RUDRA HASHISH ROAR
"Hey Fellas! This is my first short story. Finally grabbed the pen!
'Rudra Hashish Roar', It's about the girl who is terribly addicted to marijuana and thinks that there's nothing wrong in smoking pot if it gives you immense satisfaction and pleasure. Even Lord Shiva did that!!
Her family boycotted her for awful habits and so she started living her life in her way. After so many meaningless flings, she is now in a search of a guy who accepts her in every situation and loves her unconditionally, selflessly... And then, he comes along...
Rudra Hashish Roar means:
Rudra - Lord Shiva
Hashish - Marijuana
Roar - Tattoo
So, here comes the weird, but the purest form of a love tale that will hopefully set an imprint on your minds and hearts!!"
CHAPTER 1 - HER STORY!!
Dark thoughts encircling her mind, puff after puff, she is losing herself deep down, sitting by the cold railing of her lavish flat, lost in the horrible memories of her past , the floor smeared around with the "pot", paper rolled up to sniff the powder in , her eyes , blood short but deep red ! What is that she is craving for?!
Her dad, a retired army officer, too strict to handle!! He always used to say -
"Girls should always know their limits, whether it's about saying something, expressing herself, or dressing up! Your words and your clothes define your true character! And once, the character is lost, nothing ever can repair the damage! Boys can protect themselves but you! You are not that strong!"
These words, they used to hit her in the head like a huge hammer! Why was her dad like 'this'? It's said that a girl wishes to see a shadow of her dad in her life partner, but this was not the case with Kiara! She would have preferred poisoning herself than to marry someone like her father! She never actually had a liking factor for him, never ....
Losing her mom at the age of 5, she never really got to know what a mother's love is! She always felt like she was being treated like a dog by her dad - following his orders, doing whatever he wanted her to do, and at the end of the day, sitting in her room, sulking for freedom!
Being around a dad like that had kept her away from stuffs like fun, parties, friends! FRIENDS- yeah, she had none! In her class, she was the loneliest, but a bright student indeed! Creative mindset, beautiful handwriting, Envisioned Sketching! An artist she was! But her classmates always looked at her as if she was a psychopath!
Social media was the only source she had, though not for making friends, but for knowing the world that existed outside her dooming cage. Her PC was always hit up with the searches for her subjects - Science, Art, History etc.
But now that she had completed her schooling, it was time for her to find out what she really wanted to do! She had forcefully completed her school life opting for Science as her dad wanted her to be a Doctor! But now, a little version of her in her mind wanted to something of her interest. She always saw her in different places - in the green fields, painting the sunset or on a big stage, with a guitar in her hand, people swaying and waving their hands to her tunes!!! A smile arched up her face whenever such scenes occupied her mind. She used to sketch these scenes on rough pages in her free time and used to pin them up on the walls or doors or the mirror in her room.
Vacation was on. Her dad was busy running to his friends, relatives, or career counselling nerds, asking about the colleges in India her daughter could get in. He used to come home late and then doze off after checking on her daughter. She was not even consulted by him as to what she has to do next in her life - Was she even willing to be what her dad wanted her to be?? The answer was better known, but she had to be strong enough to take a stand for herself! It was high time now.
But that night destroyed every tiny feeling she ever had for her papa!
She was sketching a guitar on a page when she heard the main door opening. She knew it was Dad and hid the page under the mousepad and went in the hall. Her dad was looking happy and she knew what would have happened -College! She gathered up all the guts she could and spoke up.
"Umm Papa, I want to tell you something. "
"Fetch me a glass of water and then, we will fill up the forms to get you in the new college in Karnal. Go fast." Her dad replied.
Being interrupted in her talks -she was habituated to all that. She brought a glass of water and stood in front of her dad. After he was finished with his babbling, Kiara, with all her strength, said -
"Papa, I am done now. I know you want me to become a Doctor. But that's not what I want to do with my life. Technical field and Medical craziness don't attract me the way Art and Music does. Please don't shed off my feathers to make a pen that will write my future but on your choice! I want to ..." .... The sound of the glass smashing on the floor silenced her.
"Your Life! Where's your life?! Everything you have today and everything you are, is my fucking favor on you! And now, when I want all my favors returned back, you are trying to sneak them away by your bullshit hobbies! Career and Hobby are two different things, mind well Kia! I won't let you break my dreams to fulfill your desires. "
"And what about my dreams, Paa? Are they worth nothing? Were you bringing me up just to complete your goals killing off mine? Then, why the hell didn't you kill me?! Am I such a shame to you and nothing else? If Mumma would have been alive today, then...."
"That bitch! It's better that she is not. She left me all alone with a dark shadow of her inside you. Thank me, if I would not have accepted you, then you would have been tagged as an orphan today...That bloody slut!"
Her dad kept yelling for minutes that followed. Kiara never knew what kind of bond did her parents shared, but her dad's words were not getting any tolerable now. She had no other option than listening to him. Deep down, she was getting a tinge that her Dad will not listen to any rubbish further and throw her in the M.B.B.S. bin.... she didn't want that.
"You and your mom! Dirty blood ... Never ever try to speak up against me or else I would through you out of this house. And if you want to pursue and chase your dreams, then I won't finance you anymore. "
Kiara could no more handle all this. Her Dad sat on the sofa holding his head in his hands. She went into her room and locked herself in. After thinking a lot, she kept her head on the PC table and tried to stop her tears when she saw the guitar sketch, half completed under the mousepad. Her tears had ruined the sketch and she could relate her future getting ruined like that. The next early morning, she stood up, packed her stuff in a suitcase- her mother's photo , her clothes , her books , hung her guitar on her shoulder and left the house with a note on the bottle of the beer that her dad was holding , lying unconscious on the couch , saying -
"This was always a house! It never became a HOME for me!"
Remembering that night, here she is today, by the railing, smoked about 34 lines of heroin. What's wrong in smoking pot if it gives you immense satisfaction that you are deprived of in your life? Even Shambhu, the most worshipped divinity in India is said to be smoking marijuana on a regular basis. Then, why can't she?! Waving like a coconut tree during a tornado, she stood in front of the mirror, long brown hairs swirling about her waist, her eyes smudged with black mascara, her soft pink lips smeared with white powder all over, her soft hands with black scars of cigarette burns, holding the silk white bedsheet against her bare body , her face cut and figure - killer! Her deep red eyes making her vision blurred again....
"Hey babe! Up for round 2 ?!" A guy with no clothes on, asked her mischievously.
"Why not ?!" and the silk sheet fell off, revealing her heavenly body.
This was what she was enjoying in the kaif of marijuana, but deep down, she knew she needed someone mature enough...who would know her worth more than anyone else, would love her in every phase of life.
That someone was about to enter her life and that's when the tables will get turned ...
CHAPTER 2 - HER LIFE GETS A MEANING!!
"This was always a HOUSE! It never became HOME for me!"
Wandering about in the new city, searching for the answers to the questions in her mind, not affected by the weird looks that the people around there were giving her, what Kiara needed right now was - a shelter to cover her head and a source of living! But this new city didn't seem to kind to her...
Delhi is the biggest metro city of India, known for the historical monuments and awesome places like Red Fort, Qu tub Minar, Jama Masjid, Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk and many more! But, equally unfamous for the road accidents and the rape incidents. Beautiful and Horrible in its own fashion! Kiara was not at all excited about this city as she had enough filthy things in her mind and huge castles of passion to conquer!
This night was more frightening for Kiara than the previous one!
No shed for the head - didn't even had sufficient money to rent a room in a hotel! Yeah, she ate kind of well during the past few hours - And she knew it's gonna be tough to survive in here!
She saw a litter of puppies wandering about in a garden nearby and this was the only thing that made her smile since the last few months! It was about 10 at night and roaming around almost everywhere, she came to a footpath in front of the garden, where there was a bench! Finally, after hours, she relived herself putting her luggage on the side and laid down on the bench. It was not as comfortable as the bed in her bedroom but, under the night sky, she felt like a free bird, a happy soul! And soon, she fell asleep...
