CROSSROADS – VII

Riddhima struggled to empty her heart out. To recall that horrendous night was like stepping on the tail of a venomous snake that can paralyze the soul.

That night:

Riddhima was very happy to have got her leave sanctioned for a week. Busy work schedules have taken a toll on her relationship with Suyash. She reached her apartment early with an intent of making that evening special. She planned surprise but was served with shock when she entered her house (she always thought it to be her home though). Suyash was in a compromising position with Riddhima’s friend Sara.

Riddhima’s entry rattled them as they were not expecting her around at that point of time. To say the least Riddhima was shell shocked and was in a complete state of disbelief and anguish. An utter silence ensued.

Sara “Riddhi give me a minute I can explain. You are getting it all wrong. This is not how you see” tried to handle the situation.

Riddhima ” You are right, I was wrong all the way. Now my stupidity needs no explanation after what I just witnessed. I have to say only one thing to you – SHUT UP AND GET OUT!”

Sara left without any counter argument. Now Riddhima turned to Suyash who stood perplexed there silently as a thief caught in the act.

As he was expecting Riddhi to blow him up, she silently walked past him to her room. She was hurriedly packing up her bags as she fought her tears back. Anger and resentment were building up in her as she was moving to and fro between her almirah and suitcases. She couldn’t believe where she landed herself, a person she was in love with was deceiving her with her own friend. Suyash made after Sara made an attempt to explain things and it was anything but remorseful.

Suyash “Look I can explain. It happened in the heat of the moment. One such incident shouldn’t effect us. Stop behaving childish. We entered into this relationship because we never wanted that typical husband-wife drama. You should move on”

At the end of his rather shameless confession Riddhima smirked and said “Hope you understand the meaning of relationship. It’s about emotions and not about lust. And for one last time I agree with you – I am moving on. So badly I want to slap you for being a jerk but since I once loved you and I am responsible for the choices I make in my life I am letting my better sense to prevail and call it quits”. And she left that apartment. Took shelter at her friend’s paying guest accomodation for few days before she moved to Kolkata as she got a new job there. The same night she spoke to Avinash as well as she could think of no one else to confide herself with.

Present:

Doctor heard patiently to Riddhima’s story. Empathy and medicines, she gave both. Doctor said “The best medicine which I can’t prescribe on a piece of paper is that you should be in the company of people who love you without any conditions applied. More you realise your worth in their lives better you will be”.

Doctor’s words sure left an impression on Riddhima’s mind. And she decided to meet Avinash – the only name that figured first in her mind as the doctor mentioned “people who love you without any conditions applied”.

Riddhima and Avinash met that weekend. Riddhi told Avi about her doctor’s visit and that she narrated what tormented her for so many days.

Avi drew himself closer to Riddhi, wrapped his arm around her shoulder and said “Riddhi, may I ask you one thing?”. When she nodded in affirmation he asked “did you ever spoke to your parents about what all transpired that made you leave the city your roots dwelled in? Remember you told me that you will speak to them when I urged let me handle it and didn’t let me speak?”

Riddhima: No, I know that they are already very upset because of me. I couldn’t muster enough courage to face them. I only informed them about the new job offer in Kolkata. I really can’t see them break because of my actions.

Avinash: what actions? Stop blaming yourself for the degraded ways of a jerk first of all. Secondly, I don’t understand the fear of opening up to one’s parents. You opened up your heart to me without doubting for a second if I could use it to leverage any advantage.

Riddhima interrupted “don’t talk nonsense Avi. You never judged me, always had my back then how can I hide anything from you. But parents!! You saw how they were against my moving in decision. And with all this fiasco how can I face them, won’t they be taunt me for my choices?”

Avinash: Now you give me break. This is the first time ever you enraged me. You are judging your parents that they would judge you! I really pity your thought process dear. They will differ in the ways they see and think, this is natural for the generation they belong to. But let’s not get into that discussion. Remember the day when I asked “from whom you are running? Whom you are trying to fool?” Let me answer this for you – you are running away from the truth that you matter to your parents no matter what. My suggestion to you – go talk to them once, and I am here anyways for every help you need”

Riddhima by this time was moved to tears, tears that she held for so long and now refusing to restrain themselves. She embraced Avinash tightly as if she found the solace and refusing to let it go. After a while she freed him from her embrace and said “promise me that you will be there for me on ever cross road of life and guide me which way to pick”

To this Avinash smiled and in his usual playful manner replied “no conditions applied but charges yes for my consultancy services Madam”. Both had a good hearty laugh.

The next day Riddhima called Avi again to inform him that she booked her ticket to Delhi, she is going to meet her parents after a long time…….