THE DARK MOON
"THE DARK MOON" is a story narrated by Aariyana.
Here, the girl has a strong crush on her classmate named shayan. She gives in all her efforts to make him fall for her.
But, Life is not that easy. We don't always get the things that we crave for. Let's see where would her life take her!
Do read the story and share it!
CHAPTER 1 - THE ENVELOPE
Monday afternoon 2.00 pm
Mumma received a call from an unknown number, I didn’t have a personal phone. I used Mumma’s cell phone sometimes. I was in 10th standard and my personal phone was scheduled the next year. Mumma informed me that someone called her and was asking for me. She didn’t know who was on the other side, so she asked me to call back on that number on getting free.
I was not that sure but it seemed as it would have been I had a crush since I was a small dreamy girl studying in 4th grade. So, I thought not to call him back in Mumma’s presence. As Mumma used to go at grandpa’s place every noon after 3.00pm, today also she was supposed to go there.
She was leaving when I requested her to leave her phone with me .She agreed with that.
I could clearly hear my heartbeats. Many questions were popping up in my mind. Why did he called me? Did anything go wrong? We would have talked in school the next day. Why did he called on Mumma’s phone, that too at 2.00pm- the time to doze? He could have waited till the next day. Was it something urgent?
As he was the only one with whom I had imagined myself in every fantasy, deep inside I was glad that he called. Shuddering my questions away, I called him. His phone might be ringing. I was curious to hear him for the first time on call, but no one answered, I left the phone aside and was about to take a nap, when the screen flashed showing the same number again.
He- Hello Shayan here!
Omg! What a sexy voice ...my lips soon took a nasty curve .I was lost in a dreamy world ... I didn’t know that just his voice could give me Goosebumps!
He- Hello Aariyana, are you there?
Me – Ha Shayan, you called me at 2.00pm, Any work?
He- Yeah! I wanted to discuss something important with you.
I leaped with joy ... excitement seemed uncontrolled.
Me- Yeah, you have my ears (blushing)
He-But it’s fine we will talk about it later ...
Me-Ok! (with disappointment)
I wanted to force him to tell me the reason why he called. The thing sounded very interesting. I could not control my curiosity, but if I would have done that, he would have thought of me as a child. It was our first talk so I didn’t want to mess it up. I tried to show some attitude as if it was OK if he talks to me about it later on. But only I knew about the whirlpool of thoughts spinning all over my mind.
The rest of the day, I was thinking just about him. It was like a dream come true ... “HE called me”. that was such a wow moment for me. Can’t stop blushing …
* * * * *
He had the attitude on peak. He never used to speak much, his body odour always attracted me whenever he passed by my side. Not only me, but every girl in my class had a crush on him.
He walked as if he never cared what is happening around him, looking straight with that “khadus” face he had. In class, he didn’t have many friends. He was secretive guy. Any girl would fall for him to know him, but he always ignored everyone.
He stared at me sometimes in lecture- That’s what my friends used to tell me. But I never noticed that because in classroom, I was very talkative type of girl who was always busy with her friends, her work and her studies. But as soon as it was our break time, I used to follow him, notice him. I was damn sure he was familiar with all my flirty things. I never used to miss the chance to talk to him.
I found silly reasons to talk to him like, “Shayan, what is our tuition time today?” But he, slowly, without any expression or eye contact would answer my questions, as if he had no interestt in answering them.
It was Saturday so there were no tuition classes , but I was informed that we had tuitions at 8.00pm , so I had my dinner quickly and moved for tuitions which were conducted near Shayan’s place . When I was passing by Shayan’s house, I saw him, as I regularly used to peep in through the window in his room. I saw Sofiya there in his room- both were studying together. It was heart-breaking thing for me. Sofiya was the only girl with whom Shayan was too close, playful, talkative and full of joy.
Sofiya was the class topper, active in sports too. She danced well too. She use to score 90% and above, so she used to go at Shayan’s place to teach him as he was not that scholar in studies. Sofiya was way too beautiful, fair, had long, straight hairs - hardly any boy would reject her.
Sofiya and Shayan came to school on a vehicle. Sofiya used to drive her activa and Shayan used to sit behind her. I noticed this everyday as my place was just opposite to the school campus. They shared a great bond, but no one was clear whether Sofiya was Shayan’s girlfriend or not.
When I reached tuition, I found no one was there. It was dark. I heard someone’s footsteps behind me! Fear was all over my mind. I had no guts to look behind and identify who was there, but the body odour- I had smelt this one before! The person was too close. I felt his presence but for a second, I thought, “How could he come here? I saw him studying at his place.” But soon, he whispered.
“Aariyana why are you here? There are no tuition classes today.”
I shouted, “Shayan! You scared me, stupid! I would have died of fear!”
He smiled. Looking at his smile, my fear ran away and I started blushing. For a while, I thought of hugging him and I was up to do the same, but controlling myself, I stepped back. He was still standing there, staring at me as if he was waiting for me to hug him.
“Shayan, how could you be here? You were at your place, busy, studying with Sofiya. I saw you just a few moments ago,” I spoke with an unpleasant voice. He, without answering my question, told me to go home as he was also leaving, so I left back for my home.
On the way to home, I thought of asking him about his and Sofiya’s relationship but how to ask that when he never replied to any of my questions?…
* * * * * *
I loved to go to tuition as Sofiya didn’t came there. She was the topper so she didn’t need that. There, I used to get some time with Shayan without any kind of hurdles as in school, Sofiya was always around him.
Next day, it was Sunday. I called Shayan.
He-Yes Aariyana, how are you?
