Riya comes home and finds Ravi in a bathtub fully clothed and his head resting against the edge of the tub. She never felt anything towards smokers except sympathy. But watching the cigarette dangling from his lips, she experienced new emotions, perhaps a shade of sadness.
Ravi said that nicotine helps him forget about the past few rough months he has had. He lost his job. His engagement was called off. He didn’t get any investors for his start-up. All of these events had changed him and made him a completely different person. Sometimes she would find him leaning against the bed with a cup of coffee. His twisting look would catch her and he would smile. A sad smile. A small smile. But on the best days they would talk and laugh until their stomach hurt. But those days were rare and Riya often forgot them. Riya starts walking towards him to lighten him with familiar conversations. He opens his eyes takes a long drag and throws out a cloud of smoke. She steps into the tub and the hot water sends a spree of relaxation in her tired feet. She is the one who has been looking after both of them from the last 8 months. She tries not to fall and he gazes her with almost a blank face. The doctors had warned her to handle the situation delicately. She leans in to kiss him and he tastes like coffee and stale smoke. Then suddenly his arms come around her and pushes her she tries to settle down and not lose her composure.
“I found the bank notice. You have not filled your credit card bills.” said Ravi
“I’ll pay them today I must have forgot.” Riya replied
“You don’t have money. I have been living off your earnings from last 8 months and I can’t do anything for you. It’s worthless to stay with me.” said Ravi and left the tub and locked himself in a room.
The treasures of forgotten memory, flashes in front of Riya’s eyes.
After two hours Ravi comes out of his room and they sit for dinner. Riya comes and leans on his shoulder and suddenly a message pops up on Ravi’s phone. “We regret to inform you that we have rejected your proposal as there are very less sources of revenue in your business plan.” This was the 19th rejection.
That night was long and intense.
The next morning Riya woke up covered with bedsheets and saw Ravi near the balcony. He looked at her. His hair was still a mess and in the bright morning sun he looked more handsome and more human than she’d ever seen him. He took a long drag and exhaled slowly she could see panic, clouding his expression and he murmured something.
“I cannot hear you.” shouted Riya
“I guess this is best for you.” said Ravi
And before anything else could have happened he jumped out of the balcony.