Joined: 07 August 2006
Joined: 01 April 2005
i'll post the next two parts in 30 mins or so
Joined: 26 April 2006
Joined: 01 April 2005
Chapter Sixty Six
Nineteen months later… Present day December!Angad closed Kripa's diary in his lap and threw his head back, closed his eyes and finally let the tears spill. Nineteen months and he hadn't seen her once, but he'd thought about her everyday without a failure. He'd tried to call her quite a few times but every time someone picked up at the hospital, he put the phone down. He wanted to see her and know how she was, talk to her. It was his fault he was here, so far away from her. He'd acted in anger, and by the time he'd realized his mistake, it had been to late to change what had happened. Today, he was lost. He was away from Kripa, the woman he loved so much, and his daughter who he was never fair to.
Upset with himself, he pushed the diary from his lap to the other side of the sofa and walked to the window.
Outside his window, Boston was covered in snow. An instant smile lifted the corner of her lips, as he thought about Kripa. When the church bell sounded from a few blocks away, his smile got brighter. He had missed a few Christmas with her. But the one he had shared, had been an excellent one. Maybe one day, he thought turning around to go fix his dinner, he would be able to sit with her once again on the sofa grass and listen to the choir sing outside the church where he kissed her for the first time.
The memory was so fresh in his mind. It seemed like it had been only a few, when they'd met, got married. Reading her diary tonight, find the courage to read it for the first time, told him so much about her he never knew. Angad opened the cabinets to see what he wanted to eat. He wasn't in the mood for anything big, he hadn't been in a mood of a good meal for the past nineteen months. He missed the way Kripa cooked for him when she did. He missed her bringing him a cup of strong coffee when he had to work late at nights and stand behind him, massaging his shoulders, and just talking to him as he worked. He missed her complaining about randomness. He missed pretending not knowing how to tie a tie, so she could do that for him, and yell at him for being so foolish. He missed her saying good morning to him as she cuddled against him, closer, first thing in the morning. He missed her yapping, on and on, for hours about one thing or the other. He missed her spontaneous kisses.
His heart clenched into a lifeless ball and his eyes began to fill as he thought about her. He wanted her back with him, but he knew he was never going to find the courage to do that. He knew, if they ever met again, he would simply looked at her, and walk away. He would feel chutzpah if he went back to her and asked her to come back. He knew, she deserved someone would trust her more, keep her happy more. Love her more, he thought closing his eyes. No one would love her more. And, he knew that she would not love anyone else more. He knew if he went back now and said he was sorry to her, she would accept him, take him again as he left, as he was.
Nothing finding the will to cook or the appetite to eat anymore, Angad went to his room and pulled out his laptop. She hadn't left him an e-mail in nearly eight months now, he thought checking it. But the ones she didn't send all the months before that, he still had. He never replied to any of them, but he read them a million times before moving on to the next one. He hadn't bothered to contact anyone at home, not even Sana. But now he wanted to, he wanted to call her just to ask how Kripa was. That's it, one question.
Maybe he could go back. His assignment was finally finished. And, seeing Kripa hadn't e-mailed him once, maybe she'd moved on in life. Maybe, he thought, she had settled down again. He wanted to go back home and lay his head in his mothers lap and just cry for hours and hours. He wanted to go and help his father and his brother with the business. In fact, he wanted his father to retire and spend more time with his mother. He wanted to see Sia and Suraj grow up. He wanted to find Amna and fight for his daughter's custody. She was reason enough for him to live and live happily. And god knew if Amna was taking proper care of her.
The thoughts were still wandering in his head when the awoke the next morning, as he got ready to go and see the results of the project he'd been working on for so long. It was today and he would be done. Then, he'd have a choice to move on to another country, a new project. Or go back home.
Home, he thought with a smile as he entered his cabin after returning from the sight. The project was well developed. His work was done, he could pack-up and leave now. He sat on his desk, picked up the phone and booked the first ticket to L.A. There were twenty-five days left until Christmas and he was going to spend each other everyday until then and New Year's with his family. He would forget about Kripa. Keep away from her. He knew she wasn't in touch with his family anymore. He was sure she had told them by now they were divorced and everything he'd ever done to her.
He had twenty hours to pack and shop before getting on the plane. His packing was easy. His shopping was slightly more difficult not know what everyone would want now, but he managed to get through it.
Sia would soon be twelve, he thought with a smile. His little Sia. He wondered if she looked anything like Kripa. He wondered if Kripa ever told Sana who Sia was.
He just pushed the thought away and just closed his eyes after untying his seat belt. He was going home, and he was happy about it.
He was nervous to ring the bell, what if they didn't want to see him anymore? What if they just hated him?
He shook his head and drove the thought out and rung the bell. He waited for a few minutes and then heard someone fiddle with the latch on the other side of the door. It was going to be Sana, he thought, thinking it was Sahil and Dev coming back. He wondered what her reaction would be?
It was her, and there was shock on her face when she saw Angad in front of her. Without a word, she touched his arm to make sure she wasn't hallucinating. When she knew he was really there, she said, "Angad?"
"Angad." He replied with a smile, taking her hand and holding it tightly. "How are you?"
"Angad." She said again.
He simply moved towards her and wrapped both his arms tightly around her. "I'm sorry," he said pressing his face to her shoulder. "I'm sorry."
She took him inside, unable to find balance, unable to find words.
"Where is everyone?"
"Mom and Dad went to see Kripa." She told him as he sat down beside her. He didn't know anything about Kripa, and she couldn't tell him. No one would tell him.
"Sahil?" He asked pretending he didn't hear her name.
"Office. Sia is gone for a trip to D.C. for a week. Suraj is sleeping upstairs. Where have you been Angad?"
"I thought you would know."
"All Kripa told us was you were going to come back very soon."
He wanted to close his eyes, but instead he smiled. "How is she?"
"Alright." Horrible. "You need to know something."
Angad looked at Amna. "You know?"
"Just me and Sahil. Amna left her with us, she told us everything."
"Oh. Where is she?"
"With Mom and Dad, they should be back soon." She touched his cheek lightly. "They are going to love this. Priya is going to love this. She's grown up in the last two years knowing you as her father and Kripa as her mother."
"Why didn't Kripa keep her?"
"She wasn't able to take care of her." Sana poured him his tea. "You know her, how busy she is. It's good you guys never had kids." It stung him and she wanted just that. Before they could say anything, they heard voices. Angad heard a loud laugh, a scream.
Dev jogged into the kitchen with Priya in front of her. Thinking Angad was Sahil, she wrapped her arms around one leg giggling. Dev stopped and looked up and saw Angad's face. His smile disappeared and his legs suddenly felt limp. He closed his eyes for a second, opened them again and found him there.
With a simple smile, Angad reached down, after putting his cup away and picked Priya up. She looked at him, little confused eyes, followed by a smile and the word, "Daddy."
Angad looked at the door and saw both his mother and father standing side by side. He left Priya down and walked to both of them, touched his mothers and fathers feet, smiled when they didn't respond. When he stood up again, his mother was still frozen in shock. He took her pretty face in his hands and kissed her forehead and then lowered his head to place it on her shoulder. When he felt her hand caress his head, tears filled in his eyes and he didn't bother stopping them.
Just like them all, Sahil was just as happy and shocked to see Angad back. Christmas came early for them, it was as simple as that.
