I am so sorry for the late update… I got deviated… so I am back again with.. animal I have become.
Previously- Aradhya & Aryan’s happily married life was destroyed with the entry of Hridan in their life. They got divorce and after four years Aradhya is living with Hridan. Aryan reached there and asked for shelter. Aradhya denied but later convinced to give him shelter after Hridan’s request but with some conditions.
Aryan stepped through the door and swayed as the sudden, unaccustomed heat hit him in the face. He began to shiver, realising how cold it had been outside. He’d gotten used to it. He felt a hand on his shoulder, steading him.
“You okay, Aryan?” Hridan asked him. He nodded shortly.
“Haven’t been inside for a while.” He explained quietly. Speaking at any kind of volume aggravated his cough. It hadn’t been this bad for a while. It flared up like this from time to time, had done for years now. If he thought about it, it was probably some kind of low-level bronchitis, made slightly worse by recent, violent, brush with influenza. He brought himself quickly back to the present and followed Hridan further into the house.
Hridan was shocked from Aryan’s response …// haven’t been inside for a while. //… but the last time he checked Aryan was the only heir of THE Rao family, he owns enough property to live in street. Hridan’s brain could not evaluate the situation and thought to let it go. He convinced himself that he will ask about it to Aryan once he is settled down.
As they ascended the stairs, they passed Aradhya, standing in the doorway of what looked like the children’s bedroom. Aryan swept her with a quick look as they pass her. Aryan could make out the shiny salty water threating to fall from her eyes but stubbornly she looked at other way and finally closed the room’s door on Aryan’s staring face. Aryan could see that Aradhya didn’t change much in these four years and he laughed inwardly thinking that how much changed he is. He didn’t felt like a person anymore but an animal and still she recognised this animal.
The first thing that Aryan noticed was that this room was nowhere near as luxurious as the rest of the house. A single bed with two pillow placed with mathematical accuracy and chest of drawers in the middle of the room. At the far left was a light coloured teak wardrobe. A small chair sat off to the right and beside it lots of canvas and painting. The room is covered with thin layer of dust and ceiling and corners are full of spider webs.
Hridan shuffled uncomfortably. “I know it’s pretty poor,” he apologised. “I am not that rich so had no other room. This is the only spare place… and you came all of a sudden, I will clean it up tomorrow, we can’t make your cough worse with all this dust can we!” Aryan shrugged off the fumbling apology.
“Forget it.” He said, walking over to the bed and sitting down on it. “if you saw what I’ve been making do with…” he trailed off, laughing humourlessly. “This is paradise compare to that.” Suddenly a whine came from the children’s bedroom.
“Mummy, I wanna see the man weedan bwouth in!” a child’s petulant voice complain.
“Wee..dan!! Huh? Your kids call you by weedan! Sorry I mean Hridan. Not daddy.” Aryan laughed as if someone side him the joke of the year. Hridan rolled his eyes in annoyance. “weedan…hahahah..weedan!! haha…” his laughed converted into severe coughing fit.
“Well you can’t, sweetie!” Aryan could hear Aradhya’s voice. “The man is.. “ she trailed off, scrabbling for excuse… then Aryan smiled hearing the finally excuse which was partially correct. “You can’t see the man because he’s not very well at the moment.” Apparently satisfied, the whining stopped. Aryan ran a hand through his hair, wincing as he touched a bruise there.
“Never thought I’d see you with kids, Hridan.” Aryan commented.
Hridan smirked “yeah. I didn’t think I would, either!”
“How old are they?”
“Both Ayan and Abira are three and some month… I guess!” Hridan’s smirk grew bigger.
Aryan seems to digest it and done some calculation in mind. Hridan could feel his smirk growing bigger with each passing second.
“how!!!..” Aryan trailed off curiously… “she was with me four years ago.”
Hridan’s smirk wear off and followed by a dark expression “how!! Well …because this kids are yours.” Hridan said expressionlessly “and don’t dare to think that she was cheating behind you with me… again.. you already did enough.”
Aryan was shocked and was gaping like a fish out of water. “umm… my kids ..really!”
Hridan smiled “yeah, and now don’t tell Aradhya that I said you about this… she will kill me if she get to know that you already know that you are father of her kids.”
“i.. I will ..not express it.” Aryan said reluctantly.
“But you got to express what happened to you, you owe me this much at least for letting you stay here.” Hridan said.
“Wow.. Only a story as cost of a shelter… that great… Haven’t seen such a saint in long run… haha.. Fine… I will pay you with interest then Mr Saint.” Aryan chuckled… “But not right now… really tiered… haven’t slept on bed for day.”
Hridan understood “ok… take rest… I shall go now see you in morning.” Hridan smiled and left.
Aryan took the water bottle from the bed stand and drank as if he was in desert. Water drenching the rag which he liked to call clothes he is wearing….. He thought of changing it and had a bath to wear his nasty smell off… but let that thought go. He was too tired to move around. He fell on the bed with a soft thud and smelled in the dust layer on the pillow. He coughed and then again buried his head on pillow. A muffled chuckle could be heard … “kids… huh!! My kids!! My family… Aradhya… sorry…” he trailed off… his chuckle turning wet by each forming words and ultimately dam of tears broke. He tried hard to muffle his pathetic sobs and sniffs in the pillow.
Hridan walked into the lounge and sat down on sofa. Aradhya came over and sat on another sofa.
“He…Ar… Aryan settle in?” she asked. Hridan sighed softly. “Hridan? Talk to me!”
“He thinks that we are married and they are my children.” He grimaced as Aradhya gave him as stout glare. “If he thinks that then it’s very good. Let him think that.” Hridan winced. Guilty flashed in his eyes … “what?…don’t tell me you said him everything..” Aradhya asked angrily. “I…I said that the kids are his just that … not that we are not married!!!” … “I am sorry Aradhya, you know I can’t lie.”…Aradhya stood abruptly “go to hell… you saint of honesty.” She started to left but Hridan stopped her by holding her hand… “Aru… how long are you going to run? I know… that you still love him. You can’t run always… you tried enough but you can’t… look… you past chased you here to bite you. It will be endless cycle… you can’t run from it.”
For few second Aradhya was shocked and stood as a stone but tears broke from her eye… “let down your voice.. I don’t want that person get some wrong impression… I don’t love him. I can’t love him.” Aradhya hiss and left the room.
Hridan sat heavily on the sofa again and sigh “let’s see… How much you can run from your destiny!”
A/N- I know its running a little slow…..but hope you still like it.
Credit to: Tanu