"Nomaaaaaan......." my hand frantically began to scrabble on his body, just to find the grip of dagger, which has been stabbed in Nomaan's back.. My body quivers with fear.
Rusty smell of blood fills my nostrils.. a knot in my stomach twitches so painfully that I have to compress my lips tightly to stop a strong urge to throw out..
I loose control over my body, my legs start trembling as if they've become life less and numb.
I grab Nomaan tightly before I stumble to the floor, take quick deep breath to calm myself down, as I can't go insane right now, I can feel his pulse beneath my fingers, but just barely.. "this isn't right.. this can't happen.." I cry out with the pain.
I gently lay Nomaan low in my arm, carefully avoiding his back to touch the ground. He releases pained gasp,tearing my heart. I caress his head, stroke his cheeks, "Nomaan.. you can hear me right?.. please talk to me.. please.. Nomaan.." my voice cracks, my breath stutters, I have to wipe my tears and my nose to stop the snot run down my face..
Nomaan's breath rattles again, I lean over him, touching his cheeks.. "God.. please do something.. please..." I splutter with tears spilling over.
I can feel my Saree is soaked with his blood. every second I waste here, he is loosing more blood.. but I don't know where to go? What to do?
I hold Nomaan close in my arms. I felt so overwhelmed with sorrow that I thought my heart would literally break.. The trauma of seeing him in this situation engulf me.. I become so numb that even a groan can't escape my lips..
It's just silent tears, streaming down my cheeks.. I try to look at his face through my tears, the face I used to adore so much.. why is it not moving, where is his dimpled smile? "God.. Nomaan......" I squeeze his hand and suddenly realized, "where is his cellphone..? It was there, in Nomaan's hand.." I scan the floor, alas.. there is nothing except for the blood.. and again I have to close my eyes to control irresistible impulse to spew, thinking it must have bounced off somewhere.
I feel paralysed with helplessness. My head starts spinning cause I can't do anything.. just nothing.. except for shedding tears, as if they are running in my veins to grieve..
Those two backstabbers are mumbling something but their voice is like echo to my ears. I can sense that both of them are approaching me.. one of them orders,"drag that bitch to me grabbing her hairs.. and as for that looser, let him dye slowly.."
I grit my teeth and tighten my grip on Nomaan.. tears streak down my cheeks, "I won't let him die..." I take deep meditative breaths, to console my poor heart that everything is gonna be fine...
And suddenly it all becomes chaotic with high pitched police cars' siren, noise of lifting shutter doors, pattering of feet.. I can feel terror spikes in Nagesh and his sycophants as most of them stampede for exit.
Not sure if I am in a trance or unconscious, cause I can sense everything but I can't do anything, I can't even lift my eyes to look at them.. as my eyes are not ready to leave Nomaan, his body is pale as ice, I am not sure he is breathing or not.. I am witnessing his suffering unblinkingly like a ghost..
Then suddenly I hear someone cries out, "Tulika.. " oh god, I can't explain, how soothing is the voice for me, I jolt with utter shock or joy or hope.. I don't know what is it? But I feel as if new energy is transmitted to my body, I come back to my senses. And I burst out crying as I spot two known faces,Viansh and Nomaan's dad, "Nomaan is dying.. please help him" as they sprint to me.. I am struggling to keep my eyes open, my heart pounds like a drum in my ears.. the only thing I can say is, "I am sorry dad.." then everything around me starts blurring, It is Viansh, who holds me before I witness utter darkness as if I am dead. SAME DAY, AT AROUND 11:30AM
Sun rays touch my skin waking me up from the gloom, I think I am facing for ages.., The brightness makes my sensitive eyes squint. After coursing my mind back and forth for a moment, I get to the point that it's not a dream.
As I study the whole room with unsteady gaze, It took a moment for me to realise that I am on hospital bed. One attendant in a white dress, greets me, genuinely smiling, her hands are busy in replacing flowers in flower vase near by my bed, "good morning ma'm.. how do you feel now?"
My eyes dart all over my body, I am in a hospital gown, my all the wounds are dressed and bandaged though my ankles and wrists are still aching, my head is throbbing with pain. So does my jaws..
I try to press the temples, flashing her a weak smile, "I think, I am okay.. thanks.." She smiles back saying, "let me inform to the doctor and to your family.." and my heart twists with pain as I faintly recall what had happened last night..
I fling off the cover and jump out of the bed, the attendant tries to grab my hand, "ma'm you should stay on your bed, you are not stable, you can get panic attack."
