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Where Secrets Lie – Chapter 5 – Shattered Dreams

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Link to 3rd chapter : https://www.tellyupdates.com/where-secrets-lie-chapter-3-a-night-to-remember/Link to 4th chapter : https://www.tellyupdates.com/where-secrets-lie-chapter-4-cant-get-you-outta-my-mind/**Riddhima entered her cabin after spending the afternoon with Vansh. She was feeling as light as a feather after meeting him, after pouring out her feelings before him.And the best part that made her heart swirl in happiness was that he professed his love for her, too! She felt like on top of the moon. She felt like dancing her her heart out right then and there like crazy.But she was in for a rude shock when she found Seher waiting for her right inside her cabin. She looked as angry as a raging bull.“WHERE did you go?” she started blasting her immediately. “Don’t tell me that you went to that same cursed jungle to meet that same man again.”“Vansh,” said Riddhima sounding displeased with how her friend was referring to her love. “His name is Vansh. You can call him that. And yes, I went to meet him. Again. So what?”Seher was left aghast at her friend’s unbotheredness.
“Do you realize that you are acting like a complete crack-head right now? Why on earth are you so obsessed with that man? There was one time when you were literally phobic of jungles, and look at you now. Dauntlessly roaming about such dangerous places!”“Vansh’s love made me forget all my fears. His love is magical and remedial for me….,” Riddhima said dreamily.“And if he really loves you, why doesn’t he want to meet your friends? Why do you always have to go up to meet him? Why can’t it happen the other way round? Why does he deem it appropriate enough to live in a stupid jungle?” Seher bombarded her with one question after another.
“And is it a mere coincidence that only you get to see and speak to him, while we don’t? Doesn’t that seem a tad too weird?”Riddhima sat up straight in her chair. “What do you mean?”Seher inhaled sharply. “I didn’t tell you this before, but when I reached that house in the middle of the jungle after following the trail of thread you accidentally left behind, I saw…..”“You saw what?” Riddhima bent forward desperate to hear what she wanted to say.Seher said, “I saw only one pair of shoeprints, that matched with your shoe size and pattern, entering the house. When logically speaking, there should have been two sets of shoeprints entering inside – your’s and Vansh’s. Because as per your story, it was Vansh who had escorted you to his house after finding you stranded nearby. So now tell me, why weren’t his shoeprints present anywhere around the house?”For a moment Riddhima had a look of disbelief on her face. And then, she seemed to relax as something clicked her.
“The rain must have washed his shoeprints away.”“The rain washed away only his shoeprints and not your’s? How convenient!” mocked Seher.“You might have seen wrongly then,” said Riddhima casually. “Also what is the whole point of saying this? What are you trying to insinuate, huh?”Seher turned serious. “I don’t know what it is but something just doesn’t seem right. I can sense it. Please don’t turn a deaf ear to my words. I’m not your enemy and mean only well for you.”“I know what is right and what is wrong for me,” snapped Riddhima. “Now would you do the honours of leaving the cabin? I’ve got to see my other patients, you see.”Seher sighed and left the cabin. But she didn’t know how she could make Riddhima understand about how gullible she was being right now.
______________________________________After finishing seeing her patients, Riddhima returned to the comfort of her home. She was quietly eating her dinner, which consisted of a bowl of noodles and a glass of cold drink to go with it.That’s when she heard some giggles coming from outside. She peeked out of the window and saw a young couple enjoying paani puri and playfully smacking each other.She suddenly started feeling gloomy. Why couldn’t she and Vansh have fun with one another like the other normal couples? Seher’s words began ringing in her ears. How she said that she doubted Vansh. How she felt that something wasn’t right.Riddhima covered her ears in order to stop those voices. She squeezed her eyes shut trying to prevent those nasty thoughts from invading her mind.Keeping the Sun as a witness, Vansh had promised her that he’d never break her trust. And she didn’t want to let him down by doubting him or his love. That love which felt purer than river Ganges, purer than the holy fire.And his warm, fragrant embrace that was nothing less of a secure sanctum for her.  Even though she had spent her entire afternoon cuddling in his arms, she desperately and eagerly longed to feel him again.He was like an intoxicating drug that she had become dangerously addicted to.She smiled and began to drown herself further in his imaginations. The image of his seraphic face had made a permanent place for itself in her eyes.All of a sudden, a vision of a grievously injured Vansh flashed before her, making her shudder.She came out of her trance immediately, her eyes wide opened in shock. What was that what she had just seen? Was it a mere illusion? Or was it a forecast of something serious that’s going to happen in the near future?In a rage of emotions and worry, Riddhima rushed to her car deciding to drive all the way to the jungle. It was late in the night and too dangerous to venture there at this time.But she didn’t care. All she wanted was to see Vansh absolutely safe and sound in front of her. She frantically prayed to God to keep him away from all kind of danger.She raced the car at top speed and took steep turns at the corners. Once or twice, she narrowly missed ending up in an accident. All thanks to her impressive driving skills, or else her car would have gone skidding away from the road.As soon as she saw the menacing looking jungle appear before her, she got down the car and made her way into it. There was a time when she was afraid of forests, but now she was far more afraid of losing Vansh. He was the sunshine of her darkness, and her only source of hope in this depressing world full of cheat and lies.The moon glowed unusually bright tonight, as if it also was eagerly waiting to witness the unfolding of events.Every time Riddhima placed her foot down, the dry grass under it would create a ruffling noise sending chills down her spine. She had no idea where she was going because she couldn’t make out the way at night.She stopped dead in her tracks as she suddenly sensed that someone was following her.Must be Vansh, she thought happily and turned around. But she was left disappointed when she found no one.Logically, she should have taken this as a cue to run away from there. But right now, it wasn’t her logic controlling her, but rather it was her poor heart.Ignoring all the red flags her sixth sense was throwing at her, she kept walking ahead dauntingly, deeper and deeper into the eerie woods.From a far off distance, she noticed a broad, tall figure in black.