8. Calm in your lap

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Hlo darlings


The memories spent with our beloveds are equally painful as their separation. The separation of that one person who was his support system, who had taught him to fight whatever storm may come, with whom he shared all his sorrows and joys, had left him on this very day a few years ago.

The bitter scotch could make him dizzy, and subconscious, but it couldn’t erase the pain his grandfather’s memories brought with them. His death had made him insensitive to pain, and at the same time, the day he died, makes him feel vulnerable. Every year, on this day, the bar, the darkness of his room and the bottles of scotch witness his tears and hear his cries. He entered the mansion in the middle of the night, when everyone had slept and he stumbled his way up to his room, accompanied by a bottle of scotch in his wounded and bleeding hand, and the bottle was perhaps, fourth or fifth.

Janvi looked at him and sobbed, but couldn’t do anything because he didn’t want anyone to see his vulnerability, he had pushed them away when it happened for the first time and he had faught with them and told them not to try to help him. She followed him, without being noticed by him so that he wouldn’t get more hurt. He stumbled and banged into the already open door. Before Janvi could go to him and help, he was supported by Anika, who was perhaps, shocked to see him in that messed up state.

Anika didn’t know what had made the ever so sophisticated, proud and arrogant Shivaay Singh Oberoi, so out of his character and appearance. The fragrance of his expensive, intoxicating cologne was now lost in the smell of alcohol, his hazel eyes, usually spitting fire, were now red, teary and drowsy. She panicked seeing the blood oozing out of his palm.

She supported him to the bed and made him lay down properly, then cleaned his wound so gently, as if she was the one who was feeling pain. She cleaned and then bandaged the wound, she removed his blazer somehow and removed his shoes and socks, and then covered him with the duvet properly.

The scared and worried mother, left from their after seeing her son’s wound getting bandaged and him, sleeping peacefully. It was indeed, surprising to see him letting someone support him, but she shrugged her thoughts away, giving the justification that he was probably, not in his senses and didn’t realise anyone’s presence.

Anika stared at the calm face of Shivaay, that would usually, bark orders at his servants and then, caressed his forhead, that would always be adorned with a frown. She withdrew her hand back when he stirred in his sleep, and she got up to leave as she thaught he was awake.

“Don’t go, please. Stay with me, always.” He murmured, staring her with his drowsy eyes, his hand holding her wrist. He pulled her gently, so as to make her sit beside him, and then rested his head in her lap, still holding her hand.

Anika shifted uncomfortably, seeing him looking at her face while he laid with in her lap and a small smile playing on his lips, and painful, tired smile.

“Dadu left me, Anika, on this day, five years ago. He left me alone to fight with Tej Singh Oberoi, the business world, to fight for my family’s happiness and, to fight myself. I’m so tired. I want someone to help me, I want someone to calm my inner storms and tell me what’s right and what’s wrong. I want someone to hold my hand and take me away from this mess which is my life. I want to cry, Anika, but I don’t have a shoulder to lean on, I want to sleep peacefully, but I’ve no one whose hand on my head would make my raging nerves calm.” Shivaay said and cried and complained like a little kid.

“It’s life, Shivaay. Every step we take in this life, has something in store for us, good or bad, we have to cope with it to keep going in life. Life never stops for us, it doesn’t pity us, but it expects us to fight with it. If we do, and win, there’s no happiness that life can’t offer to us. We have to fight until we find that one person who would be there for us when we want, the one person who would not wipe our tears but let us cry our heart out so that we feel good, that one person who would not protect us but will help us fight with the problems.” Anika caressed Shivaay’s head and he felt, his one wish was already filled.

“You called me by my name, Anika.” He said, astonished and smiling while she chuckled, because he realised only this tiny thing among whatever she said.

“You know, at the moment, lying here in your lap, I’m feeling the way I used to feel when my Dadu used to caress my hair. He was the only one who was allowedd to touch my hair.” Said Shivaay, and Anika took her hand back rather abruptly, but he held her hand and put it back on his head, indicating her to keep ruffling his hair, “I’m going to forget what’s happening, anyway, so I can get a little pampering from you and sleep soundly.”

Anika smiled, and thought, it was weird on her part to think that he would forget all of these moments but she won’t. And with the same thoughts, unknown to her consciousness mind, kissed his forhead and smiled, but her smile couldn’t last long.

“I wish you were like this, Anika, innocent and caring. But I know, it’s a dream of mine like every other night, where I dream of us to be like this. When I’ll wake up, you’ll be the same home wrecker, my so called father’s mistress.” Shivaay broke the little bubble of calmness in her heart. Alcohol took the better of him and he slept while she cried herself to sleep, in that uncomfortable position.

She woke up, a little later, and found him fast asleep holding her scarf in his fist, like a baby. All of a sudden, her mind wandered, whether she could call her Chacha ji and tell him about her whereabouts for they may be worried for her, and also, to ask about her dadi’s health. She didn’t want to lose this opportunity and she placed Shivaay’s head on the pillow and tiptoed out of the room, into the corridor and then downstairs towards the landline.

She dialed her Chachi’s number but it was unreachable and then tried her Chacha ji’s number, which was switched off. She tried many times but to no avail. At last, she had no choice but to call Dr. Shalini, who was treating her Dadi. It was not an appropriate time to call anyone, but she had no choice.

Shalini’s words made her feet numb, and her tears flowed uncontrollably. She couldn’t believe that her Chacha Chachi could do something like this. They stopped giving her medicines and left her in a government hospital, but fortunately, Dr. Shalini found her and took her to the hospital she works in, because she didn’t know where Anika was. Anika was about to talk but.. a slap landed on her cheek and it’s sound resonated in the otherwise quiet atmosphere of the big mansion.

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