Thank You for your feedback and comments. Here is the final installment for the SS. Have fun reading.
The moment the flight
landed and they collected their baggage, Aham called Gopi to check if they
landed safely. Gopi's phone was turned off. He called his mother and enquired
about their flight and asked for Gopi. Gopi was aware of what was coming next and
she hated it. He always managed to get his way. The moment Maaji handed her the
phone, Gopi behaved as if the network was really bad and disconnected. She felt
awful for doing it, but Aham had left her with no choice. Aham was stupefied.
He could not believe it and decided to ignore her as well.
He thought the best
strategy for him was to get her out of his mind and his system, with that
thought he immersed himself into work completely. Or so he thought and so he
tried. He remained irritable the whole evening and went home really late. The
moment he drove the car through the driveway, he missed her. The house seemed
to haunt him. He could not believe it and he was resolved not to believe it as
well. He had a meeting the next morning and he decided to prepare for it before
went off to bed.
Who are you fooling; he
thought to himself, there isn't any harm in admitting your missing her, just
like how you missed her in when you went to Europe. Europe was different; I
wanted her to explore new cultures, people for herself. Okay, replied the
voice, if you say so. Do yourself a favor, call her again, she might talk to
you. You know she loves you and can barely see you upset. Hmmm' that isn't a
bad idea let me try, it's just to check if mom is settled in okay anyways!!!
Aham called Gopi's phone,
it rang and his heart started to beat crazily. But she did not answer. Gopi
kept staring at the phone, it kept flashing Aham's name and she ignored it. She
thought if she did not do this now, she could never get over him.. EVER!! Aham
sent her a message, thinking she was away from her phone but deep down he knew
she was ignoring him and he felt terrible. He was waiting for her to return his
calls or texts into the middle of the night. He could barely sleep. The moment
he closed his eyes he would see Gopi walking away from him, without looking
back and this hurt him. It was strange feeling. The predator felt like prey.
The next day Aham could
barely concentrate on anything, he was in, one of the most dreadful moods. He
yelled at everyone and anyone, papers were being shred, presentations rehashed,
meetings moved. It was crazy. He stuck to his decision to ignore Gopi, he called
his Mom instead and enquired about her trip. When he heard Gopi's voice in the
background, he froze.Did
I hear it right, was she really laughing? Does my not being around her not
affect her anymore? Does she not care about me anymore? Has she moved on? Would
she still be indifferent, if she knew what I was going thru? How would she
react if she knew I cannot stop thinking about her? What is happening to me,
this is a precursor for things to come? She would be out of my life in about a
month now. No, Gopi can't leave me esp. now when I like her, I care for her,
and I am beginning to understand her. Do you really understand her? do you know
what she really wants, can you give that to her? Aham was going thru a myriad
of emotions, conflicting, debating but all about her and leading to HER. With
that realization, he felt the mist lifting and things clearing up. He had never
been so sure about anything in his life.
Aham had finally decided
to woo his wife back into his life. He bombarded Gopi with calls and texts
every day. Gopi avoided answering all of Aham's calls, but she couldn't help
reading his texts.
When they got back home
after a long day, she received a bouquet of roses, carnations and lilies, all
in white as a peace offering. She tried to put it away.
The same was done the next
day but with a bunch of pink peonies and a hand written note which read "pretty
flowers for a prettier lady, Love Aham". Gopi was astonished; she felt her
coloring esp. in the midst of a bevy of giggly girls and chattering matrons.
The next day there were
two bunches delivered, one each of Asiatic lilies and Parisian pink roses with
a note which read "Could not pick one
... Lost without U... Aham".
A bunch of long stemmed
red roses arrived the next day and Gopi rushed for the note, "Miss U Heaps" was
all it said.
She was dint know what to
make of it all. She was scared yet excited, she was flustered yet held her
calm; she was a bundle of all emotions put together but most importantly she
was lost!! The next day, she still avoided his calls, read his texts and was
looking forward to his note and when she did not receive it, she was concerned
at first, then mad because she felt he was toying with her yet again. You are
such a silly girl Gopi, she said to herself, he is toying with you, trying to
show who the boss is and you thought he was trying to charm you. You know him
better now don't you?
Aham on the other hand was
in a better place, he knew what he had to do to get himself and Gopi out of
their misery. He informed his Kaka and Jigar at breakfast that a few
complications had arisen in his project and he was flying out. He made one
important stop before he headed for the airport. He took the first available
flight out to sort these issues out. They were unavoidable, he said.
