I felt the bitterness in my mouth. It was almost dried up. I licked my lips to make it moist. My eyes still remained closed. With three flaps of eyelids, I wide opened my eyes. Mind was so empty. I tried hard to seek some thought, but it was hindered by the excruciating pain felt on my right knee. I tilted my head to get the clue of where I had been. I was in a hospital. Bandages wrapped around my right knee and around my head. Purple colored blood patches turned out on the bandages. It hurt badly… Pain stirred me crazy. I felt like someone piercing a nail right on my temple. I had no clue how I ended up here. I urged to scream but in vain. I was so worn-out. I lunged forward making a vain effort to get up. I fell back on the bed and puked. A yellow fluid flowed out of my mouth. I am still not sober. Alcohol I had last night was reluctant to withdraw its impact. Within no time I passed out.
I woke up again. I glanced at the drip bottle dangling over my head. Pain was still there. Sister walked up to my bed and gave me an angry look.
“Why the hell I am here” I grumbled.
She kept mum. I craned my neck. I was in casualty ward. I could see people scamper across the floor and grief stricken faces on neighboring beds.
“Are you deaf?” I asked again.
She was silent. She replaced the empty drip bottle with a new one. I glanced at the wall clock.It was 3 am. I felt strange and lonely.
“Can you please tell me what happened last night?” This time I was less furious.
“You were too drunk and met with an accident last night” Nurse said distractedly. She was scribbling something on the notepad hung on the rail of my bed.
“Accident…?” I was quizzical. I was almost freaking out. I strived to memorize the things happened last night. I just listed those events that are scattered inside my head,
Drinking beer one after another… Assaulting bartender as he refused to give me drinks further… I was breaking beer bottles… Some people were beating me up and dragging me outside the bar… I was stumbling upon a plant pot… Finally I was inching towards the bike… The rest is resting in my oblivion.
“How it happened?” I was ridiculously curious.
“You hit a pedestrian, a lady. She was seriously injured and now in intensive care unit” Nurse answered contemptuously. She added.
“We have informed your parents. Your mom is downstairs dealing with the legal formalities. You are lucky as your dad has got political influence. You can come out legally unscathed… A spoilt brat”
She mouthed the last line under her breath and left, dodging my further questions.
She really caught me off guard, my mouth was agape. I thought again “I hit a lady and she is in ICU!”
It was quite dreadful. How could I leave someone’s life at stake? I was totally shaken. I wanted to yell out… I was regretful; my heart is brimmed with remorse. I was desperately in need of a “Cntrl+Z” in my life. I wanted to correct it by flitting back in to last night, though I knew it was quite impossible.
“How many times did I warn you Rohit? But you turned deaf ears to my words now look where my son is. Drunk and rode bike over a poor lady” I saw Mom was bursting into tears.
“Do whatever you like Rohit. But remember don’t play with others life. There are people out there, who value their life unlike you.” Mom was blowing her nose.
Her words were adding oil to the fire already set inside my mind. I kept mum, I had no other option.
“At least think of your dad, I don’t know how he would react to this. You have to learn a lot Rohit …a lot!”
She tried to look away from my eyes. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. It was awful to think that it was me who brought about those salty droplets. I felt numb inside. My physical pain was felt less tiring than that I felt in my heart. I justified Sister’s comment “Yes I am a spoilt brat”
Two days passed…
Still I hadn’t got any information about that lady’s condition. Mom was with me all the time in the hospital as dad was out of station. Whenever I asked mom about that lady she made a face and didn’t say anything. She hardly spoke to me. I was really getting crazy. I craved to know about that lady, at least if she was alive or not.
In the afternoon when Mom was out, I decided to go by myself to know about the lady’s condition. I grabbed the crutch and made my way to the ICU.
When I reached in front of ICU, a male nurse stopped me and said…
“This is not the visiting time please come after seven”
“Please, I just want to know how she is doing now” I pleaded.
He then pointed to a girl standing at the end of corridor, her back facing us.
“That girl is patient’s daughter. You can meet her” He said and indulged in his works.
“Thanks” And I walked to wards her with increased heart rate. I felt like going back to my bed, but I didn’t.
“I have to face her” Thought I.
Two minutes passed…
I cleared my throat twice to get her attention. She didn’t look back.
“Excuse me” My lips were quivering.
She turned around.
I was totally taken aback. I clutched the crutch very tightly as I was losing my steadiness. I blinked several times to believe what I was seeing. It was Niya… with whom I had a break up months before… the same I girl with whom I had been dating for one year… She loved me sincerely and wholeheartedly. Her love was pristine and genuine. But never did I take it seriously. I was frivolous and carefree. I dumped her. She cried for my return… She missed me badly… She was ready to patch the things up… But I was allured by the new corporate world and its flamboyant life style… She moved on.
Once she was completely out of my life, I began to miss her. I wanted her back in my life. I could see my life getting messed up without her presence… everything turned upside down. I started to punish myself for getting rid of my Niya. I started dating random girls… sleeping around with them. It didn’t help. I became a regular drunkard… I splurged money on pubs and bars. I sought the help of intoxication to forget my woes… and this accident was just a sequel to all those escapades.
She stood there shocked and within no time she came closer… and asked
“What happened to you Rohit?”
I could see her eyes brimmed with anxiety and concern.
“She still cares for me” Thought I. It was painful.
I didn’t know how to answer her. I felt a lump in my throat. I averted my glance from her eyes.
“I met with an accident two days before. I rode my bike over a lady. I was drunk then and completely out of my consciousness”
I said it weighing each word.
She threw an intense stare at me. Her face was devoid of expressions. She didn’t cry. She inched forward and said…
“It was my mom Rohit”
With that she strolled down the corridor. I didn’t follow her or try to stop her because I knew I just didn’t even deserve her dislike.
Later in that evening I told mom everything happened. Once I completed, I was in tears, so was she. She comforted me. I was kind of relieved as she began to speak me like before.
2 days passed…
When I opened my eyes, I saw Niya instead of Mom; pouring tea to the cup. She held it to me. I saw a beautiful smile on her face.
“How is mom?” I asked.
“She is stable now and doing exceptionally well” She said.
“Oh it is gladdening and I am really sorry Niya. It wasn’t intentional” Said I
“Hmm I know, but getting drunk is intentional” She faked anger and smiled
“I am gonna stop it” I said, sipping tea.
“Hoo that sounds great… You mean it?” She said sarcastically.
“I love you Niya” I blurted out.
She sighed… kept mum for next few seconds. I saw a tinge of sadness in her eyes. She turned towards me, lunged and I felt her lips pressing on my eyes…!
She whispered in my ears “Your Mom said everything”
Deep inside my heart, I thanked my Mom for a Zillion times for giving my Niya back..!