I am sorry for the delay. I was not quite well this days. So here you go.
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 settle down there and got to know about his twin children.
“Aryan, it’s been almost one hour since you went in bathroom. Now come out, well you have wasted enough water.” Hridan said, although he hid it well, was starting to get worried. “Ok, at least say something so that I get to know you are still standing on your feet.”
The door of the bathroom open slightly and Aryan popped his head out from there.. “See I am standing on my feet … now do me a favour by bringing a scissor. Don’t worry I am not suicidal… my hair grew long and it’s too filthy… it’s better to chop it down.”…
“It’s in the cabinet in the first aid kit. And here is some clothes… it will fit you I hope.” Hidan handed him a plastic bag with clothes.
“Hey, thanks man.” Aryan said gratefully before closing the door.
Hridan sighed and went to sit down in lounge but thought otherwise and went to kitchen to see Aradhya making breakfast.
“morning.” Hridan greet and looked at the boring breakfast… “roti and ladies finger… nice … Aryan’s favourite.” ….Aradhya glared … “its good for health.” She quietly replied.
“Still its Aryans favourite…” hridan smirked.
“It will be better for you to keep quite.” Aradhya said in irritated tune “and it’s not good to play with old memories and wounds.”
“ahem..” Aryan made sound seeing that Aradhya and Hridan standing uncomfortably close to each other. Aradhya immediately turned around and closed the lid of the pan and Hridan burst out in laughter seeing Aryan condition.
Well Aryan is looking much better in clean clothes and looking more human after shave and bath … but the thing caught Hridan’s eyes was his hair. Hridan could see Aryan tried to cut off his long matted twig like hair and also tried to give it a shape… but his hand work is not good at all. Some strands are very small some are carelessly ignored and left longer… overall his haircut was very funny.
“Aryan what have you done to your hair… but …lol…it’s looking nice on you.” Hridan laughed again. Aradhya peaked around a little to see the haircut and quietly giggle. Aryan blushed and tried to explain “ well.. it was greasy .. well..no .. I washed off the grease but some dirt was stubborn and caked in some strands. It were not coming off…. So I cut them off.. I should have gone to saloon but i…” Aryan trailed off.
“But…you don’t have money to go to saloon right? Well I will take you to saloon but first you have to fatten up a little… till then let me enjoy looking at that haircut… its guineas work done.” Hridan said giggling. Aradhya rolled her eyes. Aryan blushed more deep red.
Aryan stood their awkwardly and then announced “..I am hungry.” Aradhya ignored. This time Aryan went near Aradhya with courage and again repeated “I am hungry… no actually served.”
Hridan sat on table and was watching their awkward interaction from the corner of his eyes.
“What makes you think you’re going to get something to eat?” Aradhya demanded.
Aryan made little faces “you want to take the responsibility for what’ll happen if I don’t?” he asked curtly.
Aradhya role her eyes “don’t make faces, here is food. Help and serve yourself. And don’t break anything.” By saying this Aradhya left kitchen.
Aryan didn’t take long enough to open the lid of the pan which was on stove, after all he is nothing better than starved beggar, now. Aryan felt nostalgic to find ladies finger cooked. Back then he was a brat. He use to eat only few vegetables and ladies finger is one of them.
Hridan came beside him and pat his back saying “you know no one like ladies finger in this house.” He winked and left leaving an Aryan who was biting his lips to force his smile to grow stop.
Aryan was munching on his breakfast and heard sound of running feet. He looked up to see two bundle of joy gawking at him. Aryan also gawked at them stupidly… his chest was filled you warmth to see his little children.
“hello.. Ayan.. Abira .” he smiled at them.
“you a the man..weedan bout home na?” Ayan asked.
Abira giggled “your hair so funny. You are a funny man.” Ayan also started to giggled.
“I guess I am funny man then.” Aryan laughed.
Aradhya interrupted “ok kids, hurry up. You can’t be late for kindergerden.” Aryan felt that Aradhya was deliberately trying to keep the kids away from him. He let it go. After all he was not in position to demand his kids.
