Under The Wings Of A Falcon: Chapter 3

Posted: January 2, 2017 in I Think they are "NOVEL"
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She sat on the bench in the park and tried to catch her breath. Today she had run for 1 hour nonstop. With her heart still beating like a crazy drum against her rib-cage she watched the morning walkers. She smiled at the known faces and ignored the unknown staring faces; time taught her a lesson. When the January’s cold wind hit her face she shivered and pulled her hoodies sleeves and thrust her hands into pockets. Closing her eyes she lifted her face to feel the cold tickling wind. With sun rays kissing earth and her face darkness was swallowed by the light. How she wished for a magical sun rise in her life. She used stay awake till late night watching the dark sky with occasional stars and sleep during the day. It was recently she started to love being early bird, getting up before sun rise from his mystified sleep and wake the whole world. With hoodies cap covering her ears, head phones bursting heavy metallic music she felt relaxed and fresh. It is been a week since she started to listen to heavy metal as it seems drain her pain with every beat. Leeroy loved heavy metal; she smiled when she remembered him, after all he was the one who pestered her always to listen to his favorite genre. It’s been almost a month since he is gone to US. He had called couple of times but Sankirthi let the phone ring staring at his displayed image on her phone; the e-mails he sent were still resting in her inbox untouched. With a deep breath Sankirthi let go of Leeroy’s thoughts like other million times. When she felt she’s ready for her second round of her run she pulled herself together and started to run with her mind recalling the incidents happened last week.

When Sankirthi heard someone unlocking her room door next morning she was surprised that she was still alive. When her torn, blood clotted skin stopped her from getting up she lay still on the cold floor wondering who was on other side. With her mother’s swollen eyes stared at her with “you deserved it” look she ignored if nothing has happened. Her mother walked away not even caring to help her sit.  She wondered whether she was really her mother or hatred in her heart made her so cruel. It was her father who helped her to sit without with zipped lips. With great difficulty she sat on the bed. With her eyes feared to shed the tears she fought the cyclone of pain with her last thread of will power. After helping her he watched her for quite some time. With her torn clothes, scared face and tears stricken face she would have looked pitiful to him. He disappeared for moment to return back with water and cotton. She drained the bottle in micro seconds, quenching her thirst finally. Her father cleaned her wounds; she shivered every time torn skin screamed when it was tended. Even though her father lashed her at the pit of anger he still cared for her. She felt guilty for lying to him, the only one who loved her since her childhood. Every time she made a sound with pain his hands stopped for a minute and two to blow some air. It was her mother behavior made it clear she never loved her and never will. Its then she said it slowly “Sorry father forgive me”; if not for her already shed infinite tears, she was sure her eyes would have shed fresh ones. With her father’s eyes filled with tears he touched her head with love and said “forget your past, you have your future ahead of you think only about that”. For a fraction of second she was tempted to tell him the truth to save him from his misery but she didn’t wanted to be merciful towards her mother. Wounds will heal but not the hatred in heart.

It was on second day after lashing someone was knocking on their door. Her father hesitated for a minute before opening the main door. With her mother shut herself in her room, Sankirthi was still in her room wondering who it was when her father opened the door and invited the guest inside. With rumors travelling faster than the light she was sure by now all their neighbors would have known about her eloping with her lover boy, so as they were forced to believe. Sankirthi waited for the person to talk patiently. It was Lydia, Leeroy’s mother who was in the hall talking to her father. Definitely Leeroy would have sent her to talk to her as she have ignored her phone calls and emails. Her father apologized for blaming her son without knowing and causing all trouble. Being a nice understanding person she talked to her father as if nothing happened. With her wish to meet Sankirthi expressed she was knocking at Sankirthis door. When Sankirthi sat on her bed staring at the door Lydia slowly turned the door knob and walked in. When she saw Sankirthi in pitiful condition she walked toward her and hugged her gently, close to heart making sure she’s not hurting her. Sankirthi held her tightly and hugged her as taking all warmth and love. How many times she longed to hold her mother like this she doesn’t know. To be honest she didn’t care anymore, she hugged Lydia even more tightly even though her wound were raw, screaming with pain. A love filled hug is million times worth going through any kind of pain she thought. She thanked Leeroy in mind for sending his mother to her. That punk knows her so well; she smiled forgetting all her misery for a second.

After what it looked like 10 minutes Lydia let go of her and touched her cheek “why didn’t you tell me love? I thought we were friends”. With fear of she will start crying she sat there watching her toe. Lydia pushed her hair from her face and was stun to see the wound on her forehead “Jesus!!!!”.

“That’s fine, it doesn’t hurt anymore” Sankirthi said

“Leeroy may not like when I tell him” Lydia said.

“Please, don’t tell him anything. Scar will heal, past will be forgotten soon I don’t want to spoil his present time with my sad story.”

Lydia looked at her for some and said “You love him, don’t you?”.

She replied “He was always there to protect me, when I was small, even when I grew up. If I say no then I will be lying. I do love him in my own way and always will in spite of our differences”.

“He’s lucky to have someone like you” saying Lydia held her hand with compassion. “If you want to talk you just have to walk a floor below, I will be always there darling.”  Saying she kissed Sankirthi on her forehead and walked out closing the door behind her. Why Lydia was not her mother she wondered.

