Link to Chapter 8: https://www.tellyupdates.com/riansh-it-ends-with-us-chapter-8/
Sorry for updating this one so late, things have been very hectic at work. Without any further ado, let’s get started with the chapter.
It Ends With Us – Chapter 9
A few months later,
When Riddhima found the bed beside herself empty, she yawned tiredly and got off the bed. She twisted her hair and pulled it into a loose bun while walking to the lit dining room of the apartment. The clock hadn’t struck six yet and she exhaled a deep breath.
She stared at his silhouette as he looked down at the table, concentrating on something between the grasp of his hands. She stepped closer and sat on a chair adjacent to his, slowly retiring into the odd comfort of the chair. “You’re up again,” she managed between her continuous trail of yawns and shut her eyes, leaning further against the backrest.
Vansh: You needn’t have gotten up. You returned very late yesternight. (looking up for a fraction of a second) There’s still a few hours until your day begins.
Riddhima (nodding her head): I know. What’re you sketching today? I hope it’s not a portrait of me again.
Vansh: Oh, c’mon! Your portrait had come out well. Or else, being the choosy picker you are, you’d have never hung it in your study.
Riddhima smiled with her closed eyes and recalled the portrait before her eyes for the umpteenth time. Her husband had sketched a portrait of her a few days before and she’d been pleasantly surprised. In all their months of marriage, she’d never known that her husband was a trained artist.
Vansh: I want to draw you someday again, but for today, I’m drawing a memory from childhood. It is an abstract piece.
Riddhima: You talk as if I understand these terms, Vansh. (chuckling) But why 5 in the morning? You’ve time after your work hours too, why don’t you sketch then?
Vansh (shrugging his shoulders): Sketching in the morning helps me feel relaxed through the day. It feels like I’m finally being able to get back into something I’ve always wanted to.
Riddhima opened her eyes and looked at him as he scrubbed the graphite against the canvas concentratedly. In the past few weeks, she’d noticed Vansh’s passion for art and she’d truly felt happy. She’d seen him enjoy and revel in the entire process and an unknown satisfaction had coursed within her.
She folded her hands atop the table and stared at the messy strokes on the canvas. Despite how messy the strokes were, she knew the final piece would be astonishingly beautiful. She stared at a stroke for a second longer before looking up at him. “Why didn’t you become an artist?”
Vansh: Would I have met you if I became an artist?
Riddhima (shaking her head): I’m serious, Vansh. Why didn’t you pursue with your interest in art?
Vansh (exhaling a deep breath): I wanted to, but it wasn’t easy to choose my dreams over my parents’ ambitions. It was always so much easier to do what they wanted over what I wanted.
Riddhima: What do you mean?
Vansh: You know my parents aren’t bad humans, but probably not the best parents a child could wish for growing up. They’ve done a lot for me and I’m very grateful for it and saying this aloud feels like I’m ungrateful for whatever they’ve done for me, but that’s far from the truth. (pausing shortly) It’s just that, that for both of my parents, their status and social image have always been important. And the importance for such a sparse and materialistic thing always bothered me. I’ve told you before too, but I and Ishani were never their priorities in life.
Vansh chuckled and shook his head, dropping the piece of graphite from his hands. He respected the two of them dearly, but the truth had bothered him unimaginably. He stared afar and as Riddhima slid her fingers over his comforting him, he felt a sense of gratitude fill within himself. Besides their initial few meetings in university, he’d always admired how calm and collected she truly was. Unlike his parents, she knew the things that mattered to her, and it was why he’d liked her.
Riddhima: I can’t say I empathize, Vansh, because Ma has always prioritized me and Raima. But I’m here to lend an ear for as long as you need. (looking at him with a small smile) I know you’re not ungrateful.
Vansh: You know pursuing art was never an option for me. Our parents had picked only a few professions that the two of us could build our careers in and it was not because we were going to outshine everyone else in that field. It was only so that they could feel a sense of pride when they said what our professions were and they’d a strong societal image. (chuckling softly) Our parents are very different, aren’t they?
Riddhima stared at him for a long minute, wondering about her previous thoughts. She’d always thought that Vansh had a perfect and smooth life without any hassles. However, she’d realized from their past months of togetherness, that neither of them had everything to themselves. She’d begun understanding that life was never completely fulfilling for anyone – it was about how one perceived life to be.
Vansh (shaking her hand): Hey, where are you lost?
Riddhima (clearing her throat): I was just thinking – Why don’t you try your luck at art now?
Vansh: I don’t have a problem with my profession or job anymore, Riddhima. It’s my comfort space.
Riddhima shifted in her chair and looked at him as he continued with his strokes on the canvas. Just the feel of his hands against the fabric of a canvas made his eyes gleam in joy.
Riddhima: True, but is this what you enjoy? Is this where your heart lies? No. And what’s life without a little bit of risk? You can’t always be in your comfort zone.
Vansh (chuckling): Look who’s talking! What’s the risk that you’ve taken in life?
Riddhima: My biggest risk was marrying you, Mr. Raisinghania. (ignoring his pointed gaze) But that’s besides the point. You must really give your passion a try – so many people these days are building a career out of their hobbies. I’m sure it’s possible!
Vansh: And who’s going to manage the household expenses?
Riddhima (folding her hands and falling back into the chair): You did not just say that, Vansh!
Vansh: I know, I know. I take back my words, but really Riddhima. You’re my responsibility, not the other way round. You don’t have to do this.
Riddhima: And who decides this? (shifting closer to him) We’re each other’s responsibility, Vansh. I don’t care what anyone else thinks – if the two of us are in the clear, I don’t think it should be enough of a problem.
Vansh (shaking his head): Who can win an argument against you? Fine, I’ll think about it.
Riddhima (standing up): Great! Let me get your laptop then.
Vansh (holding her hand): What for?
Riddhima freed her hand and looked at him, her lips stretching into a wide smile. She’d heard from Ishani about his passion for art and she’d tried convincing him multiple times before, but he’d always blatantly ignored her. She pushed the chair and stepped away, “To type your resignation letter!”
Vansh (staring at her in disbelief): So soon?
Riddhima (smiling): Soon kahan, Mr. Raisinghania? We’re several years late! And if you’re doing this, let’s do it with complete honesty and sincerity.
As she walked back to their bedroom to get his laptop, Vansh stared at her in admiration. Riddhima was always the kind of life partner he’d wished for.
What did you guys think of this turn in the story?
Hi there, I’d been waiting to write this dimension of the story since a while. I guess it was an important dimension to touch upon, so I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on it too. This story is very close to a wrap, I hope I can do it soon – fingers crossed. Thanks for reading and stay safe everyone!