“Guys…. I need to confess something.”
As soon as this words left my mouth I regretted and bit my lower lip out of nervousness. The eight queer eyes looked at me all in silence. Great! I am so dumb and such a party spoiler. I shouldn’t have done this. But I don’t even have a choice now. All this love and fame won’t be there if I carry on with the suspense.
Recently my book, “Falling For You Was The Best Thing” was declared the Book of The Year. Infinite readers and love from all over the world,was all what I was getting from these past weeks and honestly, I was cherishing all these lovely moments. But the contemplation of hiding a truth from my beloved readers, a question which everyone asked,whether a commoner or any interviewer still bugs me. All i ever did was smile mysteriously whenever this question was asked. But today I decided to confess them all the truth. Eight lucky readers got the chance to meet and dine with me and this was my only chance where I can reveal the real story. The dark story which is nothing compared to what I wrote in my book. Its now or never!
“What is it, Ana?” Franco, the blonde guy asked me.
I heaved a sigh and looked directly at them. They all were quiet as a lamb, waiting patiently and eagerly for me to start. A part of me was saying ‘No, let the world read your sunshine story. Let them believe in the happy ending.’ But I guess, I went for the other voice which asked me to confess.
“Ana… Are you okay?” My tranquility got broke by the question of Elsa. She had a worried look.
“Mmm… Yeah,sorry. Um-m I don’t know how to say this but their is something I need to confess something about yours all favorite character… Verone Smith.” I stopped to look at the expressions and as expected everyone had a hysterical look on their face. Without stopping, I continued, “Verone Smith was someone who is not just a character but someone real in my life…. I did not change his name in the book even because I couldn’t.”
“Who was he?” Cheryl asked.
The sounds of the honking outside, people talking, the city-lights at distance, the eight faces sitting curiously in front of me and all other minor or major details round me dazed out as once again I traveled back to that time.
27th March, 2017.
Time- 12:24 a.m.
A message request pinged up in my Instagram account. It was just a simple ‘Hi’. The username was m_verone_643. The display picture was a drawing of a hunk man . At first I ignored but then I typed in “Hello” and from there it started. He was from Plymouth. He was into his father’s business. Verone was different. He was nothing like the other boys on social sites who knew only flirting. He was someone else, whom I never met before. He was funny, caring, understanding and cocky at times. We had similar interests in songs, drawing and movies. He was very frank and I could talk to him about anything. He was my comfort zone which I never wanted to lose. Day by day, I started etching closer to him. His absence would make me go crazy. There was not a single minute I could stay without talking to him. It was impossible for me to stop thinking about him. I would talk non-stop about him to my best friends Stella, Nicole and Rebecca.
Verone was elder to me by four years. Our friendship grew strong day by day. As time passed, gradually I fell for him. I realized my intense love for him after six months of chatting with him and that too was pointed out by my best friends. The wavy black hair, deep brown eyes, tanned skin with well-sculpted figure made me fall for him eventually. He was a Greek God for me in every literal sense. My best friend Stella, chatted with him and came to know that he was not sure of his feelings. His past relationship completely put him off of the emotion called love. He was broke already and he was scared that this time it will break him more and he won’t be able to take it. In a nutshell, he couldn’t reciprocate my feelings.
IT BROKE ME DOWN! I did not know what to do. It was hard to live with the pain of loving someone, who would never love you back. Well, it was the similar story of every one-sided lover and I was no exception. My depression turned into frustration and I started shutting out people. I would keep checking my phone for his messages. I spent less time with my family. Day and night the constant thought of Verone would keep me up. His single text was like Manna dropped for me from heaven. Just like I changed, he did too. Verone would talk to me less but no more he was frank. His replies were now short and mostly in monosyllables. I never realized my change in behavior affected him too. Worse, I was still in the friend-zone! God, how much love does this heart has to lose?
