That night, Maheshwari mansion has plunged again in what seems the deepest shade of sadness they never knew… no one was able to handle the last events…
For Durga Prasad and Annapurna, time was about questioning themselves. Why? How and when fate has turned its back to them… To their family? To the days of happiness, joy and loud laughs?
Somehow, they feel that those moments have come in their lives with Swara’s entry in their universe… A universe she put upside down so much that they’re unable to remember how they used to be before…
While Durga Prasad is immersed in his thoughts sitting in the balancing chair, Annapurna let’s her tears drown her tired face, memories filling her along with the family album pages she’s turning…
Laksh comes back home late, he stayed back at Badi for while to help Shekar calming down his mother in law… Which is just a comforting presence… What could he say to appease her? He’s as shattered as everyone by the news.
Arriving at his room, he finds Ragini in their bed, her back facing the door, her closed eyes faking sleepiness.
He takes off his jacket and lies down without changing his clothes, without saying a word, he just hugs her by her back tightening his hold as she burst out crying… He would like be able to find some proper words to console her vainly… But he needed to be consoled too…
To be told that it’s not his fault, afterall, it’s his immature behavior, disappearing without a word, which pushed them here.
A week ago, he was happy to know that Sanskar was alive; the guilt he handled since he returned back was finally took off from his shoulders only to be thrown on them heavier…
Feeling his tears wetting her neck, Ragini turns to face him trying to be brave enough to lie… to say that everything will be fine… but it was impossible for her, she passed the whole night recalling every moment she passed with her sister and at the end, all she could see, was all the errors she committed against her only to be faced by her willing forgiveness… It was insupportable! Plunging in Laksh’s embrace, she let’s go of her pain loudly…
In her room, Sujatta was for once silent, her hand caressing Uttara’s hair who finished by somber in an agitated sleep on her lap, her dried tears marking her face.
She was recalling all the times she had been the worst mother to her daughter in law from the first day they met, shivering, she thinks that once ago, she paid a woman to just destroy all her life… How could she imagine then, that she was selling her own son’s destiny!?
A sad smile breaks her tearful face while she recalls the first time her son claimed loudly and strongly that he’s in love with her… How insensitive she has been to his feelings continuing to torture her, to only be faced by an apologetic smile from the girl she’s today becoming her first grandson’s mother…
Bitterly, she’s ashamed by her behavior when she accused her knowing that she’s pregnant and that in a mad moment she was even about harming her…
At her side, Ram Prasad who didn’t say a word since the revelation is sitting crossing his arms on his chest and looking in the void absentmindedly. His calm voice surprises his wife snatching her from her painful memories:
“- Sujatta… Sanskar needs us in this tragedy”
As she looks to him questioningly, he explains:
“- you know that he’ll never survive without Swara, hai na?”
She nods stiffening a sob by her hand over her mouth, he continues:
“- so promise me… That you’ll be strong enough for what’s coming on our family…”
As she cries more thinking about his words and their meanings, he presses her hand holding her shoulder with his arm, she puts her head on his shoulders and lets go of her pain, guilt was consuming her too…
“- trust me….”
Two small words repeating over and over in Sanskar’s head…
He’s in his still messed room, regardless to all what was thrown here and there, pillows with ruined chairs posts, glass and mirror pieces, sheets and clothed… Whoever enters the place could imagine that some bomb has ravaged a war area.
Still there he was, laying in his bed an arm under his pillow, the other across his wife’s back, protectively wrapping her small stature in his embrace while she’s deeply sleeping, his bare chest serving her as a comfortable pillow. her arm hugging him back and her adorable cute face lightly turned up to him, letting him admire the natural beauty of her childish face…
“- trust me…”
It was those words which gave him a new life so many years ago… He was about dying, no… He was dead… Firstly adjusting his breath so his torturers would believe he passed away, thanks to his training in martial art for that, then under that bridge, when the veil of night started covering him along with the water surface rising slowly but dangerously to his face… For the long hours he waited there tied up, helpless, nothing could break his trust in that small girl who whispered him those two unique words… Trust me…
When policemen finally brought up his submerged lifeless body, his first reaction opening his eyes again was asking where was she?