Me-I am fine.
He-Good, dear. Say, any work?
I was lost again. I didn’t knew what to speak next.He talked so sweetly that if I asked him for coffee, he would never say no to that proposal, but I was not able to be that straight to ask him out.
He-Speak up Aari, I am listening, be quick dear.
Me-Shayan, I was thinking… if possible, can we meet for a cup of coffee today?
He-Why not, dear? See you soon at “Café Soho” …6:00 pm?
Me-OK, see you! bye.
I was shocked for a while. How did he agreed so easily to be there?
Anyways, I was so glad to meet him. After the call, I kept blushing for the rest of the day.
My eyes were stuck on the hands of the clock. I was waiting eagerly to meet him so, I started searching my wardrobe to find a good dress to wear, as I took our first meeting to be our “first date”.
He was my crush, not only crush but I was falling for him day by day. But whenever I saw him with Sofiya, I felt so disappointed.
The clock showed 5.30 pm. I was ready. Mumma asked me where I was going? I, without any eye contact with her, replied that I was going out with Zara. Zara was my best friend, she had a very good nature and supported me in every situation. I was not close to any of the girls in the class except her. And many times, I used to go out with her. Mumma never had a problem with that so she told, “Fine go... but don’t be late, my child” ...I replied, “Yes mom! Bye see you soon” ...I took Mumma’s cell phone with me.
Reaching the café which was 10 k.m away from my place, I called Shayan to know when he would reach there.
Me-Hello Shayan, where are you? I am here at Soho.
He disconnected the phone call telling me that he was there only.
I started searching for him. He was sitting in a corner, staring at me with a smiling face. When I looked at him, we both gazed at each other with soft smile on our faces. Then, I walked towards him. He checked me out from my hairs to my heels and smiled as soon as I reached near him. He stood up giving me a seat and spoke.
“Aari, you are looking gorgeous today”
Hearing that, I was on cloud 9. I was so happy to hear that. His eyes were not ready to look anywhere else -They were just on me! My heart was beating faster. His behaviour was totally different at that time. I was not able to believe that it was Shayan, in front of me, who was being so flirty and a lovely boy.
“Am I late, Shayan?” I asked. He smiled and said, “It’s OK, baby. Waiting for you was my pleasure.” I felt shy.
Holding my hand, he exclaimed, “Aariyana, are you being shy?”
“Naah Shayan…” I replied...
He was so comfortable with me and so was I. He started talking about the recent affairs in school. That was the first time I saw him this joyful and he spoke a lot, that too, with me. It was not Sofiya this time.
I felt like going close to him and feel his lips with mine. His lips were wet as he kept licking them again and again. My eyes were stuck on him. He asked me to have look at the menu and order something, I didn’t respond as I was busy staring his eyes.
“Aari, order something and then, you can again continue with your flirty acts!” We both laughed. I, without sparing time, ordered cold coffee for me and chocolate shake for him as many a times, I had seen him having chocolates. He gazed at me, being amazed as I knew his choice. I excused myself. As I stood up, he grabbed my hand and spoke.
“Aariyana, please don’t move. Be here with me.”
“Shayan, I will be back soon.” I quickly spotted the washroom, looked at myself in the mirror, combed my hairs, darkened my lipstick shade, adjusted my dress and soon returned back. He was there only, facing the washroom. It seemed like he didn’t wanted to move his eyes anywhere except me.
A nasty smile was there across his face. I sat down. He again took my hand in his and spoke.
“Already you were looking hot. Are you planning to set me on fire? You are looking damn sexy!”
He winked ...
We had our order on our table. I offered him coffee but he told that he doesn’t divvy up,“OK, its fine.” I said, getting a little low.“Ohhh! Aari, please don’t mind but, by nature, I am like that, I didn’t want to hurt you. Sorry!” He exclaimed.
“Shayan, its fine. No issues.”
We continued talking. In a jiffy, I finished my coffee and soon later, he was also done with his shake. It was time to leave, as Mumma would have been waiting for me. Still, my hand was in his hand. He was not ready to move or leave, even I didn’t want to leave, but we had no other option as Mumma would get worried if I got late. So, I made him stood up. He paid the bill and we left the café.
The clock showed 7.30 pm. It was dark outside and that darkness brought us closer. He had a bike so he told that he would drop me home till 8.30 pm. I was ok with that.
We still had one hour to hang out. The first time seemed so precious to me.
There were benches outside the café in the garden which was bushy, we both sat there.
We were getting closer, his hand rolled over my waist, my hands were around his neck. Coming close, he licked my lips and I too started kissing him. It was a heavenly feeling. Shayan was in my arms ...
“Where are, you lost, Aariyana? What are you thinking so deeply? I didn’t know that you dream with your eyes open.” He smiled …” No no, I was just thinking that we should leave now else we would get late.” Unwillingly, we both had to leave. We had a good ride together and he dropped me near my place.
“Goodbye Shayan! And thank you …”
* * * * * *
“Hey Mumma, I am back.”
“Yes, Aari. Go, get changed. Freshen up, beta. We will have our dinner. Today, your papa will be late so he has informed us not to wait for him.”
Aariyana’s daddy was a business man. He had to go out of town many times.
I got fresh. We had our dinner and I was tired, so wishing goodnight to everyone, I headed towards my bedroom. I wished to take Mumma’s cellphone with me as I wanted to chat with Shayan, but I didn’t have enough guts to ask for her phone, that too, at night, so I just left.
