Jeevika knew she had no answers to give. She couldn't even give her husband any answers, how would she explain herself to her family? But no one questioned her, no one spoke to her differently. It was like nothing ever happened in the first place. But infact a lot had happened. A lot of damage was done already. Without tormenting Jeevika by their presence anymore, Viren decided it was best to take her inside. The thought of going inside though confused him as well. He didn't know what she needed that time. Should he try to distract her mind with the help of the family so she would come out of this phase or should he try to spend time with her alone. He needed to know what was going on, and he knew she needed him badly. Her words still haunted him. Her words on needing him the most, but him not being there. And she mentioned the fact she needed him the most that day! What was that day. He just took her inside, not knowing what he would do next. Jeevika's body was shaking still, more than it was outside. Viren helped her sit on the bed.
viren - "Jeevika, I'll go get some dinner. We'll both eat in here okay"
Jeevika had nothing to say to him. It was this awkward silence. She didn't even give a nod, or any expression. It confused Viren more. Should he go get the food, or should he stay here. Did she need to be alone right now, or did she need him to comfort her? He was willing to do anything for her, seeing her this vulnerable.
viren - "Jeevika, are you okay?"
He regretted asking her that question. Of course she was not okay. How could he be dumb enough to ask her that? That question just brought more tears in her eyes. He couldn't see that any longer. He immediately sat right next to her. She positioned herself in his arms. Like two pieces of a puzzle being put together.
viren - "I love you Jeevika. I can't see you like this. Please you need to get your anger, your stress, your frustration out. Just tell me. Don't cry anymore. I feel so helpless"
jeevika - "Viren you.. you won't leave me right. You will be here with me no matter what" she said with short breaths
viren - "Of course Jeevs. There's no one in my life whose as important as you. You are my soul, my love. I need you more than anything in my life"
Jeevika's cries were lessening and her breaths becoming longer again. Viren felt some peace as she was beginning to expose herself. Her feelings were coming out slowly and painfully. He could only imagine how hard it was for her to express herself when he was having such a difficult time to understand and comprehend everything.
viren - "No more crying okay. You are my everything and you know that. Okay you wait right here, I'm going bring dinner for us okay. I'll be back in ten minutes, promise"
Jeevika let go of Viren who quickly left to go to the kitchen. His speed was something new. He needed to be back and spent time with Jeevika. Jeevika wiped the tears in her eyes and got up from her bed. She walked over to the side of her room. She opened the cupboard to see exactly what she wanted to see. She held it close to her heart and went back to sit on her the bed. She just looked at it in awe. Only if her baby, their baby was here today she would be giving this to him or her. This special memory. Just looking at it, made her miserable. Jeevika realized how much pain she had given to Viren and the rest of the family with her unrealistic behavior. She could not and would not let them and especially him go through that again. She had to be strong; what happened was just a moment of relapse nothing else. As Jeevika sat on the bed, she quickly placed it below her pillow as she could hear footsteps coming towards her room. Viren entered with a tray full of food and Manvi right behind him. Oh and not to forget Virat. The three of them looked awfully happy. Viren was relieved that at least Jeevika started talking, and Virat and Manvi were glad just to see Jeevika at home.
manvi - "Di, today its like our mini picnic"
virat - "Manvi picnics are meant to be in parks or on beaches. Not in bedrooms. And not at night time either"
manvi - "You really know how to ruin the mood don't you? Come on we are the Vadhera's. We eat at 8pm and ouside at the dining hall with the whole family. What's the time right now Virat? Let me save you ten minutes of thinking, it is 9 PM. So technically we are on our picnic. Now shut up and start putting water in the glasses"
They could see the smile coming back to Jeevika's face. She was trying to be herself again, and the three people next to her could feel that. They could feel the way she was trying to become "normal" again. Viren set up Jeevika's plate as Virat and Manvi set up theirs as well. Viren wanted to comfort Jeevika and make her feel loved in every possible way. He took the spoon taking the food straight to her mouth. She ate it from his hands without hesitation. It just felt so right, it felt like before going. Jeevika had this guilt inside her. Even though she felt betrayed by Viren the past few weeks, she knew how much she had tormented him the past few days by going to such lengths of committing suicide. She took the spoon from Viren's hand and this time fed him. He was taken aback, but that smile on his face made Jeevika realize his love for her. He was feeling better, and relieved that she was coming out everything and she was at peace seeing him relieved.
