For those who arent aware I published the same story in another thread
And and and A big thank to you to @wandering_mind for the countless brainstorming sessions ,with me with my ghosting tendencies and crazy ideas .The story would never be there in the first place if werent for her Thanks for bearing up with me :)
Warnings : 1) The author has major disappearing issues so keep in mind it would have slow updates .
2) May contain mature themes ,fluff and angst in the future updates.
i gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death, and flung it back to me.
- Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
"Nothing quite breaks like a heart"
The day Zoya leaves for America, it rains.
In the back of her mind, she recognizes the poetry of it all, a sign that maybe, just maybe, something out there is warning her against this. But she forces herself to focus on where she currently stood. The Airport. She tosses the can of coke into the trash and makes her way into the check in area. Counting the last few breaths she was taking in her homeland.
From there, it’s robotic..
She checks her bags, goes through security, and waits in a slightly uncomfortable terminal seat until her boarding section is called. For just a moment, as she fiddles with her phone to bring up her boarding pass, Zoya is seized with the urge to turn her head and look back. There’s nothing to look back at, but some part of her persists nevertheless. A thought crosses her mind, one so stupid and full of unearned hope that Zoya squashes it without another thought.
Zoya offers her boarding pass to the gate attendant and receives a mirthless smile in return. She strides straight down the walkway and into the plane, refusing the small twitch at the base of her neck all the while. There’s no one here to see her off, a thought that dogs Zoya during the entirety of her 11 hour flight. By the time they land, getting to set foot in New York is a more welcome distraction than a life changing event. The world is both familiar and unknown
Some things—the crush of people, the uncomfortable terminal seats—are the same, but countless others are new.
Zoya spends at least 15 minutes wandering around the airport and taking in the familiar surroundings letting it sink in that she was no longer in India but John F.Kennedy International Airport , New York, United States of America. Eventually, after a successful bargaining conversation with a cab driver, Zoya finds herself looking through the window about the familiar streets of Broadway.She gave a small half- hearted smile to the driver as he finally dropped her at the entrance of Bel Air Estates, Penthouse no 7..
She lets it finally sink in as she looks at the posh 10 storeyed penthouse, trying to finally cementing her brain that this is actually happening. In her back pocket, her phone vibrates, but Zoya makes no move to check her messages. She knows it must be someone from India , and, if she hears one word of a familiar voice, she can’t promise herself that she won’t turn right back around and get on the next plane to Bhopal.
“Okay,”she mutters to herself, beginning to walk into the building as the familiar security guards smiled at her
“You missed Aapi and Jeeju and wanted to surprise them that's why you came without informing .. Easy Zoya ,” she mumbled to herself as she pressed the ninth floor button on the lift .
Next, her phone rings, a unique tune that sends a spike of anxiety and adrenaline through Zoya s' stomach, the way any reminder of Mr Khan has for the last few months.She doesn’t reach for her phone to cut off the jingle. Instead, she lets it playout in full, frozen in the middle . Once it finally cuts off, zoya shakes her head, laughing weakly. She wipes her clammy hands dry on her jeans and readjusts her grip on her suitcases.One deep breath later, the lift opens as she finally rings the bell to see aheavily astonished Aapi and Jeeju but happy all the same as they hug her tight as she immediately melts into their embrace
Hours and hours later after a heavy questioning session by Aapi about why she didn’t inform them about her coming to which she smoothly lied that she missed them and wanted to surprise them, Later at night when Jeeju drops her off to her apartment which was just a walking distance from theyre s . Zoya collapses into her bed that night , limbs heavy with exerted effort, she can’t help but think that ignoring Mr Khan s phone call was the hardest part of her day.
To cut things short as soon as Zoya arrived in New York .She decided she desperately needed a change of of atmosphere, Considering how reckless she was she began job hunting and eventually, took up the first job she got which happened to be from a firm in Washington, started by one of her seniors in university. .She decided to move out from her old apartment considering Washington was around 276 miles from NYC and rented a cozy apartment in midst of Seattle moving out of her old apartment in NYC.
They say time waits for none Same is the case for her .
It is Zoya s 11th month in Washington DC, Seattle
It is very cold, enough so that she feels like the frost might creep into her bones. And sure, Zoya had cold winters, had mornings spent under scarfs and trench coats, but it is much, much colder in Washington .
