Amidst Sandcastles - Chapter Two (Contd.)

Sana Rose By Sana Rose, 28th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

The blue eyes were unmistakable. And the dark wavy hair as usual. Ruffled. He looked the same, except that he looked more mature and worked out now. And handsome.
She had been continually seeing him in dreams nowadays. But she hadn’t dreamt that their meeting after ten years would be in a...

Chapter Two - Section 2

Selena sighed in relief when she saw that the young mother was stabilized at last. The nurses took the baby away to be cleaned. She knew she had saved two lives today. The mother’s and the baby’s. She headed to the dressing room adjacent to the Operation Theater.
The room looked unusually empty as she entered and went to her locker to discard the used scrubs and wear her white coat. Definitely, that was the only thing she had planned to do now. Then she would go to her office and take a few minutes off. She was exhausted.
As soon as she entered, someone stepped in behind her and locked the door. In surprise, Selena turned around. Only to be shocked. She was rooted to the floor. She couldn’t move a limb.
The blue eyes were unmistakable. And the dark wavy hair as usual. Ruffled. He looked the same, except that he looked more mature and worked out now. And handsome.
She had been continually seeing him in dreams nowadays. But she hadn’t dreamt that their meeting after ten years would be in a dressing room at the hospital she worked in. She tried to stay composed. But her hands trembled. And she felt her knees would give away any moment. She held onto the handle of the cupboard next to her. Her heart was throbbing madly. Why does it do that, God?!
Noah wasn’t any less nervous. This was not as easy as he thought! Ten years! God, what did I think when I entered this darned dressing room? That she would race into my arms and say, “Honey, I missed you…”?
Selena stared at Noah’s face, the face she had never forgotten… the face she had loved so much. What could possibly be said at this moment? Now that she saw him again, the whole pain seemed to creep back into her heart. It felt fresh. It hurt. More annoyingly, it showed on her face. Noah wanted to close the distance between them and hold her. And tell her he was sorry. Sorry. It would never be enough.
Selena still looked beautiful, young and vibrant. Her hazel eyes were still the same, only that there were slight crow’s legs at the corners of her eyes as she narrowed them to bear looking at him. She had grown a little full and had an appealing mature air around her. She was a full woman who knew to live life to the full.

