Joined: 01 July 2005
Joined: 13 October 2005
Joined: 06 January 2008
Joined: 20 August 2006
yay a new ff!
plz. cont. soon and ur other ffs as well
Joined: 28 July 2006
Thank you guys so much for your warm responses. It's very much appreciated. And it's great to see some old friends again (kamy, so glad to see you back! ) I'm very glad you guys are enjoying this story so far. Hope I keep up to your expectations. Anyways, here's the next chapter. Enjoy!
"How are you?" he continues rather civilly in his booming voice that barely registers in Bani's ears. She is too numb to hear what it is he is saying, too overcome with disbelief and shock of what she is seeing. To test whether she is dreaming or simply going crazy, Bani blinks dumbly at him a few times before it sinks down that he is in fact here. Jai Walia is actually standing before her at her apartment door barging back into her life. His gray eyes stare at her so intently that it gives her shivers. It is these very shivers that take her out of her numb state. Without another thought, without further delay, she runs into her apartment and slams the door shut….
However, she isn't quick enough. To her great dismay, his foot gets caught in between the doorway, keeping her door from closing. She stares at his polished black shoe with horror.
"Bani, open the door. I need to speak to you," he gruffly says through the open crack, peering at her with his intense eyes.
Panicked by the idea that he is here and worse---wants to speak to her, Bani pushes against the door hoping that it will close shut. Jai Walia cringes from the pain of his foot being slammed by the door, but does not allow this to distract him from getting inside.
"Bani," he growls in that dark tone of his. A tone that brings a wave of old, displeasing memories to hit her hard, then and there. Several emotions arise in her—fear, hurt, humiliation, and anger---making her jittery with nerves.
"Go away! Leave me alone! Just leave me alone!" she nearly screams at him. She hears him swear under his breath before shoving roughly against the door, causing her to stumble back and let go of her hold. As she tries to regain herself, she sees that she has given him the chance to enter into her home, her personal haven to keep her safe from the likes of him.
He stands tall to his full height of 6'2", dressed smartly in a tailored black suit, accentuating his broad shoulders and built torso. She instantly feels like a mouse compared to this giant standing in front of her. A thick, tense environment surrounds them instantly which grows from the existing silence between them that seems to last for a century. While Bani continues to comprehend the fact that Jai Walia is here standing in her home, he takes the still quiet to his advantage by taking a close look at his surroundings. Unnerved by his silence and of his wandering eyes, Bani licks her dry lips and tries to compose herself, not wanting to show this man that he affects her in anyway, that too, after four long years.
"Leave… You are not welcomed here," she says as coldly as she possibly can say. His jolted gray eyes stare at her for a long while, making her rather uncomfortable by the way they scrutinize her. Any hopes of him adhering to her wish and leave are dashed once she sees him shut the door behind him with a thump.
"Trust me, I have no pleasure being here either…," he replies sardonically whilst looking around her small apartment which she had decorated painstakingly to her liking. He raises one brow.
"You've got a cozy little home here…. You live here alone or?" he drawls purposely, having an inkling that this question will get under her skin. He assumes correct once her cheeks turn a shade of dark red.
"That is none of your business. You have no right to come barging into my home and demanding questions. Jai Walia, if you do not tell me the reason for your forced entry, then you will have to leave," she states tersely, slightly proud of herself for standing her guard. She watches how he's slightly taken aback by the aggression in her behavior. And if she wasn't mistaken, she thought she saw brief approval gleaming in his dark eyes.
"You have a voice," he remarks with a mirthless smirk.
She crosses her arms, glaring at him meaningfully. "I've always had a voice," she defensively responds.
She wonders how she can suddenly get from feeling terrified to feeling outrageously angry in a time span of mere moments. She presumes that all the pent up anger and resentment she had buried inside herself for the past four years has finally erupted…. Or simply by the presence of Jai, who had always made her experience various emotions all at once…. even now.
"No, you didn't really…," he contradicts and turns his back on her, casually looking through her things, ignoring her completely. This aggravates her even more.
"…. Explain why you are here," she sternly commands, continuing to send daggers in his way. Her face flushes with rage as he does not comply, ignoring her as if she isn't even in the room. His cool eyes proceed in wandering around her lone apartment.
"It's a little warm in here, don't you think?" he questions no one in particular while removing his heavy coat and draping it onto the armrest of the couch. He tugs on his tie, loosening it from his neck, before seating himself down comfortably, kicking back his legs as if he were in his own home. Bani boils on witnessing this behavior, any lasting fear of having him here now completely gone. He has invaded her home, her privacy, and she felt this as a personal attack. This is her home and he has no right to be here, she will show who is in charge here---for once it is not him.
