I had to find out who was Rasputin.
Lover of the Russian queen, so someone Russian. I figured.
I went back to the hostel. Aparna and Shylaja were in the room and I asked them
“Do you know who is Rasputin?”
“Huh?” Both of them were staring at me.
“Do you know who is this Rasputin guy Boney M sang in the Rasputin song?”
“There is a Rasputin guy in that song?” Aparna asked
“yeah, Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen, that one” I was so impatient.
“Oh Yeah, I have never even noticed it, why do you want to know that?” Aparna looked at me.
“No reason. I heard the song today and it occured to me that I didn’t know who is Rasputin” I lied.
There was no point telling them that Dr. Bhatti asked me that question, then they want to know why he asked me that and it will never end.
I went to every single senior’s room and asked if anyone knew who was Rasputin.

At the end, the only consoling fact was that I was not alone. Everyone knew the song and not one person noticed that the song was about some Rasputin who was the lover of the Russian Queen.
Somehow, though I couldn’t find out more about Rasputin, I was pretty relieved that I wasn’t the only ignoramus on planet earth.
I went back to the room.
“Did you find out?” Shylaja asked
“No” I replied.
I went to lay down on my bed. I was annoyed with myself for not reading Russian history.I knew most of the Russian history( Military) during the WW1 and 2. I even knew the name of the Russian commander who was in charge during the winter war( Russia and Finland 1939).
Vyacheslav Molotov!, after whom the Finns named the Molotov cocktail.
Yet I knew nothing much about the Tsar and the Bolsheviks. I had been wanting to read more about the Tsar, but never really got around to.
I should have.
I shouldn’t have wasted my energy reading so many Mills and Boons novels.
Arghh. I hated myself.
There was one person I could call and ask.
But if Roy had already phoned him, then my father would think that I was trying to placate him with my never ending curiosity.
I wondered how I was going to handle when Appa calls and asks who was Arjun.
I analyzed all the pros and cons.
I couldn’t say I was in love with Arjun. Because I really wasn’t.
‘Ha ha ha’ Sensible one started to laugh.
‘Why are you laughing?’ I asked her
‘You should call yourself Confused Nina, it matches with conjuced (stingy) Marwari. Don’t you think?’ She asked
‘I am not confused. I don’t love that Moron’ I answered
‘Ha!’ She snickered
I ignored her. I needed plans to survive my father’s impending questions.
I decided I will tell Appa that, it was Arjun’s birthday and he treated me by buying a burger at Mac’s. Not really convincing, but can pass the scrutiny, unless Appa finds out from Arjun his date of birth. Which wasn’t likely. Appa has never met Arjun.
Phew. I sighed.
I hated the thought of lying to my own father. But what else can I do? I had another 2 1/2 years to finish MBBS. I needed money and knowing my father, he is totally capable of not sending me money if he chose to. I needed to be in his good books.

In the morning, I woke up late. Then I spend the next 15 minutes looking for the 20 Rs, that I had kept in one of the text books for safe keeping. I wanted to keep some money in my hand, should Dr. Bhatti invite me for lunch, I wanted to be able to pay for it.
Eventually I found the money. I kept it in the pocket.

By the time I reached the hospital I checked my watch and realized I didn’t have enough time to go through all the patient charts before the rounds. Dr. Bhatti was already standing near the door and was speaking to the Surgical Prof.
It looked like they might take a while before both of them finished catching up with each other. I took the opportunity to quickly go through the patient’s charts that are kept stacked up in the nurses station. Then I remembered I had not said Hi to Mariamma. I came out of the nurses station and noticed the nurses changing the bed sheet on Bed 1. The side table was empty.
“Where did the patient go?” I asked the nurse
“Shifted to ICU” She mumbled and continued with her work
“Last night, I think. I wasn’t working last night.” She replied.
Ramesh was standing near the main door. Si I ran to him and asked
“Do you know what happened to Mariamma?” I asked him
“Who? The Ascitis patient?
“Yeah, her name is Mariamma” I let him know. I was so annoyed with him. How dare he not know a patient’s name?
“No idea”
I wanted to ask Dr. Bhatti. But he was still standing in the corridor and speaking to the Surgical Prof.
It would be rude to interrupt them and ask about a patient.
I walked straight to the ICU. I had never been there before.
There was a burly looking security guard outside the door.
He looked at me. He must have noticed my coat and opened the door for me without asking anything.
ICU was like a long hall. Beds kept apart by a bigger space than the wards. There were screens showing the ECG. There were doctors everywhere.
Everyone except the patients were busy. I looked at all the patients. I couldn’t find Mariamma.
I walked to the nurses counter. There was a middle aged nurse with the most peaceful face I had seen in a while was sitting there, writing on the charts.
“Excuse me” I spoke
She looked at me
“I am looking for a patient named Mariamma. She was in the medical ward. I was told she was transferred to the ICU last night.”
My hands were shivering. So I kept my hands in the pocket.
She looked at me and I knew the answer.
“When?” I asked her. My voice was quivering
“Early morning”
I couldn’t breath.
All she ever wanted was to attend her son’s wedding.
I wanted to cry.
But doctors can’t cry.
“Are you OK ?” I heard the nurse ask.
I didn’t bother to reply. I just walked. I didn’t wait for the security guard to open the grill door completely. I squeezed myself out. My steth got caught on the latch. I yanked it free and walked.

