intern - "Dr. Vadhera, there's a patient in the ER and I need you to take a look at this case"
Viren - "Where's the patients file?"
intern - "Right here" she said handing it over to him to the opened page of her medical exam
Viren - "Are you serious? You want me to come and look at a patient whose wrist is bleeding?" he said staring at the intern
intern - "It's more than that. There is some guy there and he refuses to leave. The patient is all silent, and I think she's being mistreated by that man. He won't leave her alone so I could find out if she needs help"
Viren - "So you want me to come to kick that guy out? You silly interns. This is the first and last time I'm going to be helping you out like this. Next time, figure it on your own and do not disturb the attending for this"
intern - "Yes Dr. Vadhera"
Both of them walked to the ER. The intern pushed over the curtains and Viren was shocked to see Jeevika. His long lost friend on that bed, frozen.
Virat - "Viren, Viren Vadhera?"
Viren felt a little uncomfortable seeing Virat there with Jeevika. It hurt him, just like it had several years ago back in college"
Viren - "Virat, how are you?"
Virat - "I'm alright. Haven't seen you in so long"
Viren - "It's been a while. Hey Jeevika" he sad hesitantly
Jeevika didn't reply. She was laying on one side and looking away. Away from Virat and away to even notice Viren.
Viren - "Uhm Virat, my intern here is going to take Jeevika for some tests"
Virat - "No no, there's no need for that. She just accidentally cut her wrist while cooking"
Viren - "But why is she so silent? I mean is everything okay?"
Virat - "Actually she had a miscarriage last month. She's been pretty traumatized afer that"
Viren - "Ohh I'm so sorry. Congratulations though on the wedding"
Virat - "Oh no we aren't married yet, but soon"
Viren - "Ohh really, well sorry but the hospital ER's has some rules and we need to take the patient for some formalities" he said lying to him.
Virat was getting nervous. He didn't want anyone to find out. The intern helped Jeevika up and put her on a wheelchair taking her away from the two of them.
Viren - "Don't worry, she's in safe hands. I'll meet you later hopefully"
Virat - "Okay, bye"
Viren was really nervous now seeing Jeevika. He stood near the nurses desk frozen remembering those days. He could not believe this was the same girl who was the sunshine of their class back in college. She was always so bubbly and happy, nice to all the people. She was so nice, that Viren fell in love with her. He was so smitten by her, that he became a new man. He wanted to impress her and make her feel the same way he felt, but he couldn't. Just then the nurse came, and Viren came back into reality.
intern - "Dr. Vadhera, she hasn't said a word, but maybe you should talk to her especially if you know her"
Viren - "Is it something serious?" he asked taking the file from the interns hand.
intern - "I just did a physical, and uhmm she was raped recently. She has bruises all over abdomen and it seems that she cut herself. Her arms are filled with scars and I don't think it was an accident. Here abdomen was also quite swollen, and I saw her previous reports and it showed she had a miscarriage, but it was so fatal that the doctors had to operate and remove one of the fallopian tubes"
Viren - "Wait WHAT? Give me the report, and did you send her test results to the lab?"
intern - "Yes I did"
Viren - "Now listen to me carefully and do as I say. You mess anything up and I swear I will have you kicked out of this surgical program in this hospital. I need you to somehow manage to get either a fingerprint or a piece of hair from that guy who came with her. I don't care how, just get it. Take that to the lab and find out if he is the guy responsible. As soon as you find out, you walk back straight to me. I don't care what emergency there is, you come straight to me, get it?"
intern - "But but how do I get his DNA sample. He wouldn't even listen to me to take the patient for further testing"
Viren - "Figure it Out!!!"
The intern went towards the waiting area as Viren went inside the room where Jeevika was. She was still quiet and crying just staring out the windows.
Viren - "How have you been Jeevika?"
Jeevika - "When you know the answer, why are you asking me" she said in a low tone still looking out the window.
Viren - "Look I'm really sorry on what happened with the miscarriage and '" before he could talk more she interrupted him.
Jeevika - "Miscarriage? You probably know how also, I bet your intern told you already"
Viren - "I'm really sorry Jeevika. Was this all Virat?"
She started crying more and covered her face with her scarred hands. Viren got his answer and went up to her. He slowly removed her hands from her face and gave her a hug. She slowly moved her hands and hugged Viren back. She needed someone to comfort her after all she went through. She was hugging her best friend again, after several years. She cried her heart out making Viren's coat wet filled with tears, but he could care less. He rubbed her back trying to make her feel better. Soon they heard a knock on the door. Jeevika let go and Viren went to open the door.
intern - "You were right, it was him" she said softly so Jeevika wouldn't listen.
