‘Randi, Randi, Randikida’ I know that voice.
I woke up, I found Nilukshi staring at me. I was on a hospital bed.
‘Hi’ I said in raspy voice.
‘Hey, Randi’ we were waiting for you to wake up.
‘Jerome?’ I asked.
‘He’s fine’ she said.
I was moved from I.S.U to normal ward that evening. I got two gunshot wounds both to my back thigh. They were not mortal wounds, but I lost consciousness soon after. Doctors were unable to wake me up all this time.
‘You didn’t want to wake-up it seems’ Nilukshi said.
A doctor came and checked my vitals and adjusted saline intake. He said I should be able to go home tomorrow. Nilukshi was on the phone since I woke-up. There were some police guys outside my room.
‘What was that about’ I asked.
‘They are waiting to speak with you about the shooting’ she said.
Hashini came soon after and she hugged me so tight that I couldn’t breathe for a while.
‘I thought we lost you. You don’t ever do that to me again’ she was angry.
‘I am going to lock that bastard inside prison for rest of his life’ she continued. I knew who she was talking about.
‘Hash, this is not the time to talk about those things. Randi just woke-up and he needs rest. Doctor said he can go home tomorrow’ Nilukshi said.
I heard that Jerome was got shot in his abdomen area. But he didn’t lose consciousness and was discharged few days after the shootings. That evening police came and asked if I can talk with them. I nodded. I shared details about the final moment as much I could remember.
‘Whoever, did this to you obviously didn’t want you to get killed’ said the policeman.
‘Do you suspect anyone’ he asked me again.
‘No’ I said.
‘He is lying. This is all Danushka’s work. That lunatic in his office’ Hashini interrupted.
‘Madam, right now we are taking notes from Randika. You will have your time soon’ the inspector told her.
We came home the other day. It was like a party time. I had to use stretches for few days until I regain strength to walk. After everyone went home, Hashini sat down with me.
‘I know what happened between you and Danushka. Were you out of you mind when you fall in love with that guy? What was wrong with Jerome that you couldn’t be with him? She asked.
I have asked the same question million times before. I dint say anything.
‘Where is Jerome now’ I asked.
‘He is leaving country next week. They had to rebook his flight. After the shooting, his father came to see me. He said its better you and Jerome not see each other again. He was afraid for his son’s life and I couldn’t blame him for that. I would have done the same thing.’ She said.
‘I see’ I said.
‘I have hired the best lawyer in the country to take this matter. He got good contacts with police and they are gathering evidence to prosecute Danushka’ she said.
‘So you have already decided who was responsible for this?’ I said.
‘Yes, I am. He must have got upset because you broke up with’ she said.
‘How do you know all that?’ I was amused.
‘I spoke to Jerome when he was in the hospital. He told me everything. He love you much Randi and you were stupid to disregard him’ she said.
‘But the police said that the shooter had no intention of killing me. So why go after Danushka then? Let him be. He has a family and little boy. Don’t destroy that. I beg you.’ I said to her. I told her about Sarojini’s visit on the other day.
She left without saying anything. So he is leaving next week for sure, I told myself. After few days I was able to walk again. Asitha and Shamalie came to see me in the meantime. I asked Shamilaie if she is going to see Jerome before he leaves country.
‘Can you tell him that I am so sorry for what happened’ I asked her.
‘Sure I will. But I am sure he don’t mind any of these’ she said.
So the day came. I saw Jerome and his family leaving for the Airport. I was watching it behind the window so they couldn’t see me. Jerome was on the corner seat and as the vehicle passed our house, I saw him frantically looking for me. I didn’t want to get in his way this time. He will have a better life over there. After they left for the airport, I said to Hashini that I need to go to Galle-face green. First she refused and when I insisted she ask me to go with Nilukshi. I agreed. It was Wednesday but still it was crowded. I found our usual spot and Hemantha. Nilukshi went for a walk and I sat down on the bench. Hemantha saw me coming but he was busy with customers. Music was playing from his stereo and its always old songs he played. I called them dead songs. Once I asked why he plays old songs. He said everyone else here play trendy new music and playing old songs he gets more attention. Make sense, I thought. When he was about to talk to me, a pretty girl came to him.
Give me Rs. 100 kadala?’
She was arguing with someone on the phone while taking kadala packet. She was clearly agitated for some reason. Hemantha on the other hand was looking at her phone, a latest one from Samsung. It was nice phone. As she passed me, she inserted the phone to her hand-bag in a hurry. But the phone missed the outer pocket and landed on grass. Thinking her phone is safe and secure she disappeared into thick crowed.
Before I could think anything, Hemantha was on the phone. He took the phone with him and looked at me.
‘Can you look after my cart, I will be back soon when I found the girl’ he said.
After a while he came back.
‘So did you find her’ I asked.
‘Yes, I did’ he said.
‘Where is your friend today?’ he asked.
‘He is not coming back again’ I said.
Hemantha looked at me for a while and figured what happened. He serviced me a hot kadala packet. Jerome’s flight is at 7pm.I looked at the watch. He must be on board now. I saw Hemantha smiling at someone behind me. I was in no mood to look behind.
‘You shouldn’t be here alone’ I knew that voice. The voice I thought I would never hear.
‘Jerome’ I screamed. He was standing right behind me, for real.
‘You didn’t leave?’ I asked.
‘I will never leave you Randi. I cannot leave you. Forever’ he kissed me.
I heard an old song playing at Hemantha’s stereo.
නිම් හිම් සෙව්වා මා සසරේ
හමුවී, යුගයෙන් බැඳි යුගයේ
ලංවී වෙන්වී වරින් වරේ…
ඔබ හා මා රන් හුයකිනි බඳුනේ
ඉර හඳ සේ මා, පැතුමන් පැතුවා
සැනසුම් සයුරේ සුසුමන් හෙළුවා
අතරින් පතරේ වියැකීලා
සටනින්, අද මා දිනුවා….
(Sung by: Pandith Amaradewa)
Next: Part 15
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