Exactly two years and three days ago, on a silent winter evening, Sahil had been here. He had never been this depressed all his life. “Are you going to jump or not?” The voice startled him, and he turned around to face the girl, almost his age, looking right at him with a gentle smile on her face. She was dressed in blue and white. She frequently tucked back her curly long strands of hairs that kept falling upon her shiny brown eyes. “Yes I am. Who are you to stop me from doing that?”.
“My name is Ruchita” she said while keeping her smile intact, “and I’m new to the city. So I decided to take a stroll and maybe make a few friends. By the way, what is your name and what made you come here?”
Sahil was lost in thoughts. He just wanted to end his life. But something about this girl made him pause for a while and he tried to recollect all he had gone through since this morning.
Sahil had always been a happy-go-lucky guy. He was bestowed with everything one could ever wish for – a decent job, a proud mother and a lovely girl he loved more than himself. And all of a sudden, everything turned upside down. His boss had promised him a raise, and to celebrate it, Sahil would take his mom and girlfriend out for dinner. In his mind, he could clearly see the pride and happiness in the eyes of both the women he loved dearly.
The tyres of his car were flat, which meant he had to catch a train to his office. Sahil chased the train for a few metres until it was out of sight. He reached the office exactly two hours late than his scheduled time. However, he managed to put up a smile while walking into his boss’s cabin. “Ah, here Mr. Sahil! Meet Rajesh, our new analyst who is certainly more punctual and devoted than yourself.” His dreams were shattered. What would he say to his mom and his love, Sarah. He know they would stand by him but this assurance didn’t provide him any relief.
Drinking was the only option he could think of right now. With steady steps, he entered a pub, probably the first time in his life, and ordered the most expensive beer he could find. With each sip, he tried to gulp down the anger and frustration of losing the job he had always been happy with. His eyes fell upon the table at the opposite end. It was Sarah, the girl Sahil could die for, and here she was, laughing and enjoying her time with another man. How could he not realize that deception and betrayal hidden behind that masquerade of love? He would make her pay for it. Sahil walked towards them and with all his strength, punched the man multiple times until he fell on the floor, screaming in pain. Sahil watched Sarah in agony as the guards dragged him out of the pub.
“And what about your mother?” was the first question Ruchita asked after listening with keen interest the story Sahil had just narrated. Sahil hadn’t spoken to his mother. He knew he had to, but he was too weak to approach her.
“You can start again from the beginning now. Isn’t that something to be happy about?”
Sahil couldn’t understand what she meant. Ruchita guessed it by the look of his face. She continued “You have reached a phase of life where you have nothing to lose. Think of yourself as a new born baby who can learn and do anything he wants to, go anywhere he wishes to. What is there to be afraid of when you’ve absolutely nothing to lose?” Ruchita grabbed the frame he had been holding. “I guess she would want the body of her son with a soul in it”. Sahil was starting to understand now, a new sanguinity emerged in him as he moved away from the edge.
For the next few months, they made sure they met daily. Ruchita was kind, pleasant and had a sense of humour that could bring smile to even the most frowzy faces. She had never told anything about herself and neither had Sahil desired to know. All he knew was that Ruchita had lost her parents in an accident, she worked at a publishing company and that she wanted to be a writer. With her help, Sahil found himself a new job and everything seemed to get better, slowly but definitely. All Sahil wanted now was to keep Ruchita for himself, forever.
“I love someone else, I’m sorry. I should have told you this earlier”, Ruchita said with damp eyes, unable to look directly into the eyes of Sahil. “He needs me and I’ve promised mom that I’ll be beside him always”.
Tears rolled down Sahil’s cheeks. He didn’t utter a word. He had been killed the second time. They continued to meet, but neither of them ever spoke a word, until one day, Ruchita didn’t appear, and she never did thereafter. It was the memories that kept Sahil going.
“No. I won’t jump, not after all that she taught me”, Sahil said to himself as he looked at the photo of his mother and returned home to her.