Viren - "How did you get the sample?"
intern - "I told him we needed his signatures and a few thumb-prints for her file as he brought her in. Took the pen he used and gave it to the lab"
Viren - "Nicely done. You can assist me on the next surgery. Now don't get too excited, you still need to do something. Tell him that she is still busy with some tests and make him wait in the waiting area. Then go call social services and report this. They should be here in no time and he will be gone. Understood?"
intern - "Yes, and thank you"
Viren closed the door and went back to the bed where Jeevika was sitting.
Viren - "Don't worry now, he's not going to even see you now onwards, far from touching you know Jeevs"
Jeevika was still crying.
Viren - "Jeevika you need to get past this now. It was a bad phase, but we've reported him now to social services and he will be behind bars"
Jeevika - "It's not as simple as you think"
Viren - "We wil make it simple, okay? Come I'll take you to my place. We will leave from the back of the hospital and he won't be able to see you. Anyways you'll see him behind bars now"
Viren extended his hand out and Jeevika carefully placed hers on top. Just as she did, Viren felt a shiver go done his body. How he'd always wished that Jeevika place her hand like this in his hand, and become his forever. They both walked out the room and saw Virat walking toward them. Jeevika quickly moved behind Viren using him as a shield. She could tell he was in one of those moods again. The mood where he wanted to abuse and hurt Jeevika.
Virat - "Where do you think you're going? You think you can just report about me and leave?"
Viren - "She didn't report anything. I did, you understand"
Virat - "Of course. What else could I expect. And you Jeevika, you wait and watch now. There is no way I'm going to be punished for your crimes, you understand?"
Viren - "Her crime? You are the one who'" he was about to say rape, but Jeevika stopped him. Everyone was looking there way and luckily a few policemen were right behind who were there to take Virat away.
Virat - "You will be sorry for this, both of you!"
Viren just hugged Jeevika again as she saw Virat in handcuffs walking away with the police. He walked her out to the car and then drove to his condo. As soon as they got home, Viren took her inside. She was still emotionally damaged even though Virat was gone now. He took her inside the room and made her sleep. As soon as she fell asleep, he came back out and opened his album. The first page was his most favorite picture. It was of him and Jeevika. And right besides the picture was a little plastic bag. Viren opened it and saw that beautiful diamond ring he had once bought, but couldn't make use of it. That ring took him back to remembering their graduation day.
Finally, after four long years they were all graduating. This was a huge milestone completed. It was a time of happiness and sadness as friends were often broken apart. Now was the actual start of their careers. This day was a little bit more special for Viren, or at least he was hoping it would be. He was finally going to be proposing to his best friend. Jeevika and Viren had been friends since High School. They shared everything with each other, their grades, homework, problems at home, etc. Everyone use to tell them that they would get married one day, they were just way to compatible to not be together. She understood every action of his, except for one thing. She failed to recognize the love he had for her in college. It wasn't entirely her fault. Jeevika was smitten, by the one and only Virat when he came to their high school senior year. He quickly became the most popular stud at their high school as he was the captain of the Basketball team. While all the girls wanted him, he wanted just one girl and that was Jeevika. She was another one of those girls, who was crazily in love with his amazing looks and hot physique. Both of them started becoming so close to each other, that eventually Viren and Jeevika were separating. After they started dating, Viren became the second man to Jeevika and he hated that. That was his best friend. He never told her how he felt though, always keeping it inside himself. Everytime Jeevika would have a fight or "break-up" with Virat, she would first come running to Viren as she knew he always had a solution for her. As much as he hated helping her get back together with Virat, he did it for her happiness. After high school, the three of them ended up going to the same University. Viren and Jeevika both got academic scholarships while Virat went on a sports scholarship. The three of them were best friends now and would do everything together, well for the most part. Virat started becoming somewhat a maniac wanting to go partying every weekend, sacrificing his education. Jeevika and Viren were focused and wanted to do well and get their degree as fast as they could. This would often be the reason Virat and Jeevika would fight and break-up as he wanted his girlfriend to come with him. Jeevika hated going to parties where all guys were drunk and flirting with her. It pissed her off seeing Virat behave that way to and Viren would pacify her making her believe that Virat really loved her. Towards the end of the fourth year however Virat and Jeevika had a huge fight over silly issues as usual and this time Jeevika broke it off., for good. Or at least she thought it was for good.
