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Ishita Sinha

ALWAYS AND FOREVER

“Congratulations Tina!! You scored 98%. You are the topper of the school. We are proud of you my child.” Said Father D’Costa of St. Lawrence School.
“Thank you, Father.” Said Tina obliviously.
Tina had passed her class 12 exams and she was the topper of the school. Not only in school, she topped in her town as well. Everybody was praising her, but she was not happy. Something was bothering her. She was in tears.
Tina was a very lively, jovial and talkative girl who loved to play, sing on a high pitch, dance and do all the silly things which made her happy. She never bothered what others would say.
Rajiv was the only boy who appreciated her every silly activity. Rajiv Banerjee, Tina’s neighbor, was working for a private firm. Rajiv lived with his mother. His father passed away when he was in school. 
He saw his childhood in Tina. He used to help Tina with her studies. Rajiv’s mother also liked Tina because of her sweet nature. But Tina loved Rajiv in heart. She always looked for an excuse to see Rajiv. She had become the most trustworthy person for Rajiv as well. Rajiv used to share almost every secret of his life with her. He found a good friend in Tina though she was younger than Rajiv.  Tina always dreamt of spending the whole life with Rajiv. Though she was in her teenage but her love for Rajiv was calf love. 
Tina’s pre board exams were knocking at the door, she was very tensed as her preparations were not yet done. Rajiv helped her with her studies. Since she fared well in her pre board exam, Rajiv gave her a small treat. She was over the moon as she was out in a date with her dream man.
Time was moving very fast. Only one week was left for the board exam. Rajiv promised Tina thar if she scored above 90%, he would give her a big surprise. Tina was happy on hearing that. She decided she would confess her feelings for Rajiv on that day. Tina got busy with her studies as she had to score a very good marks to make Rajiv happy and she could express her love for him. 
It was the last day of her exam. Tina was very excited as she was going to meet Rajiv after a long one month. In the evening, Tine went to Rajiv’s home. Rajiv and his mother were happy to see Tina.
“Rajiv da, get ready with your surprise. 90% is a sure shot.” Shouted Tina happily.
“I knew it. Have some sweet beta. Rajiv bought rasmalai for you. These are your favorite na”. Said Rajiv’s mother happily.
Rajiv was quiet but the happiness was peeking through his eyes. They silently smiled looking into each other’s eyes. Next day was Holi. Rajiv’s mother invited Tina for lunch. 
Next morning, Tina woke up early and got ready to play holi. After applying gulal on every one’s face and feet, she mixed some vermilion into the gulal and went to Rajiv’s house to play holi with him. Unknowingly, Rajiv apply that gulal on Tina’s forehead. 
Tina closed her eyes in shame and spoke in her heart “I am your wife from now Rajiv da.”
That day was like a dream for Tina. Next morning Rajiv called Tina over phone. 
“Hello, Tina.. Can we meet in the evening around 5’O clock? I’ve to say you something. Its urgent.”
“Sure, Rajiv da, where do you want to meet just tell me and I’ll be there.”
“Retro Café will be fine, near Star Cinema.” 
“Ok, done. I’ll be there.” 
“Bye Tina.. See you”.
“Bye Rajiv da.” Tina kissed the receiver.
Tina’s mother asked her “why are you so happy beta?? What happened??”
“Nothing mom, Rajiv da is going to give me wonderful treat. That’s why he called me.” 
“Ok you can go.” Tina’s mother liked Rajiv as well. He always showed respect to every elderly person of the locality and was an ideal boy.
It was 4’O clock. Tina’s room was vibrating with loud music. She was getting ready to meet Rajiv. She herself was singing loudly “Nothings gonna change my love for you”.
Tina’s mother scolded her and said “what are you doing? Are you gone mad? Lower the volume right now. You are going with Rajiv da, not your boyfriend.”
“Not boyfriend mom, he is your son-in-law.” Murmured Tina and smiled.
It was 4.45PM. Tina was waiting at the Café. She saw Rajiv standing the other side of the road. Both of them waved their hand. Rajiv was coming towards the café and suddenly a car coming from the opposite direction hit Rajiv. People gathered around to see what had happened. Everything happened in front of Tina’s eyes. She stood idol. Someone from the crowd called the ambulance. Rajiv was taken to the hospital, but it was all over. Rajiv was no more. She couldn’t believe this bitter truth. Everything was moving in front of her eyes again and again. Previous day she wore vermilion by Rajiv and the next day she lost the love of her life in front of her eyes and she couldn’t do anything. 
From that day onward Tina forgot to laugh, play, sing even talk. Her life was turned upside down. She kept her promise given by Rajiv. She scored the highest marks, but Rajiv was not there to celebrate her victory.
It has been eight years. Tina is now the HR of a multinational company. she also takes care of Rajiv’s paralyzed mother as her daughter-in-law. She dedicated her life for Rajiv without letting anybody know anything. 


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