Thanks a ton for all your love and comments… This is the highest response i have got thanks a ton.. All comments have been personally answered in chapter 15.
Chapter 15 link : Chapter 15
It has been two months since I ran away. I couldn’t face anyone. Even though I hate Manik for what he did to me, I couldn’t fully hate him. I loved him and now I am having his baby. I could never hate the baby growing inside. Luckily, I was able to get a temporary position as junior under the doctor of the village. I employed a maid. No hurried life, sometimes house calls, gossiping villagers but kind, I could get used to this. Once the child is born and able to travel, I decided I will go out of this country. Though I like it here, I still couldn’t get used to the fact that I was source of the villagers’ amusement and that I can be found easily. I adopted a common surname of Smith, of my imaginary husband, who is travelling away leaving his pregnant wife alone. No one knows who I am or who I was. All they could see was a lonely wife enjoying her work.
I got up as usual in the morning and let the maid in; had my coffee and decided to take house calls, if any. My stomach was paining a bit and I thought I would go to the doctor afternoon, when I heard my doorbell ring. Strange! No one usually comes around this time. In case of emergency, they call, they don’t come in person. Peggy opened the door and I was shocked beyond words to see Manik stand there. Unaware, Peggy let him in.
(Manik) “Nandini!” He called me as if he was in a dream. If he was in a dream, this is my nightmare! I held myself so that I would stop shivering.
(Nandini) “Peggy, you can have the day off.” I tried to tell her as calmly as possible.
(Maid) “Mam, the dinner isn’t done.”
(Nandini) “I will do the rest. You can leave.” I smiled meekly at her. She left looking at Manik. This is going to increase the rumours going around, but that is least of my worries now. My stomach pain started increasing slowly. Seeing her leave, Manik closed the door. I sat down, so that I had some support from falling down.
(Nandini) “What are you doing here?” I tried to ask as steadily as I could. I saw my fingers shake. I held them tight. He looked dazed.
(Manik) “I finally found you.”
(Nandini) He murmured like it was unbelievable. Even I feel it is unbelievable. I expected dad and not him to find me. No, I didn’t expect anyone to find me at all. But never even thought for one moment that he would come. “Found Me For What? To See Me Being Wretched? I hope it makes you happy!” He looked devastated. I don’t care what he is. I have cried too much.
(Manik) “Nandini, listen to me. I couldn’t let go of you, I didn’t know how else to bind you to me.”
(Nandini) “Bind me to you? You insulted me ever since we met, humiliated me at every chance you got, made me feel inferior, and finally, you shattered me by getting me pregnant! What More Do You Want? You Want To See Me Destroyed? Watch Me Drown In Depression And Die?” I shouted. How much do you really hate me? Tears fell on their own.
(Manik) “Please listen to me, Nandini.”
(Nandini) “Listen to you? You got me drunk to have your way with me. You acted as if nothing happened the next day. Did You Think I Would Come Running Crying To You? Did I Disappoint You When I Didn’t?” My pain in the stomach is increasing. I clutched my stomach. Argh! Please let me not be bleeding.
(Manik pleadingly) “Nandini, please!”
(Nandini) “No! I Am Not Going To Listen To You! Leave Me Alone! I Don’t Want Anyone! Let me be with my baby! Please……………. (pant)! I…………. am bleedin………..” Tears blurred my vision, my breathing became constrained, my stomach started paining badly. Please let this not happen. Please, the only source of my happiness. I crouched down.
(Manik) “Nandini!” He ran towards me.
(Nandini) “Stay……… (pant) away………… (pant)!” I moved away from him. I need to call my doctor. I need to save my child. “Argh!! (pant) It hurts. (pant) Call……… (pant)……..
speed….. dial…… 3” Please don’t take it away from me. I fainted because of the pain.
(Manik’s POV) Nandini was furious. I cannot blame her. What I did is unpardonable. When she fainted, I almost had a heart attack. She was bleeding. Is she having a miscarriage? Please Lord, don’t pain her anymore. I took her phone and dialled 3. It went to her gynaecologist. When I said the condition Nandini was in, she rushed me to bring Nandini to her clinic. I had never prayed god for anything but I kept asking him to keep Nandini safe. After sometime, the doctor came out.
(Doctor) “Are you related to her?” The doctor looked at me with suspicion.
(Manik) “I am her husband.” She shook her head. What happened? Is Nandini in danger?
(Doctor) “Mr. Smith, I have some sad news to say.” Mr. Smith? Who cares!
(Manik) “Is Nandini safe?”
(Doctor)“Can you come in please?” She showed her way to her room.
(Manik again in pleading voice) “Is Nandini okay?”
(Doctor) “Sigh. She is safe but she miscarried. I am sorry to say that your child is no more.”
(Manik’s POV) What? My child is no more? Is this punishment? Is it punishment for what I did to Nandini? Unknowingly, tears fell from my eyes. I never knew I could cry.
(Doctor) “Where were you? You should have been with her! Were you aware that Nandini was weak?”
(Manik’s condition) Tears didn’t stop. My child gone, all because I showed up in front of Nandini. All because she got stressed because of me. I couldn’t speak. I shook my head as a reply to her. The doctor got angry instantly.