The moment Aham landed, he
made his routine call to check on his Mom. Kokila was out shopping with the
other ladies and said she would call him later when she got back home. Aham
went straight to a hotel and checked himself in. His mother had called him in a
couple of hours. He enquired about the preparations. She told him of their busy
schedule and hung up saying that they were due for a fitting appointment in a
couple of hours and that she had to go.
Aham, got busy with his
project and headed out for the meeting scheduled to begin in an hour. When he
reached the meeting place, he ran his eyes across the room, scouting, He
spotted her and was moving in her direction. She turned to talk to someone and
saw him approaching. She blinked, thinking she was hallucinating. He was
walking towards her and when Maaji, called out for him, she realized she wasn't
day dreaming. She was staring at him, apprehensive, scared and not knowing what
He walked up to her, stood
beside her and whispered in her ear "Surprise!!" She was stupefied and colored
to the roots. Aham was relieved to see the effect he still had on her. Gopi felt people around them stopped in the
middle of their tasks and were just watching them. "What are you doing here?"
she asked, for the benefit of the audience. "I missed you!!" he said with a
smile spreading on his face. She flushed amongst all the giggles and smiles,
not failing to notice that he looked sallow.
Maaji, sensing their
discomfort, rescheduled Gopi's fitting and asked them to leave. Aham made a
mental note to thank her later, for everything she had done but esp. for Gopi.
They walked out together silently, each lost in their own thoughts. Aham helped
her into the car and took the steering wheel. It was all coming back to
There was an uncomfortable
silence in the car. Neither of them knew where to begin or what to say. Gopi
was still reeling from the surprise, yet again and Aham didn't know where to
begin. They were both anxious.
"What are you doing here?"
she asked slowly looking straight ahead, trying hard to maintain her composure
and resenting the fact that Aham had such control over her, despite everything.
He could almost hear her fuming, ready to explode any second.
"I was in the neighborhood"
he said, looking at her " and thought I could take you home" he lied to her
"Hmmm" she said, seeming
to be at a loss for words.
"So how is your trip going
so far?" he asked, looking at a very flabbergasted Gopi.
"It was going well, until
now" she retorted.
"When did you fly in?" she asked
"This afternoon" he said.
"Maaji should have told me
m you were here" she said thinking her mother-in-law was a party to it.
"She didn't know, it was
kind of last minute" he said, trying to justify himself. It failed
"You should have told me,
you were flying in this afternoon" she said angrily.
"You were never around
when I called" he responded truthfully "never ever" he repeated for the effect
"Are you accusing me?" she
snapped back angrily a slow smile moving across her face and she continued in
jest "Why on earth would I avoid you?" she added, mock staring at him. Aham was
smiling to himself, and this time he knew the reason very well.
When they reached Aham's
suite, he turned to take Gopi's hands in his, lifted her chin up to look at
him. Her eyes were frantically searching his for answers to her silent
questions. He could not bear it any longer and said with utmost sincerity "I am
sorry for all the hurt and pain I caused you. I have been the biggest fool on
the face of this earth. I have been stupid, arrogant, insensitive and above all
a self centered prude."
He paused to look into her
eyes, she was looking at him with hope and he continued "I was too stupid not
to realize earlier what you mean to me. Trust me when I say I missed you like
crazy, I have been driving people up the wall" he smiled, "I am sorry, I can't
let you go Gopi, I can't promise you a happily ever after, there will be ups
and downs, highs and lows and there is no one else I want to share it with."
She was smiling and he wasn't done yet, "You bring out the best and the worst
in me. You intrigue and fascinate me. You complete me. I care about you and I
know you do to. I want to take the boldest decisions and make the silliest of
mistakes with you by my side. My life would be meaningless and I won't be sane
without you in my it. I can't say I can't live without you I would be lying if
I said that, but my life wouldn't be the same with you not being in it, I love
u and can't think about sharing my life with anyone else.. No one but you!!".
He looked at Gopi, her
face was all teary and wet: she was home. She put her arms around his neck
stretched up a little and gently kissed him on his lips and moved away shying.
Her gesture blew Aham away; it felt a lot like homecoming. He held on to her
tightly not wanting to let go of her and heard her whisper, No one but you
Edited by angelirebelli - 21 May 2011 at 9:16am