Joined: 22 June 2008
Okay I am in such a bad mood right now it's not even funny so will not say much. Just that this one's for Ishaan. Well it's his birthday gift even though his birthday was on October 11 and I know that I'm gifting this to him practically a month later but I ran into some difficulties. The general idea for this one was his, the execution, the writing and how to make a story out of that idea was my responsibility... well basically if this sucks I am more at fault then he is. This was supposed to be an OS but either I am way too fond of Ishaan or he gave me an idea that took a horribly long amount of time to execute completely and basically do justice to PriDa hence this is now an SS. I think it will be either 2 or 3 parts long. I haven't decided yet.
Last but not the least, Ishaan, I really hope you like this. Tried my best with the idea you wanted me to work on and although I'm not completely happy with the result but I hope you like it. Belated Happy Birthday my friend! It's been a pleasure knowing you! and even though I'm in a bit of a foul mood the hug is still genuine.
Happy reading! (Well one can always hope I suppose. :-P)
The Saxenas discover the truth about Ela i.e her innocence regarding Balraj Saxena's murder a few days before PriDa's marraige. Prithvi confronts Damini with the truth and from hereon, the story begins. I have not shown the confrontation because in my head it is not that different from the confrontation that took place in between these two in my first FF, Confessions of love. The story begins a few hours after the main confrontation.
PriDa SS: Of Choices, Of Healing And Of Love.
Damini Gujral was numb. There was no other word for it. This vast, endless stretch of emptiness inside her did not hold much within itself. Pain perhaps. Pain of the loss that stems from a betrayal as fierce as this one. And she did feel lost.
The initial shock had subsided and she lay on the bed a picture of authority and control to the world. She was quite alone now and yet' and yet she still hadn't cried. Her heart seemed to be moving against what seemed to be a steady current of pain yet her eyes were dry. Perhaps the grief would come later but for now she could feel herself..floating.
One word went around in her head like a chant'
Prithvi, Prithvi, Prithvi...
Prithvi who had betrayed her. Prithvi who had snatched away her dreams sucking them into a pool of his lies, lies about his identity, his love.
She had believed in him, believed in his love, believed in them.
But she had been wrong. She had been so very, very wrong. He hadn't come into her life as a mere bodyguard. He hadn't cared for her because he had wanted to and he had certainly never loved her. He had come... he had come for revenge. He had come to destroy her life. How had he even been capable of it? How could he be so cold in spirit so as to play around with her life, with her emotions as easily as he had?
The Prithvi she had known had been kind and sincere and honest.
But then that was what his plan had been about hadn't it? She hadn't known him at all after all. She had known he had had his secrets, his troubles and she had been willing to give him space, telling herself that one day he'd come around. One day he'd trust her with all those secrets and all those troubles.
He had confided in her alright.
And now..now she wished he hadn't. Now she wished that the games had continued, that the lie she had been living with had been the truth. Not this damned thing. Not this betrayal.
She felt so cold. So dreadfully cold. It seeped into her, spread and fed on her anguish. She could feel it. Feel it as it surrounded her heart and wrapped itself around her mind.
She wasn't thinking anymore.
And yet the chant still continued, resolute as ever.
Prithvi, Prithvi, Prithvi, Prithvi...'.
She was playing with something on the finger of her left hand now. When she looked down she saw that it was a ring. Her engagement ring. Her mind observed it in a detached sort of a manner as she slipped it off her finger and held it.
"Ab tumhe khush rakhna hi meri sab se badi zimedaari hain."
She could still hear his voice, still feel his strong presence, around her, within her. She had fallen in love with that voice, that presence and that man. She had thought that together they could stand against any obstacle. And now, now she felt like she couldn't stand up at all. Not when she was alone. Not when he wasn't beside her. The thought probed it's away into the deep recesses of her mind slowly lighting up a fire in its wake. It was cold in nature and perhaps that was why it did not stand out against the darkness that consumed her just then but merely blended with it.
She would not let Prithvi break her. She would not give him what he wanted. She would stand up even if it killed her. She would ignore this pain even as it attached itself to her soul like a shadow does to the body. She did not know it yet but it was perhaps that very darkness that Prithvi Saxena had left behind that spoke more clearly than anything else of the extent of her love for him.