Angad picked up Priya with a sigh and looked at her. Wired she had everything of his, except her hair. They were dark like Amna's but the same as Kripa's. He always considered Kripa to be her mother and not Amna. And, he knew Kripa would have taken care of her if he was there to help.
"I'm sure you want to sleep." He laid her down under the blankets of his room and caressed her forehead, kissed it. "Good night." The child was nearly four years old, and like she had been when he'd seen her as a little five month old, she was absolutely beautiful. A little angel.
"Good night." She told him and turned to her side with her eyes closed. She adapted easily as well, he thought dimming the lights and laying down beside her himself.
He was about to close his eyes when his mother walked in. He smiled at her and let her sit down so he could rest his head in her lap. "I'm missed this," he told her closing his eyes. "I've missed you."
"Me too." She laid her cheek on his head. "You're not going to leave me again?"
"Not even if you asked me to go. Never."
"Thank you. I want all my children with me, by me. I want you to take care of me now, of Dev as well."
"I will, I promise." They both were silent for a few moments then. "How is Kripa?" He asked finally.
"She's okay." The same as she was when she went into coma months back. "Go to sleep, Angad. You need it."
"Okay. You too." He kissed her and let her go.
"I've finally found where he is Faith!" Kripa screamed into the phone and laughed with joy as she drove back home. "I'm going to call him and tell him I'm pregnant, almost eight full months pregnant, Faith."
On the other side, Faith sighed. "He doesn't deserve you Kripa."
"Please Faith. I can't live without him. I don't want our daughter to live without him. He always wanted this and now that I can give it to him, I want him to know. I want him to come back."
"Okay. Come home and we'll talk."
"I--" All Faith heard next was screams and a long bang, the phone died then and Faith rushed out the door.
Faith woke up sweating, with a muffled cry. When she got her breath back she simply looked down at Jason who was sleeping, his hand holding hers. She hadn't been able to fall asleep and now that she was asleep, she was dreaming again. She wanted to wake him up, but knew that would be mean. He'd had a long day. When she began to take her hand away, he did wake up.
"I'm sorry." She whispered with a dry throat. "Go back to sleep."
"Faith," he whispered and gently pulled her into his arms. "Nightmares again?"
She pressed her lips tightly against his shoulder so she couldn't cry.
"My poor baby." He murmured stroking her hair. "She'll be fine very soon. She's been improving in the last week now. Come on now." He laid her down on her pillow when she began to cry and kissed her forehead. "We all love her very much, and the entire hospital is trying. Don't cry." He wiped her tears. "She will hurt me if she finds out I let you cry. And then," he placed his hand on her swelling belly, "crying isn't good for either one of you."
He kissed her again, her lips this time. "You want water?" He began to leave but she simply held him and closed her eyes. "I love you." She told him.
"I love you too, Faith." He made sure she was sleeping before fixing the pillow under her head for her. As she slept, he looked at her. Then, feeling sorry for her and Kripa, he kissed her forehead a second time. They both deserved better than they were getting. It was his job to make sure he did everything to give his wife that.
Rishab walked into Kripa's room with fresh flowers and replaced them. He made sure that the windows were closed and the curtains opened. Then, he looked at Kripa and leaned down to check her monitors. She was improving and the minute the news had broken throughout the hospital everyone thanked god.
So many people loved her, he thought just looking at her. He didn't have the nerve to lean down and kiss her, or ever touch her. She was still Angad's, completely his, in every way. And, something told him, if she was still breathing it was because something, in her nearly dead-self, she knew that Angad was going to return one day and take her back.
His tears stopped when his phone rang, giving Kripa one last look he left.
When Angad awoke the next morning he didn't find Priya beside her. When he checked for the time, he read ten. It was Sunday and everyone was going to be home. Even Kripa. Wired he thought, she was the first person he thought about. She was the first thing that came to his mind. Maybe he could just go see her. Just once.
And, just meeting her this once, brought him to their old house. He rung the bell as few times, when no one answered, he knew that she was at the hospital working. Maybe he could just go find out how she was from someone there and just come back without seeing her.
So, he walked up to the reception and saw Tina still there. "Hi."
She looked at the man she always thought to be so dashing and loved so much as her boss's husband. The nice and funny man he was. "Mr. Khanna?" She knew that Angad had been gone for a long time. She also knew that he didn't know about Kripa, but she also knew Kripa would want him to know.
"Dr. Khanna is in room 209, second floor."
"Thank you." He smiled and left. Checking a patient, he thought, as she walked into the second floor. She was still known as Dr. Khanna, he thought with a sad smile and looked at the door of room 209.
He opened it and the first thing he saw was a lady on the bed with monitors around her, wires and needles poking her arms. Then, when he was able to concentrate on her face, his world nearly stopped. There he saw, his life, fighting for life.
Chapter Sixty Six
He walked inside and closed the door behind him. Robotically, he walked to her and just started at her figure that looked like a statue. Her face was an ugly pale, a sick pale. The cheek that he always saw red with temper, blushes, or happiness, were white as a ghosts. Her lips were dry, her body looked weak and limp. Then, he knew that why suddenly she'd stopped writing to her. He sat down beside her, still staring. Then, almost without thinking, he touched her heart to monitor her heart beat. Robotic, he thought with a tear glistening down his eye. He removed his hand from her heart and laid his lips there, above the cotton. There, as he pressed his lips to her heart, her hand quivered beside her and then relaxed again. Her eyes fluttered a little and closed again. Her heart beat rose and settled again.
And, unfortunately, Angad noticed nothing.
He looked up at her again and touched her face gently. Who could answer this? he thought keeping his shaky hand against her cheek. Tina, he thought, she let him come here. She would tell him. Wiping his eyes he went back to the reception, asked her to hand the job over to someone else for sometime and took her away from the hospital.
"How did it happen?" He asked handing her the cup of coffee.
Nervously, she wrapped her hands around the cup and looked at him. "Car accident nearly nine months ago now. That's all I know."
When he got home he was surprised to see Priya running to him. "Park, Daddy."
"Not now, Priya, please. I have to go see Sana."
"She's at the office."
He smiled now, here was her daily newspaper. "And mom?"
"Mama's at the hospital."
He pressed a kiss to her forehead. She considered Kripa her mother, he thought with tears. Kripa had taken care of her until the accident happened.
"No beta, I mean where's my Mom?"
"I don't know," she said in an angry tone, struggling to get now.
"Priya." The child had an anger problem, he realized as she continued to scream and claw. "Ok, ok."
"Ma!" He screamed over her shrieks. "Priya, stop!" He yelled at her and she began crying louder. Spoiled brat, he thought covering her with his hand. She bit the side of his palm and Angad had to pull his hand back.
"Angad? Priya?" Priya stopped crying and stretched her arms out to Kiran. "What's happening here?" She took Priya from Angad. He watched her drop her head to her shoulder and put her thumb in her mouth. He yanked it out, she had that habit when he'd seen her for the first time and it was a horrible one.
"Why didn't you tell me about Kripa, Mom?" He asked when she was quite.
"Mama!" Priya screamed again.
"I'll take you, baccha." Angad said pushing her hair off her face. "One second, please." He looked back at Kiran.
"You would have been hurt. I wanted to give you some time, find out what happened between the two of you that you left her when she was pregnant."
