Link for Episode-14: Episode 14
Finding Solace In You-
Twinkle sat near the wide glass window in their room and stared ahead into oblivion. She missed her father. All the memories of her past flooded her mind. Kunj seemed too unreal to her. The man she had met before seemed vaguely opposite to the man she now called her husband. Kunj Fateen was arrogant, stern, prude, insensible and all the other bad words that could be defined in his terms. Now seemed like a twist had taken place in his personality. He was gentle, charming, kind and caring. All the things she believed a man couldn’t be except for her father. She knew to be thankful for what she has got and not doubt fate or get greedy for more. It never ended well.
Kunj walked into the room after ending up a viral meeting that took hours of discussion. He noticed her dazed attention. She seemed far from where she was, lost somewhere not good for her. Months had passed with her and yet he hadn’t made a move on her without her consent.
He seemed to start wanting more from this marriage, from this proposal, from her. He wanted her. He wanted her in terms that couldn’t be worded or explained. He was starting to get used to her presence, her laughs, her teasings, her immense care, her everything. He didn’t want to let her go but he knew he wasn’t the man for her. He wasn’t a man to settle for anyone at all. He didn’t want himself dominated by his wanting and feelings.
With a deep sigh he went and sat beside her. Instantly she leaned into him closing her eyes in pain and he firmly held her in place for because he didn’t need words to know she wasn’t feeling the best of herself. “I miss abbu.” She answered his unspoken question. “I miss him too.” He genuinely stated. Twinkle twisted to look for honesty tracing his eyes and found him very loyal to his words. He gave her a sad smile. Twinkle kept staring at him, submerged in deep thought. She spoke something she wasn’t conscious of, “I love you.”
Kunj stared down at her with million emotions breaking out. This phrase wasn’t something he was ready for, not in a million years. Love was just an opinion not something solidly real, a mere word used to manipulate someone into something far from who they are. Kunj knew love was a term men used for veiling their obsessions, cruel desires and desperation. He didn’t know what women used it for, maybe status, security, attention and compassion. However, the words Twinkle spoke sounded so different. So full of reality, creed, loyalty, selflessness and innocence. He knew she wasn’t a woman who desired materialism. Her words sounded true but he wasn’t sure if he was ready to embrace her feelings or his own even. Life is prime irony, so was love for him.
Twinkle didn’t know what she spoke even. She stayed silent after she realised she released a havoc already. She didn’t believe in anything such as love or thought she’d ever fall for anyone again but when something is already in fitrah, how can one deny it’s existence. Love was very real, very pure, very slow, very deep, very pleasing, very peaceful, very innocent and all the good things in the world.
She loved Kunj Fateen. She fell in love with her husband. How could she not when her creator had promised to cherish love between two bonded souls by fate. She didn’t expect nor demanded Kunj to love her back. His kindness and care was enough to relish.
Kunj pressed his forehead to hers and they both closed their eyes diving in silence. The noon sun shone brightly over them, warming their souls. Kunj didn’t know what he felt, he didn’t want to know that his career and his main objectives meant more than the woman he was holding. He let every kind of conscious and intellectual thinking float away leaving him caught in the warm shade.
He released her and stood up slowly. She stared at him wide eyed scared to lose him due to a mere confession that could change many chords. Kunj made her stand on her feet and looked deep into her eyes searching her soul, searching a permission. A permission to accept her feelings. “I know I’m not perfect but what I told you is nothing but the truth Kunj.” She pleaded softly.
“You’re more than perfect Twinkle. You just don’t know that.” She shook her head in clear disapproval. She wasn’t ready to accept and he wished he could make her believe him. It was him who wasn’t perfect, not her. “I’m not, for me to stay honest to you and know how you feel about me, you’ve to know I’m not perfect and then you can decide our fate.” She argued.
He grabbed her by the arm to stop her proceeding. She placed a hand over his chest to make him stop instead. She softly unclasped his fingers around her arm and took a step back, standing right in spot for the sun to dot each freckle on her skin. She unbottoned her long gown and let it unwail her imperfection. She knew he deserved to know each reality of her living before accepting her.
He looked at her in dead astonishment, scared to leave her eyes and wonder else where. “You can look and see for yourself.” She gave him his liberate permission. Closing his eyes, he steadied his swirling head. He opened them and made them wonder to places yet undiscovered.
On staring down at her, he saw scars embellishing her pale skin under the crescents of illuminating sunrays. Some of the scars were fading away into yellow, while the others matched her skin tone. Indicating they were engraved into her skin for eternity. Ivory scars covered her skin matchingly. A huge scar ran from her back shoulder to the side of her collar bone. It looked like a cut that had been stitched. All her scars were only visible in bright light except for the huge stitched cut.
Somehow she felt self conscious under his stance but she didn’t realise he looked at her like nothing less than an astounding piece of abstraction. She was his abstract theories. Her skin matching the galaxies of his imagination. She was whole of a galaxy within herself. Buried within her were million fragments of mysteries that inspired the artist in his deepest chords. He wished to trace all her scars that had a story of their own. Story of human brutality, story of unnatural courage, bravery, tolerances and love.
At this point he was glad to have made her agree upon the proposition and jail that brute who made her suffer this immensely and imprinted his presence on her body forever.
He reached out to trace the large scar sitting upon her shoulder. “It was from a knife, he was too drunk to know what he was doing. I hardly survived.” She gave a sarcastic laugh with glassy eyes. “Shshh!” He warned her to stay quiet. He embraced her with all her scars for a time being and told her how they indicated perfection, she was perfect.
