No, he didn’t expect to meet her, not after all those years. Not after all that transpired. No. Though he did hope, always praying he would find her again, someday. Did he expect bumping into her this way? No, not even in his wildest dreams.
Not one day had passed since the day she had left them, left him, when he didn’t curse himself for what he had done to her. How much pain he had put her through? And what fault was it of hers? She had only loved him, and his family. And for that he had cursed her, tortured her, put her through hell.
She had cried, she had pled with him, lest he believe her. She had tried her best to make him believe her. She gave up the day he had slapped her, and believed everything that Shyam Jha had said. She felt torn, broken from within. Shattered. She had rushed out of the Raizada House that day and had kept on running for hours. She wanted to get away from them, everyone. She didn’t want to spoil her Jiji’s life in that house. At least Akashji loved her. At least she would be happy. At least she would get her chance at happiness, and there was no way that Khushi was going to let that get spoilt.
She didn’t remember how much she had cried that day. It was a lot.
She remembered Shyam coming into the room when she was alone, she remembered turning around to look at him when he bolt the door. She remembered the way he had advanced towards her, with that creepy smile adorning his sick face. She remembered his fingers trailing up her back, undoing the dori of her suit, and his hand covering her mouth. She remembered turning around and trying to kick him in the gr**n and running to the door, shouting out for help. But he had been quick, quicker than she had anticipated. He had recovered from the sudden shock of her hitting him and followed her to the door, instantly grabbing her by her waist, covering her mouth with his other hand. He had pushed her onto the bed. She remembered vividly his fingers slithering down the length of her neck. She was desperately trying to call out for help. Anyone.
She tried to muster all the strength in her weak, fragile, yet resilient body. She found that strength when she heard Anjali knock on the door, ‘Khushiji are you inside?’
Shyam, was suddenly panicky, he didn’t know what to do, he hadn’t expected his wife to barge on to them. Hadn’t she been out?
Khushi immediately took advantage, and thinking of Anjali as her messiah, she had rushed to the door and screamed, ‘Anjali Ji! Save me!’
Oh, how he wished he had trusted her then.
Arnav had rushed down hearing his sister and Jeejaji shouting on top of their lungs.
‘KHUSHI!’ Anjali had shouted.
Khushi had been sobbing all by her self, trying to explain to Anjali, what a cheat she had for a husband, how he had deceived everyone, lived in their house as a pay guest first, and almost married her.
But no, she didn’t believe her. She was one of those classic Indian women who believe that their husbands are pseudo-Gods and can do no wrong. She believed every word that double crosser uttered, ‘Rani Saihaba, believe me, why would I care about this girl, She means nothing to me, specially when I have such a beautiful wife as you. You are my life.’
Shyam noticed the tears drip out of Anjali’s eyes. She was so gullible, just how he liked it. Oh, he didn’t even remember how many times he had used that to his advantage. Oh, poor Anjali!
He immediately pulled Khushi by her wrist and dragged her to Anjali.
‘This girl tried to take advantage of me! She saw me alone in the room and she immediately walked in and closed the door, and then, I can’t even say what she tried to do.’ Stammered Shyam, trying to sound as convincing as possible.
Khushi could hardly believe her ears. This man stooped to levels lower than she could have imagined, even for him.
She had been so relieved to see Arnav walk up to them. She had immediately wriggled out of Shyam’s grip and rushed to Arnav to hug him tight, at least he would believe her, she had thought. She had cried profusely into his chest, her hands tightly clutching on to the collars of his shirt.
Oh, he remembered that day well. His mind had played it back to him too many times now. Even when he wasn’t thinking about it, and had made a successful business deal someday, that day would come flashing back to him and take it all away. He wasn’t as ruthless a businessman as before, but whatever little emotions he did display went away, his smile had disappeared with the only girl who could actually make him smile.
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