Zoya will not call the cold what it is .Will not call it loneliness - she does not want to name the ugly thing that she somehow, in every effort to escape from India , still carried over here. .
It has albeit decreased over the months
But never completely disappeared ..
It has become dark and mean in the small skittish hours of the morning, spent wide awake staring at the ceiling with her chest hallowed out, thinking, always thinking, of Goddam Asad Ahmed Khan . Of his eyes his subtle smile, or his damaged yet pure heart . (Of his face when he practically told Zoya to get out of the house.)
That image is perhaps what feels the coldest. It shouldn’t; he was the one who asked her to leave . .
Zoya left when Bhopal was only in early autumn , when the leaves were just turning , when tamaatar was preparing for her senior year for economics honours , talking her ear off about how the turn of the seasons meant she was going to have to go shopping for new winter clothes to which Phuphi always joked made her look like a penguin. Disgruntled , but so so so sweet that Zoya felt a bit betrayed by it. Wonderedwhat she did in her past life, to get punished with the memories of the Khan family early morning like frost .
It is a shame, Zoya thinks while walking off the subway, that she couldn’t spend more time with the quirky duo . That she (stupidly, pathetically, a part of Zoya s minds screams) ran off to the States instead, with mean weather and no Asad Ahmed Khan with his lectures of tameez tehzeeb and lihaaz to compensate.
With no Asad , period.
She’s still adjusting to the weather , actually. Or atleast that’s what she tells Aapi who questioned her swollen eyes on a certain Skype call a few days ago .
Zoya really really wasn’t planning to tell anyone about Asad . . (There’s a reason she left.) But then it was the second day of living in Washington , and Zoya got lost on her way offf trying to find her apartment , took the wrong subway, or something. And then she had to walk back home, pathetically, tracing her steps back to her awful apartment,the best which money could afford but apparently lonely. Zoya was slipping off her shoes at the door clicking the digital clock but she could feel something budding inside of her, nasty and sad, something that felt like it started and ended with Asad s face at that stupid hospital .Zoya took a step back sitting on the adjacent stairs heading the click of feet on floor she looked up to find her new neighbour . And immediately, pathetically, she burst into tears.
Because there was this awful moment, when Zoya s eyes caught on a pair of Oxford shoes sitting infront of the neigboring apartment , which she thought was Asad s . It was dumb and it was stupid, to think that Asad would follow her to Washington Because Zoya was taken back to the awful few months when she had accidentally spilled the coke on Asad s brand new oxfords shoes to which she got agood scolding for and how she had spend hours finding a appropriate shoecleaner to get those stains out that were ruined by and now she saw those same stupid shoes of the same brand infront of the door and felt a quiet hope.
But the hope was quietly destroyed when she heard the door of the neighbouring apartment opening and Zoya looked up to see someone unfamiliar wearing those shoes – Samar, Sam for short( her neighbor ) and sure, she liked Sam now, but at that moment she might’ve just hated him. (Hated herself more, hated the nasty animal in her for getting her hopes up most.) Somaybe it was the drop in her gut after realising that Asad wasn’t there, after realising that her mind had betrayed her once again, that caused Zoya to burst into tears.
Maybe it was just the subway. Zoya till date likes to tell herself that.
Because (what would she even say? That she started missing Asad even though its barely been a week since she arrived ? That she’s not-been able to stop thinking about those several days when She was in the arms of Asad, days where even though accidentally Zoya was beneath him , hair spilled out on his pillow, waiting for him to do something.) Sam walked from briskly and hugged Zoya real tight,like he was afraid that she might beunravelling at the edges, and said nothing.
Zoya thinks this is where Sam tooka place in her s heart as one of her greatest friends. In her silence, when Zoya needed that most.
Zoya cried for a while, but eventually pulled back from - if she’s being honest -sam s incredibly ugly sweater. She doesn’t even think he remembers what-colour it was because she doesn’t think it was a colour. But she remembers Sams face, how he looked honestly, genuinely concerned, how his eyes eyeswere wide but sympathetic, how he held the length of Zoya s arms before stepped away, saying:
“You seemed like,” his eyes travelled around Zoya s face “much less emotional on Facebook messenger.”
