The background story of one of the characters from my novel Lost in the Echo
|Aarav has always been a loner. He wasn't an outcast. He just never liked mingling with others. It was always like that until she came. With her came him as well. A hot discussion on politics by some teenage students became the ice-breaker. She had unknowingly insulted his father. How could she even know that most despised person was someone's father? Someone from her class. A guy who sat in the last seat by the window, who didn't speak much in class. Others also wouldn't get near him. They just let him be. Janhvi first thought that maybe that boy was being ostracised, but it wasn't the case. He never mingled with others. He wasn't some problem child. He was good in academics as well as sports, much better than her.
That day, she spoke ill about that politician who turned out to be Aarav's father. Sameer, her childhood friend, made her apologise to him. Aarav didn't mind the comments. He said his father was the worse.
Who even says that? It wasn't some joke he said to ease the situation. He meant every word. From that day, three of them were inseparable. Aarav even if he wanted to couldn't get away from the hands of ever-enthusiastic Janhvi and her loyal follower Sameer.
They would spend time together, make plans for their future. They promised to get into the same college. Even if someone fails, others will wait for them. They helped each other in their studies. It was the first time for Aarav to have friends. He never had friends or at least this close. His day would go by listening to the bickerings of Sameer and Janhvi. They were so full of life. It was never boring with them.
After spending such colourful moments in school, coming back to the dull home felt like a splash of cold water straight to the face. Home was never warm for Aarav. His home always had visitors. His father was always busy with them. And Aarav would simply stay in his bedroom, eat his dinner in his bedroom and rarely come out to have a word with his father. He had even gone several days without speaking a word. And nobody cared. He had never spoken much with his father. He eventually stopped speaking after his mother passed away. She died by suicide. There were no notes, no explanation. Aarav found her hanging in her bedroom a few days before his birthday. They had planned to go to the museum he always wanted to go with his family. He never went to that museum.
One day his father called him to his office. He was surprised that he even remembered that he had a son or maybe he remembered his birthday. When he met him, it was only because of the first reason. He was his son. So, he had the duty of enrolling him into a prestigious college, doesn't matter if he was qualified or not. Forget about what his wishes or thoughts were.
After the talk was over, Aarav wanted to run away. Perhaps a year had passed since they last talked. They didn't visit his mother's grave. It had been a year since she was gone too.
That day, he did run away. He sneaked out of his room and got into a bus and went to the museum. He didn't care it was night. He just wanted to get away from his home, get away from his father.
In the middle of the night, he stood in front of the closed museum. From the time he missed going to the museum trip in his elementary school, he wanted to visit it. He had read a lot about it. He wanted to visit it with his family, his Mom and Dad. But it was never possible. His father was never free. Last year, his father agreed on the trip, but they spent it on a funeral.
Aarav sat in the bus stand near the museum. He stared at the flickering lamp post. He stayed the whole night. When the first rays of the sun came, he got from the seat and got on the first bus and went back home. Where else could he go?