"She wasn't -" It felt like someone had just gave him a hard punch in his stomach. The last night they'd spent together flashed before his eyes. "No!"
"Angad." Setting Priya on her feet, Kiran took his arm. "She was nearly eight months pregnant when she met with the accident. They were able to save both her and your daughter." She watched his eyes fill with tears. "But because of complications and head injuries she began to sink and went into a coma. Faith told me that she had just found out where you were when she met with the accident. She'll be fine." She said quickly when he looked like he was going to pass out. "Angad sit down." She pull a chair out and made him sit down. "She named her daughter Tia."
"Where is she?"
"Faith and Jason kept her. We tried to tell Faith a lot to let us keep her but she refused. We visit her often than not. I want to keep her here now that Faith is expecting as well."
Angad looked at his mother in surprise. "Faith?"
"Yes. She's been carrying for about four months now."
"She hates me, doesn't she?"
Kiran nodded. "She never bothered finding you. What happened between you guys, Angad. And, Priya?"
They knew nothing, he thought with a heavy heart. "I'll tell you everything. I have to go now. I'll take Priya with me." He stood up and took Priya's hand. "Come on, you can go see your mom now."
It wasn't hard to find out where Faith Cruz lived, he thought with a grin as he rung the doorbell with Priya in his arms. When the door opened and Faith stood in front of him, surprise, he automatically leaned forward to kiss her cheek. But it took him by surprised when she moved back and began to close to the door. Quickly, he stopped her. "Two minutes, Faith. Please."
He knew everything and the look in his eyes told her that. Defeated, she opened the door and allowed him to come inside.
"Why are you back, Angad?"
"I had to come back. But I wan't expecting to come back to what I did come back to see."
"Sit down." She told him once they were in the living room. "You want coffee?"
"No." He placed Priya beside him and watched her run away from the sofa. "Priya."
"It's okay Angad. She knows the place as well as she knows her room. What do you want?"
"Sit down Faith, please."
"Thank you. It is my house."
Angad smiled when she stubbornly crossed her arms and stayed standing. "Come on." He took her arm and made her sit down, then crouched down in front of her. "Congrats." He patted her belly in good humor. "Boy or girl?"
"Good, both my daughters will have a brother to bother."
"Hush!" He looked at her. "Where's Jason?"
"He went to go see Kripa. I couldn't go."
"What's her condition?"
"I don't know. You never told me why you came back?"
"I came back so I could spend the rest of my life with Priya, with mom and dad. I wasn't going to let Kripa even know I was back. But I wanted to know how she was, where she was. I went home and found it locked and thought she was at the hospital. Tina told me what happened. Mom told me she was pregnant."
"Why did you leave her?"
"It was an idiot."
"Are you going to be good to her now?"
"She'll never going to see me again, Faith. I can't hurt her more."
"Good. Yours was the last name she took before slipping into coma. I hate you, Angad."
"I planned to kill you whenever you came in front of me."
"I'm here now."
"But I can't kill you."
"Because I know only you can bring Kripa back." She then realized she was crying with her head on his shoulder. "We all need her back. Tia needs her mother."
"Well, until then she's going to have to do with her father. Stop crying, darling, it's not good for you."
"I know." She sat up again and rubbed her eyes. "Tia's in her room, I'm sure she's playing with Priya by now."
"Can I see her?"
Faith nodded, "Come on."
She pushed the door open and Angad saw Priya sitting with Tia on the floor, toys scattered all around them.
"Tia." The child stood and turned around with a small tea cup in her hand. "What a messy child you are."
Angad smiled as he watched her grin, hiding the cup behind her back. She had a cap of glossy brunette hair, a lot like Kripa's. Her eyes were his, green and brown. She was tall to be a nine month old baby. She was round, well feed. Her skin was flawless like Kripa's her mouth was like his as well and the twinkle in her eyes made his heart cry as he thought about Kripa.
She stretched her arms out to Faith. "Sorry beta, I can't pick you up right now." She took her hand and made her face Angad. "Someone wants to meet you." She looked at Angad, hid behind Faith, and peeked at him again. "You stay with him, Tia, I'll be right back." She walked out the room smiling at Angad.
"Daddy." Angad looked at Priya. "Yes?"
"This is my friend."
"No. She's you little sister." He looked at Tia; she looked scared. "Hi." He extended his hand to her and watched her extend her own.
Without thinking, he took the child in his arms and held her tightly. He'd missed her growing up, he'd missed both his children and now it was time he fixed that.
"Daddy!" Priya said in a loud scream. He took her arm and pulled her into his arms and well.
Faith smiled at the door holding the plate of cookies and then knocked on the door. Angad left both his daughters and stood up. "Cookies?" She asked them.
Angad took the plate from her and set it on the floor. "Thank you Faith, for taking care of her."
"How couldn't I?"
He smiled, looked at Priya and smacked her hand when she picked up two cookies in each hand. When the cookies fell from her hand, Tia giggled and Priya screamed at Angad. "One at a time, Priya." He looked at a grinning Faith. "The child is spoiled."
"I know. Kripa spoiled her a lot in seven months."
"I can see." He looked at Faith, "let me keep them both now."
"And after Kripa gets better?"
"She will have to live with me until I know that she's perfectly fine, after that she can do whatever she wants."
Faith frowned, "You're not going to keep all three of them forever?"
He looked at her, "I don't know if I have the courage to even say the words 'forgive me, Kripa' to her."
"She never held you responsible." Faith said resting a hand on his head. "I tried to convince her, but it never happened."
Angad laughed, "you're a true friend. I need to go, Priya wants to go see her mother." "Okay. You want to take Tia with you?"
"Yes." He stood up beside Faith and hugged her. "I love you, Faith. You've always been there for Kripa when I should have been, every time."
"This time you think of leaving, either one of you, I'm going to lock you both in a room until you both don't change your minds."
"Okay. You take care of both of you."
"You too. Tia has a lot of her stuff at your house, in your room. You haven't seen it yet?"
"No, I didn't notice. Come on Priya."
"I'll feed you, promise. Now come on." He held his hand out. "Tia?"
She looked at Angad, her mouth covered with chocolate, "Yes?"
Angad leaned down to her, cleaned her mouth with his fingers. "Messy, messy child. You want to go with me?"
"Yes, Priya's house."
Angad opened the door of Kripa's room and watched Priya and Tia run into the room. Priya managed to climb the bed and Tia tried unsuccessfully. Angad laughed and helped her up. Then, he watched Priya kiss Kripa's cheek. "When is she going to play with me, Daddy?"
"Very soon." He kissed the top of Priya's head.
"Mama." He heard Tia say sitting there. She knew her, obviously. Faith had made sure of that, he thought with a small smile. Then he turned and looked at Kripa.
"Daddy." Priya said taking her hand. "I'm hungry."
"Me too!" Tia said crawling on the bed closer to Kripa.
"We'll go home, in a while." He leaned down and kissed Kripa's lips. Heard Priya giggle. He looked at her and kissed her mouth as well. "You're a devil, child. But I still love you."
"I lub you."
Angad laughed and placed her on her feet. "That's good. Say bye to Mama."
"Can she come home?" Priya asked touching her face.
"Not yet." Before he could pick Tia up he saw Kripa's fingers move a little. When nothing happened, he shook his head and walked away with both his daughters. Behind the closed door, Kripa's hands moved the second and third time.
