Ep 4:Damage, Debris and Clear Skies

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In case you missed Ep 3: Caught in the Cataclysm, Click here and Catch up. Also, this is the Last Episode of Rainy Days in Cloudless Minds, Enjoy the Christmas Finale

My troubles started soon after. Most of the moments after her funeral were a blur of emotions and things that probably didn’t happen. Yet I can clearly remember the fall, the underside of the bridge moving further away from me, the flowing water moving closer, open arms ready to receive me, embrace me, wash away my pain, my torture. I fell, slow, serene, not a care in the world of what awaited me at the bottom, I was reminded of the gulls gliding in the sky, their serenity, the salty breeze, the blue skies, her black enchanting eyes, her smile, her.

I remember being hauled out, I remember the hospital ward, I remember my friends and family, they came, they went, nobody stayed, nobody could ease my pain. In the end, I was in a room filled with people who cared about me, and yet I felt so alone. There were many people who cared, but not a single person that understood. There was no Anjali. Next thing I remember, I’m in the ward of a mental institution, the guy that went crazy after his wife died. They pitied me, felt sorry for me, but denied me escape. I hated every second. I just wanted to get back to her, I wanted to go home, my home with a heart, and each second they kept me restrained was one more second to wait before I could see her.

Is she here? Did Anjali come?” I asked the nurse and like the last hundred billion times, I got the same answer. Everyday I would sit wondering why all our plans of spending Christmases, Easters, independence days, any celebrations together had all come to a halt. Did she no longer care? Did she not want to see me again? What did I do? What have I done wrong? Where are you?! Why have you abandoned me to suffer like this? If I did something wrong, I’m sorry! Don’t leave me here like this! Please!

Christmas slowly crept into the wards of the institution. The festivities meant my family would visit me. Or so I’m told, but I don’t recount any visits from a loving family but the staff claims I was visited almost every few months. Of course sometimes I find it hard to tell the difference between family and strangers. But that’s not what bothered me. All around me, I see happy faces, I see wives with teary eyes, the scenes of a patient wait coming to a happy end, I see sons and daughters visiting their fathers and mothers who barely cared. But the one face I waited for everyday never came. I looked behind the Christmas trees decorated with bright lights and colorful decorations, much like the world me and Anjali created in our minds, unbound by limits, empowered by imagination, I searched between the stacks of presents, like when she used to play hide and seek, always the fun little girl no matter how many Christmases passed, I looked out the window at the stars much like the stars we admired, while simply stargazing on the roof of our house, holding hands, merging minds. She was nowhere to be found. I didn’t look forward to the presents, nor did I admire the decorations. I simply sat and waited, holding back tears, taking deep breaths and assuring myself, tomorrow, tomorrow she would come. She has to. Right?

I would write letters daily, letters to her telling her about my day and begging her to come back. She never replied. I drew pictures for her, like I used to at home. I still remember how we painted the walls together. The walls of our home were canvases for our minds. Yet she never came to compliment them nor say they were mediocre and that she can do better. She always loved doing that. It never failed to be amused. Yet, now, she’s not here, all her promises were simply hollow. She promised to live with me forever, but now she left me to suffer. I couldn’t even let her know that Puppy, our golden retriever(She actually named him that), was dead. The doctors had left him in the custody of a nearby animal shelter. He got the best care and I visited him often. The only part of home I still had, the only thing left that still made me feel like I wasn’t completely alone. Now he’s also gone. The staff joined me in a special funeral for him. I still have his collar which Anjali crafted. I have so much and yet nothing. I just wanted to die, that sweet escape of blackness, the calm and quiet transition. It also meant that I could see her again.

Wake up, honey. What’s wrong? Had a bad dream?” Her sparkling eyes loomed a few inches from mine. I sat up on the bed and looked around, we were in our room, Puppy sleeping on the beanbag under the window sill. I felt a huge sigh of relief as I released it had all been a bad dream.

I got up from bed and walked towards the window and stared out at the hill in the distance, the very same hill where we used to sit as kids on a bench under a tree. There was a slightly drizzle that morning, the pitter patter of raindrops on the glass giving the room a serene ambiance. I felt her arms surround me as she hugged me from behind, we stood there listening to the music of the rain, I felt her breath on the back of my neck, I heard the birds chirping outside and the sun slowly rising. Only there was something odd I noticed as she hugged me.