On Graduation day, right before the ceremony almost ended one of the professors called Virat to the stage. Jeevika and Viren who were sitting next to each other after receiving their degrees stared at each other. They were confused at to why Virat was being called on stage. As soon as Virat got on, he made a speech.
"Before we graduate, there's one thing that I need to do. I'm probably the biggest idiot and loser, but I have to do this for my love Jeevika. Jeevika we may fight over silly issues, but at the end of the day we love each other the most in this world. My life is incomplete without you and today and right now I want you to become me. So will you please come on the stage"
Jeevika was so confused, but she slowly walked up to the stage. Virat helped her climb the few stairs to get on the stage and then he went down on one knee. He took out a ring and asked Jeevika to marry him. Jeevika said yes and then they boy hugged each other. On one side, Virat and Jeevika were the happiest they could be while Viren just sat there. How did this day totally reverse he though to himself. Viren left right then with his parents not wanting to meet anyone as they knew he was going to tell Jeevika his feelings tonight. Viren had made a reservation at Jeevika's favorite restaurant for both their families, but he cancelled it. There was nothing to celebrate anymore. From that day onwards, Viren started distancing himself from Jeevika slowly going so far away that they lost touch.
Jeevika woke up and saw Viren sitting on the chair in the room. He saw her and went towards her, helping her get up. He couldn't help but notice all those scars she had from cutting herself and trying to commit suicide. He placed a pillow behind her, making her feel comfortable.
Viren - "I'll go make two cups of coffee for us. You stay here okay"
Jeevika just nodded.
Viren went back to the kitchen and poured two glasses of coffee. He brought it back to the room and handed Jeevika one glass. She took a small sip and smiled at Viren. No one knew how happy Viren was seeing that slight smile on her face. First of all he was seeing his best friend after several years and ever since he saw her all he could notice was pain on her face. That slight smile made Viren the happiest he had ever been the past 7 years of his life.
Jeevika - "You still remember?"
Viren - "Of course I do, black coffee with two tablespoons of hazelnut creamer and one teaspoon of sugar. Our favorite" he said taking a sip
Jeevika - "Our Favorite. The three of our's favorite" she said starting to tear up again.
Viren - "Jeevs you can't cry over that moron anymore. Forget it, that guy doesn't deserve you"
Jeevika - "It's easy to say and hard to forget. It's been 12 years Viren. 12 long years"
Viren - "I know that, but why didn't you get out of this relationship if you were so unhappy. You didn't even call me once? You know I'm always there for you"
Jeevika - "Viren you vanished after college. And that's when I needed my best friend the most"
Viren knew Jeevika was right. I mean after what happened graduation day, Viren was the most heart-broken he had ever been, but little could he tell Jeevika"
Viren - "I'm sorry, I wasn't a good friend to you"
Jeevika - "Don't say that. Today you are all I have left"
Viren - "All you have left? What happened to aunty and uncle?"
Jeevika started tearing up again. She wiped her tears away and then tried to speak as boldly and strongly as she could.
Jeevika - "They passed away in a car accident, three years ago"
Viren - "What? I'm so sorry Jeevs" he said giving her a hug.
Jeevika just lay her head on Viren's shoulder. Both of them hadn't felt so much at ease in such a long time. Eventually they broke the hug.
Viren - "But Jeevs how did all this happen? I mean why is Virat like this?"
Jeevika - "I wish I knew. After graduation we were so happy to be engaged, but both of us needed to focus on our careers. You remember Viren, he was never focused and he barely even graduated. I needed him to focus so we could eventually get married and settle down. But Virat was Virat. He would only do what he wanted to do. He refused to work at all, and would spend all the money I was making from my job. My parents were upset and were starting to doubt whether or not he was good enough to take care of me. And I was so confused too. But I didn't want to give up on him, I really really loved him Viren"
Viren - "I know you did. But then what happened? Did he get some work?"
