I am just different

Why nobody does accepts the fact that there can be a girl who doesn’t believe in love. Well there can be one and that’s me.

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24. Not so usual love and hate story

This too shall pass... Whispering it to myself, I closed my lids and fell on the sofa. My heart was booming in my ears as I stayed there, motionless. Staring at the closed door, I was happy that he has gone, away from my life; not for long that I was sure but at least for now. He hurt me, and I needed him to feel that too. I know it's not right to think like that but screw rightness. Nobody is Gandhi here, nor me, or him!! If nothing else then at least all the screaming gave me satisfaction.

Or so I thought...

Tossing to the other side, I turned away from door and stared at the back of sofa. I never took the wrong turn, then how did my life came here.. The question echoed in my mind, but not a single answer appeared. I searched, and searched every corner of my mind but was left with emptiness. As I was busy looking for the nonexistent answers, I didn't even notice when the color of sofa changed from red to black, and then to nothing. With the fading sunrays, shadows became the lone survivor, engulfing everything into darkness, and I felt vanished, away from the glitches of life.

Listening to the song of a far away cricket, a weak smile spread on my lips. How quiet our life can be sometimes? After everything is out, how vacant can we be? The silence in the house felt almost impossible and I again shifted. My heartbeat had slowed now, but I still could feel it beating somewhere inside me.

I thought after fighting with him I'll feel better, I'll feel relaxed but I was wrong. The truth is there was nothing better about it. When I should have been glad, happy, delighted that I gave him what he deserved, I simply was... not. That anger WAS replaced, but not by calmness, but by a strange kind of quietness swirling inside me, shaping something bigger than what my imagination could even reach to.

The hint of coldness in the air made me wrap my arms around as I lay on sofa. Cooing myself that everything will be fine tomorrow, I ignored my heart and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning was a hustle, running along the house doing everything all by myself. From arranging breakfast to cleaning the mess I created in the room. Not even Sam was there to help, and I cursed myself every time I had to pick the pieces of glass. I couldn't even miss school coz I already had missed many classes, so today I just HAD to go to school. Facing Troy was a big question but he already had ruined my life, I couldn't let him ruin my studies too. Stuffing cookies in my mouth, I locked the main doors and ran towards the already waiting bus.

Taking a deep breath, I settled on my seat when Rachel spoke up, "I can see you are feeling better now?!" Without even waiting for my answer she continued, "So mind me telling why were you shouting at me when I called you last night?"

Last night...

"Well last night... was past, tomorrow is future but today, today is a gift, that's why we call it a present," I said, smiling, actually trying to get her off my back, "So forget about last night, last day, last anything that I was unhappy about and let's look forward towards today, okay." She eyed me before saying, "Okiiieee the new-born philosopher," and started laughing. Though I didn't know why she was smiling but at least she was so relaxing a bit, I leaned back in my seat.

Why should I be sad over something that was not my mistake, I thought and then smilingly, joined her tune too. She also went through a traumatic experience, much worse than mine so I was little surprised seeing her happy but if she was trying, why couldn't I?

Though it was hardly a day or two we didn't talk 'our way', still both of us had a lot of catching up to do but nobody was letting us. The train of questions and 'I am so happy for you' that started as soon as I got in bus kept following me throughout the time I crossed playground, stairs, lobby, and the locker room. Everybody was coming out of the shock of what happened and today seemed like a new day, a happy day.

Thanking everyone for their care, I made my way towards home room when running; Rachel came and pushed me from behind, "God, I am happy after sooooo long!" She sing-songed and my lips curled, "I know, me too!" Taking my hand in her, she walked with me swinging it occasionally. I laughed at her childishness and tried to pull back but she was in no mood of breaking away from me. Smacking my arms, she gave me a glare and pulled me along with her. "Fine.." Rolling my eyes, I started walking but so many pair of eyes watching again made me feel conscious. Before I could say anything to her, our homeroom came in my view and my body stiffened, making her to leave my hand.

"What happened?"

"Nothing..." Shaking my head, I entered the class and went to sit on my bench. Purposely, I was busy, going through my binder when Ryan came to me, running, "Hey Nil, have you seen Troy?"

Looking up, I frowned, "Hi, and NO, why would I see him?!"

"Oh, it's just he went to your house yesterday, right. After that we were supposed to meet at Costa Coffee but that son of a gun ditched me." "So, go find him. He will be somewhere... insulting girls for being girls!!" Shrugging, I went back to my binder when he banged on my desk, "The problem is I already have, and he is nowhere in the school." He said looking around, "He is not even picking up my calls so... I thought maybe you have seen him."

