“I can’t marry you Gauri.” He replied when she finished narrating and Gauri stood frozen thinking if she heard it wrong. She felt her heart break into a million pieces. “I’m sorry.”
“I can’t marry you.” Omkara repeated. “Gauri, I told you the decision had to be yours. You did this because of pressure and that’s not right. You should decide what your heart wants, not what people around you want you to do. Gauri, I don’t want you to choose me because you don’t have a choice, I want you to choose me because I am your choice.”
Relief washed over her as his words sank in. She couldn’t help but smile a little hearing his words. “Will you believe me if I say that I made this choice with my heart?” Gauri asked with a sort smile, “I know it’s confusing but my heart trusts you more than any guy I’ve ever known.”
“I don’t understand.. you mean you…you want to marry me? That I am your choice?” Omkara asked surprised.
“Yes…” Gauri replied. “But I want to meet you somewhere. I think you should know a few things in my heart. After listening to that you decide if you still want to marry me.”
After their call was over, Gauri sat on her bed and took in a deep breath as she recalled the rest of the memory of the day he had first confessed to her.
Omkara entered the bus and saw that both Anika and Gauri were sitting together. But unlike every other day, she didn’t smile at him. Infact, she didn’t even spare a glance at him which made him feel guilty about confessing his feelings.
It seemed like even luck wasn’t on his side because all the seats around her were already occupied by other students.
Around half the bus ride later when most of the students had gotten off, he found Gauri coming towards his seat. He sat frozen unable to predict what she was about to do or say.
“Omkara.” She called him as she sat on the seat infront of him. It wasn’t the gentle sweet call like everytime, but instead it had a glint of accusation. “Did you really mean what you said today morning?”
“Yeah…” Omkara replied, not wanting to lie to her.
“So you need my answer?” Gauri asked hesitatingly.
“I know your answer will be no, but still I’d like to hear it from you.” He replied softly.
“If you know my answer, then why do you want me to say it?” She asked nervously.
“Because I’d like to hear it from your mouth.”
“But..how can you…love…me..?” Gauri asked.
Omkara had no answer to her question, so he simply asked,”Is it a yes or a no..?” as he dreaded the answer.
“No…” Gauri replied sofly, not meeting his eyes. Omkara closed his eyes and tried to shutdown the heartbreak he felt. He knew what was coming, he had prepared for it but guess no one could ever be prepared enough for a heartbreak.
Not wanting his emotions to hurt her anymore, he just sighed softly.
“I’m sorry..” Gauri said softly as she saw the hurt in his eyes, it killed her to hurt someone’s feelings or break their hope, but as Anika had said, she had to close this, she couldn’t give him hopes. But for some reason, she felt like she was committing a crime, like this was all wrong.
“Heyyy!!” Omkara stopped her, “What are you sorry for? Whatever I said, leave it. We’re still friends right?” He asked as he didn’t want her to feel bad for speaking the truth about her feelings.
Gauri looked at him surprised and nodded in reflex. “I..have to..go back to Anika..” she said after a long pause and Omkara nodded.
“How did it to?” Anika asked as Gauri sat down on the seat.
“I don’t know…he was hurt.” Gauri replied looking down.
“Its not your fault, Ri. It’s not your fault if you don’t feel the same.”
“But Anika, I still feel guilty. Maybe if I hadn’t spoken to him and had kept my distance, then maybe he wouldn’t have felt this way..”
“No Gauri.” Anika tried to comfort her and make her understand, “It’s not your fault. You can’t control the way someone feels for you. Stop blaming yourself.”
After some more of Gauri’s rants, Anika finally managed to shush her and ask her about their conversation.
At this point, although she felt bad for Omkara, she wanted to punch his face for the emotional turmoil her friend was facing all thanks to him and his so called feelings!
“Hey!” Omkara said as he got up from his seat in the cafe seeing Gauri walk towards him.
“Hi!” She said with a smile as she sat on the chair opposite to him.