Next morning, I woke up early as it was Monday. I was eager to meet Shayan and look how he would react. I dressed up quickly and left for school. We had to go to school only for few days now as it was our reading vacation after two weeks because soon we had our SSC board exam’s next month.
But, he was normal and reacted as if that meeting mattered nothing to him. He was with Sofiya but looking them together, I felt that I was stupid to dream so much about him.
The days passed by and we started meeting regularly on weekends. When I met him, I was forced to forget his weird behaviour in school. He was totally different when he used to be with me, so I kept ignoring the school time. In tuition, also, he behaved well. We had some personal time after tuition. He always invited me to join him for studies at his place but Mumma never agreed to go for night studies, so I had to stay at home.
He sometimes came to my place at night after dinner with silly reasons and Mumma was OK with that, as he would first call Mumma, take her permission and then visited., Mummah was so impressed with Shayan that whenever he came, she would offer him chocolates and snacks. We used to study in my bedroom and when Mumma used to fall asleep, we would keep studies aside and have some personal time together. We sat holding each other’s hands. Both of us wished to kiss each other but something stopped us, still goodbye hug was a compulsory thing!!
On the last day of school, someone wrote on the green-board that the topper girl in the class will be Shayan’s girlfriend. I had no idea about who did that, but I doubted on Sofiya as she was the only topper. No one could ever doubt her, but I was not sure about it.
This made me more tense. I started working as hard as it was possible.
As Mumma was now familiar with Shayan, I once thought to ask her if I could go to Shayan’s place for studying and she agreed with that on my request. So, I got ready and planned to surprise Shayan as his parents were out of town for some days.
The clock showed 8.00 pm and Shayan’s place was near, so I soon reached there. His room was separate. Anyone could enter his room without facing any of his family members. The room had the separate door for entrance and the window was by the side of the door. I thought of directly entering the room by opening the door, but as it was my first time, I was a bit nervous, so I peeped in from the window.
* * * * * *
What the hell!
How can Shayan do such a cheap thing? I wished to step inside and slap him and that bloody Sofiya too.
They both were sleeping together with Sofiya’s hands rolled on Shayan’s back and her clothes hanging over the clip nearby. It clearly seemed that both were naked as their legs were crossed with no clothes on Shayan’s body too. They shared a thin blanket just to cover their bodies ...
What the hell! I felt as if I was ditched badly. Shayan was with Sofiya then, why even I thought that he could be mine? He once told me that he didn’t like sharing things and now, look here! They are sharing the bed with no hesitations.
I didn’t had guts to enter the room so , I just left .As I was on the way to home, totally broken ,with tears rolling down my cheeks . I felt someone was following me. I turned around. It was dark so I couldn’t recognize who he was. I started walking faster. He ran behind me and handed me an envelope. He was Aryamaan.
“Aryamaan! Who was he?
Why was he following Aariyana?
What was there in that envelope?
Shayan and Sofiya! Were they really in a relationship?
If they were, then why did Shayan spent time with Aariyana?
Was Shayan cheating on both, Aariyana and Sofiya?
And who would have written on that green-broad about the topper girl being Shayan’s girlfriend? Was it Sofiya herself?”
CHAPTER 2 - THE TUG BEGINS
It was the first day of my 11th science . Me , Shayan and Sofiya took admission in another school , as our school didn’t provided the science branch . Zara also wanted to be there with me ,but her name was in the waiting list for admission . I really wanted her to be with me .
We all selected group A , which included subject Maths , Physics , Chemistry and in language, we had English and Computer as extra subjects . There were six division for Maths students and three for Biology .
Sofiya and Shayan were in the same class and I was in other division . When I knew that , I was fucked up !!
“Again that bloody Sofiya with Shayan”, I thought.
Whenever I saw both of them together , unwantedly the flash back of that night would come infront of my eyes , the way they both were sleeping together – “Bloody fuckers !!” ,I murmured .
After that night, I had stopped being in contact with Shayan , even I had my own new cell phone now– Nokia 500 . He had found my contact from Zara and he used to text me daily . Sometimes, he even called me but I ignored . It was our vacation ,so our meeting up was not possible .
Once in my notification, I saw his message , poking me saying that night, he was coming at my place , as I didn’t responded to his calls or messages . I didn’t care as I was out of Gujarat .My papa was going Bombay for his business work and I was free, so he took me with him . My Aunty lived there so we were supposed to be at her place . I was too comfortable there with my siblings .
Shayan didn’t knew this ,so when he visited my place ,my mumma informed him that I was out of town .He immediately texted me saying , “What the hell are you up to Aariyana ? Can’t you get a simple thing that I am missing you badly ? and you just left without informing me!”
Having a look over his message , I felt like I was convinced .It seemed so painful , but again that night ruined everything . So I just ignored . He also stopped texting me after that last message. It was – “See you , when you will be back here. ”
So ,on the first day of our school, he made efforts to come and talk to me . We had eye-contact many times but I still was not able to forget that night , so I left without talking to him . I didn’t had many friends there as Shayan was always with Sofiya and all other were unknown to me . Being lonely , I was missing Zara . I wished if she could get admission here soon .
It was break time . We all went towards the canteen . Soon my eyes were stuck on a guy who came with a black Honda city that made everybody notice him . He parked his Honda city with a short drift and he stepped out.
Oh my goodness ! How can a guy be this perfect ? He was so handsome . Looking at him, I found Shayan no were inside or even near me . He was not in uniform , may be because it was our first day to our new school . He was in a black shirt that fitted him well . He had a hard muscular body , his sleeves half folded which looked damn attractive , brown woodland shoes !! In short, he was extra perfect . By his appearance, it seemed as if he belonged to a rich-royal family .