(Doctor) “What Kind Of A Husband Are You? What were you doing? Don’t you care what happens to her? If you don’t even want to take care of her, at least give her peace of mind by splitting away from her.”
(Manik did not respond just all the thoughts were running inside his head) The doctor’s words were like arrows to my heart. I didn’t let her get close to me and I didn’t let her get away from me. I must be the most cruel person to do this to the one he loves. I was so happy that I was going to see her but seeing this happen to her, why did I have to show up in front of her now? If I, who did nothing for her, feel so much of pain, I couldn’t even imagine the pain Nandini would be in.
(Doctor) “Sigh. If you care so much, stay with her when she needs you. The baby also was weak. I warned her that it would be safer to abort instead of miscarrying. She said that she wanted the child no matter what and promised that she would take care of herself. I am not sure what happened but what I feared has happened. She looked forward to having the baby. Take care of her. She is physically weak and anaemic. She needs to recover her health. She can get depressed easily now. I am not sure what she could do because she wanted this child like it was her salvation. Protect her. Also, she is not supposed to get pregnant any sooner. Take her on tours with you, keep her happy, do whatever is necessary and don’t let her think about the dead foetus.”
(Manik’s POV) I couldn’t digest that the baby was no more but I have to look after Nandini now. I calmed myself. I need to be strong. I need to support Nandini.
(Manik) “Okay. Can I see her now?”
(Doctor) “You can. I don’t want to give any drugs to calm her, so don’t get her into any depression and if she does, try to calm her down. You can take her home tomorrow.”
(Manik) “Thank you, doctor.”
(Doctor) “Also, Mr. Smith,” “Don’t let her be alone till you think she has surely recovered from the news.”
(Manik) “I will see to that.”
(Manik’s POV) When I entered her room, she was sleeping, sedated. I sat by her side. What have I done till now? I lost her and I lost our baby. I have done nothing but cause her pain, yet this selfish feeling doesn’t leave me. I don’t want to be without her. I want to live my life with her. I will tell her everything, convince her and take her with me. But will she come? It would be a miracle not to hate me in spite of everything, after all now, I took our child away from her. I couldn’t stop crying. Every time, tears started, I calmed myself saying, I shouldn’t; I have to be there for Nandini who will be upset unimaginably, than I could ever be. It was almost nine when she got up again. She didn’t seem to be surprised to see me. She immediately tried to sit up and I helped her.
(Nandini) “My child?” She placed her hand over her stomach and asked me. I couldn’t tell her. How could I tell? I shook my head. Tears fell from her eyes.
(Nandini) “Why? Didn’t I love my baby? Why? My baby!”
(Manik’s POV) She cried silently. I hugged her. She didn’t resist. I couldn’t tell her anything. She cried for some time and fell asleep just like that without eating anything. I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I sat by her watching her, regretting everything I did. After making sure that she was getting better, the doctor let her go the next day evening. We came back and I told Peggy she could leave and I would take care of dinner. I also told her to come back only to do the housework and leave till I was with Nandini. Nandini looked lifeless. She sat on the sofa, staring into the space. Her eyes were red, dried up with no more tears. I cooked some food and gave her to eat. She ate a little silently and went back to sleep. I slept on the couch. I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about what to do. It was midnight when I heard noise coming from her room. I rushed in to see. She was crying in her sleep, screaming out,
(Nandini) “No! Please don’t!!! No!!!!!”
(Manik’s POV) She tossed her head about, shouting and calling for her dead baby. I couldn’t wake her up. It looked like she was struggling. I tried to calm her down. Seeing I couldn’t calm her, I hugged her as tight as I could, so that she wouldn’t struggle; held her close to me and I whispered in her ears ‘its all right, everything will be fine’ continuously. It was almost half hour later that she stopped crying. I didn’t let go of her. I didn’t want to. I slept there, with her in my arms. If only I didn’t do what I did.
(Nandini) “What The Hell Are You Doing In My Bed!” She shouted. She looked weak, sick, tear stained, sad and her eyes shone with anger. It took two days for her to realize what was happening. What did I expect, a happy face welcoming me?
(Manik) “You were tossing and struggling in your sleep. I had no choice but to calm you down.” She is never going to accept it.
(Nandini) “Whatever I Do, Is None Of Your Problem! Now, There Is Nothing That Binds Me To You! GET OUT! GET LOST!” The past three days took toll on not only her but also me. I snapped easily.
(Manik) “I Don’t Care What Binds You To Me! I LOVE YOU! AND I AM WORRIED ABOUT YOU!” Her face grew dark.
(Nandini) “Worried About Me? Because of you, all because of you, I lost my baby now! If you hadn’t shown up in my life again, I would have had no problem. All Because Of You! It Is All Your Fault! My Baby Is Dead Because Of You!” She hit her hands on the wall, crying.
(Manik) “It was also mine.”
(Nandini) “No! It Is Not! It Was Not! I Wanted This Baby! It was all I wanted lastly and you took even that from me! Now I have nothing, nothing at all” She screamed and cried; she banged her hands against the wall. She was hurting herself. I rushed to her to pacify her.
