I couldn’t believe the words that hit my ears. Buaji had walked in and said, “He’s gone.”
I shook Di, demanding an answer but words never came till her throat. Dadi yanked me with her arm so that I was facing her. I don’t think I was even processing everything, it was a little bit of a blur. The only thing on my mind was – Where’s Arnav ji? Is he safe? I hope he’s safe. Devvi Maiyya, please protect him. How could I un-love him so easily? But, it probably wasn’t as hard for him.
“What are you asking Anjali? He has left because of you! I have lost a grandson because of you.”
“But but…” I tried to plead, what had I done? I couldn’t even fathom my fault because of which Arnav had to leave!
Amma came and held me by my shoulders, and I noticed her cheeks were swollen and her eyes puffy and red. She had been crying longer than me. She escorted me out of the room, holding my hand, resisting my attempts to break free from her and run back into the room and demand answers.
She sat me on the bed and I cradled and placed my head in her lap, in dire need for some comfort. Then she began telling me her story, why my Arnav ji left. I shot up right from her first sentence, “Arnavji left because of me..”
I was beyond angry that Amma had hidden the truth for me, of course I understood Arnavji’s emotions. He blamed Amma for his parent’s death. I thought, I would go and tell him, I would explain. And he probably hadn’t left for good, he would be back. He loved me, didn’t he? I was certain I had seen it in his eyes, in his ways. I was sure. I went to go and sit in his room and wait. I was confident. But, it was momentary.
I entered and shut the door behind me. The room was impeccably clean, the covers drawn. Typical of Arnav Singh Raizada. I didn’t any longer care about the wedding happening, I just wanted to tell him the truth. I knew it was hurting him, wherever he was. I wiped the tears off my hace hurriedly. Still in my wedding trousseau, I was rummaging the room of my husband-to-be, looking for some clues to his whereabouts. I lifted the covers, the pillows, hoping to find something, anything. A scrap of paper flew across. I immediately caught hold of it, there was nothing on it but an untidily scribbled – I am sorry, I can’t marry you.
I crushed the paper into a ball in my fist and didn’t even realize when I drew it into shreds. I couldn’t believe it. Streams of tears that I corked a few minutes back came seeping back. There was no stopping them now. How could he? Was it so easy for him to just walk away from me like that?
I saw myself in the mirror, I felt aged by the days events. A weariness creeped up to me, draining me of all energy, the desire to fight. The man who I had lived with as wife till about a week back and was supposed to marry in a few hours had so easily walked away from me? My appearance disgusted me.
I rid myself of the bangles and all the jewelry that I started abhorring and threw it on Arnav’s bed. What use was it now? Memories of him showering sweet kisses on my same arms less than 24 hours ago came flooding back to me. I took off the maang-tika where he would have put the vermillion powder.
I grabbed my small box of the same powder from the dresser, that had been lying from my days in that room. With that I lifted my ghagra and dashed out of the room.
Today would not be my wedding. Who was I kidding? I was already married. Married to a man who no longer wanted me be his wife.
You would think I feel the worst for myself, hating that man who made my life so miserable with me, because that’s what women do. But though he broke my heart, I still love him. And, I hate myself for still loving him.
Well, I don’t know what kind of emotion you are feeling after reading this, so let me know?
Thank you 🙂