Anjali, how did that ring get there?” I didn’t remember proposing to her other than in the dream but there it was, the very same ring I bought, sitting on her finger. “Ha ha. Very funny. You obviously don’t remember us going to Cannes, you obviously don’t remember taking me to Long beach and then to Paris and proposing on top of the Eiffel tower.” she replied, sarcasm showing clearly in her voice. “But that’s absurd. Why would I ever do that?! You’re terrified of heights!” It wasn’t long before the medications wore off and I
returned to the hospital ward where she didn’t exist, where she was still dead. The reality I was in, was far away from the reality I wanted to be in. I found it harder and harder to differentiate between what’s real, and what’s the effect of my medication

Soon, I learned to cope as I accepted that she was not alive in this reality, but in my reality she always would be and that’s all that mattered.

What? Never seen a human before?” She asked me, “You didn’t listen to a word I said, did you?” “Yeah yeah, I was listening, so the cottage in Italy, and the grapevines and the… Yeah I wasn’t listening.” I ended with an awkward smile as I sat up straight on the bench. I had lost myself in her eyes as I rested my head on her lap, her fingers stroking my hair. We simply laughed about it together and towards the end, we sat there, huddled together, much like on the couch the day I told her about her condition, the day I asked her to marry me, the day I had hidden a golden retriever puppy in the bedroom which pounced on her as soon as she entered.

Every day we would simply sit on that bench, Puppy, running around playing in the puddles of water, me holding her hand, her fingers intertwined in mine, the orange evening sun giving her skin a beautiful orange glow and I was lost in the abyss within those eyes and yet, despite all my attempts I could never recreate her
in my mind, with all her perfect imperfections, her tiny actions, her smile, her eyes, everything simply a crude recreation of blurry memories from a damaged brain. A brain clear of all thought and feelings, but a brain exploding with emotion and images, painful memories, blissful flashbacks, walks down nostalgic paths, holding hands with the past, ignoring the present to an indeterminate future.

There were clear skies, there was rain, there were hailstorms, there were cyclones, tornadoes, droughts, floods, tsunamis, snowfall, there were seasons of blistering cold winters of depression with beautiful snowflakes of flashbacks, there were burning hot summers of heartbreak with brights golden rays of hope, there were uncomfortably humid springs of regret which filled the valleys of my cracked heart with flowers of kisses and hugs from a time past, there were death filled autumn, where splinters of my heart withered away along with leaves of the painful past, paving way for a brighter future

There were rainy days in cloudless minds, after all.

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Special note: The above events were the mutterings of a psychologically unstable patient that were noted down by a passionate psychiatrist who claimed to have known the patient since childhood and even loved him at one point, unrequited and unacknowledged. Of course the reliability of these writings is questionable as they could quite simply be the rantings of a madman accused of murdering his wife, of course, it was never proved, or as the story suggests, the sufferings of a passionate lover that lost his loved one. Either way it is your decision, dear reader, as to what you believe. The sketches found attached to the writing were in fact made by the patient himself, the first sketch being the sketch of the girl, Anjali, herself, all made before he descended into madness.
Of course, as a psychiatrist, I didn’t fail to notice that the only clear sketch was the sketch of Anjali, which shows how clearly the patient remembers the face, which leads me to question if there is actually some truth behind these writings. But, that is just my deduction. Merry Christmas.
Dr Rajesh Kumar. 25th December 2016

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Thanks to all the readers for being part of this journey and making this Christmas special happen. This series wouldnt be real without the constant love and support we get fro you all. Taking a moment to thank our writer Arvind for lending his talents in fulfilling the Christmas miracle and deserves all the applause in the big stage .I would like to thank the people behind the stage that helped us promote and engage with series, bring in content and pictures, helping us build the foundation and complete this Christmas with a whole heart. once again, Merry Christmas.

Ep 3:Caught in a Cataclysm

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NB: In case you have missed Ep 2: Silence before the Storm, Click here to Read it

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or CJD. A brain disease that causes anxiety, memory loss, loss of motor skills and many other problems. In the end, it results in dementia and death. There is no cure found yet. The only thing we can do is make the patient’s life as much easier as possible. It’s such a rare disease, that it affect one person per million per year. Our house could have been a drug dealer’s house for all the containers of Opioids we had which I had to provide Anjali to ease the pain

I always wanted to take Anjali to her dream destinations and do things she always wanted to. Only, I didn’t have a job that let me earn six figures. I was just an engineer. Of course I have been saving up for almost a year now for a vacation where we would do all the things she wanted. It was hard as it was without me having a time constraint of a year. I can’t save her. I knew that. I accepted that. But I couldn’t just let her go without keeping my promise to take her to all the places she wanted. I had merely a couple of months before she would slip into a coma.