Jeevika - "He worked odd jobs but it wasn't stable enough to provide for a family, or a house. So we never got married. Ever since my parents died he's changed. He started abusing me, came home drunk. I just didn't know what to do anymore Viren, there was no one else I had. Then one day I found out I was pregnant. I hoped that maybe after hearing this Virat would change his habits and start becoming more responsible. I felt that maybe now it was time to get married as he always kept putting it off. I thought he would be so happy when he found out I was pregnant" she said tearing up again. "He told me he wasn't ready to become a father and then he didn't need more responsibilities put on his shoulders. He said I was enough of a burden on him. I wasn't a burden Viren. I was the one making our apartments payments, paying for his gas, car, everything. All I ever wanted was a little love from him. Then one day I came home from work and he seemed really happy. I thought maybe he got a job or now he was happy that I was pregnant, but he got a hold of these legal papers. It was my parents' will and I was hiding it from Virat. My parents had left their house in Calabbasas under my name as well as almost $500,000. It was all the money from my parents' properties over here and in India. I didn't want Virat to know as I knew he would be dependent on that money for the rest of our lives. All he would do with it was waste it on alcohol and partying."
Viren - "So then what did you say to him"
Jeevika - "I put my foot down and told him that we weren't going to touch this money. This money was going to be FOR and ONLY FOR my baby and that he wasn't going to get any of it. I knew he would waste it all, and that was the only security I had left for the both of us. And that was the day, that'" she said crying hardly now.
Viren - "Shh Jeevs calm down. Here drink this water" he said helping her drink it.
She slowly drank the water and then calmed down again. She put the glass on the side table.
Viren - "So then he basically hurt you"
Jeevika - "He beat me, ripped my clothes, and threw me around like I was a toy. He started hurting me so badly that I started bleeding out. He stormed out the apartment and I somehow managed to dress myself again. Today when I think of that day, I really don't know how I did it all. I was in so much pain Viren, and I knew that something was wrong with my baby. I couldn't manage getting in the car, so I called 911 and the ambulance came. They immediately took me to the nearest hospital and put me to sleep with anesthesia. When I woke up I saw Virat outside my room talking to some doctor. I then asked the doctor right next to me if my baby was okay, and she said that I had a miscarriage and that it was too late by the time I reached the hospital. They performed a surgery trying to save my baby, but there was nothing to save. They had to also remove my fallopian tube as I bled out too much. I was broken, that baby was my only reason to live. It just reminded me of the old Virat and how we would dream of what our kids would look like back in college. Back then we had even decided on names, but now I had no one to name. Virat came in and was acting or more like pretending to be nice in front of the doctors. After two days the doctor discharged me. I was like a dead body who was still walking around and living with her abusive boyfriend. He didn't care for me, feed me, or tend to any of my needs after the miscarriage. He came home drunk again one night, and I was in the kitchen trying to make some food for myself. And the same thing repeated. He called me names, insulted my parents, and'.."
Viren - "But Jeevs you should have left. You know my parents are around. I mean they do live in Norcal but you could have asked for help. They love you like their own daughter"
Jeevika - "I was ashamed of myself Viren. For choosing a guy like Virat and carrying his child. I didn't have it in me to face anyone. Everyone warned me about him becoming what he is. Thats why I decided to end my life once and for all. Thats why I took the knife and tried cutting my wrist. I was tired of this abusive relationship. Every day and night there would be a new episode of Virat's insanity. Virat came back though and saw me cutting myself. He stopped me for only one reason. He didn't want me to die, as if I did he would have to start earning himself and he wouldn't get any of the money my parents left me. He took me to the hospital and that's basically it. That's when I heard your voice for the first time, but I was in too much pain to even respond to you. I knew you would be able to tell from the sound of my voice and Virat would beat me again had I told you anything he had done to me. That's why I stayed silent and just prayed that somehow God did some miracle and gave me a reason to live, a good reason"
Viren was so emotional listening to all of this. Had he known any of this, he would run back to Jeevika the first thing. He thought the past several years were like hell for him, but he realized that his pain was nothing compared to hers. Loosing your parents, baby, and true love. How had Jeevika coped up with it all?
Viren - "You have a reason to live, because you deserve it Jeevs. I will not let that animal get close to you know. You have me and thats all you need. We're going to come out of this together and we are going to make sure than Virat is behind bars for the rest of his life"
Jeevika got so emotional listening to Viren that she just hugged him again. She finally felt warmth and love after so long! She just wanted to be held by someone and Viren just wanted to hold her. He wanted to bring back the old Jeevika. He wanted the Jeevika who used to crack funny jokes with him, who would love watching scary movies while Viren would get scared, who used to do Viren's homework when he was sick. He was going to do everything he could now to make her the happiest girl in the world.