Not every time a boy falls for girl. Sometimes, life brings them together for a different purpose.

 

She wiped her tears. Taking one bottle of champagne in one hand, she dragged the box out of her apartment half-drunk. Pressing the top floor button in elevator, she smiled through tears looking at the reflection. Tossing her hair back, she dragged the box to terrace. She stumbled and started laughing. Getting back on her feet, she poured the champagne over the box and smashed the bottle on ground. She lit the matchstick and set the box on fire. She was staring at the wedding gown that was starting to turn from a fairy dress to rags. She took out her engagement ring from her finger and kept it in her pocket. The fire had died down. It had turned each and every memory of him into ashes. She wiped her tears and swore she would not her heart to anyone because she had enough.

 

He kicked the door of his apartment and started unbuttoning his shirt. Crashing on the bed, he stared at the ceiling. Tears were rolling down his face. He missed her face, her smell and her being in this apartment. He never imagined his life without her. He ran his fingers through his messy hair. It had been days he had washed them. He sat up and took out her photo from his pocket. Everyone in the office, his family, his friends, almost everyone in the city had asked him to move on. Being the only kid, his parents were a lot worried about him. He swore he had no more strength to love someone again.

 

He placed flowers on the grave saying, “Hey, I know it has been a year but I don’t know why I can’t think about anyone else except you”

He sat on ground with his arms wrapped around his legs. He continued, “It is not like I haven’t tried. I tried going out with one of the girls that mum set me up with”

He heard someone say, “Biggest lesson, 90% times blind dates never work out”

He turned around and saw a girl sitting on a grave. She had a beer bottle in her hand. She laughed, “You should try going to any club or any coffee house. You can find girls there who (hiccup) can make your night”

He looked over at the grave and asked, “You are also visiting?”

She glanced at the name on grave and shook her head, “Mr. Victor Reed…ah, interesting name. An optimistic guy with a ray of hope in our lives… Well, I hope they paid someone for those words”

She laughed. He asked, “So, what are you doing in a graveyard?”

“Certainly not what you are doing. I am not crying over who died and are resting in peace”

“Then what is it?”

She walked closer to him and sat on the grave on the side. She half-smiled, “I am here to see what arrangement they have for people who are dying inside”

“What?”

She rolled her eyes, “Oh poor guy. You don’t understand the most complex philosophy of life. Some people…they die and go away from all the problems that life offers. They are in peace. But… (Hiccup) some die on inside. They are walking around like zombies. Eating, drinking, sleeping and doing everything like a normal person but with no feelings. They have a…. (Hiccup) black hole in them. Nothing comes out of them”

He asked, “Are you always this crazy or just when you are drunk?”

“Hey, I am talking sense right now. Now…”

She stood up, “I have to go and search for my grave”

He gave a small laugh when she walked away. He was looking back at her grave when he heard a noise. Turning around, he saw she was nowhere to be seen. He walked over to the path she was on. He found her in the pit which had been dug for a grave. He sighed, “Are you okay?”

She didn’t answer. He asked in a high voice, “Are you okay there? What is your name?”

“Lennox”

He sighed with relief. He asked again, “Are you okay, Lennox?”

She replied, “Never been better. I think I found my grave”

He outstretched his arm saying, “Come let me pull you out.”

She took his hand and climbed out laughing. He asked, “Why are you searching for a grave?”

Taking last sip of her beer, she replied with big smile, “Because I am dead. And I don’t want to be a zombie anymore”

She eyed at her hand which he was still holding. When he noticed, he let go. She started walking in opposite direction saying, “I think you should search for yourself too if you too feel like zombie.”

Half turning, she smiled, “But don’t get near me, I don’t want to hear your heartache story”

She walked ahead a little. Then stopped and turning again, she asked, “Are you coming? I don’t think she wants to listen to you. Let her sleep peacefully, Ben”

He nodded and started following her. They reached a small diner. He commented, “You know you are really insensitive”

She cocked her head to side, “I told you. I am dead. I have no feelings”

She put her hair at back in a messy bun by looking at the glass door. She had a big smile on her face. He said, “That is weirdly big smile.”

