Phantasm
Harshit Jain | 12 Min reads | July 20, 2017

"But Dad please let me go, my friends are waiting for me there!!" I said in a hustle bustle. I was throwing these papers here and there and the room had gone all messed up.

"No." said Dad, "You can't go until you find my file which you were supposed to keep safely."

I kept on throwing the things, more out of frustration and less with the real intention of finding that fucking file. Ooo.. wow.. wow.. wait, Dad had already taken it back from me and now I remember the time when he took back that file from me.

"Dad, now I remember, I had already given it back to you, remember?"

"No way!"

"When?"

"I don't remember any such incident happening." He gave me a confused look.

"Recall it, a few days back when Sharma uncle was here and you told me to bring that file down, and as I brought that file you handed it over to him. Now you remember?"

"Oh yea, now I do." He said taking out his cell phone from his pocket.

"I have to go now."

"Bye Dad!"

I had no time to scold him to be a predator to me like always. I was in a hurry as Ishika was waiting for me. Allegedly my best friend but accurately my ex-girlfriend though no more now.

I have decided to get back to her as I have now realized that it's better to be with someone who actually loves you rather than being with someone who is too good to be faking it. And now I have realized how bad I have done by leaving her for loving someone else. I'm gonna love her the way she had loved me, always. Yes, I'm gonna propose her once again, for the sake of our love!

"You are late as always..." She said, "...and you are on time as always." I added.

I quickly handed over the helmet to her as she sat back on the scooty and I started the ride. I drove a bit faster as I know she is damn scared of speed and as I accelerated, she held me tightly with her hands. That's what I used to do when we were together and today, when we are back together (in my mind), I have started to feel the same old things again, and this time I was enjoying this even better than the past.

"But where are we going Ishika?" I asked impatiently.

"Keep driving and I will keep on directing you." She kept the suspense.

After taking three lefts, two times heading to the wrong directions, and the final right, we finally (Thank-God!) reached her destination.

"A gift shop?" I exclaimed as I pulled my helmet off.

"Just wait here and I'll be back." She said and ran inside it.

Before I could have asked her anything she entered that expensive gift store. What is she supposed to do here? I was thinking and a few blinks more, she was back with a black plastic handbag having something inside it, which I was unable to see. But it seemed something small and light.

"What's that?" I asked as she jumped on the scooty, "Stay silent and start driving." She ordered.

"So now can we head towards the restaurant?" I questioned her as I was still confused.

"Yes, my boy." She said sounding brighter this time.

She has always been like that, a bit complicated and a more 'full-of-life' creature. She would be in tension at one time and the very next moment when the problem going on in her head gets sorted out, she would start dancing, with the same moves she'd been using since the time I had known her with the half-funny and half-sexy smile.

Our equation is kind of complicated, we have known each other for so long, from unknowns to known ones, then from known ones to friends, friends to best friends, best friends to lovers and then suddenly unknowns again. Then the life again took a turn and our paths got crossed all over again as a result of which we are on a planned dinner today.

"What's in that bag?" I asked while I pull the chair for her.

"A Gift!" She said, and blinked.

"If it has been purchased from a gift shop then it is supposed to be a gift only."

"Why are you getting irritated my boy? Take a chill pill, have some water." She said pointing out to that empty glass kept in front of me.

"Ishika what's going in your head?  Why are you being so unpredictable?"

"I'm going crazy Rohan. I'm just-just going crazy!!"

There was an enthusiasm on her face. She was in the brightest of her moods. I know she has never been so good since the time I broke with her and now when we are here together, her face is telling the whole story as to how she's feeling. And the brighter she is getting, the happier I'm becoming.

"Rohan, I want to confess something today." She said with shyness over her face, and my heart was all set to start racing.

"Yes. Ishika. Say."

"You know it has been a while we are talking, and I guess things have kind of gone right this time. We are able to make use of best of our friendship which we used to have earlier. And I again feel as comfortable with you as I used to feel when we were friends before. I feel secure with you, and out of all that comfort I want to confess something to you today." She ended saying by taking out a T-shirt out from that carry bag.