Aradhya yawned softly and opened her eyes. She smiled affectionately at her cuddling children beside her. She stroked her daughter’s hair and her affectionate smile turned into a melancholic smile. Her eyes naturally teared up. Abira was so much similar in looking as Aryan.
She got up the bed and reached up the water bottle only to find in empty. She sighed. Now she have to go to the kitchen for water.
While passing the hallway her acute hearing picked up quite sounds of distress. Instantly she realised who it was. Feeling more than a little guilty, she tried to ignore it. Let Aryan suffer. What did she care?
She tried hard to ignore it but ultimately couldn’t after hearing those painful moans from the person she loves… no the person she once loved, she remind herself and she is going to check out on him just for humanities sake… that’s it…nothing else.
She nervously pushed the door open and stepped inside to feel the temperature freezing. The window was open. Cold wind of winter night was entering the room. The first thing she did was close the damn window and then turn around to see Aryan wrapped in blankets and was whimpering, as if having a nightmare.
Staring at his face she only felt …pity. The charming young man she once loved reduced to just a shell of his previous self. He was gaunt, haggard, worn out by a world that had dealt him too many hard blows over the years, she didn’t know what happened to him but she knew it was nothing good.
“What happened to you Aryan? What have you done to yourself?” she whispered. She stroked his ununiformed hair “you know… I hate you.” Her words were not complimenting her actions. … Clearing her mind she poked him on his bony chest “wake up, Aryan!”. Nothing came other than another painful moan. She ordered loudly “you’d better have a good reason for this!” again nothing happen. She hit him with little force this time wondering whether he had awoken and was simply playing with her. Yes, it sounded like the sort of thing he would do. “Don’t you dare ignore me!” she snarled. When that outburst provoked nothing more than another moan, she hissed in annoyance and slapped him hard in the face to break his nightmare as expected his eyes flickering underneath his closed eyelids. Gradually his eyelids rose, Dazed, confused ebony orbs gazed at her “yeah… I’m still here…” his voice was weak and rasping. Aradhya frowned at the strange comment.
“Well, you certainly didn’t go anywhere while I was watching you.” She said acidly. Aryan chuckled feebly and closed his eyes for a brief moment. Dark, bruised like shadows under his eyes indicates exactly how much sleep he had got during the night. A catch of breath warn Aradhya of the coming explosion, and she automatically stepped back. Aryan sat up and bent down double and began to….cough was the wrong word. It was harsh, violent, jerky, almost as if he was choking.
An unbelievable forty second later, he was still going, his face showing the faintest flash of panic with each bark. Moving quickly, Aradhya grabbed his shoulder and pushed him upright.
“Stay upright, you understand that?” she said softly “now, just try to breathe. That’s it… deep breath now … there, see?” Aryan calmed down. Aradhya sighed of relief and finally realised how close she was to him and how she was cuddling his head on her chest….. She stepped back abruptly and stammered …”it.. would be so.. so much ..easier ..if you..stop attention seeking and why the hell you came after me again, why came to hurt me again, I don’t want you in my and my children’s life again, I don’t want to get hurt again.” She said gridding her teeth. Her eyes swimming in tears…
Aryan looked at her with open mouth and then lowered his head “I am sorry to hurt you and I didn’t came where to hurt you but I sorry that you will get hurt to know why I came after you. Since three years I am searching you. Finally I found you. I know you ran away from everything and you don’t want to face them again. But I came here to return you one of your important belonging.” Aryan said and dig into the small bag which he brought with him. He brought out a bronze vessel covered by a red cloth and handed it to Aradhya.
Aradhya looked at the container and then to Aryan for explanation… Aryan said with a stoic expression. “Mother’s remains … your mother’s.”
A/N- ok I am in killing spree… I killed Tulsi… well I killed her three years ago, already. And I know I write in slow pace but I love slow pacing and detailed write ups. Anyway Cliff hanger.
Credit to: Tanu