I wanted to talk to Dr. Bhatti. I wanted to give him a piece of my mind for giving false hopes to Mariamma. How dare he.

I went and sat down on the bench outside his OPD( in the midst of all the patients who were waiting for Dr. Bhatti)
I knew everyone was looking at me. I couldn’t care less.
I closed my eyes, leaned my head against the dirty walls.
All I could see was Mariamma’s face and how excited she was to know that she was going to be discharged. Now in the midst of wedding preparation, her family have to arrange her funeral. I wondered if the society is going to punish the girl who was to marry Mariamma’s son by blaming her for her Mother In law’s untimely death?
People were talking, children were crying, guards were yelling to control the OPd crowd. I knew I was alive. I knew I was sitting in the OPD. But I was far away. It was as though a part of me has just floated up leaving my body behind. And I didn’t care.
Eventually I heard Dr. Bhatti’s voice. I opened my eyes. He was with all the junior doctors.
“Sir” I called and got up from the bench.
He turned to look at me, so did all the other doctors. Not very often you will see a medical student sitting among the patients.
“Yes” Dr. Bhatti looked at me.
“Can I have a minute please?”
He looked at me and I knew he was trying to figure out what was going on.
“Sure, come” He walked towards his consultation room and I followed.
I waited for him to sit down.
He sat down and looked at me
“You knew she was going to die, Didn’t you?”
Dr. Bhatti looked at me for a very long time.
Don’t even dream of lying. I thought of telling him
“It was a possibility” he finally answered
“Yet you still gave her hope. You told her she will be discharged this week end. You told her that”
“Sit down” Dr. Bhatti pointed to the chair
“NO” I refused.
I didn’t care if he was going to be angry with me for disobeying. I didn’t give a damn. I was going to quit. I have had enough of doing medicine. I was going to go to BCM college, study home science and get married(to a rich guy who wants a trophy wife).
Dr Bhatti leaned across the table and spoke gently
“One day you will learn that death and life are part of a doctor’s life. But that doesn’t mean that you can take the hope from a patient, because you have no right to do that. You don’t decide who get to live or die. But you can always offer hope, because medicine is all about hope. You are always hoping that something like the technology or religious miracle or a new drug will change the factors that are against your patient’s chance of survival. You have to hope for them. And you give them hope”
I shook my head and disagreed.
I felt exhausted.
I walked out of the room. Took off my coat. Checked my pocket for money, took the bus and went back home.

I went through all the other patient’s charts. Accident case was getting discharged in the morning. I was happy for Kumar. I looked forward to being appreciated for my efforts to clean and dress the wounds. There were no signs of infection in any of the wounds, the main reason the patient was getting discharged. And I did it!

