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"The job of every generation is to discover the
flaws of the one that came before it. That's part of growing up, figuring out
all the ways your parents and their friends are broken."
Justine Larbalestier, Zombies Vs. Unicorns
He tosses and turns in his bed as he tries to get some sleep.
He tries to comprehend what just happened today even as he tries to get some sleep; truth be told he has been trying to make sense of things for far longer than just today...if he is being honest with himself he has been doing it for six long years now.
Six years, he thinks to himself with a sigh, it has been six long years and he had thought he almost had figured things out, figured everything out and was fine with it.
Until the recent events, to be precise the past few months when the course of his life changed once again.
When all that he had settled into and accepted was up for questioning and all he knew was he had no answers, none at all nor did he have anyone to turn to and ask them - ask why me, why is all of this happening, what about me. All he had and knew was silence and that's what he got good at then - being silent, keeping things bottled up until he was rubbed the wrong way that is.
However, what has been happening to him lately is beyond him now, he sniffles quietly as he wipes away the tears falling from his eyes.
He has never voiced it aloud, never will but he cannot deny the truth of his life at the moment - he is scared, lost and confused. He is bewildered at the changes occurring in his life and has no idea of how to adapt to them.
He never knew six years could mold you so much, that you would find yourself hard-pressed to fit in - in a place that should be ideally his home, among people who should be family.
He cannot help but recall how wonderful today was and cannot remember the last time he felt this happy, this loved and it befuddles him. The warmth he has been receiving in this home, in this family is unparalleled. He knows now why Shravan said he enjoyed playing with his dad more than expensive videogames; he knows now why Ruhi is always so annoyingly chirpy and happy.
He knows now what he had been missing for far too long.
He cannot help but hate the past six years of his life even more due to the knowledge.
He turns around when he feels a movement besides him but knows it is probably useless. His mom is out like a light, has been so for hours now before he even made it to the room to sleep besides her because of having one too many a drinks.
Putting the comforter that she has kicked off in her sleep, he finds himself seated on the bed beside her with his back against the headboard.
A glass of water helps him quench his thirst as it does with the sniffles, a trick he mastered in his boarding school, to keep the voice down. You wouldn't catch him crying that easy; life in a hostel for a boy who cries is hell - he has learned it the hard way and there is no way he would let anyone see him in tears, though all he wants to do is cry...and he can't understand why.
He decides he needs distraction, something to take his mind off things so that he won't cry and with the thought he finds his feet on the floor as he walks up to the table where his Christmas presents are laid beneath Ruhi' photo.
His eyes scan the various pictures of his sister all around the room he has been given to occupy with his mom ever since they were asked to stay here by Ishita Aunty and his dad and in the moment all, he feels is...there is not a single picture amidst them where he is present. His sister' snaps - solo and with the various members of their family make him want to hate her but he cannot even bring himself to do that anymore. It's weird but since the night Ruhi offered her room to him, since his stay here, his baby sister has been nothing but nice to him and that has made it a task to even fight with her, something which came so easily to him before, he thinks.
He still finds her annoying especially when she asks him to play girly games or asks him his opinion about how she has dressed up her doll but with that annoyance, he is astonished to find even a tinge of bemusement at her antics.
Shaking his head, with the smallest smile on his face he decides he would open her gift first among the pile he assembled that he received today on Christmas.
Without making much sound he scours for the packet bearing his sister' name and finds it after a minute or two and makes a face as he looks at the gift wrapping paper - silly girl, doesn't she get it he is a boy - who wraps a boy' gift in bright pink paper with flowers and hearts on it.
Okay, so he can't fight with her, but the first thing he is gonna make sure tomorrow as soon as he crosses path with his junior is set her straight - no pinks for boys!
He decides he does not care about the paper and just rips the thing apart hoping against hope the gift inside at least be nice and useful to him. He is pleasantly surprised when he finds a sleek wristwatch inside it, one he thinks he would have picked himself given a choice and decides besides having the impending do's and don'ts talks, he would also thank his sister for the lovely gift she got for him.
He finds a huge box next, the card is addressed to him and as he slowly opens the box, he discovers it's a box set of the Harry Potter series, with the books is another card with the familiar elegant scrawls of his teacher Bala sir made out to him,
He reads the note,
Those who do not know understand, feel or believe think love and magic are two different things; but those who believe, know and understand them know they are one and the same, like the two sides of a coin. Find one and you discover the other.
The closest thing in our world to magic is love...never stop believing or knowing that and you would understand what is written here.