“That’s Vansh!” she squealed in joy. She ran after him and even called his name out as loud as she could, her voice reverbating through the entire forest. But he kept walking ahead at a medium pace, with his back turned to her.“Why isn’t he paying any heed to me?” she thought to herself.She tried her best to catch up with him, but everytime she did that, he’d be magically transported many steps further from her.“What the hell is even happening?” she thought frighteningly.But determined not to give up, she kept following him. After a sprint of five minutes or so, she reached the same cliff that Vansh had brought to her in the morning.“Vansh?” she looked all around her in a confused state. Where had he suddenly disappeared to?That’s when, her eyes fell upon him standing at the far-off edge of the cliff. His back was still turned towards her and she couldn’t see his face.“Vansh!” she heaved a sigh of relief and tried to go up to him.Vansh slowly turned around. What she saw, made her scream her lungs out. There was blood spilling from the entirety of his face.Not knowing what to do, Riddhima reflexly stepped backward in terror.“What happened to you, Vansh? Who did this to you?” she asked timidly, the words barely coming out of her mouth.Vansh smiled slowly, his blood stained teeth peeking out from behind his lips.A sudden ear-piercing blast was heard in the air and Vansh went falling from the cliff.“Vansh! No!” Riddhima shouted and tried to catch hold of his hand to save him. But it was too late.Riddhima lost all her senses. She was so horror-struck that she didn’t realize that taking even one step further would push her also down from the cliff.A sudden force yanked her arm and pulled her behind to safety. It was Yash.“What were you trying to do Riddhima?” he grasped her shoulders.But Riddhima had become hysterical. “Let me go. Leave me! I need to go down to save him!” she wailed and tried to wriggle out of Yash’s grip.“Don’t be stupid, Riddhima. You’ll die!” Yash tried to put some sense into her.She cried out, “So let me die! I don’t care for myself. I only need my Vansh back!”At the mention of Vansh’s name, Yash became completely still.
“Whom are you talking about?”“His name is Vansh. Vansh Raisinghania, the man I love. Please for the love of God, save him before the inevitable happens. I’ll forever be indebted towards you,” she clutched at his shirt and literally begged in front of him.Yash looked at her as if he had just seen a ghost.
“Are you sure about that?”Riddhima grabbed his collar and violently shook it nearly choking him.“Why are you wasting time here uttering nonsense instead of saving him? He was standing right here in front of me all injured. Then something happened, I don’t remember what, but he fell off the cliff into the valley below…..”She continued to weep and bawl, her tears drenching the upper part of her dress. Suddenly, she started to become numb and her head started to spin vigorously. And then, it was completely dark around her.
______________________________________Riddhima opened her eyes slowly. She weakly looked all around her. She was lying in her bedroom. But how was this possible? As far as she remembered correctly, she had gone to the jungle to search for Vansh? Had she been dreaming all along?And then everything that happened in the jungle in the last few hours flashed in front of her. How she found a blo*dy Vansh near the cliff and how he fell down from it.“Noooo!” she shrieked summoning everyone into her room. “Nothing can happen to Vansh, nothing can happen to him! I need to go and rescue him right now before it gets too late.”She attempted to get down from the bed but her weak legs gave way and she ended up plopping on the bed.Seher hurried to her side to help her.
“You need rest, sweetie. The doctor clearly said that…..”“But I need to save him! Why is this so difficult to understand? He needs me!” Riddhima panicked like a fish out of a water. She spotted Yash standing in a corner and watching her from afar.“Yash, did you find Vansh? How is he?” she asked with hope brimming in her eyes.“Riddhima, actually I….” he stammered. “I did inform the police and they sent their rescue team down into the valley to look for Vansh. But….” he gulped down the lump that had formed in his throat. “They didn’t find him.”Riddhima stood there completely paralysed. What did he mean by they couldn’t find him? What had happened to her Vansh?“They did not look for him properly. They don’t know how to do their job. He must be there only, I’m sure of that!” She behaved in a frenzy manner.“It’s not the police’s fault that they couldn’t find him. Because right now, nobody can find him….” Yash contemplated whether this would be the right time to tell her this. “Vansh Raisinghania has been dead for the past one year. That’s what the police records say.”There was a pindrop silence with the only sound coming from the rhythmic ticking of the grandfather clock.Riddhima stood there, her entire body trembling with rage. How dare this man talk about her Vansh like this? How dare he proclaim him as dead?Smack! A loud slap landed on Yash’s face causing him to wobble backwards in surprise.“Listen, I can explain…”“Either you are trying to play some stupid joke on me or you are blatantly lying! Nothing can happen to my Vansh, did you understand?” She was going berserk. Her hair was messy and her eyes moved about the place crazily.Seher came to her rescue and quickly grasped her into a hug.
