Morning broke and Sidhi lovingly woke her sons up, like this was something she had done all their lives, and would continue to do for many many years. She hadn't slept at all, and the lack of sleep and the dried tearstreams showed on her face. But there was a strange calmness in her eyes, like this moment was all that existed. Like there was no past and no future to worry about. Like everything that had happened to her in the last 11 years had never happened. Like this...this moment she had right now...wasn't transient. She lovingly kissed her children good morning and got them ready for school. Her children needed a normal, loving childhood. They needed to be taken care of and kept safe. They needed to be kids again. And as long as she could, Sidhi wanted to do just that. The rest of the world didn't matter. Her family's hatred didn't matter. Kunal...Kunal's hatred mattered, but she couldn't do anything but live with it, as long as she could. She had bared her truth, there was little to do now. All she hoped to do now was cause him as little pain as she possibly could, for as long as she had to.
"I don't want to ever see your face again"
Yeah, that's what Kunal wanted. Peace. She couldn't entirely go away - not yet - but she could try and let Kunal have as much of his peace as she could manage.
Kunal knew she was there somewhere around, but he hadn't seen her all day. When he woke up the kids had already left for school. Breakfast was lying on the table. His clothes were laid out. His foot had a big bandage where it still pained from the previous night. When he came back in the evening, the rest of the family was back, but she was nowhere to be seen. "Good riddance" thought Kunal. "Who wants to see her face.."
As he got back to his room, he saw his clothes neatly laid out. A new radio replaced his broken one. Seema entered with a cup of tea behind him. There was no sign of Sidhi, but there were signs of her everywhere.
"Umm...haan bhaiya. Do you need something?"
"Umm. Nothing. How was your trip?"
"It was good..."As Seema filled Kunal in with details from the family trip, Kunal spotted Sidhi entering the living room with both kids. She quietly went into the kitchen as both Anands went to shower and change.
20 mins later Kunal himself came out of the washroom, having freshened up and changed. He saw Sidhi sitting with her sons, helping them study. He could barely hear her, she spoke very softly and only to the kids, but even from afar he could see an unmistakable calmness and deep love on Sidhi's face.
"Maybe she does love at least her children, maybe she won't betray them like she has betrayed everyone else who loved her.." Kunal thought to herself before turning back to sit and do some work. He didn't have a job anymore and he had a family to support. He wanted to give his kids the best they deserved and so, he needed to get back to building his career. He had found a job today with a small law firm - infact he was made a junior partner in the firm. Although the salary wasn't much as the firm wasn't doing well, it was a start. And it also meant there was lots of work to do and ground to cover. He had spent enough of his life moping for women who broke his heart. Not anymore. He needed to be the Kunal Chopra who could effectively raise his children and support his family. He needed to be the Kunal Chopra whose actions corresponded with the potential he always had.
A couple of hours later, Kunal's concentration was broken by voices coming from the living room. Seema and Veena were yelling at Sidhi. Sidhi had gone into the kitchen to help with dinner, but Veena had pushed her away
"Don't you dare touch anything in this kitchen. We don't need your help. Your evil touch will ruin our food. You have already done enough damage to this family. We are not rich like your real home but we can feed you as long as we have to because of that stupid court order." Kunal heard Veena say as he stepped out to see what the commotion was about.
Sidhi was standing quietly, in a corner of the kitchen, crying silently.
Seema yelled "Sidhi, can you please get out of the way. I will have to redo everything you've touched"
Kunal saw Sidhi quietly turn back and leave. He noticed blood coming out from a scratch on her arm, but Sidhi seemed completely unaware of the same. Memories from the previous evening came back to Kunal. He had seen this bruise yesterday on Sidhi's arm after Abhay left, which seem to have gotten scratched just now.
"...Anand is Kunal's and I will never let you touch him again"
Sidhi had said that to Abhay. But if Sidhi wanted to keep CA with Kunal, why did she contest the custody case, and worse, file another case for BA. She went to Thakral to fight him. But then, she also supported him in BA's case in court. Why did she file a case to lose herself? Why was Sidhi fighting with Abhay to keep CA with Kunal when Sidhi herself wanted to live with Abhay and CA in the rich mansion of the Diwans?
Something didn't add up for Kunal.
Kunal was distracted by CA's voice coming from Ishani's room. Ishani-Anokhi and the two Anands were running around the room fighting about something. Ishani was teasing CA about her hairstyle and BA was trying to keep CA from hitting Ishani with a pillow.
Kunal: Kya hua bacha?
CA: Papa dekho na...Ishaani didi mera mazaak uda rahi hai
Kunal: Kyon bhai? Kya kiya mere hero ne?
Ishaani: Hero hi hai Kunal chachu. Dekho kaise Shahrukh khan jaise baal banake ghoom raha hai. Adaayein to dekho...
CA jumped out of BA's grip and hit Ishani with a pillow, who responded in kind. Anokhi tried to intervene but she was drawn in the fight herself.
Kunal: Bas bas bas. Kya Ishaani - mera beta smart hai, teri tarah jhadoo jaise baal nahi hain uske. Style bhi koi cheez hai.
CA, BA: (grinning) Wohi to papa.
Kunal: Aur jo bhi kami hai, kal beauty parlor mein jake theek karwa lena, theek hai mere sher.
CA: Papa...CA winced as the other three laughed.
Kunal laughed and hugged him. BA joined the group hug. Ishaani hit CA and BA again with a pillow, which broke the hug as Kunal himself joined the fight with a pillow in hand...
Playing with the children, Kunal felt he had a little bit of life still left in him. This moment was worth living for.
Kunal had gotten late in coming from work. The hearing was the next day, and he really needed to win this case. Everyone was asleep. Except Sidhi. As soon as he got in Sidhi heated food and served on the dining table.
"I don't need your charity. You don't need to stay up for me"
Sidhi didn't respond. She just silently continued to lay the plate.
Was it him, or did Sidhi look thinner suddenly. He hadn't noticed her much of late, but suddenly it seemed to Kunal that Sidhi looked really ill.
Kunal ignored her and went inside to change.