A few days later, he'd gotten the jest of things. Tia liked showers before going to bed, followed by a warm bottle of milk.
"Tia!" He ran behind her half wet from the shower she'd given him in the bathroom a few moments ago. She ran around the bed with her arms in the air laughing. "Tia stop! You're going to catch a damn cold, Tia. Tia!" She continued running in the dipper; finally when he caught her, she screamed loudly and giggled at the same time. "Both of you are perfect devils." He laid her on the bed and when she tried to get up pressed his large hand of her stomach tightly, and had her giggling all over again. "Stay," he demanded and rubbed lotion to her dry body. Then he quickly pulled the shirt down her head and then a pair of pajama's. "See you're done. Now you can run around."
She stretched her arms towards Angad and rested her head on his shoulder, arms around his neck, when he picked her up.
"My poor baby." He said patting her back. "Let's get you your bottle."
He carried her downstairs and opened the fridge to get the milk out. Then still carrying her on his shoulder, he placed a saucer on the stove and began to heat the milk.
"Almost done," he told her pour the milk in bottle when she began to fiddle against his shoulder. With one hand still, he closed the bottle, shook it and laid Tia in his arms and gave her the bottle. She closed her eyes, drank, and fell asleep right away. He laid her in bed, watched her finish her milk and then took the bottle away from her. She slept with both her hand on her sides, breathing heavily every once in a while. Thinking what she must have looked like nearly a year ago he leaned down and kissed her forehead. Now that he'd dealt with one devil, he had to go find his other one and put her to bed as well. But to his luck, when he turned around she was walking into the room already in her night suit. Sana he thought picking her up.
"Alright, princess, off to bed." When he leaned down to put her on the bed, she didn't let him go. "Come on, baby." When she didn't leave him he was forced to lay down with her. And, even when he continued to lay with her she didn't let go of his hand. She'd been sleeping already, he realized looking at her slightly red eyes, and woken up after a horrible nightmare. He caressed her forehead and did until she closed her eyes and fell asleep. Her hand left his and he pulled the blanket over both Tia and Priya. Then, closing the light of the room he left.
He no longer needed permission to see Kripa, all he had to do was walk into her room. Where he found Faith with Jason. "Hi." He closed the door behind him and walked inside, looked at Kripa, then Faith and Jason. "How's she?"
"Improving actually." Jason said with a sigh. "Finally we see hope in her, Angad." He placed a hand on his shoulder, smiled. "Maybe you should have decided to come back earlier."
"I shouldn't hate left." He said depressed. "Anyways, I'm going to stay here for awhile."
"Okay. We'll see you tomorrow."
He gave Faith and quick hug and when they both were gone sat down on the bed beside Kripa and took her hand. "I know you can hear me." He whispered to her, resting his head on her chest. "And, that's why I'm telling you it's time you woke-up and yelled at me for leaving you. I need you Kripa. We all need you. You've never been selfish, don't be now." He held her hand tightly, hoping that she would hold it back. He turned his head and buried it in the cotton of her gown and began to cry. He had no intention to do that, but because that was the only way he was going to feel better, he did. He cried pleading to her. And as he did, maybe someone up there felt for her and Kripa's hand felt his and closed on his. But it was so light that Angad didn't notice. Her breathing quickened and she began to cough, he lifted his head and watched her struggle.
He got up, was ready to go call the doctor when he realized that she was holding his hand. Her coughing was violent and the grip to his hand tight. He looked around and quickly pressed the emergency button.
He leaned towards her and tried to do something to calm her down. "Kripa," he said pressing his hand to her forehead.
A doctor rushed inside and asked the nurse for the oxygen. The nurse rushed and quickly put the mask on her Kripa and then ran to call Jason. He watched Kripa relax and the doctor check the monitors. He walked to Kripa again, sat down beside her and took her hand again, took her name and watch her open her eyes.
His image was blurry at first and all she heard was her name. "Angad." It took all her strength to say one word to her, she reached for her mask and pulled it away from her. Her breathing was fine, the blurry before her eyes was clearing away, but she felt weak. "Angad."
"I'm right here." He told her giving her hand a light squeeze.
She coughed again and finally his face registered. Jason and Faith rushed in then and Jason quickly took her pulse while Faith stood behind Angad. Her eyes never left Angad and she never noticed that someone was taking her pulse and Faith was standing behind him. All she knew was Angad was right there and he was holding her hand tightly, with the other one caressed her forehead. He wasn't looking at her, she realized after a few moments. His lips were moving. She closed her eyes, took a few deep breaths and then heard Jason's voice, Angad's voice, Faith's voice. She opened her eyes again and looked at Faith behind Angad, then at Jason who was smiling, her wrist still in his hand. She tried to remember what was happening. Then, the accident flashed back and she remembered she was pregnant.
"My daughter." She tried to get up but didn't have the strength to.
"She's fine." Jason told her. "Relax Kripa. You're still very weak, we'll bring her tomorrow." He looked at Angad. "She's okay right now. She needs to stay here for a few days, under observation and then she can go home. Someone needs to stay with her for the night, I'll ask Appoint a nurse right away."
"No." Kripa's eyes moved to Angad when he said the word. "I'll stay and I'll tell Ma to take care of Priya and Tia."
"Okay." Jason leaned down and gave Kripa a quick kiss on her forehead. "Feel better. I'll give Karan a call and tell him."
Faith gave her a quick hug and left as well. When they were gone, Kripa was still holding Angad's hand. She brought his hand to her lips and kept it there for a few seconds. "I knew you would come back." She tucked their joint hands under her cheek and kept looking at him. "What does our daughter look like, Angad? Did Faith name her Tia?"
"When did you get back?"
"A few days ago." He said finding his voice.
"How long has it been? What's the date?"
"Twenty-one days till Christmas." He said and took his hand back. "I'm going to go find out if you can eat anything."
"No." She took his hand back. "Stay here, please."
"Please. A few minutes. I'm sure I'll be tired very soon."
He sat down and she surprised him by placing her head in his lap. "Tell me about Tia and Priya."
"You spoiled Priya." He said running his hands through her hair that had become so lifeless. "Faith spoiled Tia. I have two spoiled daughters."
She laughed and made him smile. "Let me call Mom. I'll be right back."
"Angad." He looked at her again. "You're not going to leave me again, are you?"
He smiled and walked away. Outside, he closed his eyes tightly, took a deep breath and then took his phone out. The house phone rang a few times and then Sana picked it up.
"Angad, where are you?" She asked him.
"At the hospital, Kripa's out of coma. Can you take care of Tia and Priya?"
"That's great Angad. And, I will. Tia just woke-up again. Will you come home tonight?"
"Should I send you something to eat?"
"If you want you. If you do, bring Tia with you."
"Okay, I'll come with Sahil."
"Okay. Bye." He slipped the phone back into his pocket and turned to go back inside. She was laying on the bed, asleep perhaps, he thought standing beside her. If only he could talk to her the way he once did. But seeing her so weak, in such a bad condition, it bothered him. Thinking she was asleep, he leaned down and kissed her forehead. But when she suddenly moved, he quickly lifted his head and their eyes met.
"Sorry." He said after a few minutes. "I didn't mean to wake you up."