Some footsteps approached the bench. As Kiara was not a sound sleeper, she got scared and woke up - it was 3 in the morning! She saw a shadow coming towards the bench from a turn nearby. The person was not visible but was about to be seen in some moments! Her heart started pounding! Who could that be?!
A man, in his mid-fifties, dark in complexion, little-bit drunk, came there and stared her like an eagle looks at its prey! Kiara was not used to all this but she knew, she was not safe anymore! The man, arched up one of his eyebrows and asked her in an offensive manner.
"Your place or mine?!" and he winked at her.
Kiara was terribly offended as well as frightened by all this, but she didn't know what to do next. The man started coming near her, step by step, closer and closer. he raised his hand and clenched her by her waist. Kiara was shocked by his move and she tried to shout in order to alert someone around, if there was any. But no one was seen there.
The man's left hand was running all over her body, his right hand covering her mouth.. Suddenly, he saw a woman coming from across the road and loosened his grip. The woman saw them and started shouting at him.
"You bastard! Leave her alone or I will throw you behind the bars. "
"You know you can’t. Instead, let me take you both with me." The old man said with a wicked smile.
The woman took out her phone and dialed a number," Yeah, I have got a drunk old man here, molesting a girl. Come soon!" And she disconnected. "I am the cop!" She said with anger bruising her face. Out of nowhere, a jeep reached there with some policemen and after beating the shit out of the man, arrested and took him away.
"You okay?" The woman asked Kiara who was stunned after what had happened with her. She was not able to speak up, when the woman said.
"You don't seem well. Let's go to my place. You will feel better there." and they headed there.
With a cup of coffee at about 5 in the morning, Kiara opened up her soul to the woman and told her why she was there and how she got stuck with that old drunkard. Tears filled up her eyes while narrating her story, the woman comforted her.
"Well, no need to worry about anything now. You can stay with me for as long as you want. I am Olive, I am a DJ and sort of a drummer. I am in a band and we do stage shows every weekend here. You too have a taste for music, I guess." She said looking at Kiara's guitar.
"Yeah, I like playing guitar. Don’t know whether I play it well or not. Thanks Olive, for offering me a stay here . But I won't be comfortable staying here for free. I don’t even have a job and I am not that qualified to get one. Will you please help me with that?" Kiara felt helpless.
"Umm. why don’t you join our band? It’s not that bad. Infarct, we are famous and the people like us! We have a guitarist though, but he plays electric. So, I could get you in. What say?" Olive seemed cheerful.
Kiara was lost in her thoughts. that's what she always wanted to do. Crowded audience, people dancing and enjoying her tunes. She doubted if she was dreaming as she had never been so lucky before.
"And I know a friend who owns a renowned cafe here. He would welcome the thought of a musical aura. It will attract the visitors as well. I could talk to him. You can play in our band on weekends and then you can do the same at the cafe for the remaining days! So, no need to be awkward living here. We could split the rent at the end of the month. "
Kiara was too excited to say anything. She smiled and showed her thumb, signaling her willingness. Olive hugged her and said, “Welcome to Delhi!". Kiara had never felt this happy before.
So, days went by. Kiara was slowly getting tuned to this place. She didn't had holidays, but she was happy with that. She was living her life to the fullest. Earnings were not that good but her heart was on the seventh cloud now. The cafe was owned by Mira, Olive's friend, but sometimes his mother used to accompany him there. She was so caring and friendly that Kiara felt like if her mom had been alive, then she would have been like this lady! She loved her work there- singing songs on guitar! Weekends were equally enjoyable - stage shows, new friends and Olive! The band members were so welcoming, she got mixed up with them soon. Each one of them had a tattoo on their body. Olive had a tattoo on her waist like a symbol of 'OM'. The guitarist had one on his wrist saying "Bam Bam Bholey". The other two boys too had similar kind of Shiva related tattoos on their body. Kiara find those interesting and decided to get one on her back. She went to the shop Olive suggested her and got her back scribbled. It was painful, but after a week or so , her body looked even more beautiful and sexy than before. She always used to tie her hairs up in a bun so that the tattoo could be visible. She was enjoying now as no one was there to stop her from doing all these weird and cool things!
Miraj was a smart guy, not that fair like the usual Punjabi boys, but was extremely attractive. Kiara always thought of him as a good friend. He used to attend their shows on weekends too. One night, the cafe was enjoying Christmas party - young boys and girls getting high on tequila shots and no doubt, who was the DJ there? Olive! Everyone's friends were there -Miraj, Olive and the members of the band too. Kiara was used to see drunkards around her -thanks to her Dad. So, staying in a crowd was not difficult for her. Bottles of alcohol were getting empty within hours. But a guy from the band -the one who played the electric guitar was standing in a dark corner with a cigarette in hand, the cigarette was seeming a little different.
Miraj went on the stage and requested Olive to stop for a while.
"Guys and Girls, since the day, Kiara joined my cafe, I have been getting a huge crowd here in. The cafe is now getting too popular due to the musical essence that she has brought in. Thank you so much, Olive! I always look back to the day when you asked me to hire her!"
Saying this, Miraj went near Kiara, hold her hand and kissed it. Kiara couldn't stop blushing as this was happening for the first time with her. Miraj requested Kiara to have a drink, but she refused. After forcing her for a few more minutes, Olive came down there to help Kiara out, but Miraj! He had forced a shot down her throat. Kiara's expression got worsened as that liquid went inside and she refused to take any other shot. Miraj apologized for that and brought a glass of lemonade for her. She drank that and now, she was not able to see anything clear. Miraj had mixed something in her lemonade. He saw Kiara trying to keep her vision clear and rushed towards her. He asked her to go to the loo and get her face washed. They headed towards the washroom. Miraj looked around to see Olive. She was busy boozing! So, he took the opportunity, went inside the ladies’ washroom and grabbed Kiara's waist from behind. She was not in her senses totally but still she tried to free herself; no one was able to listen her voice in the loud DJ atmosphere. Miraj started kissing and licking her neck, one hand holding her shoulder, the other reaching slowly down her pants. Kiara was shouting and pleading but he didn't stop. He reached for his pocket and took out a thin plastic bag containing what looked like a transparent petroleum jelly! Applying it on his fingers, he pressed them against her nose. The effect of that thing was so strong that though she was on her feet, she was not in a conscious state. New sensations struck her body and she was enjoying them. Till then, Miraj had unbuttoned his shirt and removed her t-shirt. She was into a new world every time Miraj's hands were touching her anywhere. They started locking each other's lips and digging their tongues in each other's mouth. He was about to take the next step when the door opened and Olive's shout was heard. She came in and saw both of them almost half naked. Looking at Kiara, she knew what would have happened with her. She rushed ahead and slapped Miraj.
"I never expected this from you! How could you do this to Kiara? She is a small girl and you made her consume weed!"
"It's Christmas eve, Olive. Let’s have fun in its real sense. You do your job and I am finishing mine. Tomorrow, I am shifting to USA with mum. Kiara won't be there. Let me do her a favor." Miraj was totally high.
"Let me do you a favor then." saying this, Olive kicked his crotch by her leather boots. He fell down there in pain, abusing Olive and Kiara. " Girls deserve respect! And you deserve this." She said pointing at his pants. She carefully took Kiara out of there and called up her band buddies to help her reach the apartment.
She took Kiara to the bedroom and in no time, she fell asleep. Olive went out and told her friends what had happened there.
"Guys, we do this very often. We are addicted but strong enough to handle all this. But I don't want that little girl to choose this way. We need to keep her away from all kinds of addiction."
The next morning, when Kiara opened her eyes, she saw her friends sitting beside her bed. Olive offered her coffee and tried to ask her about the previous night.
