Home [Song-fic]

*Entry For Fanfiction Royale*
Jai, Rushali and Neer. They were the inseparable trio. But as time moves on, everything separates. All the laughter, happiness, smiles, good days- they all bury beneath the power of time. Now the only way left to fix it all is- Home.

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1. 3 September, 2000

“Hold on to me as we go”

3 September, 2000                                                      
 

“Okay?” Neer’s grey eyes looked over at her. His hands tightly held on to the wheel of the car as they drove on the highway. He could take his eyes off the roads only to look at her, he could do anything to see her and looking off the road was nothing.

Rushali’s head nodded slightly only so he could notice. It wasn’t a nod which gave satisfaction to Neer. It was just a formality.

Her head was completely turned towards the window, gawking out at the moving roads and trees. Her brown wavy hair completely hid the side of her face like a curtain, separating Neer from her. She had been sitting like that for hours now, quiet, head towards the window, never looking back.

The road was as straight as a ruler, just going on and on monotonously. Arms of corn fields were embraced astride to the roads. Everything looked quiet outside- women reaping corn, children running through the fields... Rushali didn’t want to look forward at the present.  She wanted to look outside and disappear into those corn fields. She couldn’t even look at Neer or else everything would come back to them. Everything that had ever happened, everything she had to see again, everything she wasn’t ready for.

Her eyes were dry and stinging as if she had the capacity to cry but the tears were no longer left to do so. The past few days had been exhausting, she was tired of everything. It felt like they were not in a moving car but in a room surrounded by screens showing different pictures turn by turn. The corn fields were now replaced by yellow meadows of mustard. All she wanted to do at the moment was to jump out of the car and run towards the mustard fields. She wanted to lie down under the sun in between the meadows, close her eyes and take a deep breath of the mustard scent. She wanted to look at the sky and forget everything that happened. That’s the best she could do to not think about dying and death.

Death.

In each minute that passed, Neer looked over at Rushali just to see how she was. He couldn’t look at her, her thick brown hair was like a wall in between. He didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know what to do. He thought she was crying but not outside. In the inside she was bursting. But she wasn’t crying so he couldn’t just take her in his arms and tell her not to cry. He couldn’t do anything but drive, as if it’s his duty to finish this off.

His grip tightened against the black steering wheel as he thought about the last few days. His tanned skin tightened at his hold and veins were embossing out of them. He brushed his hair with his one hand, gripping them tightly between his fingers for a second, trying to hold it in. He can’t cry, he shouldn’t. Rushali wouldn’t be able to quiet him, she would cry on her own.

Screw it. He thought. He pulled the car aside and stamped the break hard. The car jolted to a stop. Rushali’s stomach sunk at the sudden jolt and she thought she would bump her head against the dash board but thanks to the seatbelt. She looked outside and there was nothing out there. Just corn fields and meadows. Confused, she finally turned to see Neer.

His head was resting on the steering and he breathed hard. His eyes were tightly closed. He didn’t say anything too. The moment his eyes fluttered open, he pushed open the door and walked out, slamming the door behind. He walked on and on and on until he was at a safe distance from the car. Rushali looked back where he was going through the glass window at the back.

Breathe. She told herself and rested her head against the headrest. Her eyes wandered over the folded sun shield up in front of her. She lifted her hand and with trembling fingers pulled open the shield. An envelope dropped on her feet. She scooped it up with her hands, still trembling. It was thick, white envelope-plain- nothing written on the outside. Her fingers slipped under the sharp flap and she carefully pulled out a shiny rectangular paper.

Her hand flew to her mouth. Tears rolled down like tsunami from her eyes and her lips trembled like earthquake. It was picture of all of them- happy, smiling, carefree. Tremors gripped Rushali’s hand tightly as she turned the picture. In a neat, slant handwriting it said-

Home.

 

 

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