The Game of Fate - 1
When Zareena opened her eyes, it took some time for her vision to clear. She was still in the same room. Her body did not ache. She sat up and looked around. The room was not an ordinary room. It was equipped with a few instruments out of which the one she feared the most was placed near her. But, it had obviously not been used. She realized two set of eyes were staring at her. One set of eyes was filled with immense pain and another reflected confusion. She was confused herself. The man who had pushed her into the house, who seemed to be less concerned about her, now looked at her as if he would get up the next moment and hug her. Something was wrong. No one moved. It was Zareena who broke the silence.
“Please let me go. I don’t want to be here”
She thought that she had perhaps imagined the pain on Aamir’s face. But then, he shook his head and hid his face in his palms. His shaking shoulders, the only sign that he was crying.
“Please do something, doctor. Please bring my wife back” Aamir spoke without raising his head.
Zareena did not know what to do. She had not expected this. She was not prepared to face this. Past few months, maybe years, she was not sure anymore, she felt her life was a cycle repeated every time. It started when she found herself in Aamir’s house where he seemed to be forcing himself on her. Though she had struggled a few times, she finally let it happen. Something had died inside her. But, she wanted out. She was sure that someday she would run away. And, she did try only to be found by Aamir and brought back to the house or to this place where she was tortured. The end, before the cycle stared again. She also realized that there was a time gap between the beginning and the end of the cycle. But, this – what was happening now was new to her. She had never found herself sitting here with two people staring at her in a weird manner and one of them, crying.
The other man looked at Zareena before speaking.
“I cannot do it. It is dangerous. She could lose herself in the process. You might never get her back.”
Zareena tried to understand what the man was saying, but failed. She was scared. She wanted to run but she could not move. A part of her wanted to be here. In fact, wanted to get up and console Aamir, give him a hug and tell him she loved him. She was confused. She wanted to close her eyes and lie down but she continued to listen.
“Anyways, I do not think this is helping. She always snaps back to this state. We have to deal with this in a different manner” the man, whom Aamir addressed as doctor, said.
Aamir got up and walked towards Zareena. Her body reacted differently. She wanted to rush into his arms. No, she wanted to run away. She told herself.
“What’s happening here” she asked, her voice shaking with fear.
“Don’t you remember anything?” Aamir asked, his voice shaking with emotion.
Zareena stared at him not saying a word.
Before she could understand what was happening, Aamir placed his lips on hers and kissed her. She struggled, she tried to push him back and surprisingly, Aamir moved back. She could visualize him shattering to pieces.
“Please don’t do that again.” Zareena cried. She wanted to scream, wanted to cry out loud and empty the bottled up emotions.
The doctor got up from his chair and walked towards Zareena.
“Are you really sure you do not want him to do that again?” he asked. Zareena looked at him, confused. How did he know? How could he possibly know that she was not sure anymore?
“Because” the doctor continued, “as per what I know, you love him as much as he loves you. Perhaps more! The only problem here is that you do not remember.”
Zareena listened as he started on a weird journey of words and sentences, telling strange stories, which, Zareena had to admit that she found to be familiar. It really did seem that she had lived the moments the doctor described. But, everything seemed to be so far lost in the past. It seemed like another life. It was not her life anymore.
The doctor continued speaking. Telling her how she had been forced into this weird cycle of memories. How she believed herself to be someone else and how she began hating the man she loved the most. How Aamir had always found her on time when she had tried to run away and had brought her here, where the doctor put her on medication and then had to give her shock treatment. But, he said he finally realized that he had approached the case in a wrong way and for that he would have never forgiven himself had he not realized today that another shock treatment would have set her rolling back to a different time where she would have been lost forever.
This, he said, this should have been his approach before. Talking to her, making her believe that she was happily married to Aamir! The gap between the cycles, the doctor explained, was when she lived her life normally.
Zareena closed her eyes. “Enough” she said, exhausted. It was enough. She could not take it anymore. A little more information, she thought and her head would burst. For a moment she accepted that the pain she had been expecting was a lot better than this.
Both the men stared at her, waiting for her to say something. When she did not, Aamir said, “Fine. Where do you want me to take you? I will go with you this time. Tell me where you wanted to run to, whom you wanted to go back to and I will take you there, to that person, myself.”
“Really” Zareena exclaimed. Aamir flinched. “Yes” he said.
Zareena tried to remember where she had wanted to go when she had escaped from the house. She could not remember. How was this possible? She tried to search for an answer, tried to go back in time and remember, but every time she tried, she faced a wall, dead end.
“Take me home” she said, finally. “Please take me home”
Aamir smiled, but only for a moment before he saw tears in his wife’s eyes.
“Take me home till I remember where I want to go” she said and lowered her gaze.
“Sure” Aamir said and stepped back, waiting for his wife to get up and start walking.
He did not know how he was going to do it, but this time he was going to bring his wife back home, forever. He knew he would do that. He knew, she would come back, she just needed time and he was ready to give that time to her. The other way had failed; now, he had to have faith in their love.