"I don’t remember exactly what happened in the loo. But, Miraj misbehaved with me and then, he had something in his hand, that made me go sleepy. I never pictured Miraj doing all that to me but after smelling that thing, I felt some weird things going on in me. I was not willing to let him touch me anywhere but, I don’t know why I was enjoying every single moment." Kiara said with her head in her hands.
"Don’t you ever worry about that. Nothing wrong will happen to you till we all are here for you. That thing you are talking about is a bullshit-just like alcohol. You don’t have to create a craving for all that if you don't want to. Okay?"
Kiara shook her head in affirmation. Soon, she left the room with the empty cups.
"But what if I want to feel that craziness again? I liked it, don’t know why. “Kiara was babbling this, when the guitar guy heard her. He went to sit beside Kiara and told her patting her shoulder.
"I can fulfill your desires if you want! But make sure to keep all this away from Olive." He said, winking his eye.
"Okay, Harman!" Kiara had a curiosity in her eyes and she knew this guy was going to answer it.
Is Harman the hero of her story?
Kiara is definitely fired from the cafe. What would she do next?
Do read the next chapter publishing on 30th Jan to find out what happens next.
CHAPTER 3 - HER DEGRADATION!
"I can fulfill your desires if you want ...."
After playing at the weekend, Harman convinced Olive to take Kiara with her for teaching some new guitar techniques. Olive hugged Kiara, still worried for her due to the Cafe night incident. Kiara needed a new job to hang on and to divert her mind away from those awful memories. So, she let Harman take her to his place.
Harman kept teaching her for hours, about how to tighten up the grip to the chords and make the tune sound metallic. But it was not that easy. Her fingers were hurting after long hours of practice, but she was not able to be harsh on her guitar.
"I will never be able learn this." Kiara's head bend down with the smile disappearing. Harman knew what Kiara needed now. He bends over her on the couch and said,
"Let’s make it easy then!" He smiled, took a flick of hairs that was hanging down on her face and tugged it behind her ear softly. There was a shine of innocence in her eyes then.
Harman took out a cigarette and lit it with a lighter. He offered it to her.
"Like this ..." He took a puff of smoke in and after a few seconds, blew it out of his mouth. He felt relieved.
"Aaaaah!! This is.... heaven ... you know."
Kiara felt a little awkward for she was worried about the promise that she had given to Olive.
"I can't do this. It's wrong. And what if Olive comes to know about this?"
Harman patted her shoulder, " Promises are meant to be broken, dear! And to tell you the truth, Olive does this on a regular basis. Furthermore, last time, you liked it ... the way it made you feel .... Don't you want to feel it again?"
Kiara got lost in the blurred memories and the flashback of her and Miraj, getting along in the washroom, sent a chill down her spine. Goosebumps... she felt something rising inside her. She was actually dying to relive those moments, not with the same person though! And within no time, she snatched the cigarette from his fingers and placed it on her lips. One large Smokey puff, woof! It was enough for her to lose herself in.
They continued smoking weed and surprisingly, a new Kiara was seen to be born. She was holding up the guitar so strongly now that the chords didn't hurt her anymore. She learnt the new tunes so fast and was grasping his teachings so well that now if she is asked to do it on stage, she would not hesitate. After playing a new hard tune, she kept the guitar aside and looked down her fingers. They had turned red due to the pulling of the strings. Harman stood up, took her hands in his, spread the powder on her palms and started licking them. The powder got stuck on his lips and he pushed her hairs behind and grabbed her neck. His lips were so tempting for Kiara, the smell of addiction, she was getting pulled towards Harman, her tongue licking her lips ... Harman lost his control and started devouring her lips ... Electricity!
He lifted her in his arms and led the way to the bedroom. His fingers unbuttoning her shorts, her hands tugging his t-shirt off ... their bare bodies rubbing against each other, breathing heavily...
Within few moments, sweet painful moans and deep fast growls filled the room...
And She finally lost 'It’! There was a smile on her face, the one that comes when you see a double cheese thin crust pizza after a long time! The sense of satisfaction ... and she fell asleep.
On the other hand, Harman laid down, staring the ceiling, wicked smile on his face and a mind full of Jealousy and Revenge - why?
He was already a part of the band and was doing well on his part as the guitarist. So, Kiara's entry in the troop didn't make him happy. Moreover, she was a girl much younger than him, but she was being appreciated by everyone profusely. That night, when Miraj went on the stage and said a few words for Kiara, those little words pierced Harman's heart like little arrows of hatred. And he started working on his plans from that very night. He was the one who gave that thing to Miraj which led to Kiara's unconsciousness. And now, he himself got Kiara on his side with the intention of fulfilling his revenge!
Days went by and this all became a routine for Kiara. She was obviously not working at Miraj's cafe now, but she didn't even bother to find another job for herself. Although Olive and Kiara were sharing the flat, she was rarely living there. She used to be with Harman whole day long and sink away in the kaif of weed. It seemed almost impossible now to take her out of that enslavement. She never seemed to be fully conscious. Getting agitated on normal matters, not responding properly to anyone and the worst thing was - if she didn't get a dozen when she needed it the most, she would turn away to cigarettes, not with the intention of smoking, but she would burn her arms and thighs using that! Within no time, she sought a way out of cigarette burns - Self Harm! She was so obsessed to pot that she would not even hesitate scratching her own beautiful body ... Her arms, shoulders, belly, almost every graceful part of her body was now full of scars and wounds - as if someone tore of an innocent bird!
The most important things in her life - Her Guitar and Her passion for sketching - faded away at a slow pace. And what swapped places with them was - Sex and Weed! That little girl, who didn't even know the meaning of love, is now caught up in a prison of lust. And the deadliest part was that she didn't want an escape from those bars!
One day, when she returned home, late at night, she heard a new voice in Olive's bedroom. She pushed the door to the room with a little force and tried a take a peek inside. Olive was on her bed with her head in a guy's lap. She seemed to be in deep sleep and the guy was playing with her soft hairs and singing her to sleep. His voice - Damn! Like someone is pouring down a bottle full of honey - realizingly sweet ... Kiara kept looking at them for a few minutes and was totally taken aback with the adorable guy! He bent down to kiss Olive's cheek, then forehead and Olive was sweetly moving her head in her lap as if it was the most comfortable place for her on the Earth! Kiara went in her room with her mind full of questions. But, fell asleep as soon as she laid down on the bed.
Next morning, when she woke up, she saw someone opening the curtains of her room to lead the sunshine in. It was Olive.
"Kia, wake up! Your coffee is waiting for you. " She left the room with a smile, but no eye contact.
Both of them sat at the dining table. They were seeing each other after a long time and Olive was trying to avoid eye contact with her, but she could not take her eyes off her arms.
"What's that? " She asked about the cigarette burns to which Kiara replied,
"Love Bites!" and smiled.
"Olive, who was in your room last night? " and she took a pinch or two of sugar and added in her coffee. She took out a cigarette from her pocket and started stirring her coffee with it. Olive kept her eyes on that and replied.
"Neil, he is my ...ummm...boyfriend. We love spending time with each other. We were friends but now, we are trying to know each other. It’s going okay ...good! "
Kiara, while sipping coffee, asked her.
"You never told me about your boyfriend... why so?"
Olive took her cup to the kitchen sink and said,
"For that, you need to be at home, with me! "
Kiara understood what she intended to say, but ignored and continued after a long awkward pause.
"So ... is he easy with you or does he likes it hard core?"
Olive, shocked with that response, said in an irritated tone.
"Ugggh ... not so early! I need to know him better. He is nice, no doubt on that. But we have not reached till that level right now. I need time. Love is not just about Sex, Lust and stuff like that. It’s a journey where we need to find the one with whom the tuning of our heart and mind gets set. One with whom, with no fears, we are ready to spend our whole fucking life."
Kiara got lost in those words and compared her life with Olive's. She was 'enjoying' every moment, every second of her life. Olive too, was doing the same ... but she had something that Kiara didn't. LOVE!
