Link for Episode-15: Episode 15
Finding Solace In You-
Susan engulfed her in a big hug with a bright smile of acceptance spread across her face. “I’ve heard so much about you.” She said in an excited chipper while she pulled back. Twinkle stood their uneasy with the new intrusion. She wasn’t doing good with the idea of meeting Marcus’s wife and having them stay with her for a few weeks while Kunj was at his exhibition.
Kunj didn’t like the idea of leaving her all alone even if he had an army of employees working actively at the villa. But the thought of her being on her own bugged him. She had grown so much on him. He requested Liyannah to have a stay at his but due to feeling unwell to travel gave her a good enough excuse to send Marcus and his family on a good vacation.
Having Marcus stay with her had Kunj off the hook but seeing he was with family, sooth away his worry creases. “I’m trusting you.” He warned him in a deadly voice. The irony was, Kunj’s worry wasn’t out of love. It was for a simple fact that he was a well responsible man and anything under his term and conditions, came under his authorization. Twinkle was under his marriage contract and for those reasons he didn’t want anything go bad. He was soon going to end the contract anyways once he got back.
Marcus held his two years old and rolled his eyes at the over protectiveness of his best friend. He too like Twinkle mistook it for his caring. He thought Kunj was improving when in reality, Kunj only had other plans in mind.
Twinkle seated her guests, told them to feel home and walked towards where Kunj was heading. Kunj stood at the entrance of his house and instructed the men to carefully place each of his wrapped painting in the trunk of the car. He would’ve every piece delivered to the New York art gallery by tomorrow and prepare for his exhibition right away. He was too focused on his job to notice her presence anymore.
This was Kunj Fateen. He was emotionless, stern and too serious about his work. He got what he wanted and he already felt at triumph that his exhibition would be a hit of the year and the years to follow. He had played his cards and he had played too well. At the back of his mind, he did feel sorry for the ways he had chosen to walk and deliberately using a person for his own vile full purposes. The moment he had taken what he wanted, he started feeling distant from her.
“When will you be back?” Her concerned voice grabbed his attention. He turned to look at her worry laced face. “Few weeks.” He shortly replied her to which she just nodded her head. She could sense the change in his demur but didn’t feel like voicing it to him. She took his distant stance for his worry over the exhibition. He was a man who worked hard after all. She hadn’t seen any of his art piece precisely but had seen him work in sweat.
When everything was placed in the trunk, he turned towards Twinkle again. “Keep safe!” He leaned and placed a soft kiss on her cheek. She gave him a smile of assurance and bid him farewell. She watched both the cars drive out of their driveway and sighed.
With heavy footsteps she returned to their living area. It was only then that she noticed the two years old trying to drag her father off his seat to play with her. Twinkle walked towards her and picked her up, “You’re a troublemaker aren’t you?” She stared at Twinkle’s face for a moment and then started giggling. It wasn’t going to be so bad without Kunj, she thought to herself.
Days past and she got in routine with the family. They’d spend their day under daylight in the garden. Marcus would talk about his books and writing. Susan and Twinkle would bond together and share their own philosophies. They’d talk about old times, grasp a few good old memories. The couple was really easy going. Susan seemed to be Marcus’s carbon copy. She shared same sense of humor, optimism and understanding as Marcus did. Their relation seemed to be so beautiful and pleasing, the kind Twinkle wished to witness one day in her and Kunj’s relationship. She really enjoyed her time around them.
During the evenings, they’d mostly plan out an outing and the four of them would’ve the time of their lives, laughing and mesmerising each moment. Twinkle formed an instant bond with the two years old. Ellena was a very welcoming child. She’d remind her of how Azeen used to be as a kid, mischievous, loud, energetic and active kid. Often times she had her sleep in her arms and made her feel warm. Seeing Ellena, she couldn’t help but imagine holding her and Kunj’s child with Kunj by her side.
“It’s shopping today.” Susan announced to which Marcus only groaned. Ellena let out a giggle.
Twinkle tickled her and hugged her tight, “Fine by me.” She gave her approval.
