New Beginning

She looked out of the window for one last time before closing it. Her hair that danced on the soft breeze suddenly fell silently on her shoulders. It felt somewhat similar to what had happened to her after Yash walked out of her life. She had become still, silent and dead apart from the fact that she was breathing and at the same time nourishing yet another life within her.

Grishma turned around to look at her house for the last time. The walls seemed to be screaming obscenities in her ears, cursing her for what she had done. As she walked from one room to the other, it was confirmed that the decision she had taken was right. But what was it that suggested otherwise? You will never understand, she whispered as she moved her hand over the walls. At that moment, something changed. Something that could not be seen or acknowledged by the anatomical eye but could be felt deeply, within.
It was as if the house had given her the permission to vacate it. In spite of all this, there was something inside her that was not letting go. A part of her body still refused to accept her decision. She assumed it was her heart.

She sat on the bed, the one, which had witnessed a lot of emotions during the many years it had given her company, from the day it was brought home for the first time till the day she had wept miserably over Yash’s death. Her bed, no … their bed, was witness to all the secrets whispered; the sounds of love making and the unbearable silence when Yash and she had quarreled and the final words Yash had said before he went away.
“I love you and I will be watching over you. Remember me as a happy memory and move ahead in life, make a new beginning.” his words echoed in her ears. New beginning, he had said. How could he think that she would be able to start her life anew? But, she had to respect his last words. Doing that was impossible staying in this house. Yes, it was impossible, she knew it. Really? Yes, really … she knew it because each and everything in this house reminded her of him. She had packed all his belongings in boxes and kept them in the attic. His clothes, his books, his photograph, gifts he had given her, his shoes, his cup, his plate, his shaving kit and even his cologne.
She had wanted to throw the little things, but she could not gather enough courage to do so. She had neatly sealed everything making up her mind that she would never open the boxes.

But every night, as she slept in bed, she could feel his breath on her neck. Whenever she turned around in surprise all she could see was “darkness”
Every morning, when she walked to the washroom, she could see him shaving. She stood there at the door, many times, a weird expression on her face as if she was concentrating and trying to hear what he was saying as he shaved.
She could still smell his aftershave as she walked inside to brush her teeth and she could still feel his hands over her body as she undressed to take a shower.
Every afternoon, as she had her lunch she still searched for his plate, forgetting that she had put it away herself. After that, she could not sit at the dining table and eat but she forced herself to eat. With each morsel of food that reached her mouth and glided into her stomach, she knew she was fulfilling her duty as a mother but what she failed to understand, was that whatever she was doing was not enough.
Every evening as she spent silent moments standing at the window, she felt his presence, felt his warm embrace that protected her from the cold.

Today, after torturing herself for several weeks after Yash’s death, Grishma had finally realized that she had more responsibility towards the life in her womb than merely providing the nutrition. She had to feel happy. How can that be? She heard a voice in her head. Did she have the right to feel happy when one part of her had died with Yash? She was torn between being a mother and being a wife.
People believed that coming out of labor, safely, was like a rebirth for a woman but in her case, she was reborn already. She believed, and anyone who knew her would believe that the only reason she was alive was because she was pregnant. All these years of their married life, Yash and she wanted to have a child. God had fulfilled their wish but the timing was wrong, she thought. Yash had not got enough time to be happy about the news. In fact, she too, had not got enough time to be really happy about the news, she realized.

Her friends had tried their best to make her understand and had tried to help her in their own way to bring her out from the past but they all had failed miserably. One of her friends had come up with this idea of vacating the house because according to her that would help Grishma to shed off the memories that clung to her heart, mind and soul. Was all that so easy? Grishma wondered but nevertheless, she had considered this option because she did want to be happy for her child.

Grishma wiped her tears and got up from the bed. She did not look back fearing that she might see Yash inviting her and then it would be difficult to leave. She walked out of the bedroom; came to the living room and picked up her luggage. Just a few clothes she had stuffed in hurriedly. Her decision to vacate the house had been spontaneous. No re-thinking, she promised herself. She had sold the house with the furniture intact. She did not even empty the attic, though she had left the instructions that whoever was meant to occupy the house should not, if possible, touch the things kept there. She had decided to leave the house but wanted Yash to stay there.
It still hurt, leaving all the memories behind, but she had to do it.
Yes, she knew that merely leaving the house was not enough because Yash resided in her mind, her heart and her soul and getting rid of his memories was not all that easy. This was just the beginning. Beginning of making a new beginning!

She locked the front door and handed over the keys to the man standing outside. He took the keys and walked away. Walking away was so easy for few people but she could not even convince herself to take one step away from the front door. She looked at the lock, she had unexplainable desire to break the lock and walk inside again. How could she do this? She had spent most her life here. Most? No. She had spent her entire life here, in this house... Growing up from a little girl to a teenager, to a beautiful woman, fulfilled her duties, taking care of Yash’s parents as if they were her own. She had become a friend to Yash, shared the same house with him as a friend, as a family. She had consoled him as he had cried over the death of his parents, she had confessed her feelings for Yash as one night they had stood at the window looking at the starlit sky and then with moon as the witness, she had lost her virginity. After a few months they had married. She had quarreled, she had cried, she laughed as Yash cracked jokes. She had gone through each and every emotion that mattered, even the feeling of completeness, after knowing that she had conceived and also the pain of losing Yash.

Something hurt deep within. For a moment she thought it was her heart that was bleeding with pain but no, it was something more than that. She felt a sharp pain in her womb. About to lose her balance, she held the railing and stood silently, her eyes closed and one hand on her womb.
Grishma’s friend, Anita, had offered to escort her but Grishma had refused saying that she would manage everything on her own. She did not want any third person between Yash and her as she spent the last moments with him in this house. Even now, when she was in pain, she did not wish to consider the option of calling her friend.

The pain vanished after some time. Grishma opened her eyes, vision blurred because of tears. She wiped her tears, picked up her luggage and started walking. She walked towards the elevator and pressed the call button. As she waited for the elevator to reach her floor she experienced this pain once again. She put down her luggage and held her swollen belly, slightly buckling her knees and bending forward to reduce the tension in the abdomen. Something was wrong. What could be wrong? She wondered.
Just yesterday she had visited her doctor and the doctor had assured her that the pregnancy was proceeding normally. She had some sort of restless feeling before today and so she wanted to make sure everything was right. The doctor told her that there was nothing wrong with the fetus, perhaps it had something to do with her mental state.
She never wanted her mental state to affect her pregnancy and that was the reason she had decided to come out of the past.

Grishma started perspiring heavily as she waited for the elevator. She wanted to shout for help but there was no one around. There was only one more flat on that floor, apart from her flat and the occupants were out of town. She decided to walk towards the staircase and shout for help. But she could not move. She could not tolerate the pain. She moved her hand over her womb whispering words to calm the life within her. For a moment, she thought as if it had heard her whispers because the pain reduced. The door of the elevator opened and she pushed her bag inside, with one hand still on her belly. She took a step towards the elevator but before she could enter, she collapsed on the floor. The door of the elevator started to close but could not because of the bulk of her body. The corridor echoed with the beeps of the elevator.

Part - 2

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