“I don’t know how to console Aarthi. The unfortunate accident caused this. Only I see her. Her depressed soul is not willing to let go. She screams whenever I try to explain. All I wish for her now is a peaceful farewell. I cannot turn back the hands of time. She blames me for everything. I know a grave mistake of mine led to this disaster. I can never be with her ever again. But her soul is tormented by it and she is haunting me now.
The last thing I remember after the accident is her beautiful face with tear laden eyes. I have been suffering with memory loss due to trauma. And now her apparition is always following me. Everything is driving me crazy. I wonder if things will ever feel normal again. I don’t step out of my house. I am not even able to recall today’s date. I feel sleepy most of the time. It must be the effect of sedatives given in the hospital. My parents, in-laws are all here but everyone seems to be so quiet. They don’t talk to me. They treat me like I don’t exist. I guess they hold me responsible for everything. Only Aarthi or rather her apparition speaks a few sorrowful words”, thought Raj.
Suddenly there was a streak of lightning.
Boom! Sounded the thunder and it started raining heavily. The lights went off. Raj was lost in the past yet again – the day of the accident.
1 month before
“But Raj! It’s pouring incessantly. The roads will be slippery. I just heard the news today. All the local news channels are advising people not to venture out. Flash flood warnings have also been issued in several interstate highways. And moreover, I just checked the calendar today. Today is Navami. Maa always told me it is not an auspicious day to travel. Let’s wait until the weather improves. We can always plan a trip later. Let’s not risk dear. I will bake a cake and pizza. We can celebrate our anniversary at home”, exclaimed Aarti.
“Not only is it our anniversary but I was also offered my dream job today and I want to celebrate. Aarti, you always seem to worry too much. Besides, when did you start becoming superstitious? All days are auspicious if we believe so. Don’t be a spoilsport. Trust me and pack your bags quickly. Ooty’s calling honey!” said Raj.
Aarti tried convincing Raj but it was all in vain. She usually had hunches before things went wrong and today was one of those days. Anyway Raj had already made up his mind and she knew she could do nothing about it. She stuffed whatever was needed in a duffel bag, chanted a mantra close to her heart and sat inside the car. She tried to feign a smile because she was in no mood to argue anymore.
An hour later, they were already on the highway, driving towards Ooty. The roads were rough, slippery and there were hardly any vehicles on the road. Aarti’s heart skipped a beat every time she saw those puddles on the road or whenever he applied the brakes. “Raj, please be careful! You are a rash driver”, she said. But he didn’t pay heed to anything she said.
“Did you carry my charger? asked Raj, turning to Aarti for a moment. Screech! , went the tyres, the car skidded, toppling mercilessly.
“ Raaaaj!” She had screamed. The glass window shattered, hurting Aarti. She squirmed with pain and was surrounded with a pool of blood. Raj had been injured too. He felt a sharp pain and after that everything had seemed very hazy. He could only remember the sound of an ambulance,the feeling of a stretcher being wheeled and the operation theatre lights.
Most of the events that occurred in the hospital had seemed more like a dream except for one. Aarti lay in the hospital bed with multiple injuries. Her pulse had dropped and the nurses in the ER room were screaming. She had whispered to Raj , “Why Raj? Why didn’t you listen to me? Now I shall be a tormented soul” and she had lost her consciousness.
“I guess that must have been the last few moments of her life. At least I was with her”, thought Raj.
After that, all Raj could remember was their house. Everything else seemed to appear and vanish in flashes.
It seemed like the middle of the night. Raj stood next to the window unable to sleep.
“ Raj…”, he heard a quiet whisper behind him. It was Aarti. She looked very pale.
“ Aarti, my dear! Remember this. You may be gone but you were and are the only love of my life. I must have listened to you the other day but now it’s too late. Please, please remain in peace. This cannot go on forever. Your soul has to leave now” said Raj.
Aarti just uttered the same few words repeatedly, “Raj, I wish I could explain. I am not angry. I love you my dear”. She seemed very sad and looked at him sympathetically. Raj could not understand why she behaved that way but at least he felt comforted that she still loved him.
A gust of wind blew and he heard a crashing sound. Raj rushed to check what had fallen down. It was Raj’s picture. He was shocked to see that it was adorned with a garland. And it said “You were cruelly snatched by the hands of fate but will always remain in our hearts”.
Now it all made sense. Raj looked at Aarti with sorrow. He understood. It was she who had survived.
And finally his soul had found the answers. He felt a deep sense of calmness engulf him. He was being carried away by the wind……..
Aarti bid him adieu. Tears were trickling down her eyes.
Photo Credits: Unsplash
This is an entry for the event #Supernatural #UniK-7 being held at Writers Room | Room8.
Read the event guidelines here: UniK-7 event guidelines
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