Of course, the money was still an issue but I managed to do extra work, do parallel jobs and also get home in time to give her the medications. For over 2 weeks, I struggled, but after seeing her face as we reached Long Beach, it was all worth it. The only problem
was, she never knew, knew that this would be her last vacation, but I had to tell her. I had to make her understand. God give me strength.

Soon, we reached home. It was just in time too, she was getting weaker and weaker. I still hadn’t told her, until one night during dinner, “This headache is killing me.” I reached out to grab her hand. She looked at me, confused. There were times I simply grabbed her hand and made cheesy declarations of love that she used to adore. But I usually had a playful expression on my face, not one that suggested I was about to break apart, like I was just trying to take it all in, her face, her eyes, her smile, her.

What is it?”

“It’s just, there’s something I need to say. I uh…. The thing is…. I…”

“I couldn’t bring myself to tell her. Tell her that she’s dying each second. But I had to. “Look, I don’t know how to say this but… I just… Will you marry me?”

Saying she was surprised was an understatement. She was definitely delighted but she did not expect that. Also, knowing me, she expected something along the lines of romantic music, exotic beach etc etc, not in our dining room, to the sounds of crickets in the garden and I wasn’t even on my knee. She looked at me playfully

“I’ll think about it.” she said with a teasing smile. And then she just hugged me. “If course I’ll marry you, do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you say that?!” I pretended to be happy and that, that was what I planned to say, but inside I was just annoyed that I couldn’t bring myself to tell her. Soon we both were on the couch cuddled together, her head on my shoulders, me stroking her silky black hair.

What is it?” “What?”I know there’s something troubling you. Tell me.” she said, sitting up straight. I looked at her, trying to muster the strength to do it. Her eyes boring into mine. I never failed to get lost in those eyes on a daily basis, but I couldn’t afford to today. “Look, I don’t know how to say this, but I have to before things get any worse. I’m just going to be blunt here.

You… Your condition. Its… bad… Like really bad. The headache, the episodes, the memory loss…. Its a condition that… That has no cure. But it is rare. Like one person per million or something.” I didn’t know what I was saying. I just kept trying to find something to ease the realization. To help her to not simply fall apart. “I guess I really am your one in a million, aren’t I?” A tear rolled down her face following the lines of her forced smile.
I guess it was not her, but me who was going to break down. She was always a strong girl. Even now in the face of death, she’s cracking jokes. It simply makes me fall apart further and further to see her like this. “So, how… How long… Do I have?” Her smile slowly faded. “A year… At max,” I replied. I felt a little better that I had got it out of me, but it was not to last as I saw her battling to keep her composure. We sat there all night, huddled in a blanket on the couch as the gravity of reality dawned on her and me trying to etch as much of her and the feeling of her next to me, into my mind. But our troubles would only begin.

It was as if her mind had split in two. Every day was a battle for her sanity against herself. Bad odds. It wasn’t long before she slipped into a coma. She just laid on the bed, her charismatic and cheery personality, trapped in her own motionless body. Her eyes moved, observing everything. Her ears, trying to pick up every sound. I keep wondering if she even recognized me all those time I sat next to her, wondering if she recognized all her favorite songs I played on her stereo, I wonder if she even remembered the photo of us I placed beside her bed, taken on the day of our wedding. It was a day I will never forget, me in my black tuxedo which she adored, her in a beautiful wedding dress, lying in our bed at our home. It was a small ceremony, only our closest friends and family attended. It was beautiful. Daffodils and wine, a large vanilla cake and of course, black current ice cream. It would have been her dream wedding, if she wasn’t trapped in a dream. A dream that would soon come to an end.

A few weeks later, on a bright sunny day, the sparrows danced in the sky, the beautiful fluffy clouds glided along the blue sky. The cool breeze whistling past the trees, the smell of daffodils from our garden, the voices of cheerful children playing, vehicles zooming by. It was a perfect sunny day and I was in my room putting my black tuxedo on. I looked towards our bed, which shone in the golden sunlight. Empty.