(Nandini) “Let Go Of Me! At least, let me cry and feel the pain” She begged me. What could I do?
(Manik) “No. If you want to hurt yourself, then hit me all you want! I am the cause of all this. Hit me!”
(Nandini) “It Is All Your Fault.” Struggled between my arms to break free. Seeing that I didn’t let her go, her fists beat against my chest but I felt no pain. What could these hands do to me? What could she do to me? But I can do nothing to ease her pain. “Let go of me, Manik! Please, let go of me!” Pleading, crying, she sank down. I held her against my chest. When she finally settled down, I carried her back to the bed.
(Manik) “You need to rest. Please let me take care of you.” She didn’t shout back.
(Nandini) “I have Peggy. Go back to where you came from.” She scowled. I don’t care what she wants.
(Manik) “I am not going anywhere. So, you get some rest.” I closed the door.
(Manik’s POV) I took a bath, prepared breakfast, and gave it to Nandini, which she barely ate. When Peggy came, I took her with me to buy provisions. I informed the doctor, her senior, who came by to visit that I was her husband and about Nandini’s miscarriage. He wanted to see her but I told him that she was weak and I will surely tell her that he visited and he could see her once she was better. I didn’t dare to turn on my phone since it has GPS and I could be located immediately. I know that no one would excuse me off work for such a long time. I didn’t use internet either. I had my hands full with Nandini. She didn’t cry again but she looked lost. She barely spoke, she barely ate anything. She wouldn’t move from her bedroom. If she came out at all, she sat on the sofa staring at the ceiling. Sometimes, she cried silently in her room thinking I didn’t know. If I entered then, she would immediately cover herself as if she were sleeping. I strained my ears to know what she was doing when I couldn’t see her. The more I tried to help her, the more she became silent. At night, when we were about to sleep, she made it clear that she didn’t want me with her. She took sleeping tablets but again, after half way into the night, she had the same problem as the previous night, every night. I couldn’t calm her unless I forcibly held her down such that she couldn’t move at all.
Every morning, she woke up first. I had to set the alarm earlier so that I could get up before her. I didn’t know when she slept and when she was awake. I noticed the number of pills by her table increase. When I asked her doctor, she told me they were painkillers. Nandini was already taking sleeping tablets.
(Manik) “Nandini?” She sat there like a painting, staring into the vast area of empty land covered with grass which was visible from her room.
(Nandini) “Yes?” There was no emotion in her tone. It felt like her voice was dead.
(Manik) “Why are you taking painkillers?”
(Nandini) “Do I have to answer you?” I could finally notice anger in her voice.
(Manik) “Your doctor said that taking a lesser dosage won’t be a problem, but your dosages are increasing.”
(Nandini) “I know what I am doing. Mind your business.” Mind my business?
(Manik) “Do You Know What You Are Doing? Do You Want To Die?”
(Nandini) “Aren’t you killing me by showing your face next to me every morning when I wake up? Do I Need Tablets To Kill Me?”
(Manik) “Then, why are you taking them?” She glared at me. I am not going to back down, I am not going to be silent anymore.
(Nandini) “I am having headaches more often. The pain becomes unbearable. Hence, I am taking them. Answered?”
(Manik) “I need you to stop taking them.”
(Nandini) “I will take it till my pain eases.”
(Manik) “Tell me how else can I ease your pain without making you take tablets?”
(Nandini) “GET OUT OF MY FACE! That Is The Best Method!” Her anger and sadness alleviated my anger. I walked up to her and grabbed her close to me.
(Manik) “Really? If You Want Me Out Of Your Life That Badly, Then Regain Your Strength Enough To Push Me Out Of Here!” Fear conquered her face. Nandini who wouldn’t even flinch at anything, trembled in my arms. I felt upset to see her like this. The confident girl who stood up to me at every point, now cowered in my arms. All this is my fault, yet I am not able to leave her; no, I don’t want to leave her.
(Nandini’s POV) The next day I woke up, I saw Manik in my bed again. He took away all my tablets. Forced me to sleep with him on my bed. But he didn’t dare lay a finger on me. He just hugged me close as he slept. I didn’t even know he hugged me. One random night I got up and noticed him cuddle next to me. My heartfelt light, as if I fell in love with him again. I still couldn’t hate him. Somehow, I felt safe. If he were not by my side, I wonder if I would have ever recovered. But why is he here? Why does he have to be here? Hasn’t he had his share of watching me ruin? He crushed my pride as a woman, made me realize I love him and that he was unattainable. Tore me apart from my family and loved ones by making me pregnant. Now, after taking my baby from me, he says he loves me. All this time, I believed that he hated me. I thought he enjoyed seeing me miserable. Why is he helping me now? Does he really love me? Why now?
Tears hazed my vision. For the past three weeks, I have done nothing but cry. I cried about the baby lost, child of the man I loved. How much I wished that he would love me, care about me, not because of an arrangement but on his own. And now, he doesn’t care if I shout at him. He simply takes care of me, looks after me tirelessly.
Precap : More Emotional and trying to make Nandini normal