Friday, 12 July, 2024, Reg No- 06
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The Storm Inside

Published : Saturday, 1 June, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 740

The Storm Inside

The Storm Inside

It was raining cats and dogs when Raima came down to the street from the tenth floor of Khaza Trade Centre, where she used to work.

There was a sign of terrible anxiety and sadness in her eyes. Her boss, Mr Alam fired her just a few minutes ago from her job stating that she needed to pay more attention to her work. Not only Raima, but half of the office people knew this allegation was false.

Mr Alam always had an eye for Raima. Raima, an unmarried woman in her early 30s, possessed a lovely figure, beautiful eyes and an attractive personality. Among colleagues, Raima was popular for her sophisticated dressing style and her pretty smile. She was good at almost everything but she was particularly the best at her work.

Mr Alam was quite impressed with Raima. He used to call her now and then with the smallest excuse. His eyes are always on Raima- her smile, her silver pendant and whatnot. Raima was not someone to exploit her boss, so when Mr Alam tried to grab her hand at the annual party, she indicated that she was at the office for her work, not to entertain her boss. And this was the aftermath of her attitude.

Raima was walking amid the rain. Her lavender cotton Shari was soaking up all the water in the street. She took shelter under the front shade of the City Mall with other people.

- Hey, look at the girl in front of you. She is so pretty.
- Oh yeah! Such a beautiful figure! And the wet Shari is making her more desirable.
- You spoke my mind. Hahaha…

Raima could hear the two men talking behind her. She was feeling very disturbed by their words. How cheap these people are - she said to herself.

And then something more disturbing happened. Suddenly the street lights went out. It was quite dark everywhere.

Raima could hear those men behind her giggling and saying nasty things about her. She could feel their words in her veins and she got a bit scared. She could feel someone was trying to grab the loose end of her Shari. She could feel a touch on her waist. She was scared to death and at that very time, she felt a familiar touch over her shoulder.

The weather is perfect for a cup of coffee. What do you say Raima?

Raima looked around. It was Nehal. She was shocked to see Nehal here but she was relieved that both the men went aside after that.

Raima was hesitating to have a cup of coffee with Nehal. But somehow she followed Nehal to the nearest coffee shop in the rain.

And it was not the first time Raima had followed Nehal in the rain. Nehal was a pluviophile. There had not been a single time when Nehal was not drenched in the rain. And Raima used to follow him all the time, on campus.
Raima and Nehal met in the first year of their university. Nehal was one of the most charming men in the university. Almost every girl had a crush on him. Raima was no different. And soon she fell in love with Nehal.

Nehal did not break Raimas heart. They started to go on dates. Raima was so much in love with him. When they both graduated, Raima decided to talk to him about making their relationship public.

- Nehal, lets get married.
- Are you crazy, Raima?

Nehal started laughing so hard.
- What is so funny here, Nehal? We both love each other. And my family wants me to get married. So, it is better to get married...

Nehal did not let Raima finish her sentence. With a serious look on his face, he said,
- Listen Raima, there is no way I am going to marry you. I do not want to get married to anyone now.
- It is not a big deal, Nehal. I can wait for you my whole life.

Raima said these words to Nehal with deep affection in her eyes and so much love in her voice.
But Nehal had something else in his mind. He got up from the chair and just left.

Raima was stunned at his behaviour and she was shocked when she got a text from Nehal saying, "Do not try to contact me, Raima. I have no place for you in my life."

After all these years, Nehal was in front of Raima, stirring his cup of coffee. Raimas eyes were on Nehal, he had not changed a bit in all these years. He was still a man of admiration; his smile was still a weapon to kill any girl.

- So Raima, how is everything going on?
Nehal asked.

Raima had never lied to Nehal. She did not lie to him either.

- I got fired from my job today.
- What! But why? I cannot think of you to take a nap at work.

Nehal burst out laughing, just like his college days. Raima joined him. And with another cup of coffee, they both shared many things about their recent life.

Nehal was particularly surprised to see Raima. She was not that nerd girl from the university anymore. She had changed so much. Her style, her smile, her personality, the plates of her saree, everything was nothing but the centre of attention. Raima was looking like a dream in her lavender cotton saree.

It was time to say goodbye to each other. And Nehal asked something to Raima.

- Raima, you have never lied to me, right?
- Never.
- You are not married yet. Are you waiting for me all these years? Can we start it all over again? I still love you. Will you marry me, Raima?

Raima started to feel a storm inside her. These are the words she had prolonged to hear from Nehal. How madly she was in love with him! How many sleepless nights she had spent thinking of Nehal! How many times she had found herself in the sweetest dream where Nehal had proposed to him! Even after Nehal was gone, Raima could not but think about him all the time.
Raima got up from the chair. With a smile on her face, prettier than before, in calm yet melodious voice, she said,
- I no longer have a place for you in my life, Nehal. Goodbye!

Raima came out of the coffee shop. It was pouring down outside. This time she was not scared to walk alone on the street in the darkness. Her lavender cotton saree was soaking up the rainwater. And somehow Raima was in love with the weather, in love with the rain, in love with the thunder, in love with the storm- the storm inside her.

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