Her lips curled in the normal smile and looked at him. He nodded. A bell rang when they entered the diner. She went up to the counter and smiled at the lady. She smiled back, “Hey Lennox, I am so sorry to hear about the wedding”

She nodded, “Yeah, I am also so sorry to hear that he is still breathing”

She swirled on her heels and went to sit on the table in corner. He followed her asking, “What wedding?”

She leaned in with her elbows on the table, “I don’t think I have to share my personal details with a stranger, Ben”

He was confused, “Who is Ben?”

She shrugged, “Ah, he was just a know-it-all in our school, always depressed about not getting one mark when he used to get 99. I hated him…nosy…now that I remember, he had this weird thing about his hair and dressing sense. Like, he wore a particular color every day. For example, you are wearing all black.”

He relaxed back saying, “Well, I am not Ben. My name is Nick. And I like wearing black. I has its own aura”

She sighed and looked around. After some time, she asked, “Nick, so tell me why you are so depressed?”

He didn’t reply. She noticed he was circling his finger around his ring finger and staring in the blank space. She asked, “Wife?”

He saw her in confusion. She laughed, “You didn’t look that old to me”

Cupping his face, she pulled him closer and said, “Nah, not that old. Recently married?”

He replied, “None of your business”

She shrugged. A waitress came up to them and took their orders.

 

When they finished their food, she stood up saying, “I should leave. And don’t worry, she had put this on my card”

Saying this she left. He put his head on the table, covering it with his arms. Then, waitress came up to him and said, “Sir, dessert for you”

He looked up saying, “But I didn’t order dessert”

She smiled, “Yes, but Lennox always has dessert but today, she left without it. So, it is for you”

He smiled and took the apple muffin. It had been days since he had smiled and eaten a full meal.

 

The bell rang when he entered the diner. He had been visiting this small place for weeks in the hope to see her again. No, he didn’t like her but there was something in her which made him want to meet her again. Sitting in the same booth, he ordered his usual. On every ring, his eyes would dart at the door but he would end up disappointed.

His eyes flashed up when someone slid in the chair in front saying, “Hey Ben”

He stared at her. She rested her chin on her palms and stared back. He replied, “I am Nick”

“Fine, Nick. What brings you here? Don’t tell me you have fallen in love with or anything”

He chuckled, “Love, you”

Her smile faded away. She sat up straight and her tone went serious. She asked, “What do you want?”

He interlocked his fingers and leaned in saying, “I don’t know. I just thought maybe two broken pieces and help each other in some way?”

She asked raising her eyebrows, “What do you want help in?”

He sighed, “I have to meet my parents who are pestering me about letting go. I just want you to… be how you are in front of them and show how much better Gina was. Like annoy them and everything…”

She rolled her eyes and walked out. He paid the bill, rushing out to follow her. He asked, “So, are you going to help me? I can pay you if you want”

“Why can’t you hire an actress? They would do a better job than me”

“No, you are a natural. You are crazy and insensitive person”

She didn’t answer. He asked, “Oh, don’t tell me your feelings got hurt. You only said you were dead from inside. You don’t have feelings or anything.”

She took out a cigarette from her pocket and lit it. Blowing out a smoke, she said, “But that doesn’t give you right to dig the body again and again. It disturbs the life”

She coughed. He asked, “Why are you smoking of it doesn’t suit you”

“I have just started it. It will take time to develop as habit” she replied. He questioned with his eyes. She smiled, “Trying to make this body disappear from this world as soon as possible. And smoking, my friend is the best way to exploit this body”

He chuckled. She walked ahead saying, “Pick me up at seven”

“But I don’t even have your address” he argued. She nodded, “Good point. Diner here. Seven o’clock. And please wear something which doesn’t say “I am a very sad person”. Please”

He nodded with a smile.

