As narrated by Aara :
My heart literally stopped beating for a moment. The events of the last few weeks rushed through my mind. All I wanted was answers. ..and I never got them.
I had spent an hour or so at Immy and Maariah’s apartment and Mari and I skyped Laeeka. Even though she looked emotionally drained, it was good to see her. I missed her terribly, and I even enjoyed spending time with Mari after ages. Seeing her play the role of a wife with such devotion was heart warming.
Riza joined us after a while too.
Nemo however, asked us to drop him off at his place, which was strange because he would never miss a chance to get together as a group. At the time I had thought that it was just him digesting everything that had happened and especially after last night, I thought that maybe he needed some time alone.
After Aadil ‘s call though, all sorts of questions filled my head and that cloud of doubt loomed just inches above me. ..luckily I had taken his call when I was talking to Riza outside because the last thing that I wanted to do was trouble Immy again.
“What does he want? “,Riza asked me worriedly
“He might have some of the answers that I want. ..”,I said as I looked down, “It has to do with why Zoheb left ”
After filling him in on what Aadil had said, Riza was quiet. ..He looked at me and then pulled out his phone and put it on speaker.
“Nemo where are you? ”
” I’m at home “, Nemo lied as a car whizzed past
“Since when do you live in your car?”
“Reez. …there’s something that I need to do “, he said with much hesitation
And that was Nemo.
Riza dialed another number. .It rang and rang and as he was about to cut the call. ..He picked up
“I saw you at the airport, why didn’t you tell me that you were coming back today? ”
“Reez. ..I am going to come and see you but there’s something that I need to do first ”
Zoheb! ! In my anger, my heart still did it’s flip flops the second that I heard his voice!
“Does Aara know that you’re back? ”
” No not yet “, he said softly
“Great, we’re at Immy’s let me give her the phone ”
“No no no Riza please. ..not now please bru. .I really have something urgent to do but once this is done I’m going to her immediately “,he begged
Tears poured down my cheeks when Riza ended the call. He clutched at the balcony railing trying to conceal his own anger and looked as though he was about to say something when my phone rang again.
“Tell that f***** that we’re coming. Take the address, your brother is still alive ”
” but Riza. ..”
“Aara, we stand by each other remember. .and right now we don’t know where we stand with our lives, what hurts me hurts you, what hurts you hurts me. For the sake of those mad dashes behind Nemo, for the sake of those endless days and nights sitting at Laeekas side at the hospital , for the sake of the amazing race and jumping off that bloody bridge , for the sake of friendship, for the sake of brotherhood, for the sake of life. ..”
“I will never forget this “, I managed to whisper through my tears
“I’ll push you off this balcony if you talk nonsense, come let’s go “, he said with a small grin but inside I knew that he was just as scared as I was.
We drove towards the location that Aadil had given us, only to realise that we had been here before. This incomplete block of duplexes belonged to Uncle A.K , and they were still in the process of completing it. Nemo brought us here once and joked that everyone should move here when we were married and I remember saying that it was way too isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. We had parked outside the topmost block and walked quietly until we were able to see both their cars. He was right, both of them were here.
My phone vibrated…
“Hello “, I whispered
“I simply had to talk to you one last time Aara, as you can see I have kept to my word , now it’s for you to see and hear and I don’t think that you missed much because they got here a few minutes before you..I would also like to share that Maaherah painted a horrid picture of you in front of the Patels, so if things don’t work out at least you know why ”
” why are you doing this?”
” life is too short Aara. ..I have done things that I am not proud of and I will do things that I will probably regret but it’s a matter of survival and those animal tendencies take over at times. ..basically, my grouse is with Nemo not you but his life is you. ..so you too had to pay…anyway, I won’t be calling you again so..enjoy. .cya”
And he hung up. I tried to dissect his words , to make some sense of it, he was talking in riddles and something was surely amiss. .
Riza motioned for me to follow him up a long flight of stairs into a small empty space…We could hear them talking and we stood absolutely still. ..
Nemo : I tried, I really did but from day one it was only you bro
Zoheb : does she know how you feel about her?
Nemo : I told her last night. .she didn’t get angry, she just said that she had nothing to give me. .I guess it’s over for good
Zoheb : I am sorry…
Nemo : you gave me a chance. ..it’s me who is sorry because I would never have been able to do what you did..that kind of sacrifice is beyond me
I was stumped. Hot tears rolled down my cheeks as I listened to them talk about their stupid plan. Zoheb kept saying that all that he wanted to do was see me again, and Nemo kept apologising. I stood there and thought about Zoheb’s strange behavior towards me and Nemo’s sudden display of over affection. I thought about all those nights when I couldn’t sleep and those many times that I wondered whether something was wrong with me because he had just upped and went away. I always looked for a fault in myself. ..outraged , at this point would be an understatement to describe the way that I felt. I couldn’t even find the right word, but I felt like I had been hit by a 747, and it was turning around to knock me down again and again. They had humiliated me, hurt me and played with my feelings. ..just the thought of that broke me over and over again. .
I looked at Riza. ..The disappointment of this all was very evident on his face too. I wiped my tears and without a second to waste, I barged into the room where they were. Nemo was sitting on a bucket of paint and Zoheb sat on a short ladder across the room..
I clapped my hands together, as both of them stood up in utter shock!
“Aara, I can explain “,Nemo pleaded
“Please Aara. ..hear us out”,Zoheb begged
“I have heard enough, now I will speak and both of you will listen! “, I said as I tried to fight back another downpour of tears…
As narrated by Aadil :
I could see them through my binoculars, the heat was on! I didn’t feel an ounce of remorse , why should I?
As the saying goes, “Everything is fair in love and war” ,so every action is justified in its own right, no matter what anyone may say.
I didn’t have the time for these small things , Aara was no one to me, but she was everything to him, so if I hurt him by using her…so be it! I laughed to myself as I reached for my gat. Bang bang Nemo, it’s time for this chapter to end!