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Steve was sitting in a chair beside the bed, in the hospital room, where she was admitted.

As-usual his mind voice started its questioning hour ,"Steve are you mad?.. Are you a tree, to stand without any reaction when she hugged you?.. How can you allow her to hug you? It's all because of accepting that gift.. what was she thinking about you in her mind.. how can she behave like that?.. how can she touch you?"

Steve was extremely disturbed by those thoughts, he stood up from the chair and walked towards the window in that room.

That window was facing the hospital garden. he started to peep outside through the window and noticed a stone bench under a tree, in that garden.

His thoughts started to dig in to the past,

Steve had his Schooling in one of the famous All-boys boarding schools. Each and every Staff in the school knew about Steve's past and his depressed mind, so they used to be gentle towards him. But Steve used to avoid everyone. He had no friends at school and he used to be alone all the time. when he was in grade 4, the new Sports teacher Mr.Scott, who was strict in nature, took in charge of the school's sports activities.He made a rule that every student must take part in the sports activities compulsorily.

Except Steve everyone joined in their respective sports depending upon their interest. Steve had no idea to join . One day during the sport's hour, Steve was sitting in a stone bench under a big tree which was behind the school, it was an isolated area, and people used to come there rarely.

Suddenly he saw the sport's teacher coming towards him. Mr.Scott, scolded him for being irresponsible, Steve stood quiet, Mr.Scott took him to the school ground and gave him a punishment to run around the ground.

Steve started to run, after sometime Mr.Scott, who was a specialist in track events was amazed to see the energy and speed of Steve in running.

That evening, Mr. Scott discussed with the school principal and enrolled Steve's name in the school athletes list , without Steve's consent.

Steve was shocked to see his name in the athletes list, he went to quarrel with Mr. Scott. But Mr. Scott, who came to know about Steve's past and depression, handled him gently and encouraged him. The relationship between Steve and Mr. Scott was purely official and nothing more than that. Steve maintained distance with everyone, even with those teachers who cares for him at school. Though the teachers knew about him well, they used to leave him as he was.

Steve's excellence in sports earned him scholarships to complete his Bachelor and Master's degree in Criminal justice, at California State University Sacramento. At college Ryan was his only companion, since both were under same department in the university.

As he was immersed in those memories,Suddenly an incident from his college days flashed in his mind,

In his college days also, without any exception he used to avoid everyone.

When he was in his first year, a girl approached him with a love proposal,

He avoided her, but one day when he was alone, she came to him and tried to kiss him.

Steve slapped her hardly, which made her to fall on the ground. That incident earned him a name 'bully' among the college girls.

From his childhood to his present he never had a girlfriend, he never had a friendly conversation with a girl and till now he never had a single idea to impress a girl.

His mind compared those incidents with his present life.

Steve had decided to wait until she gain her conscious, after that, he had decided to warn her about her behavior towards him in such a manner and to explain his hatred towards such kind of behavior. And also to clarify her, that he accepted her gift, as a sign of gratitude, since she saved his life unknowingly, as he noticed the murderer in that underground parking because of her. And he also decided to end the contact with her, once for all and to leave her alone in the hospital itself.

When he was engrossed in his thoughts, he noticed Sasha gaining her conscious. Steve went to her and stood watching her, beside the bed.

She opened her eyes and saw him,

Steve's mind voice started to command ,"Steve .. warn her man.. what about the decision?.. do it "

Steve stood staring at her eyes, he could not take away his eyes, from her eyes, he could hear his increasing heartbeat.

The sound of his mind was inaudible to him, since it disappeared in the sound of his heartbeat. He forgot everything, his decisions, the warnings etc etc.

Sasha," Steve, are you alright?"

Steve regained himself , "I think, I have to ask this question to you"

Sasha," mmm.. I feel... I'm not perfectly okay now... but anyhow I thank GOD for keeping you safe. All praise to God"

Steve blinked, "what safe?..."

Sasha, "oh.. you don't know anything right?.. let me explain everything"

He sat beside her and started listening to her

Sasha, "when did you left home?"

Steve, "yesterday, at about 8 pm"

Sasha, "mmm... you know , today morning at about 4 am, Aunt had a phone call from Ryan, and he asked aunt to get ready, as there was an emergency out there, where aunt has to go and he also said that he'll be coming home to take aunt with him. Aunt woke us up. i was at home and Rachel akka went with aunt .

At 6 am I called akka and came to know that, Ryan got information from the cops about a terribly burnt car with a burnt body in it, which is in a remote area outside the city, as the cops had suspected that it might be you and your car, aunt was called to identify it"

Steve burst out laughing, "what, ... they suspected it ,as me... very funny "

Sasha," Don't laugh Steve... how can you hurt someone's feeling so easily?... You know how much Aunt , Ryan, Akka and myself had worried from this morning. You know, Aunt fell unconscious when she heard about the incident."

Sasha, "where is your phone Steve?..., have you informed anyone that you are in your farmhouse?... they suspected it was you.. because, since yesterday your phone was switched off. Ryan and Aunt tried several times to contact you, to give away wishes for your birthday.

And Ryan was too late to see a message, which he received from an unknown number saying that some goons had kidnapped you and Ryan was asked to end an assignment or something... I guess so... otherwise you will be killed by them before morning.

even before, he had started to react for that message. The cops called and informed him about the burnt car... "

Steve,"... mmmm , my phone.. i left it in my home...then how did you find me?"

Sasha," you are the one who drive me insane.... When I heard that the cops had suspected it was you.. I don't wanna hear anything else.. I was afraid... but I'm sure that you are safe .... At that instant, I wanna see you.. i know you had a farm house... i prayed that you should be there.... i donno the location of your farm house.. but with the help of akka and a cab ... I managed to find you.. Thank God you are safe..." she smiled

But her words," you are the one who drive me insane... " echoed in his heart again and again..

he was listening to her as a child listening to his favorite nursery rhymes.

He smiled at her

Sasha searched for her phone..."wanna call aunt.. everyone must have worried a lot.... Where is my My phone.....mmmm.... I think I had left it in your farm house.. we can take it later.. you too didn't have the phone with you right?.... What to do?????... okay lets go and call aunt through hospital land line"

Steve, " do you know the number?"

Sasha," yup I knew it... I know you don't".. she smiled and tried to get up from her bed

Steve helped her and walked with her towards the reception.

while walking,he noticed her unsteady walk, he held her arms

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