viren - "Manvi you know Virat is right this is technically not a picnic"
manvi - "Jiju really? Must I lecture again?"
viren - "I mean is a picnic really complete without any dessert?"
manvi - "Oh My God JIJU!!! You're the best. I know what di wants. She wants that mango kulfi we get from near your office Jiju"
viren - "As a matter of fact, I want that also"
virat - "Bhai thanks for spoiling us rotten. We love you"
manvi - "I swear we are di and jiju's first kids. They are our parents number 1"
virat - "Exactly"
manvi - "I'll take the trays back to the kitchen"
virat - "I'll help you"
viren - "Okay go quickly freshen up also. Let's leave in ten minutes"
jeevika - "V..Viren..ji I don't want to go anywhere"
manvi - "Di we are just going for a drive, not to a party. Come on di just get some fresh air please"
virat - "Please bhabhi. Don't say no to us at least"
jeevika - "Virenji please"
viren - "We'll be back in half an hour promise. Go freshen up" he said helping her get up from the bed. Jeevika went to the bathroom. Jeevika's slow inconsistent steps showed her weakness. Both mentally and physically. Viren saw her about to fall and loose control but he managed to catch her in his arms before any damage.
viren - "Jeevika you alright?"
jeevika - "Yeah"
Viren helped her inside the bathroom an then shut the door. He walked back to the bed to pick up his phone. As he reach down to the bed he felt something under the pillow. He looked down and reached for it, holding it in his hands. He saw this doll. An old doll that never caught his attention before. Whose was this was the question that kept going through his mind. He took to the bed sitting down for a second trying to understand if this was related to anything. A doll. What could a doll do? To what extent could this doll be a reason for Jeevika's behavior? Manvi barged in the room seeing Viren sitting on the bed.
manvi - "Jiju, Virat and I are ready. Is di fine?"
Viren didn't answer as he was still trying to figure things out. It was processing, but slowly. Manvi went to Viren's side seeing him eyeing HER doll.
manvi - "My Dimple" she said taking it from Viren's hand.
viren - "Yours? What's it doing her?"
manvi - "Yeah jiju. This was my favorite doll when I was young. I would not go anywhere without her"
viren - "What's it doing here Manvi?"
manvi - "Last year on Raksha Bandhan I had given Di this gift. Amidst the cancer phase, and Virat and me being together we thought we wouldn't be able to celebrate Raksha Bandhan so I had sent this to di with beeji and Dabbu. But then last fifteen minutes the whole family had come. Di gave me the bestest gift, and I had just given her this small part of me"
Virat yelled Manvi's name and she placed the doll on the bed going outside. Viren just held the doll again. Maybe it was nothing, but maybe this doll was the answer to everything. He placed it back under Jeevika's pillow and this time picked up his phone and headed towards the bathroom as he could hear Jeevika opening the door.
viren - "Are you fine?"
jeevika just nodded with a slight smile which didn't do full justice to convincing him she was alright.
viren - "It's okay if you don't feel well. i'll just put you to sleep"
Jeevika wanted to make Viren feel like everything was alright, but she truly had no energy to prove it to him. She didn't want to go out. She just wanted to be secluded inside her room with Viren. That's all she could use at that point. But then her anger with herself rose again. She had to do something for him, she had to show him she was better.
jeevika - "I'm okay Virenji"
viren - "Jeevika you don't have t hide anything from me. You're not being able to walk yourself its okay. Go change please"
jeevika - "Virenji, trust me"
Trust me were two strong words and Viren had to listen and agree with her. He held her hand so tight that it was just like him holding all of her. But that tightness stayed in pact. They didn't feel anything but love. They walked straight out to the car where Virat and Manvi were waiting. Settling in the car, they drove away together. Though Viren was driving, his mind was only thinking about the doll and Jeevika. The dots were slowly connecting and the crossword was almost being solved.