I would never forget the day I kissed her forehead one last time. I just felt so devastated. Every day I saw her suffer, I watched helplessly. Her last days were simply suffering, but I only hope she finds peace wherever she goes and will wait for me on a bench under a tree on a hill. Waiting for me to sneak up on her and kiss her neck, daffodils hidden behind my back.

Of course, life wasn’t done yet. You see, my suffering had only reached halfway. The other half didn’t waste any time getting to me. Luckily, I wouldn’t really understand most of the rest of my life.

Of course, it’s just an assumption

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Rainy days in Cloudless minds.

“What? Never seen a human before?” She asked, turning to me, “You didn’t listen to a word I said, did you?”
“Yeah yeah, I was listening, so the cottage in Italy, and the grapevines and the… Yeah I wasn’t listening.” I ended with an awkward smile as I sat up straight on the bench.

Come back on Christmas to find out what happens at the end of the Series @ Ep 4: Damage, Debris & Clear Skies.

EP 2: Silence before the storm.

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N.B : In case you missed EP 1 Where it all began: Dont worry, click here

Life was always challenging for us, but we both loved a challenge. Me and her were inseparable and undefeatable. We would deal with every problem with the motto, what doesn’t kill us, simply gives us another chance to risk our lives. I know, I know, insane duo. The word insane is something people always described us with but with all the things happening lately, I feel it might pertain more to Anjali and not in a humorous way. It all started a few months ago.

How do I look?” she asked, dressed in a beautiful emerald green dress. She always looked spectacular in green. “Enchanting,” I replied, finding it difficult to take my eyes of her. Soon, we were in the car and on our way. “Dr Rajesh Kumar weds Ms Smitha Venu. You know, I can’t believe they’re getting married. I mean, they were always in love and all, but it only feels like yesterday when they were sitting right in front of us, cracking jokes and all of us getting in trouble together. Speaking of which, are you simply going to take me to other people’s marriages or are we ever gonna get married?” she said turning to me with her arms folded, slightly exasperated. I had veered away from the topic of marriage.

I mean, there’s nothing I wanted more than to spend a lifetime with this girl, but I felt my life needed to be more stable before I can have a family. She on the other hand was just waiting for me to get on my knees and propose at some exotic location with romantic music playing in the background. Full on classic love story. Dealing with this was hard as it is, without all of my friends getting married, making her even more annoyed. One guy even went that extra mile and had a son. He had a frigging kid! I swear, if I get my hands on him, well, I’ll probably let go and apologize. But you get the picture.

I had quite a hard time trying to reason with her but ultimately decided it’s best to change the topic. We soon reached the venue. It was a grand function with a DJ party, bar, expensive cars, large buffets, you name it. It was also on an island near the coast with a small mansion in the center. We had a great time, but things started to change when I saw Anjali walking towards the pier. There was something odd about the way she walked. Her pace was slow and somewhat wobbly. She seemed to be losing control. As I got to her, she turned around, “Aah, there you are. I was wondering where the waiter was, can you find my fiance, he’s there somewhere in the crowd wearing a black tuxedo and a weird red bow tie.”

Very funny Anjali, but you’re not supposed to be here. This pier is off limits.”

I proceeded to pull her away from the edge. “How dare you?! Get your hands off me! Who do you think you are?! Wait till my fiancé gets here.” I wasn’t new to her pranks but this time it was different. She seemed so serious and angry. She just didn’t recognize me. I couldn’t make sense of anything that was happening. She started moving towards the car and I followed. Once she was there, she turned around, “Whoa you startled me. I was looking for you. There was this waiter who came to me while I was at the pier. He started getting all… What’s wrong?” She noticed my face of confusion. I had no idea what was happening. I couldn’t believe this woman was my Anjali. But there she was standing in front of me, looking just like her, down to her unmistakable posture and the tiny actions that were a signature of her.

We reached home, and I carried her to the bedroom. She had fainted soon after what happened on the pier. It was the first time she had an episode like that. Also, her depression was getting worse. She was always this positive source of light in my dark and murky universe. Now she’s so depressed it almost fills the room she is in. She didn’t seem like the girl I fell in love with, more like a corrupted and unrealistic recreation of her. Day by day, her condition got worse and worse, but every time I took her to multiple experts, they would give her medicines that did absolutely nothing. It was unbearable. To see the girl that just wouldn’t accept defeat, now simply a convoluted mixture of random memories and episodes of memory loss, depression and anxiety.

