It was 4:30 in the morning and Radhika was awake. The alarm hadn’t rung, it wasn’t her mate’s snoring that got her up, she didn’t have a nightmare either, perhaps she rarely had a dream. She lay awake, with her eyes wide open and her mind lost somewhere in the dark. Drifting from one side to the other, she lay down in her bed with her husband, Ajay, who was totally unaware of where he was. An hour passed and the alarm beeped, Radhika knew that it was time to get off the bed and do the regulars.
She was making the breakfast, when she overheard a voice.
“mommy, could you help me plait my hair.” It was her daughter sanjana. She tugged on to Radhika’s saree and followed radhika around the kitchen. Placing the dishes in the sink for a wash, she took sanjana to the hall.
“where is sanjeev?” Radhika asked her daughter as she combed her hair.
“sound asleep i guess” she giggled. “ouch” she crinked her face as her mother tightened her hair. Then she got up to see sanjeev.
“SAnjeev… Sanjeev” the second time, a little louder, she shouted and shook sanjeev.
“i dont wanna go to school mommy!” sanjeev pulled the blanket to his face and drifted the other side. She took him in his arms and rushed inside the bathroom.
“please mommy!!!!” sanjeev cried in vain.
“ you’re getting late for school, you’ll miss the bus!!” she helped him brush and bathed him quickly.
Then both the kids were at the dining table, when their dad came to join them. He was ready for his work. After serving the breakfast, she helped sanjeev wear his shoes when the school bus honked.
She rushed the kids to the bus and held them their lunch boxes. She waved them a bye as the school bus crossed the corner.
Ajay rushed to his car and as he wore the seat belt Radhika held the lunch box to him.
“thanks… “ he said and started his car, he was in a hurry.
Radhika walked back into her apartment, the kids were gone, her husband was off to work. She was alone now.
Life was perfect, the way she would have ever dreamt, She was happy, She had everything she wanted.
She sat on the sofa, switching on the TV. After sometime, her neighbour misses. Khanna, dropped by and the gossip went on for a while until noon and then she went.
It was evening, the kids had come from school. The rest of evening went on with the kids. A little later Ajay was home and everyone had dinner.
It was 10 in the night, the kids were asleep. Radhika and Ajay were in their room, radhika had her eyes closed, had it been a while she would have slept but then she felt a hand around her waist. She knew what she had to do. She turned over to him and it went on for a while. after some time Ajay was asleep. She lay there in the dark, her mind lost in thoughts. She wasn’t able to sleep, just like the other night, just like every other night. She had everything she wanted or did she pretend it to be that way? Life was perfect, the way she had always dreamt it to be or was it? She was happy or was she? She had two kids, a caring husband, and above all that, a good life, just the way her parents had wanted. Her dad died a 4 years back and her mom, an year later. They were happy, for they had done their duty and given their daughter, a good life. they were satisfied with the life radhika was living, sad that they failed to understand the fact that radhika wasn’t.
She wasn’t forced to marry Ajay, it was her decision, solemnly her decision. A decision that changed her life, a life she was living today. She remembered the day she made this decision, she remembered every inch of that day, for it was engraved deep in her soul, a day she would remember till the last breath of her life.
“please radhika” she could hear his cry. His voice was still ringing in her ears. “i don’t wanna do this… I cannot…”
They were at the cafe coffee day.
Arjun was seated opposite to her. “i cannot do this anymore Arjun, this cannot happen!”
“don’t you see? We are perfect for each other. This isn’t the way it is supposed to end.”
“i know.. Arjun… But Please! I don’t wanna talk about this anymore & i don’t want this anymore either”
“i don’t understand!! what is the matter with you?? Why can’t we be together?”
“we’ve had this discussion before also. My parents will not accept this!”
“oh.. c’mon!! give me a break!” He slammed his fist on the table, all the attention was at their table.
“i’m sorry..” He tried to relax in his chair.
“i am not asking you to elope with me! we can talk to them, convince them. Things will fall in place. I just want you to be with me through this!” He placed his hand on her’s.
He seriously didn’t want anything else from her but just her support through this. But radhika wasn’t ready for what he was asking for, it was too much for her. She loved him very much but she couldn’t betray her parents. She didn’t want her parents to face the shame of people talking about what their daughter had done. Above all this, She was scared of her dad, a short tempered man with loads of love for his daughter. He cared way to much and wouldn’t dare to kill her if she made a mistake. She wasn’t afraid of getting killed but what if her dad did something to Arjun? She wouldn’t forgive herself for the rest of her life. She wasn’t able to forgive herself till this day for the mistake she had made that day. She regretted it everyday, every single minute for having made that decision that day.
“i cannot go against my parents, I’m sorry…” She tried hard not to cry.
Arjun wasn’t able to take anymore. He had lost his patience “fine!!” He said and walked away. As he walked out, something struck him, what was he doing? Where was he going? Then, he realised something, he loved this girl way more than anything. This wasn’t why he fell in love with this girl in the first place. he couldn’t let go of everything just like that. She was all what he ever wanted. He couldn’t just break up with her like this. He walked back to her.
“k… You wanted a break up right? Fine,.. We’ll breakup!”
Radhika was confused.
“But not like this! I wanna live every single moment once again, i wanna go to all those places we’ve been to, re-live every single memory, one last time. I wanna be happy.”
He held her hand “one day, radhika! One last day… Lets forget everything & be madly in love with each other.” And before she could say anything, he pulled her out of the cafe coffee day.
to be continued…