15. Strangers

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Hlo darlings


Thinking about your past leaves you with nothing but regret, sorrows and pain. But what he would even do except for remembering his past, because, in a day or two, she will leave him. He won't be able to see her, listen to her voice. Living without her seemed to be impossible, he will have to be dependent upon her memories to live.

Though those memories will remind him of the his sins, but amidst all of those bitter memories, the memories of the moments when he used to find her staring at him secretly whenever he would be with his family, the moments when she was trying to hide from him so as not to spoil his day, the moments when she made him smile, will remind him that there was someone for whom he had something in his heart. Something that he always denied to accept and lost her.

Shivaay's silence means more than his words, Om always knew. But this time, he couldn't infer what this silence meant. He just wanted to know what Shivaay was going to do to stop Anika from leaving, not knowing that his brother had already let her go.

A simple "I know" uttered by Shivaay, when he had told him about Anika and Gauri's conversation, was simply confusing. He couldn't understand why Shivaay wasn't doing anything to stop Anika.

"You've done wrong to her, infact, we've done wrong to her in some or the other way. Priyanka's taunts, Mom's deeds to make you throw her out of the house, My and Rudra's silent accusations, our gaze filled with disgust, all of this have ruined her life. And you, you nearly killed her. There's only one way for you to atleast try to make everything alright, and that is to give her the place and respect she deserves." Said Om, trying to make Shivaay understand what he meant.

Shivaay understood, he did even before Om had said something, but does he deserve a chance ? Does he deserve a chance to even try to beg for forgiveness, when he didn't give her a chance to speak ? Does his family deserve a chance ? His sister who taunted her, his mother who blamed her of attempt to murder, his brothers, and more than them, he himself is to be blamed for her miseries. And he knows that they don't deserve to be forgiven, but punished.

"Shivaay answer me. No matter why you did it, but the truth is, she's your wife and you.." Om's loud voice echoed through the lawn infront of the hospital, drawing the attention of several people, but his words died in his mouth as soon as Shivaay's words hit his eardrums.

"Which wife ? The one who I married forcefully ? Whose hairline I filled with the intention to make her eyes shed blood instead of tears ? The wife who I wanted to destroy ? The one I took an oath to ruin, with each round taken around the fire ? The one who I declared as my mistress ?" Shivaay's words were successful in shutting Om up, but someone else was there who was not going to shut up after hearing this piece of information.

The slap he recieved from his Dadi didn't hurt him as much as her accusing gaze and his name from her mouth did. He was always his Dadi's 'Kanji aankhon wala Billu'. When did he become Shivaay for her ?

"Don't your dare open your mouth, I don't want to hear anything. I don't want to see your face." Kalyani shut him up even before he could justify himself. Now he realised how much it hurts when you try to explain yourself but no one listens to you. He is at fault, then also it's hurting him, what Anika might have felt when he always asked her to shut up and bear whatever he was doing to her.

"You were my pride, why did you have to do this and make me feel ashamed of you ? How could you take such a nasty decision and behave like an animal ? Even if we assume she was wrong, then ? It is Tej who is responsible for your mother's and your miseries. You can't blame anyone else." Kalyani poured her heart out and left from there without giving him a single glance. She wanted to meet Anika, but after knowing what Shivaay had done with her, she wouldn't be able to face her.

"Karma !" Shivaay chuckled sadly and shrugged Om's hand away. He looked at Janvi, Priyanka and Rudra who saw Kalyani leaving the hospital premises. He didn't want to see Janvi's face. Just because of her he had nearly killed Anika. He didn't want to look at Priyanka, had she not taken a cowardly step of committing suicide, may be he could've controlled his wild actions. But he also knew, that all of these blames were hollow. He was the sole reason of this mess.

"Shivaay.." Janvi tried to speak but he raised his hand, simply telling her to stop. He left from there, leaving a crying Janvi behind. Had she tried to find out the truth, she could've stopped the damage that has been done to Anika's life, her own family, and most importantly, to Shivaay.

"Mom, Where you going ? Won't you even.. won't you even meet Anika ?" Asked Rudra from Janvi who was going to leave the hospital along with Priyanka. "Do we deserve it ?" Janvi's simple question left Rudra and Om tongue tied and they watched them leave the hospital.

"Anika, I talked to the doctor. He said he'll come to check you up and if he finds you fit, than he may give us the permission to go home in the evening." Gauri told Anika as soon as she entered the ward and Anika looked at Gauri and smiled. "You're too excited to disturb my sleep at nights and trouble me, aren't you ?" Anika chuckled and Gauri nodded her head, smiling widely.

The doctor came, followed by Shivaay, Om and Rudra, much to Gauri's annoyance. Anika knew that they were here, but she averted her gaze as soon as it met Shivaay's eyes. His mere presence was suffocating her. He stared at her without blinking his eyelashes, trying to see her as much as he could so that he would be able to survive with the image of her face in his mind.

The doctor declared her fit to be discharged and left from there. Gauri, who was silent till now just because of the doctor's presence, pounced upon Shivaay like a hungry lioness and tried to throw him out of the ward. But Anika's voice held her back.

"Gauri, don't behave like that." Anika said with her eyes closed and her head resting on the pillow.

"No, Anika. After what he has done, I can't tolerate his presence around you. I don't want him to even cast his gaze at you." Gauri answered Anika without turning her face towards her and still trying to push Shivaay out, who was trying to stay there because he wanted to listen why Anika stopped Gauri.

"I don't know what he has done, nor I want to know, we don't try to remember a stranger's actions, because strangers are meant to be forgotten." Anika's words sucked out every ounce of energy he had in him, and Gauri's hard push made him fall on the floor like a lifeless toy.

He sat there, looking at the door without paying any attention to his brothers, the people who passed by and looked at him with different emotions. Some of them felt pity on him, while some others felt he was mad and a few felt he was a stubborn man who was just creating a scene. No one knew that he was sucking the air around him because it had her fragrance.

Gauri called a cab in the evening to take Anika home, who was still unconscious due to the heavy dosage of medicines. Shivaay requested her to let him drop them to her house and then he will not show his face to her or Anika, but Gauri didn't want him anywhere near Anika, not even when Anika wasn't seeing or hearing.

Gauri's decision couldn't stop him from following them and making sure that Anika reached home safely. She might have said that he was mere a stranger for her, but for him, she had become much more. What ? He didn't know.

Surviving without her seemed impossible. The mere thought of spending his day without seeing her seemed dreadful. The conversation that was not about her seemed nonsense. The place where she was not present seemed solitary, like a vast desert with no one in sight for miles. But why was it happening, he didn't know. All he knew was, he didn't want to stay a minute without seeing her. He was ready to pay his life as a price to see her infront of him, safe, healthy and happy.

So, how was it ? Do tell me and don't forget to vote.

Love you all a lot 💕💕💕

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