It took him so long time to find her… Much longer to know about her and now that she’s finally with him, those so innocent words which saved him then… Are killing him now!!!
Swara wasn’t his wife… Not his love… She’s the reason he’s still alive… She’s his savior… This small yet girl who is hugging him tightly even in her sleep is the breath he’s inhaling in every moment of his life!
A small unwelcomed voice rises from nowhere inside him… His consciousness was recalling him all his errors… In a face to face with her, she retells him every time he messed up and hurt her heartlessly, be it playing with her reputation and nerves at the beginning or when he refused to believe her love to him… Be it his hateful behavior for long months or even the last month’s events… His tears make their way again from his red eyes… How could she forgive him?
The today’s confrontation comes back to him in flashes… Her anger… Her words….
“- keep them with you! You’ll know it when you’ll garnish my photo with it!!!”
He chokes gaping; now he knows what was she talking about… And it’s unbearable!
A swift small kiss is suddenly printed on his chest, just over his pounding and aching with pain heart which skips a beat realizing that its irregular mad pulses woke her.
At the moment her lashes rises discovering her huge lovely eyes, he looks away!
Moving a bit, he takes off his hand from the pillow under him and and collects the tears menacing to rush to his cheeks by his thumb’s tip discreetly, taking a deep breath closing his eyes, he refuses to let her see him crying again…
When he looks back again to her, he’s not aware of the smile curving his lips despite the still shining tears in his loving eyes…
He’s amused to see her eyes escape his gaze, her adorable face turning to the deepest shade of red, how to sustain his look after what happened tonight?
She tightens her hug on his chest hiding her face there, nuzzling his so missed skin, she’s invaded by the memories of their night…
Of the way she forgot for the first time about all her shyness, taking the first step toward him, snatching him from the world of desperation she plunged him herself… Fighting the darkness wrapping him away by her kisses… Chasing the harshness of the truth by her caresses… Filling the void consuming his insides by her hot breaths… If not able of soothing his deep injuries… She was able to blow by her presence in his arms over them… Slowly, gently and patiently… A sweet blew which finished by drug the pain heavily so that in the most unpredictable moment of their lives… They become one again!
Sanskar caresses her hair overwhelmed by the same memories taking a deep breath to control their effects on him, now that his drugged feelings are waken up again, he fights fiercely against them…
Trying to moderate his voice, he takes a detached tone when he asks letting his fingers play with her hair’s locks:
“- in films, people having chemotherapy, always lose all their hair”
She looks up to him surprised, a cute smile illuminating her face melting his heart, and replies playfully:
“- accha? you want to pull them harder to verify?”
But Sanskar doesn’t smile, he panics his eyes widened with horror as he tries to sits up asking with a shaken voice:
“- b… D… did I hurt you? Swara… Swara are you fine?… I… ?”
She sits up with him not moving from his chest, her hand cups his cheek her head nodding to say no…
But he’s too anxious to see it, he’s scared like hell that losing his control, he couldn’t measure how strong did his desire have overwhelmed all his senses and maybe… Maybe he just…
“- sanskar I’m fine… Bilkul fine…”
Her hands hold his face tightly making him look in her eyes again, her thumb erases a tear escaping his scared eyes while she repeats slowly like talking to a child to make him understand:
“- I’m really fine, Sanskar… Please…”
Feeling herself about crying she hugs him nestling her face in his neck, just against the vein pulsing his life there, cradled by her calming breaths, she feels his racing heart slows down until he regains a normal rhythm.
She represses her tears too, her heart beats echoing his and taking a deep breath, she says :
“- it wasn’t you fault, you know?”
Too confused, Sanskar doesn’t reply. What fault is his Swara talking about? He made so many errors… Which one was she referring too? Faking death? Accusing her about Nikhil? Bad mouthing her over six months of the separation? Causing their separation?