Jai throws back his head, resting it against the plush pillows, and releases a long sigh. "God, air travel is a real pain in the---"
"This is ridiculous! Who do you think you are?! Coming in like you own this place?! This is my home! You cannot just barge in here and act like everything is just grand between us, Jai! Not when we haven't even spoken in the last four years!" she exclaims hotly, her hands turning into fists from the sight of him lounging in her living room. He has been testing her patience long enough.
"Yes, and who is to blame for that? I don't recall being the one fleeing from the country and hiding away for four years like a complete coward," Jai retorts breezily and witnesses the flare burning quickly in Bani's amber-like eyes.
"How dare you…"
"I haven't said anything wrong, have I?" he intervenes smoothly, cocking one brow at her. "You did go running to your daddy with your crocodile tears right after our marriage, did you not? And you did pack your things and left the very next morning, didn't you?" Bani flinches once he acknowledges the fact that they had been married, a fact she has been forcing herself to forget since it happened. Unpleasant memories flood her mind once more…..
"Lost your voice so soon?" he remarks just as he rises from his seat, approaching her frozen figure glued to her spot. She meets his steely gaze with glowering eyes. He suddenly waves his hand before her face, distracting her temporarily, as if wanting to brush away the animosity that had instantly sprung between them.
"Let's put these things behind us for the moment, shall we? This isn't why I came here…," he abruptly changes the direction of their aggressive conversation.
"Then why are you here, now, that too after so many years? And how is it that you were able to find me?" she finds herself demanding more viciously than she means to. Jai Walia laughs from sheer amusement of her words.
"Don't underestimate me, sweetheart. I could have found out about your whereabouts the minute you left India four years ago if I wanted to. You're not as untraceable as you like to believe…"
"Do not call me sweetheart, I'm nothing to you and you are certainly nothing to me," she speaks with such strong clarity that has Jai Walia's eyes gleaming at her.
"Someone's gotten a little feisty over the years," he notes dually just as he takes slow, predator-like steps toward her, standing over her small frame in an intimidating manner. Bani takes one step back with each one he takes. She lets out a soft gasp once her back thumps against the wall and feels her defenses briefly wear down as she sees he has an advantage by how he has cornered her. His dark face hovers near hers. She avoids his piercing eyes that do not leave her face.
"Do you really believe what you just said, Bani? I'm nothing to you? That's a little hurtful, don't you think, considering that we had been friends …," he speaks in a low, taunting voice.
"Things have changed from what they used to be…. especially after you tried to rape me…," she responds coldly, meeting his eyes when she says this. She's pleased to see him flinch by her words, his jaw growing tight, and his face getting tense.
"Cat got your tongue?" she persists haughtily, indulging in this feat of hers to get one over the pompous Jai Walia. His glowering eyes look away from her and he takes a step back, bringing back a decent space in between them.
"It's not really rape if both partners are willing….which I knew you were, Bani….despite all that nonsense acting you tried to pull," he digs at her, recovering from her previous blow. Ire burns dangerously in Bani's eyes. "Don't you dare make assumptions of me…. You didn't know anything back then and you still don't know anything now… I wouldn't dream of ever sharing any kind of intimacy with you…," she retorts icily, yet her voice wobbling slightly---discreetly hurt by the fact that he still thinks of her so negatively…. Nothing has changed.
"Oh please, I find it a little hard to believe that you would have regretted having sex with me… I reckon you would have begged for it if I hadn't taken the step firs---.." Jai begins in sneering, only to be cut short when Bani's hand makes contact with his cheek that flames as an aftermath. He is rendered speechless for a short moment and looks to Bani to see her breathing raggedly, staring at him with strong resentment laced in her eyes.
"Get out… Just get out right now before I call the cops….," she warns lowly…
"… Okay, I'll agree that I deserved that… It was out of line…. Now just calm down and listen to me… I don't want to bicker about the past with you….That's not my intention," he states, sounding the least bit apologetic.
"No, I don't want to listen to a word that you have to say! Just get out now!" she cries, close to becoming hysterical….
Jai takes a steely hold onto her elbow, steering her close, and stares down at her piercingly.
"You really don't want to know why I flew thousands of miles specifically to come and see you when you know very well that I don't want anything to do with you….. That fact doesn't intrigue you even the slightest bit?"
