As Ivaan pulls me in a hug.. I, with a heavy heart make up my mind to let go of my feelings for Aarav.. like it is as easy as to take something out of a cupboard..I would have known that when it comes to heart.. there no place for any logic.
Believe me when I am saying this that sacrifices are always hard but to sacrifice our first love is the toughest choice.. the pain we feel, would be much more worse than the pain of stabbing our own heart.. cause in the former case a person starts dying slowly, even without losing single drop of blood..and that pain, I am feeling right now..
Then suddenly I feel Aarav's presence near me.. and my heart forgets all the pain and starts beating faster with joy.... and by listening to his words,well they are full of anger and hatred but to my ears it is the sweetest voice.. I was craving for..
So I pull back from Ivaan, startled.. see that Aarav with Kia standing at the door.. Aarav's sharp gaze on Ivaan..while Kia is observing me with regret and pity..
As I look at Aarav.. I am shocked cause his hairs are messy.. he is in his loungewear.. this is second time I am seeing him like this. I know that again I am the only responsible person behind his condition...!!!
My heart is panting heavily in my rib cage... I don't know is it okay or not at this time? but I am feeling excited and happy, seeing him here.. I am satisfied now that whatever he says but he is concerned about me, he cares for me.. so my feelings are not one sided at all..!!
All I want to do right now is to run to his arms.. to feel his warmth.. and to tell him how do I feel for him... but what about Ivaan? My mind interrupts my dreamy train of thoughts..
I come back to my senses.. to the reality.. cruel one..!! here I am, standing rooted to the ground with watery eyes and runny nose.. looking at them.. Aarav's eyes are still on Ivaan...
Ivaan states with some what surprise, "hey easy bro... she knows the truth now.." then looks at me with a smile and adds, "I am not gonna hurt her.. never.. and why did you two follow me here.. ? you didn't need to.. see.. I am fine.. there is nothing wrong with me..believe me.."
Kia sprints to me and asks..eyeing me suspiciously, "are you all right..? Ivaan didn't do anything to you right?.. and pulls me in a motherly hug..almost crying"
I answer by embracing her back, "I am fine.. nothing's gonna happen to me when I have friends like you to take care of me.. I observe Aarav from there.. He is still not relieved and sharply observing the paintings.. and scanning the whole place with his sharp eyes...
I am afraid that he must have got the idea about what might have happened here? and looking to his face I can feel that it isn't gonna have a good impact on him... his jaw gets clenched when he moves his eyes towards me.. I quickly close my eyes and press Kia tightly in my arms.. I don't know what have I done wrong that I am afraid to meet with his eyes..?
And his piercing gaze was not enough that my instincts, adding up to my fear and regret that I have done something wrong...
Thank god Kia interrupts my weird thoughts by releasing me from her embrace and asks hesitantly, "so you know the truth now..?" I nod, "yeah.. and I am really sorry that I am the reason behind all these suffering.. Kia.."
Kia is just watching me with disbelief. She interrupts me, "hey.. if anyone should be sorry here.. then it should be me.. that I concealed a big secret from you, but believe me I was afraid.. scared that you'll hate my brother. But when I knew that he came back. The first person I worried about, was you.. I tried my best to keep you away from Ivaan. Of course he is cured but I was afraid that when he will meet you after these many years, his condition may revert back.. oh dear please forgive me" and she starts crying..
I grab her hand and try to calm her down, "Kia.. I would have done the same if I were at your place.. but I must say you are the strongest.. and please forgive me for my childish behaviour cause when Ivaan left suddenly.. I was eating you alive with my questions about him.. now I can understand how hard it would have been for you?.. though you were so calm and balanced.. I am seriously telling you I would have gone mad if I were you..
Now I know why did you always avoided meeting us on occasions like 'Raksha bandhan..' and 'Diwali..' at that time too, I was torturing you mentally, for not being with us..oh god I was really insane" tears start rolling down my face again.. Ivaan and Aarav approach us..
I add, "I just can't imagine... how much pain you have been through all these years.. I was just being selfish, telling you how lonely I am but I didn't ask you even once that what are you feeling without Ivaan..?" Tears are continuously coursing down our cheeks.. looking at each other..
Ivaan interrupts us, "hey..Ra.. stop crying okay.. and Kia you too.. enough of these sad scenes.. you know..the good thing is, now Ra.. knows the truth and I am here with you all.. fine.. so lets just enjoy my stay.." he drapes his hands around our shoulders and gives us a side hug.."
Kia gives a loud chuckle looking at me.. I smile at her ... I am feeling so proud that she is my best friend and with in a year or so she will be my sister in law..