Dr. Bhatti came for the rounds a few minutes late.
I nodded my head and greeted him
“Good evening sir”
He looked at me as though he was trying to figure out something.
I kind of figured he must have got the smell of the Jasmine flowers!
He didn’t ask anything and I didn’t say anything.
He walled towards bed 1.
I followed him.
I wanted to tell him about the new abdomen measurements. I knew something wasn’t right and i wanted Dr. Bhatti to know.
Before I had a chance to tell him he asked Mariamma
“When is the wedding?”
“in 2 1/2 weeks Dr. Sir, When can I go home?” She asked
“Most likely by the end of this week Mariamma”
But, Dr. Bhatti, there is more fluid in her belly. I wanted to tell him.
“Did you measure?” He looked at me
“yes sir.” I told him the latest measurement.
He looked at the chart and nodded his head.
Did he not see? I wondered.
He could have.. He was the one who measured and wrote the charts the last time.
“Everything is going to be alright Mariamma. Soon you will be going home” Dr. Bhatti tapped Mariamma’s shoulder and smiled.
I wanted to smile too.
How to smile when I knew there was something wrong? But the Medicine professor said everything is going to be alright. He has decades of more experience than me. I looked at Mariamma and smiled. I was happy for her. I knew how she looked forward to seeing her youngest son getting married.
Would my mother look forward to my wedding? I wondered.
Nah, nah, no wedding. I won’t think about wedding. I am going to be single. I told myself, knowing very well that, it is a lie. Because the truth is, there is always a yin and yang, just as there is a right and left, just as there is light and darkness.
I needed my other half to complete the whole picture.

There was a young male patient on bed 5 who was admitted in the morning. I had noticed the word ? blood Dyscrasias. Rule out causes.
I had no idea what was blood dyscrasias.
I also didn’t spend any of my precious energy to find an intern and ask what does it mean.

As we walked to bed 5, I could feel the Apocalypse. Any minute now Dr. Bhatti will ask me what is blood dyscrasias and I will have to face the consequences . Hopefully I will only be getting yelled at in front of all the patients.
My karma!
I wanted to hit my head on the wall for being so thick headed.
Dr. Bhatti was speaking to the patient. He informed the parents about all the tests that are being done. He checked the patient’s eyes, wrote couple of things on the charts, nodded his head and walked to the next bed.
I took a deep breath.
Phew, that was close.
Never, never, never will I do this again. I will always ask ‘why’ to every unknown factor/word etc.
Just before we reached bed 6, Dr. Bhatti stopped walking. He looked at me.
kadavuley, Here it comes. I looked at his eyes, waiting for him to say the dreaded word dyscrasias.
“Do you know Who is Rasputin?” He asked
What? What did he say?
“Excuse me sir, what?” I knew I sounded like an idiot.
“Do you know who is Rasputin?”
Rasputin? I churned my brain in and out. No Rasputin in Greek/Latin or any of the stories I have read. The closest name I could think of was Rumpelstiltskin. But not Rasputin.
The only Rasputin I could think of was the Boney M song Rasputin. I knew I would sound dumb if I said it is a Boney M song. So I shook my head and said No.
“You never listened to Boney M songs?” he looked at me quizzically
Of course I did. I have all their albums.
“I do sir”
“You never heard their song Ra Ra Rasputin”
Of course I have listened to that song a million times.
Ra ra Rasputin
Lover of the Russian queen
There was a cat that really was gone
Ra ra Rasputin
Russia’s greatest love machine
It was a shame how he carried on

Who the hell was Rasputin and why the hell did Boney M sing that song? I wondered, knowing well that it was tad too late to wonder about it now. I had sang that song so many times and never once wanted to know who was this Rasputin guy.
Dr. Bhatti shook his head disappointedly.
Come on, Don’t shake your head, tell me who is Rasputin. I thought of telling him. But he was the Professor. How to tell him that?

I hated not knowing something. Not that I knew everything. But how could I not bother to know who was Rasputin when I knew the song so well.

Eventually we reached bed 12.
Kumar’s father came towards Dr. Bhatti, folded his hands and thanked him. Kumar got up from the bed and he too folded his hands and thanked Dr. Bhatti.
I looked at them with a smile on my face. An advance smile for thanking me.
But they didn’t.
Neither of them said a word to me.
And if you have ever smiled anticipating something and you didn’t get it, then you will know how it felt to smile like an idiot.

I wanted to go back to the hostel quickly. I was so angry with myself.
Why did I let Arjun bully me like this? Why didn’t I tell him that I will find my own way back to the hostel?
I knew Roy would be pissed off with me and I could only imagine what he was going to do.

