Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 10,11 and 12

(Adult Content)

Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 1,2 and 3 | Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 4,5 and 6 | Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 7,8 and 9


Chapter 10: When Dreams Come True

When she woke up because of the dream she had some questions on her mind. Why was this happening to her? Why were people dying in her dreams? Was this just another dream or was it her premonition? She cursed her fate and her extrasensory perceptions and got up from the bed. She switched on her mobile and was about to dial a number but changed her mind. What was she supposed to say when the call was answered? She remembered the smile on Vishaal’s face earlier in the day when he spoke of convincing Sheetal. By now both must be already in the bed. She did not want to disturb them. Also, what would she tell Vishaal? Earlier she visualized Vishaal and Sheetal making love and then she had a premonition that someone is going to murder Sheetal!
She had to do something about it. Even though Sheetal was the reason for the distance between Vishaal and Neha, she had the right to live. Neha was worried for her. Then all of a sudden she remembered that according to her dream it was broad daylight when Sheetal was murdered so she still had time on hand. Neha walked back to the bed, but before she could close her eyes she visualized another scene. She saw Sheetal’s housemaid walking towards Sheetal’s wardrobe and taking out a diamond necklace from its box. It was the same necklace Neha had gifted to Sheetal. So! Was this necklace going to be the reason for Sheetal’s murder or was it being stolen after the murder. She thought for a while and then after she had made her decision she went back to sleep.

The next morning, Vishaal called up to tell Neha that he would be coming late to the office because he wanted to pay a visit to the showroom and see how was everything out there. Neha was tempted to tell Vishaal about her dream but she held herself back for two reasons. One, she feared that Vishaal would relate the dream to her feelings for him and Two, he was already tensed due to business matters. She did not want to trouble him with this matter. She decided of talking to Sheetal about her dreams. Neha got ready and walked out of the house.
When she reached office Vishaal had not yet come back from the showroom. Neha was looking tensed and tired. She walked in to her cabin and sat on her chair. She closed her eyes for a while but fell asleep. Neha did not know how long she had slept when the ringing of her mobile phone awakened her. She saw the display; it was Vishaal’s call. She answered the call and as Vishaal spoke, the expression on Neha’s face changed. She closed her eyes for some time after disconnecting the call. She got up from her chair and walked out of the office informing her secretary that she was calling it off for the day.

When Neha reached Vishaal’s building she saw few people gathered near the entrance where a police jeep was parked. Neha wheeled her car a little further from the building and parked it in a nearby lane. She got down from her car and walked back to the building. She walked past the people to reach Vishaal’s flat where many more people were gathered. She had to push them to enter the flat. She saw Vishaal seated on a couch. He was crying. The officer in charge was looking around the room for fingerprints. As she looked beyond the main room she saw a dead body on the floor in the kitchen. It was covered with white sheet but Neha knew whose body it was. Neha walked towards Vishaal and as he saw her coming he got up from the couch and walked towards her and hugged her. Neha held him in her arms for some time and then made him sit on the couch. Vishaal sat on the couch and put his arms around her waist and leaned against her body. As he continued mourning, Neha ran her fingers through his hair. The investigating officer and many others were silent spectators to the display of emotions. The spell was broken when the investigating officer walked towards them and asked who Neha was. When Neha said that she was Vishaal’s friend he stared at her for a while and turned to Vishaal to ask whether he found anything missing. Vishaal said that he had not checked the house for the same because he had seen Sheetal’s body as soon as he entered the house. Neha wanted to tell the investigating officer to look for the necklace, whether it was there or gone. But she held herself back because she knew the officer would not believe what she had to offer. The officer ordered his team to look around the house for evidence and any missing jewelry or cash. He stood there looking at Vishaal and Neha. All three of them were silent for a long time and when the silence became awkward the officer left Neha and Vishaal in each other’s company but kept an eye on them.

The team he had sent to check the house for evidence returned with an empty jewelry box. The officer asked Vishaal whether he or Sheetal had emptied the box to keep it in locker. Vishaal shook his head. Now was the time for Neha to step in. She told the officer that it was the box of the diamond necklace she had gifted to Sheetal and at that time Sheetal’s housemaid was around and was staring at the necklace for some time. The officer took the description of the maid from Vishaal and Neha and started clearing the place by asking people to move out and sending his team to the forensic laboratory with the weapon of the crime. He informed Vishaal that it seemed like a case of theft and murder. The officer left the house and slowly the crowd outside the door dispersed. As the last man walked out Neha walked to the door and closed it. She then walked back to Vishaal and took him in her arms. They were in embrace till it started to get dark outside. Neha moved back and offered to bring some food for both of them. When Neha returned and opened the door with Vishaal’s key it was dark inside the house. She switched on the lights and looked around. There was chalk mark on the floor where Sheetal’s body was found and there were bloodstains on the floor. Neha looked away and walked to the kitchen and kept the parcel on the kitchen counter. The set of knives kept on the shelf was short of one knife. The weapon of crime! Neha turned around and started looking for Vishaal. She found him in the bedroom. She did not want to look there, but unknowingly her eyes turned to the bed, the place where Vishaal must have successfully convinced Sheetal and today here he was, alone, standing at the balcony and mourning the death of his wife.



