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New morning came with new promises for everyone, but for Riya it was just an extension of the darkness. She felt lonely and directionless. Looking at the mirror all she could find was a pale thin girl who was lost. She fingered through her Sindhur relishing the feeling.
"Arjun... Come here please"
Arjun, who was just about to go to bathroom, went to her who was standing infront of the mirror.
"What is it Riyu? Why did you call me?"
As if answering his question she forwarded her hand which held the Sindhur box. Understanding her he smiled. Taking a pinch of Sindhur he applied it on her Maang'. She smiled and gave him a kiss on his cheeks.
"I love you Riyu... You are my Angel..."
Riya jerked out of her thoughts as she heard voices from hall. She wiped her tears. A sudden feeling of being betrayed passed through her mind as she heard everyone's cheerful voice. She was no longer ready to drown in her sorrow leaving others to be happy. Whatever others say, Arjun is her husband, may not be infront of law, but infront of God. She was not going to give them the satisfaction of breaking her. In her whole life she was fighting for love, now she was going to fight for her self-respect.
Suryakanth was sitting on an arm chair in the Verandha reading the newspaper. Nirmala was sitting on the floor cutting vegetables. To this scene came Roshni with 4 cup of coffee. Taking one for herself, she gave the other two cups to Nirmala and Suryakanth, saving the other one for Arjun.
Arjun came out wearing a paijama and tshirt. He thanked her and took the coffee. Roshni took the vegetables form Nirmala and started cutting the vegetables much to Nirmala's protest. Seeing the opportunity Arjun laid down in his mother's lap. Nirmala couldn't help but to laugh at his childishness. She slowly started massaging his head.
Riya, who just came down didn't miss this scene. She stood in the hall looking out tenderly at the scene infront of her, a picture perfect scene which reminded her of her ill fate. Swallowing the lump forming in her throat she walked outside. As she came in view silence prevailed. Everyone was shocked to see her. The past one week she never made her presence felt. So all of a sudden seeing her made everyone aware of the gravity of the situation.
Controlling herself Riya walked to the gazebo where her favorite plants were there. Those were the plants which Arjun had brought for her. For the past one week she had totally ignored her plants, but not anymore. She touched the rosebuds feeling happy after a long time. A small smile blossomed on her lips as she talked with her plants.
She was lost in conversation that she didn't feel the eyes on her. She filled the can and started watering the plants. She started pruning the plants when all of a sudden a thorn pricked her finger.
A blob of blood appeared on her finger. She squeezed her finger blowing air into the wound.
Riya was ecstatic to see the plants Arjun had brought for her. She ran to them and started caressing each plant. Arjun leaned near the pillar watching her intently. She was aware of his heated gaze on her. Colour crept up her cheeks and she pretended to be busy with the plant. Being careless, a thorn pricked her finger and she let out a yelp. In a jiffy Arjun was by her side. There was concern in his eyes. He grabbed her hand and started licking the finger to stop the blood flow. Riya blushed hard at his gesture. He was unaware of the feelings which his action created on her. But when he looked up and noticed her red cheeks, he realized that. A smirk formed on his lips. He caught her chin with his fingers and inched closer. Her lips parted inviting his...
She jerked put of her memory again. Unconsciously her eyes travelled to him. Their eyes met. From the look on his face she was sure that he remembered the same. A lone tear trickled down her face. His heart leapt up at her. He was just an inch away from getting onto feet and walked to her when Roshni came into picture. Her hand on his shoulder was enough to wake him up from his dream world as well as Riya.
Riya quickly averted her gaze. She flicked away the stray tear.
"Concentrate Riya, don't give in to the emotions, and be brave. Don't give them the satisfaction of seeing you break."
That small pep talk gave her the energy to boost up her emotions. A mask of indifference came into her face whereas inside she was hurting. She kept the gardening tools aside once she finished. Feeling slightly better after a week of emotional roller coaster ride she turned to walk back to the home, correction, house.