"No." I refused plainly and he goggled at me for a second, then left. So he is absent today, I mused, good for me.

The next day I had to go a little early, you know Miss B, so I asked Rachel's dad to drop me and he was generous enough to do so. Accompanying me was my groggy friend continuously hitting me for making her get up early. Early my foot, it was 8'o clock. However managing that stupid girl, we reached there. Dragging her along with me, I walked towards the spectrum and was greeted by many cheerful faces... except one. Bracing myself up, I got ready for another round of scold, and that I got.

Rest of the day was fine, except the fact that I had to do extra rehearsals to make up for my absence but at least HE wasn't present, again. Wrapping it up as quickly as possible I went home, credit again to Rachel's Dad who came to pick us, and screamed in happiness. I couldn't believe my eyes, Sam was there lying on sofa. I was no more alone in that house and that was news I could celebrate forever, even though he still wasn't able to walk properly and it was me who had to do everything for him.

To me it was a nightmare but he actually was enjoying the situation, bring me this, bring me that... uh, now it is coming back to me why I always wanted to kill him.

Troy didn't come to school even the next day, but I didn't care. I was happy at least I wouldn't have to see his face. The only person that was desperate for him was Miss B coz one of her leads was gone. And when he didn't come even the next day, she literally was on fire.

"Now she is getting the return gift of choosing him," I whispered to Rachel, and she looked at me with displeasure, "Nil, He is absent, for the past four days and nobody knows where he is. Even I am concerned now, how can you not be?"

Removing my gaze away from her, I shrugged, "I just am not." "Are you kidding me? Nil, he did so much for you-" "It's my scene," I got up, "Gotta go," and went up the stage, leaving her slightly irritated.

Saturday morning, finally a holiday for everyone... but not for me. There were piles and piles of 'things to be done by Nil'. With mom still in hospital, and Sam not well enough, everything was up to me to do. From bringing grocery to cleaning the house, I was practically running the whole day. It really was this time when I missed mom the most, a bit selfish yeah, but now I was getting the idea of how much she did for us. My god, since the morning I was busy doing household chores and still wasn't finished. I was in the kitchen, pulling my hair over what would be the dinner when Sam called. "What do you want now?" I said a bit irritated.

"Two days and you are already-"

"Come to the point, okay." I said, peeping out of kitchen and then going back in. "What are you doing by the way?" He asked puzzled. Scratching my head, I said, "Trying to decide what to cook for dinner." And here comes the roar of laughter. My blood heated hearing his laughs and I stomped out of kitchen, "If you can't help, at least shut up."

But he continued with his antics. In between his donkey-like laughs, he said, "Oh my god, YOU will cook. Nil, I wanna live, you know that right?!" And I rolled my eyes, giving up, "Forget about it," Throwing whatever was in my hands, I came to sit, "We will order pizza or something."

"That's better," He giggled, "Come on relax now, and be thankful to me."

"Yeah, yeah," I plopped on sofa and closed my eyes, "Jesus, I'm tired."

"Anyway," He suddenly sat up, "Have you talked to Troy lately?" "What?!" My eyes popped open, "No, why?" In the rush of getting all the things done, he totally slipped out of my mind but now when his name was taken, my uneasiness came back too.

"No. It's just strange," He narrowed his eye, "I haven't seen him for the last five days. I mean okay, until yesterday he might have had school and all but today was a holiday. He could have-" "Uhm... he didn't come to school this week," I hesitantly looked towards Sam and he frowned, "He didn't, the whole week." I shook my head in no and Sam took his phone out, "Where is he?" He called his number and waited, but nobody responded to the call. "What the..." He again tried, but was of no use. Troy didn't pick up his cell. Putting the phone on loudspeaker, he dialed another number and waited for the reply.

"Hello," A very hoarse voice came from the other side, "Who's this?!"

"Hello sir, this is Sam, Troy's friend," He said hastily, "Can I speak to Troy, plz."

"Troy? Then why have you called on my phone?" He asked gravely, "Try his number-"

"Sir, I already have," Sam said, frowning, "He is not picking up. Do you know where he is?" We were expecting for an answer when all of a sudden, a strong laughter came from other side, "Young man, I never know where my son is," and with that, the line went off. For two seconds, we both fell quiet and then I screeched, "That was... Richard Walker, the Richard Walker."