What she did know was that despite everything her soul was still too weak tonight. This darkness demanded strength in itself. A strength she did not possess, not when the betrayal was still so raw, still so fresh. As she stared at the ring, slowly going on to engulf it into the palm of her hand, a lone tear escaped her eye. The dam broke, and the pain unleashed itself in its purest form.
And then, Damini Gujral cried for what she promised herself was the last time. Cried for the past that had been a lie, the present that was so achingly painful to deal with and the future that seemed to be so completely and thoroughly empty.
~*Sometimes solutions aren't so simple,
Sometimes goodbye's the only way.
And the sun will set for you; the sun will set for you.
And the shadow of the day will embrace the world in grey,
And the sun will set for You.*~
"Tumhare problems sirf tumhare problems nai hain. Mere bhi hain.Aur tumhari Mom ko..Tumhari Mom kokuch nai hoga. Main.. Main sab theek kardungi."
"Tumhari Mom ko main' main Mom bula sakti hun na?"
"Aik baat yaad rakhna. Aaj se tumhari jo bhi mushkile ho, koi bhi problem ho un sab main, main tumhare saath hun."
"Main Damini Gujral,tum se vaada karti hun..ke zindagi bhar tumhara saath dungi. Sukh main bhi aur dukh main bhi."
"Sab kuch badal sakta hain Prithvi, par humara rishta nai. Humare pyar ki tarah humara rishta bhi atoot hain.Humara milna likha tha Prithvi.Agar tumhare Papa bhi hote tab bhi tum mere paas chale atey.Aur yehi sach hain."
Prithvi Saxena laughed. Voices, sounds, words...
Her words. Her beliefs. It was amazing really how efficiently he had managed to crush them all in a single strike.
Love. She had believed in their love. That love had turned to hatred tonight.
He had done it. He had gone ahead and lost her. Perhaps forever.
He let out a ragged breath as he held his head in his hands willing the voices to stop.
He might as well have told himself to stop breathing.
She was here. Here in this room. Her eyes...
He could still remember the look in them when he had revealed the truth about himself to her. Seen his betrayal become a part of her as the light in them dimmed and ironically it was in that one single moment that he had realized that he really was truly and irrevocably in love with Damini Gujral. There would be no more running. No more hiding. No facts and reminders, no limitations.
He had fallen in love with Damini Gujral and bloody fool that he was he had realized it when he had already lost her.
He had realized it when the mere hint of tears in her eyes had caused his heart to rip itself into pieces making breathing an issue in itself.
He had wanted to reach out and take care of her but had she seemed so far away..so very far away.
Hadn't that been what he had promised her?
"Main jaanta hun apko sahare ki zarurat nai hain, main sirf saath dene aya hun."
There had been no plan in place then and perhaps that was why despite everything his soul had still continued to live by that promise.
And now, now he had killed the chance of a future with her with his own hands. There would be no future with Damini now. Funny how that made him feel like there would be no future at all. Perhaps a never-ending series of days turning into nights and then into days again, a cycle that was supposed to be his life.
Life was with Damini. Without her...
It was mere survival. A survival he would have to embrace for the sake of his family even if it would be filled with a lifelong sense of regret and pain.
There was another reason he accepted it.
He deserved it.
It was that night that Prithvi Saxena became an insomniac.
~*Yesterday I died, tomorrow's bleeding
Fall into your sunlight
Losing what was found, a world so hollow
Suspended in a compromise
The silence of this sound is soon to follow
Three Months Later.
Damini Gujral woke up with a start. She had been dreaming about Prithvi. Again.
His subtle smile, his lingering touch and most of all his eyes. Those eyes had been capable of doing a variety of things to her and they continued to do so in the darkness of the night when sleep intervened and she could finally let go of logic and sense and her hatred. The hatred that helped her survive through the day. The nights were a problem though because every night for the past 3 months she had dreamt of him. She cursed the dreams and she cursed him and herself but she did not know that the man she dreamt of did not dream anymore himself. Did not sleep anymore.
She did not know anything.
The reason was simple enough. She did not know where Prithvi was. She knew he was still in Mumbai but she hadn't seen him after he had confronted her with the truth. He had never called her. He hadn't done anything.
There were probably two reasons for this.
The first one was that he couldn't care less for her and the second one was that he couldn't face her.
She picked the first even if it killed her somewhere becausethe second one implied that he had actually loved her. That he had actually cared. That it hadn't been a lie. Not all of it at least.
