Life Beyond Love, a novella, Chapter -17, The Bargain
Eight days had been spent finding Akash just careless. I used to locate him on social media, chatting, posting, and updating but ignoring me. How could it be possible?
I felt helpless. But just kept waiting for his turn, for his cordial sorry without any pretension. But in the process I allowed myself to wane out day by day. Even Mamoni started asking me about my health and Nikita and others at Samayita. I was neglecting my work, my relations, my friendships and everything that was my life…once.
At last, my phone beeped at a restless night, terminating my dreamless sleep and shattering my weak little heart to pieces.
“Aatri how are you dear?”
My eyes welled up in stifling emotion and my nose started burning when I read and reread the single simple message, deciphering every sound and letter associated as if to test the authenticity before groping for solace under their comfort.
“Please talk to me. I’m missing you.”
Something choked my voice. I could not utter a word. I was struggling with repugnance arising from the deep of my true heart.
“Ok, I’m sorry yr.”
I could hold it no longer.
“I was too busy.”
“Busy? Too busy to treat me like this?” I could not hold my tears.
“Sorry baby. Please, please don’t cry. Come on. I want to see you. Call me now.”
My tears rolled down, chagrining and grounding my dignity.
“Ok, I’m calling.”
I needed some time to gulp up my emotion.
“I’m fine, you?”
“I’m fine too. But it is already 12.30 and we should talk another day.”
“Noooooo, please nooooo Aatri. I’ll not let you go today.”
“No Akash I can bear your absence but not your negligence. So keep the relation on the level of formality. And I must get accustomed to it gradually.”
“I’m sorry. Cannot you forgive me? Please come on. I’m calling you.”
When he contacted the video call I felt so disturbed looking at him.
“Akash you are looking sick? Any problem?”
“I get a bit cold and cough.”
“Ooh. Have you taken medicine?”
“No, it’ll be okay.”
“You know better.” We talked about some trifles then he said,
“Aatri will you wear the saree for me once again?”
“Please Akash leave the topic. I don’t want to do so. It reminds me of your rudeness that night.”
“Oh, Aatri I say sorry to you. Stop torturing me anymore.”
“Ok Akash I can’t torture you. You know that very well and every time you take the opportunity of my weakness. You don’t love me.”
“I love you. I really love you. But you don’t understand me.”
That night I realized that I had lost my power to defend him and all that I wanted was just to keep everything peaceful avoiding all sorts of scuffles. The incessant tug of war desiccated the sap of my sanity.
“I’ll. But it will take time. I’m not accustomed to saree.”
“Ok. I’ll wait.”
“No, you can sleep if you feel so. I’ll call you later, after getting ready.”
“Nooooo. I’ll keep my eyes open.”
“Ok, then hold on.”
When I put off the light he screamed.
“ Noooo .”
“Don’t off the light, wear in front of me.”
“What? Are you insane?”
“What is the point of insanity here?”
“Oh shit! I cannot do so.”
“No, Akash it is not possible for me.”
“Nothing is impossible you know. Please, baby, come on.”
“No, Akash try to understand. I’m not feeling comfortable.”
“What? Are you not comfortable in front of me?”
“Don’t start sentimental blackmailing.”
“Aatri, you are so vexing.”
“You are overreacting.”
I could not decide what was right or what was wrong for me. There he was in front of me just begging for something that I did not feel decent, and if I did not agree with him he would leave me again. I could not bear it any more.
That night and onward started my oblation to my LOVE, yeah it was my sacrifice, as morally I was not getting any support within me but I was crazy not to allow him to quit me anymore. I loved him and his passion could burn me in an equal symphony, and could thrive mutually if there remained no feelings of insecurity and humiliation on my part. But he never tried to realize it.
“Wow, you are looking so sexy.”
“Yeah, I wish to be with you Aatri”
“You don’t know how I’m missing you now.”
For the first time, I caught the wistful vibrancy in his tone but it could not palliate my scorched heart. Something was hammering me, “It is not love, and cannot be.”
But apparently, I felt peaceful. The black cloud, hovering over my sky was disappearing sinking me into a deep sleep.
I wanted to be important to someone, be the centre of someone’s attraction. In Akash, I dreamt to find my completeness and yearned to anchor my heart. But the sea was turbulent and the sandy shore was fleeting under my feet. The stars were blinking and the night was smitten with anathema of long-suppressed contusion. Nowhere I could detect the lighthouse.
Hey, I am Munmun, the phoenix fabulist who wants to tell you stories. I love to read stories and I love to weave stories. I feel life is an amalgamation of multiple stories, colourful threads, and threads of pain, pleasure, hope, and hopelessness. We just need to pick those hues and arrange them, knitting them with our own emotions and perception. So let’s celebrate the stories of life.