“We’ll talk about this later but now you need to just calm down and relax your mind.”“Relax my mind? Seriously?” she laughed sarcastically. “Don’t know in what condition Vansh must be in, and you want me to just stay mum and do nothing?”Neeti, who just entered the scene could not stay quiet further.“But he is already dead. What else can you do for a dead person?”“Neeti!” Both Seher and Yash were mortified. They didn’t expect her to speak so insensitively considering Riddhima’s delicate state of mind.Stuck in a turmoil of raging and confusing emotions, Riddhima started throwing things around her.
“You all are lying, you all are lying!”“Fine. You don’t believe us, but will you believe this?” Neeti slapped what looked like a legal document on her face.With shaking hands, Riddhima tried to read it. She blinked twice to clear her vision that was being blurred by the tears.It was a death certificate in Vansh Raisinghania’s name. Dated exactly one year back.Riddhima shook herself multiple times to make sure it wasn’t a nightmare.Just a few days ago, her life was as rosy as it could be, then what happened now?She had seen him, talked to him, felt him and had even…She remembered the taste of the first kiss that she had with him. She remembered his silky touch that made intricate patterns on her body and sent her into a world of utmost desire and passion. She remembered those sweet promises he had made to her, with his lips brushing past her ear.Was that all a lie? Was that all nothing but an illusion? But how could it be, she had found everything between them, himself included as very much real.Tears rolled down her eyes incessantly. But she wasn’t ready to believe it. Yet.“This is a fake document. I know it,” she said between her sobs. “This is a trap to make me away from my Vansh. Yes, that’s how it is!”Yash had had enough of this stupidity. He pulled Riddhima by her arm and led her out of her house.“Where are you taking me?” she groaned in pain.“To show you the truth.”He pushed her into his car and turned the ignition key on. Within no time, his car was speeding on the main road.Throughout the drive, Riddhima either kept choking back on her tears, or reiterating about how these were all nothing but plain lies.Yash chose to keep quiet. There was no point in explaining or arguing with someone who had a rigid perspective about the entire narrative.When the car came to an abrupt stop, Riddhima skeptically eyed her surroundings. They were at a graveyard.“Why did you bring me here?” she enquired but Yash chose to ignore her question.He dragged her behind him, leading the way right inside the graveyard. This was such a spooky place that all Riddhima wanted to do was to turn back on her heels and run for her dear life.A strange looking man, the guard perhaps, guided them further inside carrying a torch in his hand.The guard stopped midway. “Here it is,” he pointed towards a tombstone.As soon as the torch light was thrown upon the tombstone, Riddhima’s face turned white.VANSH RAISINGHANIA
JAN 1988 – SEPTEMBER 2020She found the ground beneath her feet slip. Her breathing became uneven and she started gasping for air. This could not be real, this just could not be real.Her gait became unsteady and her impetuous, retreating steps made it even worse. She went tumbling down and landed straight on top of the grave.She caressed the engraved letters on the tombstone. Vansh….her beloved Vansh was no more. No matter how hard her heart tried to tell her that this was utter rubbish and that her Vansh was very much alive. But all proofs now lay openly in front of her.And then, she started crying. As wildly and as incoherently as ever. She cried so much that the soil covering the grave had become moistened.It was after ages that she had finally found her true love and had even begun to stay happy. But it had all ended on a poor note and everything was cruelly snatched from her.She was rendered lonely, once again.“Come let us go back home,” Yash told her softly.“What on earth is happening, Yash? How is this even possible?” Riddhima blubbered. “Trust me, I’m not lying. I really experienced all that. He was so real, all the moments between us were so real….”Yash flinched a little. He loved Riddhima. And the thought that she loved someone else hurt him. Perhaps, a dead man was more worthy of her love than him. But he was quick to hide his feelings.“I believe you Riddhima. We’ll talk about it once we get back home. Come on, get up.”He helped her stand up. Supporting her shoulders with both his hands, he escorted her back to the car.Riddhima turned around to look behind for the last time. A chilly wind began to blow bringing in his familiar scent of sandalwood.She could not understand what was happening to her. The more she was trying to think about it, her mind was getting more clouded. Was she going mad, or was it…..*
Hello everyone! I know you guys are probably going to throw slippers at me after this, lol. But I guess it had been made quite evident that not everything was as normal as Riddhima had expected it to be.So what do you think is the matter? *Do comment.

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