As we release ourselves.. I dash my tears with my shrug sleeve.. and I utter quickly the first thought strucks to my mind, "hey.. look.. Kia .. I don't want anyone to know about Ivaan's past.. not even Anurag and my parents... okay.."
I feel, all of them are looking at me like they have seen the ghost. I twitch my lips, "please try to understand.. I don't want to make it hard for Ivaan.. this is a society.. questions will arise.. people will judge him based on his past.. and most importantly I don't want him to explain everything to everyone.. okay..."
So promise me all of you.. we will never utter a word about what happened today or what happened in the past.. I don't know how many of you in your family, knows about Ivaan but only one person is added to them and it's me...."
Kia's eyes sparkle with happiness, she thanks me saying, "oh.. dear...you are such an amazing person.. love you so much.."
Aarav looks relieved now, thank god for that.. but still he is looking at me with stern face.. Ivaan is the most happy person right now.. He happily says to Kia, "c'mon.. let me show you my art work..and he moves towards his paintings.
Then Aarav speaks flatly to Kia, without looking at me, "we should get going now..it will take three hours to reach at home.. Kia you can go with them.. I have something important to do on a way so I am leaving first okay.." and he quickly walks out of that room.
I am observing him, with my heart sinking, I say to Kia.., "excuse me... just a minute" and I quickly go after him calling, "hey.. Aarav.. wait.. please.." but he is walking like he didn't even listen to me.." when I reach at the walking passage, crossing the porch, he is just few steps ahead of me so I with a long stride reach to him.. I close my eyes, with my heart pounding like a hammer so heavily.. that I feel like my heart beats are hitting my ear drums. I, with all my guts.. grab his hand tightly and make him stop... and he ceases with a shock, like he has felt, what I am feeling right now.. a wave of pleasure..
I open my eyes.. though I was enjoying his touch, I leave his hand and at the next moment my hand is cold, missing his warmth..
He turns to me.. but his face is pale and emotion less.. his looks reminds me of the day.. I've met him for the first time.. it is really giving me bed vibes.
My instincts are yelling.. speak you dumb.. then I come to my senses and ask with trembling voice, "what happened to you..? Why are you behaving this way?"
He answers with stern face and cold voice, with his sharp gaze on me that I feel like he is looking at my soul through my body,
"He has proposed to you, right?.."
oh god his words are sharper than a knife and it directly stabbed through my heart... I am looking at him, standing like a stone figurine and he continues,
"huh.. I see.. done with hugging and all?... have a happy love life then.."
and he turns around and leaves me.. all alone.. only I can hear is, his foot steps, going away... I am standing like a statue.. with my tears coursing down my cheeks to my neck..
I hear, his car engine, roars as he drives his car out.. and I stumble on the ground with thud..with my eyes closed. My head is spinning with his words echoing in my mind.. not able to judge who is more hurt at this time.. him or me?
Then I hear Kia's voice from that room.. "hey Raavi what are you doing there.. ? searching anything? do you lost something?" I smirk sarcastically to her question.. what an appropriate question it is !!! how do I tell her that I have lost part of my heart and soul.. again tears starts spilling down my cheeks.. she hurriedly runs to me.. when I didn't give her answer..
I quickly wipe my tears.. and try to tie my shoe laces lowering my face.. hardly controlling my sobs.." no it's just laces.." I say slowly, clearing my throat and trying to be normal..., "by the way... what is Ivaan doing now?.." she answers, "arranging the paintings in cupboard.. umm I have one good news to share with.. can I tell you a secret..? please don't refuse.. I just can't control my excitement.." I hear her naughty chuckle...I just nod.. still with my face down. She continues,
"I am confirmed that Aarav has a feeling for you.."
I raise my face with a jolt, without bothering about my tears.. she continues, "hey what happened..? why are you..?" I interrupt her, gesturing my hand, "you were telling me something about Aarav." My heart is just panting..
She rolls her eyes and continues, "yeah.. the way he was worried about you Raavi.. he didn't care for anyone like this.. you know he was driving like, he was flying an aeroplane and can you believe, today in just one day, he almost broke all the traffic rules... otherwise he is a person of rules.. I have seen him worried for the first time, and can you believe..all... he has done, it's just for you my dear... so I am really happy for you Raavi.. he is a such a nice guy.. gentleman... yeah somewhat self possessed but nice.. you both are really meant to be with each other.."
She keenly observes me and adds, "but why are you still crying?"
Of course I was listening to her with my eyes closed and tears are running over my face. How can I explain her that I've ruined everything now.. She grabs my hands and asks again, "hey Raavi are you alright.. what happened dear.. did Ivaan...?"