"Yes," He looked at me suspiciously, "Why?!" "Oh, nothing...," Now I couldn't tell that he was the man I did extensive research on, could I?! "But why did he reacted like that?" "The question here is... Where is Troy?" He said, getting tensed, "Even his father doesn't know about him?"

"Sam, relax. He must have gone somewhere; he'll come back..." I grabbed his shoulder, "Eventually."

"You think?" He looked at me expectantly and I nodded, smiling, "Now, should we call for a pizza," I grabbed the phone but he stopped me in the middle, "I'm in no mood." "Okay," I breathed out, "Fine then get up, I too have to sleep."

Helping him up, I took him to his room and positioned on the bed. Switching the lights off, I was about to leave when he said, "Nil, can you please tell me if you find something... anything. He is not like this," Those words suddenly pushed me in guilt. Nodding my head, I came out of his room, regretting inside for not telling him of what happened.

"It's better for him to not know," I said to myself, calming the sudden urge, "But... where is he?" And that was the first night I couldn't sleep cause of him.

Sam was feeling better the next morning. With a bit of limp, he started walking on his own and I was glad to not follow him to the loo. Believe me, it's not a good feeling to wait for someone outside the doors while they are... in the inside. After making toast, obviously with the help of Sam, we both went to see mom. It felt like ages since I saw her and as soon as we entered the room, I ran up and lay down beside her. Wrapping my arms around her, I felt like a kid fed up of playing grownups.

"I miss you, Mum," I whispered quietly, trying to calm my pacing breath. Deeply inhaling her scent, I wanted to keep it with me forever and my voice heaved, "Please come back... I need you, very much now." Right then bro came in and I had to get up, clearing my throat. Grabbing some reports of her from the table, he asked me to follow and led the way towards Doctor's chamber. Removing the curtains, I saw them already waiting for us. I sort of started to hate that chamber but breathing in, I entered.

Back at the house, we both were quiet. The doctors had said she was stable with minor improvements but still nothing on which they can guarantee anything, and that again left us apprehensive towards our future. They again wanted us to contact Aunt Ellie but how? Though she was the closest of family we got, we had no idea where she was. After my father's death, she did a lot for our family, much more than what one could have expected from just a friend of Dad. They met in the college back in New York, spent four years together and ended up being best friends. Sam was going through the old phone books but it all ended to nothing. Putting the phone down, we knew it was just the two of us, and NO ONE else.

Monday morning and the blues: 'Man, I seriously loved that fb quote 'If Monday was a person, I'd slap him.' THAT truly depicted what I felt for Mondays, the hideous, stupid Monday.

Throwing the covers off me, I groaned in anger, "Why Sam is still asleep and I have to get up... yeah well he's on leave honey," I was self talking as I got up and walked woozily around the room. Realizing I was roaming in the room meaninglessly, I slapped myself and made my way towards door. Trying to open the door, yes, tryyyying to open it cause when I'm sleepy my hand doesn't work properly. Don't know why but I just can't get a grip or grab anything soon after I wake up.

Opening it anyhow, I banged on Sam's door, just to piss him off, and turned to go downstairs. Ignoring the stairs, I got on the rails and slid down, like many times I've done in past, but when I reached down there was only one of those sliding that was revolving in my mind, the one with Troy. And everything paused for a second. Shaking my head, I rushed in the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of cold water. Drinking it quickly, I headed upstairs to get ready and be off to school.

With every step I took towards the school building, my eyes wandered aimlessly in the schoolyard watching kids playing, fighting with each other and I remembered the first time I met Troy. Where can he be... the thought flashed in my head and I turned to look in the parking lot. Tiptoeing myself to look at the end of the lot, I noticed his car missing, So he hasn't come yet. Shrugging, I was about to turn around when heard someone coughing behind my back. Closing my eyes, I let the breath out, "What Rachel?"

"Mind me asking who you are looking for, here, in the parking lot?" She asked, tapping her foot on the ground.

"No one," I replied and tried to walk past her but she quickly grabbed my elbow, "That doesn't looked like no one." "Uh-huh," I stared at her, "Actually you are right, I was looking for someone... but not who you are thinking of." "So you were not looking for-" "No, I was not looking for Troy."

And then she smiled, "I never said Troy," and left me mumbling, "Yeah whatever... I was looking for Nate, just so you know." I bluntly lied, and I think she caught it too but didn't say anything. I was just checking whether he had come or not, there was nothing more to it but she wouldn't have understood so I chose not to tell her.