I had noticed a change in her behavior much earlier, but I simply guessed it was her occasional depression sessions where she suddenly gets depressed and then soon goes back to normal, only this had lasted days which was abnormal. I even caught her talking to absolutely no one in the bedroom. She simply stared at the wall and talked about me, sometimes she was talking to me, only I was not where she seemed to think I was. It started to creep me out. After the pier incident I started noticing her physical changes. She had a hard time walking. Her motor skills were almost non-existent sometimes. Most of the time she would walk as if there was nothing wrong, but at other times, she could barely stand up. Occasionally, she would talk like usual but sometimes, out of nowhere, she would forget who I was, and start attacking me and call out my name for help. She seemed to have memory issues. I had her diagnosed with yet another psychiatrist, a leading expert and a close friend of ours, Dr Rajesh Kumar, but he said he’s going to need to study her further and requested that we visit him on a regular basis.

What’s happening? Where are you taking me?” She was in her normal state but remembered nothing of the previous 12 visits to the psychiatrist. She even forgot her name a few times. It was getting serious. The psychiatrist got into contact with some of his more experienced colleagues and they were all examining her.

I was waiting outside, unable to bare the suspense. The clocks seemed to have stopped, for each hour dragged on till it felt like I had sat there for years. The world simply stopped. Nothing mattered to me anymore. I wanted to know what’s wrong with my Anjali, but no one would say a word. Soon the experts came out of their office and sat down with me. My friend put a hand on my shoulder with a comforting smile, “We’re lucky her condition was discovered as early as it was. But…” To be honest, I didn’t really pay much attention to what he said. All that I could think of was the condition she was diagnosed with. My world fell apart in that very instant.

I decided to take a walk to help me deal with the issue. My mind was exploding with thoughts, memories, her laughter, her face, her smile. I even remembered the cake sitting in my car. It was her birthday. But today was supposed to be more than just her birthday. If it weren’t for her sudden loss of consciousness, I would have taken her on a trip to a nearby hill where we used to sit on a bench beneath a tree since we were kids. A bench on which I sat, trying to convince myself it’s not just a nightmare. After smoking a few cigarettes, which I usually don’t do, I got up and walked back to the psychiatrist’s office. The rain, thunder and lightning that raged that evening never bothered me as I slowly walked back to the hospital. The image of the ring I left on that bench on the hill in my thoughts, the ring which would have hopefully rested on her hand. Soon my mind came back to her and the psychiatrist’s words, the condition she was suffering from.

It’s funny how three words can unhinge your entire world in a single instant.

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Rainy days in Cloudless minds.

I reached out to grab her hand. She looked at me, confused. There were times I simply grabbed her hand and made cheesy declarations of love that she used to adore. But I usually had a playful expression on my face, not one that suggested I was about to break apart, like I was just trying to take it all in, her face, her eyes, her smile, her.
“What is it?”

Come back next Saturday to figure what he has planned to say to her.

EP 1: Where it All Began

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Wow. Bet ya 50 bucks, I can reach the waves before you,” she said as we arrived. I reached into my pocket and handed her a 50 dollar note. “Seriously?!” She exclaimed. She walked towards the beach, untying her hair. She always loved beaches. After a few minutes of wading about in the waves she walked towards me. “Hey, aren’t you going to join me at… Wait don’t! My hair sucks!” She shouted over the waves as I took a photo.

It was a beautiful sunny day in May at Long Beach, Cannes, France. With its beautiful blue skies, ebony clouds and chocolate brown sands, overlooked by the glimmering glass covered buildings bordering the beach, there’s no surprise it was her dream destination. Soon, we were walking the streets, looking at a variety of sights, the old and new style buildings, the scents, the food, the music, the sounds, truly an experience of a lifetime. But for Anjali, it would be so much more than just a dream destination.

We had an amazing day at the Cannes film festival. We took tonnes of photos of moments we would never want to forget. Funnily enough, all my moments with her were ones I would never want to forget. This trip made me even more adamant to notice and remember as much of her as possible, her perfections and imperfections coming together to create someone so unreal.

