SWASAN – SHE’S NOT FOR ME
Heyy, It’s Anjali back with the next chapter!!!
Thnxx for comments and to my silent readers….
CHAPTER 4 LINK :
Swara finds out that she was never pregnant.
The following month was one of the worst Sanskaar had faced in his life. It was his best approximate to hell.
With every document he was asked to sign and everyone’s new found respect for him, it was like Laksh had never existed.
Soon, Sanskaar thought dispassionately, it would be as if he’d never existed. Even the baby—who was to have been the last piece of Laksh Maheshwari left on earth—was gone.
And everything that had been Laksh’s was now Sanskaar’s.
And Sanskaar intended to keep it that way. He would not—no, he could not offer his cousin that last insult.
He’d had to see her, of course, and he’d offered his best words of comfort, but whatever he’d said, it wasn’t the right thing, and she’d just turned her head and looked at the wall.
He didn’t know what to say. Frankly, he was more relieved that she was not injured than he was upset that the baby had been lost.
Mr Luthra had asked for all sorts of doctor’s reports and everything to make sure that Swara was actually telling the truth. Sanskaar had wanted to hurl the yappy little man out the window, but instead he’d merely shown him the door. He no longer had energy for that kind of anger, it seemed.
He still hadn’t moved into Maheshwari Mansion. He wasn’t quite ready for it, and the thought of living there with all those women was suffocating. He’d have to do so soon, he knew; it was expected of the earl. But for now, he was content enough in his small suite of apartments.
And that was where he was, avoiding his duties, when Swara finally sought him out.
Swara (entering the living room) : Hello Sanskaar!
Sanskaar : SWARA!
He was shocked at her appearance. She’d never come here before. Not when Laksh had been alive, and certainly not after.
Sanskaar (finding his voice) : What are you doing here?
Swara (shrugging slightly) : I wanted to see you.
The unspoken message being: You’re avoiding me.
It was the truth, of course. But he didn’t know what else to do without losing his mind.
Sanskaar : Sit down…… Please.
She sat down awkwardly. He wasn’t sure what to do. The circumstances of their position were so odd, so completely out of order that he had no idea which rules of etiquette were currently governing them.
She sat, and did nothing but fiddle her fingers against her dupatta for a full minute, and then she looked up at him, her eyes meeting his with a heartbreaking intensity.
Swara : I miss you.
The walls began to close in around him. He opened his mouth to reply, but she stopped him.
Swara (in an accusing voice) : YOU were my FRIEND….You were my friend and now, I don’t know who you are any longer.
Sanskaar : I…
He felt like a fool, utterly impotent and brought down by a pair of brown eyes and a mountain of guilt.
Guilt for what, he wasn’t even certain any longer. It seemed to come from so many sources, from such a variety of directions, that he couldn’t quite keep track of it.
Swara (in a sad voice) : Why do you avoid me? What’s wrong with you?
Sanskaar : I don’t know….. I don’t know.
He couldn’t lie to her and say that he wasn’t. She was too smart for that. But neither could he tell her the truth.
Her lips quivered, and then the lower one caught be-tween her teeth. He stared at it, unable to take his eyes off her mouth, hating himself for the rush of longing that swept over him.
Swara (whispering) : You were my friend…. I needed you…… (softly) I still do.
Sanskaar (in a rough voice) : You don’t need me. You have your mothers, Ragini and your brothers.
Swara : I don’t want to talk to them. They don’t understand.
Sanskaar (desperation lending an ugly tone to his voice) : I certainly don’t understand.
She just stared at him, condemnation coloring her eyes. He wanted to sink down to the floor but he just crossed his arms.
Sanskaar : Swara…. You thought you were pregnant.
Swara (pain clouding her eyes, in a tight voice) : I know.
Sanskaar : What do I know of such things? You need to talk to a woman.
Swara : Can’t you say sorry?
Sanskaar : I DID say I was sorry.
Swara : But you don’t mean it, Do you?
Sanskaar (tired and sighing slightly) : I did mean it, Swara!
