Ankahee Chapter 6

Posted by Shabia Walia on

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Ankahee

Chapter 6

‘Hi Ruhi, am awake.. All good’? Randeep typed. As he waited for her to reply he wondered why she must have messaged him. It had to do with work, he was sure of that. Ruhi was very professional.

The phone pinged. ‘Can I call if it's not a problem’? Ruhi replied back. Her message got Randeep worried. Was Ruhi ok? Was she in any problem?

Without wasting a second, Randeep dialled her number. And almost as instantly, Ruhi’s voice crackled on the phone.

‘Sorry to bother you at this hour Randeep but there is an emergency at the office and I thought you should know’, she said apologetically.

Randeep shot back. ‘Sure, go ahead’.

Ruhi continued, ‘Actually the control room in office has broken down. We have been off air for past half an hour’.

‘What the…?’ Randeep almost abused and then controlled himself.

‘Yes, the technical team is trying to rectify it. I am here. Will keep you posted.’, she tried to assure him.

‘No, I will be there in 10.’, he said in a hurry. He was already up, scurrying through his wardrobe for a fresh pair of clothes. It might be a long night and he didn't want to wear a suit now. As he spoke to Ruhi he settled for a collared t-shirt and cotton pants.

Randeep hung up the phone and changed quickly. He regretted not having a shower after coming back. He quickly sprayed some deo, grabbed his loafers and was in his car in minutes.

‘Office’, he instructed his driver who sped away.

As he rested his head on the backrest, he couldn't but help think about Ruhi. Trust her to be there even at this hour. He looked at his watch. It was well past 10. He was sure she had rushed to office the moment she had been informed. That's what he liked about her. Her dedication to work. She was as committed as he was. In fact, he liked a lot of things about her but now wasn't the time to think about them.

He took the stairs as he was too impatient to wait for the lift in the office building. As he reached his office floor, she met him at the door. She looked different. He wondered why.

As they reached the control room, the technical head walked upto him. ‘Yes Rishi, fill me in’, shot Randeep.

‘Randeep there has been a short circuit. We are trying to get it rectified as soon as we can. The engineers tell me it's going to take about an hour more’. Rishi said.

‘Damn!’, groaned Randeep.

‘Ok, I am in my cabin. Keep me posted.’ Randeep walked away to his cabin.

It was a good three hours before things got sorted. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the images floated on their screens again.

Randeep told everyone to get home and get a good nights sleep. Everyone was drained but relieved as they packed up for the day.

Randeep walked up to his office window. His hand was aching a lot now. He tried rotating his shoulders but couldn't. He swore in pain.

‘What happened Randeep? Are you alright?’, Without turning behind, Randeep knew it was Ruhi’s voice.

He looked back and his face was full of pain. He tried hiding it but she could see he was writhing in pain.

She rushed towards him and held his arm. ‘Sit down, will you?’ Ruhi said firmly as he tried to wave her away saying it's just a spasm.

She would hear none of it. She made him sit down and got him a glass of water. As he sipped on it, she pulled a chair and sat bang opposite him.

‘Give me your hand’, Ruhi told Randeep.

Randeep looked at her puzzled.

‘I said give me your hand Randeep’, she said determined and looking into his eyes. She knew he was strong headed and wouldn't listen to meek orders.

Randeep held out his hand to her. She took his hand in her hand.

Suddenly Randeep felt lighter. Her warmth was very comforting. The pain was there but it seemed dull. He realised now she was pressing some points on his palm.

‘How long have you had this arm pain Randeep?’ Ruhi questioned.

‘As long as I can remember, 10 maybe 11 years. It began a year or two after I got married’, Randeep confessed.

‘Hmm.. I see’, She continued looking at his palms, searching for the correct points, trying to ease off his pain as diligently as she could.

He kept looking at her. And as he stared at her, he realised why she was looking different. Her hair which was usually tied up neatly was roughly tied up in a bun. Some strands escaped as if demanding their freedom and a few fell on either sides of her face, making her face look much softer than it usually did. He liked her hair this way. To him, it made her look prettier than she already was.

‘Better’?, Ruhi asked.

‘Much better’, he replied and then realised he had said that for her hair, not his pain.

Nevertheless she bought it as an answer. Randeep was glad she hadn't guessed what he was talking about.

‘I didn't know you had these skills too’, he said.

Ruhi looked at him and smiled. ‘My mom is a spiritual healer. Growing up, I picked up all these things along the way. Haven't used it much though.’

‘I am the lucky one, I guess’, Randeep tried to make light of the intense feelings rising in his heart.

‘Or the guinea pig, as you look at it’, she smiled.

Randeep chuckled. ‘That's true’. He realised that her touch was really soothing. The pain had reduced considerably. He was feeling much better. He didn't know if it was her or her touch but he was feeling really good.

‘Ok doctor, how can I pay you for your services’? Randeep asked Ruhi as she let go of his hand after rubbing them and saying something to herself.

She looked at him questioningly, eyebrows arched, a smile on her face.

Before she could answer, he said, ‘Maybe a dinner somewhere, I bet you haven't eaten.’

‘Actually not, barely got home when the call came about the short circuit but you don't have to trouble yourself.’, She got up. ‘I will grab something at home’.

‘No trouble at all, in fact I haven't eaten either. You will do me a favour in fact.’, He just wanted to be with her, he realised. He felt the loneliest at nights.

She agreed easily. ‘Where do we go’?

Randeep smiled. He looked at her, happy that she had agreed.

Ruhi asked him gently. ‘You sure your hand doesn't hurt anymore?’, looking at him with a lot of concern in her eyes.

He caught her concern and instantly his heart melted. Her softness touched upon places he didn't know existed. His face showed his feelings.

She looked at him and moved closer to him. ‘If I hadn't walked into the room to say goodbye, I would just never know you were in so much pain, Randeep.’

She held his hand into his and said, ‘You always call me your best employee.’ Randeep was shocked at this gesture of hers.

‘That you are’, he said his voice almost soft and full of emotion.

Ruhi continued holding his hand and said, ‘Then will you promise me that you will not live with this pain anymore? That you will do something to get rid of it? That you will let me heal you?’

Randeep couldn't contain himself anymore. He just couldn't fathom the softness, the concern Ruhi had expressed for him just now. He turned away lest she caught his emotions.

He looked out of the window. She came behind him and stood next to him.

‘Please Randeep. Promise me. No one deserves to live with so much pain, in fact any pain. Physical pain is just a manifestation of your mental agony, I want you to heal from the mental pain, whatever is it. Will you allow me?’, Ruhi said, her voice barely a whisper now.

Randeep now turned to her. It was clear that in those ten minutes of healing his pain, Ruhi had managed to look into his heart, read into his mind and feel his pain. He felt naked but also strangely comforted. He felt less lonely tonight, as if he had found a friend who could share his loneliness.

He took her hand in his and whispered, ‘I promise I will, on my heart.’

And she looked at him straight in the eye and said, ‘So shall we begin with a hug’?

…….to be continued

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