meena iyer


"I want to reach the stars", said a wee little girl of 10. With pig tails and ribbons, a frock with floral print. She was sitting on the park bench making sure that her clothes didn't get dirty. With her was a girl who can be at best called a grubby. Sara...., with one side of the hair open and other held loosely with a rubber band that was about to fall off. Ribbons already lost. She was sitting in the ground playing with the grass.

"I really do. I wanna be on the top" said Rhea.

"But what will you do when you reach there?" Sara asked.
"Enjoy!"
"But can't you do that right now? Why do you need to reach the stars for that?"

Exasperatedly, Rhea left. Sara, who understood everything about her. Her best friend. Somehow couldn't understand this drive in her. They were neighbors since birth and friends since they were 2. They took their first step together. Went to the same school and yet somehow they were as different as chalk and cheese. That dint stop their friendship from growing..

Rhea wished though, that someone understood her ambition. No one did, neither her parents nor Sara.


They were sitting in the park commiserating her loss. A race. Both had participated. Both lost. They could have won but lost, thats the saddest part of it.
Sara knew how much winning meant to Rhea. She wantonly fell down so that Rhea could over come her. And it worked. Only Rhea fell just before the finish line. The whole stadium gave her standing ovation, and yet.. it was not enough for Rhea. How Sara wished Rhea could let go..

The honk from the back reminded Sara of where she was.. in front of the park.. soon she moved her car in the side letting the other car go.. She was thinking of Rhea. Her childhood best friend. She wished they could be friends now. Rhea still lived with her family , she had married few years back, near her house. She was an assistant D.A in this area. not the future she had envisioned, but she was a lawyer to be reckoned with.

Nothing ever came easy to her ever. Sara understood her ambition but had nothing to help her with. She let go all her opportunities that Rhea could win, but she never did.. like that race.. Sara had gone from stars to stars.. if one can say so.. One of the lawyers from the topmost firm, a dashing beau straight from the hunk magazine.. literally. Roger was a model turned lawyer. Modelling was a means of paying the bills but that made him darling of the press and so.. her too.. She had everything Rhea wished for..promising career and run of the mill romance..

And the irony was Rhea had everything that she wished for... No.. she won't go there.. it was just too hard to think.. she was not yet ready to deal with her loss.. So Sara started her car towards home... Wishing she could make amends with Rhea....

*************
"That Damn bitch is coming here.. to tout her success! I can't stand it" Rhea muttered.

"Stop it honey! you have been raving about it since you heard about it .. its been a week.. atleast dont think of it while we are you know.. " he said as he nuzzled her ears.

She forgot all about it in the willing hand of Peter.. her husband.. The only thing she thanked about in all her life... his wry humor, his acceptance of her ambition.. and infact the same fire burnt in him.. made him more desireable. He knew Sara. Wasn't really friends with her ofcourse.. but they were in college together.. come to think of it.. she didn't know him in college too... he was a recluse..

" What do you know how it galls me! I am as good as her.. and yet why does god does this to me" she continued in morning as she buttered his toast. As if they never took a break while conversing..

"Come on. You wouldn't have met me.. you know.. if you got them fancy job.. besides you wouldnt have time for kids.." he said good humoredly

"Bull crap! I could have still made it big and taken care of our kids... "

"You cannot. Why do you think I plied you with 2 pregnancy as soon as we got married. I know how to keep you with me" he whispered in her ears as he got ready for their goodbye kiss. He left early. She followed after she left the kids school. he came early from work and picked the kids from school.

He was working as an solicitor for top investment firm. He was on his way to become a top notch corporate lawyer. Playing high balled poker.. in his words.. was his forte .

"You asshole" she said with frustration but his impish smile told her he was joking.
"Honey, don't think too much. You are one the way of becoming youngest D.A, soon you can get into politics."

She was warmed. Somehow she knew she can even do that, as long as he was with her. She thanked her stars again. Today evening she decided to visit Sara. Be done with it. Then she can forget that Sara ever existed.
*********
It was a strained meeting, to put it mildly. Both didn't know what to tell. It was just too hard.

To break the silence Rhea asked, " So how long do you plan to stay ?"

"I have not decided yet."

"How did they let their hotshot lawyer leave in such a bisy season", she couldn't let her frustration seep through.
" They didn't have a choice. I quit" Sara said quietly.
"You what ???? How can..." She was about to get into her usual mode. but she saw the unshed tears in her eyes and stopped.