Swara : I’m just so angry, and I’m sad, and I’m upset, and I look at you and I don’t understand why you’re not.
Sanskaar (whispered) : Don’t ever say that.
Swara (anger in her eyes) : Well, you’ve a funny way of showing it. You never call, and you never speak to me, and you don’t understand—
Sanskaar : What am I supposed to understand,Swara? What is it… God–
He turned away from her, leaning heavily on the windowsill.
Behind him Swara just sat quietly, still as death.
Swara (finally) : I should go home. This was a mistake.
Sanskaar (hoarsely) : No… Please don’t go.
But he didn’t turn around. She said nothing; she wasn’t sure what he meant.
Sanskaar ( awkwardly) : This is the first time you’ve come here. At least, have some refreshments.
Swara nodded, even though he still wasn’t looking at her.
And they remained thus for several minutes, for far too long, until she could not bear the silence any longer. The clock ticked in the corner, and her only company was his back, and all she could do was sit there and think and think and wonder why she’d come here.
What did she want from him?
And wouldn’t her life be easier if she actually knew.
Swara : Sanskaar!
His name had left her lips before she realized it.
He turned around. He didn’t speak, but he acknowledged her with his eyes.
Why had she called out to him? What did she want?
Still, he didn’t speak. Just stood there and waited for her to collect her thoughts, which made everything so much harder.
And then, to her horror, it spilled out.
Swara (her voice breaking slightly) : I don’t know what to do… And I’m so angry, and… (She stopped, gasped—anything to halt the tears) What did i do wrong?
Across from her, Sanskaar opened his mouth, but only barely, and even then, nothing came out.
Swara (repeating) : What did I ever do?
Sanskaar : Nothing at all….
She looked up at him, feeling the grief and the anger etching themselves into her face.
Swara : He’s gone. He isn’t coming back, and I’m so… so… It isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that it’s me and not someone else, and it isn’t fair that it should be anyone, and it isn’t fair that I don’t have my baby —-
And then she choked, and the gasps became sobs, and all she could do was cry. Sanskaar came towards her and knelt at her feet.
Sanskaar (holding her hands) : I’m so sorry… So sorry—
Swara (sobbing) : I know..But that doesn’t make it better… Or fair.
Sanskaar : No!
Swara : It doesn’t……
He didn’t try to finish the sentence for her. She wished he had; for years she wished he had, because maybe then he would have said the wrong thing, and maybe then she wouldn’t have leaned into him, and maybe then she wouldn’t have allowed him to hold her.
But oh, God, how she missed being held.
Swara : Where were you? Why weren’t you there for me?
Sanskaar : I want to… I…I… I don’t know what to say.
She was asking too much of him. She knew it, but she didn’t care. She was just so sick of being alone.
But right then, at least for a moment, she wasn’t alone. Sanskaar was there, and he was holding her, and she felt warm and safe for the first time in weeks. And she just cried. She cried weeks of tears. She cried for Laksh and she cried for the baby that had never been there.
But most of all she cried for herself.
Finally, she spoke once she had recovered enough.
Swara : We can’t go on like this.
She felt something change in him. His embrace tightened, or maybe it loosened, but something was not quite the same. She drew back so she could see him, relieved when his arms fell away, and she didn’t have to wriggle free.
Swara : You cannot ignore me like this.
Sanskaar : Swara! That’s —
Swara : If there had been a baby, It would have been yours in a way too.
He went pale, deathly pale. So much so that for a moment she couldn’t breathe.
Sanskaar : What does that mean?
Swara (shrugging helplessly) : The child would have needed a father. It would have had to be you.
Sanskaar (choking) : You have Adarsh and Sahil.
Swara : My brothers didn’t know Laksh. Not like you did.
He moved away, stood, and then, as if that weren’t enough, backed up as far as he could, all the way to the window. His eyes flared slightly, and for a moment she could have sworn that he resembled a trapped animal, cornered and terrified, waiting for the finality of the kill.
Sanskaar (voice low) : Why are you telling me this?