Bani struggles to release herself. "I've been asking you that question the moment you stepped into my apartment, Jai, but it seems you're more interested in playing games with me rather than just getting straight to the point…. And I have no interest in playing games with you. I have no interest in doing anything with you whatsoever," she seethes.
"It's about Mausi…," he finally declares, letting go of her. Bani holds onto her throbbing arm and glares at him with hooded eyes. However, her interest is sparked.
"What about Mausi?" she attempts in asking diffidently, but Jai and herself both know that when it comes to Mausi, she is anything but indifferent. Along with Krishna Walia's children, Mausi pampered Bani and Rano with all her love while growing up. Bani and Rano looked to her as the mother they never had.
"She got into an accident a week ago and has been hospitalized since…."
Bani's insides freeze instantly…..
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
12:51 AM, Saturday
Villa di Mare, Apt. #441
Miami, FL., United States
Jai Walia remains standing, leaned against one of the walls of the apartment, whereas Bani is now seated onto her couch with crossed arms and a forlorn look displayed clearly on her face. Her brown eyes are damp with tears which she tries her best to conceal from him unsuccessfully.
"She's fine… There wasn't any severe physical harm …. It's a miracle she survived actually….," he says only to fill up the silence that had risen once he told her the news….
Bani's gaze lifts toward him, showing him the tears swimming in her eyes….
"The doctors are hundred percent sure she's alright?" she questions, not caring that she is sitting and conversing with the one person she hates most in the world… She only wants to know if the woman she's thought as a mother is perfectly well and right now he is her only source of information.
Jai Walia gives her a wry smile.
"She's my mother, Bani…. Don't you think I would have the best doctors on her case?"
Bani becomes silenced, knowing that this is true. If there is one person in the world that loves Mausi the most, then without a doubt it is her own nephew, Jai Walia. She dabs at her eyes and gathers herself, not wanting to show this weak side of her to him, not wanting to let down her guard. And now knowing that Mausi is alright, there is not much to worry.
"Then why have you come here? Why couldn't you just give a call instead of intruding in like this?" she clears her throat, regaining her lost voice.
"No… this… I have to do face to face….," he announces with an air of authority, leaning away from the wall and straightening his posture. Taking a good look at him, Bani sees clearly that there is something he has yet to tell her. Dread fills inside of her almost at once…
"What is it then? You said that Mausi is fine….," her voice falters slightly.
"Mausi is fine… physically…. but not so mentally….," Jai confides in her, choosing his words carefully. Bani uncrosses her arms and sits up straight, growing puzzled.
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that…. She lost her memory in the accident…"
"She lost her memory?" Bani echoes blankly, finding it hard to comprehend the fact. Jai gravely nods his head.
"And unfortunately… for you and I… she only recollects her memory from four years ago….She's in the past… back in 2006…"
Bani remains silent momentarily, grasping onto this piece of news. "So… she doesn't remember… anything?"
"No, she doesn't…," he confirms. Another brief hush surrounds them in which they reflect on the matter. Bani is deeply upset over hearing Mausi's accident and her condition, but she reminds herself that she is far removed from her and from everyone else dealing with her past. And she has no plans on becoming reacquainted, even if they are her loved ones. There is too much pain and bitterness left behind…
"I don't understand what this all has to do with me…," she pronounces, growing an edge in her tone, gathering herself. Jai seems taken aback by the drastic change in her attitude. One second she is concerned and worried and the next she is distant and reserved.
"It's rather simple actually…. She's in a very delicate state right now… She has to be handled with a lot of care… Her doctor has stated that she can't receive any stress or shocks when her health is so fragile… Worst case scenario, he fears that it can lead to brain hemorrhage…"
"Then what do you want me to do?" Bani inquires, not following where this is going….
"She wants to see you…. She thinks that we're still married," he utters gruffly with a subtle hint of annoyance, perhaps aggravated by the idea of still being linked to her after all these years, she muses.
"She doesn't know that we---…"
"---got an annulment, yes, she doesn't remember," he finishes for her. "She assumes we've been happily married for the past four years…. She's insisting to see what she believes to be her daughter-in-law…," he proceeds stonily.
Stumped, Bani dwells over what he has revealed and how it can affect her if she does what she believes he's implying for her to do. She will be going back down that path that gave her heartache and nothing else…. Does she really want to put herself through that again? After she has patched up herself and has started a new life that has been so far good to her? She knows the answer and she is going to give it to him.
