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The judgment

 The Judgment

7.00 p.m.

Twilight brushed off the glazed azure, casting a bluish hue through every corner. Her grip over the sharp edge of the cliff was slowly getting off. Droplets of sweat rising on the tips of her fingers were growing apace. Letting her loosen the clutch on the edge of the rock she was hanging on to. She held her breath tight as she glanced through her slipper falling off from her feet…just in the same way. Without touching any of the rocks on its way, landing amid the huge green at the bottom. And disappeared. Her vision  blurring by the tear-drops slowly rising into her fear-shaken-eyes as she acquiesced it all to end soon. Very soon. If her grip loses next she would be the one falling the same way or the worse. ‘This is it’…she sucked in.

11 a.m.

He is hot, no”? Sneha squinted through the mirror, pulling out her finger dipped into the half-eaten chocolate cake. “Don’t spill it all around“, Richa threw her shorts into the laundry bag.“I have just cleaned that side” snapping at her. “where were you yesterday, when i called you”? Sneha continued digging into it unbothered. Sarcasm cropped up from the corners of her twisted lips. Richa kept mum for a while.
“What are those medicines, you having these days”? She rolled her eyes, brushing aside the icky conversation Sneha was heading to. “Are you…”, Sneha winced at her, licking the chocolate glazed finger slowly. “Huh, really”? she paused,” Your daftness is reaching beyond my check now”, irritation covering her face. “Look…if you believe in what I say then it’s good for you… and for all, I guess”, Wiping off the crumbs of cake and chips from the table beside her bed. “Or just fuck off with your own thoughts and presumptions”, she turned back to the kitchen slab without bothering to register a reply. “Go take a shower”, she shrieked from the balcony. “Urghh”…Sneha jumped off the bed heading towards the lobby, scattering crumbs of cake on the floor. Richa stomped her feet hard enough for the people on the lower floor to notice on their heads. The door of wash-room slammed even harder.

12 p.m.

Richa”, Sneha howled through the doorway. ‘No reply’. “I need your gloss, yaar” she squealed. ‘No reply’. The sound of water pouring off the shower continued from the wash-room. She banged the door with furiously.” Can’t you listen to me” she clamored, placing an ear right on the door. And it opened with a smash. She almost fell off inside. Grabbing the corner of wash-basin she anyhow managed not of land her face on the floor. Richa snapped out into the room. Drew out the gloss from her handbag and passed it on to her, without a word. a jovial wince thanked her,  “he likes it sooo.. much“. She pouted at the mirror with the ‘coral red’ on her lips. Richa turned around plopping into the chair drying off her hairs.

“Now cheer up bro”, Sneha stuttered in a childish tone to finally wrap it up. Richa yanked herself off from the bear hug she was clasped in. Anguish and dismay dribbling from her face. “These days I don’t get your words”, her eyes twitched as she gathered the words from her mind. “Fine! I am sorry”, sneha replied brushing across the shoulders of her best friend,“I didn’t mean it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me”. “Nothing wrong as such, just relax“, she patted her cheeks. “happy birthday, have a great day ahead”. She hugged her tight before returning back to her tangled curls.

1.00 p.m.

“Hey, gorgeous” Abhi’s eyes widened as he reached closer to her. She rose up driving back the chair. He assayed her top to bottom with each step ahead. She was looking breathtaking in her red top adorned with a delicate lace around her neck, accompanied with a black short skirt flaring above knees. Her long straight hairs tucked deliberately to one side. Eyes toned up with shimmering mascara. Her face brightened up as he cuddled her in his muscular embrace. “Happy birthday love”, he blurted smugly in her ear passing her a bunch of purple and white orchids. “Ohh.. thanks”, she replied breaking the embrace.

3.00 p.m.

Who’s that”? Her brows frowned, as she saw him disconnecting the call for second time in succession. “No one… it’s just”, Abhi tapped on it a few times before brushing it under the pillow. A tinge of rage aroused inside, which she eventually succeeded to hide. Drawing the curtains down, he leaned forward. Watching her excitedly unwrapping the gift. “Aww, you remember this”? she planted a gentle kiss on his cheek, tying the designer watch on her wrist. ‘Am I sure enough‘, her mind doubted her own decision. But he was in no doubt or disbelief. After cutting her cake and gifting her a classy watch all he focused on was a return gift.

The smell of jasmine had aroused his masculinity. Pulling off a soft and fluffy pillow he marked his name on her leg with his finger. She slid through the silk of bed making a safe distance.  He smirked snuggly at her naive prey. She knew his eyes. The arc of his lip enlighting a spark within her. His hands slowly reaching out for her. Her heart skipping several beats at a time. He gently planted a kiss on her lips drawing her close enough, leading his hand through her back discovering the hidden treasures, while his other hand switched off the lights.