Swara (swallowing uncomfortably) : I’m not sure… I don’t know.
But she did know. She wanted him to grieve as she grieved. She wanted him to hurt in every way she hurt. It wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t nice, but she couldn’t help it and she didn’t feel like apologizing for it, either.
Sanskaar (his voice sharp) : Swara! I’m not Laksh.
Swara : I know.
His eyes narrowed and focused on her with dangerous intensity.
Sanskaar : That wasn’t my baby.. There WASN’T a baby. I can’t be what you need.
And inside of her, something started to die.
Swara : Sanskaar, I…
Sanskaar (shouting now) : I won’t take his place.
And then, in a startling flash of motion, he was at her side, and he’d grabbed her shoulders and hauled her to her feet.
Sanskaar (yelling) : I won’t do it!
He was shaking her, and then holding her still, and then shaking her again.
She couldn’t speak, couldn’t form words, didn’t know what to do.
Didn’t know who he was.
He stopped shaking her, but his fingers bit into her shoulders as he stared down at her, his eyes afire with something terrifying and sad.
Sanskaar : Please don’t ask me for this.
Swara (whispering) : Let me go, Sanskaar!
He didn’t, but she wasn’t even sure he’d heard her. His eyes were lost, and he seemed beyond her, unreachable. She called him again, panicked.
And then, abruptly, he did as she asked, and he stumbled back, his face a portrait of self-loathing.
Sanskaar (staring at his hands like they were not his) : I’m sorry. I’m so sorry…
Swara inched toward the door.
Swara : I should go.
Swara (softly) : I think…… I think we should not talk to each other for a while.
He nodded jerkily.
She didn’t say anything more. She didn’t know what to say. If she’d known what had just happened between them she might have found some words, but for now she was too bewildered and scared to figure it all out.
Scared, but why? She certainly wasn’t scared of him. Sanskaar would never hurt her. He’d lay down his life for her if the opportunity forced itself; she was quite sure of that.
Maybe she was just scared of tomorrow. And the day after that. She’d lost everything, and now it appeared she’d lost Sanskaar as well, and she just wasn’t sure how she was supposed to bear it all.
Swara told she was leaving one last time, giving him one last chance to stop her, to say something, to say anything that might make it all go away.
But he didn’t. He didn’t even nod. He just looked at her, his eyes silent in their agreement.
Swara left. She walked out the door and out of his house. And then she went home.
And she didn’t say a word. She climbed up her stairs and she climbed into her bed. She didn’t cry. She kept thinking she should, kept feeling like she might like to. But all she did was stare at the ceiling. The ceiling, at least, didn’t mind her regard.
Sanskaar had sunk to a new low. That much was clear.
But try as he might, he couldn’t figure out what else he could have done. It wasn’t as if he’d meant to hurt her, and he certainly hadn’t stopped, pondered, and decided Oh, yes, I do believe I shall act like an a*s, but even though his reactions had been swift and unconsidered, he didn’t see how he might have behaved any other way.
He knew himself. He didn’t always—or these days even often—like himself, but he knew himself. And when Swara had told him that the baby would have been his, his soul was shattered.
She didn’t know.
She had no idea.
And as long as she remained in the dark about his feelings for her, as long as she couldn’t understand why he had no choice but to hate himself for every step he took in Laksh’s shoes, he couldn’t be near her. Because she was going to keep saying tilings like that.
And he simply didn’t know how much he could take.
And so, as he stood in his study, his body taut with misery and guilt, he realized two things.
The first was easy.
If even in the midst of his grieving for Laksh, he couldn’t get rid of his feelings for Swara, Nothing would.
Which led him to the second, which wasn’t easy at all.
But he had to do it. Rarely had the choices in his life been so clear. Painful, but painfully clear.
He moved to his bedroom, opened his cupboard and started packing.
HE HAD TO LEAVE KOLKATA… HE HAD TO LEAVE SWARA!
PRECAP : 4 years later
Sorry for the late update..
will upload next during the diwali weekend. 🙂
Hope you like it.