He passed by my side , then I moved to the canteen alone , Shayan and Sofiya coming behind me . Shayan was busy talking to Sofiya and that new guy was about to cross them , but as Shayan didn’t noticed him, they both whopped . Shayan ,with his negative attitude, walked without being sorry . It made that guy hyper - even in fault , Shayan showed his wrong attitudee. That guy grabbed Shayan by his collar and slapped him ! Everyone came running from the canteen and soon there was a crowd gathered there .Shayan slapped him back. They both started fighting as hell . I was worried for Shayan as that guy was hitting him badly .Shayan’s nose was bleeding . I was not able to control myself and I ran towards Shayan .But, in no time, Sofiya was there , so I back stepped as now Shayan didn’t need me . I left from there and sat on my bench in our class .
Soon the break was over and everyone was coming back to the class . I sat alone as I had no company . Everyone already had their partners to sit with . This made me so gloomy . I was not at all comfortable . I saw Shayan and Sofiya entering in their class , so I sensed that everything was fine . Lecture was going to start and that new guy entered the class. Every girl stared him ,even the boys seemed jealous of him . I was sure that he would come and seat beside me as there was no other seat left . Girls were on fire ….
But because of his fight with Shayan I was in no mood to flirt with him or even talk to him . It was Maths lecture. Anoop sir entered the class . He asked him to introduce himself as we had already completed our introduction before.
He stood up and spoke “Myself, Danny Robinson.” and took his seat again . Sir didn’t like his behavior as he just spoke his name . He didn’t mentioned from where he was ? From where he completed his 10th ? But sir ignored him and continued with his teaching .
When he spoke his name , I heard him for the first time , his utterance was spellbinding . He was empty handed, neither had a note book nor a pen to make notes . He asked me if I could help him . I had an extra pen and a note so I handed him those without a word . He was thankful , but I didn’t reacted back .
Lecture time was over but sir had to finish a sum ,so he took 5 minutes extra . I and Danny had our seat on 1st bench which was on the window side . At the window, I saw Shayan , he was staring at me. I had an eye-contact and it was clear from his facial expression that he was on fire as I sat there with Danny .
But I was happy that he felt the pain which I daily feel when I see him with Sofiya .The lecture got over and we were out for a short break . Shayan came, grabbed my hand and took me upstairs .
I tried to free my hand but i was not able to as he had grabbed it with all his strength . He asked me about my weird behaviour . I kept mum ,so he was frustrated by my silence . He pulled me toward him too close that our lips would have met ,but I pushed him and with all my anger, I spoke up:
“Shayan ,just stop pretending infront of me. Don’t act like an innocent boy . You know yourself better .”
He ,with loud voice spoke:
“Aariyana ,what the hell you are talking about ?Be clear , else I will lose my patience .”
“Shayan ,what the fuck do you think I am (with high pitch) – A slut ?!”
“Shut-up ! Aariyana ..”
“What do you think ? Am I a moron ? You will keep cheating me and I would believe you ? I am not that blind or an idiot ! I saw you and Sofiya sleeping together the night when I planned to come at your place and surprise you . But you better know how to surprise someone . You surprised ME ! To be honest, I don’t even like to look at your bloody face , just get lost .”
For a while, Shayan was quite . He had nothing to explain , neither Aariyana would understand nor she would trust him .
“Atleast ,you would have cleared the matter, Aari .”
“Don’t call me Aari!” I spoke with anger … “What is left to be cleared ? Is anything cheaper than this left to be done ?”
“Just shut up, Aariyana. Don’t speak whatever comes to your stupid mind . There was nothing cheap . The matter is that you have a cheap mentality .”
“Oh !! Fine I agree with that , so you better go with that bloody bitch , what the hell are you doing here ? Just leave .”
“Aariyana, don’t dare to speak anything wrong about Sofiya . Atleast she understands me . She is my “best part” , so shut-up you hussy ! And what’s wrong if I slept with her ? You are not my partner , you are just my girlfriend . I don’t need to ask you everything . And mind it , I have never told that “I love you” so better you be in your limits and stop harassing Sofiya , you bullshit !”
“Fuck off ! you and your sofiya ..Shayan ,you might be knowing Danny Robinson . The guy with whom you fought today morning . Just wait and watch , he will be with me soon , you better go with Sofiya , good bye !! And one more thing , Danny is much more better option for me so fuck off dear .”I spoke with a fake smile .
I pushed him and left , he kept staring at me until I moved down and turned towards the class room .
* * * * *
I was late in class ,so I took permission from sir and entered .took my seat next to Danny . Looking at me, Danny smiled .I too ,in return, smiled forgetting the shit that happened with Shayan .
Sir continued teaching . I gazed a Danny as he looked at me with cross eyes and smiled .
“What’s your name ,my bench partner ?” he murmured.
“Is it necessary to answer now ?You can ask me after school time .” I winked.
He chuckled , “Fine then, see you at the parking.”
Soon, lectures got over . We had only one last lecture left . Each lecture was of one hour . During the last lecture, we both tattled and continued ogling .
“Oh ! partner listen .. don’t you think this one hour is being too long ?”he spoke with fatigued face .
Lecture got over and,as per the plan I was waiting at the parking for Danny .He was soon there and his first sentence after arriving there was :
“You look beautiful partner!”
I laughed and told him that there was no need to impress me , I was already impressed .
Shayan and Sofiya passed by . Shayan noticed me with Danny, his face red . I didn’t give a fuck , I continued talking to Danny .
“I am Aariyana Arora .”
“Ohh ! you have got a good name .”
