Friday, 28 February 2020

Part 28 : I See You!

Shilpa felt she was floating under the surface of the water, she could feel rising thorugh the layers. The sensations getting stronger, the sounds getting louder and suddenly she was on the surface. She lay there wondering and trying to recollect where she was slowly it started to come back to her and the ache that she had forgotten for a little while came back to reside in her heart. She must have made a sound of distress because even before she could open her eyes she heard maasi's voice near her.

Maasi: Shilpa beta! Calm down I'm here, right here with you.

Shilpa lifted a trembling hand: Maasi!(she tried opening her eyes feeling weighed down)

Maasi: tell me beta! Whats wrong?

Shilpa took a deep breath and opened her eyes: Maasi (her voice shook) I can't see!

Maasi, disbelief clouding her voice: what? Close your eyes and then open them again

Shilpa stared ahead: I can't see Maasi!

Maasi turning to the doctor beside her: Doctor what is happening?

Doctor: Shilpa, I'm Dr. Akshid can you tell me what happened, you were brought here unconscious and we retrieved your maasi's number from your bag as she listed as an emergency number.

Shilpa: I was walking when my eyes went blurry I thought I was upset and maybe tears had gathered but they were dry and then slowly as if a camera goes out of focus my vision blurred till everything went dark. I panicked after everything it was as if the walls were closing in on me and I couldn't breathe and I fainted I guess. (Maasi closed her hand on shilpa's offering support)

Doctor: you mentioned being upset?

Shilpa's lip trembled as armaan's behavior flashed through her mind: I don't want to talk about it!

Doctor paused: ok then can you tell me if you ever had any such incident like vision blurring or does your family have any history of eye related problems. We'll do a thoprough examination and testing but history of the patient always helps.

Shilpa held on to Maasi's hand: Doctor when I was a child I was involved in a car accident which resulted in me losing my eyesight. It has only been 2 years that I have recovered my eyesight after Dr. Manan who is known for his experimental surgeries looked at my case and for me performed a miracle.

Maasi: Doctor, shilpa will be fine? I mean her sight will be back! What can be causing this sudden blindness?

Doctor trying to console: I know this must be a very big shock for you but at present I cannot say anything as to what has caused this blindness. I would like you to give me contact number of Dr. Manan. In the mean time we'll run some extensive tests to figure out what can possibly be causing this.

The doctor left after a nod to Maasi leaving shilpa and maasi alone.

Maasi worried: I think I'll call armaan and let him know what has happened. He'll be frantic if he finds out from someone else. (Maasi was turning to retrieve her bag when shilpa spoke)

Shilpa: Don't!

Maasi: Shilpa we need to tell armaan or he'll be so worried and upset when he finds out.

Shilpa raising her voice: No he won't maasi! He doesn't care maasi, he doesn't! The way he spoke to me, the look in his eyes the derision. He doesn't need me.

Maasi shocked: beta what are you saying? Armaan loves you!

Shilpa started to cry: does he maasi? I love him maasi but he broke my heart maasi. I asked him what was wrong but he dismissed me as if I was a nuisance fly (shilpa sobbed)

Maasi: don't cry! It cant be good for your eyes

Shilpa still crying: this is too much, maasi. First armaan and now my eyes! (she started to laugh)

Maasi shaking shilpa worriedly: Shilpa!!

Shilpa: I'm not hysterical maasi!(she placed her hand atop maasi's) I'm just amazed and I'll be damned if I sit by and cry just because Armaan Malik doesn't have time for me (he voice broke on the last word and tears stung her eyes again but she forced her lips to smile) Maybe this is god's way of telling me the world isn't worth looking at.

Maasi wrapped her arms around shilpa and crooned: that's my brave girl! I'm here with you just like always. We'll see this through, together!

Shilpa wrapped her arms aound her and couldn't help but cry.

After an evening full of tests and scans, doctors pricking with needles, drawing blood or wheeling her in for CAT Scans, shilpa was exhausted but unable to sleep. Shilpa had sent Maasi back home and for the last hour was trying to sleep. Even though her body hurt and her mind felt as if stuffed with cotton she was unable to shut down and sleep. The quiet of the room scraped on her nerves making her regret the decision to send maasi back home. She groped on the side table and found the remote to the tv, she started to change channels hoping to listen to something which will help her mind to be distracted.

She changed all the news channels hoping to hear some music or anything lighthearted. She stopped on a channel which was showing some entertainment news and gossip.

Channel: It seems there is trouble in paradise. You wondering what we are talking about? Well for the past some months the news making the rounds is that the man with the golden touch, the king of the business world the very dasing and yummy ARMAAN MALIK was off the market. We were the first to show you how the tycoon Malik was enraptured by the very beautiful romantic novelist Shilpa Malhotra. Our camera's caught them on quite few occasions together and some very reliable sources have told us on the wedding of Rahul Malik the lovebirds were all set to tie the knot themselves. But apparently there is trouble in paradise as the man himself is being spotted with a young and very popular model. They have been seen on a couple of occasions in the past week together gracing events together.

Shilpa felt the rest of it fade away her hands clenched as a tearing pain lanced through her heart making her squeeze her eyes shut: Damn you Armaan! Damn you for making a fool of me.

"You are a fool if you are going to listen to this stuff," came a voice from the side making shilpa drop the remote.

Shilpa gasped: Armaan!

Armaan picked her hand in his only to have his slapped away as shilpa stonily asked: why are you here?

Armaan: why do you think?

Shilpa clenched her fists hating him but hating herself more as she wanted to hurl herself in his arms: I'm tired armaan, I've had an eventful day so please leave (she turned to her side giving him her back.)

