Midas- A Healing Touch

Chapter 23

Three years dragged on in a peculiar dance of emotions, marked by a profound sense of longing and separation. Despite the relatively brief time they had spent together, a tapestry of shared moments had woven a deep connection between Sia and Vinay. This connection, now strained by the void between them, played a haunting tune of reminiscences that colored every aspect of their lives. They found themselves perpetually reminded of one another by the simplest of things: the rustic jingle of an ice cream truck, reminiscent of their spontaneous ice cream dates; the way a stray dog barked in the middle of the night, bringing to mind a comical canine encounter they had shared; sometimes, it was a simple item, like a coffee cup bearing the same shade as Vinay’s favorite blazer or the warmth of his childhood blanket he had given her in Delhi and she had kept it, that sent their minds spiraling into shared moments. She’d laugh whenever someone ate food as if their life depended on it, and then cry inconsolably by the thought of what she has lost.

At times, these memories evoked laughter, like the time they had been caught in an unexpected downpour, resulting in a mad dash to find cover, leaving them soaked and giggling. But more often, they stirred deep emotions that sent them into fits of tears. An old song playing on the radio was enough to rekindle the night in Venice they had slow-danced in the soft glow of moonlight, their eyes locked together. A street vendor’s cart selling spicy street food revived memories of their culinary escapades, tasting everything from mouthwatering delicacies to ludicrous food challenges.

Each time they encountered these fragments of shared history, the rollercoaster of emotions took hold. A laugh could easily dissolve into a cascade of tears. It was a bittersweet reminder of what they had shared and what was now lost. The separation was a constant ache, and every little reminder was both a cherished glimpse into their shared past and a painful glimpse of their disconnected present. They were forever intertwined in memories, where even the simplest of things held the echoes of their time together.

On the breezy afternoon of November 9th, Sia’s birthday, the atmosphere buzzed with anticipation. Vinay stormed into a bustling burger store, his rapid breaths a stark contrast to the otherwise serene setting.

Vinay’s face was contorted with a maelstrom of emotions. He had come here with hope, eyes scanning for Sia, longing to see her at last. There was a glimmer of expectation in his eyes, as if this moment would mark a new beginning. But that hope faded in an instant when his gaze met a very different sight – me, Rritvikh Shah, standing there, the cause of his past betrayal.

Anger coursed through Vinay like wildfire. His jaw clenched, and his fists tightened so much that his knuckles turned white. There was an unsettling tension in the air. He was ready to confront me for the wrong I had committed years ago, and it was clear that he had been searching for me all this time.

As Vinay approached, the air grew thick with tension. It was palpable that a storm was brewing, and I braced myself for the emotional tempest that was about to erupt.

But then, a twist in the tale. Sia appeared out of nowhere, like a guardian angel descending upon a battle. Her presence shifted the entire scene. Vinay’s anger was still apparent, but now mixed with astonishment. He couldn’t hide his relief and happiness at finally encountering Sia, and his eyes sparkled with a renewed hope.

However, this was no ordinary rendezvous. A quick glance in my direction reignited the anger within him, reminding him of the past betrayal. It was as if his face was a canvas on which the contrasting colors of emotions battled for dominance.

In that moment, a whirlwind of feelings engulfed the burger store. It was a scene painted with complex emotions. Happiness danced on the fringes, just a breath away from anger, and confusion hung in the air, thick and suffocating. Sia had unwittingly become the mediator between two people with a history they couldn’t escape, their emotions weaving a captivating but turbulent tapestry of the past and present.

As the tension continued to build, Vinay’s frustration surged. He implored Sia once more, “Sia, please, just give me some space. I need to handle this.”

Sia’s resolve remained unshaken. She looked into Vinay’s eyes, determination etched on her face, and declared, “I can’t let you hurt him in my presence. We’ll find another way to deal with this.”

Our stand-off in the burger store intensified. Vinay’s anger simmered like an active volcano, his desire to confront me battling against his respect for Sia’s wishes. Sia, acting as a shield, refused to let violence take place under her watch. And I, caught between their contrasting emotions, felt the weight of their unresolved history pulling in different directions.

In those tense moments, it wasn’t just a battle of emotions but a critical juncture in our shared story, where past betrayals met with uncertain attempts at redemption.

Memories flowed from their eyes in the form of tears and pent-up aggression. It felt as if the weight of their shared history had become too heavy to bear. Finally, I felt compelled to intervene, my voice breaking through the tension.