She sat in the waiting while Susan was off trying a few items on. Twinkle tried her hardest to keep an eye on the mischievous two years old. Marcus straightened across her, “Twinkle?” She turned her head to his sudden interjection.
He looked at her with a gaze that indicated he was trying to read her out. “How’s your marriage going?”
She looked at him a bit fazed, “It’s going fine.” She tried to assure him but the serious look didn’t leave his features. She recalled all the months she had spent with Kunj, all the times she had confessed him her feelings, all the moments he had made her feel content with her life and that was enough for her to know her marriage was going good. She wasn’t in false hopes of having him confess emotions. He feared them, he ran away from them. But he cared and he showed it. That was more than enough of satisfaction.
“What about love?” He asked again. “What about it?” She shrugged at him.
“Does he love you?” He needed to know. For he had seen her look at him with those feelings in her eyes. The only thing he saw in Kunj’s eyes for her was pity and guilt. He needed to know he won’t end up breaking her. Either she was too livid or she had already given herself out which most women did when in love.
“Does it matters? He cares and that’s what matters most. Sometimes Marc you don’t need the person to love you, the world doesn’t depend on it. Some relations can even work with mutual caring and that’s enough.” She tried her hardest to emphasise her point.
“Are you sure?” He turned a diplomatic question in her direction.
“Sure about what?”
“That he cares.” His statement left her baffled. She opened her mouth to answer him but no words seemed to form. She was starting to have the same feeling she had when she was with Faris. “He won’t hurt me?” It was more of a question than a stern assurance.
Marcus shook his head in pure redemption. He didn’t know what game his friend was playing but he did know he was going to hurt her by the end of it. Just because he was damaged and incapable of loving her gave him no right to lead her on like this but only if he could tell her. Only if he could tell her Kunj Fateen had long given out his heart away but his past wasn’t his to tell her. Through the courses of months he had faith Twinkle would bring him back but he saw his hopes turn a shade of grey the moment Kunj told him he was planning to leave her.
He didn’t keep secrets from his wife and Susan found Kunj’s recklessness as livid as he did but none could change a thing for Kunj always got his ways. They both had known him for years to know how vile he could get. Marcus found nothing better but to fly all the way from London to offer Twinkle a chance of better life when Kunj leaves her. He wanted her to work for him and groom to be independent. To say he wished Kunj would someday realise her worth and come back for her, was an understatement.
Susan worked as a social activist and knew too well her husband had a soft heart. He couldn’t bear someone close to him suffer. Despite what Kunj had become, he still kept him close for old times sake and that was one reason why he didn’t want him damage someone’s light and he was ready to make amendments in Kunj’s place even if he did go with his vile proceedings.
Twinkle fed Ellena and put the toddler off to sleep. She let the couple have time to themselves and decided to stay back home with Ellena instead. She wasn’t feeling too well to go out anyways. Her head kept feeling dizzy. Tired and lazy she walked down towards the kitchen to feed herself. She stopped before the kitchen island and picked up the newspaper. The front tabloid flashed Kunj’s figure. He was standing tall and broad, smiling at something distant with a glint in his eyes. The heading read: “The spectacularly talented artist all set for the opening of his art gallery in just two days…”
She curiously picked up the front page that had different pictures of Kunj Fateen imprinted on it and begun reading: “Looks like after a year and a half of drought, the all favourite artist and self made billionaire entrepreneur is back on track with his brand new art exhibition gallery. No doubt NYC has been waiting for all over a year to have Kunj Fateen come up with something new and worth the wait. Guess the wait is over as the young artist have announcement the opening of his art exhibition in two days. For insight, he told our reporters that this is going to be by far his best exhibition and he feels excited about the opening. He cheerfully talked about his abstract being a mystery. But we all know, Kunj Fateen is no less of a mystery himself…” Twinkle stopped reading and dropped back the paper. It had been a week that he was gone now and not once did he call her. Maybe he was busy with work, was an excuse she fed herself.