And she is lost again in her world...
After getting ready, she headed towards Harman's place with a thought in her mind that he might be the love of her life. And if he is, then what a crazy life it would be! Love, Sex, Weed, ...... She took a puff of her cigarette and looked outside the metro's window, swimming in the flashbacks of the last few months...
She reached his flat, smoking, all set to speak her feelings out, eyes red. But she heard someone moaning loudly in Harman's room. Harman was also not seen anywhere and this made Kiara even more tensed. She walked towards his room, when she felt someone following her. She turned back to see a guy in spiked hairs, totally high. He asked her.
" Are you Kia? "
Kiara nodded her head and asked him who he was.
" I am David, Harman's brother. He told me about you and damn! That's so fucking true ... you are sexy as hell! " He tried touching her lips with his thumb but she took a step behind and forced open the door. And that took on to her nerves...
There inside was Harman fucking a girl and now she knew what was all that moaning about. He didn't saw Kiara. Instead, he finished 'his job'. Kiara was too surprised to say anything, so she went in the bathroom and locked herself inside. She was feeling like hundreds of hammers were hitting her head at a time. She didn't want to cry because she had another option- weed! She smoked and smoked like never before, lit a lighter and burned her arms a little so that she could handle the pain that was bursting inside her with the pain outside her. After an hour or two, she heard someone talking near the bathroom.
"Kiara and my girlfriend? Hell no! Are you out of your mind? She is my first and the last enemy ever. All I have in my heart for her is Hatred. But she has got hell of a body and that tattoo! Aaaahhh.... that gives me a boner every time. So, that’s what I do with my enemy in my style -Revenge!"
On hearing that, Kiara didn't know what to do next. She got up and went outside in the main hall. Harman was standing in the balcony smoking. Seeing her, he said.
"Kiara baby, where were you? I thought you went away. David told me that you were here but I was sleeping. When I woke up, you were not there. Anyways, you are looking hot, huh!"
Kiara had made up her mind to leave the place as soon as possible but those last five words .... the way he said them! Kiara was getting more and more attracted to him. He came to her and started kissing her neck. This all was giving her sweet shocks all over again, but she was not able to think a way out of that. He swayed all the hairs covering her back to the front of her shoulders and started licking her tattoo and she gave in. He took her to the bedroom, harshly kissing...
Kiara came out of the room with her body covered in a white bedsheet and went to the balcony. The walls around her were full of little black and white sketches made by her. The floor was all smeared with powder and paper rolls. She sat there in the balcony staring the night sky above and little street lights below. Dark thoughts and memories of her past caught her mind again and she started thinking about the cruel retired army officer she used to live with. She thought to herself,
"Since childhood, dad pictured me as a toy that works when we use its key. I never got his love and care. And mom? Was I that bad that she left me too? After a long suffering, I gathered my guts and left that place to come in this city to fulfill my dreams and relive my life. But what has this city given me? Sexual assaults and nothing else! And now when I was happy in my life with Harman or actually with this pot of weed, again booom....and the secret is revealed. He never loved me. He just wants to take revenge and for that, he is using my body. I didn't even allowed Dad to rule my life. So, will I allow him to do whatever he wants to do with me? He never loved me, but did I? He thinks I am his biggest enemy. So now it’s my turn to kick his ass and show him how enemity is made meaningful ! "
She sniffed the powder in again with the paper roll kept on the table in the hall. She stood in front of the mirror and stared in her own eyes. She knew she had to take a step and she could see it in her blood red eyes. Her vision got blurred again and she heard Harman saying.
"Up for Round 2, babe?" He was naked and was smiling mischievously looking at her. She replied.
"Sure, why not?" Harman went in his room again. Kiara took a pepper spray out of her purse and went behind him. Harman was standing firmly against the bed and signaled Kiara to give him a blowjob. She kneeled down and Harman turned around to switch off the lamp. She pressed the spray on his crotch till he let out a painful scream. He was about to raise his hand to slap her when she pressed the spray in his eyes.
Harman was shouting for help in pain. He was not able to see anything, whether to rub his eyes off or to cover his crotch.
"I am your enemy, indeed! Tit for tat ... Bubye honey, see you never!"
With a winning smile on her face, she dressed up, took her bag, tore down her sketches from the wall and headed towards the gate of the apartment. She called a cab that dropped her to the metro station. It was past midnight and the train that arrived was almost empty. She took a seat in the corner and slowed down her breath. She couldn't believe she did that. She needed to smoke ...right now. It was an urgent and an immense call for weed. She checked her bag to find none. She was getting crazy as hell, frustrated, she started crying and scratching her arms. She had no other option than to call up Olive. She called her and requested her to pick her up from the station. Olive heard her and understood this was urgent. Either she needed a shoulder to cry on or a whole pot to smoke. The train took time to reach her stop and she found a nail cutter in her bag. With lots of dilemma in her mind, she pierced her thigh with the small knife in the tool. She didn't shout out in pain but slid down her seat crying. Olive came inside in search of Kiara and was terrified to see her thigh bleeding. She took her out and called a cab. She tried asking Kiara about what was going on, but she was not in a condition to answer any of her questions. The cab arrived and the driver asked for the destination.
"Take us to the nearby hospital quickly."
On the way to the hospital, Olive tried to pacify Kiara but in vain. All she could make out with words was: "Harman ... fucking asshole ... ditched ...."
Olive sat along with Kiara when the nurse was cleaning the wound. The nurse was looking at Kiara in a disgusting way... wounded thigh, scars on the body, red eyes, haphazard clothes! Olive gave her a sharp look and the nurse softened her gaze.
But this visual was disturbing for Olive as well. She decided.
"I should have strictly stopped Kiara the very first time, she came in contact with the weed. Now it’s going out of control. She is harming herself to silence her inner hungry demons. I need to give her a break! But how?"
Her phone rang. It was Neil. She picked up the call and talked to him about all that happened in within last 3 hours. Neil suggested her something that could be helpful in bringing Kiara back to normal again.
What was Neil's idea?
How will Kiara get rid of her addiction?
Or did she even wanted to escape her devils inside?
Read the next chapter to find out!
CHAPTER 4 - Her Nightmares or Her Illusions?!
“ I was the one who didn’t took care of her when she came in contact with the thing . Now , I can see what it has done to her. So , I will take her out of all this now.”
Olive was worried about Kiara’s situation right now. She came out of the ward where Kiara was resting and called Neil.
“ I have a plan that will take her away from her messed up life. She will realize that there are many things more interesting than her addiction. Things to live for , things worth dying for !” Neil said with a confidence in his voice . He was kind of sure that his idea was full proof and will be of great help to Kiara.
“And what is it ? Looking at Kiara right now , in a condition that she has put herself into , your idea needs to be strong enough to pull her back from her enslavement to weed.” Olive said , standing outside the glass door of the room where Kiara was sleeping. Her scars and wounds were enough to give someone the nightmares of their lives ! Her eyes ducked in deep , her lifeless ,pale face , her scarred arms and a thigh rolled up in bandages. It was like an innocent creature who had nothing left in her life that was worth living.
Reaching back to their home ,Kiara was lost in her deep thoughts. No one knew what she was brooding about. Olive made her sit on the couch and went to the kitchen to make coffee and some breakfast. She had a eye on Kiara who was sitting silently . Olive could no longer take this quietude and went to her with two cups of coffee in her hands. She sat beside her and asked her about the Harman incident. She opened up her soul to Olive and told her all about how Harman was using her to fulfil his revenge and how he kept her fixated on pot. She told Olive about what had happened the other day at Harman’s place and how she stood up against him. Kiara knew that Olive would always be there to take her on the right path , but she was certain about the fact that no matter whatever happens, her craving for weed will never come to an end.
