This is the twenty-second part of the short story that I am writing in collaboration with other bloggers on Blogadda. Our team is 'Tete-a-ten'. Read the previous parts here: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen , sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty and twenty one
Cloud 9 Hospital
Veda replaced the receiver and looking at Dr. Sneha Phadnis said, “Madam, Doctor says he’ll schedule an appointment for tomo-“
“Look here now, I need to talk to him!” Dr Sneha Phadnis cut her short and spoke loudly but with desperation in her voice.
“Madam, madam please have a seat. I’ll be right back” said Veda as she left the reception, trying to get help from another nurse to handle the situation.
Reluctantly, Dr. Sneha sat in one of the sofas near the counter. She pondered her next step to trace Aryan Ahuja. Within moments, another nurse walked in balancing stack full of folders and files in both hands.
She placed some files on the counter and said, “These are Dr. Ahuja’s cases. File it inside.” She was too busy to pay attention at the unmanned reception counter.
Dr. Sneha noticed the nurse leaving the files on the counter. She stared at the files and wondered if they have Aryan Ahuja’s contact details. She felt tempted to see those files and carefully unlatched one of them. On the top corner of the letterhead she noticed the Cloud 9 hospital address and below it she saw another address. ‘Aryan Ahuja must be running a consultation clinic from another address as well.’ She thought and smiled when she spotted the apartment number in the address. ‘What Luck!’ It was indeed Dr Aryan Ahuja’s home address.
Acting swiftly, she plopped out her phone and clicked a photo of the address. Wasting no more time, she placed the file back onto the counter and rushed out. The fatigue of the traveling, the drama was now replaced with excitement and anxiousness. There was a spring in every step she took as she dashed out of the hospital. Beaming with new sense of excitement she hailed a cab and headed off to complete what was missing in her life.
Meanwhile the receptionist returned to her desk to find Dr Sneha Phadnis gone.
“Madam? Madam!” She looked around the place, inside the consultation room, the corridor- but Dr Sneha was nowhere to be found. “Oh God” exclaimed a panicked Veda.
'Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel?
Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough’
She had blushed to a shade of crimson as he quoted Shakespeare to her looking into her eyes, after they had made love on one such night. Days passed and nights passed. And then came one such day where he quoted Shakespeare again:
‘This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.’
Aryan had quoted as they parted ways after medical school. And how Sneha's eyes showed exasperation when he said he was not ready to commit and that she was not ready to ask him to. It seemed like a professional decision, her choosing Psychiatry while him choosing Paediatrics as a specialization. But back then Sneha did not realize how bitter the end would seem in the following years.
Over the years she had learned to live with the tinge of regret of what could have been with the love of her life. She pondered over the fact of him getting married and settling down to someone else. There was always a chance that he wouldn't. What would his reaction be? How would he look? Why didn't he try to find her? Oh, never did a day go by she wished he would tap on her shoulder and say-
“Madam! Madam, aapka building aa gaya!”
The cab driver’s yell shook Dr Sneha from her reverie and she was brought back to her present. She paid the cab fare and stepped outside. She composed herself and became conscious of how she was dressed. She adjusted her kurta, smoothed her hair and checked her compact mirror for her mascara. Pressing her flame like bindi in place on her forehead with one hand she pressed 9 with the other and Beethoven’s Für Elise filled the elevator. Seconds later, she was going to be outside Dr. Aryan Ahuja’s residence.
Read Part 23 HERE