Chapter 11: Mourning

She walked over to Vishaal and put her hand on his shoulder. Vishaal turned back to look at her. His eyes were red and swollen due to crying.
“Come, let’s eat something.” Neha said and took his hand in hers. He was about to refuse but Neha added,
“Please, for my sake…” and Vishaal walked with her to the kitchen.

As they sat at the dining table to have their dinner both of them could not avoid looking at the chalk mark on the floor. Neha shivered as she imagined Sheetal watching over them. She averted her eyes from the chalk mark but Vishaal could not stop staring at it. He visualized Sheetal’s body lying on the floor. Neha got up from her chair and taking both the plates in her hand told Vishaal that they better have their dinner in the hall. They finished their dinner and as Neha was about to leave the house, Vishaal requested her to stay back.

She wanted to stay back to take care of Vishaal but she knew that it would not be appropriate in this situation. As if reading her mind Vishaal said that she could leave. Neha cleaned the dishes and left the house. As she reached her house even before closing the door properly she fell on her knees and started crying. She cried for Vishaal, for what he had lost … she cried for herself for what she could not get. She wiped her tears and made a call from her cell. As her father attended the call Neha started crying again. She told her dad about Sheetal’s murder and Vishaal’s state of mind. Her dad insisted that she return back home, but Neha said that she cannot leave Vishaal in this condition. She felt that it was her duty to take care of Vishaal. When Neha finished telling him everything, he knew that the problems in his daughter’s life were not over yet. Neha disconnected the call and walked to the couch. She sat and closed her eyes. Immediately she fell asleep. The sleepless nights she had spent the past few days forced her eyelids to close. When she opened her eyes it was morning. With heavy footsteps she walked to her room and threw herself on the bed without changing her clothes.

She was forced to get up again because of the doorbell. She looked at her watch. It was afternoon. She got up and went to open the door. Neha was surprised to find a police constable at the door. The constable told her that the officer in charge wanted to talk to her. She told him that she would come to the station later but the constable insisted on waiting for her. Neha asked him to sit in the hall and she got ready to go.

When she reached the police station she found Vishaal sitting on the bench outside the officer’s room. He looked up and she knew why he was here. Just as the constable had asked her to come to the station, so was Vishaal asked to come to answer a few questions. She sat next to Vishaal but immediately he was called inside. She waited for her turn. After nearly half an hour Vishaal came out of the officer’s room. The constable escorted Neha to the room to make sure that she did not get a chance to talk to Vishaal. When Neha was seated the officer shot his questions at her. Neha played it really safe. She stuck to her decision of not mentioning about the dream. She answered all the questions honestly and the officer told her that she could leave. Though the officer was convinced that Neha and Vishaal had no hand in the murder and it was purely a case of theft and murder he decided to keep it to himself. He wanted to observe them for a few days. Neha tried her best to make Vishaal feel better but his mourning continued. After satisfying his doubt, the officer informed both of them that Sheetal’s murder case was that of theft and murder. He said that the investigating team was still trying to trace the whereabouts of the maid. Nothing seemed to interest Vishaal. He had started living in a different world.

Neha’s father insisted that she return back home as soon as possible but Neha stuck to her decision of staying back till life was a bit normal for Vishaal. She had already arranged for the profit to go to Vishaal’s account and now she was working on earning that profit. In spite of several attempts of Neha, Vishaal could not concentrate in work. His mourning continued and to add to that, he became an alcoholic. He spent most of his time back home, drinking and mourning.

One day when Neha tried to contact him on the mobile he did not attend the call. She tried his residence number but even that was not answered. Neha rushed to his house and opened the door with spare keys. She found Vishaal sprawled on the floor. She ran towards him and by mistake stepped on the broken glass. She ignored it and bent down near Vishaal and felt his pulse. He was alive, just unconscious. Feeling Neha near him, he opened his eyes and called out her name. The smell of alcohol was intolerable. Neha put her arms around him and helped him to get up. She helped him to walk towards the bed. As soon as she helped him lie down, he slept.

Neha packed his bags. She had made her decision. Vishaal was going to stay in her bungalow. She waited for him to wake up. When he woke up the next morning he had a severe headache. He looked around and was surprised to see Neha sleeping on the couch. Then he remembered that she was the one who helped him to get up from the floor and lie down on the bed. He stared her for a while. She was looking pretty. He remembered how he loved staring at Sheetal while she was asleep. Vishaal got up from the bed and walked to the washroom. When he returned Neha was awake. She stated he should stay with her in her bungalow. Vishaal was about to refuse but then decided against it. Even he wanted her support to forget Sheetal. Vishaal’s things were unpacked and arranged in the guestroom. But within a few days it was converted to a bar. Vishaal set his favorite drinks on the table in the corner of the room and he spent most of the time in his room, drinking.

While he continued drinking Neha worked hard to see that at least his account showed enough profit to fulfill the clause set in the deed. When that was done she intended to withdraw the money and return to her father, close the business and return back home and perhaps take Vishaal with her.



