Entry #55: It was the lunch time, and all the office mates teamed up for the lunch and barter system had begun. Sonali very delicately pushed her tiffin box towards me, and I with equal hesitancy picked one vvvery big spoon of Matar Paneer from her tiffin, and munched down in a minute. Post lunch I got a ping on Lync, it was from Sonali, asking about the taste. I pinged back, it was finger licking good. She must have smiled, and she asked for a coffee meet up post the office hours. We met at Pagdandi Books Chai Cafe. We spent almost an hour and half gossiping. Time literally flew by when with her.
Entry #56: Today I am going to meet her in the lunch time, and tell her about my feelings, and I am pretty sure she too holds mutual feelings, so hopefully it’s going to be a good time ahead. Wishing myself good luck. and once back I will update the happenings. Fingers crossed.
This was the last entry in Ashish’s diary. Now I wanted to meet Sonali to know what happened next. I went up to Ashish’s facebook profile and found Sonali, and messaged her, Hi Sonali, I am Ashish’s neighbour and I am extremely sorry for what happened with Ashish. I want to meet you and get some information about Ashish, it’s really important, please respond. 4 months passed away but never got a reply from her. I heard my Mum calling me, asking to take the envelope that was left on my name. I reached her to check on it, and was taken aback. The envelope read the name From Sonali. I inquired, when and how did she find this envelope. She replied, I was in the kitchen and I could not hear the doorbell ring, he must have rung the bell twice, and by the time I reached the door to check, I saw this letter addressed on your name from Sonali. I peeped from the window, but he had left the building and had headed towards the main gate. Yes, he did turn back and greet me folding his hands, she said. After dinner I quickly opened the envelope to read it. A photograph dropped from the envelope. It was Ashish and Sonali, sitting hand in hand in the garden.
I began with the letter. I know, all this that you are going to read now could have been well explained to you in person, but if I chose to reach you after so much of time, and through this letter, then there has to be a reason behind. So, Pooja, firstly I am extremely sorry about your father’s demise, and I hope you are recovering from it. Now let me tell you what you should know from all this time. Ashish did come to me in the lunch time and expressed his feelings for me, and trust me I equally felt for him, but, yes, but, it did not happen between us. I did not say yes to his proposal. There were some issues with me, something evil and malevolent had latched to me. I had started seeing things that no one is supposed to see. Every evening when the darkness took over, it used to terrify me. He used to make me do things, things that could put my life at risk, but you know, it sort off hit me later, that, whatever he used to make me do would benefit Ashish someway. I had started to learn what it takes to be selfless, and how expecting nothing from your partner makes you feel so wonderful. All this was going pretty great, till that unholy day when I met Vinay. I met him at that point of life when I badly needed a friend who could hear me out and advise, and he happened to make all those things possible. I was feeling very vulnerable that day, I felt very weak, ignoring Ashish and making him realize that I did not hold any of those feelings that he expected, and it was very weakening thing for me. In that vulnerability, Vinay held me, and he tried to molest me that day, at first it seemed like a friendly approach but later his intentions started to surface up, and he turned into a filthy person. The relationship between me and Ashish took an absolute U turn that day. That night I had decided to call up Ashish and confess the whole thing before him, but he had something more important to confess, and I learnt that he has now fallen for you. I was so shattered after hearing that, within 6 months he was over me, and now he was all crazy behind you. Not his fault, it was me who made him feel that pathetic by ignoring him. I had no one to turn up to now and one night I got a message from Vinay that, Ashish is no more. The news was so terrible to digest that, I immediately reached Ashish’s apartment in total disbelief, and I saw the crowd surrounding his body, and then I saw you peeping from the terrace. I could not believe my eyes, how could you kill Ashish. He was such a good soul…
The letter ended there and my head was twisting with a pool of confusion. I was standing in the hallway completely blank. I checked the time it was 2 am. My throat was completely dried up; I picked my bottle to drink water, but was stopped by a loud thud. I slowly moved out of my room to check from where the voice came. I sneaked in the hall to check, but nothing caught my attention. The moment I turned back to get back to my bedroom, I could feel someone breathing heavily on my neck, I could hear the vengeful breathing clearly; I lost my guts to turn back. I held myself stiff and shut my eyes as hard as I could. I heard that loud thud once again, and the breathing still continued. I was shivering now. I opened my eyes very slowly and was shocked to see myself standing on the top edge of the building. I don’t know why but I said it out loud in fear, Sorry Sonali!! The very next moment, everything seemed turning back to normal. The breathing was gone, and I stopped shivering. I ran back to my room, and picked up the bottle, emptied it and sprang on my bed sliding inside the blanket. I saw my mobile light blink, it was a message on the messenger. Message was from Sonali… Let’s meet.