War Zone

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I latch onto him like a leech. No matter what he says, I'm bringing him back home, and we are going to resume our normal workaholic lives.

"Krithi, you have to go. It's not safe." Aniket says, smoothing over my hair as he pulls me to him. He's shedding tears on my messy hair, but I don't care. I don't care how I look in front of him; all that matters is that we're together again.

In this second, all I can think about is how good it feels to wrap myself around him, ensure that he is with me, safe in my arms and that I am safe in his.

He cries harder, and I can't hold my tears back. I let them fall, not completely comprehending the reason for why I'm crying. My overly logical brain doesn't seem to grasp the alien concept.

I never understood patients who had cried because their loved ones had, it was a normal human emotion that I hadn't experienced before. Empathy.

I would always sympathize with my patients, never getting too close, or attached enough to become their friends or to know anything obscenely personal.

I had perfected my role as a doctor over the years: visit, inquire, diagnose, and prescribe. That was it; no further communications that made me emotionally exhausted.

It felt good to cry with him, but for a second, I felt ashamed. I was never a person to cry, or reveal my emotions so openly, but I learned that, with him, there will be a endless list of firsts.

"We're safe now. The police are on their way." I say, ensuring him by wiping his tears.

"You took a bullet for me. I can't ask you for anything else, Krithi. It's me they want, not you. Go home. Raise our child. Remarry. But don't search for me." He's says, his voice cracking with every sentence.

"I don't understand, Aniket. We are fine. The police—

"These people will never stop hunting for me. You have to go." He says, getting up suddenly.

He wipes his tears with both his hands, and jerks out of bed, forcing me to stand up as well.

"I won't leave you here! You have to come with me." I cry, pulling at his hands like a little child begging for candy. "You love me, don't you? Then do what I say!"

His eyes close for a moment, only to reopen with ferocity and anger. "I was wrong. I don't love you. I never loved you." He turns his back to me, and it pains me that he can say that as if it wasn't lie.

Maybe the girl, Jasmine, gave him all that I couldn't. Maybe all he needed was pleasure, not love. Had I mistaken my own husband to be charming and honest?

Did he really not love me?

I put my hands around myself.

I clear my head of all emotions, leaving it blank. Think, Krithi. Don't let your emotions control you.

Maybe I was ugly, maybe I was fat, maybe I ate like a pig. But I'm myself, and I still will be. If I was sure about my qualities, then I'm sure about Aniket's too. He loves me, and I can see it in the way he's acting at this moment. He is hanging his head, and never once trying to meet my scorching gaze. He's lying and he knows that I know.

Aniket must have a reason to not come with me, and it wasn't Jasmine. He must think that someone will threaten me because of him. I don't understand why would anyone threaten him, but I know he was talking about his father, since he's the only one who wants revenge on Aniket and pops.

But why am I involved?

I don't understand, and I know Aniket is fixated on keeping this secret from me. There are two ways I can get the information out of him and get him out of here. But I will only choose the first option, since the second is not my strongest suit in persuasion. The thought makes me blush, but I clear the idea from my brain, scolding myself for thinking of such things when we are in such a dire situation.

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