"I hear you are looking for me," The charming smile appeared from behind. "Hi Nil!" But surprisingly it didn't have the same effect on me. With so many things on my mind, I guess I had no time for uh & oh, so replied dryly, "Hey Nate." He looked intently at me for a moment then turned towards her, "Hey Rachel, how are you holding up?" "I'm fine," She replied and excusing myself, I walked away.

I wasn't absent for a year or so even then the amount of homework that piled up was giving me heart attack. In each of the classes I was frantically writing down the class notes, the assignments that had been given along with project works, and then the rehearsals. All of it kept me so busy that I totally forgot about many things, but remembered as soon as I reached home.

"Nil, good thing you are here," Sam launched as I entered the porch, "Did Troy come today?" Troy... "No," I replied irritatingly, "I mean.. I don't know," and without saying anything else, I trudged upstairs and locked my room. Throwing my bags, I muttered, "Troy... Troy... Troy, he is not a kid anymore." After changing into my casuals, I went straight to my homework, and it almost took me four hours to finish it all, but thank god, I did. My stomach had started screaming so leaving the project works for tomorrow; I went downstairs. Sam was in the kitchen, cooking something. Grabbing the tomato he kept on the shelf, I sat there and started eating.

"Hey, that was for the.. uh," He hit my head but I didn't care. I was famishing and I would have eaten anything at that moment, even his crap-filled head. ;)

"So..." He started, "You didn't answer my question earlier."

"There is nothing to answer," I said, ignoring and was about to get off the shelf when he put his hands on my shoulder, "Nil." Putting the pan down, he came to sit beside me, "I know that you don't like him, for some reason you think he hates you, hates girls which is true, but he had his reasons. His past is... obscure, even to me. I don't know what happened, but one thing I know is that he is not as bad as you think of him," Turning his head, he looked at me, "Nil, he has done a lot for me, for us. I didn't like it but I've seen him being there for you even when I wasn't, how could YOU not?" Taking my hand, he said, "I'm not asking you to like him or anything, but he is my friend, and I don't know where he is. Can you please help me here?"

The way he looked at me made me lower my eyes, "He didn't come today, in school."

"Okay, thanx." He smiled, ruffling my hair, "I'll see what I can do," and went back to making spaghetti. But I couldn't go back to my previous state. Sam was right, how could I not? Everything we did together started to fill my eyes. How he was there when mom was hospitalized, how he held my hand when I had to make the most important decision of my life and how easily he could take my mind off things... and all he did was tease me.

I was yet thinking he must have gone somewhere and will come back, but when he didn't come even the next day; that was when it started bothering me. The bell had gone and I was on my way to cafeteria hoping that maybe Troy would be there but I was wrong, he wasn't there. In fact he wasn't at school that entire week. I asked Ryan but he said he hadn't seen him since that day. It had been two weeks, and still nobody knew where he is.

And now the one question I was avoiding for so long started to come into sight, was he really gone because of me?

Anything I did ended up bringing some memory of him, and the creepiest part was that I didn't even know when I spent so much time with him. From lunch to dinner, from crying to surprisingly laughing with him, when did he become so involved?! I mean all I did was... fight with him, didn't I?! All kinds of question started creeping in my head and now I was feeling tensed like hell. Where can he go, is he even all right? What if... How many times did I pick up my phone to call him, but every time it ended up being thrown.

The sound of thunders echoed in my ear as I lied on my bed in the pitch black darkness of midnight. The last two weeks so unreal to me that sometimes even with my eyes open I considered it dreams, a dreadful dream. The events of this week were flashing before my eyes like a movie, leaving me mesmerized at the emotions I had to go through. From extreme sadness to happiness of getting Sam back, from there to anger, hurt and finally now to confusion... guilt.

Yes, I was angry and yes, he broke my trust, but right now when I think about it, all what comes in my mind is that... one chance, that is something anyone deserves. If not anyone else, I at least can understand myself, why I did what I did but even for me it doesn't matter now. I understand it but can't say it was the right thing to do. Not all right things are good, and not all good things are right.

Yes, he was the first guy I believed, he was the first guy I trusted, but it's MY problem that I did and he broke it... huh, I'm not even sure now that he broke it. Anger was still there, somewhere in the corner of my heart but it was not necessarily him to be blamed for whatever happened, and that's why my anger was overshadowed with uncertainty, now.

I stopped, he said that right?! And going back inside those elevator doors, now I'm seeing that he actually did stop. Who was I to blame then, fate... uh, never before have I even believed in fate.

"What a... little git." I snapped from the trail of thoughts, and picked up my phone. Taking a deep breath in, I unlocked the phone and finally dialed his number....

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