“One café latte please!”

Tanya wondered if the girl behind the counter judged her for her accent or her boyish looks. Never mind, it’s temporary. It will be over soon. She went to the table in the farthest corner of the room; she sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf. . .

I wonder why Nanima bought this for me, I never wore this. And now never will…

Sipping her overpriced coffee with a fancy name, she loved the scent of coffee omnipresent in the room. It was then she noticed the missing person’s poster which was posted on every corner of the city stating a man in his 40s was missing for 3 days. Tanya wiped the solitary teardrop off her cheek and quickly put the knife back in her handbag and zipped it up.

 Now stay right there while I finish my coffee.

After what seemed like forever, Tanya lay back on the chair and put her neck length hair into a bun the only way she knew. From the back pocket of her jeans, she took out a folded piece of paper. THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE, it read.12004013_972688976124621_2658471494958973926_n

Coffee at Starbucks, check.

She looked at the poster one last time and with a sigh, took her handbag and left the place.

That night she couldn’t sleep. Though she always found it difficult to sleep in a hotel but tonight it was not just the new bed. Images flashed before her eyes every time she closed them. Horrible images.

Be brave Tanya, don’t run from them. Embrace it… embrace your past.

She turned off the dim lights, sat straight and went back to the time that haunted her every now and then.

‘It was six years ago, another lazy day in the small place young Tanya used to call home. Anyone could tell she is really happy today. It is impossible to keep the girl at one place, always chirping around.

“When are they coming nanima?”

“Just a few more hours, my child.”

“You are saying this from the morning, give me the phone I will ask them why is it taking too long” said Tanya sheepishly.

“Not before you finish your milk.”

“Uhh…. Nani pleeeease!”

Tanya knew that her grandmother always fell for her childlike talks. But today is a special day. Her parents are coming with little Neel today. She has been waiting for months for this day. With all her intermediate exams ended, she will be leaving for St Stephens with her parents. She gulped down the glass of milk quickly. Handling the glass to her grandmother, she rushed for the phone.

“Wipe your face Beta, I’ll make the call”

The old lady took the receiver from Tanya and hit the redial button.

“Hello be.. Hello? What?…. Where..”

Tanya stood in shock as she saw the frail body of her grandmother trembling as she fainted and fell on the ground. Quickly she ran towards her, took her head in her lap and picked up the receiver.

The next thing she remembers is holding her parents’ bodies covered in blood. The bus on which they were was hit by a truck. By the time they were taken to the hospital, they had left poor Neel and Tanya forever.

A year later her grandmother left them as well and the siblings were left alone in this world.’

Tanya feels a shiver down her spine every time she is reminded of that incident. But tonight she is perfectly calm.

Had it not been for the insurance money, Neel and I could never continue our education.

Tanya vividly remembers every little things she consistently did so that her brother could get a happy life. She knew he needed good education. Without a second’s thought she chose to enrol herself in a local college despite having qualified for St. Stephen’s.

A smile came out as she remembered all the wonderful years she spent with her brother before he was admitted to the college she didn’t join for his sake. Though she never told him that once all she wanted was to join that college. But there was not a single moment she regretted her decision of staying back home taking care of Neel.

And then came the most recent ones, the most dreadful images… Neel lying on the ground with his mouth filled with black blood…. Blood dripping off the knife… Tanya’s blood stained hands… the scream… Neel lying on a hospital bed. Unconscious. Fighting for life…

I need help!

What happened to Tanya that shook her to the core? Find out in the next part of the story. Part 2 Coming Soon.