Posted: 12 May 2016 at 7:56am | IP Logged
He went home but he was far from clearing his head. There was so much to process. Eventually his family came home. His mother was shouting at him. He heard her from a distance but he didn't listen. He was too absorbed with his own thoughts. He didn't respond to her either and that infuriated her even more. He didn't care. He didn't share the new information with them either and he didn't know if Paradhi had either.
Later Paridhi came to him. He wanted to talk to her.
"Bhayia, are you ok?"
"I'm sorry. I wanted to tell you but she swore me to secrecy. She said she would leave again otherwise"
"I am not angry at you Paridhi. I know how persuasive you sister can be. How many times have I given in to her myself? And even when I was angry with her she would charm me into letting her have her way."
"You loved her, bhayia"
"Yes, that's true."
"Do you still love her?"
"Paridhi, whether I love her or not is immaterial right now. What she has done is unforgivable. She lied to me, left me and hid my child from me. This time she is not just going to charm her way back into my life."
"You belong together, bhayia"
"I used to think so too but now I don't think we can ever be together again."
"And the baby?"
"I will be a part of my child's life. She can't keep my son away from me any longer. Have you seen him Paridhi? Why is he in hospital?'
Suddenly, as if he came out of an unconscious state, he remembered that his son was in the hospital and he felt concern. More than concern, he felt fear and anxiety."
"Yes bhayia. I just came from the hospital now. He is fine. He has a high fever and has to be monitored. Mom and dad spoke to the paediatrician and they are happy with his progress. He was born very prematurely so is prone to illness. Didi has not had an easy time looking after him on her own."
"She didn't have to be alone! That was her choice." he shouted.
His tone scared Paridhi.
"Sorry Paridhi. I should not shout at you. I am angry at her, not you."
"Bhayia, are you still going to marry Arpita?"
"I'm sure that she would want me anymore."
"And if she does?"
"I don't know"
Paridhi looked sad.
"Bhayia, Aayu will be discharged from hospital tomorrow. You should go and see him."
"I will. Good night Paridhi" he said dismissing her.
"Good night bhayia."
She was tired. She didn't sleep while Aayu was in the hospital. She never slept when he was sick. Especially when he had a high fever. This time was particularly scary. She was home alone with only the servants. Aayu was sleeping more than usual but otherwise seemed fine. All of a sudden he started getting convulsions. She panicked. She called for Ramsingh to call her parents or Pari. Eventually they got hold of Pari but by that time she had already called the paediatrician and was on her way to hospital. Her parents met her there. The paediatrician explained that it was febrile convulsions due to the high fever. But she was worried about him all the time. He was still so weak and got sick so easily. He was born at 6 months and she was prepared by her doctors that either he would not make it or for the first year he would be weak and prone to illness due to his pre-mature birth. He was in an incubator for a month and after that he was in hospital for another month for observation. Finally he was given the all clear. His life was not at risk anymore, but she could not shake her anxiety. She could not afford to lose him too.
He was sleeping peacefully now. She wanted to have a bath and to go and sleep herself. But she did not want to leave him unattended. She went to get one of the servants to watch him while she was in the shower when she saw him talking to her father downstairs. He looked up and saw her at the top of the stairs. They just looked at each other.
"Bauji, I came to see my son" he said as he finally looked away from her.
Now her father looked at her.
"He is sleeping now, but you can come Yashji"she said.
He was stiffened at the formal way she addressed him.
He went up the stairs, and to her room.
He looked at the angelic creature sleeping in the crib. He was instantly besotted with his son. No matter what happened or would happen between him and his mother, nothing would stop him from loving him completely and unconditionally. He touched his tiny hand. He almost couldn't believe it. He was here and he was his. His heart swelled with love and pride. He wanted to hold him but he didn't want to disturb his sleep. He did not want to part with him. He loved him so much, not only because he was his but because he was theirs.
She had tears in her eyes as she watched the emotion play on his face. She felt it too. How could she not when her heart was with him. He loved their son. How could she have thought that he would not? That he was not interested. He had obviously acted in shock. She looked at the two people in her life that she loved the most. She wished their life was different. That they were a family. She wished that they lived together and not in separate homes. She knew that she was not forgiven and might never be. She would have to live for little moments like this. She didn't want to say anything to break the spell of him taking in the perfect being that they created. The fruit of their love.
Finally he spoke.
"How is he?"
"He is fine. His fever is coming down but is not completely gone. The doctors have given me medication. It should completely gone by tomorrow."
"What was wrong with him?"
"It was a viral infection that caused the fever. But as I said he is fine now."
"I want to stay till he wakes up."
"You can stay. I was about to get someone to sit with him. I wanted to take a shower as we just got back from hospital. So I would appreciate it if you stay with him."