As she neared the house she noticed everyone's eyes on her. She clenched her fist hard not to break down infront of those so called family. Luckily no one stopped her to have a conversation. She quickly walked to her room. Closing herself in the bathroom, she opened the shower and drenched herself. Her sobs grew louder however the running water effectively concealed the sound.
Breakfast time came. Everyone was sitting in the table; the shock of the morning incident still affected them. Roshni tried to cheer up the atmosphere with her lame jokes. Soon the atmosphere loosened. Ramu Kaka looked at the family sitting in the dining room. He felt rage towards them for being cruel to Riya. He was really sad for her. She was the real Roshni in the house. The one who has the name Roshni was nothing but that. He has been in Rawte Family long enough to know every person inside and out. Yet he can't do anything to help the poor Riya. He sighed in sadness. Suddenly his gaze landed upon Riya who was slowly descending the stairs. He couldn't help but to exclaim;
"Riya beti, aap !!!"
That one exclamation was enough to break the atmosphere and turned it into serious once again. Everyone followed Ramu Kaka's gaze and found her. Arjun's heart skipped a beat seeing her puffy eyes which she tried to conceal using makeup. He wanted to go to her and hold her in his arms, Alas, his wings were clipped.
Riya gave a faint smile to Ramu Kaka and walked to the table. Not looking at anyone she dragged a chair for herself and sat. She could feel everyone's gaze on her. She was about to serve breakfast for her when Roshni's voice boomed in the atmosphere.
Riya stopped her in actions so as everyone. All looked at Roshni. Roshni brought a sweet smile on her face,
"You are Riya right? I thought you are not living here anymore since I came back."
Riya didn't miss the sarcasm in her voice. She refrained herself from speaking anything and reached for the spatula to serve. Once again she was interrupted by Roshni.
"Riya, the thing is, since I didn't know that you are living here, I haven't prepared breakfast for you. Normally Ramu Kaka prepares but today I prepared. I hope you understand what I mean."
Shocked will be understatement for what Riya felt that moment. Now they are not even ready to give her breakfast, thought she. Her hand fell to her side. She swallowed the lump forming in her throat. She looked at Arjun hoping that he would say something. But he didn't. He just closed his eyes. Little did she knew that Suryakanth had held back Arjun on his seat. Not getting any support from Arjun, she looked at Suryakanth and Nirmala. They were looking at everywhere but her. She hung her head down and blinked back the tears. She slowly got up from the chair.
"Riya beti, today I am fasting, you can have my breakfast", said Ramu Kaka.
She gave a sad smile to Kaka and said,
"Thanks Kaka, but I am full. I am no longer hungry"
With that she increased her speed and sprinted towards her room.
As soon as she was out of sight, Arjun jerked his father's hold.
"Roshni, why the hell did you do that?"
Roshni was taken aback by the anger in his voice.
"Oh come on Arjun, I was just saying the truth."
"Even if it was the truth, did you have to say it? Can't you let her have breakfast?"
"You are fighting with me for her? You know what, I am no longer in a mood to have breakfast"
With that Roshni stormed out of the room. Surykanth and Nirmala gave a glare to Arjun and went behind Roshni. Feeling frustrated, he ran his fingers through his hair. Ramu Kaka looked at him, suddenly feeling sympathetic towards the lad.
A lone figure walked towards the outhouse of Rawte mansion. He opened the outhouse with his key and stepped in. Light spread across the room as the person switched on the bulb. He looked at the photographs of the girl with dimpled smile adorned in the wall. He fingered through each and every photo. A lone tear fell through his eyes.
Not caring to wipe it of he walked towards the bed in the room. A dupatta lay there crumpled. He took the dupatta from the bed. He sniffed the dupatta trying to inhale the scent of the owner. He hugged it close to himself and lied in the bed in a fetus position.
"Arjun loves only you Riyu. But Arjun is not worth of your love. Arjun is bound by invisible shackles which he can't get rid of. Arjun is bound by promises which he can't break. Arjun can't help it but let you go. All Arjun can do is bear this heart break and suffer along with you silently."
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