“That son of a bitch ! I can’t imagine to what extent a person can fall down to feed his jealousy. Look Kiara , just forget about whatever happened with you in the last few months. I know it would be difficult for you to erase all those memories from your mind. But I just want one thing from you and that is a promise. A promise to keep yourself away from your deadly addiction at any cost ! A promise to love and embrace your life to the fullest ! And I promise that I will cross any freaking limit to keep you away from all that .”
Kiara gave her a faint smile , as all she knew was that a horrible phase of her life was about to start now. Keeping herself away from smoking weed was like asking her not to breathe.
Days went by and Olive started taking her out in the parks and the malls around. Fresh air was something that Kiara was unaware of since the last few months. The smoke had blurred her so much that the fresh air was suffocating her to death. She didn’t feel like trolling around in the gardens like a patient. She wanted space, space to smoke ! And being with Olive , that thing was not going to happen. She searched out ways to crossfade like staying in the bathroom for too long , going on the terrace for walks , sneaking in the bedroom to go to bed early , etc. She never opted to self-harm now , but this habit was not going to leave her that easily.
When Olive got an idea of what Kiara was up to , she got disappointed and tried to talk to her . But Kiara won’t stop and instead she would start crying like a new born hungry baby. It was all getting out of control day by day and then she called up Neil.
“ I can’t handle her anymore. I can’t sit quiet and watch her burning herself out. Please be quick in executing your plan.”
Olive cried her heart out on the call.
“Relax baby , everything’s done . I am on my way to your flat . Keep Kiara with you . She needs to listen to my plans.” Neil was too excited to continue his talk and he disconnected.
“So girls , here’s a plan ! I was thinking of taking both of you somewhere , a place that will soothe down your nerves. “ Neil said , rubbing his palms together in thrill. Olive was dying to hear his plans , but Kiara didn’t seem interested at all.
“A trek expedition to Ladakh ! It is well known as the Chadar Trek ….”
Kiara interrupted , “ Umm.. Neil , slow down for a while ! I don’t feel like going anywhere right now. You both go , have fun ! I respect your privacy . But please don’t force me to come along with you anywhere , Chadar or whatever it is ! Sorry .”
Neil pretended like he didn’t hear her and continued in his flow.
“It’s not just anywhere, Kiara . This trek is over the frozen river Zanskar that becomes a thick sheet of ice during the winters. We will be staying in the little tents and the tiny huts over there. The days will be full of trekking activities and adventures. The nights would be chilling and will leave you dumbstruck in the beauty of the woods we will be living in. And it will be good for you Kiara , the dangers and the thrills that you would experience there will show you the worth of your life in its real sense. Nothing is over , Kia. A whole new part of you is left undiscovered within. Shed off the old skin and get ready to face the new challenges and experience the novel happiness that are about to come in your way. Please , we won’t go if you won’t be there with us.”
Olive was looking at Neil with her mouth wide open in surprise. He had never babbled this much in their entire relationship. But when it came to Olive’s tears about being worried for Kiara , there emerged a new Neil , as much caring about Kiara as Olive was. Olive now realized that he was the one she was searching for since forever.
Kiara on the other hand , appreciated Neil’s effort of making her happy but she didn’t agree.
“Kia , please say Yes ! I want to go there with you. I don’t want you to ruin your life like this , sinking down and down in gloominess. Please , for my sake baby !” Olive literally pleaded her.
Kiara looked at her. Was she the same Olive who saved her life on her very first day in Delhi ? That strong girl was on her knees , pleading her ! How could she be so mean and rude and forget all the favours that Olive had done for her till date ? She felt disgusted seeing Olive in that position with tears in her eyes. She pulled her up , embraced her and agreed to go on the trek. Neil saw both of them crying and went ahead to give them a big hug with a shout - “ The trek is On , baby !” And smiles spread on their faces.
They were on the train with many other excited souls accompanying them on the trek. The guides and the instructors had introduced themselves on the platform already. About 20-30 people including the guides were on the lists to Chadar trek. A long train journey , a group of friends , long senseless talks and cheerful laughter- they were packing themselves a box of memories that will remain fresh forever !
In between every couple of hours , Kiara would leave the two love birds alone ,lock herself in the washroom and smoke a cigar or two. She would sit down at the entrances to the bogies in the running train and would enjoy the strong winds hitting her face. 26 hours went by and they reached their station. All of them took down their luggage and were standing on the platform for the next instructions. Kiara was looking around the station when a guy came, patted her shoulder and said.
“You are not allowed to smoke or intake any kind of alcoholic drinks and stuff in the trek. Beware , this might be the first and the last warning for you.” The guy winked at her and gave her a smile. He cleared the crowd away and stood in the front line with his group.
“ A very good morning to all of you , folks ! I am Kunal Mehra, one of the trekking instructors from the panel. Now , we have reached our first target . From here, we will be taken in small buses to our motels , that will be on the way to high mountains up there.” He pointed to the range of hills behind the crowd far away. Everyone seemed so excited. He continued.
“So these are our guides for the trek. Nisha Dixit , Dimple Sinha, Bobby Chhabra and you know me already. So let’s get started , peeps!”
There were 2 small buses , one for the luggage and one for all of them. They started from the railway station and reached their motels in about 3 hours. The cold went on increasing as the buses went on high and high. When they reached the clubhouse over there , there was another set of instructors waiting for the crew. They all were dressed up in large oversized sweaters made of rough fabric. They instructed the crew about the rules and regulations of the trek. They also told them that they won’t be responsible for any harm to anyone. After that meet up , all were allotted their respective rooms in the motel.
Everyone was so tired that as soon as they hit the bed , they all fell asleep. The next day was for their acclimatization.
The other day , everyone roamed around in the town , adjusted their body temperature in the spine chilling cold over there and came back to their rooms after having dinner. The main trekking was about to start the next day. So everyone was instructed to sleep early and wake up as soon as possible in the morning . This whole day , Kiara talked to no one. Although the three of them were wandering about together, she was giving the couple as much space as possible. Rather she was making out space for herself. She needed solace to smoke the stress out of her. Moreover , the smoke and the heat was helping her getting warmer. She was being so careless that almost everyone in the camp knew that she had been smoking since the very first day though it was strictly prohibited.
Before everyone went to sleep that night , a bonfire meeting was held in the yard in front of the clubhouse. Those who could sing well or were kind of a storyteller were welcomed in the center of the circle and urged to show their talents. After many ‘so called singers’ , a guy came in the middle of the circle and the guide asked him as to what he was good at. He told everyone that he liked singing songs while playing a guitar. As soon as he finished his statement , Kiara got a little nostalgic and stood still. A guitar was arranged for the guy , but Olive interrupted .
“I suggest you to sing , while my friend Kiara will play the guitar. If you don’t mind ..”
The guy looked smilingly at Kiara and agreed . But hearing that , Kiara gave a stern look to Olive , apologized and headed back to the room. On the 5 minutes’ walk back to her room , she got many flashbacks of her past - her father , Harman , and the guitar ! The flow that attacked her mind was so strong that she stopped in the middle of the path and started crying. No one was around her . That made her realize the situation of her life right now. Olive had someone to live and to die for - Neil. But what about herself ? She never got what the world calls Love ! She could no longer suffocate herself , she remembered the promise that she had given to Olive but it was too hard to resist right now. She got out of the way on the side of the road , the side that led to the woods. She sat down there under a tree and covered her head with the sweater’s hood. She spread the powder on her jeans , took out a 100 rupee note , rolled it up and inhaled it in ! Lines after lines , she got high and stood up to walk her way. Least did she know the roads of the new town !
She got lost in the smoke of her past and no longer knew where she was heading up to. She had inhaled a very high amount of weed that made her very dizzy. All she could see ahead was a small dome shaped open structure which the travellers used to take rest in between their climb ups if they got exhausted. She was in the middle of the dense woods and she fell unconscious on the cold floor of that structure !
A man , shouting at her very rudely … the guitar strings pulling out the delicate skin on her fingers…her hands bleeding red … her body bouncing up and down above Harman’s … the little knife pierced in her thighs ….
