The story unfurls with the narrator describing his past, about his friend. It goes on how he changed and the consequences of the his acts.
“Who is better? Him or me?” —
The question made me held a healthy competition between us. Once. I never realized when our “health, friendly competition” turned us into professional rivals and when all this took a nasty turn and unleashed itself as staunch enmity. I never waited to look at the consequences, my question aroused, which is why I ended up here. In the dungeon. Created by me. For me. To punish. Me.
Me. Extrovert. Falls “in love” now and then. He. Shy. Introvert. Now I never expected him to open up but sometimes he did. Being my closest friend I seemed to know not a thing about him. I hope many are familiar that—‘one is afraid of things not foreknown to us’. I guess this was what exactly happened. Pinakin was like a new book to me, though I have been triumphant in turning few pages, taking its smell but I was yet to unfurl the inner self. The Ondormohol of his Dwarka.
I was always like a open book, not only to Pinakin but to everyone. Pinakin would say.
“Shesh, wait, see, understand, talk!” with his exquisite voice uttering through his thin lips, typical demi-god thing.
Pinakin was everything to me. My world revolved around him. Pinakin was my strength. My family, my only true friend, my guide, everything.
Pinakin was Lord Shiva’s bow, bestowed to Lord Parshurama who then gave it to Maharathi Karana. Shesh nag was Lord Vishnu’s devotee. As we know Vishnu and Shiva are sides of same coin. A destroyer can never be valued if not for the nurturer. SHIV and VISH are anagrams of each other. Our names indicated of destined to be one. But I went on changing the fate hence the consequences.
With a five feet 10 inch height perfectly toned body, perfectly visible abs, going hand in hand with a husky and sexy voice, he made me fall for him. It was not what we call it today, not a named relationship as you know, not even a gay liked feeling, nor a brotherly one. It was not something which could be described in words, could just be felt.
Pinakin always said I presumed things. I agree. I had my demons and few intolerable traits. One of which was this. To Pinakin’s thousands advice, I cease to listen to him. Yet again I presumed that Pinakin didn’t feel that same way and even if he did, he would allow his ego and arrogance take over his feelings and disgrace Shesh.
Even today I don’t know whether my presumption were correct or was it the other way round. My presumption gave way to my insecurities and hence aroused my question who was better.
Pinakin went on like he had been cynic, critic, when coming to me. Introvert. But it was me who twisted and saw things differently. I saw arrogance and betrayal on the later stage. Pinakin’s cynical attitude made me work to any extent to prove my position. Above him. In order to crumble his ego, made up by my mind.
How come my readers never spate out the question—why on earth did that presumption rose in Shesh’s head? Shesh was vulnerable at the moment he met Pinakin. I had seen the very foundation of my family tremble. I saw my superhero washing his hands off his responsibility. I wanted something or someone to cling on to. And Pinakin happened. I poured my heart out to him but his silence made me insecure. His hiding facts made me think, I was just a person whom he would obliviate as soon as he steps to the “Real World”.
I was extrovert but innocent as dough, you could mould me in anyway. Yes I depended on Pinakin. And Pinakin would tell me,
“Why Shesh, why? Get a life!” and yet sometimes
“Come dear tell what’s wrong.” Sometimes “you have to fight.” At other times” I am here.” He contradicted most of the time. His silence, not disclosing stuffs, contradicting himself, made me, the vulnerable me, suspicious. Then began my rebel against him.
But I don’t know some way the other, Pinakin was always a step forward. We both had love for literature. He wanted to be a psychologist and me just another person with changing ambitions. He was determined. And I was sandwiched between family burdened wishes and my dreams.
I loved staying away from home, from my parents. I was an attention seeker back then, ‘cause of obvious reasons, never got the attention from my kin for which I craved for. And Pinakin was my cocaine. I knew his company was taking trolls on my already confused mind but couldn’t help it. Outside home, I was a rock star, I was sort of a celebrity, known to all, I never had been quite habituated of being submissive. I was the person who participated in each and every events, I was famous and loved. Yet insecure.
Was the insecurity due to Pinakin or was it the attempt of my hidden fears surfacing up. There was no public competition, just one, made up by my insecurities. The competition that I had been winning never meant anything. I only attempted making my best friend down to me. Though he never participated in any competition, I felt claustrophobic inside the venue.
Pinakin had genetically good looks. He was an in-born talent and myself a brushed up one. I envied him for what he was. I envied him for he was no near me yet dominated me with the aura of his attitude. Then came the time, when we were at the threshold of the real world. Now was the time, which will define our future. Rukmini happened at this stage. Pinakin’s advice of not going into a relationship fell into my deaf ears. Rukmini was seven years older than me. My physics teacher. Yes. We had indulged ourselves into sexual relation. I never listened to Pinakin because I felt he was envious of me. Truth of which I would never know.
But one thing am sure of Rukmini treated me as her toy boy and soon left me, not before making me addict of foreplays and sex. Pinakin now slowly began to unleash his cover and expose him. And I withdrew myself inside my shell. I was broke.
My boards were gross, entrances were horrible. I was under the mountain load of responsibilities, wishes, desires. My friend was nowhere. Then from a source I found out that his condition was same. Results came out, we both scored well but that won’t get us anywhere near a good college. I was relieved that it was not just me. I was so happy. My insecurities made me think contrary to the well being of my best friend.
Then came out our entrance results. I secured a rank which could get me to the best college of my state. He was nowhere. I was so glad. Then I was struck with a news that he was going to the same college that of me but psychology department.
Me, engineering, even if I didn’t want to but I had to.
I felt anger, remorse, happiness, all at the same time. I felt killing my family for drifting me apart from my dreams, Pinakin for being what he is. Turncoat. One day I called Pinakin at my place, to end it for once and for all. I waited for him, scratching a side of a coin with a screw driver.
Entered Pinakin. He came up to greet me instead I went up and put the screw driver into his abdomen. Twisting, turning it. Only a single word was uttered from his lips, “Why?”
I never know why. But that day I witnessed one thing. I saw my soul escaping. I didn’t see Pinakin’s breath away, I felt mine getting out. I was taken aback. Numb. A coin felled from my hand, placed itself on Pinakin’s forehead. I was left with a coin with single side and a body without soul. Living ghost.
It was too late to realize Pinakin was my part—my soul.