It was 5:50 and Shweta hadn’t turn up. Amrita was anticipating if she wouldn’t come and picked up her phone to ask her on facebook.
“Hello Amrita!” interrupted a voice. It was Shweta Grover.
“Hey! Hi!” Amrita stood up from the couch and they shook hands. Both of them sat facing each other. Amrita tried her best to hide the fearfulness in her voice and expressions whereas Shweta maintained her poise like earlier.
Shweta placed their order for Almond Croissant, one Iced Caffé Americano for herself and one Iced Caffé Mocha for Amrita.
“So how’s work? What profile are you into” Shweta asked in order to make Amrita feel comfortable.
Their conversation started with ‘how a software engineer’s profile is different from a banker’s’ and it graduated to general topics like facebook and twitter, parenting and many more. One topic that neither of both initiated was their school – The thing they had in common, but they did not say to each other anything about it. And whenever they paused to sip their coffee or just look around for another topic, their eyes persisted the eagerness to share the truth… because both were hiding the facts they wanted to share. Amrita wanted to know it whereas Shweta had buried it deep inside her heart.
Finally after about an hour, Shweta checked her watch and rose up from the couch and said “So, I shall take a leave now. I have to meet someone important”.
“Wait… There’s something that I need to ask before we take leave.” Amrita stopped her. She looked intimidated but was determined in her mind that she will not let go this opportunity now.
“Alright… Go ahead” Said Shweta trying to give a blank expression.
“Why did you do that to me years back??” Amrita asked with a nervous expression and stumbling voice.
“What… What did I do? It doesn’t ring a bell” Shweta shot her question to Amrita’s question.
“Hell, it does ring a bell to you” This time Amrita had confidence in her eyes and her serious face startled Shweta but she came back on Amrita quickly “So you know it all?” Shweta asked putting her bag down.
“Yeah… I knew it right when you did it.” Amrita looked into her eyes and continued “I knew you and your sister Shreya plotted against me… The only answer that I want to know is why?”…. Being attracted to someone is a crime or a sin in your opinion? Please explain this to me today”… Amrita asked but Shweta remained silent “You tried to spoil my future… Do you have any idea how much my distressed my family was?”….“We were all devastated and it wasn’t easy for me to cope up from it and finishing my education from the same school…. You know what… when I was promoted to class 11th, every single day when I entered the classroom, I got reminded of you because you used to sit in that classroom and visit me every day with that expression of detest. And then in class 12th, I was chosen to be the head girl but I refused because that title, that position reminded me of none else but you…” Amrita was teary-eyed now and her voice was shaky therefore she paused. Amrita folded her hands in each other and waited for Shweta to speak.
After a silence of a minute or two, Shweta asked “Do u believe in Karma?”
“What are you trying to imply?” Amrita asked with her hands still folded.
“Karma says that whatever you do in your life, good or bad, will come back to you. Everybody is responsible for their own actions. And all that a person has done or will do, will definitely come back to him/her in the future.” Shweta said.
“Could you please be more specific on this?” Amrita frowned.
Shweta put her left hand on the head of the couch; looked down at the table and started speaking “I have been extremely…. passionate and obsessive throughout my life… It is a strong trait in my nature that I want everything that I desire, come what may! What I did to you, is not the only bad that I’ve done… During college, I deceived my friends’ by getting physical with their boyfriends because I believed that “I” deserved to be with them. I slept with my colleagues and seniors in my profession even after being married to a wonderful person… I did this all because I had to climb the success ladder at a faster pace than my counterparts and therefore I kept taking shortcuts until the day my husband confronted me of all the wrong things I’ve been doing just to satiate my hunger of being on the top always.”
Shweta paused for a moment and continued “He left me and kept our only daughter with him and his family, blaming me as a bad influence on our girl. A few months back, when I received the divorce papers I realized how wrong I have always been… you see, in life it is our choices that define us, far more than our capabilities. I opted for wrong choices; I have been with wrong people and therefore now, I am paying off the compensation by being alone and it leads me to make more wrong choices in life and destroy myself and I can’t help it….. Perhaps I don’t want to…. Nobody I have been left in my life with who can guide me right and wrong… I am spending my life alone.” Shweta inhaled a deep sigh.
“I am allowed to meet my daughter on Sundays. So I take her out and spend some time with her…. I think it’s a good decision that the court made. For all that I have always been, I couldn’t be a good mother. My daughter will become a good human being if she stays with her father and his family. They are good people.” Shweta spoke looking into Amrita’s eyes.
“And yes, coming back to you, I definitely detested you for no specific reason… even I was very young to understand certain feelings and then one day, my sister Shreya overheard you and your friend talking about Rohit, who was my boyfriend then and out of jealousy… I put you through that horrible scene without giving a serious thought about the consequences. I did not know beforehand that you will be suspended…” Shweta again looked down.
“Amrita, you have a beautiful heart. Do forgive me for my mistake. Perhaps God will hear it out and help me transform in a better person…. She took a pause and said her final word.. “I am sure that now that you have got your answer, you’d never want to meet me again… Good bye!” Shweta left and Amrita watched her leave.
Soon after, Shweta vanished from Amrita’s sight but even after hearing it out from Shweta, Amrita felt pent up. Her anger wasn’t sinking. Suddenly she felt a strange energy inside her and she got up and searched Shweta everywhere and finally reached her again near the elevator.
“You know what… I heard every single word that you uttered but I am not buying your story because I know that you are an absolutely fake person… All you have done in your life is make others feel inferior because you enjoy watching them cry”… “what do you think… you will tell me a sad story about your divorce and I’ll believe you and forgive you.. sorry lady, but this is not going to happen”…”You said you put me through that situation out of jealousy, it’s actually not less than a sin that you committed… think of your sister in my place… had Shreya been interested in your boyfriend would you have done a disaster to her as well?? What if my parents were conservative and would not have stood beside me through out that phase? What if instead of a 15 day suspension, I was expelled from the school?? My whole life could have been spoiled just because of your so called jealousy. You ripped apart a 13 year old soul who was too innocent to understand things like attraction, love and lust and what not… and you have no idea how much effort I had to make to put myself together..… “You have no idea what my family has been through”…”So the apology that you asked for… you are never going to get it from me… And yes, if the story that you told me holds any facts, trust me you deserve to be alone.”
Amrita left the place teary-eyed and searched for Adhya and Saksham who were watching her from a place not very far away. She reached them crying. Saksham hugged her tightly and said “Just let it go! It is not who you are… just let this anger go. This is not my Amrita.” Saksham kept telling Amrita and she sobbed in his arms. Little Adhya made her mamma come back to normal when she took Amrita’s hand in hers and kissed it. Amrita hugged her little princess and Adhya wiped her mamma’s tears.
Soon they headed back home.
Amrita felt peace inside on the way back home and now the good soul started contemplating about Shweta’s life. “What if all that she told about her current life is true… I feel pity for her daughter”.
They reached home. Amrita didn’t speak anything but Saksham understood the calmness in her mind and they went inside the house.
“Tea?” Saksham asked Amrita and she nodded.
And while Saksham was in kitchen making tea, Amrita opened facebook and….. “unfriended” Shweta Grover, for the unfinished chapter in her life had ended today.