Bala Chitappa, Vandu Chitti, Shravu and your would-be sister."
He runs a hand along the spine of the books as his thumb traces the note he found with them. He cannot help but recall when he had spoken to Bala sir about his love of the series many months ago and mentioned he has yet to read the books though he has seen all the movies of the franchise countless times. Sir had urged him to read them back then too...
"Adi there can never be enough books read."
Bala sir' words echo in his mind and he promises himself he would read them all once his exams for the year are over in his summer vacations.
He next picks the boxes he got from his aunts, Rinki bua had came back from Australia in the middle of the party and since she had no idea of him being around, she had sweetly handed him over a box of chocolates from her bag.
Opening the box from Simi bua, he finds another set of chocolates and decides he may as well share them with Ruhi, she after all gave him her room he could do this.
The gift that next catches his attention is interesting, it reads sorry and a merry Christmas Adi from Romi Chachu and with the card is a pair of roller skates.
He cannot help but recall how chachu had scolded him on his first morning here two days back and thinks he likes the gift but that does not mean he would forgive chachu for scolding him since he did no wrong back then.
Ishita aunty' parents too got him a gift he is pleasantly surprised to discover when he reads their name on the card attached to the paper that wrapped a smart wallet for him. He thought they do not even like him always but here he got a present for them. He decides he would thank them as well tomorrow morning.
It's when he is about to pick up his next gift that it occurs to him that now only one more gift is left to go and turns around to watch his sleeping mother knowing one of these gifts came from her.
The gift in his hand turns out to be from his grandparents who got him three new pairs of jeans and a couple of t-shirts, which he likes.
The last gift turns out to be the heavy and his curiosity is piqued carefully unwrapping the huge box he finds a brand new laptop for himself and cannot help the smile that spreads across his face at the gift. He is about to go to his mom, wake her up and hug her for the wonderful gift she got him when his eyes fall on the card that simply reads - from Papa and Ishita Aunty.
His eyes well up with tears and he cannot decide if it happens because his mom forgot to get him a gift or because of the gift, he got from his father, the first in years. Chachu scolded him on his first day back here for using a laptop and now he has one of his own.
He wipes away the tears forming in his eyes and is still looking at the laptop that he has yet to take out of the case when the sounds of music reaches his ears. For a moment, he looks around and wonders if he is hallucinating when there is a distinctive change in the track and volume.
Curiosity getting the best of him, he lays aside his gift carefully and opens the door to follow the source of the music he can hear even more clearly now.
Unable to stop himself he climbs the flight of stairs and finds he is standing outside the room that belongs to his father and Ishita aunty. He watches as his father move towards the center of the room where Ishita aunty is standing still dressed in the same outfit as the party while his papa has changed into white trousers and a black t-shirt.
He extends his hand towards Ishita aunty and despite the music; he can clearly hear the words uttered by his father next,
"I do believe you owe me a dance Mrs. Bhalla."
With a smile, Ishita aunty takes hold of his father' extended hand as she steps in close to him and lays her other hand on his shoulder.
"That you do Mr. Bhalla."
The duo start moving slowly to the sound of the soft instrumental when Ishita aunty places her head over his papa' shoulder as her arms band around his waist who reciprocates the gesture.
He knows he should move, walk away and is about to do the same when he hears the mention of his name in his father' hushed murmur.
"Do you think Adi will like our gift?"
He sees Ishita aunty lifts her head and look his papa in the eye as she answers him with a smile,
"Of course he would Raman why won't he? You got it for him with so much love after all. It would be so useful to him too."
"Thanks to you I even got to know that Romi scolded Adi for using his laptop, I gave him an earful in the office then for doing that too. It should have occurred to me Adi would need these basic things."
"Raman relax, it's not your fault. Adi came home unexpectedly and when we were his age we didn't have laptops or computers even at home and it didn't strike you that's all. Once you knew he needed a laptop, you got him one, so stop beating yourself up over it. From now on we will make sure Adi has everything he needs"
"He has to speak up for that Ishita and he barely talks to anyone of us you know that. How would we know anything if he stays aloof all the time? He has to speak up."
"Give him time Raman; didn't you see how he was enjoying himself in the party tonight? He has been here for less than a week and that too after years of being away from his family. It would take time for him to get comfortable with us; once he is you will see how he would come to you without any hesitation for anything he needs."
"I know...god I had even given up hopes of this ever happening in my life. Adi coming home to us...now that he is here I just need to remember to be patient. It is a good thing I have you to remind me of that every time I need that which feels like every few seconds. I ...I want to hug my son Ishita, just hear him call me papa as he used to and let him know I love him so much. I want him to know he isn't alone, he has us - me, you, Ruhi, all of us with him and I don't even know if he will really believe me when I say these things to him, if and when I do..."
