Four hours after the surgery, the doctors announced that Love and Sahil could now meet Aarush, who was conscious. They both rushed to the emergency ward and saw their friend, who looked fine from face, but had a lot of bandages around his stomach area.
‘What the fuck were you doing with Koel, dude?’ Love snapped.
‘Hey, calm down!’ Sahil snorted.
‘Hey guys, you both are here?’ Aarush was still partially unconscious
‘Yes! Only because of us, you underwent the surgery, but tell me what the fuck happened?’ Love couldn’t help himself.
‘You, just get out…’ Sahil asked Love to leave after almost all the nurses in the ward, gave them both a dirty stare.
‘Yeah, right. I am too angry and frustrated on too many things right now. I better leave!’ Love went out, leaving Aarush alone with Sahil.
‘Are you fine?’ Sahil calmly sat down next to Aarush.
‘Yeah, I’m sorry you guys had to go through so much trouble.’
‘Hey, just relax okay.’
‘Can you pass me some water?’ Aarush’s hand couldn’t reach the side-table.
‘Yeah, wait…’ Sahil grabbed the plastic cup and filled it with water. Aarush drank it all in one go.
‘Where is Koel? And how is she?’ Aarush asked.
‘Dude, no!’ Sahil closed his eyes in disappointment. He knew how much Radhika was in love with this man, and he could spoil everything now.
‘C’mon man, tell me? Is she fine?’ Aarush was worried and tensed.
‘Yes, she is absolutely fine. She isn’t hurt at all, not even an inch, and look at you!’
‘Thank God…’ Aarush lied back down with some relief.
‘You are such a miserable pig, you are all worried about Koel and you don’t even want to know about Radhika who is crying since yesterday!’
‘Yeah, I know. First she has to humiliate me publicly and then cry because I had an accident? Why is she being so fake, I don’t understand?’ Aarush looked at Sahil who had no answer.
‘Listen man, I’ve no idea what happened between both of you at the hotel yesterday, but I do know one thing that she is the one for you. She really loves you, I don’t know why you can’t see that!’
‘I love her too man! It’s not like she’s the only one in this relationship. I’m there too. I went to propose her yesterday and look what she did. She turned me down in front of what thirty people! If she really loves me and wants to spend the rest of her life with me, then why did she say a no yesterday?’
‘I told you I don’t know what happened between you two yesterday. But I think now you should at least call her.’
‘Why should I call her man? She isn’t worried about me. You guys came all the way from Mumbai to here, and she would still be at home, sleeping if doing nothing else!’ Aarush looked away. He knew Radhika loved sleeping!
‘You are so wrong this time. She insisted us both to take her along, but we asked her to stay so that there is someone in the office. And secondly, we didn’t want her to know that you are with Koel right now. If she comes to know about all this, about the night you spent with Koel…’
‘Hey? What night? I did nothing. Nothing happened between us. We were just catching up as old friends!’
‘Great, then try to understand this thing when Radhika spends a night with some old friend, hanging around with him and returning to you the next morning!’
‘Dude, don’t step over your limit. I still love her!’ Aarush stared back at Sahil. His possessiveness for Radhika was clear in his eyes, his insecurity showing up in the form of anger.
‘Fine, but do try to understand this thing from her point of view as well. She said a ‘no’ to you yesterday, I know that was wrong, but maybe she wanted to talk about something? Maybe she had something in mind? Why else would she deny a man with whom she’s living with since two years? And what you did in return? Eloped from the city and spent a night with Koel, doing God knows what!’
‘I told you nothing happened between us…’ Aarush’s voice fell over dumb ears as Sahil walked out of the emergency ward too.
Alone in the hospital bed, Aarush reconsidered Sahil’s thought about calling Radhika once and at least telling her about his health.
‘Sister…’ Aarush called one of the nurses on duty.
‘Can I please make a call?’
‘Wait, don’t get up!’ nurse warned Aarush and went to the staff-room to get her mobile phone.
Aarush dialled Radhika’s number and Radhika picked the call from an unknown number in first ring.
‘Hello?’ Radhika said.
‘Radhika…?’ Aarush said with a coldness in his voice.
Listening to her own name from Aarush’s lips made Radhika break down. She started crying on phone uncontrollably. Aarush sighed. They both were together just yesterday at the Intercontinental, but talking on phone today seemed like they were talking after years. Neither did Aarush want to say anything, nor Radhika wanted to reply. They both just listened to each other’s voices after one whole day that had turned their lives upside down!
‘I’m coming home, baby…soon…’ Aarush whispered after a pause of five minutes. The nurse was roaming around.
‘I love you, Aarush…’ Radhika was still crying.
‘Yeah…’ Aarush looked at the nurse and hung the call.
‘Thanks…’ he held the phone out for the nurse who was still giving him weird looks, ‘It was my mother…’ Aarush smiled stupidly.
‘No problem.’ Nurse took her phone back and went away.
Aarush lied down on the bed, thinking about the good times he spent with Radhika and fell asleep under the influence of drugs and sedatives.