With passing every day the hatred towards her mother was multiplied. Silent tantrums her mother threw on her face made her laugh sometimes. She was so used to them she stopped caring about her mother.

When in a small company she got an opportunity to do her final project he was very happy, how her fingers itched to call Leeroy and share the good news. Every time she walked out of her house she could feel the stares and hear the whispers from her neighbors. With her mind full occupied with project work she ignored the people like commented lined in a finely written code.

Every evening she spent fistful of hours with Lydia talking and helping her to cook. Even though she was suffering through some kind of illness she looked so happy and energetic. She never talked about her disease and Sankirthi made sure she never talk about it. Sometimes when she felt terribly lonely she would visit Leeroys room and sit on his bed glaring at his things hoping the terrible feeling to be with him ease away. His neatly made single bed with two puffy pillows, thick dark brown blanket, motionless glaring basketball, huge red color bean bag near the window adjacent to table filled with thick books, massive wooden plank, riding jacket, helmet fighting with books to stay on table and finally the bandana; which she had gifted him was tied to the bed post. She would sit on the bed crumpling the bed sheet hugging a pillow hoping to inhale his sweat smell. When the disappointing detergent smell hit her nostrils she would grumble. After loitering some more time she used walked out of his room. Whenever Lydia found her in Leeroy’s room she used to pretend like searching for a book.

One evening she was knocking on Lydia’s door with broad smile and Lillies in hand which she picked for Lydia. With George still at office Sankirthi thought Lydia will be busy preparing evening meal. When nobody answered the door she became curious and started calling Lydia’s name loudly hoping to get some response. With her ear to the door she tried to listen praying all time to keep Lydia safe. She dialed Lydia’s number with her shaky hands, when it went unanswered she was sure something bad has happened to the only one woman she adored so dearly. She called Lydia’s name again and again when she didn’t get any response she decided to open the door with the spare key. She moved the flower pot hoping to find the key; it was Leeroy’s secret spot for hiding his key. When she found the key she was happy as well furious; happy for she can open the door; furious for Leeroy’s ignorance for not keeping the key inside when he left to US. After opening the door when she switched on the light; she almost screamed to see semi-conscious Lydia lying on floor with her hand holding to her stomach. Even in that condition she tried to smile at Sankirthi and Sankirthi’s heart ached for her. Sankirthi ignored her tears and helped Lydia to sit on the floor hoping to do something before it is too late. After emergency call to ambulance she informed George about Lydia’s condition and told him to directly come to hospital. Hands still held around her stomach Lydia said “if anything happens to me you take care of Leeroy Sankirthi. I know he cant cope up with his own, he might need some help and I know only you can help.” “Don’t say such things Lydia, please”; with tears flooding Sankirthi cursed the delayed ambulance she had to save Lydia no matter what. She was not ready to loose Lydia whom she loved so dearly.

After shifting Lydia to the ambulance she sat by her side holding her hand saying all possible prayers she knew. How she hated herself when she couldn’t recall her prayers properly. By the time they reached hospital George was there waiting there with stretcher. As long nurse allowed Sankeerthi walked by Lydia holding her hand assuring her everything will be alright. Sankeerthi sat with Geroge outside ICU praying for Lydia’s safety.

When doctor came out and talked to George Sankeerthi jumped out of her seat and stood there to listening to doctor. When doctor assured them that Lydia is doing fine she let go of her breath which she was holding.

George thanked her and told her to go home, with his face masked with worry she couldn’t read his face. That sweet smile played on his face was replaced by worry; how Sankirthi hated to see the people she loved so dearly worried and scared.

“you better go home Sankeerthi, I can manage” George repeated

Hospital with phenyl smell and mosquito’s with loved one around is far better than her house; she wanted to stay beside Lydia.

As she didn’t want to argue she said “ok, call me if you need anything”.

She walked out of hospital with heavy heart hoping Lydia will recover soon.

**********

Next morning Sankeerthi was walking on the hospital corridor searching for Lydia’s room. Geroge had called her in the morning with news that Lydia’s was shifted to ward and doing well. Sankeerthi was so lost in Lydia’s thoughts she didn’t realize a tall figure approaching her and staring at her. When she spotted him her heart started to beat fast she was scared that she might get heart attack. With goose bumps on her neck, familiar pupa trying to fly in her stomach, she walked directly towards him, eyes glued on his face.

Was Sankeerthi was happy to see him after long time or sad to see him in this condition she does not know. With uncombed hair, unshaven beard, swollen eyes he looked distressful and pitiful. Dressed in blue faded jeans and one of his old sweaters he looked like a man fighting a battle on his own. When he looked impatient he walked towards her with eyes watering and lower lip shivering. She was so shaken to see always controlled, jubilant Leeroy so sad and scared. He crushed her to him in his strong arms. With his tears falling on her neck and his body shivering Sankeerthi hugged him back hoping to give all comfort in the world. How she wanted to fight the whole world for him. He was crying saying something which she could not understand; holding her all the time. When she needed him he was always there holding her; now he needed her the most and she made sure she stood right next to him holding his hand.

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