Arjun isn’t a Christian name! No one in my family ever married a non Christian.
Excommunication from the church( not that I cared) and banishment from the family. Life is perfect!
Would Ammachi understand and stand by me?
Then I thought, why am I wasting my energy worrying about excommunication and things like that when I don’t even want to marry a jerk like Arjun?
I was so angry with Arjun.
Shop lifting
Being rude to my cousin.
I wanted to give him a piece of my mind and I waited till Arjun parked the bike in the bike park.
I got off quickly.
Arjun was taking the helmet off and I looked in to his eyes and asked him
“What was that all about?”
“What?” He asked as though he had no idea what I was taking about.
“Why were you so rude to my cousin?” I elaborated.
“Who said I was rude? You were rude. You and him were talking ngee ngooo ngee ngoo to each other” Arjun pretended to speak Malayalam.
First of all we don’t speak Malayalam like ngee ngoo ngee ngoo. Second of all, Hindi sounds even more weird with all the ka, ki and koo
“I spoke to him in my mother tongue, just as you speak to your friends in Hindi” I snapped
“Hindi isn’t my mother tongue” he replied
That was a crappy argument. He knew what I meant and he knew he was wrong. But he couldn’t admit that he was wrong eh?
“F%4# off” I screamed
“You F%&* off” He replied.
“I will” I turned and started to walk towards the hostel.
I was so mad.
Just so mad.
I promised I will never, ever talk to Arjun again. I don’t want to do anything with a jerk like him.
‘Don’t you know that no one will marry you if they know about your family?’ Sensible one asked
‘I don’t want anyone to marry me. I will live alone or I will join a convent’ I replied
‘Mother Nina, Ha ha ha ha’ Sensible one started to laugh.
Initially I didn’t find anything funny, but then the picture of me in a nun’s habit came to my mind and indeed I looked damn funny.
I wasn’t cut out to be a nun.
I wanted a man!
I wanted Beautiful Eyes.
There was no remedy for regrets, but that doesn’t stop one from regretting the choices one made/makes. Does it?
There was no one else on planet earth I hated as much as I hated myself.
Not even George.

I contemplated killing myself.
What was the point in living a life like this?
I still had my collection of Valium.
But then I knew George would tell everyone that I killed myself because I couldn’t handle the pressures of being a medical student.
That wasn’t true.
I wrote Anatomy part without even revising anything. And I knew I was a good student other wise Dr. Bhatti wouldn’t have asked me to follow him during the evening rounds.
Oh Oh! Dr. Bhatti!
I checked my watch.
Damn. I didn’t read anything today. There was no time to go to the library and read either.
I felt guilty for wasting my time.
I shouldn’t have bothered to apologize to Arjun. I should have just kept my mouth shut.
I shouldn’t have.. I shouldn’t have..
My life was full of I shouldn’t have!

I walked back to the bus stop.

Medical ward was full of visitors when I entered. I was planning to try taking BP again. Now I wasn’t sure. I stood near the door trying to think what I should do.
Mariamma saw me and called me
“Dr Ma”
I walked towards her bed. Her daughter was sitting by her side and reading some Magazine. She heard her mother calling me and I watched her getting up and taking something from the side table and giving it to her mother.
“What Mariamma, everything ok?” I asked her
“I got something for you”
She passed me the news paper wrapped bundle.
“Don’t hold it tight. Hold it gently” Mariamma advised.
What in the world is this? I wondered
“What is in this Mariamma?” I asked
“Flowers Dr Ma. Jasmine flowers for you. You have nice hair. You should grow your hair long and You should keep flowers on your hair, you will look very beautiful” Mariamma spoke. She was smiling so happy.
She was taking over my mother’s role. The only difference is my mother never liked me having long hair.
I opened the parcel. There was a long string of jasmine flowers. I lifted the string and smelled them. They smelled heavenly.
Just like Ammachi’s room.
Does she still keep the jasmine flowers in her room. I wondered.
I shook my head, I didn’t want to think about her. I didn’t want to know.
“Thank you Mariamma” I turned around and showed her my tiny 10 cm long pony tail!
“Too short Mariamma” I turned to look at her
She nodded her head agreeing.
I gently kept the flowers in my coat pocket.
“So how are you feeling Mariamma?” I asked her
“very good Dr ma”
I was so happy for her.
“Can I check your abdomen?”
“Sure Dr Ma”
Mariamma lay down on the bed and I examined her abdomen. It looked bigger than what I saw in the afternoon.
Nah I must be imagining.
I took the measuring tape and measured.
I checked the chart.
Earlier measurements were there.
I looked at Mariamma. She looked healthy and happy. but her abdomen had distended almost double.