But I ignore her, just to move few steps away, that my legs starts shaking, I feel tightness in my chest, as if someone is choking me to death.. remembering last night, I grew dizzy, felt so pain that I lean against side wall to save myself from falling.
My attendant assists me to bed, I sigh, panting, "Nomaan... where is he? How is he?" She helps me to sit on the side of a bed, hands me glass of water and a pill.
It is almost after 15 minutes, I feel somewhat relieved, again I ask, "Please tell me Nomaan is okay.." she lowers her eyes, "yeah.. he is stable.... but unconscious.."
My heart wretched with pain, "let me see him.." She twitches her lips, "I will ma'm.. but not before sir's visit.. so let me inform to the doctor.." she strolls out of the room, of course locking it from outside.
Around ten minutes later, the door opens, giving access to Gran, Isha and Rishi dad inside. It's just after looking at their faces, now I realize how much I was craving for their warm smiles..
I almost get up to greet them but before I can do so, Isha sprints to me and hugs me, "Oh.. Tuli.. Thank god you're fine..I can't explain how much I worried about you.." I wrap my arms around her satisfactorily smiling, " I know.."
As we part, I notice Gran is busy surveying me with sad eyes.. I slowly say, " Gran.." She approaches me, caress my head, tears coursing down her cheeks, "my poor child.. I am so sorry that it all happened to you..I can't even imagine how much you have suffered..." I don't know why.. but her words affected me in a way that I rest my head on her shoulder, weeping silently, she embrace me affectionately and we both cry as if we have an emotional outburst..
Who knew that shedding tears really helps to feel better, my spirit got lifted just because of their presence..
Gran wipes my tears with her napkin, sits beside me, utters with utmost rage in her voice, "after this day no one will ever bother my child.. those rascals... they have got what they deserved!!"
I sigh with anger, perceiving at Rishi Dad, "it all happened because of my dad.. right?"
Of course my dad-in-law is taken aback, he utters with utmost shock, "for God's sake Tuli.. it's not what you think or you've heard.. and I don't think I have a right to tell you anything but it's unreasonable to feel prejudice towards your own dad.." I can see anger is flaring in his eyes.
Gran interrupts, "Rishi.. it's not her fault either.." She moves her eyes towards me,"Tuli... Rishi is disturbed right now.. afterall his two beloved ones are in the hospital"
And my heart skips a beat, as I recall, "Nomaan.. did you see him? How is he? Is he alright?" I asked in one breath. Both dad and Gran look at each other, while Isha answers, "Doc was telling that Oppa has lost much blood.. so"
But dad interrupts, "Isha.." and Isha seals her mouth. They all are concealing something from me. I grab Gran's hand, pleading,"I want to see Nomaan.. please take me to him.."
Dad sighs, "Tuli......... he will be alright as his wounds are going to heal quickly unlike yours, so it's you, I am more worried about.." He bores his sympathetic eyes into mine, seeking for something.
"Then please let me see him for once.." I plead. Gran strictly states, "You will definitely meet him but tomorrow okay...? So now get some rest my dear... " She lovingly adds. "But Gran..." I whine.
"You all should leave now" my attendant snap opens the door and cuts in, I heave an annoyed sigh, Dad and Gran move out of the room gazing at me with weary eyes. As for Isha, before leaving she draws me in a bear hug whispering Nomaan's room number into my ear, and playfully smiles to me.
My attendant studies my face and says, "sisters are always like that.." I want to correct her but once again opening of the door, grabs my attention, as the doctor enters with big smile, having written Mr. Joyel on his shirt's name plate..
He studies my pulse rate, just asks me normal questions and regardless of my grief- stricken face, he tries to lift my mood with his good sense of humour.
I satisfactorily breath as Mr. Joyel leaves, yeah after spending time with those revenge seeking animals, it feels better to be with humans again, who makes this world a better place..
Now there is no one to watch over me, so I slip out of my room. But my legs stood still regarding the long hallway stretched as far as eyes can see..
God.. these hospitals, I just hate each and every bit of them..!! All the thanks to the hospital sign board that before anyone can spot me, I step inside the elevator, of course closing the elevator door freaks me out, thinking someone will abduct me again, but before the fear gets loomed over me, elevator door chimes open, revealing another long corridor in front of me.
'Phew...' I feel relieved, wipe my forehead, and step outside. Nomaan's pale face floats in front of my eyes, so I walk down the corridor with fast pace, checking room numbers in between.
As Nomaan's room is approaching, my heart starts racing in my chest.., "He will be fine.." I stupidly mumble to myself.
In front of his door, I double check the room number, close my eyes, cause I don't know how disturbing it will be for me. I can feel sweat beads on my forehead despite of being in an air- conditioned place.
