Midas- A Healing Touch

Chapter 24

Sia and I returned to find Vinay’s surprising and heartwarming gesture waiting for us. The tiny apartment was adorned with an array of colorful balloons, and the inviting aroma of delicious food permeated the air. Despite our emotional turmoil, we couldn’t resist the irresistible spread on the table. We decided to put on a facade of elation, our attempts at happiness in stark contrast to the inner turmoil we had just faced.

The balloons bobbed playfully as we shared a meal together, a delicate dance of emotions still hanging in the air. Although we weren’t truly in the mood for a celebration, we appreciated the effort Vinay had put into making the evening special. He wished the two of us a happy birthday and hugged us. He finally hugged me. Maybe his anger had subsided.

At the table, I said, “To settle your curiosity, let me tell you what happened. During Trisha’s wedding preparations, when you told her about me, she wanted to find me somehow to help you reconcile with me. Fate was with her, undoubtedly it was in your form that’s what we have believed all this while, she was looking at a website to find birthday twins. And she fed her birth date and it fetched her a list of people who had searched for their birthday twins. She found me there. She clicked on my profile and found some pictures at your Delhi home. She contacted me, told me what happened with you and her, and was happy when I agreed to Video call you right after the wedding. She wanted it to be a surprise for you. But unfortunately, when I called she had made up her mind to break up with you. I didn’t ask much…”

“And then he came here to celebrate our birthday and we have been living here together since,” Sia intervened much to my amusement.

“Yeah.. That’s.. That’s the whole story,” I said.

“Wow!” Vinay exclaimed. I don’t know if he was convinced with what we told him.

“It’s way past my bed time. I am calling this a day,” Sia said as she woke up and went to sleep. “Good night.”

“Good night” we said.

She slept like a baby that night.

***

Next morning, she woke up with me stirring the coffee with a spoon. “Morning,” she said.

“Good morning,” I said.

“Is he gone?” she asked me.

“No.. He will stay for a couple of days. And talk slowly..”

“Why is he staying here?”

“Umm.. the building is in his name, maybe…” I said.

She woke up to freshen up, when I said to her in desi authentic Delhi tone, “Taad le tab tak.” (For the time he is here, steal glances of him as much as you can). I saw her blushing at the thought.

I woke Vinay with a coffee. “Rested?” I asked..

“Yes..” he said. Still in denial of what happened in the last few hours with him..

Sia avoided any talks the entire day. Later at the dinner table, as we sat together, Sia went inconsolable. Panic and grief captured her soul. 24 hours were a bit too much for her to pretend everything was good.

She got another anxiety attack where her mind lost control of her body. She drank one litre of water from a bottle in one go. Her eyes dwelled up with tears but she refused to cry. She woke up and started throwing stuff in the entire room.

I walked up to her and gave her the tightest possible hug, without saying anything. I stayed as calm as I could, while I played her favourite songs on the speakers. I led her to her room, and helped her lie down. She refused to close her eyes, not even for blinking. She kept staring in an open universe probably seeking answers for her misery. There were no answers. No resolve.

She slept after a while.

“Hey… You have this coat with you, okay… I will be right here…” I said, as I looked at Sia. I brushed her hair and let them fall on her eyes, then I dimmed the lights and walked out of the room, wiping my tears.

“Is she asleep?” Vinay asked.
“Umm hmm.. For the time being, Yes…” I looked into the open universe, not trying to make eye contact with Vinay, probably because I didn’t want to be weak, and looking at Vinay would make me cry.

“You want some coffee? Beaten one?”

“Black..” Vinay said, as he accompanied me to the kitchen. He sat on the countertop and watched me make it. Vinay felt out of place and it was visible in his eyes.

“Let’s go, sit on the balcony. Shall we?”

We headed towards the balcony, where two chairs were placed and cool breeze was flowing. 7 years ago, almost the same time, Vinay and Sia met under this sky for the very first time.

“I think I should leave.” Vinay said.

“You didn’t like the coffee?”

“No… I meant I should leave from here. I can forgive you. In fact, I did forgive you. But she will never. I can see her feeling suffocated, and I don’t want to add on to her sufferings.”

“You will have to stay. Until she heals.”

“Healing is personal. She will never heal if she keeps seeing me here. I don’t want her to relive her trauma because of me. In fact, I don’t even know what I did that caused her this pain. You have a little world here and you are comfortable in each other’s company. It’s because of me she is getting those anxiety attacks… I can’t see her like this…”

“You can’t see her like this??? And so the best solution you have is, you will leave her and let her deal with all of this herself? Wow!”

Vinay started crying as I started to clap.

“So, Mr. Vinay Khanna loves people to an extent that he cannot see his lover in pain. So he decided to leave her to deal with her shit on her own… Bravo! You should be given a medal!!!!”

“Stop that… I beg of you… Can you see her like this? The attack she got on seeing me, can you see her in this mess?”

“I’ve seen this for the last three years, every single day.”

“What?” Vinay crying insolably..

“Yes. When you told her about me, on the parking compound of this shopping complex, she felt a need to find me somehow. Fate helped her during Trisha’s wedding, when she lended upon a website that found your birthday twin. She searched for her birthday twin, and saw my profile there. So she contacted me. I had done you bad, and even though I am guilty about it, I don’t have an explanation on why I did what I did. I was a bad person in that moment of time. She wanted to surprise you by connecting me with you on a video call. When she was getting ready for the Vidaai, I called her on the time she gave me. But she had decided to break up with you. I called her a couple of days later to ask your whereabouts, but I was told by a random person that she was admitted to a hospital for suffering an attack. I rushed to the hospital as soon as I could. And I’ve been living with her ever since. She gets these attacks every single day. At any time, but especially during the nights. So, keep that bullshit of ‘Can you see her like that?’ to yourself. I don’t need that.”

“I’m sorry… I should have known.”

“And exactly how you planned to know?”

Vinay nodded his head in a no.. “Thank you for being there with her..”

“You don’t have a right to thank me, either. I don’t need the thank yous.. I need her to get back to normal. To a normal, that I have only heard in her stories and have never experienced it…” My smart watch vibrated and showed palpitations of heartbeats so I told him, “You can come with me, but stay outside the door.”

I walked into Sia’s room. I sat on the floor, and took Sia’s hand in my own, and gently rubbed it.. Holding back my tears, I said, “Hey… It’s just a nightmare, okay… Look to your left. I’m there. I’ll fight your demons for you.. okay? Hey… See I got you some popcorn and soda… You sit back and watch the show, baby… I’ll take care of all of it for you.. they can’t harm you in my presence.. see, they are running… You are good.. okay? You are smiling.. I wanna see those dimples.. it’s a beautiful dream.. okay? I’ll be here with your morning tea.. you are smiling.. you are good.. hey… We are having fun, right? You are good.. you are fine… You are smiling….” Her heart rate got back to normal, and a tiny smile spread on her lips.

I woke up, and came out, almost choking on my tears… I came out in the living room… Vinay hugged me and I cried, “I can’t see her like that, bhai… Do something.. I can’t see her like that… I’ve co-ordinated her watch with mine, so I can know when she is restless.. All I try is to stop that anxiety attack from happening. Yet, it happens.. Even if it is only a few moments of nightmare, she is experiencing these attacks daily. She is tired of being strong… She wanted to cry and let go of a lot of things… But unable to… I can’t see her falling apart every night and then see her faking her build up each morning as if nothing happened. How long will she fake happiness when there’s none? Do something, bhai… We need you…”

“I’m here..” Vinay reassured him, as he let him sleep in his lap on the sofa…

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