"No," she responds immediately, jumping up from her seat. "I am not going to give you what you've come seeking here for …. I'm done with you… I've been done with you…. I don't want anything to do with you or anyone involved in my old life… I've made something here for myself and I promised that I would never go back…. I love Mausi and my best wishes are always with her, but this I refuse to do….," she states clearly with no compassion, something she has trained herself to do.
She wills herself not to look away and meet him directly in the eyes which stare at her unwaveringly. She grows slightly nerved by his apparent scrutiny.
"…. From what I remember…. you were never this cold," he observes after a few passing moments…
Bani lifts her chin more determinedly and answers, "Things have changed… You have yourself to blame for that." She feels brief pleasure on seeing his jaw tighten.
"If it is pride that is holding you back then I suggest you swallow it for the woman who has been no less than a mother to you as well… Do not be mistaken that I have come here to badger about our past… If I had it my way, I would never have come here… I would never have wanted to see your face again…. But I'm here for my mother, who is asking for the daughter she finds in you…."
"… I am not going to be forced back into a sham of a marriage… I just won't….. She will have the strength to bear the news that we are in fact no longer married… It's a truth that you can't possibly keep away from her no matter how hard you try."
"No, she won't be able to bear the news, Bani…. Did you forget that just like our fathers even she dreamed about us being married?" he jeers, making her flinch once more by the reminder.
"When she finds out that that dream hasn't come true, she'll be heartbroken…. The shock might just kill her… like it did to my father," he adds…. Bani's eyes shoot up at him.
"And what I can't bear is the loss of another family member….," he prolongs…. A searing pain gnaws at her by the mention of the deceased Uday Walia, who had been like another father to her since childhood. The news of his death shattered her, but fear and pride kept her from attending his funeral at the very city she never wanted to look back on…. She had grieved alone in her own way for months.
In an almost regretful tone, Bani speaks hollowly, "… I can't give you what you want … I won't go back… and nothing you say will change my mind." Almost instantly she witnesses the change in his eyes, the dreariness being replaced by a flare of familiar anger she had encountered many times in the past. His body language becomes rigid and almost even threatening, causing Bani to be guarded.
"She showered you with affection and loved you as her own…. She was always there for you … She didn't have to be, but she was…. And now when she needs you to be by her side, you refuse to be? I understand that you dislike me, Bani… And let me tell you, the feeling is mutual…. But at least don't let our differences affect a woman who we both care deeply about…. I'm willing to do anything for Mausi… even if it means I have to deal with the likes of you again…. and I was hoping to expect the same from you," he tersely remarks. "But I guess I was terribly wrong…"
Without her wanting to, without her meaning to, a surge of shame and guilt sieges her making her stay still in her place, unable to move. She shudders under his chilling eyes that refuse to remove itself from her. She watches as he reaches for his coat and pulls it around him, his face taut….firm.
"I see that I have wasted my time by coming here…. I'll see myself out….." She feels the urge to call out to him, to hold him back, explain herself to him and where she's coming from, but she refrains to. She doesn't need to offer any explanations to him. He may think whatever of her. He never thought of her in a positive light to begin with…. She knows what she is doing. She's keeping herself from getting hurt… again.
She looks on as he walks toward the door, stalking off with shoulders raised high. However, she does not expect him to linger by the doorway on his way out, glancing in her way. She's held captive by his dark, magnetic gray orbs.
"But if by chance you do change your mind, … I leave back to India the day after tomorrow early in the morning…. For not my sake, but for Mausi's… I hope you reconsider and give happiness to a woman who has done nothing but love you….and believes that you love her too."
She blinks away the tears sprouting once she hears the loud bang of the door shutting and the figure of Jai Walia disappeared behind it… Unwillingly, her gaze trails toward the table by the door on which an envelope lays… an envelope he slapped down seconds before leaving. Her feet dragging across the carpet, Bani moves to it and takes a hold of it---query taking the better of it. Tearing it up, a piece of paper flies out and lands on the tabletop…. Looking closely, she sees what is a plane ticket facing up at her… Her fingers grip onto it and trace the borders….
"She wants to see you ….a woman who has done nothing but love you ….and believes that you love her too…."
Against her will, against her better judgment, against her resolution of indifference, her mind reels with these very words…. and her eyes fill.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Joined: 30 August 2006
i am sure bani is going to go with jai only for mausi. when will the pig head jai will understand wht happened during his and bani marriage, bani is not to be blamed
Joined: 17 November 2006
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