“It was my idea,” I admitted, my words a bridge between their emotions. Sia, her eyes welling with curiosity, asked, “What idea?”

With a touch of remorse, I confessed, “I’m sorry for not discussing it with you earlier, Sia, but I wanted you to celebrate at least one birthday with him. That’s why I used your social media to post a picture of this burger with the caption ‘Midas.’ I knew it was the only way to bring him back.”

Vinay looked at me, a mix of bewilderment and anger in his eyes. “You did that?” he inquired, searching for answers. “But why?”

Sia chimed in, clearly disappointed, “Not done, Shah, so not done.”

Despite their shared indignation towards me, a rare alignment of their emotions had occurred. At that moment, there was an undeniable unity in their disapproval. I was happy that even in their anger and hatred towards me, these two were finally on a same page.

“Just sit down, you two,” I said. They obliged. There wasn’t much rush at the shop. However the silence was piercing all of our hearts.

Sia kept looking at her phone to distract herself, while Vinay was busy killing me with the rage in his eyes. Sia didn’t even bothered to ask me anything, her disappointment clearly visible. Vinay was stealing glances of her, smiling to himself often.

“Look. I guess it was a bad idea altogether. But what’s done is done. We can’t change that, right?” I said.

“Sia, you don’t know who he is. You shouldn’t even be sitting on the same table as him. He will betray you. Like he betrayed me.” Vinay’s voice had concern for her mixed with an anger for me.

“I know what I am doing. Thanks but no thanks,” Sia told him.

“What explanation do you have for what you did to me, hun?” Vinay asked me.

“I don’t have an explanation. I am sorry and ready to repent what I did. But I do not have a “holier than thou” attitude so I don’t have an emotional explanation for what I did.. I did what I did because I was a horrible person back then. I am sorry. I genuinely am. But I don’t have a moral story to tell you. And I will never have that story ready.”


“If it’s nonsense, then be it.” I said.

“No way!” Sia almost screamed.

“What happened?” I asked her.

She handed me her phone. “Had to be today!” I exclaimed.

“No wonder. The Midas is here,” Sia said, laughing under her breath.

“Is anyone going to tell me what happened?” Vinay asked.

“Let me do the honours,” I jumped in excitement. “Sia was working on a solo project again and it yielded her a whopping 300 Billion USD for it. And the confirmation came right when you stepped your foot in the shop.”

“Wow! Congratulations. I am so happy for you!” He said.

“Thank you so much,” she said to him and then turned to me “We will have to go and submit some papers today.”

“Don’t worry. Bring the papers downstairs, I will be waiting in the car.” I told her.

As she left, Vinay offered to drive us.

“You must be tired. I know that you want to join us, but give her some time. I’ll narrate the story to you later. We live in an apartment just above this shop, since you bought the whole place. Just go upstairs, rest a bit. We will be back by the evening. And also, it’s her birthday. And mine, too. I thought you would want to stay here to give us a party,” I said and gave him a hug. He didn’t hug me back. “Thank you for coming. Means a lot.” I said.

Sia and I left the place to go to the office and in the car she said, “Thank you for bringing him. I don’t want to see his face and I hate you for bringing him in front of me, but Thank you.” And then we both laughed at the contradictions in her dialogues.

“I know what it means to you. And maybe this is my chance to seek an apology, too.” I said.

As I drove through the lanes of Banaras, and passed through the same gym, I saw her losing herself in the memories.

I was wondering what she would have been thinking. Maybe that it was Vinay’s world we were living in, and how he always had been the Midas Touch in her life. How his presence is just enough for everything to fall beautiful despite the chaos. It was more like a homecoming for her, even when it was Vinay who had stepped back in her life. And what would have been running in Vinay’s mind at this time. I was sure he would be upstairs by then, and would be looking at a small world Sia and I had created. He would have misunderstood that it was Sia and my world and he was an outsider. We didn’t allow him to drive us, after all. He would be picking up coffee mugs on the table and probably smiling at the lipstick stains, remembering what he had and what he lost. By then, he would have memorized her favourite shades of lipsticks from her favourite brand. I looked at Sia, who was on her own, smiling at silly thoughts of ‘could have beens’. And then I looked at me, in the rear view mirror. And I couldn’t help but say to myself, that this is in fact Sia’s world and we were just lucky to be a part of it.

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