“- that fall in the stairs…”
Her voice brings him back from his roaming track over the bad memories, he looks down to her, she wasn’t looking to him, her closed eyes fail hiding the tears pearling at their lashes, he holds her tighter inspiring sharply… Her hand over his heart is like a healing balm while her voice continues:
“- mom was wrong; it wasn’t your fault if I fainted in the stairs, Sanskar…”
After a pause, she adds:
“- I was already ill… I… I just felt dizzy like it was occurrent the whole day then and… I mean… In the first months of pregnancy, it’s normal… But it wasn’t the reason…”
He sighs looking away again to wipe his tears secretly, his other hand continuing stroking her hair. He’s unwillingly taken aback to the week later, and just when he thinks that she’ll not speak about it further, she says like hearing his thoughts:
“- it’s true, I was angry that you were thinking I’m just avoiding you… But it was so stupid from me, it was… It was my decision to never tell you what happened… How could I blame you?”
He wanted to protest, but she talks again:
“- you know why I wanted you find laksh so hardly?… Because if laksh was back then I’ll not feel guilty any more by keeping Ragini at my side while she was suffering about his absence…”
She takes a deep gulp of oxygen before continuing:
“- but… After a week, it wasn’t really for laksh missing that I was blaming you… I… I was blaming myself for bringing a new tragedy in our lives after all we lived till then…”
Sanskar chokes not controlling his tears anymore, her trembling voice betrays her tears too:
“- ha sanskar… That day I told you the words I wanted to blame myself with… Causing our defeat when we finally won… I even was thinking that if I didn’t hurt you so much by lying to you and breaking your promise, you wouldn’t be fighting with you brother till death… for me, you were right, it was my fault too…”
He raises his head to plunge his gaze in her shining eyes, when he wants to talk, about scolding her for accusing herself after all what happened, she puts a finger over his lips muting him and smiles fondly before explaining:
“- I know… You don’t have to say it… I know it Sanskar!… But… But… We were both confused… Till then, we never stopped communicating in our relationship… Even in the worst steps of our story… And all of sudden… We had no any contact for days… ”
He takes her hand from his mouth kissing the tips of her fingers not taking his eyes from hers, then he says:
“- I should have been there, Swara… At that miscarriage… I should have been with you, consoling you and taking care of you… it wasn’t Ragini’s role, it was mine, you can’t protect me against my will, princess?”
She has a small delightful chuckle surprising him, her fingers smoothing the furrows created by his frown on his forehead, she says smiling:
“- really!?… Look at who is talking! Mister I’ll punish you just to protect you!… What kind of prince are you? When has my knight in his shining armor turned to a sadistic prince!”
Her last statement makes him laugh heartily which widens her smile, but a veil of sadness covers his eyes instantly like making him feel guilty to be able to laugh… He looks away again to hide his tears, but she palms his cheek making him look to her back, her vision is blurred by her tears too, so unable to sustain his look without breaking down in tears, she hugs him tighter hiding her face in his throat under his chin, his broken voice makes her shiver:
“- maaf kar do, princess… If only I could return back to that day… I… I would never…”
“- hate me so much?”
Her words shock him, he never hated her… He’s about clarifying it when she looks up to him and says:
“- that was my wish, Sanskar… I wanted you to hate me… At the moment I knew about my illness, all I was able to think of, is you and how your love for me will destroy you… So I destroyed it!”
She said it on a calm tone, like if she’s announcing the upcoming weather unaware of the storm she raises in his shattered soul once more… His tears are not obeying him anymore, his brain tries to register the incoherence of what he just heard from her, she wanted him to hate her? She wanted to destroy his love to her just… Just so when she’ll…
She sees his face’s features change, the tension winning his muscles crushes on her heart like a hammer, she’s losing him again…
So she takes his face in her hands looking straight in his unfocused eyes for a moment, wiping the tears beaming at their corners, she says:
“- it wasn’t your fault Sanskar… It has never been, telling you about my illness was making the last hope for this family vanish forver… Laksh was missing, family was shattered by it and Ragini would never survive alone in those long months… i was already feeling so guilty… ”
Sanskar closes his eyes swallowing hardly and says at lach of patience:
“- Swara! what guilt are you talking about? You were suffering alone… miscarriage, illness, our separation…”
He’s suffocating… in need of taking distance from her right now, because he’s about losing his mind again… what if he says something hurting her?… he’s about freeing himself from her hold but she doesn’t allow him that, she’s almost lying on him when she climbs to his face which is possessively holded in her palm:
“- guilty because i would make you you really suffer whatever I do… before telling you that you’ll be a father, I had to tell you that we lost our baby!… instead of consoling you about Laksh’ missing and say that it wasn’t your fault and he’ll be back soon… I had to announce you that I was letting you too?”