Perhaps those smiles had been real, perhaps the way he had looked at her sometimes with all the love in the world and the possessiveness of his touch hadn't been a part of a grander scheme. Perhaps there had been a hint of the truth to the promises he had made, promises of taking care of her, promises of being there for her and for her family.
"Mere hote huey aapko koi takleef nai hogi' Mere kehne ka matlab hain ke aapki har takleef ko mujhse ho kar guzarna hoga."
It had always been in his nature to fumble, she thought the reminiscence bringing an unconscious smile on her face. She had come very close to him that night. She still remembered his scent when she had found her face buried in his chest as his voice had fallen softly on her ears making her look up.
"Chot chahe jitni bhi gehri ho..Aapko..aapko nahin lage gi."
"Kai baar pata nai chalta ke kab aapko kisi cheez lagao hojata hain. Yahan tak key yeh bhi nai pata chalta ke aapko kitna lagao hua hain."
"Main yahan aya tou apne kaam ke liya tha. Par ab aap sab ko chodh ke jaane ka mann hi nai karta..Khaas karke.."
There it was the fumbling again. The subtle playing about with words, because he could never really come out and tell her what went on in his mind and in his heart...She still remembered that look of caution. He had always been like that with her. He had certainly never been truly confident of himself when it came to verbal expression. Quite unlike a man on a mission to destroy her... It was only in the moments where he'd reach out and touch her when she'd see the intensity that lurked beneath the surface. He wasn't a man of many words but he had always been quite capable of showing her how he felt. It had been there when he pulled her close for their first dance, there when he had refused to leave her alone on the night Inder had tried to force himself on her and very much there when he had kissed her so thoroughly and completely after putting an engagement ring on her finger..
"Mere hote hue aap akeli nai hain. Agar aap ijazat dey tou main har waqt aapke saath hun, Hamesha."
"Main hun na. Sab theek kar dunga main. Par aap roiye mat."
She could still hear his voice. Still remember the way he had taken his hand in hers when he had made those promises and touched her face gently when she had leant against him..his eyes had been so sincere.. and his words. He had given her the power to choose. He had never forced his love, his presence in her life upon her especially when it was something he should have done considering that it must have been particularly important to his plan. No, despite all that he had still given her the choice to walk away when he had proposed to her.
Stop it Damini. She told herself sternly.
Prithvi was gone. And Prithvi would not be coming back. She wouldn't let him.
Is that why you always wait for his call? Why you always visit his Mom hoping somewhere that you'd meet him? And why you always, always dream of him?
She frowned and closed her eyes as the voice continued to whisper.
"I visit his Mom because I care about her", she hissed. "And I certainly never want him to call. I'm quite better off without him." With that last mutter she buried her head in the pillows her mind wandering towards Prithvi again a few minutes later..
His voice whispered itself softly in her ear making her shudder involuntarily,
"Agar aap chaahe tou sab kuch theek ho sakta hain."
She wouldn't acknowledge it but perhaps the phrase carried a ring of the truth in it. Perhaps Prithvi was giving her the will to choose once again. Perhaps he was waiting for her call, for her to come and find him and perhaps ultimately for her to forgive him.
Refusing to dwell upon the matter she simply let herself fall asleep.
Ela Gujral observed her daughter as she finished her breakfast, her manner rushed, her eyes focused on the plate alone as she ate. Quiet observer that she had always been she did not miss the hint of dark circles so carefully concealed by make-up and the clear loss of weight in her daughter's already slim outline. As much as she tried to hide it Damini was not taking care of herself. She wasn't sleeping properly and she wasn't eating properly either. They had already talked about it but Damini had merely insisted that there was nothing whatsoever wrong with her and that her Mother was just being over-concerned. It was her right to be concerned she thought as Damini got up, kissed her on the cheek and left for work. She was her daughter after all. Sighing she rubbed her forehead. Everyday. Everyday for the past three months she had seen Damini go through the same routine, the same day. She'd come home after hours, have dinner and then go straight up to her room. Her daughter had turned from a living, breathing human being to a maniacal workaholic who refused to..live.
Not once in all this time had she seen her daughter smile or laugh. Her tempers were less frequent and she did not shout anymore. She would simply pass a cold, cutting remark to anyone who dared to cross her. It was enough to shut them up but this bizarre change worried Ela more than anything.
