Till the Last Breath . . .

Till the Last Breath . . . by Durjoy Datta

Book: Till the Last Breath . . . by Durjoy Datta Read Free Book Online
Authors: Durjoy Datta
and smoked.
    ‘You will be fine. Your insides are a cocktail of a million things that you have ingested over the years and it will take us time to find out what’s wrong with you,’ Zarah explained. ‘Can we go back in, please? We have to run a few tests.’
    ‘Tests again?’
    ‘Yes, we have to check for tumours,’ she said. She felt sorry for him. The first man she didn’t imagine or want dead.
    ‘Is there anything I
don’t
have?’ he asked.
    ‘We suspect the steroids you took could have caused the tumours in your kidneys and liver. Studies have shown it is a delayed side effect. We believe excessive drinking made it worse and that’s what’s taking you down.’
    ‘I never told you that I took steroids,’ he said and smirked at the perfect smoke ring he had just blown. The rolled-up joint burnt to its end and he threw it on the ground.
    ‘Arman knew.’
    ‘He knew? How?’
    ‘He looked at you and he could tell you had been a sports guy or a gym guy during some part of your life. He inferred that since you were a rash, irresponsible and impatient guy, you would take steroids to grow bigger or get stronger faster.’
    ‘Such a bastard,’ he muttered. Zarah saw a brief smile on his face.
    ‘Is he wrong?’
    He shook his head and lit another one. Zarah snatched it from him and threw it away. ‘Enough,’ she said.
    ‘But he could have been wrong,’ he grumbled and got up. They started to walk towards the hospital entrance.
    ‘He confirmed it. He talked to Kajal.’
    She saw the blood drain from Dushyant’s face. Whatever was left of it. He looked at her shocked, violated.
    ‘Why? That fucker!’
    ‘We took your medical history and you never told us anything about steroids. Had you told us, he wouldn’t have talked to her,’ she responded.
    Dushyant’s discomfort was apparent. Zarah wanted to ask him about Kajal but she didn’t want to poke around. They got into the lift and walked in silence to his room. His hands brushed against her a few times, but she didn’t panic. No sweating. No freaking out. No horrifying images in her head.
    ‘Next time you need a smoke, call me. Don’t do the disappearing act again,’ she said.
    ‘I will try not to,’ he answered and climbed up on the bed. ‘But the smoking is good for me. It numbed the pain and I feel better now.’
    ‘Can I ask you something?’
    ‘Sure. You’re my doctor. That’s your job. I wonder if Dr Arman knows what his job is!’
    ‘Why don’t you tell your parents about this?’
    ‘They don’t need to know.’
    ‘I think they do. In any emergency of a transplant, they will have to be the first ones we’ll need to check for a match,’ she explained.
    Zarah was never a good liar. Over the years, she had bonded with whoever had a troubled relationship with their parents. Ever since she got to know that Dushyant had been hiding his illness from his parents, she felt a special connection. Two broken people make for a wholesome friendship. Even though she had never been friends with any guy.
    ‘You couldn’t possibly understand what I have been through.’
    ‘I will. You can try me,’ she said.
    ‘I am tired. Can I sleep now? It’s starting to pain again, unless you want me to run off for a smoke again.’
    ‘I will put you on some painkillers,’ she said and pushed a medicine into his IV.
    ‘We can talk about this later? At night?’ he said.
    ‘Sure.’
    ‘And am I dying?’
    ‘Too soon to tell,’ Zarah said, not wanting to assure him falsely.
    He closed his eyes. Zarah waited for him to drift off and then left his room.
Talk about it later?
Why would she ever talk to a man? Hateful, vile men who wanted their hands on her body and …
    Zarah was fourteen. It was the year 1999.
    She always felt out of place at the parties thrown by her father’s superiors at the huge farmhouses they owned, boughtwith money they had made from defunct arms deals. Her mom was drunk and playing poker with the other aunties. Dad was, as

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