Chapter 4.

She came out to see her mother in a contemplative mood. She was sitting at the coffee table sipping on her cup of tea, and thinking deeply about something. Talkative as her mother was, Pallavi knew that she could not have been quiet about nothing. Something was most certainly up.

 

            “What’s the matter, Ma? You seem to be upset about something.”

 

Her mother looked at her in an odd way. She seemed to be searching for words, and a little afraid to broach the subject.

 

“Pallo, umm…”, she hesitated.

 

“What is it, Ma? Is this about that guy Varun rejecting me? Because if that’s the reason then you don’t have to…”

 

“It isn’t that.” Her mother cut her off. “I don’t know how to say this, Pallo. Amit is back in town.”

 

Her heart was beating so hard, it felt as though the world could hear it. Pallavi was too stunned to say anything.

 

“Pallo, aren’t you going to say anything?”

 

“I… I… I have to go to work, Ma. I’ll see you in the evening.”

 

“Do you want to talk about this Pallo? You can’t just keep your feelings bottled up inside, you must talk to someone you feel comfortable with.”

 

But Pallavi wasn’t listening. She picked up her purse and went out of the house. The world seemed to be moving about in an angry haze.

 

Snap out of it! She thought to herself. You have moved on. You have forgotten everything. That chapter of your life is closed, there is nothing to think about.

 

But nothing she could say to herself would change the way her thoughts were moving. After all these years, why had he come back? What if she ran into him somewhere? Was he here only for a few days, or was he going to go back? Has his life changed in all these years? He certainly had changed.

 

She was still battling her own thoughts when she reached the hospital. Shreya saw her coming in and waved out to her, but Pallavi didn’t acknowledge her.

 

“Hey Pallo, what’s up?”

 

“Nothing. How’s that patient in room no. 5 doing?”

 

“He has been stable since last night. You didn’t answer my question.”

 

“What question?”

 

“What’s up with you today? You seem to be awfully upset about something. What is it?”

 

“Nothing.”

 

“Yeah, right! Your face is about as opaque as a windowpane. You can’t hide your feelings from me. Tell me what’s going on.”

 

“Call sister Asha and let’s go on rounds. We have a lot of work to do today.”

 

“Yeah, we will do that in a moment. Pallo… What is wrong?”

 

“Is it too much to expect that you would leave me alone and just get on with your work? Or are you too thick skulled to understand that?”

 

The look of hurt on Shreya’s face immediately made her regret her words. But she couldn’t take her words back. Besides she really needed some time alone.

 

All through the day Shreya didn’t speak to her. Even after she had seen all her patients for the day, Shreya was nowhere to be seen. Finally she spotted Shreya sitting in the cafeteria alone, in a corner.

 

“I am sorry, Shreya.”

 

Shreya looked up at her from her cup of coffee. But she wouldn’t say anything to her.

 

“I know I hurt you. I shouldn’t have said that, it was rude of me. It’s just that I have been preoccupied with something.”

 

Shreya still wouldn’t say anything. She just went on looking icily at Pallavi.

“Amit is back in town, Shreya.”

 

“What? When did he come back?”

 

“I don’t know anything yet. I don’t even want to know. I just want to forget everything and move on, but I just can’t.”

 

“You have to tell me about him, Pallo. Everything.”

 

“Okay. But not now. Not here. Are you off duty on Sunday?”

 

“Yes, I am.”

 

“Well, then. I’ll come over on Sunday. Maybe if I finally clear my mind, it will help me get over him.”

 

Maybe. Hopefully.

 

 

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Guys please give me your feedback regarding the pace and language of the story. Where do you think I can improve?

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