Rated: E · Short Story · Romance/Love · #1790753
A story of love , simply love
|She blinked several times when she opened her eyes. It took her just a moment to re orient herself to her surroundings. The mild sedative was wearing off and Mahima slowly pushed herself upto a sitting position. Her oncologist looked grave when he asked her to follow her into his cabin. ‘Not a good sign’ she thought.|
She followed him slowly to his cabin and sank gratefully into the plush leather chair. The glass topped table separating them felt sterile and cold. He seemed almost hesitant when he finally spoke.
“Mahima”, She immediately stiffened in her chair. “I am so sorry. Your cancer is back. And with a vengeance. What we hoped would be a benign tumour has proven to be severely malignant. As it is fast approaching your vital organs, I’m afraid we don’t have much time”.
By now, she had stopped listening. Her own thoughts were too loud to let anything else reach her ears. The best oncologist in the country had just used the most famous euphemism for “You will be dead before you know it”.
“How much time do I have doctor?” She cut him off, almost rudely.
“Well, to be frank, not more than a month. We could have you admitted immediately for intensive chemo but I’m afraid it would only buy you a month at the most. A very painful one, that too.
“We shall be landing in New York in ten minutes Sir”, the pilot’s voice jarred Saahil Arya awake. His swanky jet was his second home and he loved it dearly.
“Mr. Suhas!” Sahil called out to his most trusted companion, his secretary for over twenty years. Mr. Suhas was just finishing the final prints for the day’s schedule and seemed totally in control, as always.
He walked upto Sahil and took the seat next to his boss, to prepare for landing. “Sir, you have a meeting with Mr. Jason at 11.00 am. The W hotel. The minutes of your previous meeting are on your I pad.
Lunch is with Miss. Gabriella.
There are two charity events later in the evening. Both will be well attended. We fly back at 2.30 am local time.
“Thank you, Mr. Suhas. “ Sahil took a deep breath and calmed his mind for the long day ahead.
Arya Shipping Co. Was a Fortune 500 company and was touted to be next entrant in the top ten list. At 45, Sahil was a Baby in that elite group. He was a shrewd businessman but never crossed paths with the law. He was well trusted and had built a strong reputation for himself.
“Ah! What a lovely place!” commented Sahil as Gabriella showed him around a new restaurant that she had just discovered. She loved making these little moments special for him. Just sitting and sharing a meal with this man was energising! Their lunch was uneventful and as they rose to leave, Gabriella held Sahil close and barely whispered..”What time tonite?”
“Sorry Hun..flying back tonight. This is all the fun we were to have this time.” “Umm...do me a favour though will you? I’ll be rather busy all evening; could you pick up something for my wife?”
“Sure. What kind this time?”
“Diamonds. The finest wreath you can find. Use the card that I gave you.”
Gabriella seemed so excited to be able to spend that kind of money, she vanished immediately! “This is what I love about New York!” thought Sahil and smiled to himself.
Mahima reached home later that afternoon and lay down for a nap. Unable to sleep though, she got up and drew a bath instead. She wanted the suds to wash away her agony. Sahil would be home soon, but she didn’t want to tell him. He would over react and the extra fuss would smother her.
She knew that a few friends at the club would genuinely care, but she didn’t have the energy to reach out and tell anyone. For all in her ‘Society’, she had the perfect life, the perfect husband. Now, she craved a perfect death.
Sahil reached Mumbai that day, but as usual, went straight to work. He sent Mahima’s gift home with Mr. Suhas.
“What is it Mr. Suhas?”
“Open it Ma’am”
“Please don’t call me Ma’am when we’re alone. You are like a brother to me.”
“Ok, mahima, here, open it.”
The sheer opulence of the Harry Winston wreath took mahima’s breath away. A true piece of art. In diamonds.
“Umm...Well, yes. I’m sorry Mahima. I know how must feel.”
Mahima had found out long ago about Sahil’s relationship with Gabriella...and Alia and Saura. She knew where they lived, what they did for a living and could always recognize their taste in the gifts that Sahil made them buy her.
She knew she should have left long ago. But if at all it was possible, she still loved sahil. Not for his money, she was born to rich parents herself, or his looks; she was a stunner too. Sometimes she wondered if some masochistic bit of her allowed her to be with him. Then again, he had never been rude to her. Never abusive in any way.
And now this. Her cancer had changed her paradigms on everything. She knew her days were numbered. They had no children and she had invested twenty years into this marriage. She didn’t want to throw it away.
“Sahil!!!!! Sahil!” mahima shrieked suddenly from the kitchen. He came running down to find her doubled over on the kitchen floor, barely conscious. Mahima slipped in and out of consciousness as the wail of the ambulance pierced the early morning air. She had been supervising breakfast when the pain hit.
When she finally came to, she was in a hospital bed, strapped to probably every machine that they had. Tubes and wires snaked in and out of her. As she opened her eyes, they met those of her doctor, patiently waiting. He slowly, but deftly removed her respirator tube and she let out a sharp cough.
Her sudden pain and lack of energy told her that this was probably it. Her last day on planet earth. But the universe had other plans. She lived on hope, machines and morphine for another month. Sahil went out on business a couple of times, but he came to the hospital once everyday as long as he was in town.
The call came when he was in his boardroom with his team of legal advisors. “What!!? But I saw her just this morning! “ He boomed into his phone!
“She had a lethal cardiac failure Mr. Arya. We could not revive her this time. I’m sorry.”
He knew she was sick, but he always believed she would come back home one day. How could she be dead? Just like that?
Sahil sped past the red lights in his Hummer and reached the hospital in under fifteen minutes. There she lay, so still, so pretty and nothing like dead. Surprisingly, Mr. Suhas was already there. He cried silently as he held a black envelope close to him.
“Sir, Ma’am entrusted me with this a couple of months ago. She wanted you to have it as soon as her last breath parted from her body. Still too stunned to react, Sahil quietly took the envelope and opened it. It was a will. MAhima had a will!?! It was the shortest will he had ever known. It simply read:
“Dear sahil, Please give my Harry Winston wreath to Gabriella, my Louis Vuitton Fur to Saura in Madrid and my Tiffany ear rings to Aalia. I love you Sahil, I always loved you.”
Sahil Arya was at a total loss. Beads of perspiration popped up on his forehead. When he tasted salt on his lips, he realised that he was crying.
She knew. Apparently, she had known all along. And yet, she loved him. She forgave him. Sahil looked towards Mr. Suhas for some explanation, but all they exchanged was a look; soaked with sorrow, dry with despair.
Mahima was gone. Forever! But she left behind the kind of love that very few are capable of experiencing. And Sahil was the one chosen by destiny, it seemed.
Sahil felt incapable of handling so much love, in all its purity. He felt ashamed, happy, belittled, ecstatic and frustrated all at once. Why hadn’t he seen this before? Why hadn’t he treasured her more? Held her closer when they hugged..smelt her perfume more deeply when they went out?
With no answers, he was left with one last question. A question that Mahima had thrown to the universe a million times. “Why Me????”