“Thank you”, I replied and added, “you too !”
He asked me to join him for coffee . I was nostalgic .
How I and Shayan had our first date at Café Soho , it was so perfect and now, things are so different. My jaw curve was down .
“Hey what happened ? Are you joining me?” Danny asked.
“No ,Danny .My mom would be waiting for me so I have to go , else she will be tensed .See you , tomorrow at same bench ..bye .. bye”
“Ok bye Ms.Arora !”
I was on the main gate of the school waiting for the taxi when suddenly a heavy hand was on my shoulder . I hastily turned ..
“Aryamaan leave me !” , I stepped back.
He asked me if I had opened that envelope he handed me .
I, without replying left as the taxi was there and I didn’t wanted to be much late .
As Shayan had a fight with me , his mood was off . Sofiya could read his face easily so she asked if any thing was troubling him . Shayan took her to the canteen where they sat and Shayan narrated the whole scene infront of her . Because there was not a single deed or talk which Shayan would not share with Sofiya .
“How can Aariyana blame me without knowing the complete matter ? Yes, we slept that night but that doesn’t mean we had sex !” shayan spoke .
Sofiya told shayan to be calm agreeing with his statement. She also added that , “The situation was such that I had to be with you . You had severe fever and your family was out of town . So I can’t just leave you alone in such pain and how can I even think of doing that ? You are my best part .Aariyana shouldn’t have reacted like this without knowing the matter .”
Sofiya cuddled Shayan, as she saw Shayan’s eyes getting wet.
Shayan also told her about Aariyana’s defy to win Danny .
“Aariyana doesn’t know that she is on the wrong path . Her misunderstanding is making her do the worst things ,” Shayan exclaimed with a worried voice .
“Shayan ,you stupid ! Just stop caring for her . Still you are worried for her, that bloody bitch ! And let me see how she wins Danny ? Now my eyes will be on Danny and I promise you now, I am going to win him at any cost and show that bloody Aariyana how it feels when suddenly someone walks away . For few days ,let her have fun and then I will ruin everything .”
* * * * *
Days passed and I and Danny came close . It made all the girls jealous of me . I had no contact with Shayan too . I and Danny used to meet for coffee . He made me introduce to his parents. His mumma had a good nature . We used to go for lunch, bunking our class . He used to drop me home after school .
The next day morning, it was Saturday and we had Maths lecture .I and Danny were in the parking as we had 10 minutes left in starting our lecture .. soon after that as we both were entering the class ,I felt as if everyone was staring at us . I felt too weird. I told this to Danny but he ignored saying that - “it’s because I look sexy …”
We entered the class ,took our seats as Sir was late.. Suddenly I saw the green board , it showed . . .
“Friday after school, Danny and Aariyana were caught in the washroom ,kissing each other !”
Danny stood up and cleaned the board .Everyone laughed. Soon later, sir came . . .
I remembered the same scene of my 10th grade . I didn’t remembered the handwriting that clear but I sensed it too similar. The writing pattern was also same .. my mind was really out of state .
* * * * *
“Again green board came in picture . Who was that who used green board so wrongly ?
Danny and Aariyana , were they really caught ? or was it merely a rumour ?
Will Sofiya get success in winning Danny from Aariyana ?
sAnd that envelope… what did it had ?”
CHAPTER 3 - THE TATTO
Navratri was going on .
Next Saturday, a Garba night was scheduled in our school from 8:00pm-11:30pm . Everyone was excited for the night as Navratri is the most awaited festival . The campus was being decorated by us . I was given the responsibility to look after the decoration . Danny was helping me with that .
Everyone was enthusiastic to celebrate it , dance and dress up like never before . Invitations were sent to the Sscience branch students of other schools too . In every girl’s group, same kind of discussions were going on , about the dresses that they would wear that night .
We used to reach our home late as we had to stay there for Garba practice. A girl named Khushi in my class was excellent in folk dance, so she was teaching all of us some new steps .
After that , I and Danny used to go for coffee and then he used to drop me home , with a good bye hug .
* * * * *
Days passed , decoration was finally done . I was appreciated by principal sir for my sincerity and work .
Pretty and Pinky Navratri band was supposed to perform on that night . It was a famous band , so all of us were even more excited for that night .
The next day was Saturday . I and Danny were discussing about our dressing . I was sure Danny would dress himself in the best way he could . Traditionals would suit him more as he was tall ,well-built and had big boulder shoulders.
I thought that I would not sleep that night because of the elation . But in the end, being exhausted, I slept like a log , without wishing Danny a goodnight .
A nightmare woke me up . It was dark all around- it was mid night . I was petrified with fear . I wanted to shout and call Mumma , but it seemed impossible . I was feeling choked up . With all my guts, I stood up and ran towards Mumma’s bedroom . She was sleeping peacefully. I thought not to wake her up , so silently I slid in beside her , waiting for the sun to rise . I was asleep again . Mumma woke me up and asked me why I was sleeping there .
I told her about the nightmare ..
“Mumma, I saw a giant man , his body covered in a black cloth , his forehead wounded and bleeding . He had an axe with him and was coming towards me giggling…. and all of a sudden, I woke up ! ”
Mumma pacified me , “ It was just a nightmare, beta . Relax .” She asked me about the Garba night that we had today . She also asked me if she could join me there , but I refused .
* * * * *
The clock showed 6:00pm .Mumma told me to keep my phone aside and start getting ready as I had to reach the school by 7:00pm . I called Danny .
Me - Hey !
Danny - Yeah baby !
Me – When would you reach the school ?