Marcus held Ellena for reaching out to grab a handful of sweet candy beans. She whined and cried in protest. “Just let her go Marc.” Twinkle exclaimed trying hard to get Ellena away from her over protective father.
“Woah! What’s happening?” Susan interjected and stared at them both fighting over her two years old.
“With the amount of sugar in her system, Twinkle is doing nothing but spoiling her.” He sternly declared to which Twinkle chuckled.
“Don’t tell me you were such an obedient child and kept away from candies. You’re only upsetting her.” He looked at Susan for help but she raised her hands in defence.
“Your children are going to love you with the amount of spoiling you do.” Susan told Twinkle cheerfully. Marcus let go of Ellena and she hopped over to Twinkle. She buried her head between the crook of her neck and began weeping. Twinkle soothed her calm. She ignored what Susan stated. It was a wish that had lost hopes long ago. She was already under too many favours of Kunj to demand for having children of their own. She closed her eyes to the self defeat.
Susan noticed the impact of her statement on her and shook her head. Since she knew Kunj was inclined on leaving her already, it’d do nothing but break her. He couldn’t even give her a real marriage let alone children. It was the only time when she hated his guts.
Twinkle walked with the sleeping Ellena in her arms to lay her down in the guest room. On the way back she noticed Kunj’s study room’s door ajar. Maybe someone forgot to close it after cleaning, she thought. Without much thinking, she entered the study and started investigating shelves with too many different kinds of books. He had many books there, from business to art to novels. His study was a library in it’s own. She noticed his desk at the other end of the room. She walked towards it and started tracing her fingers over the objects placed atop of it. She traced a deck of files, pens, pencils, paper holders till her fingers fell upon a black leathered diary.
She was missing his presence. Being at his study, made her feel somewhat near him. She picked the diary only to notice something fell off. She picked the fallen picture off the desk with her other hand and turned to investigate it.
She began staring at a young Kunj with eyes full of life and a smile that couldn’t estimate his happiness. But that was not all. Beside him stood a charming girl with light brown almond eyes, pointy nose, chubby cheeks and a round mouth. She was the type you could call naturally beautiful. Her hand held Kunj’s hand around her waist. Both of them were radiantly smiling at the camera.
On seeing this, Twinkle’s heart skipped a few beats. With shaky hands she turned her attention towards the diary. The diary didn’t date back to from when the picture was taken rather the year on it indicated it was from recent. She opened it and found Kunj’s handwriting in craved onto the pages. She started reading through the lines in a haste.
Kunj had written all about the things that had happened around for a year. She found lines that related to his drought. She found lines that related to his frail attempts and getting himself make a good enough painting and frustration. She also find lines that related to times when he missed his parents, how he wished they were still here and how his life could’ve been also different, he hated his life. Lastly she found lines that related to the time when he first laid eyes on her…
“I hadn’t seen anyone as deep as her before, her eyes held mysteries I needed to paint. I knew I found my inspiration and I had to give anything it take to in crave that face into my blank canvas…”
She kept reading, turning the pages. Tracing her memories when he first saw her with Faris, when he first started the game of getting what he wanted, when he first offered her the marriage proposition, when he first saw her laying bruised on the ground, when he first heard her say she agrees to marrying him, he had it all written. The reality of their marriage was written in his handwriting over pages of his journals. It shocked her to brims.
Every void of her life was written there. Every emotion he hid was written there. From how he felt about playing her but at the same time it scared him how bruised she was. How it tugged at his heart when he saw her in his mother’s wedding dress. Or how he wanted to keep her safe even when he does leave her after he gets what he wants. He had written every detail of the proposition in his journal.