"I think ?I should let you rest now. You must be tired." Rhea said gently.

Patience. it was a new trait in Rhea. Sara saw that Rhea had changed. A lot. For better.. Marriage becomed her. and she said as much to her..

"Peter would love that" rhea said laughingly. " Actually.. he becomes me." she radiantly continued...

A sharp rage of envy shafted through Sara. She wondered .. is that what Rhea faced all her life?

Few days passed. They next met at the super market. Or rather Rhea saw Sara staring at nothingness. Concernedly she approached her. She could see the tears streaming through her eyes. Rhea wanted to comfort Sara. However, she was afraid to approach into her private grief somehow. But she had no choice..

Sara fainted then and there. Rhea took her home.. over a cuo of hot chocolate they started talking...

" You have to take care of yourself. You are anemic. Dont you get time to eat or what ? What about you hotshot guy.. has no time for you ? "

Sara didn't know what to say. Its been ages anyone dared to talk down to her.. even her parents were quiet behind polite silence.... And Roger.. well he was sweet and concerned. He tried to be there... but she needed a woman not a man by her side.. and she realized she had no friends to turn to.. no one after Rhea... She had spoiled her for friends.. for she never needed anyone else...

Looking at her pensive profile Rhea felt like an idiot. She said," I am sorry, it was very presemptous of me.. not for what I said.. but for the way I said.. .." She kept quiet when she received no response.

Some moments passed by.. Sara said, "I liked it rhi.. no one ever does that anymore..." softly...

They looked into each other for sometime.. as tears streamed down their eyes... all the guilt.. the anger .. seeped out.. Sara ran away.. Rhea didn't stop her..

That night, long after Peter slept.. Rhea stayed awake.. looking into past.. and thinking about Sara.. it seemed stupid to keep the grudge about something that wasn't her fault.. besides she was hurting.. She decided to talk to her ..


The next time came soon enough... at her mom's house. Sara had come with her family.. but Roger was pointstakingly absent. No one commented ofcourse...

Rhea invited Sara for shopping that weekend. She said she had to do it.. Peter was busy and well handling kids was not one person's job.. and well if Sara was free... she didn't realize how she was hurting Sara.. until she ran off... Rhea followed her to her room and hugged crying Sara..

Between sobs the whole story tumbled out.. Sara's lost child.. the pain...... everything...

After a long time Sara said.. " Funny isnt it ? You got all I ever wanted and I all you ever wanted and yet you are happy in your life and I am not ?"

Rhea had nothing to say. She just hugged her.

"I hope we can be friends now Sara. There was never anyone else.. you were too good a friend and others paled in comparison"

"I hope so too. I never had anyone else either" Sara smiled.

That night, Rhea went out for a walk through the park.. at the same spot as Sara remembering the same memory.... of reaching for the sky.. She realized that up in the top.. its a lonely ride.. and she was happy with her nest.. a loving husband beautiful kids and a satisfying career.. For the first time she felt lucky.. She hugged herself and whispered Thank you god! for everything!

****************

As days passed by, Sara started to heal. Especially, under Rhea's care. There was so much to share so much love cooped up. She discovered Peter and liked his humor and his love for Rhea shone in his eyes.. If she was wistful.. there was even hope that it could still be hers..

And then when Roger phoned her after a month to ask her how she was.. She was more than willing to talk.. to meet him...

Soon enough they were laughing together.. and these two pairs started hanging around...

Sara had decided to start up her own firm.. nothing high profile.. but her reputation preceded her and she soon had a thriving practice.. soon enough Roger joined it .. it soon became a family business when they tied the knot together....

The icing in the cake was when Rhea became The D.A for their town...

It was not long for Rhea's youngest and Sara's first to play in the same park as their mom.. while the satisfied mothers talking into the night.. the tales never ended :-)
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5 Responses
  1. Reflections Says:

    Very well embellished. enjoyed it very much tho I have a doubt. I dont undertsand why it is Sara who needs time to heal coz all the while it was she who took a back seat in everything for Rhea.


  2. Reflections Says:

    And the nominations are....


  3. :)

    Ah coz she lost a child

    Its like i lost interest in the end.. happens with me all the time *sigh*


  4. Neeru Says:

    Exactly what I thought. You've lost interest towards the end. It lacked some feeling in the end, but the entire story, as a whole, was truly a good piece of work. I'd add this to the list with all your other best works! :)