After ordering coffee for two, Omkara asked Gauri “So what did you want to talk about?”
She hesitated for a bit but remembering Anika’s advice she took in a deep breath. “Will you be patient with me?” She asked unsure of how else to word it.
Omkara looked at her confused. “Patient? About what?”
“Everything.” Gauri answered. “See I’m going to tell you honestly. I’m very indecisive and emotionally unstable and my feelings keep changing. I don’t really know how to explain it, but I’m not sure of my feelings for you. But I do feel if I let go of you, then I’ll loose something precious.” She looked over at him intently listening to her, taking word by word and how all of sudden his face lighted up when she said the last line.
He nodded his head after a minute and said, “I know.”
“You knew?! How?” Gauri asked, her eyes wide in disbelief.
“That was the only possible explanation. You’d always give me signs unknowingly that you had feelings for me but since you were never sure about your own feelings, you disagreed having any feelings.” Omkara said in a matter of fact tone and Gauri looked down guilty.
“Gauri, look at me. I’m really glad you decided to open up.” He smiled reassuringly at her calming her a little, then he asked “So what exactly am I to you?”
Gauri was shocked to hear that question, she wasn’t expecting it and she didn’t know how to answer it. But she had to so she thought for a while before she said, “I dont know…much…but I do know I trust you more than any guy I’ve ever met. I really like and admire you….I would like to be a part of your life.. I would like to..give us a chance…if you are willing..”
“Are you sure you want this?”
When nodded, Omkara’s lips curled up into a stunning smile as he controlled his urge to hug her tightly. “Thank you Gauri. This is more than enough for me, I’ll make sure you won’t regret this decision. I’ll try my best to make you feel happy. You have no idea how happy I am today!” He grinned as he took her hands in his and held them tightly. His face reflected the joy in his heart while Gauri looked over at him surprised by his move.
Gauri quickly pulled back her hands with a blush as she saw the waiter arrive with their order. After thanking the waiter, Omkara in a teasing tone asked, “So, this is a date huh?”
She blinked her eyes in shock as realisation dawned on her. “Our first date..?” She mumbled to herself and Omkara chuckled.
“We should take a photo as a memory!” Gauri said at last.
“3 weeks!?” Omkara asked in disbelief to his mother.
“Pandit ji said that there is only one mahurat this year. And that is after 3 weeks. Otherwise you both will have to wait for another year.” Jhanvi explained calmly. “And you know Om, her dadi isn’t well.”
“But mom…” Omkara tried to protest but knew it was in vain.
“You guys can sort things out after getting married too. Take things slowly, I’m in no hurry to be a grandmother.” Jhanvi said shrugging. “I swear I won’t bug you both for grandchildren anytime soon, I still havent finished living my youthful days.”
Saying this, she leaves the room leaving Omkara in disbelief.
Will this time be enough for her to get into a married life? And what the hell is wrong with my mother? He wondered. Just a day ago Gauri had agreed to this marriage, and now they fixed a muharat too? And that too after 3 weeks?!
He debated with himself on whether or not to call her but after sometime, he found himself dialling her number up.
“Hello?” Her sweet voice spoke from the other side.
“Gauri, how’s your grandmother doing now?” Omkara asked after the usual hi-hellos.
“She’s feeling better, thanks for asking.”
“That’s good.” Then becoming a little more concerned, he asked, “Did you know they fixed the date?”
“Just got to know 5 minutes ago.” Her voice sounded down and a little sad.
“I know what you are feeling. I get it you need time but-“
“Omkara” she interrupted him calmly, “I know. And I’m fine with it.”
“Are you sure?”
“As long as you assure me to give me time even after marriage” Gauri tells him.
“I’ll wait for you.” Omkara said with a voice so calming that she almost doubted if she had fallen for him at that moment, she could imagine him smiling in a gentle and reassuring way as he said those words.
To be continued….
Chapter 9 is finally up!! Please tell me what you think about it.
Thanks for reading!