Ha ! I did it

Gethi kettal puli pullum thinnum…..

And I, who doesn’t understand the basic concept of repairing anything, have successfully repaired my faithful 1948 born Maytag( A-50) portable washer all by myself.
I replaced the washer belt and my machine is now working.

I feel good !!!!!!

Arjun parked the bike in front of Mac’s.
I wasn’t really surprised that he chose Mac’s. It was both of our favourite place.
We found a corner table and sat down.
“What do you want to eat?”
I had learned my lesson to answer without worrying about what Arjun felt.
“Burger and orange juice”
Arjun ordered Pizza and Torino.
After the waiter left, we looked at each other. I suddenly didn’t know what to talk, so I simply stared at him. He was wearing a nice silk shirt.
“Nice shirt” I told him
“yeah. got a good deal”
“Really! Where?”
“You won’t believe” He looked at me and grinned
“Tell me”
“Do you know how much I paid for this shirt?”
“He he he” He laughed. “No, not even close”
“How much?”
Arjun leaned over the table and whispered
“50 Bucks”
“What? No way”
“Yes way”
“How did you manage to pay 50 bucks?”
“You remember Ashok?”
“Ashok? That guy who was at your place the last time I visited?”
“Yeah, His friend works at a clothes shop near Deepam”
“Which shop?”
“The one near the junction of MG and Brigade”
“Oh, and?”
“When his boss isn’t around, if you visit the shop, he will place a shirt in your helmet without anyone seeing. You pay him 50 Rs!”
“What? That is wrong Arjun. You are shop lifting” I was so angry
“Do you know how much profit the owner of the shop makes from each shirt that he sells?”
“That is besides the point”
“That is not besides the point. The point is he mark up the cost of the shirt by 75% “
“So what if he marks up the cost? He has overheads. He has to pay the rent, pay the employees. How can he do that if he sells below cost?”
“You are crazy” Arjun used his trump card.
Just like my mother. Always call me crazy to win an argument.
“I am not crazy. You are crazy” I told him
“Ha!” Arjun lifted his hand and did a Rajanikanth style wave.
The waiter came in the nick of time and like a monkey, was staring at both of us. I thought of asking him
‘What are you staring at?’
He probably saw the look in my eyes and quickly placed the Pizza in front of me and the burger in front of Arjun. I snatched the burger and pushed the pizza plate towards Arjun.

I was angry and I knew I wasn’t crazy. There is no excuse for stealing, when you can afford to buy a silk shirt.

We ate in total silence. I had actually thought of not eating the burger. But then I thought what did the burger do?
(Besides, if you have ever eaten the burger sold at Mac’s then you would know how tasty they are!)

I had almost finished finished my burger when I saw this guy who looked familiar walking towards our table. A typical mallu with kappada meesa. (mustache)
Ithu yarappa? (who is this clown?)
I churned my brain trying to figure out where have I seen this guy.
“Excuse me” He spoke in typical mallu accent.
Arjun was staring at him.
“Are you Nina?”
“Yes” I answered.
My heart started to pound. I knew there is no reason why I should be afraid of. It is not that I was doing anything wrong. I was simply having a meal with my classmate. But still I was getting worked up.
Following conversation was in Malayalam
“Do you remember me?”
I shook my head.
“Do you remember Sheela Ammai?”
Sheela Ammai? I couldn’t remember any Sheela Ammai.
I shook my head.
“Thumponey Ammachi’s daughter?”
He looked at me if I knew who was Thumponey Ammachi.
I knew her vaguely. Someone from my Dad’s family.
“I am Roy, her son. My family owns the gas cylinder store in Chengannur. You had come to our shop once to order a Gas cylinder for your Ammachi”
That was so many years ago. I wondered how he recognized me after all these years.
“How did you recognize me?” I had to ask him
“Oh easy. You look just like Achayan (your dad)”

