Forbidden Fruit – Chapter 6

There was a time when Agastha just avoided everything and pretended like she didn’t care, but inside she was broken! Her friends tried diverting her mind in a numerous ways but nothing helped. The best way she could divert her own mind was preparing for the farewell of the 12th graders. She participated in a dance with her friends. But the worst was Abhinav was also dancing! Not as her partner of course, but he stood beside Agastha with another partner. It made a big difference to her. She tried her best not to get affected by it.

At one of their practice sessions in the evening, Agastha’s friend sprained her foot and simply couldn’t walk. She tried hard to walk down the first floor with Agastha’s help but the pain was the winner. Just then Abhinav popped out from nowhere; picked her up in his arms along with Agastha’s hand and rushed downstairs to a sit out. Agastha had goose-bumps because she felt his skin after long. She didn’t get time to react. It all happened so quickly. Like in the snap of a finger, he picked her up and flew down. Abhinav was panting heavily and Agastha wished she could say,

“Please smoke some more, it will help you stop panting!” but she just had to keep shut.

 

As everyone’s attention was diverted, Agastha slipped into a cab with her friend and left for home. She didn’t want to wait there any longer. After 15mins, her phone rang. Shazi was on the other end sounding worried.

“Where are you Agas?” she asks.

“On my way home”, she answered.

And in the background she heard Abhinav,

“Where the hell did she go without telling anyone? Is that the way to just disappear? What does Agas even think of herself? Shazi are you talking to her yet?”

Agastha had a wide smile she shared with herself. He said her name out loud. He was worried about her. Maybe he still loved her but there was no turning back.

Agastha asked Shazi to answer him as she disconnected the call instantly.

It made her wonder, ‘despite so much crap he puts me through, yet he cares! Why? How does it even matter if I am present or absent!’ These thoughts weren’t going to leave Agastha’s mind soon. She probably saw some ray of hope which in reality had no silver lining. She’d know that soon…

 

On the day of the send-off hosted for the 12th graders, everyone was in a rush towards getting done with the program. Amidst all the hush, Abhinav and Agastha crossed paths. The path that caught them for a few seconds where they made eye contact; strong connect. He looked at her as he walked across the hallway and she wished he walked up to her and kissed her making everything okay. Not all wishes come true; Agastha was very familiar with that already.

As they danced on the same stage having maybe an arm distance, it bothered Agastha to the core. She hated that moment because he stood beside her as an enemy. She wanted to get over with the program so that she got rid of the shrewd feeling in her gut. She stomached the pain to her best. It eventually spilled out in tears as soon as she was home.
Every day the kids at school would look at her head to toe making faces and passing comments. She felt like an alien. There would not be a day that went without tears and misery. The nastiness everyone showered on her was like shooting stars and she desperately wished upon them to please stop. But in vain!
Agastha could not bear this hell she was going through and then ended up smoking for 3 whole months. She felt it ease her pain to a great extent. It relieved her on the inside like as if her inner being felt satisfied with every puff it took.

Initially when Agastha began smoking, she coughed her lungs out but once she learnt the knack of it, all wanted to do was take a drag for every time she went low; practically all the time.
It became a part of her and when she didn’t do it, she felt weak! She felt nauseated most of the times, but not having to take a drag would actually make me insane. She found peace in it. Atleast it didn’t hurt as much as Abhinav was hurting her.

One fine day after seeing the way Agastha was getting on with things, her two close friends made me understand that she was being an ass by doing all this because it was eating up her life and not Abhinav’s; and besides that he didn’t give a fuck of what she was doing! But Agastha didn’t seem to register whatever she was told, so her friends finally threw the Ace; they said they’d never talk to me if she ever touched a smoke again! Agastha had already lost enough and to lose them now was not what was looking for. So Feb 2008 was the last time she ever took a smoke.

Nothing seemed alright anyways. The worst days were yet to come.

The first thing Abhinav did was return back the pillow cover, followed by some return gestures as abuses and then fights and lastly, proposing another girl!

‘Yes you read right. He proposed another girl!’

When Agastha heard that, she was more dejected and depressed. She had friends to help but nothing helped literally. It never got better, just got worse.
She was not herself in those days at all. She sensed that nowhere could she find the slightest part of herself. Not at home, not in school, not with friends; it was more like a dead man walking around showing no response to anyone or anything. Every time someone tried to talk to her, they had to shake her up to make sure she was listening and if tears ran down her cheeks, they’d just hug her and say “He was an ass, he didn’t deserve you”,

All this was only to make her feel better (which failed to happen – she only felt worse.

Randomly staring at things with only his thoughts playing in her mind was the routine now. She wondered if he didn’t deserve her then why he was even put in her life; or why were they brought together? Was It god’s some mission or the devil’s some plan to screw around or the worst, FATE SUCKED!

Agastha recollected his line that he threw around to some friends,
“Man! She was too possessive and I couldn’t take it, that why I dumped her”

And she thought,
‘When was I possessive at all?’

Abhinav contradicted himself because it immediately threw light to one instance where he tried making her jealous in the good old days by holding some girl’s hand and walking with her while Agastha smiled, and his lines that time were,
“Agas u never get jealous? Doesn’t it make you feel possessive? I try hard to make u jealous but you never seem to get any at all”
Agastha only smiles. She couldn’t explain to him that she loved him and above all “trusted” him; and that’s why she never felt jealous.

The girl tells him,
”you’re lucky she is this way”

And he answered,
“Yeah! That’s why I love her”

Holding Agastha by the arm, Abhinav whispered to her, “get a little possessive, I’d like it if u said not to do something that made u feel jealous”. He winked.
‘How could I even get jealous when I know he is mine’ Agastha wondered – Little did she know that she was wrong in her thinking because today apart from memories and moments of him, nothing else existed.

 

-Adelene Coelho

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