Prithvi's betrayal had damaged Damini more than anything else that her daughter had faced in the 24 years since she had been born. She had managed to stand when her Father had died, had survived through all the problems that their business had faced and she had recovered quickly enough from Inder's betrayal as well.
It was Prithvi who had changed her. Prithvi who had made her daughter experience love in it's true meaning and form and Prithvi who had taken away that love crushing her in the process and ultimately forcing herself to bury that very part of her. Unfortunately burying that part meant burying most of the things that made Damini, Damini.
She did not hate him for it though. Damini did not know it but Ela had kept in touch with Prithvi. She did not know why she had bothered to pay attention to the man who had destroyed her daughter's life but she still had. She had returned his calls. She had listened to what he had had to say and ultimately she had believed in him. She had also forgiven him and accepted the fact that he had done everything in the name of family. It had been terribly wrong and nothing could change that but pain and confusion did strange things to the human mind. This was one of them. She had also forgiven him because in all those subtle queries that he had made about her daughter she had realized that he really had loved her. He had never meant to hurt her. He had never wanted to hurt her. He had also never meant to fall in love with her but he had. That gave her hope. Hope for her daughter.
Her phone rang, startling her a bit.
It was Prithvi. She answered the call and they exchanged greetings.
"How's your treatment coming?" He asked.
"I'm fine Prithvi."
"I know you are not Ela ji."
"You are just like Damini."
She was greeted by silence.
"How's your Mother?" She asked instead.
"The Doctors are hopeful."
"Will Damini be home for lunch today?"
"Perhaps not. But.. I can arrange for her to be here. Why?"
"I.. I intend to meet her."
"Please take care of yourself Ela ji. And..and Damini too."
"You might have to do that yourself." She told him before he could cancel the call.
A few seconds passed before he spoke again.
"I'll call you again."
Damini was going through a file when her phone rang.
It was her Mother.
"Morning Mamma!" She greeted into the phone.
"Morning Beta. Were you busy?"
"I was just preparing for the meeting we have tomorrow."
"What is it?"
"I was wondering if you could come home for lunch."
"Why, are we expecting any guests?"
"Do I really need a reason to have lunch with my own Daughter?"
"I'll be there."
"Good. I'll see you then."
"Goodbye. And Mamma?"
"I love you."
"I love you too Beta."
Damini couldn't help but feel a little bit guilty as she cancelled the call. There was a reason she dedicated so much of her time to work and only went home when she didn't really have a choice. Her own home..her own home breathed of Prithvi's presence. Breathed of the memories they had created within it's walls. She had let that interfere with far more important things such as her family. It was not their fault she had fallen in love with Prithvi. And Prithvi was just one brother. The Saxenas had gone ahead and broken the entire family.
When had she grown so selfish?
No more of this Damini, she decided. Your family deserves your love and attention. It's time you started giving them some and put all of this behind you.
The trouble was that words came easily. It was the actions based upon those words that made life so much harder.
Damini entered the foyer of her home and was greeted immediately by the Butler.
"Is Mamma in her room?" She asked.
"She's in the lounge, Ma'am."
Damini didn't know whether she was imagining it or not but he looked oddly nervous.
He simply hurried away and she cast him a curious look before making her way towards the lounge.
It was empty. She looked around and frowned before deciding to make her way towards her Mother's room until a voice stopped her in her tracks.
The last time she had heard it had been in her own room when the person who embodied it had confessed to her the truth about himself all the while looking so consumed with guilt and pain that she had wondered briefly how he was still standing.
She turned and saw that he had been standing in the shadows. He walked into the light now and she realized with a force that shook her from within that she had missed him. Missed his presence in the house, missed the way his eyes used to meet hers, the way the sunlight used to play with his dark hair and the way his eyes darkened every time they set themselves on her making her feel like she was the sole reason of his existence.
But that couldn't be right.. None of that could be right.
"What are you doing here?" she heard herself say.
"I' How have you been?"
How have I been? She thought incredulously as she searched his face. It was impassive and that only irritated her.
"I asked you a question." She said instead.
She thought she saw the hint of a smile playing around the corners of his mouth but when she looked closer, he was simply looking back at her in that calm, authoritative'
Thoroughly condescending and irritating way of his.
He hadn't changed one bit.
"I came to give you something."
He slipped a hand in his jacket pocket and she wondered for the first time,
When had he started wearing jackets?
"Here." He said.
Whatever it was, it was sealed in a brown paper envelope.