"I wasn't asleep."
I figured, he thought smiling at her. "Can you eat something?"
"I don't think I can yet. Can you help me sit up?"
"Kripa, I don't think you should sit-up yet."
She managed to laugh. "You can change the bed position."
"Oh." He walked to the other side and played with the buttons until the back of the bed began to lift. He took his finger off the button, walked back to her. "Is it okay?"
"Yes." She planted her hands on the mattress and lifted a herself a little. "You have lost weight Angad."
"I wish I could say the same about you." He said trying to joke and sat down in the chair in front of her.
She reached and placed her hand on his cheek. "What's wrong, Angad?"
"Nothing." He shook his head, took her hand away from his cheek. "I'm just tired."
"Oh." She folded her hands in her lap and looked at them. They looked so wired, she thought, without her ring on her finger. She glanced at his hand and saw his hand empty as well. "We're divorced, Angad."She said realizing suddenly.
He looked at her when the hurt voice registered. His stomach churned and his heart collected in a small ball of sadness. "Yes, we are. Have been for over almost two years."
"Yeah." She looked at him and smiled. "So has anything changed in two years?"
"If I still have the right to know."
It hurt him, her saying that hurt him. He stood up and turned so he wasn't facing her. "Nothing much. I've become a father of two daughters. I've decided to join Dad and Sahil at office now." He turned with a smile. "I don't know I might settle down in a few years." He watched her smile sadly. "But there's something more important, Faith's pregnant."
She looked at him in surprise now. "Really?"
"Yes. Fourth month. She's going to look like a balloon so I can tease her."
"That's great. Does she know if it's a boy or girl?"
"She told me it was a boy." She was excited, he noticed, the color in her cheeks was back. "Priya's gotten taller. Tia is taller than a ten month old girl normally is. She looks a lot like you."
"What part of her doesn't look like me?"
"Her eyes. Maybe her nose. She likes to shower before going to bed everyday."
"She eats like a pig, as does Priya."
"They both got that from you."
"They both bother me a lot. They got that from you. I asked Sana to bring Tia over since she was awake."
"Oh." Her eyes twinkled for the first time since she'd woken-up. "And Sia?"
"I haven't seen her yet. She's gone to D.C with her class for a week. She'll be back in a few days, and be happy to see you."
"Us." She said to herself.
The door opened and Tia ran in with Sahil running behind her. "You're daughter should join the cross-country team, Angad." Sahil said as Angad picked her up laughing.
"Or girls football." Kripa said looking at her.
"Kripa." Sahil sat down beside her and gave her a tight hug. "Finally."
She smiled at him. "Did Sana come?"
"No. She'll come tomorrow."
"I gave you dinner to Tina, she'll warm it and bring it up. You want to keep that devil or should I take her?"
"I'll keep her for now." Angad told Sahil looking at Tia. "I'll bring her back in a few hours."
"Okay." Sahil looked back at Kripa and kissed her forehead. "Take care."
Once Sahil was gone Angad walked to Kripa and leaned down to give Tia to her. She took her and then before Angad could back away took his hand as well. "Sit down."
"Tia doesn't know me." She made an excuse.
He sat down and took Tia when she hopped into his lap and sat down. She looked at Kripa. "Mama." She said pointing at her and looking at Angad. Angad watched Kripa's eyes fill with tears as she leaned down and embraced her daughter tightly. And as he watched her do so he could stop himself from wrapping an arm around Kripa and the other around Tia. Here was the family he'd once wished for, one dreamt of with Kripa and now he had it. With tears in his own eyes Angad pressed a kiss to Kripa's temple and then to Tia's head.
Angad went and dropped Tia home and went back to the hospital as he'd promised Kripa he would do. When he walked into the room he found Kripa sitting up with a book in her hand. He frowned and sat down on the taking the book from her.
"You just got better. Where did you find this book from anyways, and haven't you read Love Story a million times?"
"The book was in my office I asked someone to get it. I've read it a lot but it's a good book so I thought I could read it again." Looking at him she patted the mattress beside her. "Be my support for a few minutes."
Unsure at first he sat down beside her and when she dropped her head to his chest, he had to wrap his arm around her. "I missed you a lot when you left us. I did everything to find you, and when I did I met with this horrible accident. I was so excited to tell you about my pregnancy."
"I'm sure you were. But you should go to sleep now." But, tired himself, he took his shoes off and picked up his legs and stretched them beside Kripa's.
"I just woke-up after a very long time. I can't. I want to see Priya and Dad and Mom and everyone else. Faith and Jason. I can't believe Faith is expecting."
"I couldn't either. Priya's a devil, like I told you before. She'll be excited to see you, she doesn't let me live in peace until I brought her here once everyday. She was my life support when you left. Amna just left her at my house one day. I was really surprised that she did." She looked up at him and found him asleep and smiled. It was so much like him. Almost careful, she pressed her lips to his and backed away when he merely shifted. She couldn't sleep, she thought, when the man was depending on her to hold him. She smiled and wrapped her other arm around him as well. This was what she had missed and she was planning to make sure she never missed it again.
He jolted when the phone in his pocket began to ring and his eyes opened. "Damn!" He cursed and looked at his phone. Before he could pick it up it shut off. He looked down and found Kripa sleeping comfortably, her head cushioned to his chest. Carefully he left her and laid her head down on the pillow, set his phone on vibrate and dragged his body to the sofa, fell on it, and fell asleep right away.
Chapter Sixty Seven
"When can I go home Jason?" Kripa asked impatiently the next morning as Jason took her pulse.
"Whenever you want, as long as you promise to take care of yourself."
"Oh, I promise I will."
"Then you can go and I will come give you a check-up everyday." He got an injection from the tray and looked at her. "Alright doctor, turn your face and close your eyes."
Angad grinned as Jason gave her the shot and she let out a small scream.
"Tia's better than that." Jason said putting a bandage on the spot. "I'll get you your diet chart, the discharge papers, and you can go home. But let me make a few things clear." He sat down looked at Angad and then her. "You're legs are still horribly weak and wrecked, it's going to take some time, a week or two, before you can walk, so you're going to need a wheel chair. Until then, you need to practice exercising your feet and legs daily. And, you're going to have to see the chiropractic twice a week for sometime. Not bad eating habits. And, lucky for you Angad, you're in charge to make sure all that gets done."
"Why don't we appoint her a nurse instead? I have two other girls waiting at home already."
Jason smiled at him, understanding his humor. "I'm saying that because somewhere, she knew you were back and came out of coma." When he saw the humor vanish from his eyes, the way he wanted, he left the room.
He looked at Kripa as she looked back at him. "You're so distant, Angad."
"Here are the papers, you can take her. I'll get her a wheel chair."
He stopped the car in front of the house and looked at her. "They're really excited."
"No one knows." She said when he opened his door to get out. "No one knows we're divorced, Angad. I didn't tell anyone, not even Faith."
He didn't quite know how to react and simply nodded. "They'll know sooner or later then." He got out of the car and walked to her side, opened the door. "I'm lazy to take out the wheel chair," he mumbled picking her up and closing the door with his hip.
"I knew you were." Because he couldn't stop her now, she turned his face with her hands when they were at the door and kissed him loudly on his mouth and rang the bell for him when she was done. "I've missed that as well." She said when he continued looking at her in utter shook. When the door opened they both looked at Kiran standing at the door with arti in her hands, Dev and Sana at her sides.