She was sweating profusely in such a chilled night . She opened up her eyes to a blurry vision , a sturdy arm patting her shoulder , her head in someone’s lap , the floor was still cold as fuck ! And that somebody spoke up .
“Don’t worry , dear . No one is going to hurt you here. You are safe and I am here to get you back to the camp safely. Keep calm.”
The pats on her shoulders were comforting her so well that she didn’t feel like getting up. She laid still. The stranger carried her all the way to the motel in his arms.
The next morning , she woke up to see that she was lying down beside Olive and Neil was still asleep on the couch in their room. She was taken aback by the fact that she was in her room. How was that possible ? She didn’t remember reaching anywhere near to the motel. How did she got there ? Was it all a nightmare ? She checked her pocket to find that the cigars and the heroin packet were missing. It meant that she was not dreaming at all. She tried to remember about the happenings of the last night. But all she could remember was a sturdy arm with a tattoo on it . A tattoo that resembled to the weapon of Lord Shiva , better known as a trident . Trishul !
“Kia , please go to the bathroom and switch on the geyser . We have to get ready in an hour. Hurry up !” Neil said in a sleepy voice and stood forward to wake up Olive. He planted a kiss on Olive’s forehead and tried to wake her up in a lovely way. Kiara smiled at him and went to the washroom.
The trek started with the morning breakfast and a strict warning to all the people standing there.
“Besides several warnings , many people are still doing what they are told not to do. This is to inform that this is the last warning. One more rule bleached and you will be sent back to your home.”
The boy who met Kiara on the railway station gave her a mocking look and nodded his head in such a way as if to tell her - “ I had already warned you before !”
The path that lead to the frozen river was full of icy highways and ice clad mountains. Somewhere they had to walk simply , but somewhere there was no other option than to climb up an ice clad way and reach the higher side. That was the deadliest job ever. One slip and your body can either get fractured or the gates to heaven will open up for you ! The trek specialist were there to help everyone out , but they were there to save their lives , not to spoon feed them. Many of them slipped and fell down near the starting point of the cliff and got injured. One of the instructor shouted through the half way .
“ This is not a game , mind you ! Your life is at risk. That is why we were instructing you not to indulge in any kind of illegal activities like drug intake or smoking or drinking. Those who were doing whatever they wanted to do in the last two days are about to spend the most dreadful hours of their lives climbing this cliff.”
After a bunch of difficult and breath-taking hours , everyone reached the banks of the Zanskar river that was a little less frozen than the blood of the climbers over there ! Kiara too reached there with Olive and Neil stumbling all over. She too had got her elbows and her knees injured. But their painful moans disappeared when they saw the Frozen Zanskar and the little tents set up around the river….!
After spending a good one and a half day in almost -25 degrees centigrade , the crew returned back to the town where they were staying. Everyone wanted to capture that heavenly scene forever in their minds , the serene beauty of India ! But someone was busy thinking about her last nightmare- the deadly cold was not able to distract her from her thoughts. She wanted to know whether the man with the trident tattoo really did exist or was it a mere illusion ? Because such snowy mountains always reminded her of Lord Shiva staying there with his better half Parvati . Was her mind creating a world of illusions for her in the kaif of weed , just because she was in the company of such a lovely couple ?
Days went by and the mystery behind the man with the Trident tattoo came to no satisfying closure ! It was the day when they landed back on Delhi’s Railway Station and were biding goodbye to their new friends around. The trip made Kiara so busy finding the stranger that she almost forgot taking her dozes. She wanted to be in full state of consciousness in order to solve the mystery and she knew weed would be a hurdle to that. In short , the trip came with a positive vibe for Kiara .
“ In order to achieve something , you have to lose something.”
They took their luggage and were in a row to get a cab to their home , when a cab passed in front of them. There he was - the arm with the trident tattoo on it , adjusting the sleeves of his sweater and stretching in the backseat of the car to fit himself in !! Kiara’s eyes were on the cab till it went out of her vision and got lost in the traffic of Delhi city. A shout came out of her .
“ Hey , stop the cab ….” .
But she got a little late to shout out and missed the chance of seeing the unknown , caring , helpful stranger ….
Will Kiara be able to find out who the stranger was ?
If yes , then how and where ?
She didn’t even knew his name !
Will she give up on finding him and get back to smoking again ?
Keep waiting for the next and the final chapter of the short story to find out the key to Kiara’s life !
CHAPTER 5 - Mystery Revealed
The soft touch of those arms , the warm hold that brought her back to the motel , the trident tattoo on his right arm , the view of his hand in the cab that just passed by her , she wants to shout out but she doesn't even know his name , the taxi's horn is so loud that it is hurting her ears now !!!
Her hand tapped off the alarm clock on the table by the side of her bed. She woke up again nauseated by her dreams . She didnt had a smile on her face but there was an intense curiosity of finding out who the hell that guy was ! She shook off her spying head and got ready for work. After all , she was almost out of her pot addiction now and the mystery of the guy was craving to get solved by her .
Olive had many good friends in the city and again she was back there at Kiara's rescue . She got her the same old job but in a brand new cafe .
" Fate & Destiny ! "
Now , as Harman was out of the band obviously, Kiara was the only guitarist left out. Her fling with Harman was atleast beneficial in the way that Kiara was now able to play all kinds of tunes on her weapon now ! The trip to Leh-Ladakh had enchanted her so deeply that she now realized that no one is more important in her life than her dreams and her true friends. She was thankful to Neil and Olive for taking her on the trip. But she was more thankful to the secretive guy who had developed in her the sense of inquisitiveness to such an extreme level that she now wanted to be alert all the time , just to disclose the mystery of her tattooed hero ! And that was only possible by her not being high all the time . So , she had pledged not to smoke pot until and unless she reveals the identity of that person.
So , the cafe where she was working now was owned by a gay couple, Nishchay and Prithvi. Both of them were friends since their college life and came to know about each other during their stay at a place as paying guests. It's been 3 years now that they are in a healthy relationship. People's torture and comments never bothered them now. It was a pleasant experience for Kiara, working with them.
One Friday morning, when they were busy doing their chores in the cafe, Kiara took a break from the stage and straightened her back in the couch provided in a small cabin , where they all used to rest when the customers didn't create a rush. She closed her eyes for a while , thinking about what she would be playing in today's concert. The weekend was about to start and so was their concert in a few hours. She was creating a piece in her mind when she got lost again in the thoughts of her secret hero. These visuals- sturdy arms , warm hold , the divine tattoo , the soft manly voice , - were preventing her from sleeping peacefully every night since they were back from the trip. She was dying to meet him again , know him better and make him an inseparable part of her life . But where would she find him ? She had been searching for his name and contact number in the passenger list that was sent as an attachment on the e-ticket of the train. But , she knew she couldn't call each and every person and find him out amongst those strangers.
For a moment , she lost faith in herself and gave up on the idea of pulling the guy out of the curtains. It seemed to be a waste of time to her. She heard the door unlocking and the sound of someone speaking.
"As long as I am there with you , you never need to think about the people's taunts. It's our life and no one should be telling us what is wrong and what is not. Nothing else matters to me except our happiness. So, stop being such a cry baby and be a man !"
Prithvi was comforting Nishchay by his words. They entered the room , Prithvi's arms on Nishchay's shoulders.
"I don't like being a man. But I like you !" Nishchay started smiling . Prithvi kissed his forehead and their eyes met Kiara's .
"Oh Kia , sorry to disturb you ! We can leave the room if you want to rest for a while." Prithvi said politely.
"Oh no no , you take up your space. I was leaving anyway." Kiara said with a smile.
"What's the matter , Kia ? Since many days , I have been watching you. You seem a little lost. If you don't mind , you can share it with us. " Nishchay asked.
Nishchay and Prithvi were some of those golden hearted people with whom Kiara could share any of her problems. They were sweet and kind , they knew Kiara respected their privacy and was proud of who they are. They got quite close to each other in these months. But Kiara didn't want to open up her life to them right now. Nishchay insisted her.