Danny – @ 8 .
Me – Oh ! Danny ,I have to reach there till 7:30.
Danny – No issues, baby ! I would come and pick you up .
Me – Thank you ! “ Danny Be The Best ”
Danny – Stop it, Aariyana ! (He laughed ) , Get ready! I am eager to see you in traditional wear .
Me – Me too, Danny . See you at 7:15 . Don’t be late ,honey !
Danny – Ok ! Bye
Me – Bye ,take care !
I got ready . I wore a Laancha ,as it was my favourite costume in the traditional wear .
“Come out soon , I am waiting !”
Informing Mumma that I would be home till 12am , I left .
I saw Danny standing out of his car waiting for me .He was so curious that if I would have been little late ,then he would have rushed in my home .
He was in a black Rajput kurta and pyjama and was looking extremely dapper . He had applied “surma” in his eyes which made him even more attractive .
“Oh ! you are looking- A robust young man, Danny!”
“Red and blue ! Suits you, Aariyana . You too look alluring baby !” (He winked).
“Come ,seat or else we would get late” , he exclaimed.
We sat in his car . He was driving slow . He never played music in his car , but that day , he tuned into my favourite one .
“A THOUSAND YEARS”
“I just love the lyrics of this song”, he said with a smile .
“Oh ! Me too Danny ! It’s my favourite one .”
For a while,we both were silent , tap played the line “One Step Closer” ! He, all of a sudden ,came close and whispered – “Nice perfume, Aariyana …”
My heart pounded heavily for few seconds.. He was smiling .
“My lips would get orange , so I just moved”, he exclaimed merrily .
I was left with no words , looking at him ,blushing .
We were just a few meters away from the school when we heard the song which was being played on loud volume in the ground.
“Tara vina shyam mane ekaldu lage ,
Ras ramva vahelo avaje ”
I got too frantic to dance ,so I told Danny to drive fast .
Soon we reached. Lightning and decorations added more beauty to the night . I told Danny to wait and I moved towards the staff room to meet Anoop sir and asked him if there was any work left to be done . He was in an off-white kurta which didn’t suited him as well as the formals did .
“No, my child ! Now you go ,enjoy the night” ,he exclaimed with a smile .
“Ok, see you at the ground sir” , I left.
I and Danny moved towards the ground . We saw our classmates there . Khushi shouted - “Aariyana ,let’s start playing garba , the band is amazing, isn’t it ?”
“Yes Khushi , you all give it a shot. I and Danny will join you all soon .”
The ground was getting crowded . We all were high without having any drinks .
Danny took me aside, holding my hand and told me that his friends had reached there , so we moved towards the parking to usher them in .
There was a girl in the group of four of his pals . She had curly brown hairs, falling in soft layers around her bare shoulders , her skin was like silk over the glass and she was dressed in red . She was not that tall though .
The three guys were jolly in nature . Danny introduced me to all present there. I, with a smile, welcomed all of them , but that girl, Salina ,showed no interest in me or Danny either.
Danny murmured in my ear that Salina was his ex-girlfriend . Listening that, I was on fire . I too ignored her .
She behaved as if she was playing the role of Esha Gupta in “Rustom” - Totally negative attitude !
Glaring at her, I thought - “Danny would have left her because of this reason only.”
We all moved towards the ground . Salina was behaving as if she was being hauled to the ground for playing garba . All were high again .
* * * * *
Getting tired , I excused myself and stood at a little distance - staring at Danny . At once, I felt as if someone called me . I turned ,but found no one around .
“Hey Di , see this piece of paper lying down . It’s for you, I think.” A guy standing beside poked me .
I took the piece of paper , It had a note written in it .
Come behind the library . I am waiting for you .Its urgent.
First, I thought not to go there , but then I decided to go . I asked Danny to tell me the time. He told me that it was 9:35pm . I was confused if I should inform Danny about it , but I didn’t as I knew Danny would get hyper and create an issue . So I lied to him that I was going to the washroom and would be back soon .
The library was behind the parking area. There was darkness all over there . I had a negative feeling but something made me move there .Behind the library ,there was a place covered with four walls , it was like a useless cubicle . No one used to visit there . We friends used to call that place - “ A den of mystery”.
I reached the library but moving ahead was being difficult for me . Why would have Shayan called me there , in this dark terrifying place ? We could have met else where. He is stupid , I thought and moved inside ..
* * * * * *
I came out , sweat pouring down my body . I stayed still , breathing was being impossible for me , tears started to stream down my face . I felt a lump in my throat but ignored it . I was trying to keep my mouth shut but my teeth chattered in fear .I was there ,lying on the cemented floor, unconscious. I had no idea about how long I was away from the ground. I looked down at myself and to my surprise … Fuck !!
“How is it possible ? How did my dress suddenly got changed and why the hell I don’t remember anything?” I looked my hands - scars ! I tried my best but didn’t remember anything . I was terrified like never before .What the hell happened with me ? Without thinking more, I ran out of that weird place as fast as I could, took a deep breath, tried to be calm and slowly ,went and sat on the bench from where I could see Danny . His eyes caught me and he came running towards me.
“Where were you, damn it ?! No one takes that long in the washroom ! Its 10:00pm, Aariyana ..and why did you..ummm.. change ? The dress that you were wearing was much better than this black dress ! Speak up something ,Aariyana !! Why are you so quiet ? Is everything fine ? You are scaring me now.” Danny asked , showing care for me .
I pretended as if I was fine. But,on knowing that I was at that place for at least 20 minutes and still I don’t remember a single second , I was fucked up !! Yet I tried to be normal .