Zoya laughed, said quietly, “I took the wrong subway.”
“Oh,” Sam 's eyes were still travelling around Zoya s face. Like he was scared zoya might just start up again. “Surely that’s not why..?”
Zoya only grimaced. “And I’m in love with a guy who practically hates me and doesn’t even care about my goddam existence and lives like thousands of miles away ,, yeah.”It’s nice that Zoya can say it. Sure herheart is hurting (when is it not?), but it's nice being able to say it like it-is.
Sam exhaled,“Okay,” he paused “Somehow that feels a little easier to work with. I don’t think I could fight the mayor of Washington right now, my flight really knocked-me out.”
Zoya laughed in a way that was more so an exhale.Felt the darkness of her heart grow a little lighter, felt her soul move arounda little bit for this new person. . Eventually Zoya told Sam ., mainly just why she was here, in Washington . About her Aapi and Jeeju ,Her job ,Asad and the Khan family
The best thing about Sam didn’t try to offer advice, only hummed through what Zoya was saying. And when Zoya finished - tiredly,like although He was the first person that she told, she knew she might spendthe rest of her life telling the same story – Sam smiled, hooked her arm around Zoya ’s arm ,and said, “Let’s go grab some food,” Sam shuffled a bit more into Zoya "s space “Figure out that subway together, alright?”
And Zoya strongly feels that was the beginning of a real close friendship
Samar De Silva was an Indo –American, Attorney who lived next door with his boyfriend Anthony. Eventually, over the months The encounter on the stairs led to the development of a fast friendship between them. He introduced her to his boyfriend and the three of them albeit a pair of misfits had gelled up quickly over the months.
Hangouts,late -night movies and Netflix sessions,Dinners in each other houses,
Early morning walks and Zumba classes together.
3rd of September,2012 was the exact day she arrived back in America and ever since then
Weeks and Months have passed. September faded in and out of recognition and Zoya actually started adjusting to Seattle.
To missing Asad a bit quieter than before.
So Zoya Farooqui learns the art of being alone in a room full of people. It’s not easy at first but she does it. She starts doing things for her and only her. Time passes and she does not think of Asad in the small hours of the morning. She doesn’t think of Asad at all. Only ever distantly if she does, like Asad is a lost lover from the life before this one. From the life that wasn’t ever really Zoya"s
Eventually, the hollowness and the loneliness began to fade 11 Months into living in Washington, into understanding all the spanning lines of the subway, the new eateries, into hangouts with new friends, office life and workload, The memories back in India turned to be more of a ghost.
Which made the wedding invitation,so, so much worse.Edited by MilkBiscuits - 11 days ago
First and foremost, my apologies for being awfully late on making this post, but I was heavily occupied with work.
I want to begin by saying a thank you for deciding to write this story! I'm glad that I could play some role there but I'm so happy that a lot of readers like me are in for a treat here! It's been fun doing all the brainstorming sessions with you! ( your ghosting tendency ain't fun but I know life is tough:P)
What greatly thrilled me was the way this part has come out. It's so beautifully written! The first line itself made me feel. I loved how you used rain to symbolize the sweet pain Zoya was feeling. The undying hope that lived on amidst the loss she was feeling was beautifully captured at multiple instances throughout this part. I loved her first encounter with Sam. It's like you could almost hear her heart breaking the moment her hope was destroyed. Sometimes you want someone so bad that you start becoming delusional. And then there are readers like me who top the list on delusional thinking because I'm still hoping a day will come when Asad will actually appear from nowhere, sweeping her off her feet and holding her tight until she is able to believe that it's real, it's happening!
( Lol it's probably just an AsYa reader trait. So bear with it! )
Zoya's new life is Seattle just feels relieving at the moment. However I'm glad the new change is healing her, amidst the emptiness inside her heart. I really liked how you worded her misery with apt references. Emptiness never felt so heavy!
Brilliant writing! I love it so much I already read it multiple times! I'm so hooked on to this, and with that mind boggling ending, you better realize that you got to post the next part asap!
Can't wait for next!Edited by Wandering_mind - 1 years ago
As soon as my work permits. I am aiming for three chapters in a month as of yet
As soon as my work permits. I am aiming for three chapters in a month as of yet
Topic started by MilkBiscuits
Last replied by wildest_dreams