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She was back at her home, in the safety of her room. She gazed at the moon, seeking the serenity the full moon always gave her. But today the silent presence of the unknown strength that the moon brought was absent. Instead the moon seemed to challenge her to face her secret.
"Geet," he had called her. Did he know her? Why did he call her Geet when she was Simran Ahuja, the youngest daughter of Parmeet and Amrit Ahuja. But she knew him or rather she had seen his face,,,,,,,,.now the face had a name 'Maan... Maan Singh Khurana'.Her thoughts were interrupted by her father.
"Puther, what are you doing out in the balcony. You are supposed to rest."
"I am alright baba. Where is Preeti?"
"She fell asleep on the way back from the party. Jeet took her to his room coz he didn't want you to be disturbed. Amrit is bringing you a glass of milk. No, don't argue. I know you don't like milk, but a glass of warm milk will help you sleep better."
It felt good to be pampered, not that her parents left out any chance to do that. But today, with her mind so confused, she needed that extra dose of love. She came out of the washroom, determined to keep away from HIM. She lay down and switched off the lights. After tossing and turning for a while she got up again. The dim light of the night lamp created the perfect background for the mystery called Maan. He will not let her sleep until she looked at him. She was about to open her cupboard when she heard a sound. She turned to find him there, in her room, in flesh and blood! The scream of panic was cut off by his hand against her mouth. This effectively trapped her between the cupboard and himself.
His eyes blazing with emotions, that both scared and thrilled, captured hers.
"How cud you Geet? How cud you torment me so? Was my mistake so unpardonable that you cud not forgive me all these,,,,you let me believe that you were dead so that I wudnt search for you?"
She shook her head in denial, trying to tell him he was mistaken.
"Don't deny it'. all this while I was cursing myself for being alive, when I drove you away to your death, you were building another life for yourself. Away from me!! If you had wanted to end all, why didn't you just ask me'. i wud have set you free. But you had to make me pay, pay for my words'.pay with my pain, my guilt, my life!!"
She watched molten anger replacing the pain that burned his eyes with each of his word. She shook her head again in panic, wanting him to understand that she was not the one responsible for this. Getting scared by his anger yet feeling his pain as hers!
"Denying it still, are you? Okay tell me Geet' what reason did you have for letting me believe you were dead?" He questioned removing his hands from her mouth.
"I...'I'm sorry. You... You r mistaken...I'm Simran 'not your Geet"
"Mistaken, am I?" he bit out the words as he pressed her against the cupboard with his body.
"You are telling me I'm mistaken abt the shock of recognition I read in your eyes. Are you telling me I can't recognise my wife any longer?" His voice vibrated with anger and passion, a breath above her lips.With his hands holding a fistful of her hair to hold her still, he closed the distance.
She cud taste the raw anger and violence in his punishing kiss. Even as her brain told her to push him away, her body recognised his touch'her senses revelled in it. She responded with a desire she hardly knew she possessed, wanting to soothe his anger, his pain with her love. "Love?", her sanity mocked, "you don't love a person you met a couple of hours ago!"
That was the last sane thought she had as the kiss deepened. His bruising mouth now soothed, making her forget everything but this...the feel of being held close to him, of being surrounded by his smell, his taste, his heat and his desire. Finally when they surfaced for air, she found her hands had found their way into his silky hair.
"Oh, Mishty I missed you so...", he whispered achingly as he touched her forehead with his.He closed his eyes to hold back the tears of relief and fought to control himself. She put her hand, that weren't quite steady , against his cheek. This gesture was so familiar, so missed, that his eyes opened to see the wonder in hers.
"Now tell me I am mistaken," he demanded.
She shook her head with a sad smile and started to answer'. A sudden knock at the door sent her into panic.
"Simi...r you awake?" She kept silent, wondering if her father wud go away if he thought she was asleep. She pushed Maan away, mouthing a silent "Go!"
He shook his head arrogantly in negation.
"Simi, puther.." her father called again, knocking louder this time. "Preeti woke up and is crying for you."
Suddenly aware of the distant wail of her niece she called out."Yes baba'I'm awake now. I'm coming."
"Please Maan," she said. "Preeti needs me."
"What abt me? Did you think I didn't need you when you left me?" The anger was back in his whispered words.
"I can't explain now. Please Maan, please go!" Helpless tears filled her eyes.
"Oh! Don't cry' you know I hate to see you cry. I'll go now'.but you can't slip away from me again. We need to talk. I'll call you tomorrow. If you try to evade, I'll come back. No one and nothing will stop me from seeing my wife."
With that last warning he walked towards the open window. She followed him and gasped when he reached over to put his foot on the drain pipe.
"Be careful!" she called out softly.
His bright smile of happiness, over her concern, remained with her as she quickly walked inside to open the door.
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