Chapter 19

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It was the third day like this. He didn't speak to her, and her attempts went in vain because he openly ignored her. It was another night of endurance, of pain, of isolation and of longing. She was sleepless all night again. Not for one minute she could feel the calm she felt less than a day ago. Her eyes were burning when she would close them in an attempt to sleep. She spent the entire night sitting on her bed thinking what went wrong and when was she wrong.

For the past seven months, she battled with her entire being and learnt to move on. The place that she always and only imagined for Shahroze, she gave it to Zain. It wasn't easy. To let go. To forget the love, she shared with Shahroze for three years, but the prospect of marriage made it easy for her. Without wanting, without realising and without trying, he made his place in her heart, for eternity. And now when she wanted to tell him about it, he didn't even want to see her face. The question kept colliding in her mind of what went wrong.

And for the fourth time, the night passed, and the rise of the sun gave her some hope again. Maybe today he would speak to her. Maybe, today he would tell her that why he was so silent and reserved for the past three days. But, it was only her hope. The reality of the day had other plans. She was just about to open the door of her room to go outside for breakfast when he knocked on her door before her.

"Mein andar ajaoun?"

"Tumhe ijazat ki kab sey zarurat parr gai?"

She had looked with question in her eyes, but he had looked away.

"Rudaba, yeh..."

He has paused as he tried to hand her an envelope. He had felt a lump in his throat that he had stopped. But he had to continue.

"Yeh... divorce papers hain. Meine sign nahi kiye abhi, pehle tum kardo phir mein karke court mein submit karwa dunga."

Divorce. One word. It was so easy for him to say it. She went numb hearing what he had said. Her world was crumbling down bit by bit and she felt utter helplessness. What had she done to deserve this?

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Zain was trying to hand over the envelope and she had faintly held it. He was out of sight soon after, but this had enraged her. As tears fell from her eyes, she rushed out of her room and followed him. He was about to leave for work when she grabbed him by his shoulder and made him face her.

"Yeh kia bakwas hai?"

She had said raising the envelope.

"Rudaba please..."

"Kia? Kia! Tum log khud ko samjhtay kia ho? Mere faisley karne ka haq kisne diya hai tum logon ko? Kisney kaha hai ke mein yeh chahti hun? Himmat kaise hui tumhari yeh mujhe dene ki! Tumne toh waada kia tha mujhse ke tum mujhe akela nahi choro gey aur har cheez mein mera saath do gey. Bas itna hi tha tumhara saath?"

"Yehi chahti hu tum. Bas kehti nahi..."

She had stepped back and looked at him with wounded eyes.

"Yeh chahti hun mein? Kaise keh sakte ho tum yeh. Mein aisa nahi chahti damn it! Tumhe samjh kyun nahi ati."

"Ab hi toh samjh ayi hai Rudaba."

"Shahroze ko lagta tha woh marr jaega toh mein akeli reh jaoungi tu mujhe tumhare sath bandh gaya. Tumhe lagta hai mein tumhare sath khush nahi hun tu tum mujhe azaad karna chahte hu. Koi mujhse bhi puchega ke mein kia chahti hun?"

He had felt his patience going. He was now furious too, just as much as she was.

"Tum aj bhi usi sey muhabbat karti hu. Tumhe meri zaroorat nahi hai. Mein shaed tumhara dost hi hun, aur kuch bhi nahi."

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