Noah let out a sigh. He knew if one of them didn’t start talking, both of them would stay right there rooted to their places for the rest of the day.
“Hi,” he said nervously. Do you know that I still love you? “I know it’s not the way to start after ten years, but I know that nothing would be enough, too.”
Selena tried to control her breath and heart beat.
“What brings you here?” She asked at last. Even as she asked it, she saw that the answer was clearly written in his eyes. But for some mad reason, she wanted to hear it. She felt a little afraid, desperately wishing he couldn’t see how vulnerable she felt now.
He didn’t seem to be going to answer that question for a moment, and then he spoke.
“You,” he said emphatically. “I’ve been in town for two days now. I’m staying at Jean and Zinnia’s.” He felt better now, now that he had started.
“For how long?” Selena drew her breath in and put a hand over her lips. She had asked it as if everything was fine between them as it had been ten years back. There was no point in asking how he came to know that she was here in Vasco. She had been in touch with Jean and Zinnia always. Zinnia was Aunt Zinny to the girls. They went out when they got together. And Jean always stood like a Guardian Angel to them. It should have been you, Noah, their Guardian Angel. Suddenly she wanted to accuse him of leaving her alone to fight with life. Having been there for everything, then suddenly he had left.
“As long as you want, Leno,” Noah said and he knew what was coming. But it had felt so natural to call her the name only her close friends called her, even after all these years.
Selena couldn’t in the world understand how he could still call her that. After ten years of absence, he suddenly pops up and calls her “Leno”, as if they had just been together the other night, dining at the Gourmet’s Choice, Yours, Too, which had been their favorite restaurant in the beach. But then it still sounded so natural.
Suddenly she felt bold as she remembered what he had done to her. She turned away and shed down her scrubs as Noah watched wishing for a mad moment he could strip off the rest of her dress, too. Where the hell had he been all these years, when he should have been married to her, living with her, making love and making babies…? Their babies… three of them, as they had planned every night…for four years? Everything seemed so far. Selena seemed far. It was obvious she wouldn’t let him near her.
“Then I think you can catch the noon train if you run home and start packing now,” Selena snapped as she turned to her locker and fished out a clean white coat from it.
“I - I didn’t come by train,” Noah said before he could stop himself. Then he bit his tongue. It didn’t matter how he came. He came, that’s what should matter!
Selena raised her brows. He hadn’t changed a bit. He joked innocently. Except that he wasn’t with her anymore. Noah wondered if he saw a flicker of amused smile across her face, but it was negligible. But he couldn’t neglect anything now. Everything mattered.
“I have to go to my office now, Dr. Sehnor. My patients are waiting for me since I went for the C-Section. And I have work till the next C-Section or Delivery.”
As if C-Section and taking delivery was her hobby! Noah smiled at her attitude.
“When did you get your M.D.?” Noah asked walking toward her.
Selena inched back a little.
“I wrote the test, and made it as soon as I got over with internship.” She bit a lip. “Soon, I had to settle, you know. Like, I wasn’t married to an earning man and I had the two girls to take care of…” She shrugged and crossed her arms over her bosom. “I have to go now.”
“Wait,” Noah stood in the way. “Don’t you have anything to ask me after all these years?” Oh, damn! You didn’t need that!
“Apparently, no.” Selena shrugged. “I had a lot to ask you during these years. Not after. It isn’t going to make any difference.”
“What if it is?” He looked at her wistfully, taking the chance. Either she would scream at him or she would kill him there. The chances were at draw, her eyes said. Noah had a doubt whether he was actually enjoying this adventurous dressing-room rendezvous. And there it was.
She chose to scream at him.
“Damn it, Dr. Sehnor!” Selena snapped rushing past him to the door. “I don’t want anymore difference! I’m happy with my girls. They have a mother only for themselves. Life’s good. It couldn’t be better!” She gave him a contemptuous glare before she turned away.
Noah stared at her as she brushed past him, slid the lock out of place and exited the dressing room. The first attempt had turned out to be a failure. This wasn’t a movie for things to be all right overnight, Noah, he thought desperately. And he followed her out.
He thought of following her to her office. But then he decided against that. He slowly made his way downstairs and out of the hospital. He would stay as long as he won her back. It was a long shot, he knew, but worth it. But he felt at last that he had a mission worth living for.
As he walked out, he brushed against a young man in white coat and he turned around. Their eyes met, for a moment and both of them broke into a grin. At least, this was a pleasant surprise!
“Hey, you, Noah Sehnor, you still alive?!” The young doctor held out a hand.
Noah took Eric Reeve’s hand as so much of college days flooded his memories.
“Old buddy…” Noah smiled as a tinge of tear shone in his eyes. “I think I ran away from everything that year. I’m so sorry…”
“Where have you been?” Eric asked pulling Noah close to him. “All these years?” He led Noah to a corner out of the crowd.
“All over,” Noah replied. He hadn’t said that to anyone since he returned. “I have been to Europe, America, Australia and the Middle East. And always on and off Mumbai. Came home to Goa a year back when my dad was hospitalized.”
“What happened?” Eric frowned in concern. He had met Theodore Sehnor when he and Noah were students in the Goa Medical College.
Noah’s father came every day to pick him from college after classes and they would ride off to a cafe at some place near and talk about the day over the coffee and snack. Until Noah met Selena Rosche when they were in third year. Eric knew it all.
Eric suddenly remembered about Noah and Selena. But he had never understood why they had broken up of all the things in the world. They had been so perfect together. And many boys envied Noah and many girls envied Selena though everyone loved them together.
“He had a stroke when I was in Glasgow,” Noah replied. “And I came back to take care of him.”
“I see…” Then a silence hung between the two old friends. “May I ask you why we met here of all the places in the world?” Eric asked in confusion.
Noah shrugged and glanced at his watch with a boyish grin. “May be because both you and I happened to be walking through the front lobby of this hospital at the same time. Why else?”
Eric patted Noah’s shoulder. “You take care of yourself. You always got a joke around the corner. I can accept it. Some could be frightened, you know.” Eric looked serious. “Jokes like popping up from somewhere after ten years, you know.”
“You’re telling me,” Noah ran his fingers through his hair in a feeling of loss. “You’re telling me my Leno is here.”
“I thought you saw her already,” Eric said. “I don’t know how you’d manage to do that. I used to ask her whether you called, every now and then. She would just shrug and run away. Eventually, I stopped asking…” He let his voice trail off.
“I saw her a few minutes before,” Noah replied. “I want her back.”
“Now I see why you’re here,” Eric smiled ruefully. “Isn’t it going to be some hard work, mate?”
Noah nodded. “When I left here ten years back, I had an M.D. in Pediatrics, but that’s all I had.” Noah sighed. “I regret what I did. I have been thinking of returning for quite some years, but I just couldn’t. But then after Dad was in hospital and I was back home, where I used to be, I couldn’t resist remembering everything.”
“I bet you couldn’t,” Eric said. “That’s home.”
“It’s more than that, Ricky,” Noah at last felt at ease after ten years. “Dad’s condition made me realize time was precious. Time was less. If I ever meant to make amends, I had to do it now.”
“So you got the courage nevertheless.” Eric held Noah’s shoulders and gazed into his eyes. “There’s something strange and funny, but still a joy when I think of you, Noah.” He smiled. “I never realized you were my best friend all through the years until you left and I started missing you. We were almost always together. And I thought we would be. Now I think we could still be, right?” He sighed. “I have been waiting for this moment for long. With this frigging question in my mind… Why the hell didn’t you ever call?!”
“Shh… Rick,” Noah hushed him. “You are attracting attention.”
“Oh, buddy, c’mon,” Eric laughed. “This place knows that I’m a bit crazy almost always. I’m in the Geriatric Department.”
“Oh…” Noah nodded at the sheer joke of it. “I get the point…” He glanced around and smiled at an old lady who passed by beaming at him approvingly. “How did you learn to deal with them? I mean, you never got along with your Grandpa.”
“That was exactly the challenge,” Eric grinned. “I told him I would make all the old guys smarter than him.”
Noah laughed and at the same time felt sad at how much fun he had missed over the years. And how much he had missed the company of his old friends. It was simply rejuvenating after so much time as this.
“I missed you, Rick,” he said giving Eric a quick hug.
“Me, too.” Then Eric’s pager went off. “Damn, some old guy needs me now.” He looked at Noah his face suddenly a doctor’s. “We’ll get together. I enjoyed this bit of talk and looking back, pal. I’ll call you.” Eric winked and turned to go. Then he turned back and pointed at Noah. “It’s not too late, you know. There’s chance till we succeed, time till we die and don’t forget our favorite – confidence till we fail…” He winked again – a double wink.
Noah smiled at Eric – the first real smile he had smiled since he saw his Dad a year back. It was good to be back again, whatever the situations were. He felt it rise – his spirit. And he realized how happy he was that he had come here to see Selena, though that ended up berserk. He had a nice time with Eric – someone who knew him still.