"What if he wakes up and cries?"
"He won't. The meds make him sleep and he has just fallen asleep about 10 minutes ago. But I normally take the baby monitor with me to the bathroom so I know when he wakes up."
"Ok." he said.
She got her clothes and went to bathroom giving them one last look.
He was still just staring at Aayu when she came out of the bathroom.
"Yashji, would you like something to eat or drink?"
He hadn't eaten since the previous day but he wasn't hungry.
He shook his head.
"I am going to get Pia to make something anyway. I haven't eaten since Aayu got sick. I can't afford to get sick too. I will have her send something up for us and she left the room.
This was bizarre he thought. They were having conversation about food as if things were normal. Nothing was normal. He had abandoned his fiance to chased after her yet again. Then found out they had a son. And now he was back here in her house, with his son. Where do they go from here? He had so many missed calls from Arpita, but he couldn't speak to her. He didn't know what to say. His father had told him before he left that her family was very upset but she insists that she still wants to marry him. He didn't know what he wanted, other than his son. He loved Aarti but he couldn't be with her. He didn't trust. She had hurt him too much. Arpita loved him, she wanted to marry him but he didn't love her. He had really been determined to make his marriage to her work but the arrival of the baby threw a spanner in the works. He was so confused. He wanted to know how she got pregnant and how she managed to give birth but he also didn't want to know. She had this magical ability to always melt his heart and he didn't want that.
The food was brought to them and he ate, discovering that he was actually ravenous. They sat on the bed eating. She was yawning and was asleep soon after eating. She looked just as angelic as their baby. She was so beautiful even without make up or jewellery adorning her. He wanted to touch her, move that hair out of her face. Her hair was in that messy ponytail again. She changed into kurti suit. It was strange to see her in traditional wear. He wondered if she slept at night now or if she is still awake all hours of the night and slept in the day. Surely the baby would have changed her routine. He wondered if she still worked. Why did he have to love her so much? Why couldn't things be simple? He looked at his son again and he felt a touch of peace, a touch of joy and hope. He didn't sleep the previous night either and realised that he was tired too and soon he too fell asleep.
He heard the sound of a baby crying. The sound was still foreign to him so he woke up a bit confused. The realisation that it was his son penetrated his sleepy brain and he woke up completely. To his amazement, his arm was stretched and she was lying in it. He was not even aware how this happened when they fell asleep on different sides of the bed. She woke up too. The confusion of their situation evident on her face as well. Her face was so close that their lips nearly touched. He could hardly tear his gaze from her.
"Aayu" she whispered hoarsely.
That brought him back to his senses. He got up and picked him up. It felt like heaven holding his son for the first time. Surprisingly he settled down immediately.
"I will just prepare his bottle. I will be right back."
He nodded. When she left he started speaking to his son.
"Hello Aayu. You don't know me but I am you Pappa. I'm sorry I could not be here for you before but that was not in my control but from now on, I promise I will not let you go again ever. I love you my son."
She stood right outside the door listening to him. Tears blurred her vision. She felt hurt and guilty. How would she ever be able to make up for keeping his son away from him? Now she lost him and deprived her son of having a family where his parents are together. She wondered what would happen with his marriage. She finally made her way to the kitchen to make the formula.
He spent time with Aayu and catching up with his in-laws but they hardly spoke unless it was necessary and pertaining to their son. He finally left when Aayu fell asleep again. He made his way to the Singh's. Arpita was happy to see him but not her parents.
"Mr Singh, Mrs Singh I came to apologise. What I did was wrong I know but there is a new development in my life. My wife is back." He realised that he still referred to her as his wife.
"My ex-wife that is. She came back about 2 weeks ago. I knew about that but what I discovered yesterday is that I am a father. She gave birth to a baby boy while she was gone. I found this out by accident. For some reason she didn't think she should tell me about our son."
"She was gone so long. How can you even be sure the child is yours? Should you have tests done" said Arpita after she got over the initial shock.
He did not like what she was implying. And he made it known by his words and his demeanour. She might have hurt him but he would not tolerate her character being attacked.
"I know Aarti. She might be maverick in her decision making but her character is beyond reproach. The child is mine.
"So what does that mean for us? Are you going back to her?"
"Are we still getting married?"
"Why do you still want to marry me Arpita?"
"I love you"
"Arpita, this man is not interested in you. Have a little self-respect." her father shouted.
"Mr. Singh. I am sorry for all the pain and hurt I caused your daughter. Really I am. I wanted to marry her. I wanted to make her happy but I don't think that it would be fair on her to marry her now. With my son in the picture, I will have to consider many things. And I can't deny that I still have feelings for my wife."
