Chapter Thirty Eight - Mansi

There was one problem with getting professional help. She could not really afford the perks of relaxing on a couch and sharing her story with a shrink even though she would have very much liked it. Apart from the past that did not cease to haunt her there was a lot going on in her life at present that made her restless. Earlier, when she was unable to sleep without being assaulted with thoughts and memories, she had taken three painkillers in addition to the one Manish had given her. And, clearly it had been too much. Even though she thought she needed a therapist in no way was she going to ask for financial help for that. She had already embarrassed herself by asking her father for the money to buy a better accommodation.

She was thankful to Pallavi for letting her stay in this apartment until she could figure out how to proceed with the house hunt. But she could not stay here for too many days; even if Pallavi had agreed to take rent from her she knew that it was way less that what Pallavi paid for the apartment.

The option to stay with her father was always open but she did not want to consider it and she had made that very clear to everyone including herself. A part of her wanted to accept the offer – the part that was tired of living the life she was living. True, there were people in this world who were hit worst but sometimes, this part of her stressed her out beyond tolerance. She was deep in thoughts when Pallavi called out, “Hello … hello … earth to Mansi.”
Mansi snapped out of her thoughts. “I am sorry.” She said.

“You need to stop doing that too.” Pallavi said. “The way you lose yourself in the middle of a conversation, it irks the opposite person but that is overshadowed by the pity that person develops for you because of the expression you have on your face. The person you are talking to, he’d offer to kill you to free you of the pathetic life you think you are living.” Pallavi continued.
Mansi knew Pallavi did not mean to hurt her but she was hurt and it showed on her face. Pallavi apologized.
“How do you come to the office every day?” Mansi asked to change the topic.
“Huh?” Pallavi asked confused by the sudden shift in the subject.
“I need to know the bus route.” Mansi explained.
“Oh. You need not worry about that at least for a couple of days. I will tell you the bus route when it’s the time.” Pallavi said and walked out of the room. Few minutes later she returned to the bedroom carrying two plates.
“Dinner time.” Pallavi said.

They both had dinner while watching TV, neither of them speaking a word about what was being discussed earlier. After dinner, Pallavi applied ointment over the swollen ankle and refused to give any more painkillers to Mansi. 
"I don’t want you to scream at night or try to strangle me to death during one of your nightmares." Pallavi said. Mansi rolled her eyes.
Pallavi slid in bed next to Mansi and said, “Behave yourself” and then laughed on her own joke. Before Mansi could say anything, Pallavi was fast asleep. Luckily Mansi felt exhausted and was able to sleep quicker than she had expected.

By the time Mansi woke up in the morning, Pallavi had prepared breakfast for both of them and finished eating her breakfast and was getting ready to go to the office. May be it was because of the lingering effect of the painkiller that she was able to sleep peacefully.
Mansi got out of the bed and tried to put her weight on the injured ankle. The pain was less but it was still there. She moved around with the help of the walking stick Manish had given her. When Pallavi left for office and she was on her own Mansi checked the newspaper for houses on rent. She selected a few and noted down the details on a piece of paper.

Mansi was about to go back to the bedroom to rest when the doorbell rang. She found Manish at the door. He was in formals.
“Hi, hope you are feeling better” he said with a smile on his face.
“Yes, thank you.” Mansi replied
“I am leaving for my day job. If there is anything you need me to do, I will be happy to help.” Manish offered.
“Thanks, I am already taken care of.” Mansi explained, thinking about all the things Pallavi had done for her since the start of the day and it had only been a few hours.
“Well then, take care. See you in the evening.” Manish said and left.
Mansi could not stop herself from smiling as she reminisced about the events after she hurt her ankle. A total stranger and her friend, both had taken care of her. She could get used to it, she thought.

It felt good to be cared for. Without her realizing her thoughts went back to Rohan and she visualized him coughing and feverish. She wondered who was taking care of him and then she remembered there was someone who would take care of him – the woman he was sleeping with. Or maybe she was just interested in him for sex, she thought and then shook her head.
She walked to the bedroom and decided to rest. She was tempted to take a painkiller but she did not. She picked up her mobile from the side-table and composed a text to Manish asking him to save her number.

Her mobile beeped almost immediately. It was Manish, he had texted her saying he had saved the number and asked her to take rest and added that he hoped she felt better soon. He could not wait to join the office with her, he added. Mansi read the text and smiled. 

When Pallavi returned from the office she got busy in the kitchen preparing dinner for both. Mansi gave her company sitting on a chair. Manish Kumar texted her asking her about her ankle and she replied immediately. When she looked up from her mobile she saw Pallavi staring at her in disbelief. Mansi was not the kind of person to bury her face in her mobile; especially during a conversation. Pallavi shook her head and then continued telling Mansi about her day in the office and made it a point to tell Mansi that her dad was worried about her ankle and had asked Pallavi to convey his concern and inquired whether they needed any help from him. He had also requested Pallavi to inform Mansi that she need not worry about the office work; that he would take care of everything in her absence.
Pallavi joked that Mansi was really lucky to have her father as her boss.

Mansi wanted to go to bed with those 'I-am-lucky' thoughts in her mind but when she finally hit the sack, the nightmare returned. Pallavi refused to give sleeping pills or painkillers to Mansi and offered to stay awake with her, chatting, if Mansi could not fall asleep. She'd tried to stay awake for a long time but being tired after a long day at work, Pallavi had fallen asleep.
Mansi hated doing what she did next. She got up from the bed and tiptoed towards the living room; she had seen Pallavi hide the painkiller strip in the magazine rack earlier. She took out a painkiller and gulped it down with her saliva and returned to bed. She fell asleep almost immediately.

Return to Main Page