I interrupt her wiping my tears and nose with my sleeve, "no..no... it's nothing.." but when I look at her. It is like my all control over my emotions set to loose and the pain I am feeling for almost last twenty four hours spills over.. tears are continuously flowing out my eyes and sobs wreck my body.. robbing of my ability to speak.. So Kia just try to calm me down by gently stroking my back.
But I need to tell her so I clear my throat and address her.. my lips tremble as I try to speak, "Kia.. today Ivaan has just proposed to me.. and Aarav knows that.." I again take a deep sob with sting of tears in my eyes.. Kia is just shocked..
Then I feel that Ivaan is coming toward us.. so Kia helps to get me up. Ivaan is mumbling a song and I think he is really happy that he overcame his weakness. So he is just on a cloud nine.. not bothering about, what the shit is going on in my life right now..!!
He innocently asks..as he approaches us, "hey.. what are you doing in this dark here..? we should leave now.. so come" and we follow him silently.
As we get near his car, Kia deliberately takes passengers seat saying, "oh god.. bhai.. I really missed riding with you.. Ivaan chuckles to that.. and I take a back seat, my head is spinning and I have severe headache.. so I just need a rest.
As Ivaan starts the car.. he turns music player on. I sit leaning back my head against the seat. So I inform him, "Ivaan. Can you please turn off that player for me.. I am not feeling good now." Ivaan turns it off saying, "sorry dear.. what happened to you? " Thank god Kiara answers for me, "severe headache.. she is working for the last fifteen days without proper rest and sleep.. it was sure to happen.. "
Ivaan utters with a real concern, "oh sorry dear.. and today I just spoiled your day..." Ivaan tries to suggest some medicine but Kia stops him saying, "bhai.. she is exhausted.. she just needs a good sleep.. okay" then her words become whispers to my ears as I get lost in the my miserable thoughts.. thoughts of only one person, Aarav..
Every moments, we shared together is displaying infront of my closed eyes.. his voice.. his laughter.. his teases.. his glittering eyes.. his expressions.. it's like I am totally into him. But today all his memories are making me more vulnerable.. they all add up to my pain...
Again debate starts between my mind and heart.. mind reminds me, 'see, told you.. that this love thing is not for you.. now suffer.. *we were totally cool with our studies.. no tension.. no pain... just hard work and we get whatever we want.. this love is so confusing.. cause the person, whom you don't have feelings for is proposing you and the person, whom you are crazy for is just hurt cause the first person proposed to you.. oh god.. who made this silly things?..now listen to me carefully.. okay forget all these silly suffering and all. And think about the future.."
My heart interrupts, "forget all.. forget all.. are you dumb or what? I love that person and he is hurt and broken because of me.. he is ignoring me.. I just can't figure out what to do?.. so think about that.. what do I tell to Aarav..? That he'll believe me... when and how do I tell him?.. and about the future.. I don't think I'll have any future without Aarav.. okay"
That thought makes me sob again.. I feel helpless.. with everything blurred.. why is the life so unfair with me..? I mean in this world.. people fall in love everyday.. propose to each other and just be together.. happily and ..in my case.. I made Aarav angry on the same day when I got to know that he likes me.. oh god.. what will I do now?
And about Ivaan that poor fellow loves me like a crazy.. what will I tell him? That I don't love you.. I love your cousin.. no.. no..no.. Raavi.. this is not gonna be easy.. please someone help me..
And I come back to reality as the car pulls up with a sudden jolt... my eyelids flutter and I have to squint first as my eyelids are heavy and swollen from crying.. Ivaan observes me from rear view mirror and says, "sorry.. it was a stray dog.... " and press the accelerator. He continues, "hey.. Ra.. how is your headache now..?" I soothe my temples with my hand and say, "it's better now.." he asks with concern, "would you like to drink water?" I nod my head, "no.. I am fine.. thanks.." I ask., "Kia?" "She is sleeping.." Ivaan answers with smile.. I respond with nod.. and ask, "by the way where are we..?"
Ivaan says, "Actually now we are on a highway now.. so you can call your parents they must be worried.. " I take my phone out and dial to my dad, My dad receives, "yeah dear.. " I reply, "hi.. dad.. I'll be late.. I am with Kia and Ivaan.." my dad interrupts, "don't worry we already know that dear.. Aarav had informed us, about half an hour ago.. so you just take care of your self okay.." my lips get stretched into a smile that Aarav still cares for me. I nod and hang up.
Ivaan is surprised, "that was quick.." I reply, "yeah.. Aarav had already called my dad.." Ivaan asks with shock, "oh my god... where is Aarav..? I totally forgot about him" I shrug, "he left before us.. " Ivaan says, "oh so he is still the same.. he always keeps things to himself.." and accelarates his car..