"She is not your wife! You are divorced." Arpita shouted.
"You are right Arpita. We are divorced but as long as there are so many unresolved issues, I can't make a commitment to you."
"Then I will wait." said Arpita.
"No Arpita. I don't think that is wise."
"I will wait. I love you and we will get married. You will see. I will make you forget about her. We can raise your son together. He can live with us."
"Arpita, I think we should just take a complete break for now till I can clear my head. Once again I am sorry." He left.
Then he went home to talk to his family. He had asked Paridhi not to say anything to them. He wanted to break the news to them himself. So he called a family meeting and told them the news.
"What. I don't believe this. She stays away for almost a year and then she comes back and claims to have had your child. How can you believe her? That child could be anybody's."
"Ma, please. I am tired of your constant attack on Aarti's character. The child is mine. But even if you don't believe me, you can just look at him and look at my baby pictures and you will know he is my son. And I will not have you or anyone else make disparaging remarks about my son."
"I was just saying ..."
"We all know what you were saying. If she comes here or I bring my child here and anyone says anything, I will move out. For good this time."
"So what happens now son? Are you going to bring Aarti and the baby back home or are you going ahead with the marriage to Arpita."
"Neither. There is so much to think about. I really don't know what the future holds for us, but my son will be in my life."
Later he went back to the Dubey's.
He watched her bathe and dress the baby for his night's sleep. He loved sharing this moment with her. He hated the thought of going home without them, He was holding Aayu in his arms and feeding his bottle. This was a perfect moment but it was also an illusion. They were not a family. He could not have her, she had trampled over his heart and he was not going to give her another opportunity.
"Aarti, I don't want to be a part-time parent. Arpita is still prepared to marry me and she is prepared to raise Aayu as her own."
"What!" she shouted so loudly that Aay got a fright."
"What?" she said again a little softer.
"You heard me."
"Yash Scindiya. I didn't leave my home and my family and spend 6 months in a bed to make sure my baby is safe so I can give him up to your and that floozy."
"Arpita is not a floozy"
"Whatever. I don't care about Arpita. I only care about my son and keeping him with me. I won't give him up. I fought to keep him and gave everything up to have him. I will not give him up. I will not lose him to you or anyone else."
"No one asked you to give anything up. You chose it. I won't spend any more time without him."
"He is still small Yashji. He needs me. He was born early and he is prone to illnesses. Only I know what he needs. You can't take him away from me. What if he gets sick? You can't do this to me. You can't do this to him. I will fight you on this Yashji"
He settled the sleeping Aayu in the crib and came to stand in front of her.
"You are right. He needs you now but as soon as he is stronger you won't be able to stop me."
"Yashji be reasonable."
"Reasonable. You talk about reasonable. You are the most unreasonable and irrational person I know."
"Please what. He grabbed her and held her close to him. Maybe I will let you come too. You can be his nanny and you have other advantages too."
She tried to push him away bur he was too strong.
"We both know I can have you right now if I wanted to. After all it's been a while for you. I remember how greedy you were. You couldn't get enough of it. Remember how you used to beg for it, keep me up all night. Especially at the beach house. You were wild and wanton there. We were together in every room, on the floor, in the shower in the kitchen, on the table even outside on the balcony and on the beach. There was no where we didn't do it. Remember? I can see that you do. You feel like I do now isn't it. You want me as much as I want you. And I will have you again, but now is not the right time. And you will not object. But I will never marry you. You will warm my bed but I will never let you in my heart again. And if you come back to my house, it will be as the help. Not as my wife or my son's mother" He let her go.
She was trembling. His words had aroused her and scared her at the same time. Yes she wanted him, she loved him but she could not give her son up, no matter what she had to do to keep him. He wanted to humiliate her. But her fighting spirit would not submit to his words. She needed to prove to him that she was stronger than he thought, just as she had when they were first married. She was not meek and mild. She wasn't helpless.
She sank down on her knees. Unzipped his pants as she did so many times before. He was already aroused by their close proximity. He wanted to move away but he couldn't. She closed his mouth over him and he grabbed her shoulders and she pleasured him with her mouth. Too soon it was over and he was still breathless and in a pleasurable daze. She stood up and said.
"A down payment for my son." she said defiantly.
He came out of his daze with a sudden crash.
He looked at her disgusted and furious. He slapped her and she sprawled on the floor.
"B***h, you will regret this" he said in a fit of rage and left leaving her sobbing on the floor.
She shouldn't have done it, she knew that. But it was in her nature to retaliate when threatened. She shouldn't have given in to her impulsivity. She regretted it but it was done. It was too late for regret. She had just worsened the situation. The gulf between them was just growing wider and wider. It just looked like an impossibility to bridge that gap now she thought despondently.
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