I wrap my hand around a doorknob, slowly turn it and slightly push the door just enough that I can peek inside, sight of Nomaan, lying on his stomach makes my heart twists with pain...
I dash inside, closing the door behind me, I manage to take few leaden step and then stumble into the chair besides Nomaan's bed.
My eyes scan his fresh stitches peeping out of the steri stripes, A strangled sob escapes my lungs. I choke back an urge to cry out loud, gently take his hand, lacing my fingers through it. Study his face, his breathing. God.. he is looking like a baby in his deep sleep..
I still can't wrap my mind around how something so horrible could happen to him..?? "It's because of me.." my inner voice screams with pain. A cold shiver runs down my spine.
I caress my lips to the back of his hand , stroke his hairs, as stored tears sting my eyes and my lower lip trembles. "I am sorry Nomaan.. I am so sorry.. I am the reason that you have to suffer these much.. I never ever wanted that.. I just can't see you in pain" I stupidly say as if he is listening to me.
I really don't want to debate with myself if he loves me or not? But seeing him in agony tears my heart apart.. it is like I am living and dying altogether.. but why?
Why his pain is killing me? Why is my heart bleeding..? Only then I realise, how do I feel about him, weather I accept it or not but I know I can't live without him. I know it sounds crazy but I LOVE HIM
I can't fool my heart any further, no matter how much I argue about his past behaviour, the crazy thing doesn't give a damn.. and I am quite aware that this is not a time but I smile to myself thinking about what will I do next?
Yeah.. I brush away my tears, lean down to his head, put my lips on his forehead and gently kiss it whispering to his ear, "I love you Nomaan...." my pulse quickens, as does my breath.. I softly put my forehead against his, his relieving touch makes me close my eyes and smile satisfactorily. Finally my heart is at ease now. My struggle with myself is over, as my heart wins.
I hear, a slow and intermittent voice,"I love... you too.......to the...... moon... and...back....." . The feeling of happiness seizes me cause it's Nomaan's voice.. Oh god.. my ears are ringing or what? Cause Nomaan's eyes are closed..
I stare at him, embarrassed at the emotions bubbling within me.
"Nomaan.." I slowly speak, despite of the fact that my heart is somersaulting as my level of happiness rise to ecstatic, and it is streaming through my body..
His lips curl into a smile.. as he slowly lifts his heavy eyelids, and I can feel his chocolaty gaze upon me.
We both smile to each other, tears well up in my eyes, this time tears of happiness..
His eyes get closed again, as he speaks, "Tulika..."
"oh my god, Nomaan.." I energetically get up, and press the patient alarm. Within a minute or two, a nurse enters. A small scream escapes her mouth, looking at me, "what are you doing here?"
I jump up happily, "forget about me, just check Nomaan.. he is conscious now." The nurse hurriedly checks his vital signs ordering me to move out to my room.
Twitching my lips, I reluctantly step out, just to spot Viansh in waiting area. His eyes get widened, "Tuli.. you.. what are you...?" He tightly squints his eyes, shaking his head out of embarrassment, " I am sorry.. I should ask.. how are you?" "Just fine.." I answer shrugging my shoulders.
I can see his eyes are busy noticing my wounds.. as he states, "You should go to your room.. I will.." "Nomaan is awake now.. where is everyone? " I interrupt him in between.
His lips part to give a wide smile, as he asks with bewilderment, "what...?? Wow.. thank god... let me inform to uncle.. they just left for home, actually I insisted them to go and get refreshed.. they were all exhausted so.. " He elaborates.
I heave a sigh, "I don't think, doctors will let us in for a while.. so all we have to do is wait.. " as we were busy in discussion, A person looking like a doctor walks past us...
Viansh glances at that man from behind and states, "I should go to Nomaan and you.." "in my room" I complete his sentence rolling my eyes. "Yeah... And Wait there.. please.." he pleads with smile.
I start walking towards the elevator, reliving the moment of declaration of my love to Nomaan, again and again in my mind...
upon reaching at the front, I push 'call button' still busy in my thoughts. The ding of an elevator draws my attention, as its door opens, I see my dad inside..
And my bubble of happiness bursts again as I recall the words like "step sister" "step brother" "second wife" "abuse"
Bile rises in my stomach, as it flips remembering the circumstances, what could have happened to me, if Nomaan had not arrived on time.. ???
And I am bathing in sweat, struggling to breath.. That my dad holds me in his arms apologizing "Tulika.. forgive me, my child.."
So finally Tulika has said those magical words..
What do you think of her decision..
Please let me know in comments..