"What is it?"
"For my Mother's treatment."
"Oh so it's your Mother now." She said before she could stop herself. She did not know why but that bit had..hurt.
Prithvi blinked. And then something happened.
The mask fell away.
"I wanted to..to thank you for not withdrawing the financial aid that you promised to provide for her treatment."
He looked sincere. She could tell from his eyes that he meant every word.
The face might speak the language of your soul but in Prithvi's case it was his eyes. Always his eyes. And she had always been able to read him like she did now when she saw the pain and the longing that lurked behind that sincerity.
That infuriated her. Why could she still see? She wasn't supposed to see anything. And there wasn't supposed to be anything to see.
"I would never take out the worst of my anger and hatred on Maa."
A knife sliced away at Prithvi's heart at the word, hatred and he gulped.
And yet..and yet she also referred to his Mother as Maa...
"I know you wouldn't.. You are not.. You are not like me." He whispered.
His eyes were open to her now. There was regret in them. A regret so strong that it twisted and plunged something particularly sharp and painful in her own heart. That regret mixed with the pain and longing that she had seen earlier spilled out a single emotion,
And suddenly just like that the room was devoid of air.
And she needed air. Needed it as desperately as she needed to get away from him. Away from his eyes, from his presence, from everything.
He took a step towards her and almost unconsciously she took a step back.
She wished he would stop saying her name. She hated how it rolled off his tongue with a seemingly gentle caress to it.
He wasn't supposed to care. He wasn't supposed to love her.
She wasn't supposed to care. She wasn't supposed to love him.
And she didn't. She simply couldn't..love him.
"I don't want the money."
He had taken another step towards her and she had never truly realized just how beautiful he was.
He raised his left hand in an attempt to reach out and she saw something on his finger.
He was still wearing his engagement ring.
The ring she had given to him.
She searched his face for the man she had fallen in love with and when she saw him standing there alive and breathing and not a figment of her imagination or her dreams, she turned around and rushed up the stairs.
"I'm sorry." Prithvi whispered as his eyes stung and moistened even as they followed her.
He rubbed his palms against his eyes hastily and slipped his fingers into his hair, his face reflecting the broken man beneath the seemingly tough exterior as he let out raw, shallow breaths.
Damini halted once and turned only to find Prithvi clutching onto his hair his eyes looking wet.
Those could not be real tears, they simply could not be.
This was not Prithvi. This broken person could not be the man she had fallen in love with.
Prithvi had been arrogant yet reverential and intense yet subtle. He had been the strong one. He had held her up everytime she had fallen apart. He had taken care for her and he had certainly never revealed his pain to the world. And now'
No this could not be Prithvi.
Maybe he had changed after all.
A month had passed since the encounter in the lounge of Gujral Mansion. Since then the only times she had seen Prithvi had been in the hospital. And she saw a lot of him there now. Previously he had always been absent during her visits but now he was almost always present. She never spoke to him though. She did not need to.
His eyes followed her everywhere. She could feel them on her even as she worked hard on avoiding him making her far too aware of his presence in the same room and in the same building. It was pathetic really what a pair of eyes of all things could do to her.
She didn't always avoid them though. She had locked eyes with him on more occasions then she cared to remember and now..now that it seemed to be the only thing that managed to exist despite the wall that had sprung up between them it was all the more meaningful. She had seen him worried and tense for his Mother and yet striving to be a pillar of strength for his brothers and she had seen herself in him. They really were uncannily alike. The connection did not help though because everytime she saw him putting his brothers above his own worry and pressure she desperately wanted to take care of him because she knew exactly how it felt. And that unsettled her. Yes, it unsettled her a great deal.
The connection did not end there, because every time he would look at her she would see his feelings breaking clear through the surface making them harder and harder to ignore with every meeting.
Her mind was running out of excuses and she knew she was growing tired of this game even when she wanted for it to continue forever because she didn't want to admit to herself that she wanted to stop running.
There was also the question of trust. Would she ever be able to trust Prithvi again like she had before? With her pain her problems, her fears, her dreams and her secrets?
She didn't know. And that was where the fear lay.
The fear that comes before the first step towards reconcilement.
Would she be able to do it? Would she be able to love him and trust him like she had before? Love would probably be there, she admitted grudgingly but faith and trust were another story entirely and she knew that every relation was built on those two elements.
