This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.
1 AM, Saturday, January 1 2011
They return to the apartment after a disastrous beginning to new year. Swami accompanies them as they have exceeded the set deadline to reach the hostel. Arpit’s mind is filled with plethora of thoughts which are beginning to brim over in the form of anger. This was something he hadn’t anticipated at all. As he removed his shoes and walked towards the hall, he couldn’t conceal his tears. He had taken so many things for granted. The thought of what happened would happen felt absurd. But as he thought back over the past months, he realised now – there had been signs. He was the one who had ignored them. What was he going to do now?
Abhinav is yet to come to terms with the apocalypse. He is worried about Arpit – he seems shattered. Niket is clueless with regards to how to address the situation. His peppy talks ain’t going to change the gravity of the matter in hand. Feeling powerless in front of the situation; he goes to the kitchen to bring Arpit a glass of water. Swami accompanies him to the kitchen. Madhu prompts Abhinav to go ahead and comfort Arpit.
Abhinav walks toward the sofa, carrying the glass of water Niket gives him. Arpit is looking outside through the window with his back towards the kitchen. Abhinav stares at him – trying to take in his state of mind – he was so full of life an hour ago – now he seems devastated. He touches his back and offers Arpit water.
Arpit slams the glass of water, splattering the floor. His teary eyes are red with hatred. He never imagined his best friend could do this to him. ‘How could you, we’ve been together since the time we put feet in Mumbai; four years and this is how you backstab me?’ Shouting out loud, Arpit lands a punch on Abhi’s face. ‘We’re done. Get away from me and my life.’ An array of swear words follow.
Everyone else is shocked. There is pin drop silence. Abhinav is gripped by sorrow – he never had anticipated this. ‘You’re not in the right mind. Go to bed, we’ll talk tomorrow’. ‘I’m in the right mind, everything is clear to me now, I might be drunk but I’m not high. How can I be high, you’ve opened my eyes!’ Another stream of swear words follows. ‘If you respect our friendship of four years, get away from my life and never come back – leave the den and never show your face again! My decision will not change even when I’ll wake up sober tomorrow’
Abhinav decides to go away from his life – what happened wasn’t his fault. He realises the need to stop living for others and begin his life – deciding to listen to what he wants and go for it. He leaves the den and joins the hostel in college campus where Swami resides the next morning.
By the time Arpit wakes up, Abhinav has left with his luggage – leaving behind the memories. But the memories sting him now, they’ve been the ones which poisoned my life, ponders Arpit. He checks his cell phone and realises Abhi has left their whatsapp group.
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