They walked inside once the traditional things were done and Angad set Kripa down on the sofa and as he began to get up he whispered to her, "You've really gotten fat."
She simply smiled and looked at Dev as he sat down beside her and embraced her. "We all missed you."
"So did I, I'm sure." She laughed and kissed his cheek. "How are you?"
"As good as a man my age can get, even better."
"Priya!" They both heard Angad yell in anger almost.
"God knows what she's done now." Dev said with a sigh. "She can't live until she makes sure Angad is ready to die by the end of the day."
"Sounds like a plan to me. What did you tell everyone?"
"Everyone knows about Priya. I couldn't hide it, the girl's his carbon copy."
"I always knew that was the case. Where is she?"
"You just watch, she'll come running any minute with Angad yelling behind her."
Kripa laughed heard Angad yelling and a loud giggling. Kripa turned her head and watched her run down the stairs with Angad behind her and laughed. At the top of the stairs she saw Tia laughing watching the scene.
"Priya!" Angad caught her by her arm and then twisted her ear lovingly. "You're going to pay for this one day." But even then, Kripa watched him scoop her up in his arms. Her mouth was brown from the chocolate she'd managed to sneak and stick from it as well. But he still couldn't truly be angry with her, so when he moved his cheek towards Priya, she gave him a loud kiss and laughed as he sighed ruffling her hair. "You've lived with Kripa long enough." He said with a sigh. With his finger planted on her cheek, he turned her face. "I promised you she'll be here soon."
Priya kicked her legs a few times and got down from Angad's arms and rounded the sofa towards Kripa. Her hands were stretched already as she ran towards Kripa. "Mama!" Laughing, Kripa managed to pick her up with a little help from Dev and then left them alone.
"Hello." She kissed her forehead and out of old habit tucked her loose hair behind her hair. "I've heard a lot of complaints about you."
"I was eating chocolate and Daddy took it away from me."
"Yeah, well I'll give you more." She kissed her sticky mouth this time laughing. "Where's your partner in crime, darling?"
"Who?" She asked in her silly voice, confused look
"I think Daddy's behind her now." Right then Angad walked to Kripa with Tia and dumped her down beside Kripa.
"I don't want to see either one of you for the rest of the day." He told them both pointing at them. "And, I'm throwing that box of chocolates away, spoiled brats, both of you."
Kripa chocked on her laugh and wrapped her other arm around Tia laughing. "You play this well Angad." She took his hand in hers and kissed it. "Really well."
"Yeah, all I need is you now to spoil them more." He sighed and sat down in front of them on the floor. "It's so nice to see all three of you."
"It is." She agreed. "Now why don't you take me to my place so I can get some things."
"You should stay home, I'll get you what you need."
"You won't know where anything is."
"Why?" He picked Tia up and sat down beside Kripa and allowed her to lean on him. "I've lived there."
"I've changed everything." It was so easy she thought to lean against his arm, close her eyes, and talk to him.
"Then you can just wear my night suit for now or wear Sana's cloths and I'll go hunt the house and bring whatever you need. You're not leaving the house."
"Okay. Can I leave this room?"
"Yeah, we'll find you a room. They are plenty here."
"Ha ha." She said in a sarcastic voice and ran a finger through his hair, shocked when he pulled himself away slightly.
"I have get a few things done Kripa." He began to stand up but she took his wrist in her hand to stop me.
"What did I do wrong?"
He looked at her with a depressing smile. "That's the problem Kripa." Taking his hand away he stood up, dropping Tia to her feet. "The problem is that I did everything wrong." He thought it would make her sound better, but in reality it crushed her into two pieces.
As he'd promised, Angad went to their old house and got her things for her. It was awkward for him to walk into the room and look around, thinking about old things.
Things with Kripa didn't get much better over the course of the next week. But she improved drastically where it came to her physical condition. Angad was finally able to join the office at that point knowing Kripa could take care of herself and both their daughters. However, things were still hectic for him when he got back home. Tia was more comfortable with him than with Kripa, she wouldn't let Kripa give her a shower, so Angad had to do that. The hectic part was when she figured that they both enjoyed running around the room, while Angad tried to catch her. Soon, it became a habit, a tradition if you will, that had to be preformed before she could go to bed.
After all that chasing, he had to sit with both Priya and Tia until they fell asleep, followed by office work that began piling up without a doubt. Kripa helped him every once in a while when he would let her. Most of the time he found her busy doing something of her own. Or, helping Sia with her homework now that she was back and happy to see both Kripa and Angad there.
Just one more thing piled up on Angad's list once he realized Christmas was less then two weeks away. It brought back good memories, and he thought about them sitting on his bed with Tia sleeping on his shoulder and Priya on his legs. With one hand, he closed his file and placed it on the bed beside him, closed his eyes, and thought about the Christmas he spent with Kripa a few years ago. As the pleasant memories flooded his mind he began drifting off.
Kripa walked into the room and stopped at the door at the sight. It was normal for her to walk into the room in the evening and find Angad putting both of the to sleep. But, this was special, she thought crossing her arms and leaning against the door. All three of them sleeping so peacefully. Standing there, a arbitrary thought came into her head. She walked to her closet and took out a camera and took a picture of them sleeping and then hid the camera away. Then, pitying Angad's state, she first picked Priya up and took her to her room and laid her down on the bed. Following, she took Tia off Angad's shoulder and woke him up. As he woke-up from his sleep, he watched Kripa lay Tia down in her crib and pull the lovely pink blanket she loved so much, over Tia. He smiled as he watched her kiss forehead and lock the grill of the crib.
Upon turning around, Kripa caught Angad quickly lower his eyes and pick up his file. Smiling she walked to the bed and politely took the file away from him that he was reading backwards. He looked at her and found her smiling at her. He was thrown off-balance when she pulled his head down and kissed his forehead with all the love and compassion within her.
"Everyone needs rest." She whispered looking back at him, his face still in her hands. "So does my hero. Go to sleep, you can finish reading your file backwards tomorrow. Okay?"
"Right." Still offbeat, he allowed her to adjust the pillow under his head and pulled the blanket over him before walking to the closet and taking something out, then leaving into the bathroom.
He was still awake when she came out of the bathroom, untying her hair as she walked to the bed and laid down beside him. She closed the light and turned to the other side of the bed and found Angad looking at her.
"Do you need something?"
"I do." He whispered and lowered his head to her shoulder and hugged her tightly and repeated, "I do."
It was her turn to be dumbfounded by his sudden overflow of love. He needed her, she decided when he turned his head and pressed his face in her chest.
"I need you." She heard him say and lifted her hand to his head and caressed. He laid there as she held him and him her in silence after that for what seemed like hours. It felt wonderful to have her here now, Angad thought as she continued to caressed his head like he was a little baby. He'd missed this, and now that he had it back, he feared losing it again.
"Angad." She said after awhile, when her eyes became heavy.
"Nothing. Just wondering if you were awake."
She sounded sleepy, so he lifted his face and looked down at her. Her eyes were closed and her face looked tired. "Kripa." Her eyes opened and met his. "I missed you a lot."
She smiled at him and pushed the hair that fell on his face away. "I've wanted to hear that. Go to sleep now. You have a million things to do tomorrow."