Twinkle was awake and listening to Kunj scribble on his artpad, sitting beside her in bed. Today he was her husband in every single definition, they had completed every bond. She had let him have her, imperfect or perfect but he had her. “I know you’re drawing me drooling in sleep with mouth open.” She teased with eyes closed. Kunj stopped dragging his pencil against the hard page, “I thought you were sleeping.” He complained.
Twinkle let out a light chuckle, “Gotcha!” Her laugh died down soon and she peered at Kunj for a moment. She had given him not a piece of herself but entirely herself and he had taken her willingly. “I do realise the intensity of light falling over my body, illuminating my cores, preening my soul, clouding my thoughts, mocking my wisdom, relishing my beauty, displaying my existence, snickering my voice, exasperating my causes. What you don’t realise is that you’re being able to see it all because I’m letting you and that scares me.” She silently warned him to not break her.
Kunj never felt as guilty as he did now. He couldn’t love her back and he didn’t know if he had the strength to let her stay after he accomplished his main objectives. He had seen her, he had seen her body, her soul, everything he need to ignite the artist within him that seemed long gone on drought. He wasn’t sure anymore if it was fair to her. He needed to sort out his feelings and his proceedings with her before he get her hurt. He promised her silently without words that he’d give them a chance. His heart might’ve died years ago but he wasn’t a brute to kill someone else’s heart too. He wouldn’t kill her heart. He sealed his resolve dropping a tender kiss on her forehead.
The sleek paint started to tripped down. He stopped the little droplet with his thumb for falling further. He immensely concentrated on all the shades he had mixed. This was going to be his last art piece and it had to turn out perfectly in every creed. He had worked specifically on this one for an entire week.
He dipped his brush in thick paint and dragged it against her bare skin. Taking another paintbrush, he dipped it in water and coated the previous stroke of color with it fusing it with the shade of her skin. He had memorised every scar of her body. He had memorised every tiny detail of her mere existence and maybe even her soul. He had traced her entirely with his bare hands and it had been a touch he couldn’t free his memory of. She was delicate like the autumn leaf, and he was careful not to crisp her. He feared loss. In many years he feared something, he felt something, he desired something and the irony was she was all too daring to arise every emotion in him and take responsibility for the consequences.
He dried the paint patch with a sponge and continued to concentrate. The muscles in his back had gone stiff and he wanted nothing more than to go back to their room, lay down beside her and just hold her to his peace. But a man like Kunj Fateen knew too well that success doesn’t come by resting in bed beside your woman. Shaking his head to his thoughts he continued his proceedings. After an hour of final touches, he stared back at his disguised reality.
He had painted her in white nightgown he had seen her in often. Her shoulders bare to the site. Her every scar painted in a different color except for the face which was painted natural. The healed gush on her shoulder was embroider with shades of blue. He had imprinted different colors on her pale ivory skin that was exposed, in place of every mark that was visible there. The painting portrayed the fragments of his perspective of her and her body. To him the scars held colored stories of her survival, her sterness, her insecurities, her shattered love, her damaged soul. These were his abstract theories.
He carefully picked up his last painting and placed it in the corner of his art studio to dry. He turned to take a look at all the completed paintings he had painted over the past couple of months now. Every canvas held her face, her mysterious eyes, her bright smile, her different emotions. Over the course of months he had learnt a lot about her. Twinkle was a woman unlike others. There were many few people who doesn’t hold faces on themselves, they reflect whatever that’s inside their souls without altering anything. She was one of those people, whatever she felt, she let people read it on her. And maybe that was what made her so alluring to men.
He painted and sketched more than two dozens portraits reflecting her in so many different lights of his conscious. He was fully packed for the exhibition and his confidence perked at him.
Kunj smiled at the image staring back at him in the medium sized wall mirror in his studio. This was his triumph, this was his winning score, he had played his game and he had played well. He had every blank canvas filled with colors over the time of months but he had done it finally. He didn’t want to call it manipulation because Twinkle had given him herself out of her own will and he found himself guilty of no crime. Now, he can go back lay beside her in bed and let peace engulf him for his hard work was going to pay off.
To an artist nothing matters more than the eye of his admirer. And catching their eye is the hardest creed of world. But an artist like Kunj Fateen, who has confidence lay in his hard work and inspiration, he cared less for the eye of an admirer because this art is beyond that world. After almost two years of drought, he was finally able to set foot in the abstract world again and so he cared less for what ways he had used to achieve that.
He laid in bed and turned to look at her sleeping form. Her face visible in the moonlight deliberately. He slightly traced her cheek bone, then her lips. She felt fragile under his touch and he didn’t know how little would it take to break her. He sighed and retracted his hand but didn’t move his gaze from her. She seemed at peace, in a blissful chord of life and it was linked to him. Reeking on that thought it reminded him of the proposition, his game, his reality. He didn’t want to let her go yet but keeping her gave him no reasons anymore. He had extracted out what he wanted from her and that was that.
He didn’t want her to know of what his present exhibition comprised of or how he was liberally going to show her off to the entire world; she so much kept herself safe from. It was cruel but it was real at the same time. Maybe after the exhibition he’d return home to her and decide if that chance with her still prevailed or he was still incapable of feeling anything. If the later were true, he’d have to let her go before he damages the little spark that’s left of her.
He was lost in a void. His past feelings clawed at his heart and didn’t liberate him to move on or to attach his heart to someone new. No matter if she had given him her heart already, he didn’t know if he still had a heart to give her even. She wasn’t new to the obscured selfishness of men but he was going to take away the little hope that was left in her and nothing ever made him feel more guilty. But staying with her and pretending a person he wasn’t anymore, was far painful than the guilt itself. All men are enslaved to their desires and certainly all men are beast, he concluded.
Thank you very much for reading.
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