“Yes Danny ! That dress…. it tore down, so I had to change”, I lied to Danny .
Danny was looking straight into my eyes.I wanted to hug him and speak my heart out. But I couldn’t .
“Ok , come then ,lets dance .” He pulled me up, holding my hand and took me in the crowd .
I was not at all in a mood to dance , so I refused and went away from there , my eyes on Shayan. He was happily dancing. Looking at him, nothing seemed strange .
“ How could he be so calm after all this ? Was it really Shayan who is behind all this mystery ?! But right now , he doesn’t seem to have been away from the ground . Then who ? Oh God ! Help me, I am getting mad ..” . I really wanted to cry out loud but I was surrounded by the crowd ..I just wanted to go home .
Danny again came to me with a water bottle in his hand.
“Hey ,Nice tattoo, Aariyana ! You never told me about this !”
Tattoo ?! Fuck ! I got goosebumps . What the hell is Danny talking about ?!! “A Tattoo” ? On my back ? When , where and how did I get that ? I was shell shocked .
Anyhow, I excused myself and rushed towards the washroom . I saw Shayan and Sofiya leaving the washroom . Ignoring that, I stepped in , looking in the mirror. I swallowed a lump ,my brain had shut down . My eyes wide open , fixed on the mirror …
Not only my dress, but my makeup was also changed . I rarely used to apply kajal, but now what I saw , was dark kajal in my eyes and a new shade on my lips- “Dark brown ” ,which I never ever use .
I turned around . What the hell !! I saw a tattoo on my back . I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I had no idea what ,how , and when all this happened .
I was stepping out when my eyes got stuck on the slider window.
“ FIND ME ”
--were the words written on it . I felt my heart coming out of my mouth.
I ran out and told Danny to drop me home .
“Yes, sit. We will leave soon . Aariyana ,are you ok ? Why are you behaving so weird ?” Getting tensed ,Danny spoke .
“Yes , I am ok , but I just want to go home . I am tired .” I spoke up, gathering all my guts.
We all left . I and Danny in his car . His friends in the other ,the one that Salina was driving . Along with us ,Shayan and Sofiya also left . They were on the activa that Sofiya was driving .
This October was a rainy one . Every night of Navratri was a disappointment for Garba lovers. They were not able to dance thoroughly. Though the roads were wet , Salina was driving too rough . While overtaking, she hit Sofiya and Shayan and left ahead . Sofiya got annoyed. They stood up and Sofiya uttered a few abuses . She drove fast and stood in front of Salina’s car . Salina had no option , but to stop .
Sofiya dashed towards Salina ,got her out of her car and slapped her hard , “You bloody slut ! Are you blind or what ? Or are you showing off your fucking car?” I and Danny saw this and we both got out of his car and rushed towards them . Shayan saw Danny holding up Salina for help. Danny furiously rushed ahead and clenched his teeth , saying, “ How dare you slap her ? It was not totally her fault. The roads are wet.” Shayan gave me a short look and turned back to Danny saying , “ You better stay out of this , you bastard. If the roads are wet , then you must learn to slow down your car. I know you and your friends have a habit of flaunting off your things. But , beware ! Keep them and yourself in limits , otherwise…”
Danny could not control his temper and pushed Shayan, “ Fuck off with your bitch !” . Both started fighting . Shayan started beating him very badly . Danny was badly injured and his face was bleeding. We all rushed towards them.
The security guards came running towards us and sorted out the things, warning both of them to stop fighting . I and Danny’s friend took him to the nearby hospital.
As we entered the hospital, his friend summoned one of the nurses and asked her to call the doctor. She looked at Danny and seeing his wounds , ushered us to the Doctor’s cabin immediately.
The doctor was busy examining another patient. We sat there for a few minutes till that patient was done with the medication. The doctor turned towards Danny and after checking his cuts, started cleaning them with a antiseptic solution. That was when my eyes stuck on his coat……
The emblem on the coat that the doctor was wearing was somewhat similar to the tattoo that suddenly appeared on my back tonight !! I was now more confused . I looked around to see that symbol almost everywhere. Windows , doors, the first aid kits , nurse’s apron , ambulance … CRAP !
What was the connection between the tattoo and this emblem ?
Why was Salina behaving so weirdly ?
Who sent the note to Aariyana that was addressed in the name of Shayan ?
Who had messed with Aariyana behind the library in that DEN ?
Will Aariyana be able to crack the mystery behind this foul happening ?
Do read the next chapter to find out the answers to these.
CHAPTER 4 - THE ACCIDENT
The clock showed 12:00am and we were yet in the hospital as Danny was supposed to be admitted there for the next 2 days.
My phone buzzed, Mumma calling ……excusing myself, I answered her call.
Mumma – Where are you my child? Its too late. Come home soon.
Me- Mumma, my friend Danny is injured badly and he is hospitalized so if you don’t mind can I be here with him and other friends?
Mumma –Ok, take care and I hope he will be fine soon ..I will probe about the situation when you will be back home in the morning.
Me-Yes Mumma Thank you! bye .
I sat close to Danny, he was drowsy as he had taken a high dose of medicines. He with his almost close eyes took my hand in his and told me not to leave him. Seeing him in such a pain, tears rolled out of my eyes.
If Shayan would have been there infront of me ,I would have slapped him. Bloody fucker! What the hell does he think about himself! I murmured. Salina was staring at me as if she would lynch me. I ignored her and told Danny’s friend to leave if they wish to, as I was going to be with Danny tonight. They were OK with that .One by one, they took leave from Danny. Last came Salina. She leaned down , brought her lips close to Danny’s cheeks, kissing him, she spoke ‘Get well soon Danny’. Pretty soon, her eyes were back on me.