He lowered his head to her shoulder again and held her tightly again. "I promised myself I wouldn't come back to you after reading your diary. But when I came back and saw you laying there so lifeless…" he trailed off and turned his face to kiss her neck and whispered to her. "Ti amo, Kripa."
Her stomach tightened and her heart twisted. "How many different languages can you say that in?"
"I still remember when you told me in French for the first time."
"You didn't answer my question."
He lifted himself to look at her again. "You didn't say it back, Kripa."
"I will, one of these days."
"I hate you."
"Yeah. Well, so do I. Sleep now."
He kissed her forehead, scared to touch her anywhere else. "Good night."
He'd planned to go to sleep on his own pillow, but leaving her seemed impossible. "It's freezing," he mumbled against her hair and pulled her closer again. "Just in case you needed an excuse."
"It's still freezing." She said wrapping her own arms around him. "And, you can take me shopping tomorrow so I can buy us a new comforter. This one sucks."
"We'll see." He said resting his cheek on her head and falling asleep.
Somewhere along the night, Priya walked into their room completely awake and walked to Angad and shook him, holding his arm. Slightly annoyed, he turned around and saw Priya standing in front of him. Her eyes wide-awake and her small blanket in her hand. Sighing, Angad took her by her arms and pulled her up and laid her down beside him, pulling her close he closed his eyes again. "Back to sleep, Priya. Please." Saying that he fell right back asleep and left Priya just laying there looking at him sleep. When she realized he was really asleep again, she patted his cheek, which more like a slap to him, waking him up again. With a grunt, Angad opens his eyes and just looks at her. "Yes?"
"Priya?" Giving her a saucy look he nodded his head and then laughed. "Come on." As he began to get up, he found Kripa's hand holding his arm tightly. "You can't survive?" He asked looking at her. "She's going to wake-up."
"Okay." Delicately taking her hand and pulling it away from his arm, he carried Priya down stairs and warmed her a bottle of milk and gave it to her. "When I get old," he says laying her down beside him again, in a low whisper, "you better get me my mid-night snack." To his surprise, when he looked down back at her, she was already sleeping. Tucking her in bed beside Kripa he laid back down looking at Tia. Then, turning back to Kripa he sat-up, unable to fall back asleep. A part of him wanted to wake her up, so she could turn and talk to him again. But that would be selfish, he told himself turning the lamp beside his bed off and laying down and looking at her.
She was still so lovely, so luminous, so venerable. He lifted his hand and placed it on her cheek and instantly pulled it back when her eyelashes began to flutter and then opened.
"I'm sorry." Feeling extremely guilty, he caressed the side of her head. "Go back to sleep."
"Why are you awake?" She asked snuggling closer to him again.
Defeated, he pressed a kiss to her head. "Priya woke-up."
"Oh. Go back to sleep."
"You too." He listened to her drift back into the peaceful sleep he'd woken her up from. He didn't want to lose this again, he told himself wrapping his other arm around her as well. It didn't matter how much he denied it, he needed her everyday, in every moment of his life. He'd made three mistakes in his life. The first one gave them Priya. The second one told him told him how much he loved Kripa. And, the third, that he needed her more than he needed to breath, in everyway.
Here beside him was the lady he was once married to. Once…
Nothing was permanent, he thought as he began drifting away into sleep. As of now, nor was she.
It felt wonderful, Kripa thought running behind Tia, after putting Angad's briefcase down, then running behind Priya to stop her from fiddling with Angad's files, to have the family she had now. The family she never thought she would have. She scooped her younger daughter up in her arms and grabbed Priya's arm and made both of them sit down on the sofa across the room. "Do not think about it." She told them both strictly and watched them both bounce back in their seats instead of running off.
Angad cocked his eyebrow when he walked out of the bathroom and watched them both sitting on the sofa like meek, obedient children. "Did the sun rise from the opposite direction?"
Kripa looked back at her kids and sighed. "They both were yelled at."
"Awe, my poor girls." He sat down between both of them and wrapped an arm around each. When they both stood up and kissed his cheek he sighed and said, "but you both deserve it."
Kripa laughed and ruffled a hand through his hair. "You're going to get late if you don't hurry. And both of you," she looked at Priya and Tia, downstairs for breakfast." She helped them both off the sofa and watched them run about. When she began to go after them, Angad took her hand and pulled her down beside him.
"I'm supposed to take you shopping remember?"
She looked at him a little surprised. "You don't have to."
"I want to." He said taking her hand and pressing his lips to her palm. Her breathe hitched and she took her hand away, delicately. It surprised both of them what his touch could do to her even now.
"I have to go to the hospital today. Look at everything that's been pending, anything I need to look into."
"I can pick you up after that."
"I have to start organizing the charity event for new year's we've been putting up every year."
"I'm sure I can help you with that. A few hours Kripa." He said quickly taking her hands when he knew she would say something else. "That's all I'm asking for."
She looked at him brought her face closer to his and closed her eyes. Before he could kiss her the phone in his pocket rang and he watched Kripa open her eyes.
"Bookmark where we were." He said kissing her cheek.
She could smile as he picked up the phone and left.
Kripa looked at the file that had been locked away in her safe, the file that no one knew about. The divorce that no one else but Angad and she knew about. She clutched the papers against her chest tightly, surprised she had forgotten everything since last night. How could she forget that she wasn't Angad's wife anymore. That she had to tell everyone sooner or later. Tonight, she thought and opened her eyes at the knock on the door. Taking a deep breath, she turned her chair and looked at Angad standing at the door. A instant smile crossed her face and she stood up.
"Hey. What are you doing here?"
"It's lunch time." He placed the bag on the table and kissed her forehead without thinking about it, almost as if it was a habit. An everyday tradition. "I had nothing to do at the office today so I went home, got you lunch, and came here. Your two angels are being spoiled at home by Dad, so you can take care of that."
She smiled listening to him and watching him lay the food on the table.
"I think you forgot, you have a check-up due today. I forgot I have to actually go Christmas shopping this year, so I was hoping you'd help. I've made a name list of who I need to get gift for but I don't know what to get. I got a few things when I was coming back from Boston…" He stopped when Kripa embraced him from the back crying. The spontaneity of the moment had him turning around instantly and taking her face in his hands. "What's wrong?" He noticed the file in her hand and took it from her than and looked at the cover. Through the clear cover her read the words, "Divorce Papers." His throat went dry and he looked at Kripa, her eyes were red and puffy. She'd been looking at these for sometime, he concluded putting them on the table and taking both her hands in his.
"Are you planning to use that as an excuse to not eat with me and not help me in shopping, because I know you hate both things very much."
"Angad please." She buried her face in his cheat with his hands still holding hers. "We have to tell everyone. How long can we hide everything from them."
His plans had been different when he had gave all his work to Sahil and came here to ask her to take him back. But here she wanted to let everyone know that she was no longer Mrs. Angad Khanna.
"After New Years." He said leaving both her hands. "Just three weeks away. I'll tell everyone after that."
The week before Christmas, the Khanna's unlike usual, threw a bash, perhaps the biggest in the country for that season. It was then when Kripa and Rishab met since Kripa had been in coma. She was fussing over an arrangement with someone when he placed a hand on her shoulder.