 

“Shouting was a little over-board, don’t you think?” Nick asked passing the bottle of vodka to Lennox. She nodded putting on her thinking face, “Yeah, I thought so too. But that ruining the $50000 carpet was the best thing, I think. I thought your mother was going to blow me up in flames when I vomited on it. ”

He started laughing. Their legs were dangling down with whole city under them. Sitting on the rooftop, they were looking at Nick’s parents’ house down the road. The lights were still glowing in the apartment. She passed the bottle back to him after taking the sip, “So, what do you think, what would be happening in there? Thinking about giving you an intervention about how bad that girl is for you and all sort of stuff”

He swallowed the vodka, “They would probably will wondering what on earth I saw in you. Mom would be concerned that maybe I have rushed in everything and dad, well dad being dad will be making the drinks to calm himself down”

She started laughing. For a moment, he was surprised. Her laugh seemed contagious. He started laughing too. She glanced at him saying, “Thank you”

“For what?”

“For making me laugh like this after a long time”

He shrugged, “Just don’t fall in love with me”

She rolled her eyes, “Oh please, love and you…”

Shaking her head, she took the bottle back and filled her mouth full. She shivered and started rubbing her arms. He asked, “You cold?”

She didn’t answer. He took the bottle, “I am not going to take off my jacket.”

She laughed, “I don’t need that anyways”

Snatching the bottle from his hand, she emptied it and then gave it back. He stared at the bottle and then at her. His eyes met hers. She asked, “Is something wrong?”

He shook his head, “No, just wondering what the hell happened that ruined you so much?”

She giggled. He started getting up but she pulled him back saying, “Now, it is my turn to ask you for help”

He nodded, “Okay, so what is it that you want from me?”

She outstretched her hand saying, “Be my friend and make me laugh like this. Suddenly, zombie is needing some feelings”

He smiled, “Fine”

 

A month passed, Lennox was walking down the street smoking her fourth cigarette of the day. She coughed again. Suddenly, she bumped in someone. She looked up and her face went white as sheet. She was going to walk away when he said, “Hi Lennox”

She sighed, “Yeah, hi Dan”

He was about to hug her when she held her hands in air. He stepped back. She said, “How about we skip these greetings and just go on our separate ways?”

He nodded, “I was about to call you some day for…the bills are coming on my address”

“Fine I’ll inform them that it is not my address” she said as she started walking ahead but he got in her way. He said, “Lennox, you know I made a rational choice for both of us”

“Both of us or just you. You know Dan, I seriously don’t have time for all of your excuses. You ran from the wedding and that is all that matters. When you saw responsibility, you panicked and just… (Snapping her fingers) whoosh! Vanished like nothing happened between us and you don’t know me”

He shook his head, “That is not the reason. You were just…you were not…”

She interrupted, “Dare you blame it on me.”

She took out the ring from her pocket and gave it to him, “Take your stupid ring and don’t ever come back. Also, try being a man instead being a coward”

Saying this, she walked away.

 

“Lennox didn’t come?” asked the waitress. Nick replied with smile, “She might come tomorrow. She said we have to meet here”

The waitress went away when she was called from another booth. Nick was coming since three days. They were supposed to have their regular meet of week. He glanced at his watch and giving up was going to walk out when he bumped into her. She asked, “Really, given up so fast?”

He wrapped his arm around her neck as they started walking. He asked, “What took you so long?”

She shook her head, “Nothing as such”

She took out the cigarette but coughed. He noticed that the tissue turned red. He asked, “What is that?”

She replied with smile, “My prayers being answered”

He was confused. Lighting the cigarette, she said, “How about we go to some place special?”

He shrugged. They ended up in the graveyard. Sitting by Gina’s grave and placing the yellow roses on it, she said, “Tell me your story. I love listening to stories”

He laughed and looking over at the stone, he started, “I met her in high school. We hated each other but when we ended up in same college, we started sharing notes and assignments. Soon, we started falling for each other. Got married at young age. One day, she was returning back from work, she met with an accident. I never thought I would have to live a life without her”

She wrapped herself around his arm and said, “Hey, you can do this”

He raised his eyebrows and stared at her. She asked, “What?”

“Tell me why the wedding was cancelled. I think I can handle it now.”

