When he woke up disoriented, he found the house to be eerily calm. He went to check on her and found the sheets empty. They were tangled and left like they were. He had an inkling this would happen. He wouldn’t be as surprised if he saw her room devoid of her bag, but it was there, and there were tell tale signs of her presence.
He took the keys of his mother’s car that thankfully was left behind and drove around in the city that still didn’t wake up to entirely.
Half an hour later, he found her at sukhna lake, her hands tucked in her sweatshirt pockets as she was walking along the lengths of the lake, lost in thought.
He saw her stop walking as she turned to look at the lake and the few ducks that paddled across. Walking to the promenade, she sat on it, her concentration on the water.
Vicky walked to her and sat beside her.
“I am assuming you slept well”
She turned to look at him, and there was nothing in her face that showed her surprise. She looked well rested after a long time, and her face though tired held freshness.
“Yes. You did?”
“So that’s it?” Vicky asked out of his element.
“What did you expect?” Tweesha asked her face unreadable.
“Not running away?” Vicky ventured softly.
Tweesha looked at him and if he didn’t know better he would have thought that there was a hint of an amused smile on her face.
“No” she answered honestly.
At that moment he saw the little Tweesha who cried when she lost that pup.
“C’mere” he said and she willingly put her head on his shoulder as he encircled her arm.
“I thought you would leave”
“Was too tired to…”
He tucked her closer as they stared at the ducks paddling in silence. He knew the silence wasn’t acceptance. A storm had passed but nothing fell into place. Not yet anyway. But, as long as she was here in his arms, for now, that will do.
“Naina…” He said and felt her intake of breath and knew the wound was still raw.
“Tell me how was she?”
For a moment he thought she wouldn’t say anything, but after a long pause she said in a low voice about the friend, about the memories, about the time that’s gone by.
“She would have weird ringtones like flushing toilets you know, that was one weird weird female”
“Sounds like fun to me”
“You’d have gotten along very well”
“I have that charm”
A surprised smile cracked on Tweesha’s lips “Always an arrogant asshole.”
“A Khurana trait, sorry” he smiled genially.
She looked up to face him and the clear grey eyes made his heart soften.
“I want to know about that guy”
Vicky saw that coming. And he didn’t blame her. That’d have been his first step too, if he were on her place.
“You think he’s involved?”
“I don’t know anything to assume or judge” she said with a wry smile.
“Did you talk to her sister?”
“Dead end there.”
“Nobody ever heard about him. The only tangible proof of him was his name written in that letter”
“What was his name?”
Vicky stiffened. There’s no need to. There were so many Sameers in the world, yet…Yet… something about the entire story isn’t sitting right with him and he would’ve noticed it he night before, if he weren’t overcome by Tweesha’s grief.
Now that his head is clear, pieces of puzzle felt like falling in a place. The city Tweesha studied was at the back of his mind providing ample evidence to the seed of doubt in his mind.
“What was his last name?” He found himself asking.
Tweesha looked up to his face and saw the paleness.
“When did this happen Tweesha, what year?”
Vicky’s hand dropped from her shoulder as he sat there looking at the water shining with the sun rays.
“Vicky?” Tweesha said touching his arm gently. “What is going on”
He didn’t answer her. Instead he got up, and pulled her up with his arm “Come with me” was the only thing he had said.