Shilpa was turned around making shilpa furious: what do you think you are doing? (she would've continued but her tirade was cut short by Armaan's mouth)

Armaan kissed her abuses and curses into silence forcing her to respond to him only when she had softened did he break the kiss. Shilpa clung to armaan feeling shaken, her heart banged against her rib cage in beat with armaan's racing heart.

Armaan growled: did you honestly believe that stupid chanel, do you honestly believe there can be anyone other than you for me.

Shilpa felt the tears sting her eyes: then why are you acting so strange? Today in the office you were hateful armaan! You hurt me!

Armaan rested his forehead against shilpa's: I know I did! And I'm sorry!

Shilpa lifted her hand and cradled his face: tell me why? (when he stayed quiet she wished she could see his face, his eyes as the silence lengthened) Damn you Armaan! (she pushed away from him)

Armaan hauled her back towards him grabbing her face to keep her from turning away from him: don't turn away from me!

Shilpa: why? You've turned away from me! Back in panchgani and you've turned away from me now. In Panchgani there was a part of my brain which understood something, but now I just don't '(she shook her head) I don't understand.

Closing her eyes shilpa rubbed at her forehead: go home armaan! I'm tired

Armaan pulled her in his arms and rubbed his lips against her forehead and spoke against her skin: listen to me! I cant tell you what is going on or why am I behaving like this!(he stopped as the door to the room opened and the doctor walked in)

Feeling Shilpa stiffen armaan rubbed a hand on her back as he addressed the doctor: Dr. Akshid! Its kind of you to meet me at this time.

Doctor: Mr. Malik! I understand your concern for shilpa.

Armaan inclined his head in acknowledgement:  I've been informed that you have ran a bevy of tests on shilpa, hopefully one of them will tell us whats wrong with shilpa's sight?

Doctor: I have shared the results with Dr. Manan, Shilpa's CAT scans show an ambulesym near her optic nerve. Its possible that the ambulesym might be putting pressure on the nerve which has led to a sudden loss of sight.

Shilpa clung to armaan's hand: what does that mean?

Doctor: it means a blood clot has travelled up your vessels an is applying pressure on your optic nerve,

Armaan with his arm around shilpa's shoulder: is there a cure to it?

Doctor: we'll have to operate on it, relieve the pressure by getting the clot out.

Armaan: how soon can you do the surgery?

Doctor: we are ready!

Armaan: good! I want Dr. Manan also there(after a pause)

Doctor: I have no problem with it, I'll try and schedule the surgery for tomorrow(he turned to leave but stopped as shilpa spoke)

Shilpa: NO!(both armaan and the doctor looked at her)

Doctor: excuse me!

Shilpa: I'm not having the surgery tomorrow.

Armaan: shilpa!

Shilpa: No!

Armaan to the doctor: why don't you give us some time alone.(when he left) shilpa what are you doing?

Shilpa: I'm not having the operation tomorrow! So don't bother arguing with me.

Armaan: why the hell not? Don't you want to get well? Seriously shilpa are you in your senses(getting angry)

Shilpa clenched her fists trying to control her temper: tell me armaan if I go into surgery tomorrow will you be here with me?

Shilpa waited for armaan's response but the silence was answer enough for her: I'm not having that operation tomorrow

Armaan: I will try to be there!

Shilpa: trying is not good enough!

Armaan clearly frustrated: what difference does it make, shilpa?

Shilpa: it matters to me, armaan! I don't want a re-run of Panchgani, I want you here when I open my eyes after the operation.

Armaan: don't you know I want to be here, that if possible I'll be here?

Shilpa trying to control her emotions: so all the more reason for us to wait! I'm not having the operation without you armaan, not tomorrow not ever.

Armaan pulled shilpa closer to him pressing his forehead to her: you are making me crazy! Don't you understand

Shilpa: no! make me, tell me why you cant be here.

Armaa cradled her face in his hands: trust me! That's all I'm asking you to do, trust me

Shilpa's heart felt as if it was going to break as she heard the pain in his voice: I do trust you but I'm not having the surgery till you come back.

Armaan: Shilpa'(stopped) its getting late go to sleep, we'll discuss it tomorrow.

Shilpa: are you leaving? (she felt suddenly scared to be alone)

Armaan paused before answering, shilpa could sense a struggle within him but when he answered his voice was sure: No! I'm not going anywhere.

Shilpa relaxed against him, her head rested on his shoulder as they sat on the bed. Armaan dropped a kiss on her hair shilpa closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around his waist.

Armaan looked at her face taking in her closed eyes and peaceful expression: its time you sleep!

Shilpa pulled back a little and lifted her hands to his face, lightly tracing his features, she smoothed out the frown lines on his forhead. Her hands caressed down to his neck to his shoulders to knead at the tense shoulders.

Shilpa: you are tired too!(after a pause) will you stay with me.

Armaan in answer got up from the bed leaving shilpa bereft, she could hear him moving around in the room. She heard the door open and then close she waited for a second then called out: Armaan!

Armaan: I'm here!(he spoke from her side) scoot over.

Shilpa shifted felt the bed dip under armaan's weight as he settled beside her. For a minute they lay on the bed side by side, then armaan reached across and brought her closer to him so that her head was on his chest with armaan's arms around her holding her close.

Shilpa: will you stay the whole night?

Armaan: where else will I go? Sleep shilpa!

Shilpa felt the events of the day catch up with her as her eyes felt weighed down. The steady rhythm of armaan's heart lulled her further but before she could go under shilpa murmured: Armaan! (only after she heard his hmmm she continued) I love you!

She fell asleep with his steady heartbeat under her ear.


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