There were times, when I would break down in front of my friends or sob silently at night holding my pillows. Wish my pillow could talk just for once! I would underestimate myself and blame myself for all this. Sometimes my friends would find me in deep contemplation and on asking I would stay silent. Those were the times when I would curse that girl who broke Verone’s heart before and put him off the idea of love. Just because of her, Verone is scared of love now. He never got the love he deserved and if someone wants to show and make him feel that way, he won’t let it happen. It was as if fire was trying to convince water. All this depression and mental torture changed me. I forgot who I was. I was in the dark and instead of trying to get out of it, I was embracing the darkness with my whole heart. My friends knew that the smile I put up on my face was facade. To be honest, everything was fake about me at that time, whatever I said, or whatever I did. My best friends would ask me to give up on him as they couldn’t see me breaking apart but their requests fell on deaf ears. Days went by and my condition got worse. I never met him but I wanted to. None could help me. Everything was falling apart for me and soon my doom came and everything changed that day….
I had a brutal argument with Nicole about Verone. She wanted me to forget him but how could I? The argument never ended and I stomped off angrily. She kept calling my name from behind. I was so pissed off that I never paid attention where I was heading too. The last thing I remember was the honking of a car and then darkness… When I opened my eyes, I saw only white and in an unfamiliar room which was the hospital. Slowly, everything fell into place. I met with a fatal accident. My condition was critical. I was badly hit by a car and my life was in a peril.
After two weeks of continuous treatment, the doctor declared that I was out of danger but I had a memory loss of all the recent activities which happened in my life. Recent people I met, food I tasted, the dresses I wanted to buy or I bought, all this washed away and so did HE! After I left the hospital, I started living a new life. I did recognize my family and my best friends. Back in school, some were new faces even though I knew them before. My pedagogues even helped me in reminiscing my past. Some came back in pieces and others were not so convincing. I was happy again and was living fully until I started getting the nightmares.
It was already two months since my accident. Everything was going fine till the face was back! I started getting nightmares about that day of the accident and sometimes a face would pop-up in my dream. I could not recognize but it always seemed familiar. My brain could never recognize but my heart would say that I do know the person and that I have a connection with this face. I told my parents about it but they couldn’t give me any information as they were clueless themselves. My last hope were my friends and so I told them everything. I will never forget that look on their face ever.
It was as if they had seen a ghost. The stupefied look on their faces assured me that they knew who he was. On pressurizing, Stella confessed everything. Once again, the unknown became my known. Stella blabbered about how Verone knew everything about my accident and how he blamed himself for my doom. He promised Stella that he would never contact me because according to him, his presence in my life was in infelicitous and regrets the thought that he came in my life. He had hurt me already and he can’t do it anymore. All the broken pieces of my memory that got washed away, came crashing down. I broke down that day as the pieces which the doctor thought I had lost was back! That day I wept for my long,lost love but it was too late.
“Did he contact you, Ana?” Jacob, asked in a whispering tone, holding my hand. I crashed to reality and a tear slipped down from my left eye, as I nodded sideways. He heaved a sigh and pressed my hand harder.
“But he was there in my thoughts always. I can never forget him. Maybe, whatever dreams and fantasies I built with him, they never came true in reality but I achieved them through my book. He was,is and always will be within me. I think a part of credit for this book goes to him. I really loved him, still do and will continue always. I can never ever replace him. Maybe we were not destined to live together. God has other plans for us and I wish he is happy no matter wherever he is.” I smiled as I said to all of them.
“Its true then… You become a writer only under two condition, either presence of love or absence of love. Ana, you wrote under the second condition but you portrayed your work to the world under the first condition.” Amelia said to everyone in the room and everyone nodded.
“I don’t know. Maybe I did. Verone Smith is an important part of my life and I want to cherish it forever.” I replied with a smile.
“Ya, you will.” Cody assured me smiling. I smiled back. “Strange, that such a beautiful love story actually has a darker story and is nothing to what Ana wrote. Ana, do you think he knows?”
I looked up at Cody and gave him a mysterious smile.