"Kia , you know what ? Right now , you are not feeling free to share your problems with us. No issues. But I have a gut feeling that one day , you will find a guy with whom you will open up your soul so freely that your life would seem incomplete without him. You will know the meaning of trusting someone to the extreme point."
Kiara cleared the fact that it is not the trust that she is not feeling comfortable to share what's going on in her mind with them.
"Sorry , I didn't mean to hurt your sentiments. But I have gone through a lot in the last few months. Love seems a word that doesn't exist for me. But whenever I see you both or Neil and Olive together , happy as hell , I kind of get disappointed. Is this kind of love not made for me ? Why am I being deprived of this pure feeling ?" Kiara broke down into tears saying this. She loosened herself in Prithvi's lap and cried out. Nishchay saw the scars on her arms and legs. His hands went there to touch them. His touch felt a kind of sadness in her wounds and a tear fell down his eyes.
" It's not that I don't want someone to get so close to me that I could get my soul naked in front of him. I want that very badly. But whenever I think , I have found that guy , my choices disappoint me. You both have each other , Neil and Olive found each other and here I am , left all alone with a scarred body and shrunk soul. All I want is a guy , who would crawl inside my body , find out where I am most ruined and love me there !"
Prithvi and Nishchay consoled her in their warm embraces and tapping her head gently. They urged her to stop crying and to focus on her next performance in the concert. She invited them to the concert in the evening . They agreed to come and bring some of their friends along. She kissed them both on their cheeks and went off to the flat , to get ready for the evening's show.
The band was giving a rocking performance on the stage. Kiara and Olive had prepared a song together that was about friendship. Kiara's voice was so enchanting that the crowd was shouting out her name madly. The people were swaying and the small troops of friends were holding hands and getting emotional as well as happy. The song had such a deep meaning that it made the audience hoot at the end of every single line. Neil was getting overwhelmed on the back stage. Olive went and brought him on the stage. The three of them continued the song with a new aura on the stage. They knew how important they were to each other now.
Suddenly , Kiara's eyes started searching for Nishchay and Prithvi. She wanted them to come on the stage too. A loud whistle was heard in the crowd and the three of them turned their heads there. There , they were ! Dancing and shouting on the tunes with their friend circle. Kiara gleamed with joy on seeing them. But her smile disappeared when she saw something there.
A hand , bouncing up and down , a voice screaming enthusiastically , the sweaty arms adjusting the full sleeves of the t-shirt and ...FUCK ! The same tattoo ! The light flow was not constant . It flickered all the way on the ground. Kiara stopped for a while in her flow and started trying to catch a look of that face. But the lights were not helping her. The guy was dancing near Nishchay's group. She could not control her anxiety now. She stepped down the stage and headed towards the group. But as soon as she reached there , she could not see the hand again. It was lost ! Kiara tried her best to find him out , but in vain ! Prithvi pulled her in the group and forced her to dance. She agreed , but all she could think about was the tattooed arm that she just lost moments ago....
The next day , after finishing her work in the cafe , she approached the couple and asked them.
"So , I guess you liked the show yesterday."
They both started in a flow , appreciating her guitar skills and the song that was sung last night. After a long chit chat , Kiara grasped a moment and asked them.
"I couldn't meet your friends last night. Sorry for that. But I would like to meet them. So , what say ?"
"Kiara , they were so impressed by you and your band that they themselves are dying to meet you all. Infact , they all are coming to the cafe today. I have called up Olive and the others to be here at 5. I hope you don't mind." Prithvi said with an innocent face.
Why would Kiara mind ? After all , her mystery box was going to be unlocked today. She was thankful to both of them. She went to the stage and got ready for her work. After a few hours , Nishchay opened up the door for Olive and company. Kiara was excited about this get together. Olive was happy to see her smile.
Half an hour later , the group arrived at the cafe. They all seemed so happy and cheerful. They asked the band for a selfie and autographs. Kiara's eyes were on a guy who was looking kind of strong and handsome. She wanted to go ahead and talk to him , but she was not getting a chance. She thought of something weird. She saw a waitress coming from behind the guy . She went ahead and pushed her gently in such a way that the tray full of glasses of water spilled on the guy's shirt , making it all wet.
"Oh I am so sorry about that . Let me take you to the washroom. We have some clothes out there in the closet. You can get yourself changed."
The guy agreed and went along with her. Prithvi looked at Kiara with a mischievous smile , but Kiara pretended to be sorry and helpless.
She offered him a shirt and asked him to change there and then. The guy turned around and took his shirt off without facing Kiara. Kiara made efforts to take a gape at his arms but she was not able to look at him properly. She said out to him.
"Excuse me....." . He turned to her and she saw his arms. Crap ! Not a single mark of ink on his upper body anywhere . She walked out of the room without saying anything and the guy kept looking at her in confusion.
As soon as she got back to the group , Olive was about to leave. So, Kiara too asked for leave to the owners and walked away.
On the way to home in a metro, Kiara was lost in her thoughts , as Olive and Neil were busy romancing on their seats. She hold her head in her hands , closed her eyes in frustration and thought to herself.
"How will I ever find him out ? He is not even in Nishchay's friend circle. It is all taking on to my nerves now."
The announcement for the next stop was made. The passengers who had to climb down stood up from their seats and approached the gates. The crowd rushed out of the metro. Kiara got up hearing the sound of the door getting closed. Suddenly , her eyes got stunned on seeing something again.
A guy with the same tattoo walked by her window from outside the train. She got anxious , but her shouting would seem weird. The train caught speed and she knew she had lost him again ! This time , Olive caught her reaction and asked her.
"What's the matter ? Why are you behaving so strange since some days ? Is something troubling you , Kiara ?"
"Do you remember a guy with a trident tattoo on his arms from our trip ?!"
They reached home and Olive switched on her laptop. She opened up the photos that they had taken there . Kiara analyzed each and every photo sharply. But she was again disappointed as there was not a single trace of the tattooed guy among them. Olive kept looking at Kiara expecting for an answer.
" Was it a part of my dream then ? Did I actually get lost in the woods in the trip ? Or was it just an illusion ?" Kiara got frustrated.
"Got lost in the woods ? What are you talking about ? " Olive asked her in shock.
It was now getting difficult for Kiara to solve the puzzle. Was her mind cheating her ? Or was it all real ? She might have seen that tattoo in the shop from where she got her back inked . It was possible that the tattoo got fixed in her mind and now , that she was imprisoned by her weed addiction , it was pushing it back to remind her of something.
Kiara was now fed up of spying around here and there. The mystery was taking her nowhere. So she left all the hopes of meeting the guy. She thought that she was not destined to meet the guy of her dreams. Months passed by and she left her search incomplete. Now , she kept herself busy at the cafe and used to enjoy around with her Fantastic Four ! The romance of the couples never bothered her now. She had made a mindset that she did not need to wait for that imaginary guy now. It was a mere fantasy of her mind. May be , the universe wanted her to get rid of her addiction telling her that Lord Shiva never smoke weed for his pleasure. It was always for the immense concentration that he needed for his meditation. May be , it was high time to leave all that and focus on her own career that was being pushed aside by her love for weed. She now hated the name of the Cafe , as her fate and destiny seemed to mean nothing to her now.
Winter was showing its rage and the amount of customers in the cafe was increasing day by day. The cafe had a warm and cozy atmosphere - a chimney setup for the long bonfire talks , the comfortable soft sofa sets , Kiara's soothing sound - they all made the cafe sound a more pleasant place.
One evening , when Kiara was singing the crowd's most demanded song , a group of friends entered the cafe and walked to the bar - counter to warm up themselves by shots of Brandy. They occupied the seats far away from the stage and started enjoying the song as well as their drinks. One of them ordered for a second shot of his drink when his eyes fell on the poster behind the bartender. It said.