She adjusted herself by unwrapping herself. She laughed, “Well, my love-story is actually a fake-story. I met him in a party. Ended up together in one bed, had fun. We continued seeing each other and soon started dating. I thought I have got what is described by the poets and authors about love. It was soon becoming a fairytale but…”

She coughed again. Wiping off the blood from her mouth, she continued, “I got sick. He thought it might be something small but…it was major thing. We were supposed to get married but when he got to know that I am not going to be alive more than a year but he thought it is better to call off the wedding than be married for just for few months. Also, I became expensive for him. If I quote him, “Len, honey I don’t think we will work. I want to be with someone with whom I can spend my forever”. In other words, you are already dying, don’t ruin my life too.”

“What an idiot! A forever doesn’t always mean fifty or sixty years together. A forever can last for few months too.” He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her in a hug. He continued, “Now, being your friend, I can say he made a huge mistake”

She laughed through tears, “Oh, come on he became a practical person. He knew that this crazy girl will not last long so why bother looking after a sick person”

He raised his hands, “Sorry for saying this but your ex-fiancé was a…”

She closed his mouth before he could say. She said, “Don’t waste your energy on a person that doesn’t deserve it. Plus, we are in graveyard. It is not ethical to use bad words here”

He removed her hand saying, “That rule applies in church”

She rolled her eyes and started staring at the distance. He asked, “What is it?”

She shook her head, “Nothing, just today. I am having this weird feeling sitting here. Something is not right”

He replied, “That is because you are sober. Normally, you come here drunk”

She laughed, “Point”

She turned to him saying, “You know, my parents…they don’t even know about me”

He furrowed his brows, “Why didn’t you tell them?”

She shrugged with a smile, “Just didn’t want them to leave me like Dan. They will also want to shrug off the responsibilities.”

“Are you crazy? They will not do that. They love you” he said taking out his phone. Giving the phone to her, he said in his soft deep voice, “Just call them. I am sure they would want to spend their time with you”

She started dialing her mother’s phone. She smiled when her mother picked up. Her sweet voice used to transport her to her childhood.

“Hello”

“Hi mom. It is Len.”

“Hi sweetie. Everything okay? How’s life going?”

“Umm, it is good but it going to end soon”

“What do you mean? Lennox, this is not funny”

“Umm, actually, I have been hiding this from you guys. Mom…I have only few months left. I didn’t want to bother you guys, that is why I didn’t tell you”

“You are an idiot. I’ll tell your father about this and we both will be coming down there.”

“Umm, mom”

“Yeah, sweetie”

“I love you”

“I love you too”

She ended the call. Wiping her tears, she said, “I wanted to talk to you about something really important”

He took her hands in his asking, “What is it?”

She replied, “Just write something crazy on my headstone, please. I don’t want a loving daughter, a good friend, blah, blah, blah”

He laughed, “Okay, but you have to stop smoking first”

She nodded, “I was thinking about that this morning when cute doctor asked me not to smoke”

He hugged her tightly saying, “I can’t believe I will lose you too”

She rolled her eyes, “Don’t tell me you fell in love with me in front of Gina’s grave”

He pulled back, “Of course not. She will rise from grave if I say it to you in front of her. She was really possessive of me”

She laughed and started walking. He shrugged off the dirt from his jeans and following her, reached the grave she chose. She titled her head and then observed the names around it. She asked, “What do you think? How are my neighbors going to be?”

He read every name and described the personality of each of them. She had started laughing when he said that the Mr. Wobble will definitely be her type if she is willing to date older people. He held her hand, “Maybe, granted my luck, I can be one of your neighbor too”

She asked, “Wouldn’t Gina mind?”

He shrugged with a smile, “Ah, I think she will be furious but I’ll handle her”

“Come let’s leave. I have to meet the cute doctor” she said walking towards the gate.

 

Hearing the sirens, she said smiling through her bleeding lips, “An easy way than dying in hospital”

He had pieces of glass sticking in his face. Still managing a smile, he said, “Now I think we’ll be neighbors”

The world faded away for both of them. They were lying in Nick’s car unconscious after the crash that happened because of the rain.

 

Sometimes, people don’t be with each other because they love them, they be with each other because they understand each other; they know what a suffering is and want to share whatever happiness they have left in them with each other.

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