Ishita aunty cups his papa' face as she wipes away the tears that ran down his cheeks with his last words and he feels disoriented as he tries to take in those words.
"Hey...Raman please don't cry. He will and soon. Trust me it will happen. Adi cannot be ignorant of how much you love him. He will someday see this all right. You just have to hold on a little longer Raman that is all. He will know you are such a wonderful father, such a loving man once he spends time with you."
"All because of you...any other woman in your place might not have been so accommodating Ishita and I couldn't have asked this of you after...after the way Adi has behaved with you time and again. You forgave him and let him stay with us, even Shagun."
"Raman...all I know is he is your son and so he is mine. Whatever Adi did was not done by him out of hate and spite for me, he just chose to target me because he must have felt so claustrophobic, so scared of things changing around him. We know Param brainwashed him too, why would I then grudges against him?"
His father hugs his wife and he can feel the love and warmth that the embrace exudes even when he has barely stayed with them. His mind cannot help but reflect back on the moments he witnessed between his mother and the man she is in love with. He saw them embrace each other numerous times but he doesn't remember them being so warm towards each other, the smiles on the faces of his father and wife seem so ...so different from the ones that he had seen upon the faces of his mom and Ashok uncle when they hugged.
His mind wonders if what he is witnessing is love and if so, what was it that was between his mother and the man who dumped her. Why did he never feel their warmth, their love when he stayed for months under the same roof with them that he has witnessed in the span of a few days between his father and the woman who is his wife now, the woman who called him her son.
His mom said she is only acting to love him, like him but he can't help but think about the words his father just uttered about Ishita aunty objecting to his stay in this house. He can see his father would have listened to her had she objected and wonders, if she had the power to throw him out why did she take him in in the first place.
Is it that his mother has it wrong this time around?
He watches his father tuck away a lock of Ishita aunty' hair as he whispers to her,
"I believe I was owed another thing tonight too."
"Really... I can't remember."
"Oh you do Mrs. Bhalla. You owe me a kiss. So don't fancy thinking you got away with it and I forgot how you escaped by kissing Ruhi under the mistletoe just because she was in my arms when we got under it. You cannot escape now, not even if you tried. "
"Whatever makes you think I want to even try that Raman?"
His father' breath hitches as Ishita aunty completes and he finally walks away from the place when his father holds Ishita aunty closer as he bends his head to...kiss her.
Watching his father hug his wife is one thing...he does not want to stick around to watch them kiss he thinks to himself with a shake of his head, watching them once in the hall was enough for him. This time he thinks at least he did not give himself away to them else he does not know how would he have explained himself to them or gotten over the mortification of being accused of eavesdropping on them, spying on them in their private moments. Once can be branded as a co-incidence, doing the same thing for the second time could make them think he is doing this on purpose though god knows he doesn't want to do so, didn't even the first time.
He has enough awkward on his plate as it is, he does not want to add to the pile by constantly walking in on his father and his wife on their personal moments.
He makes his way towards his room and soon takes his place besides his mother when the words he heard his father speak reverberate in his mind. He does not want to remember the things he witnessed but he cannot help but recall the words he heard and feel safe somehow all of a sudden.
His dad loves him, he heard him say that...and Ishita aunty does not want to take his dad away from him. She would not do that, he knows that even now.
He thinks to himself as his eyes fall on the figure of his sleeping mother perhaps she too got them wrong like he did...but now he knows better and he will make her understand once she stops being so sad and angry over what happened at Ashok uncle' place. He would tell her how he heard Ashok uncle speak to Suraj uncle the day they left that place too and let his mom know, what happened wasn't Ishita aunty' mistake but was always intended.
He would make sure his mother knows the truth.
As he would make sure to thank his papa and Ishita aunty for the lovely gift they got him come morning.
With the thought, he closes his eyes and falls under the spell of sleep, looking forward to the next day.
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IshRa FF Strangers Chapter 22-27 Page 94-95 *Completed* (3/3/15)
Author: RestlessWriter Replies: 842 Views: 235602
|RestlessWriter||842||235602||26 October 2015 at 4:00am by SuryaIshraholic|
Strangers Once Again - IshRa Two-Shot | Part 2 Page 17
Author: QueSeraSera Replies: 226 Views: 23800
|QueSeraSera||226||23800||05 January 2015 at 3:28pm by -Ara-|
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