At her last words, he closes his eyes tightly… bitterness filling his heart so much that its tast reaches his dried throat choking him, replacing her head under his chin, her arms wrap his shoulders while their hearts races take the same path…
“- I’m telling you about that moment, Sanskar… that first day of revelation… but things changed after that, the first shock passed, I started my cure which was working well… it wasn’t simple… I proposed to Ragini the Swaragini wedding planner business to keep her busy and to gain some freedom; visits to hospital were hidden by working out… needle marks were covered by new outfits’ long sleeves…”
She hears him stiffen a silent sob while she wipes her tears against his skin, his arms tighten their hold around her when she continues:
“- you were my strength, Sankar… my fear to face you with this terrible reality made me fight like a lioness, I had enough trust in our love for both of us and by the time you were about finding your brother, I was on the recovering way…”
His strangled voice interrups her:
“- past… past… past!!! All that is in the past, Swara! Your strength turned to be your weakness when I broke the recovery way!… I hate this bab…”
Shocked, she almost shouts stopping him her hand covering his lips again, the heavy tears filling her eyes roll over her cheeks sinking him more in his miserable state.
Palming his face again, she presses her forehead against his their eyes melting in each other’s and says with a choked with tears voice:
“- nahi!!! Never say it again! Ragini is wrong too… if my blood has turned to be a poison flowing in my veins, why is this innocent creature handling such terrible accusation?… what is his fault?… he’s not killing me Sanskar… you hear me!? Hamara baccha isn’t killing me…”
Putting her silky hair’s locks behind her ears, he holds her head in his hands and declares:
“- you’re right… he isn’t… what is his fault?… it’s mine… it has been mine from that night in storeroom… it’s mine since I pronounced that promise!”
Not taking off her forehead from his, she nods to say no her face drowned with tears contrasting with the smile cruving her lips:
“- you think that your promise is to protect our baby against my life… why don’t you see that as long as you’ll keep fulfilling it, you’ll keeping my life sade, Sanskar?”
He frowns not really convinced, then detailing her face keenly, he approaches her more toward him, touching her nose with his and whispers against her lips in a breath brushing them:
“- you know that I can make you take back this promise, princess…”
Not letting her protest against his veiled menace, he takes her lower lip in her taking all his time to tast it, delicately, gently and slowly torturing her, his opened eyes relished by the sight of her closed eyes under the sensations he’s provocating in her… he backs off letting her try to catch her breath and waits until she opens her eyes again delighted by the flush spreaded over her heated cheeks…
“- San… Sanskar… you… you can’t do this…”
She wanted to protest against his menace of making her break the promise she made him take in a more vivid words, but she’s no more able to have coherent thoughts and words as his hands are caressing her hair back while he’s subtily moving her until he makes her lay on the bed, his imposing body immobilizing her under him.
When he takes her upper lip between his teeth teasing her a bit before scealling their lips in a voracious kiss, she lets go of a moan of pleasure her bdy reacting to his deferlant desire in a perfect symbiosis, his hands catch hers when she wants to hold on his neck for support to join them over her head which is offering her completely to him and when they break apart in need of oxygen, their eyes are mirroring the same storming love devastin everything in its way… he plants his lips over her neck making her shiver in his heated embrace, and panting she wonders fearfully not able to free her wrists from his grip, he’s right… he’s able to make her do whatever he wants if he wants… what if he’ll really make her back off from her decision? Her scrabbled words find hardly a way out of her throat as his caresses where pluging her in a fog of sensations:
“- S… Sanskar… you’ll… not…”
He looks up to her with a sadistic smile and says:
“- TRUST ME…”
PRECAP: happy moments or the calm before the storm…