Posted: 22 May 2008 at 2:08pm
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The cool night breeze hit Rhia in the face like a gust from heaven as she walked out of his house. Somehow, the atmosphere inside had began to suffocate her towards the end, and she just couldn't wait to get outside. Saagar followed close behind and shut the door after him. They were both walking in silence towards the front gate without the slightest hint of where to begin talking. The feeling of being intimidated still clung onto her skin, making her throat dry, while Saagar was too ashamed to say anything. He could still hear Aryan's spontaneous questions meant for Rhia and felt his legs grow weak. He was dreading to find out what she must be thinking of him right now. Finally, just when he mustered enough courage to apologize to her, she spoke first.
Rhia: Thanks for the dinner Saagar!
Saagar: Rhia, I have to say this, I'm so sorry for what...
Rhia (cutting him out): Its ok, you dont have to say anything. I understand, its totally cool.
Saagar: I know, but still, back there, how my daughter behaved was just...
Rhia (cutting him again): It's ok Saagar, I didnt mind, trust me.
Saagar: And Aryan, he doesnt know what he's saying. I guess he must be watching too many movies again. I'm just sorry.
Rhia (puting her hand on his shoulder): Saagar, like I said, they're just kids. (smiles)
Saagar (running his hands through his hair): They're really great kids, both of em. So well behaved, I just dont know what got into em today.
Rhia (laughs): I think we both know why they were behaving that way today. They misunderstood our friendship. Do they react that way with every girl you bring home?
Saagar: Haha, you're the first actually. Well, after their mother of course. Like I said, they dont get company very often.
Rhia (surprised): What? But you dated other women after marriage, surely you must've brought some home to meet your kids.
Saagar (uncomfortable): They were not real relationships. More like short flings. I havent been in a real relationship since...well, since the divorce.
Rhia: They werent right?
Saagar: I dunno, they could've been, but it never got that far. I guess, I never really let it get that far. Not far enough to bring any of em home atleast. Its best that I dont get my kids' hopes up, especially when I know that the relationship is only temporary. Its much better just bringing my friends home. I can count on you guys.
They stopped their stroll and waited outside the gates. For the first time, she witnessed Saagar in a whole different light. She saw him as a man who had had his share of pain in the past.
Rhia (sympathetic): Saagar, you're not even willing to give em a chance? How could you know for sure that things wont work out.
Saagar (with a soft smile): Sometimes you just know. You feel a deep connection with the other person. Like...like...
Rhia: Like you've known them forever.
Saagar: Exactly, and you understand each other. You feel that you want to spend every waking moment by her side.
As they talked, they began to draw ever more closer towards each other without realizing any change.
Rhia: To feel his support behind you. To know he appreciates you
Saagar: And that she loves you
He stopped here, and allowed the seconds to slide by without any notice. He had forgotten where he was, and who he was. He didnt even notice that his hand was trailing down her jawline on its own accord while she looked on helplessly. Deep down, she was aware of the happenings, and she also knew it was wrong. But the lines between wrong and right were already getting blurred, and so her judgment was impaired. She even felt him moving closer, but chose to remain passive. His mouth was inches away from hers, when she gave a soft whimper and pushed at his chest. This was a wake up call, and he instantly moved back.
Saagar (in a hoarse whisper while looking away): Oh god...
She was holding herself, trying to sooth out the shivering that had taken hold of her body. She knew he was besides her, but couldnt bare to look at him.
Saagar: Rhia I...(trails away coz he didnt know what to say)
He tried to reach out for her, but she pulled away. As if by a silent prayer, the driver pulled up in front of the house at that instant, and she began to walk briskly in its direction.
Saagar (feeling horrible): I dont know what came over me. Rhia, listen to me.
He followed her desperately, his heart thumping from fear. He couldnt hear anything properly, only watch her receding figure. He had to catch up to her. She managed to get in the car and shut the door when he signaled for his driver to hold on. He was feeling completely worthless when she pulled down her windows and he caught sight of her pale face.
Rhia (close to tears): Saagar please, just leave me alone for now. I'll...I'll see you at work on Monday.
Saagar (speaking really fast): I swear, I dont know what happened, but its not gonna happen again. Damn it, Rhia, just plz, once more, forget this ever happened? Please, forgive me.
Rhia (confused): I think... I think we should take some times out to cool our minds.
Saagar: Yeah, we should. Its prolly coz we were really tired. I, feel drained (laughs nervously). That's why I think we just kinda...umm...lost it for a moment there. I'll see you later...awright?
She nodded in response and pulled up the window, leaving Saagar feeling somewhat relieved. The car pulled away from the curb and onto the road. Rhia wiped her forehead, which had broken out into a cold sweat, and wrapped her arms around her body, which was still shivering from the episode. She knew that the cause of this reaction didnt have anything to do with fatigue. She was well aware of what was happening, and she KNEW that it was wrong, yet she still didnt do anything until it was almost too late. If she had still remained inactive and allowed his lips to move in even closer...She put her fingers onto her throbbing temples. She was too tired. She couldnt think. She didnt want to think. She just wanted to get home and fall straight into bed.