Across the room, Angad had been watching her for sometime. When he saw Kripa turn around and throw her arms around Rishab, his spine stiffened slightly. They had been friends for a very long time now, he reminded himself. But, he thought putting his glass down, he also loved her. Taking a deep breath, he walked across the hall towards Kripa. She was his wife for the entire world. It was jealousy, he discovered crawling that he was breathing in and out seeing Kripa stand with him, holding his hand.
"Rishab." He said standing in the middle of them both. "How are you?"
Both Angad and Kripa saw surprise in Rishab's eyes upon seeing Angad. "I'm good." He replied still baffled. "When did you come back?"
"Just a few weeks back." Angad smiled and picked up two glasses of whiskey from a waiter who was passing by and gave one to Rishab. "So what's up these days?"
"Kripa!" Lord the praise, Angad thought as Faith rushed to Kripa.
"Hello, soon-to-be-mommy. How are you?" She kissed both her cheeks and looked at her. "You've put on weight."
She frowned, then smiled. "I'll lose it sooner or later. Hi Angad."
"Hi. Where's your sorry hubby?"
"Well I was going to ask you for a dance, but now that I think about its not a good idea." He leaned over and kissed her cheek. "You need to sit down, I'll get you something to drink."
Kripa smiled lowering her head as he took her hand and walked away with Faith. She wasn't jealous of their relationship, she envied Faith because no one took care of her the way Angad had just done so. Rishab noticed the sudden sadness that was clear in her eyes. But before he could do anything to comfort her, Angad came back.
"And you." He took her hand gently and linked her fingers with his. "You need to take a seat as well. There's no need to over work yourself yet. I'll give you a chance in a few years."
When she smiled looking at him, he was able to breathe again. Faith had noticed, and told Angad, the way Kripa must have felt when he took her away.
"I still care for you Kripa." He whispered to her, kissing her hand, where he noticed she was wearing the ring he'd given her when she'd won her first award. When she realized he was looking at the ring, she tried to take her hand back, he held it there, tightly.
"Angad." She relaxed her hand when he didn't let it go.
"Daddy." Angad pursed his lips and turned around to pick up Priya.
"Like always." When she winced, he simply ruffled her hair and got a don't-do-that-again, look from her. "I'm sorry. What do you want?"
Angad opened his mouth and closed it again when Kripa answered for him. "No!" She said as strict as she could manage. "You're going to get sick. And, I want you away from both Priya and Tia, Angad." She took Priya from him and set her down. "Ask Sana to start feeding you, I'll be right there. I need to find Tia."
Priya frowned, but ran away upon seeing Kripa cock her eyebrow. When she began to walk away, Angad took her arm.
"I have a question Kripa."
"What?" She scanned the room, saw Tia and Priya both sitting with Dev now, and smiled. Then, she looked back at Angad who hadn't said anything yet. "You were going to say something?"
"Forger it. It'll ruin everything."
"Actually no." He placed his hands on her waist and brought her closer. "You look nice."
She smiled and fixed his already perfect collar. "So do you." She looked back at him. "Do we have to, Angad?"
He leaned over and kissed her forehead, "I'll leave it up to you."
"I have to go see both your daughters."
"Ours." He said rubbing his thumb on her bare waist. "Ours."
"Ours." She repeated with tears in her eyes.
"You'll eat with me?"
Tears and smiles, she nodded her head, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, that had fallen from her chignon. "I'll wait for you." She didn't want to, but she turned around and walked away from him.
When he turned around and Faith winked at him, he smiled back, then turned to look at Kripa again. She painted the most beautiful picture for him, always. She was lovely in anything she did, it didn't matter if it was playing around with their daughters, scolding them, arguing with him, loving him, taking to someone, or gracefully gliding across the white marble floor as she was now. He sighed, and ran a hand through his hair. Maybe, once again, this Christmas he would get a gift that would last him a life time.
Angad refused to find himself face-to-face with Rishab again. He spent most of the evening talking to people who were surprised to see him after nearly two years. While he was glad to see some of them, some were a complete bore. More than often, he found himself looking for Kripa or towards her while she took care of things like a good hostess, without giving Sana or Kiran much to do. In return, they took care of Tia and Priya.
Finally giving another waiter instructions, she took a deep breath, and recognized fatigue begin to take her over. She walked to the bar and got herself a glass of water. When she was finished with it, she asked for one more. When she turned, Angad was walking to her. The way he smiled at her, all her tiredness left her body and she felt refreshed.
The place was empty now and there were only family members left finishing cleaning up.
"Hi." She said leaning against the counter.
"You look really tired." He took her hand and led her to a table in the back. "Are you okay?"
"I am. It's just been a very long day." Almost unsure, she laid her head against his shoulder, when he replied by putting his own arm around her and then kissing her head, she could breathe. "I just want this to be over so I can sleep."
"It will be. You stay here I'll go get us dinner."
"I'll go with you."
"No." Gently, he pushed her back in the chair. "Two minutes."
"We should put our girls to bed and then we'll eat. Just ten minutes."
"I'll take them. You go upstairs."
He put both Tia and Priya to bed in Sia's room since that's what they all wanted, and went upstairs. When he opened the door, she'd set the small table with dinner and a candle. She herself, was standing in the window waiting for him, still dressed in the red sari. It was wired, he thought quietly shutting the door behind him, she could carry herself in a sari so perfectly, even though she didn't know how to wear one.
He wrapped both his arms around her and rested his cheek on her shoulder. For a few minutes she just stood there holding his hand, but then turned around. "Our dinner will get cold."
"Wait." He took her hand and pressed his lips to her palm. "I need to ask you something."
"It can wait. Taking his hand, she dragged him to the table and fed him, after he finished feeding her.
"I'll clean it." He said when she began to pick the dishes up. "Go change."
He cleaned the table and the dishes, changed in another bathroom, and when he got back she was already laying in bed, her eyes and the lights closed. Thinking she was already asleep he sat down on the bed beside her and just looked at her. Before getting up he leaned down to kiss her and watched her eyes open.
"Yeah. Good guess." He leaned down and kissed her forehead like he'd meant to. But, like he'd planned to, he couldn't just get up and leave her. "Come back to me, Kripa."
"I am with you." She moved slightly to let him lay down beside her. "I always was."
"No." Her hair were still tied up in that simple knot at the nape of her neck, he reached for it and let it loose. "Marry me again Kripa. Belong to me, forever this time. There's no game, no double meaning this time. I love you, and I want it back from you, not because I know that's what you want, but because that's what we both need. They last nineteen months have been the worst of my life since I met you. Last time at least we were together, in the same house."
"I don't know why you're still talking." She placed her hand on his cheek and pressed her lips to his and kissed him. She melted against him, and him against her, when he wrapped his arms tightly around her and brought her closer. "I love you too." She said before kissing him for the second time.
They learned from their lives, their experiences, and taught their four children, two girls and two boys, that the love that got stronger after so many problems was true love. One that shrunk with each problem wasn't true.
I hope you guys enjoyed these last three parts of the FF. I ended up changing it since i hadn't continued for such a long time.
Now, i have a question... i can either just write one or two FF's... i'm pretty sure i will be able to continue even after the winter break cuz things will tone down a little this year compared to last So its your choice, i can do one now and the other later or write two at once. Just give me ur feedback.
here's my new one:
My new FF: Mission impossible
Love you loads,
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