Saying goodbye, all of them left. Danny was still holding my hand. Sitting at his bedside ,I felt helpless . I cuddled him with a kiss on his neck .As he felt my lips, he ran his hand gently through my hairs, pulling myself little up. My eyes caught his, he was looking at me with his gleaming eyes and brought me back to his warm embrace. I sank my face into his chest .It was like a friendly hug but it comforted me to the different level .
In his arms for 10-15 minutes, being thirsty, I uncoupled myself and drank water from the jug placed beside Danny’s bed. Again I sat to his bedside and in no time, my eyes shut off.
In this hell situation, the horrible stuff that I had faced slipped out of my mind. When I opened my eyes ,I saw Danny was staring at me with a smile on his face. I unwillingly pulled myself away with my eyes half close and a yawn, his eyes were still on me. He got up really close to my face with his right hand, he moved my flicks and tugged them behind my left ear . I was confused and had no idea how to react .
After getting fresh, I told Danny to call his dad. He called him. Soon his dad reached the hospital. He consulted the doctor and then came in the room where I and Danny were gabbing. His dad behaved normal as if he was habituated with it.
“How did you get injured my boy?” He asked.
“Papa, I was driving and met with an accident. (Danny lied) Papa, I am fine. You could leave for your work. Aariyana is with me.”
His dad gave him hug and his debit card. Thanking me, he left .
“Danny ,my mumma called me last night and told me to be back at home in the morn. You also know I don’t want to leave but I have to ,else she would be worried baby. I will be back within an hour .Shall I leave ?” I asked.
“Ok honey. Go run and be back within an hour else I will come to pick you up.” He said .
“Stupid you !” (with a good bye hug) I left.
Reaching home, I hugged Mumma .She gave me a brooding look asking about my dress. I lied to her saying that my dress was torn, so I had to change. Her next question was : how did Danny get injured? Again lying to her, I replied that he was driving and meet with an accident.
“Ok beta. You go ,get fresh and take rest.”
“No mumma, I have extra classes so I have to leave within an hour .”
I ran to my bedroom .Putting my phone aside ,I took out my pants, t-shirt, inners from my wardrobe and walked in the bathroom. My mind was blank as I sat down in the shower. The things that happened last night had fucked me up .The time that I spent with Danny last night in the hospital gave me some solace in between the sea of stress.
I wanted to share these things, but with whom was a seek. I stared at the tattoo and tried to figure out what connection it had with the emblem on the coat of the doctor. My phone rang ,I heard the ring inside the bathroom. I quickly dressed and came out. It was Danny calling, I called him back.
Danny – “Hello aariyana!”
Me – “yes Danny.”
Danny – “My mom is here with me .You take rest and come whenever you wish to. No hurry baby.”
Me-”Ok, see you soon. take care.”
Danny –”yes, sweetheart. Bye.”
Me – “Bye honey!”
Notification- ‘low battery’!
I searched for the charger. I remembered it was in my school bag. I took the bag and opened it .Fuck…! ‘The envelope’. I was terrified ,my hand were frozen . On opening it, I saw a note written.
Meet me at café soho at 8:00pm it’s urgent
‘Cafe soho’- The place where I and Shayan had our first “so called DATE”. I doubted if it was Shayan playing a prank. I called Danny and told him that I couldn’t be with him today as I had to be at my place. He was upset but I had no other option. I really wanted to meet Aariyaman and ask him about the envelopes he passed to me.
I kept staring my tattoo. Tears burst forth like water from a dam, spilling down my face. I press my head against the wall. Mumma called me asking about my classes. I told her that I was not going. I had to go out at 8:00pm .She called me for lunch,but I refused saying that I wanted to sleep. I was so damn scared , I had no idea what to do next. I just waited to see Aariyaman. I made a sketch of the tattoo in my notebook and kept staring it.
“Oh! Aari ,come hug me my child ! how are you?” my dad surprised me.
Papa….I ran ,cuddled him and whoop. I saw him after months as he was out of the country for his business work. His jolly face made me gleeful. We both sat and had a long gossip. I felt chirpy with him.
Clock showed 7;30pm. Lying to dad was really tough thing ,but I did. Getting ready, I left for café soho .Reaching there, I took the same seat, murmured all the abuses I knew and ended with ‘I hate you shayan’. Waiting for Aariyaman, but yet no sign of him. Clock showed 9.30pm .
Again, a prank ! My head down in my hands and my hairs over my face ,I was frustrated and had no more patience to sit and wait .I stood up, took my belongings and approached to exit. from there I saw a crowd on the road side. ‘Not again’. I ran ,Running towards the crowd, I made space for myself. What I saw was Aariyaman laying in a pool of blood! Fear overwhelmed me .I was shivering uncontrollably. No doubt ,my relation with Aariyaman was not good but who would help him if I did not ? I had to be with him and take him to the hospital as soon as possible. I sat there with his head on my lap. I noticed a tattoo on his left hand little above his wrist far from his palm.
The Ambulance arrived and we took Aariyaman to the same hospital where Danny was admitted. Aariyaman was taken in for his treatment. His mom-dad came to know about his accident. They came running with a loud cry ‘Aariyaman’.
What did the tattoo on Aariyaman’s wrist resemble to ?
Was it merely an accident or did someone hit him intentionally ?
What did Aariyaman want to tell Aariyana in the cafe ?
Read the next chapter to find out .
- Fehmi Charolia (Author)
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