She unfolded it. A heart was printed over that. She handed it to me. I was out of my mind. She was already prepared for this and I'm the moron who hasn't purchased anything for her. All that time flashed in front of my eyes, the time when I first proposed her, the time when she started crying, the time when out of all her soul she said YES to me and she shed the tears of joy and we clasped our hands with the promise of being together forever.

"See it stupid." She said which kinda brought me back to the reality from those flashbacks.

The feeling of love was thriving in me and my words were soon gonna hit her ears now.

'I love you' was written on it. But what I saw next, left me astounded.

Pictures of Ishika and Abhi printed behind it!!

.

.

I was shocked! I was clueless! She was my Ishika!! When did she become Abhi's Ishika??

"Ishika? What's this?" I said after the long pause.

"Yes Rohan. That's true. You know, now I have realized that Abhi is my only true love. When you left and I was all surrounded by pain, he came and he soaked all that pain to make me happy again. With time I came to know that the feeling of wanting him every time is love. The fear of losing him is love. The obsession of being into his life is love. The imagination of walking hand in hand with him over the infinite long path is love. Yes Rohan, I'm in love. I'm in love with Abhi. I'm going to propose him tomorrow and since you are my best friend, I wanted to tell it to you first."

"No! No! Ishika! Don't go to him. I'm here for you. I love you Ishika and I promise I will love you forever and I will never leave you. Please don't leave me." And while saying this, I started recalling all those phone calls she made and the texts she sent after I broke up. I suddenly remembered that time, the time when she cried the tears of pain just because of me. She begged me to stay with her but my desire of being with the one who faked love with me, forced me to leave Ishika.

And now I'm there in her place, begging her not to go...

"No! No!" And I woke up with a force. I breathe heavily and deeply. My heart raced. There was no one around. Not Ishika. Not Abhi. Not anyone else. I am alone here. I took my phone and opened the gallery, and went through the pictures of Ishika and I realize how incomplete I'm without her.

She didn't wait for me. She didn't choose me as she knew how ambitious I was. She knew that my ambitions were way bigger than her existence in my life. And today when I have everything, I feel I'm the poorest person on this earth. I started crying. I cried heavily. Being alone, here, there is no lap where my heart could weep out those tears, no shoulder where my head could rest. All around me is me and all around me is what I have created, and by the side of me is the diary which I was writing  before I fell asleep. I needed to write something badly.

My Dairy, dear diary,

Thanks for being here with me today. I know what it has taken me to be here and I also know what it has costed to my loved ones. But no one could ever understand me. It's only you with whom I have shared all of my pain by then, till now. Thank you for being here for me when no one was.

Today, after years, I'm realizing how much things have changed. Today, after years, I have removed the specs of ambitions from my eyes and came into the real world with the naked eyes. Years have passed, people have changed. People who, once, were so important to me are important for others today. People for whom I was so important once, today, my place has been replaced intentionally. I didn't ever think that things would change this much. I was living well in my own life, striving and thriving, but then today all of a sudden my past has started attracting me, the same past which I had allegedly disowned, but this past seems to be saying something to me. More than that, it seems to want to destroy me. It is unable to bear my progress or may be it doesn't want me to stress this much and want me to be like I was before, or maybe I don't know. But life could never be the same now, what has been lost is a loss of forever and brooding over that could do no good to me. And where I'm standing now, here, one mistake, just one mistake can ruin everything, each and every sacrifice that I have done by now, every single moment of happiness that I had given up to chase my dreams and fulfill my ambitions seems to go in vain now. No one is permanent here, it's me who has to walk through all of this, alone. No one is real here; it's me who has to stop living in the hypothetical world that I have created. Life is not what it looks like. It is a Phantasm.

Thank You love for being so patient when I share myself with you.

Thank You so much.

Feel better with you.


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