But the greatest of all was the fear of getting hurt again. She never, ever wanted to experience that. That pain, that anguish and most of all that terrible, terrible darkness.
She sighed and ran a hand through her hair.
"Why can't someone tell me what to do?" She said, voicing her thoughts outloud.
"And you'd listen to that person?"
Damini started and turned her head to find her Mother standing in the doorway of her room.
"Oh Mamma. Come in."
Ela entered and sat herself down on the bed.
"Something on your mind?"
"No. It's nothing."
"It's Prithvi isn't it?"
"No. It was just work'" Her Mother silenced her with a look.
"You are a terrible liar."
"I suppose so." She admitted.
"So what is it?"
"How about I tell you a few things that have been on my mind?"
"Oh..sure." Damini responded feeling a little confused.
"After Prithvi, Sameer and Varun told you girls the truth about themselves, Prithvi called me."
"He called me everyday for a week until I finally called him back. He told me a few things."
"Basically about his Father. He did not defend his actions he just explained himself a bit."
"And I have a feeling that if you were in his place you would have done the exact same thing."
"I would never.."
"Think about it Damini. Somebody has me or your Father murdered. Would you not go after the killer and bring about some justice?"
"I.. What else did he say?"
"He kept checks on my treatment."
"He did?" And the surprises would simply never end, She thought to herself.
"Aren't you doing the same thing? With his Mother?"
"Well I actually care for her.."
"Well so does Prithvi. About your Mother."
A curious sensation filled Damini slowly. It made her feel hot and cold and shivery and vulnerable at the same time. Prithvi..Prithvi might have actually cared. She wasn't sure how she felt about that. Everything was still far too messy within her for her to be really sure. Revelations did that to you. They shook you up and left you feeling seemingly naked and all you wanted to do was crawl back into the comfort of the dark. What they also did was feed your heart with that particular beacon of light called hope that could be easily extinguished by the realities of life.
"I don't know everything about the relationship that you two shared but I know he loves you." Her Mother interrupted into her thoughts and she tried to focus on what she was saying.
"He actually said that?" She found herself asking fully aware of the fact that she was being an idiot now. A very big idiot to even hope that.
"Have you actually said that to me?"
"But I don't.."
"Is that why you still haven't thrown his engagement ring away?"
"Who says I haven't?"
"I live in this house too Damini."
"I have forgiven him Damini."
"I said that I have forgiven him. I have forgiven Sameer and Varun too."
"Because despite everything that they did they are still good at heart. And they love my daughters. And anyone who loves my daughters has to have at least something right about them."
Damini smiled at that before voicing the question that had been in the air ever since the conversation had started.
"What do you want from me Mamma? You want me to forgive him as well?"
"No, I want you to trust yourself and to know that it's okay if somewhere you are trying to understand him yourself. It does not make you into a bad person." Damini looked at her Mother as though she had struck her and she couldn't help but feel slightly at loss at her Mother's answer.
"I'm your Mother Damini. It's time you gave me some credit for it." She then went on to wrap her arms around Damini.
Damini returned the hug even as her Mother said it again, quietly this time.
"Trust your heart and have a little faith."
She did not say anything as Ela finally got up and left the room. It was only after she was completely alone did she realize that she had been holding her breath.
How had her Mother known? How had she known that somewhere a part of Damini had been trying to reason with herself ever since she had met Prithvi a month ago?That she had been trying to understand him and practically defending him at times only to end up feeling a little angry at herself for letting such thoughts enter her mind in the first place. How could she even try to defend the person who had tried to hurt her family? For as long as she could remember her life had always revolved around her family. She had never had any friends because her Mother and her sisters had always been the world to her. She had never needed anyone else.
And now her Mother was telling her that it was okay? It was okay if she forgave him? If she understood him and let him back into her life?
It certainly did not feel okay. Not yet anyway. A part of her still rebelled against it and refused to understand him and let him back into her life.
It was the part that was scared. It was also the part that was the most vulnerable.
And as far as she saw it, it wasn't going anywhere.
Damini entered the hospital room and seated herself beside Suman Saxena and took her hand in hers.
"The meeting was a success Maa. The project is ours." She said smiling down at her. The door to the room opened and she knew without looking that it was Prithvi. She also knew that he now leaned against the wall, his arms crossed against his chest and like every time she had come here for the past month, he was observing her in that quiet, unsettling way of his.