"Crawl inside my body ,
Find me where I am most ruined ,
Love me there ! "
These lines had a sense of sadness and pain in their words. He called the bartender and asked him where the owner was. The bartender pointed his finger to the gay couple , all dressed up in woollens , by the edge of the stage , dancing hand in hand. The guy walked up to them and called them aside. They greeted each other.
"Hi , it feels lovely being here in such a beautiful environment. I must say you own one of the best cafeterias in the city. I was just strolling by when I saw that poster-frame hanging besides the drinks counter. I am sorry but I would like to take it home." The guy said humbly.
Prithvi was so happy to hear that . He got ready to sell it to him. But Nishchay was not an easy piece of cake to handle.
"Sorry , we cannot sell that frame. The words belong to our friend up there on the stage. She and her words mean a lot to us and we can not let this go."
The guy kept looking at Kiara . Long hairs kissing her waist , her flicks caressing her forehead , her delicate fingers running on the guitar chords, her voice as sweet as honey , her eyes full of pain and the grace with which she was sitting on the stool - all these features were enough to make someone fall in love with her. The guy was not only charmed by her body but he was also killed by the inner beauty that her voice and soul depicted. Prithvi and Nishchay were looking at the guy who was fully devoted to Kiara right now. They smiled at each other and pushed him on the stage. The music stopped as he stumbled on the platform by the stool. Kiara stood up from her place and offered him a helping hand. He got up and looked at the couple embarrassingly. But he was not a shy guy. Without even knowing her name , he went up to her , bent down on his knees and said.
" Oh pretty girl , it is an honour to listen to your sweet voice in such a bitter weather outside. I wanted to buy your words few moments ago , but I got a disappointing reply from your friends..."
Kiara looked at Prithvi and Nishchay in confusion. The couple gave her a bleaming smile. The guy continued.
"Your friends told me that I could not buy your words beside the bar. But can I get the honour of buying the owner of those very words ?"
The people in the cafe started gasping out their loud breaths. The couple was eagerly waiting for Kiara's reponse.
"I promise to keep you happy in all the phases of your life. And I will try to make those words true if you allow me to do so. Please accept my proposal ! "
He said , pointing towards the frame. Kiara looked into his eyes and she could see the honesty in his words glittering in them. She said .
"Okay , lets give it a try then. "
They smiled at each other and he stood up kissing her hands. He made a face and she asked him what was that about.
"My knees ....they are hurting !"
He said with a giggle. She smiled and started blushing. The couple let out an "Awww" and hugged Kiara on the stage.
They called up Olive and Neil after the cafe got closed. They wanted to celebrate the joy of Kiara getting the hero of her dreams finally. The guy dropped them at their flat early in the morning and kissed her goodbye. Neil took her arms around Olive to stop her from shedding her tears of happiness.
Weeks went by and they started knowing each other better. Dates , Picnics , Trips and Get togethers brought them close to each other in a short period of time. Kiara was happy with the fact that they were not hurrying themselves up in the relationship and giving each other ample amount of time and space.
It was Olive's birthday and Neil decided to throw up a small party at their place. Olive was busy at her studio and all others were decorating the flat with full excitement. Neil brought up the balloons , flowers and CDs of her favourite mixes. Prithvi and Nishchay were ready with a small bar in the hall. Kiara was busy baking the cake in the kitchen when she felt a kiss on her neck. She shivered a little and then said in an excited whisper.
" Control your emotions , Rudra !" Her cheeks pink , blushing.
"Yeah baby , but this tattoo is attracting me like hell ! " He shifted her hairs on one side and started running his fingers on the tattoo on her back. Kiara felt the current getting out of control and she pulled herself away from his embrace. She turned around and gave him a smile. He punched his chest and acted as if piercing a dagger in there.
Olive arrived at home at about 9:45pm . The lights were totally off and she called out eveyone's names. But no one responded. After sometime , she saw a candle lighted on a cake on the table. She went near it and smiled looking at it.
"I love you , guys !...." Her lips were sealed . Neil went along and kissed her lips. Nishchay switched on the lights to the room and everyone started singing the birthday song for her. Olive was taken aback by the surprise. Kiara got emotional and pulled Rudra closer to her. He kissed her forehead and hugged her tightly. The party went on in its full swing and they played many games. At midnight , while playing Truth and Dare , it was Olive's chance to ask a question to Rudra.
"Have you ever smoked marijuana before ?"
Olive gave an inquisitive look to Kiara . Even Kiara hadn't asked something like this to Rudra before.
"Yeah , twice or thrice , I guess.. But not anymore." He smiled at Kiara.
"Why not anymore ? Is there any reason ?" Olive asked him.
He looked at Kiara as if he was under a spell. He winked at her and replied.
"Even weed could not do to me , what her eyes did ! I left all my ill habits the day I saw her."
"So , it's not a long time that you gave up your addictions , since you met her 3 months ago , right ?" Olive wanted to confirm.
"It's a game of Truth and Dare , so I will speak the truth and nothing but the truth. The last day I smoked weed was about an year ago... It was the day I met her."
Everyone present there was surprised. How could it be possible ? It has not even been three months in total . Then what was Rudra talking about ?
"Don't be so shocked. I will tell you about our first meet. I had met the three of you about an year ago. But I have no idea as to why you all didn't recognize me till now. I clearly remember that day. I saw someone smoking pot by the side of the road in Leh. As I was the in-charge guide of security of the people on the trek , I was about to stop that person from bleaching the rule , but a series of trucks passed in front of me. As the road got clear , I lost track of that person. I didn't know why but I had an instinct that he/she had gone down in the woods. I went back searching in the forest and there , I found her lying under a dome. I was so enchanted by her that I resisted myself from shouting on her. I could not even think about punishing her on any level. Her face was so innocent and she was in a need of help . So , I sat beside her and took care of her. She seemed so scared and frustrated. So, when I felt that she was not in a condition to walk back to motel, I lifted her up and reached your room. You two were deep asleep , so I thought not to wake you up. The days that went by then , I was getting addicted to her more and more . I started feeling like I was getting obsessed with her . So , I had no other option to stay away from her as I didn't wanted my obsession to grow. Moreover , the next day , I had to guide you all up to the river through the icy mountains. The last time , I touched her was when she got stuck on her way up and her arms got wounded. I could not see her in pain. But I could not even get close to her there. And then , when we all got back to Delhi , I thought it was better not to face anyone of you, so I went away without bidding you goodbye."
Olive and Neil were surp on listening that. Kiara was struck in shock.
" And then , when I got back to my normal life with my friends , I saw her again at the concert. I wanted to meet her on that night , but didn't had the guts to face her. And then finally , I met her at the cafe and got a chance to talk to her as she didn't identify me then. And so , it all began that night ...Thanks to you guys !"
He went ahead and hugged Prithvi and Nishchay. Olive was still not out of the shock.
"How didn't we recognize you ? You were our trekking guide. How is it possible ?" Neil asked curiously.
"May be because of our clothes . We were all covered in woollens and I had a beard back then. My pals say that I look much more younger in this look now." Rudra laughed out loud.
All of a sudden , Kiara rushed forward to him and pulled up his sleeves. There it was ...The Trident Tattoo ! Kiara could not believe her eyes. She was so shocked on seeing the imprinted roar that she hugged him tightly . He reciprocated her action and everyone around was awed by all these series of events getting connected again. No one knew when the party got over , they all fell asleep in awkward places. But the only couple awake was - Kiara and Rudra.
They kept dancing in each other's embrace till the night went down and the sun rose up again.
Kiara looked up in his eyes and said.
"I was waiting for you since forever ... I had even lost hope of finding you out. The last few months were like a lifetime. And now , you are here , all mine !"
He smiled back at her and leaned down to kiss her forehead. Her lips found his and they got lost in their own world of intoxication..!
----------------- The End -----------------
- Anjali Gawarkar (Author)
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