Beaten to a pulp, he's hardly breathing. A bleeding nose, broken rib and bruises waiting to show. He lay there with a smile on his face.

2 weeks ago

"Remember Rohit from School?"

"Yeah, the nerdy one with the glasses?"

"Ran into him today. Still looks just as wimpy. The guy's a vacuum of personality."

"Yeah. What'd he say?"

"Nothing. He was being a dick. Seemed shocked to see me, then glared at me and bolted."

"Weirdo"

1 Week Ago

"Remember Rohit from school?"

"Um. Yeah. I told you I saw him, right?"

"Yeah. So, I looked him up. Tried to anyway. He's a fucking ghost. No trace on social media, no way to find him online."

"OK. You care because?"

"Nothing. Just seemed a bit odd."

"It does" He said, just so the conversation would end. "Coffee?"

"Hmm"

This Day

"OK, so, Rohit -"

"Fuck You. What's your obsession with this guy? Been weeks now."

"Funny, back in high school, you were the one obsessed with him." "Dafak. No homo, bruh"

"Shut up, man"

"What's your problem, fucker? What's gotten into you?"

"OK, look. You might wanna sit down for this"

A rare moment of silence for him, quietly taking a seat at the tapri.
"So?" he said irritably.

"So, what do you remember of him?"

"Can we do away with the riddles?"

"Just.. OK?"

"Fine" Clearly annoyed now. "He was the wimpy kid everyone used to make fun of. The teachers didn't like him, the chicks certainly didn't like him. I wasn't fond of him either"

"Why?"

"I don't know. He was asking for it. Have you seen his face? Heard the way he talked? He wasn't good at anything, was he? Not sports, not studies. I remember he doodled, but that wasn't good either" pausing between his mini rant.

"You remember breaking his glasses?" He interrupted the pause.

"I didn't mean to"

"Really?"

"He was hitting on my girlfriend. So I taught him a lesson. I was aiming for the face, the glasses got in the way" Now a little too near his limit.

"Alright. If you're not gonna admit it, then I'll spell it out for you"

Now confused

"You used to make fun of him at every opportunity you got. Insulted and embarrassed him, just because he went near the chick you dated for a month. You took the notebook in which he drew, and showed it to the entire class, you moron. You bullied him"

"And you were just a silent spectator to this? It was all good fun for everyone, God's sake. What're you getting at here?"

A deep breath before telling him what he had bottled up for hours now

"He's been in therapy for years. Tried killing himself twice around high school"

"What?"

"We fucked him up, man"

"He was already fucked up to begin with"

"For fuck sake, Jai! It doesn't matter how fucked up he was when we met him, he's more fucked thanks to us!"

No response from a stunned Jai.

"He tried killing himself again after years. Ate a shit load of sleeping pills. Two weeks ago"

Jai couldn't move. He always prided himself to be a good person. Everyone liked him. He made people laugh, right? He's a good person, right?

"Because of me?" He squealed out.

"He came back in town for Rashi's wedding. She had to beg him to come. I met her in the morning. Now that's two people in the family we've fucked up"

An Hour Later.

At The Hospital

"Rashi"

She looked up from her lap, sitting in the eerily quiet waiting room of the hospital.
The look of concern on her face quickly replaced with rage.

-Slap-

He felt the marks of her palm on his cheek. He tried looking into her eyes, but couldn't lift his head out of the shame he felt.

-Slap- -Slap- -Slap-

"You did this to him!" She raged out. "You bastard! You did this to him!"

He wanted to speak to apologise, to beg for forgiveness, but he couldn't move anymore. He just stood there in shame. Drinking in all the shocked looks and glares from others in the waiting room.

"He was all I had, Jai. All I had"

Had?

"Had?" he pushed out.

"He's in a coma" her voice calming down now. "They say he won't make it" she broke down crying. As he stood there motionless.

The Street

Stumbling down the street, he had been walking for hours now. As if trying to punish himself. Not a word by him since he left the hospital.

He heard a weak scream jolting him back to reality. A group of men trying to have their way with a young girl.

"AYE!" He yelled and ran towards them.

Now

Beaten to a pulp, he's hardly breathing. A bleeding nose, broken rib and bruises waiting to show.

The girl got away

For a second he felt like he redeemed himself.

He lay there with a smile on his face.

Everything faded to black in seconds.

???

As much as he wanted this to be his last time seeing the darkness, he found himself on a hospital bed with stuff strapped on to him. His friend asleep on the chair beside him.

"Zaan" he said with a weak voice. He woke up. The look of relief and the tears that made their way out in record time told a story in itself.

Before Jai could speak, Zaan hugged him, relieved that his friend was conscious.

"Where am I?"

"You've been unconscious for a couple of days now. They found you next to a dumpster near by. You wouldn't have made it if some chick hadn't called the police"

He recalled the last few things that had happened before he went down.

"How's Rohit?"

Zaan held his hand. "He's curious"

Jai took a sigh of relief, followed by an "ow" of pain because his ribs hurt.

"Careful" Zaan said "He is a bit of a dick, you know. He actually smiled when he learned of your condition"

"He gets to, Zaan" Jai said "If anyone gets to, he does"