Chapter 12: Lost Love

One day she returned home tired. She had a bad day at office and things were not working fine at the showroom. She needed help, she needed someone who would assist her and sort out the things but Vishaal had no time for business. He was completely engrossed in his mourning. She searched for Vishaal and when she found him drinking in his room, she lost her temper. She stormed into his room and snatched the glass from his hand and threw it on the floor. The glass broke into pieces, which scattered in the room. She picked up the bottle and threw it too. She then turned her attention to the table where a few more bottles were kept and she began breaking them one-by-one. By this time Vishaal was standing on his feet and walked towards Neha to stop her. She was about to throw yet another bottle when Vishaal put one hand around her waist and tried to hold her hand with the other but by mistake touched her breast when Neha tried to struggle out of his grip.

Neha dropped down the bottle, turned around and slapped Vishaal. He moved a few steps back and Neha rushed out of the room closing the door with a bang. Vishaal sat down on his chair and covered his face with his hands. He had not intended to touch her like that. He was worried as to what she must have thought about him. He also realized that he had been ignoring her presence for a long time and ignoring the work too. He understood how she must be feeling. He wanted to apologize, wanted to tell her that he cared for her. He wanted to resume work soon. He looked around the room; it was a mess just like his life was. He needed to clean it. He got up from his chair and picked up the broken pieces of glass. He cleaned the room and picked up the remaining bottles. He carried the bottles outside and walked to the storeroom. He dumped the bottles in one corner. As he walked out of the storeroom he saw that Neha’s bedroom door was ajar and she was looking at him through the gap in the door. The expression on her face was no longer that of anger. He understood what she was thinking. He walked to her room and knocked on the door and then entered inside.
“I did not mean to touch you like that”, Vishaal apologized, sitting on the bed.
“Vishaal it’s been a long time! Sheetal is dead and she is not going to come back. Stop torturing yourself. Please do not ruin your life!”
Vishaal was about to say something but Neha added,
“Just look around you, don’t be so self-centered. Don’t you see what I am going through?”
Vishaal did not say anything. He just looked away from Neha. She knew she had hurt him by what she said. She shifted on bed and went closer to him and hugged him.
“I am sorry I did not mean to hurt you.” She said.
Vishaal put his arms around her and held her close and he could feel her heart beating against his chest.
I love you Vishaal” Neha whispered
“I love you too! I have always loved you since day one” Vishaal confessed.
She could feel Vishaal tightening his grip on her. She ran her fingers through his hair and lifted her head from his shoulders. Now they were face to face. Neha could feel Vishaal’s breath on her cheeks and the next moment his mouth covered her mouth. As they kissed passionately Neha loosened her grip on Vishaal and lay back on the bed. That hint was enough for Vishaal and he slid under the covers and lay next to Neha. As Vishaal continued to kiss her and she responded, his hand explored her body and began unlacing her nightgown. Finally her dream was coming true. She was ready to explore the world beyond their friendship. She assisted Vishaal in undressing her and then began to unbutton his shirt. As Vishaal covered her body with his, Neha could feel her pulse increasing. Her body was on fire.

Though Vishaal was drunk it did not make any difference to Neha because Vishaal said that he loved her since day one, which meant that he too, like her, had wanted this day to come. Neha wanted to make this moment special for Vishaal. She wanted it to be a wonderful experience for both of them. She made up her mind to propose Vishaal for marriage after their first lovemaking.
As they continued to move in rhythm Vishaal whispered,
“I love you…”
Neha whispered,
I love you too…
Vishaal whispered again,
I love you a lot Sheetal
Neha had not expected to hear that. She was not prepared for it. Neha was shocked when she heard him whisper Sheetal’s name. Though Vishaal was making love to her, his thoughts were occupied with memories of Sheetal. Neha wanted to stop him then and there, wanted to push him away but she let him continue. This was the last favor she was doing for him by lending her body for lovemaking, but after this everything between them would be over.

As Vishaal rolled away from Neha and slept, Neha got up from the bed. She collected her clothes and walked to the washroom. As she saw herself in the mirror she felt cheap and used. She wanted this moment to come but did not expect it to end the way it did, wanted it to be a pleasant memory and not the one which would give her heartache.
She washed her body under the shower to shed off the remnants of lovemaking, tried to cast away the memories, too but she could not do that. She put on her clothes and walked out of the washroom and without looking at the bed walked out the room and did not stop till she was out of the house. Once in the open the held back tears began flowing. Life had outwitted her once again! She leaned against the wall and cried her heart out once and for all. Everything was over; everything that was done was for nothing! Not that she had expected in terms of money, but she had unknowingly cherished the hope that one day Vishaal would forget Sheetal and accept her in his life, but that was not to be. If she could not forget Vishaal all these days then how could she expect Vishaal to forget Sheetal only after few weeks of her death? Neha wiped her tears and walked back inside. When she entered the bedroom Vishaal was still sleeping. She sat on the floor facing Vishaal with her knees drawn close to her chest. She started at him for a long time and then got up and walked to the desk. Taking out a pen and letter pad Neha composed a note, which she kept where Vishaal could easily read it. Looking at Vishaal for the last time Neha walked out of the house.


Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 13 and 14


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Comments

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