The final hour

As the day wore on, gold of the Sun filled the canvas of Sky. Reflection of its glitter adorned the fauna around. Cool breeze caressed her strands, as she stared at the valley surrounded by hills all around the corners. Soon the day was heading to end and so were many things. She thought to herself. Although she had never wished to change her status again to single. But she had to. It felt like a lifetime, she had been with Abhi. He was her first love. And expectantly the last one. But this was not the case with him. He had girlfriends before and preferably he would enter into a new one soon.

Abhi patted on her shoulder breaking the trans she was in. “Coke”? He sat on the rock next to her gazing at the picturesque beauty of the sunset from the Tiger point. After a long day in Lonavala, they had to get back now. Sure for one.

She Gulped a mouthful. “Who’s she”? Her lips unconsciously uttered the ultimate question she had hidden for the whole long day. As the sun was going down, her calm lost to the last thread she held within. She knew the answer, though…

Her eyes hung onto his. He had no way out. “Who’s she? What are you talking about”? He shook off the piercing glance turning his view to the horizon. “We must leave now” He forced a smile, avoiding the discussion. His cheek twitched at the effort he made with the expressions to hide the guilt and awe developing inside. She was stuck to her naked question. Her chin slowly hitting down. Emotions gathered around her cornea finally dripped off in her lap. He couldn’t do anything for her. Love just happens. “Then what was in between us”? She continued. No reply could hold her breath or calm her down. Anymore.

“Don’t spoil the day for us dear, it’s all in your mind”, he prattled sipping up his drink absurdly. As if he had not even listened to what she was saying. ‘How could he be so careless and insensitive? Doesn’t he owe an explanation to me at least for what all he has been doing to me’? Her mind racing at speed of flash. ‘What does he want me to do now? Celebrate our last day together‘.

He blabbered insanely, scrolling down random pics with her which no longer had a meaning to them. It was all over. There was Nothing to see in those pics. Nothing to feel in the air. Nothing in between. it was time to unveil the barest truth. She rose her sight up at him. Her eyes bloodshot. He mustered up all his courage to meet hers. Nothing could reverse this moment.

“Richa, right”?

Her words broke the ice.

“You knew it”? His words stammered.

“Yes long before”.
“Then why didn’t you”?
“I was waiting for you “.
“I don’t know”?
“But I know. All I don’t know is why”?
“Why the hell did you cheat on me “?

“Why Abhi”?

“You knew you were my first love. From the very first date of ours, you knew you were the one for me. I gave you everything. Confided my deepest secrets in you. What did you find better elsewhere? why the hell did you do this to me? I dont owe any explanations from her, but all i can do is to know, Why the hell did you ditch me”?

She kneeled down on knees. Her sobs filled the aura with gleam. She covered her misery into her palms.“I don’t know what to say, dear. It all just happened. And I am sorry about that”. He stepped ahead to hold her up. ” I didn’t want to hurt you but you know me, right”? He pulled her up embracing her gently. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. but it all just happened. Please Sneha”.

“So now it’s all over for us”? She muffled in between sobs. Her face dug into his chest. Her breaths warming his heart. And her tears wetting his shirt.“I am so sorry Sneha, let’s just get back I’ll sort it out. We’ll sort…” all he could mutter, as she emerged out of his brace. Her eyes dried up except the wet lashes stuck along with a lace of water. Her face puce with anguish. She held his arm tight. “I loved you unconditionally Abhi. But if you can’t be mine, I can’t let you be of anyone else now”. She smiled cynically,” And I will make sure to it”. her maloucious expressions scared him to the core. He held his breath unable to recognize her anymore.
She was no longer the soft-shy-innocent girl.
Her face deformed into an ugly shadow that could engulf his life with a mere sign of her finger. Dread filled up his heart realizing, that his grip onto her hands was the only thing that was holding him on the cliff.

Revenge took over all the emotions, as she had singled-out her judgment. His eyes wobbled as she propelled him away with a thump in the very moment. His feet shuddered flapping haphazardly. His forlorn eyes stuck at her, the moment he fell off.

It was time to dusk. Most of the people around had headed back or were far away to judge the horrifying incident. His hands wiggled in air searching to clutch for anything as a grip.

She stood still. emotionless, merciless, until the last shake of his hand swayed through her legs. And she slipped off, right after him. Her hands ruffling around the rough rock to hold anything that could support her on the cliff, as she watched him falling down through the rocks heading to the green valley below. she eared his last squeal before disappearing into the green. She closed her eyes for the last time to grasp the final moment of her life until she clutched the edge of a rock with its corner. Her slipper slowly followed the way Abhi did. It was time for her.

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Smriti Srivastava
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