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Episode / Chapter 32.

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SHARUNA looked up from the phone

She had heard that name before, from somewhere
But she couldn’t pinpoint anything
Just a name anyway
She shrugged
“I’m Sharuna”, she said
He nodded
“Nice to meet you”, he said offering his hand for a handshake
She scoffed and looked at him, then his outstretched hand
“Same”, she said ignoring the handshake
He sighed
“Well, I’ve been trying for days now to talk to you…..”
“Not days”, she interrupted, “specify, it’s two days, just two”, she raised two of her fingers to verify
Priceley sighed, running his hands through his hair
“Well, two days. I have been trying to talk to you but you seem not to give me a second of your time, why you behaving rude as that?”, he was forced to ask
She looked at him
“You won’t gonna believe if I tell you”
Priceley was forced to laugh
“Why? Tell me, I will try my possible best to”
She heaved a sigh

“If you insist. I lost someone very, very much close and dear to my heart, someone who meant a whole lot to me”, her voice was emotional
“He was so close that loosing him was like loosing my mind…. that’s why I’ve been behaving this way”
It seemed like she wanted to cry
She held herself not to
“Is that it?”, Priceley asked
She nodded
“If you think you are the only one who losed a very close person, then it’s a lie. I lost someone too, a best friend and a brother.
“He had an accident some bad day, and he’s presently in the hospital. He’s been in coma for almost a year now. Any hope of him coming out from there alive is slim, it’s a possibility.
“He’s my best friend, my very good friend, and my brother”, he was already ranting before he could realize
“Look at his picture over there if you think I’m just exaggerating”, he stretched his hand towards the big picture frame on the wall
Sharuna’s eyes followed
For the first time since she came into the guestroom, she looked round
They were about four big picture frames on the wall
The first her eyes caught, was that of Mr Bennett and a woman she presumed to be his wife
The second was that of a young teenage girl
The third was the presumed Priceley, sitting opposite her at the moment
And the fourth was that of the best friend and brother, Priceley was talking about
The picture got her smiling and before she knew it, she stood and walked up to the picture frame
She placed her left hand on it and ran her hands round it, feeling it’s texture

All the while, she was smiling as she instantly felt an aura of joy and happiness, the kind she normally feels when Kesmanee was still present, the kind she feels whenever Kesmanee was around her
She was just happy
All these while, Priceley just sat with his eyes on the floor and his hands on his head
Then he got up, and walked towards her
She was still smiling and looking at the picture, her hands still going round the frame
After hesitation, he held her right hand
“I want you Sharuna”, he said
She brought her hand down from the picture frame and turned to look at him
Then, it hit her!

As quick as flash, she started remembering all the moments she and Kesmanee had once spent, the outings they went, the happiness they had shared, the sad stories they had shared, and finally the day he vanished
She felt like she was cheating on him, she felt guilty
She immediately withdrew her hand from his hold, and shaking her head
“No…….no……no”, was all she was saying, tears already running down her beautiful face
Priceley was surprised, and before he knew it, Sharuna ran to the sofa, took her bag and took the stairs running and crying
Priceley stood still in shock, astonished
Then he realized himself and ran after her
Sharuna kept running till she got down to the road
“Sharuna…….wait please…..wait”, she heard his voice
She turned and saw him running towards her, she was still crying
Soon a cab pulled up and she boarded
He was late, before he could reach her, she had already gone
He stood in a spot for minutes, dejected, heartbroken and rejected
He wanted to cry and he fought the urge to enter one of his cars and go after her
He just turned back and went back into the house
Sharuna got home and ran straight to her room
Thank goodness, Dr Sujit wasn’t home yet
She flopped herself down on the bed and tears flowed
She cried like never before
“Kesmanee why you doing this to me? Please come back…… please”, she lamented crying and soon, she drifted into sleep
Sharuna was sitting on a couch under the pine tree in her school’s compound
They had closed for the day and she was waiting for Dr Sujit to come pick her
She couldn’t go to the provision store where she normally waits because the store keeper was ill and so, couldn’t make it to the store that day
She was reminiscing on what had happened the previous day, and remembered Priceley
Now talking of Priceley, she hope he wouldn’t see her waiting for Dr Sujit
Priceley had just arrived the institution at good time
He hoped Sharuna hadn’t gone home already, like she used to
He took the stairs to her department and true to his fears and disappointment, she had gone
He shrugged and turned, then he saw something
It was clear from his vintage point upstairs, he saw someone sitting under the pine tree
He knew her
It was she!
He happily walked down to her, she was on her phone
As always
“Hi”, he said walking closer
Sharuna turned and saw him, she instantly became uncomfortable
She kept mute, ignoring his greetings
“Hello Sharuna”, he repeated
“Hi”, she replied shortly, avoiding his eyes
“What you doing here?”, he asked
“It’s late, come let me drop you home”
Drop her home indeed
“Thanks. I’m waiting for my dad besides”, she said
He laughed

“I know you are waiting for your dad before I asked, it’s nothing just to drop you off”, he insisted
“I said no”, she yelled, “or are you deaf? Please let me be”
He smiled
“I’m sorry I won’t. I mean….. I can’t let you be”
Sharuna turned to look at him
Then her phone rang, it was her father

“Hello Dad”, she said
“Hello. Sharuna?”, Dr Sujit voice filtered into the phone
“Please angel, I’m sorry I can’t take you home today. I have a very important schedule to attend to, please take a cab home”
She kept mute, angry
“You there?”, Dr Sujit was forced to ask
She sighed
“Yes. I’ve heard you”
“Take care of yourself okay? Bye”
“Bye dad”
The call ended
What a perfect situation now!
Priceley smiled, his opportunity was here, he had heard everything
“So what are you saying? You still gonna wait?”
She looked at him
Anger filled her heart

“Don’t ever bother yourself about me, I will take a cab”, she stood up and walked to the road
Priceley didn’t give up, he followed her, still pestering her
She hailed a cab
” The Sujit’s mansion”, she said to the cab driver
He shook his head
“No ma’am, not going that route”, and he drove away
“You still have a chance”, Priceley kept nudging her
“Just join me, I’m not gonna eat you”
“Will you leave me alone”, Sharuna yelled at him, hailing down another can
The cab driver said same thing
Now, she was becoming agitated, the sun was hitting her with full force
And Priceley was still standing there
It seemed everybody decided to join forces and spoil her day
After hailing down about four cabs, all saying same thing, she gave up
“I think I will consider your request”, she said to him
His face lit up in smiles
“It would be my pleasure. Come”, he motioned and she reluctantly followed him
He made to open the car door and she stopped him
“I can do that myself. Thank you”, she opened and entered
He shrugged, smiling

“Okay. But I guess you don’t have a clue to how happy I am now. I mean, giving you a ride. It’s a pleasure”, he revved the car
She hissed
“Don’t feel lucky either. Don’t think I will let you do this again”, she snapped
“Whatever”, he smiled and they zoomed off.

To Be Continued….. . . .

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