Soon we sat down in a small restaurant overlooking the sea. I still remember the gulls cruising in the wind, calm and serene, not a care in the world. I longed for that state of nirvana my entire life and now she was sitting across from me, slurping lime juice. She made it a point to make as much noise as she could, for she knew it irritated me. SLURRRPPPP SLLLUUURRRPPPP. UHHHHHGGGGGGG

The sun slowly slipped below the horizon and she turned to me, “You know, I’ve always wanted a house in a place like this. A small cottage, somewhere on the coast. Salty winds, blue skies, a small garden with grapevines and daffodils. A pet golden retriever too. We’ll name him Puppy, so no matter how old he grows, he’ll still be our Puppy.” She was the best thing that ever happened to me. I simply sat there smiling and commenting on her ideas, but deep down, with each word she said, I fell further apart.

You know, this vacation would have been perfect if not for these blasted coughs,” she complained as she looked longingly at the ice cream stall across the street. She always ate this purple, black current flavor which I despised. She would paste a little on her face and say, “Look, I’m Thanos.” She could make me laugh, without even trying. Me? I’m not much of a comedian. I’m just a somewhat shy, reserved individual who doesn’t talk much but has a dash of sarcasm and an existent humor sense. I do enjoy jokes, just not the type to crack one.

Then again there is the rare moment I do crack one. Keyword being RARE. In fact, there was this one time back in high-school, the physics teacher spotted me sleeping in class and asked me to prove that path of motion of a projectile is parabolic. I think the word she used was Trajectory. Anyways, I stand up and toss an eraser across the room. I guess my teacher wasn’t a fan of humor, cause I found myself standing guard the classroom door. Outstanding student. It would have been a bit more bearable if I could walk around or something, but here in India (I don’t know how many other places this kind of torture is prevalent), you had to stand outside the classroom door till the class was over after which the teacher will decide either to let you in or something worse.

Just as I thought I was gonna die of boredom, I spotted Anjali making faces at me from our bench in the back. It wasn’t long before she joined me in standing guard. You should have seen her face as she walked out, guilt ridden as she walked past the teacher, but as soon as she crossed her, rolled her eyes at me, “I had enough of her anyway.”

Of course, all this was before we fell in love. It was a beautiful story. I met her at a cultural event at my school where I was catching up with a friend of mine and his buddies from another school who had come to attend the event. This is when a group of girls came there, and we all started talking. In the crowd, I noticed this one girl, very VERY pretty and wanted to go talk to her. I had spotted this girl the moment she first came to school. She was a new student. I never really knew how exactly start a conversation with her. But now, seeing my opportunity, I made my way towards her through the chaos. Of course, it wasn’t easy as I thought, because she never stayed at one place and soon I gave up. A few minutes late, my buddy and his gang left. That’s when one of the girls started talking to me and all of us decided to have milkshakes. We sat down at a bench and were talking but soon the girl next to me, got up and the pretty one took her place. “Hi, I’m Anjali. You?”

Things just started from there. Me and her were simply perfect for each other. We completed each other’s sentences, had similar tastes and she was a fan of my drawings and I was a fan of her… well… I was a fan of Her. It wasn’t long before I asked her out, but I wasn’t too hopeful. She was one of the most popular girls and had scores of guys behind her. What did surprise me is when she agreed to go on a date. I still remember how we walked down a small street next to the beach having ice-cream. Bliss.

It was absolutely perfect in every way. All my friends were constantly bugging me to take them out to celebrate my success. It was a memorable day when I introduced her to my friends who pretended to not know we were a couple and when a confused Anjali explained to them, they enacted a very dramatic scene of warning Anjali from making a mistake that she would regret for the rest of her life. I assure you, those idiots went all the way. One girl even faked tears in the corner for the ‘late’ Anjali. Talk about reliable buddies.

In the end we were hysterical thinking about all the antics those idiots got up to on that day and all the crazy things all of us did together. The good old days. She was my partner in crime and crisis. We still laugh out loud over all those beautiful memories

If only I could laugh as wholeheartedly as she did.

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Rainy days in Cloudless minds.

The story doesn’t end there. Here’s a small excerpt from the next chapter.

It was her birthday. But today was supposed to be more than just her birthday. If it weren’t for her sudden loss of consciousness, I would have taken her on a trip to a nearby hill where we used to sit on a bench beneath a tree since we were kids. A bench on which I sat, trying to convince myself it’s not just a nightmare.

Where does the dream turn into a nightmare and why?

Click here to read Ep 2: Silence Before the Storm