I am really feeling better now after listening from my dad.. atleast somewhat relieved that Aarav is not totally angry with me.. I'll call him after getting back to my home.
As we enter in the city area, Ivaan stops his car at 'Punjabi Dhaba' and wakes up Kia. Then addresses both of us, "hey..c'mon.. let's eat something.. I am really hungry now.." I am not in a slightest mood to eat anything but I agreed to Ivaan cause if I'll refuse to eat, then he'll not eat either.. Kia gets out of the car yawning.
It is a small common 'dhaba' with self service and wooden cot to sit on. It is quite late so very few customers are there. As we sit down on a cot. Ivaan gets busy fetching water bottle for us and asking for menu..
Kia looks at Ivaan and then suspiciously asks to me in a low voice, "hey... are you feeling good now? I am really sorry.. I didn't know that Ivaan.. " she twitch her lips, "you don't worry. I'll explain to him.." I interrupt her, "no Kia.. I don't want you to get involve in this matter.. you know, what I mean is right?.. see.. Ivaan is your brother and Aarav is your cousin.. I, myself, am confused.. of course I am aware of my feelings but I don't want anyone to get hurt because of my decision.. let the fate decide for me.. I am really tired now.." I heave a sigh..!
Kia rolls her eyes, "I don't believe in fate Raavi. Let me just give you an advice.. you can't keep everyone happy okay.. sometimes you should be selfish, thinking about your happiness... don't get me wrong, it is not that I don't want you to be with Ivaan.. actually I'll be the most happiest person if things will turn out that way but I know now that it's not possible and for that I am really sorry for my brother but you know.. some people are just, not meant to be together. She looks at Ivaan with pity, poor Ivaan.. cheerfully talking to someone..
She pauses and adds, "and I love Aarav too. Cause thanks to you that after these many years.. he is being human again otherwise he was just business oriented.. moving statue without any emotion..I don't know what did his so called godfather taught him that he was completely taken in.." I am listening to her each and every words cause this is for the first time she is speaking these much..
She again looks at Ivaan.. makes sure that he is still busy, She adds with sadness all over her face, "Remember one sided love can't bring happiness to anyone.. and love.. it is a thing which can not be compromised over friendship or pity.." She inhales and speaks, "so I am not telling you to hurt anyone but atleast you can ask yourself.. what do you really want..? Okay.."
I am just looking at her with my eyes widened, "oh god Kia.. why are you so certain about everything.. and I am always confused? " She twitch her lips, "cause you think about everybody except for yourself.."
I grab her hands and say, "I don't know.. what to do?.. the way Aarav left.. I felt like.."
"What did you feel.. when Aarav left?" I am shocked when Ivaan asks me this question from behind my back. Oh my god.. when did he come? I look at him and try to explain.. being calm "umm I was just telling that he left so suddenly.. so I felt that something might be wrong with him.."
He sits beside me with chuckle and adds, "You shouldn't be worried about him.. he is always the same.. cold.. yeah so much over focused on his dreams that I doubt sometimes, that he breathes or not.. and then he met with that crazy Mr. Kashyap.. he brainwashed him totally and it was not enough that he wants his daughter Avira to marry Aarav."
Avira.. oh god.. she wants to marry Aarav oh god.. why..? why..? I bite my lower lip to stop tears falling from my eyes.. Kia gently strokes my back, coughing heavily.. well she knows what am I feeling right now?
Ivaan is just continuously babbling, without bothering about our reactions.., "yeah that poor girl.. always flirting with Aarav.. talking about, Aarav this... and Aarav that.. but Aarav.. he was like.. he didn't even look at her.. but I know Aarav likes her.. and can you believe, last time when I met her about two months ago, she told me that she will come to india...to visit her Aarav.."
My heart is sinking with each and every words he speak.. I start panicking... my breathing are becoming shorter.. my head is spinning like marry-go-round.. a knot in my stomach twitches with so much pain that I feel a strong urge to throw out... with this I get up with a jerk and hardly able to speak, covering my moth with my hand.. "Kia.. I need to throw out.."
Ivaan gets up with shock and runs to ask the 'Dhaba' keeper about washroom...If there is any.. Kia is gently stroking my back.. I with a sting of tears in my eyes.. feel a strong hatred for the person I didn't even see or meet.. That person in none other than.. 'Avira'..!!!
So... I am feeling so sad right now.. but the story is not over yet.. so lets just hope for the best to happen..🤞😊
*we: Taking heart and mind.. as an individual personality of a single person. you can call it.. inner voice or instinct or sixth sense.. so '*we' used in that context.. I hope you are getting me..😁😁