Oh Oh.
Appa’s relative finding me in a restaurant in Bangalore with a guy.
It had the word disaster written all over it.
He looked at Arjun.
Arjun looked at me
“My classmate Arjun. My cousin Roy” I introduced.
Both of them stared at each other.
No shake hand, no nothing.
Arjun looked at Roy, nodded his head as though that was the latest greeting style in Bangalore, got up from the chair, asked for the bill and even before the waiter came with the bill, he took the money out of his wallet, counted it and then turned to me and said
“let us go”
He started to walk, met the waiter on his way out, gave him the money and continued to walk towards the door.
Roy looked at me.
I didn’t know what to do.
I had not asked Roy what he was doing in Bangalore( as was expected of me), couldn’t invite him home, because no one knew Amma was staying in Bangalore, Didn’t want to burn my bridges with someone from my father’s family because I was afraid that juicy gossip would soon reach my father’s ears and my classmate was incredibly rude and I didn’t know how to fix it.
“Are you coming or not?” Arjun was holding the door and staring at me.
“I have to go, Bye Roy. Please say my Hi to Ammachi” I quickly walked out.
Arjun started the bike.
I sat down beside him, absolutely making sure No part of my body touched him.

“Where do you want to go?” Arjun asked as he was starting the bike.
I was feeling bad about the way I treated him, in order to placate him I answered
“Anywhere Arjun. Why don’t you pick where you want to go?”
Arjun shook his head and asked
“Why do you always do this?”
“Do what?”
“Why can’t you make up your mind? I asked you a simple question, where do you want to go and you can’t even answer that!”
There we go. I thought to myself. My blood pressure was going up in super sonic speed and I really felt like screaming at him. All I was trying to do was to be nice to him.
I have been standing on my own feet for a very long time and I am capable of making a decision.

I thought of all the worst places in Bangalore to have a horrible meal, I couldn’t think of anything quickly. All the places I usually go have good food.

“Get on” Arjun pointed to the back seat.
I sat down beside him making absolutely sure that no part of my body touched him. Even before I had a chance to hold somewhere to steady myself, Arjun started the bike and increased the spped. I honestly thought I would fall off the bike and being the naturally stubborn person that I am, I refused to hold him.

I must, I must, I must write my will. I told myself. Somehow I didn’t want my family to go after Arjun in the event anything happened to me.
‘Stockholm syndrome’ Sensible one spoke
‘What Stockholm syndrome?’ I asked. What the hell was she talking about? Stockholm syndrome is seen among the victims of kidnapping. Nobody kidnapped me!
‘Your lover boy is killing you and you still want to exonerate him’
‘First of all, he isn’t my lover boy’ I clarified
‘Ha’ she laughed before I could explain about why I didn’t want Arjun to get in to trouble.
But the thing is, I didn’t really know why I wanted to write a will and exonerate Arjun if anything happened to me.
Then it occured to me, I knew why. George is the reason. I was sure George would use his influence and harass Arjun. That is why I want to write my will.
‘Liar’ Sensible one spoke
‘ I am not lying, that is the truth. You know what George is capable of doing!’
‘Right, after you die he will go after you lover boy and punish him. He has nothing else to do’
I didn’t have a chance to reply because Arjun almost hit an auto.
I held on to the side of the seat. My palms were sweaty and I wiped my hand on my top.
Arjun was weaving in and out of the traffic and I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to watch my own death.
Then I wondered if I was having some premonition. I remember reading somewhere that some people actually have premonitions when they are about to die.
I chanted slowly
asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya
(lead me from untruth to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality)
Try as I might, I couldn’t quieten my mind.
There was so much I wanted to do in my life.
My mother and my sisters needed me.
I wanted to work as a doctor.
I wanted to get married and have children.
I wasn’t ready to die yet.
I opened my eyes, tapped Arjun’s shoulder gently
“What ?” He lifted the helmet visor and turned to look at me.
“Can you go a bit slow?”
“Why?” he asked
Why? Because I don’t want to die right now.
But I didn’t tell him that.
Instead I told him
“I don’t want anything to happen to you Arjun”
Arjun looked at me for a second, closed the visor and reduced the bike speed.
Wow, that is all I could think.
Somehow I never thought I was good at manipulation. That was my Amma’s forte.
‘Oh no, I am turning out to be like Amma’
Which was worst? Dying in a bike accident or turning out to be like Amma?
I wasn’t sure.
I took a deep breath because I felt I was suffocating.
I didn’t know what to feel anymore.
I leaned on Arjun and held him. At that point he was the only sane option I had while I battled my own demons.