7. Craving for a mother

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Hlo darlings

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From the time she had vented out her anger at the Oberoi siblings, she was not able to forget it. Her past and memories full of sorrows, were haunting her day and night. That night she couldn’t sleep, and next few days were spent with undying restlessness and tears. No matter how much she hated her own mother, she couldn’t stop craving for a mother, the warmth of her embrace and a soft caress on her head.

The more Janvi taunted her and warned her to stay away from Shivaay, the more she felt to crave for a mother like her, who would do anything to ensure her happiness.

The sudden commotion outside the room disturbed her thoughts and she went outside, only to see Janvi scolding someone on a call, pacing up and down the corridor. She didn’t go ahead because surely, Janvi wouldn’t like her trying to interfere in her matter.

Her heart leaped a beat when Janvi stumbled and she was going to fall down the stairs. Her feet moved on their own, to save Janvi but thankfully, Priyanka saved Janvi on the last minute. Priyanka’s scream alarmed everyone present in the mansion and they rushed to Janvi’s aid.

Shivaay, embraced Janvi and she cried, murmuring something incoherently, and what Anika could see was Shivaay’s angry red eyes staring at her with utter disgust. He guided Janvi to her room, followed by everyone except Anika, who didn’t know why her heart was thumping so fast.

“I felt someone pushed me, I tried to balance myself but I couldn’t. And.. and she was there, I couldn’t even think that.. she would do this. I don’t know what would’ve happened if Priyanka was a little late.” Janvi cried hugging Shivaay, Priyanka looked at Janvi, shocked listening to her side of the story, which was a complete lie. She herself had seen Anika running towards her mother when she stumbled. That means, she stumbled deliberately, to put the entire blame on Anika. She tried to interrupt her mother but one glare from her and, she was silent.

“Shivaay, please throw her out of this house, I beg you. First, it was Priyanka, today it was me, tomorrow someone else might suffer because of that girl.” Janvi cried and smiled seeing Shivaay’s fisted hands, but his words snatched the smile away, “No. Now, she will have to live here and suffer more.”

Shivaay told everyone to leave Janvi alone and asked Priyanka to be there, whereas, he came out of Janvi’s room, and dragged Anika towards his room, as if she was a ragged carpet that he didn’t care for.

“How dare you ! What a double faced girl you are, who was giving me lectures on the importance of a mother and then, you tried to kill her. How dare you ?” Shivaay shouted at the top of his voice and he felt every vein in his body, throbbing furiously.

“I didn’t.. do it, she.. stumbled.. and I..” Anika tried to speak, but his tight hold on her throat chocked her and she felt it difficult to breathe. Her head spinned and her vision was getting blurry. He didn’t leave her throat until Rudra and Om pulled him and took him away from there. Anika stumbled and then, fainted because of tiredness.

After a few hours of lying motionless in the floor, she regained her consciousness and tended the wounds he gave her. She cried as she touched the red, imprinted fingers on her throat. She looked at Janvi’s reflection in the mirror and turned around, to see her smiling.

“You lied to him, why ?” Asked a crying Anika. “Because I wanted him to throw you out of this house and his life. I don’t want the shadow of your negativity upon my son. What if he didn’t do it today, but he will surely throw you out, and I promise, very soon.” Said Janvi. She stepped towards the door when she heard Anika’s voice, “He is very lucky to have you as his mother.” Janvi didn’t have an answer to Anika’s words and that small, teary smile of hers and she left from there.

Tej entered the mansion in the darkness of the night, when no one was at home. He knew, that Om was in his gallery, Rudra at a party, Priyanka at her friend's house and Shivaay, in his office. The servants were already in servants' quarters behind the mansion, so there was no one to stop him from getting what he wanted.

He ascended the steps of the stairs, with a victory smirk on his evil face but Janvi’s voice stopped him in his tracks, and anger rushed through his veins. This woman, who happened to be his so called children’s so called mother, was the biggest hurdle in his plans and the reason he could not get his Dreamstress, what he liked to call Anika, his dream and supposed mistress.

Tej slapped Janvi, when she asked him where he was going and why. “You are a real witch, you know, Janvi, you are the sole reason, your son keeps interfering in my life. But it’s enough, now. I’ll clear this hurdle from my life, for ever, na rahega baans, na bajegi bansuri.” Tej fisted her hair and dragged her all the way to his room. The loud screams of Janvi, echoed the mansion and, although, last time she had landed in a serious trouble, Anika couldn’t stop herself from following the way where the screams were coming from.

Her eyes widened in terror as she saw Tej beating Janvi with his belt, mercilessly, and Janvi pleading infront of him for mercy and crying. She didn’t know what to do, her mind went blank for a moment but she had to do something to stop this animal from pealing out every Pound of flesh from Janvi’s body.

Tej poured a bottle of whisky on Janvi and he was going to throw the lighter at her when a huge blow on his head made him unconscious and the lighter fell on Janvi’s Sari.

Anika threw remaining half of the bottle that she had broke onto Tej’s head, and ran to Janvi’s aid, who was shivering with fear. She tapped the pallu of the sari with her bare hands as she had nothing else to extinguish the fire. She supported Janvi’s weak body and took her out of Tej’s room, and then stepped towards Janvi’s room.

She offered Janvi, a glass of water because she was still not out of the dreadful incident happened a few minutes ago. Seeing Janvi’s trembling hands, she gripped Janvi’s hand on the glass, supported it and made her drink the water.

She searched the drawers of the dressing table to find the ointment, ignoring the intimidating stare of Janvi. Surely those stares meant “Leave from here”, she thought, but ignored it and cleaned her wounds, put ointment on them and bandaged them carefully.

All this while, when Anika was blowing air on her wounds and bandaging them, mindless of her own burnt hands, Janvi felt guilty over her actions. She was confused about Anika, would be an understatement. She wanted to say something but nothing came our of her throat.

“Why did you save me ? You had the opportunity to avenge what I did to you ?” Asked Janvi, hastily, when Anika was about to exit the room. Anika turned, smiled, and replied, “Because you have your children who love you a lot, I don’t want them, or anyone to crave for a mother’s love, like me...”

“What ?” Janvi asked, surprised and then, puzzled by Anika’s words, to which, Anika nodded negatively and left from there, wishing her a good night and telling her to take care.

Janvi, didn’t know why her husband’s ‘mistress’ fought with him to save her, why she didn’t try to prove infront of Shivaay that she hadn’t pushed her from the stairs, but she knew one thing that, in all of this, her hatred was defeated. She still didn’t want that girl to stay in this house or her son’s life, but she won’t try to do what she has been doing since so many days, to oust her from this house and then, sleep overtook her thoughts as well as her eyes.
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