Selena took her seat in her consulting office and hit the alert bell on her table. The next patient in the Outpatient Section had been waiting outside for a considerable time. She had been called for the C-Section just when the next patient was entering her consulting room. She must have been damn disappointed. This happened on a daily basis for more than one patient. But they were prepared to wait for her anyway.
Instead of the next patient, the receptionist in the department came bustling in with a frown on her eyebrows.
“What’s up?” Selena looked up. “Did the woman leave?”
“No, Dr. Rosche,” Miss Liston said. “But I came to tell about the man in the waiting room. He insists he wanted to see you as soon as you got back.”
“See me?” Selena frowned. What is Noah Sehnor thinking? I don’t have a damn to give him! She would give him some real talk. She was feeling edgy as she looked up at Miss Liston standing before her desk. “Let him in.”
She was prepared to encounter Noah again and tell him off. He couldn’t stalk her. And disturb the equilibrium of the life she and her girls had now. But she wasn’t really ready to meet Dr. Vincent Gomer again. And when he entered the room with a familiar dignity, she automatically rose from her seat as she used to do years back.
“Good morning, Selena,” he said soberly. “I didn’t come to interrupt your work; I know what it’s like. But, I want to ask this of you.”
Selena looked up at him, uncertainty and fear reflecting in her eyes. She was silent.
He planted his hands on the edge of the desk.
“I want to see them personally, know them. I don’t ask, alone. Just around you. You introduce me to them. In any way you prefer. If I don’t give that chance, I know I’ll never know them. Please...Something to remember when I die…”
Selena looked at the man whom she had respected so much and then hated and discarded to the darkest place in her mind.
“I have to think about it, Dr. Gomer,” she replied trying to sound bold. “How can I trust you?” It was a blunt question.
That hit. That hurt. Vincent Gomer looked at her beseechingly. “I can see how happy they are with you, and that’s all that matters in the end. But trust me… for once.”
Selena shook her head and pursed her lips nervously.
“No, No – you don’t understand.” She buttoned her white coat. “I mean, how can I trust you that you won’t tell them?”
That. “Some day they will find it, whether I tell them or not,” Vincent Gomer paced the small consulting room. “I won’t, because I’ll always be a stranger to them basically. You are their mother. You’ll reach a time when they pry it out of you.”
“They have started prying it out already,” she replied wishing he had never returned. “But they are at an age so keen at prying out truths and failing to understand them.” She held her breath. “You should know that. They are too young to understand, but too old to hide things from. Yesterday morning you came there and they have already smelled out something is amiss. I can’t pretend everything is very fine when it’s not.”
“It’s okay, I won’t destroy things for any more people,” Gomer said. “I’m still paying for what I did. I’m sorry.” He turned to leave, and then stopped in his tracks. “More than just sorry.”
Then he left.