“I saw her, I saw each fragment of her, from her scars to her soul and I preserved each detail of it. I painted each detail of her…”
She read everything. She read about how he felt when he found out about her abuse; “I’d do anything to change that fact about her, to take away her pain. I couldn’t stop it before but I couldn’t let history repeat itself. I couldn’t find it possible to live with the reality that I could stop it but I didn’t, once again. This is one reason I want to marry her…”
She also read about the time she confessed him her love, “Only if I could tell her I’m nothing more than a monster myself. How can I love Twinkle back when I can’t let go of her? It’d be unjust to her. Maybe it’s unjust to us all. Time has left us in such lapses that I can do nothing to fix it all. I can’t stop loving her and yet I can’t stop Twinkle from loving me. I know I’m being brutal to her but no one will ever understand, even I don’t understand. It’s confounding…”
She also read about their first touch, “I don’t know what I feel. I want to feel empty, I want to feel that I’ve cheated but the irony is, I feel content as if I found a piece that had been missing for too long. I don’t know if I can keep myself away from her anymore. She is addictive…” She scrunched her nose in disgust.
The betrayal couldn’t stop Twinkle from burning out the last of her strengths. She stopped reading when she reached the line, “She’s my abstract theories.” She closed shut the diary and placed it back.
With slow steps and a heavy heart she walked out and closed shut the door behind her. She stood their and tried to absorb it all. She sank to the ground and let her misery engulf her. She had given herself to a man who had done nothing but used her. She had repeated a past mistake again. She felt outrageous with her own choices more than she felt broken with what Kunj Fateen did to her.
After painful moments she dried her stray tears. Getting up and fixing herself, she walked towards the garden and approached Marcus. “What’s his art exhibition about?” She asked in a broken voice and with sudden urgency. She was holding onto last hopes wishing it was all false. That Kunj Fateen hadn’t betrayed her and used her.
Seemed abit lost they both turned to her. “Haven’t you seen his paintings yourself?” Susan asked all confused.
“Have you?” Twinkle questioned them instead and they both shook their heads in a no. She knew they were genuine. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Marcus asked with concern lacing his voice.
“Show me the paintings that are on display in his gallery.” She emphasised, ignoring his question. Both the couple looked at each other confused. Marcus fetched his laptop from inside and took a seat across both the women. Twinkle stayed quiet and waited. She heard the sound of the keypad clicking. They both observed his expressions turning from concerned to horrified.
“His exhibition started yesterday, it’s doing really well…” He tried to change the subject and prevent her from seeing his paintings.
“Show me.” She spoke through her teeth, agitated. Marcus turned the laptop screen towards her in pain and closed his eyes. Her eyes skimmed through the pictures displaying his canvas. Each piece had her engraved from her eyes to her smile to her hair, everything. He had exploited her in every way that he found possible. She stopped breathing, she forgot how to shed tears, she forgot to yell out her hurt, she just sat there staring at herself without even blinking once.
Her world stopped. Everything stopped. All of it seemed unreal. She found herself in a void. A void that had consumed her and there was no way of turning it all around. It was all doomed. She was doomed. Her entire reality was doomed. Her existence was doomed. His abstraction was doomed.
TUBA BUYUKUSTUN as the girl in the picture.
Hande Erçel as Susan.
Thank you very much for reading.
Hey y’all! How’re you doin’? Enjoyed reading the episode… If yes then what’re you waiting for start shooting your views:)
I actually planned to update yesterday but it just slipped out of my mind because… I got a new cellphone, my father gifted it to me and I was so happy that everything went out of the window. I’m really sorry though^_^
The response on the previous episode was marvellous. I can’t tell you how much contented I was while reading your comments. Thank you so much for writing such precious words which always touches my heart:* I know I should reply to your comments but I’m just kinda busy these days so instead of answering your views I prefer to write whenever I get time please pardon me:) However know that your each and every word means a world to me.
Initially I wanted to complete the story before Ramzan but it’s not possible now because they’re starting this week so eventually I’ve to complete it before 1st May for sure after that I won’t be able to write for I’ll move Lahore to stay at my maternal grandmother’s place that’s why shower your love as it encourages me to write and you’ll get updates soon else you all would’ve to wait for my come back which would be crude of me;)
Sofia, I don’t have an account on insta… I’m sorry maybe you had asked before too but I forgot to reply so yeah I’m not insta actually I’m not a social media person at all but you’d be the first one In’shaAllah to get my account as soon as I make one:)
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