our biggest mistake."
They stood outside room 307. As horrible as it sounded, Viren didn't want to enter the room again. He was still hoping he was dreaming, that what stood or lay behind that door didn't exist in reality. But it did. It so very did. He inhaled a long breath and plastered a smile on his face and he pushed the door open slightly. "What made you think that I could be Bhai's brother in the first place?" he heard Viraat ask. Jeevika pointed to herself and replied, "My sheer brilliance of course." 'Classic Jeevika,' he thought. "And also, the first time I met you, you reminded me of Viren. You two kinda look alike." He watched Viraat give a sad smile and touch his bare head. "We used to look alike, but not anymore." Viren froze for the umpteenth time that day. Why did he have to say that? Why did his each word push him nearer to the edge? "What do you mean?" Jeevika asked. His brother picked two oranges from the fruit ball and placed it on the bed in front of him. "Look at these two oranges," he said, "when they both have their skins on they look the same, right?" She nodded. "This is me and Bhai before." He then took one of the oranges and peeled it. "But once the skin is removed from one of the oranges they no longer look alike." He placed both oranges together again. "This is me and Bhai now. He has his skin while mine has disappeared. We are now no longer the same."
Viren opened the door fully and entered the room. Maanvi walked in behind him. Both faces turned towards them. Jeevika had silent tears streaming from her eyes, whilst Viraat cast his away. He walked up to the bed and took the skinned orange and started to peel it. After finishing, he placed it near the other orange and without saying a word he walked silently in to the bathroom. Once inside he walked up to the sink and stared at his reflection in the mirror. He felt hatred. Hatred for him, hatred for not bring peeled, not being the one to suffer, hatred for not being the one hand picked by death.
Jeevika's anger just seemed to grow by the second. It was as if this new emotion had the power to eliminate every other emotion but itself. Anger for hospitals, anger for illnesses, anger for being completely healthy though he wasn't and finally anger towards oranges. Tears of anger dropped from her eyes as she watched him peel the oranges. Why was it that only somewhere handpicked and others weren't? Why were only a few chosen to suffer in life and death whilst others had it easy? Why did the world invent fairness if all that ever existed was discrimination? Why the hell were some oranges peeled and others were left in perfect condition? Why do none of these whys have any answers?
Her anger didn't seem to disappear even when Viren entered the room, but an additional worry was added instead. She waited for a minute before walking up to the closed bathroom door after him. She knew he would be hurting himself or something around him; the same way he did with the plates. She also knew that hurting was the only way he could let out his emotions and though she knew it was wrong she didn't say anything. Nor did she knock on the door, she just waited for him to let out his frustration so she could be here to help him calm down once he came out. "I'm here for you Viren," she whispered, placing a hand on the door.
He was looking at the mirror one minute and his hands were pulling at his hair the next. Fury completely inhibited his body blazing his insides and heating his veins. He pulled his hair so hard that his every single hair follicle throbbed in uttermost pain; so hard that every sensory neuron in his scalp flashed red emergency lights, begging him to stop. But he didn't stop, instead he pulled harder. With every strand pulled, his head cried desperately in pain until it got to a point where even his hatred couldn't take it anymore. He placed his sore hands and tender head on to the basin and trembled. His head hurt but it couldn't match to even half the pain he felt watching his brother peel the orange. He banged his fist against the sink once. Twice. Three times. But the pain still didn't match, it could never match. Something clattered in to the sink and he glanced at the object. His grip loosened and he reached in to grab it.
The mechanic blade moved swiftly, his hair fell delicately.. passed his forehead... down his jawline... on to his shoulders... and finally it fluttered on to the ground beneath him. The blade glided up his crown first, then round his sides and then no space on his head remained covered. His hair was gone. He was peeled.
"Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that,
fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free."
- Jim Morrison
Omigosh! :O I just made the other brother bald!! Oh well, can't change it now.
Oranges = Metaphor for humans if that helps. If it doesn't then I guess I really made no sense at all.
Next update.. either December 2012 or February 2013
Happy New Year in advance because the second date is more likely.
Thanks for reading and take care. DON'T FlOP MOCKS!! It hurts.
Bye, Ava :)
Joined: 30 May 2011
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