Joined: 01 January 2012
"Yes, I'll come home as soon as I'm done with the work. Please don't stay up for me! Now I have to go!" Riya said, as she walked down the steps of her house, her husband Rathod standing in the doorway, and watching her go to the research lab fondly.
He shut the door behind himself, and smiled as he remembered Riya's smile. He could feel it in his gut. He was in love. It wasn't the love others spoke of, the one of passion and lust. This was different. More fulfilling, yet at the same time, more damaging. He chuckled to himself as he imagined the reaction Riya would have to his expression. Shaking his head, he climbed the stairs to go take a shower.
Riya was lost in her own thoughts as she walked to the corner where the car came to pick her up everyday. She walked in the same way she had been walking for the last three years, ever since Arjun had gone missing in an investigation, and her parents had decided that two months of waiting were enough. That now, she should get married to Rathod, because he was a good guy. She looked up at the skies, thanking God for making Rathod the way he was. After Arjun left, the ETF team disbanded, They were still very much in contact, but the fact that Rathod was now lame from a bullet wound, and Riya now a married woman made it impossible to keep it together. They tried, very hard, for the first year, keeping it intact in the hope that Arjun would eventually come back, and see them. But he didn't, and life moved on. She thanked God for letting Rathod understand. For letting him never take advantage of her. For never pushing her beyond her limits. It made it easier on her. One less thing to worry about.
She snapped out of her reverie as the car horn blared, and she forced a smile on her features as the day began.
It was around ten, and Riya was still in the office. Her hair was pushed into a messy pile on her forehead, held back with the clip, her makeup less face reflecting the glow of the table lamp. She held a cutting chai in her hands as she pored over the documents, and blew the strand that kept falling out of the way.
She got up an hour later, after Rathod had called three times, and eventually fallen asleep around ten thirty, saying his surprise would have to wait till tomorrow. She hadn't even thought about that, and she didn't need to. With Rathod, life was predictable, easy, It was probably a new film he wanted to see.
She pushed her file into her bag, and placed the glass back into the sink in the faculty room, seeing a plate of samosas, and popping one into her mouth as she walked down the stairs to the restaurant where she always ate her dinner.
She saw a man with his head in his arms, over a glass of cutting chai, sitting with a group of men.
"Oh, what's wrong, bhaijaan?" Saleem asked the young man. He received no answer, and then Hardeep tried his luck.
"Oye, paaji! What's wrong? You've got to tell us eventually! You can't just sit there and cry!" He demanded, waving his arms, and nodding at the others who murmured in agreement.
The man sniffled and was about to look up when Riya realized she was at the front of the line, and Khalid was waiting for her order. "A chicken tangdi, butter chicken, and some naan." He nodded at her, waving to the other man behind her. Riya stepped to the side, placing the change back in her purse when the man behind her spoke.
"The… The girl I l-loved – still love – has gotten married. To one of my work mates. I I don't know what to do!" He cried, a mere shell of the ACP he once was, and Riya spun around in shock, disregarding her purse in her haste.
"A-arjun?" She whispered, her voice barely carrying to Khalid. Then she repeated it, stuffing the change in her purse, and almost running to a shell-shocked Arjun Rawte.
He stood up, and she flung herself in his arms, crying fast, desperate tears staining his shirt.
He cried too, holding her as close as he could, pushing her into him. When they finally calmed down, Saleem and Hardeep set them down with the food they had respectively ordered, and walked off to watch with Khalid and Seema behind the counter, as the couple caught up.
They spoke for a good hour, where Arjun told her he had been held in Russia for the past year, because he had no one here he could contact, no proof of citizenship, and no one was willing to fight for him. She explained her and Rathod's marriage. How it was a compromise neither had been willing to make, but they had in the end. And it was then that Khalid came up to them, and asked them to leave politely.
They did, walking to Rathod's house, in comfortable silence.
They walked in to the sight of Rathod sprawled on the couch. It was obvious he had tried to wait up. Riya went to get some more food, and Arjun went over to wake Rathod up. He sat up at once, startled that Arjun was back, and quickly developing a sadness in his eyes as he blessed the two lovers, and promised that the divorce would be finalized soon.
Riya went up to sleep, and Rathod showed Arjun the guest room. He made to leave, but Arjun stopped him, motioning for him to come onto the balcony.
"You love her, don't you?"
Rathod simply nodded. "Enough to let her go. Take care of her."
Arjun smiled wide, his eyes full of respect for the man in front of him. "I will. I promise I'll take care of her."
Inspired by @Fiza28 I hope it was up to your expectations. If you have any requests, drop them here: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3178320
If you want PMs, just buddy me, and send a PM/scrap that you're from the Arjun forum. And I want reviews if you want PMs. And yes, I do know I sound greedy. Deal with it :P
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