Sachin had always liked the view from the balcony. On the 40th floor, the balcony provided the best view possible of the city. He did wish he could have seen it more often. The world always needed him for something or the other and he would have to take himself away from this balcony.
“Not today,” Sachin said softly touching the railing of the balcony. Today, he had all the time in the world. He was calm, at peace, almost serene.
“Today, I will see you again,” Sachin whispered thinking about Alisha and jumped.
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes when you are near death. Sachin was hoping that it was true. It was his only way of seeing Alisha one last time.
Alisha! Ten years ago.
Sachin was in his 21, carefree and stubborn, knowing that the world was his and he will rule it once he’s out of college. Alisha was 20, caring and kind, knowing that the world will always need care from people like Sachin. Of course, Sachin had to meet her accidentally at a rally where she was trying to save the planet, and Sachin was there to watch the whole procession with popcorn. Of course, he had to fall in love with her. Of course, they had to be star-crossed lovers. Destiny dictates entertainment at the cost of its participants. There was no other way.
Alisha! 8 years ago.
Sachin was now 23, out of college, getting his dream and ego shattered while succeeding at everything he did. The more he succeeded, the more he realized how little it actually mattered. Alisha was 22, focused on their life. They had been dating for 2 years now. As for the future, he had a plan; she had a plan; they didn’t have any plan. But they didn’t know that yet. They were in love, after all. And love is blinding of the mind. How could they see that they were star-crossed lovers?
Alisha! 5 years ago.
“No Sachin! This is the only way,” Alisha, now 25, said in a stern and stiff voice to Sachin. Sachin, now 26, didn’t care. He looked at Alisha with wild and angry eyes. He was hurt, he was enraged, he was broken. The 21-year-old Sachin didn’t care about the world; the 23-year-old Sachin realized that the world didn’t care about him either; the 26-year-old Sachin realized that she didn’t care about him as well, and now, he didn’t care about her either.
The last five years of Sachin’s life had been a blur. He had worked hard to reach a penthouse on the 40th floor of the poshest buildings in the city. He had dated the hottest girls, the kindest girls, the sweetest girls, and broken all their hearts. After all, he didn’t care anymore. He hadn’t cared about people in a long while and now, he had embraced it wholeheartedly. He didn’t care about being good or kind. He didn’t care about being right or wrong. He enjoyed the cruelty that he inflicted on people and he enjoyed the pain that flows through the people who cross him.
He had enjoyed his last five years thoroughly. He didn’t care about anyone and no one cared about him. Not since Alisha.
Alisha! 2 days ago.
“Sachin? Is that you?”
Sachin turned and saw her. His heart stopped. His grip on his girlfriend’s hand tightened.
“Alisha!” He whispered inaudibly, incredulous. Alisha smiled the smiled he had seen five years ago, maybe even before that. His heart filled with warmth that he immediately hated. His face contorted in reaction to his heart.
“How are you doing Sachin?” Alisha asked earnestly.
“I’m good. This is …” Sachin said pointing towards his girlfriend, desperately trying to remember her name.
“Leave it,” the girl said in a hurt tone. She pulled her hand out of his hand and left. Sachin wanted to feel sad about it but his mind was already wrestling with too many emotions.
“You still forget people’s names.” Alisha laughed, her voice chiming in Sachin’s mind. He clutched his fists. He could feel fumes coming out of his skin, his shirt getting wet with sweat, his feet getting restless.
“Hey. I know it has been a long time but it was great meeting you. I’ll go now.”
Sachin saw her going and finally took a breath. He sat down and felt his whole body shaking. Throughout the party, he could feel Alisha’s presence, her location in his mind. He knew where she went, whom she talked to, whom she laughed with, and what she was drinking and eating.
“Why are you standing all alone here?” Alisha asked Sachin who was standing at the balcony.
Sachin stared at the horizon. He could feel the blinding fury in his head, engulfing his mind, taking over his body.
“I love you too, Alisha,” Sachin said in his mind. Alisha was finally appearing in his flashbacks. The stories about death were true, after all.
The balcony two nights before was coming back to reality.
“I love you, Sachin. I’m sorry I left. We should have been together. Sorry for the last five years,” Alisha said and hugged Sachin. Sachin kissed her.
‘If only you had said that Alisha,’ Sachin thought looking down at the ground. Two days ago, Alisha had made the same trip. That day, Sachin had helped Alisha jumped off the balcony. Today, he is taking that trip himself.
‘We were star-crossed lovers. We could have never met in this life. It was the right thing. Finally, I will see her. Finally, we will be together.’
Sachin thought and was filled with joy, a joy that he hadn’t felt in a long time. The joy that had started to sprout the moment he pushed Alisha. The joy that had finally calmed him down in the past two days. The joy that finally took away the pain of five years, perhaps, even thirty years.
“Alisha!” Sachin whispered as his body hit the ground, just like Alisha’s body had hit the ground somewhere else, two days ago.