Krishna sipped at her steaming coffee cautiously, occasionally risking a glance at Yuvaan, who was still looking angry. She wanted to ask him what was wrong, but was scared she’d upset him more. Yuvaan glanced up at her, and she immediately shifted her gaze to the shop across the street. “Who are you looking at?” Yuvaan questioned her suspiciously, looking outside in the general direction she had been looking.
“No one, Yuvaan” she sighed, feeling guilty. Here, Yuvaan was obviously stressed about some issue…and she? She was just adding to his problems. After all the love he had given her, all the care, she couldn’t just try to support him. “Yuvaan, tell me what happened, is something wrong at home?” she coaxed him to tell her.
“It’s that guy, Sayyam again.” Yuvaan visibly bristled. “He knows very well that he’s hurting maa whenever he’s with her, and yet he still continues to stay with us. He’s done enough damage already!” Yuvaan exclaimed. Krishna furrowed her eyebrows, deep in thought. She had heard a lot about this Sayyam- all the information coming from Yuvaan.
“Sayyam is responsible for all the pain we’ve ever faced Krishna.” Yuvaan continued “He blames himself for whatever happened with maa, and he should. His father was just bad luck for everyone; he used to torture maa so much Krishna, you know? Then that day, he kidnapped maa and…god, I can’t even say it. He and his son disgust me. Even your parents had that accident because he’d tampered with the car-”
Krishna sank down in her seat, remembering the day she lost her parents. Yuvaan noticed her discomfort and held her hand from across the table. “Sorry Krishna…I didn’t mean to remind you…” Krishna shook her head and released her hand from his grasp. She knew he was trying to be comforting, but his presence never put her at ease. Even when he usually hugged her, she felt trapped, like she couldn’t get enough air. “But you know what the worst part is?” Yuvaan stood up looking intensely at Krishna “He’s staying in your room”.
Sayyam slowly entered Suhani’s room and saw her sitting on the bed. Her eyes shone with happiness when she caught sight of him, and Sayyam gave the best smile he could to put her at ease and wearily sat down next to her. Suhani placed her hand on his. “You know what Sayyam!” she brightened up even more, if that was possible. “Yuvaan just called me, he’s picking up Krishna and bringing her home from her dorm now. She finally finished her degree in Psychology, her graduation was last week remember?”
Sayyam tilted his head to the side, he hadn’t gone to the graduation, rather choosing to stay locked in his room; especially after Yuvaan had given him a look that clearly said Sayyam wasn’t wanted there.
Ignoring these pointless thoughts though, he asked the next most relevant question in his mind “Where will she stay maa? As far as he knew, there were no other rooms in the Birla house that he knew of.
“Krishna used to stay in the room you stay in now, but that was before she left to stay in Boarding.” Suhani replied, then looked up, her eyes widening in realization. “Haan (yes) you’re right beta, where will she stay?”
Sayyam saw this as an opportunity and immediately blurted out “I can stay in the outhouse if you want”.
Suhani shook her head “No, beta, it’s ok, we’ll figure it out, maybe Krishna can stay with Yuvani-”
“No maa, I insist” he pouted playfully “Besides, Tiger could use the extra space” he raised his eyebrows, referring to the dog he had brought with him to Birla house.
“Ok, fine” Suhani replied, knowing fully well why her son was doing all this “But on one condition”.
“What is that maa?” Sayyam was genuinely confused.
“I get to feed you dinner today” she pinched his cheek and laughed to herself, enjoying the first playful argument with her son.
“Feed me?” Sayyam repeated, startled.
“No excuses!” she frowned teasingly.
Sayyam felt an unknown feeling of happiness rise within him “Okay maa” he replied, feeling like a kid for the first time in ages.