(To Be Continued...)

Chapter Two - Part 1
Chapter One
Introduction to Amidst Sandcastles

Coming up in a few days: Chapter Three!


Amidst Sandcastles, Chapter Two, Continued, Novel, Sana Rose, Two

Meet the author

author avatar Sana Rose
A medical student with a love story with the pen since I was thirteen. Published poet at 22 and has completed a second collection and my first novel. Visit me at:

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author avatar Buzz
29th Aug 2011 (#)

Looking forward to reading the 3rd instalment, Sana, and see how the story unfolds. You're very creative.

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author avatar Sana Rose
29th Aug 2011 (#)

Thank you Buzz.. :) glad to have a reader here!

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author avatar Songbird B
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

Sorry Sana, have only just returned to Wikinut after a little time out. This is a great plot. Always worth watching your editing, as I found this is when I wrote my fictional story,'End Of The Line'..Once you have written a page, leave it for a few days, and then come back to it with fresh eyes. You'll be amazed at the difference that can make. Strong storyline, good emotional interaction between characters...You have definitely got something here my friend..Keep writing..

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author avatar Sana Rose
3rd Sep 2011 (#)

The 2nd chapter is very long, so I split it to two pages for the sake of readers. Both got published the same day. :)
And yes, your idea is definitely right. :) I come back and go through and through the eyes of a reader and read at random.. :) Gives me much confidence.
Thank you very much, Songbird! I am very happy to hear from an elder writer about my writing!

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