Trying to ignore him as best as she could she continued to tell Suman about her day. She did not know why she came here. She had no real ties to this woman just like she had no real ties to his son yet she'd still come and talk to her like she would do with her own Mother and then leave.
"Thank you." Prithvi said quietly from behind.
Damini stiffened. It was the first time he had actually spoken to her since the time he had showed up at her home.
"What for?" She asked, refusing to turn.
"For coming here everyday. For talking to Maa like you do."
Damini stood up and turned to look at him then. He wasn't leaning against the wall anymore. Instead he had come forward with his hands stuffed into the pockets of his jeans.
He was nervous.
"How are you?"
He blinked and looked at her, surprised.
"I'm fine." He said with a noncommittal shrug.
"No, I mean how are you?"
He searched her face and she looked back at him calmly until he understood the meaning behind the query.
"I said I'm..."
"You can drop the act Prithvi." She cut across him and he looked up at that.
"That you are always in control. That you have everything sorted out."
"What makes you think I don't?"
"Why don't you just answer the question?"
He hadn't expected of her to admit anything to him but he couldn't help but let out a disappointed sigh anyway.
"Worried." He answered finally.
"Did the Doctors give bad news?"
"They'd give me any news if there was any change in Maa's condition. I'.. I don't know what to do." He dragged his hands through his hair and sat himself down on one of the chairs present in the room.
"You... You can't give up Prithvi."
He looked up at her wearily,
"It's been eight months Damini."
"I don't care how long it has been. You still can't give up. Who's going to tell her to fight if her own sons loose hope?"
"I don't think she wants to fight."
"That's why we have to make her do it, right?"
"I don't know Damini... It's like she doesn't want to live."
He let his head fall into his hands before whispering,
"I can't... can't loose her."
Damini looked at the man before her and her mind couldn't help but go back to all the times Prithvi had held her up, had given her hope. He had been there when she too had been worried about her Mom's health. She did not know about the amount of truth that lay in those moments but she knew that his presence had helped. And today, today she didn't want to deny him that very comfort.
Sitting down on the chair beside him she reached out and took one of his hands in both of hers and squeezed gently.
"You won't." She said quietly.
"How do you know?" He asked turning to look at her now.
"I... I don't. But you have to be strong Prithvi."
"I'm so tired. I can't... I can't do it alone. I'm not strong enough."
"Yes you are."
She had wanted to tell him that he wasn't alone either. But she knew that it would be wrong of her to promise him something she wasn't sure she was capable of at the moment.
Being there for him.
"You think so?" His voice was quiet now, not much different from a child seeking assurance. She didn't realize when he had gone on to place his other hand on top of hers so that their hands lay entwined, speaking perhaps of a silent promise. A promise that did not need words.
"I know so."
They continued to look at each other, the pain in his eyes slowly ebbing away to be replaced by a renewed sense of hope.
"Thank you." He said softly.
It was a rare moment of hope and healing, Of giving strength and gaining it. It was also the rekindling of a bond that had never quite faded away.
Damini lowered her eyes to their hands, still interlinked and quite unperturbed, bearing a silent connection in themselves.
"I should leave now." She whispered.
What was wrong with her voice? She wondered dimly.
Prithvi looked away as well and let go of her hands, his touch lingering as ever making her hands tingle.
She stood up to leave. She had managed to reach the doorway when Prithvi addressed her again.
"How are you Damini?"
She didn't turn but merely stiffened.
"I'm fine Prithvi."
"No I mean how are you?"
She still didn't turn.
"I said I'm..."
"You can drop the act Damini."
"That you are always in control. That you have everything sorted out."
"What makes you think I don't?"
"Why don't you just answer the question?"
Damini couldn't help but smile at the way he was using her own words against her, she turned briefly to look at him then, he was standing now with his arms crossed against his chest again.
~*The sun is breaking in your eyes,
To start a new day,
This broken heart can still survive,
with a touch of your grace,
Shadows fade into the light,
I am by your side where love will find you,
What about now? What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love, it never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?*~
That is it for now. And don't worry the next part will NOT be taking a month. You have my word on this. Will post the next part in say, two days? Depends on how fast the feedback flows in. So it's on YOU guys. :-P
Info about lyrics:
Linkin Park: Shadow of the day.
Trading Yesterday- Shattered
Westlife- What about now.
Awaiting your comments and criticism.
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