|Picture courtesy Google.|
Aaru was not himself all throughout the evening, and it was now clear to Shakshi that something was wrong with him. He had only curved his lips to smile once that was too a courtesy smile. When he had called to meet, Shakshi could read some unrest in his voice.
He seemed like a broken man. There were constant thoughts running in his head, but couldn’t get the words to express himself. He had tried to say something, but then he would turn his head and look the other way. His eyes wanted to sweat some tears, and he felt like there were thousand pins piercing his heart.
“What has happened?” Shakshi asked in a worried tone. For her, Aaru was someone she loved form the time she met him. It had been more than four years, but she could never conjure up the courage to confess her love for him. So seeing Aaru with his slumped shoulder, and defeated posture had her worried. “Will you just tell me what the problem is?” She asked again, this time her worry changed to agitation. She had a habit of seeing him in positive light and forever cheerful. In fact, whenever she was feeling down, he was the one present, and trying to make her laugh.
Aaru didn’t respond. He fastened his eyes shut so not a single drop of a tear could leave. An uncontrolled rage started to build in his mind, and he wanted to hurt someone. He clenched his fist as hard as he could, until his hand went white. After he unclenched his fist, the blood returned to his palms, and so did all the memories. He was not able to get the thoughts of Joytsna out of his mind. Her face came in front of his eyes, and it made him more enraged.
“I know you like me!” Aaru said in a cold voice. He wanted to sound warm as he was talking about love, but all he could remember was last night, and how Joytsna was crying and telling him that she loved him.
“What,” Shakshi was shocked. She always thought she was doing a great job in hiding her feelings.
Whole day of Aaru had been about Joytsna. He could not concentrate on his work, and kept checking his phone if she had messaged him or not. Each time his phone screen flickered, he wanted to see her name, but she was busy with her work. For the past few days, they had been fighting a lot, and today, he wanted to meet and sort out their troubles. He informed her that he was waiting outside her office.
After sometime, he saw her walking down from the stairs with her colleague, sharing a cigarette. He smashed his hand on the dashboard in rage.
“Hi baby,” Joytsna said smiling as she climbed into the seat.
“Did you smoke?” Aaru asked without looking at her.
There was a small silence. Joytsna looked at Aaru impassive face, and slowly muttered, “It was only a puff.”
Aaru sighed and started driving. It was over, and she had broken another promise. How many more promises had to be broken, after his heart would understand she would not change. However, he wondered why such a small thing mattered so much to him. By now, he knew better, that she was a free soul, and did things without thinking. It was one of the reasons he started liking her. But why was he so angry and disappointed. Was it because, for her lips shared a cigarette with another boy? It was in a way kissing, his vivid imagination started picturing them together. His foot hit the paddle, as he drove faster so he could concentrate on the road, and not the thought wandering in his head.
“I am sorry,” she said in a low voice. Joytsna was almost about to cry. Aaru heard her words which made him want to drive over a cliff. For everything, she had a perfect excuse, and attached with it was a neatly decorated sorry which she said as she cried.
“I don’t think I can do this anymore,” Aaru said in a harsh tone which made Joytsna release her waterfall of tears. She hid her face inside her arms, and wept silently. Aaru saw her weeping, and wanted to grab her, hug her, and tell her that he was sorry, but he didn’t. His hands almost went up to touch her, but then he placed them back on his lap. She didn’t see that, and continued to weep with her head in her lap. It had become a routine, wash, rinse, and repeat. She would do something, and then profusely apologie. Aaru would get angry for some time, won’t talk to her for few hours, and then forgive her.
They drove silently towards her house, with moments where Aaru would ask her why she acts this way. Today it was a cigarette, yesterday it was drinking, and day before it was some casual flirting. As he saw it, there was no end to their problems. He hated her social group who encouraged her to indulge in these activities, but she would always defend them, which made him furious.
As she wept, Aaru heart began to melt, he wondered whether she was hungry. So without asking he stopped his car at a food joint and got her a sandwich. He was right as she was famished. She didn’t have anything for lunch, and while eating she looked at Aaru’s face but he had maintained his emotionless state. She couldn’t decrypt what was going in Aaru’s head by looking at her face.
The moment she finished her sandwich, it was clear to Aaru that he cannot take this any longer. At first he thought it was her immaturity, but now he understood, it was her nature and she cannot change it. He dropped her home, and even though Joytsna tried to persuade him, he was adamant that it was over between them. She got out of the car, and walked away with her head slumped. For the first time she walked away without looking back at him as she always did.
Aaru thought he was strong, and had great pride about his willpower, but each minute was getting harder for him to bare. He wanted to know if she was okay, and wondered, can he console her somehow. He wanted to make things right, but he had given her far too many chances, and each time he was left disappointed.
By night, there were no calls, nor messages. He had looked at his phone for the millionth time, and few times he had almost called her. Then his phone buzzed. It was Jyotsna, and it was her barrage of messages. Each had apologies’, and how she was wrong, and wanted another chance. Aaru tried to ignore those messages, but his heart had taken control of him. He held his phone in his hand and wished these feelings would go away, but it didn’t. He finally surrendered, and called her. She was crying, and it made him feel like the worst human on the planet. He started blaming himself for everything, and began apologising. They talked for more than two hours, but their problems were not so easy to solve over a phone conversation. They needed to be there for each other, or there was an inevitable doom lingering around them.
“I know you have always liked me,” Aaru said again looking deep into Shakshi’s eyes. She was still in shock of what she had just heard. It was like a dream, she had imagined what was going to happen many times, but everything was different. Aaru was not happy and he only said he knew that she liked him. Maybe he is just nervous, she thought to herself. Many guys who had proposed to her had admitted that it is really hard to admit to someone about their feelings.
“How long have you known this?” she asked shying away her eyes from Aaru’s dead stare. His hands reached for her cheeks and she felts shivers down her belly. She closed her eyes as Aaru moved forward towards her lips.
“No, this is wrong,” Aaru said in a hush tone. His lips were about to touch Shakshi lips when he suddenly stopped. Shakshi eyes were still closed. He took his hands of her face, and reclined back on the seat. Spurge of emotions went through his head. What was he about to do, what Joytsna has made him? He got out of the car, and started to walk away. Shakshi called out his name, but he just walked towards his car, and sat there in silence.
Aaru couldn’t sleep all night. He was about to do something he had promised himself he would never do. He knew his relationship was doomed, yet he couldn’t go through with it.
“What has happened to you, what have I done now?” Joytsna messaged him. He saw the message but he didn’t bother replying. He knew that she only talks to him when it was convenient for her.
After fifteen minutes he replied back, “Yes, I don’t want to talk to you. You’re free now, go and enjoy with your friends, and please don’t message me again.”
After the message, his hands trembled as he blocked her number. He felt dead inside. He started to think about yesterday afternoon. He wished Joytsna had not ditched him and went out with his friends. He thought about the night before when she was crying, and how convincing she was when she admitted to her faults. He wished that she wouldn’t have pushed him to the point that he would have contemplated cheating on het to take revenge.
Then peace set into his heart. He started to understand, if he was ready to cheat, there was no future in that relationship.
I want to know, whether two people who are so opposite co-exist, and why is it so simple for people to take their relationships for granted these days?
Comment below, and let me know. and if you have any ideas, I am always willing to listen.