Last year on Raksha Bandhan was the day The Vadhera's had gone to ask Manvi's hand in marriage. It was the day that Jeevika had fought with her family, for the first time, for her sisters' rights and her true love. She was dying inside, having kept stones on her heart not being able to be with her sister on Raksha Bandhan. But more than that it was the fact that she couldn't share the happiness of the new member that was supposed to come. It made sense now. Everything was picture perfect, or at least almost. Manvi had given her doll as a gift to Jeevika and the baby for Raksha Bandhan. It was the child. The baby they had to forsake for Manvi. The biggest sacrifice anyone could possibly make. And this month, this week marked was to mark the nine months of that pregnancy, but here they were were nine months later. There was no baby, he or she was gone. And this same week Viren was about to loose something more valuable than the baby itself, his Jeevika. It made sense to him, finally. Jeevika's cries, her pain, her desire of Viren was all because of this. This doll was like a symbol. A symbol of love that they lost. It was ironic as well. The doll that Manvi had given to Jeevika for her niece/nephew wasn't put to use because of Manvi herself.
As soon as Viren got there, Virat and Manvi went out to get the kulfi for themselves and their siblings. Viren knew this wasn't the best time to confront Jeevika about this. Even if he did what was he to say? How was he going to comfort her in any manner. Just thinking of the fact and putting the pieces of the puzzle together was hard enough for him to take in, but he knew he had to come out of it and be stronger. He had to take care of her. She was the only thing that mattered. Viren was feeling different. It was like God had popped the bubble he was in and now he could see and feel everything which he didn't want to or need to at the moment. As soon as Virat and Manvi got back, Viren insisted on going home right away. The three of them next to him thought that he was just worried about Jeevika which he was, but he needed to get the pain out of his chest and share it with her too. He had started feeling the same way Jeevika was feeling this week. And because of the fact he was trying to help out his friends Riya and Sambhav he was not able to catch her feelings and control it before she took such drastic measures. It barely took twenty minutes getting home and Viren took Jeevika inside her room. Manvi held on to Jeevika's other side as she was still weak. As Manvi took Jeevika inside the bathroom to change Viren just picked up the doll and looked at it again. Without even knowing he felt a tear drop on his face. That extent of pain was inside him as well now. Viren went to get a glass of water to cool down his frustration inside. He just stood there in the kitchen feeling the cool breeze coming in from the open window. He was going to break down now.
Putting himself together he went back to the room. He hadn't even realized it had been more than half an hour of him staying in the kitchen. Jeevika was asleep, or so it seemed with her eyes closed. He turned on the lights of the lamp switching off the rest. After having changed he just sat on the bed eyeing Jeevika next to him. She was the definition of his life, his existence. He bent down kissing her beautiful face, unintentionally waking her up. He covered her eyes with his hand wanting her to sleep as she needed her rest.
jeevika - "Virenji"
viren - "Yeah do you need something"
jeevika - "I'm sorry"
viren - "Jeevika stop saying sorry. It's not your fault, its my fault. I should have not left you in this time. I know what we lost was not easy for you and me. And.."
Viren was having a hard time continuing and Jeevika couldn't see him breaking down like this. She got up from her sleeping position with difficulty, but Viren lend her a hand. She cuddled with him taking his pain inside her now. Though indirectly, Viren found out and knew now of everything. And Jeevika now could cry openly for her loss in his arms which she did. Both of them with arms across each other and heads on top of one another were crying.
viren - "I am sorry Jeevika. I should have been with you. I love you the most in this world, but I got caught up and didn't realize I forgot my responsibility which is you. Don't worry though Jeevika, I've realized my mistake. And I've never leaving you like this again. I promise you" he said as strongly as one can. "And I know the loss we've gone through, but think about what we got in return. We have Manvi with us, we have our whole family together. I promise you that day won't be far when you will have a piece of us again. Just now we have to promise each other that we won't think about the past. What's gone is gone. It's just you and me. Me and you. Because We Belong Together"