Sequel to Crossroad
He loved her very much and it hurt him to see her sad. He wanted to do everything possible to make her happy. Vikrant had seen her walk out of the room, he had seen her restless for past many nights, he knew she was feeling let down. He tried telling her to have faith in him but she did not.
Vikrant got up from the bed and walked to the window. The window of their bedroom faced the street and as he looked out of the window, Vikrant saw her walking out of the gate for the second time. When she had walked out a couple of hours ago, he knew she had gone for a walk, just the way she preferred when she wanted to be alone and think. He very well knew what was bothering her, or so he thought.
Vikrant, a male in his late thirties, married for five years and three days, never believed he would reach a crossroad in his life, standing where and weighing his options was not as easy as his close friends suggested. Vikrant was surrounded by dozens of people every day, professional acquaintances, co-workers, assistants and a few colleagues who had crossed over from the professional side to the personal. He never liked to discuss his personal life with anyone, though. The so-called friends had access to limited information. If Vikrant’s mind was like a house, these friends had access only to the living room, while his close friends could access his personal study. Only one person had access to the den where his most troubled thoughts were thrown in for serious consideration. This particular issue was partly scattered over the personal study and partly hidden in the den. Though his close friends could see, understand, contemplate and give advice over the personal study part of the problem no living person could ever know what was hidden in the den.
Sangita was his wife; however, even she did not have access to the den. He kept that part to himself. He could never let anyone inside after ‘her’ death. Vikrant closed his eyes and a tear escaped from in between the closing eyelids. He let it finish its journey down towards his cheek, as a tribute to her memories. He was alone in the room and he did not mind letting out his vulnerable side momentarily. He had been doing this for past few months, switching his emotions off when amidst people and switching them on when alone. It seemed as if two individuals resided in his single body. The mask he wore when surrounded by people had started becoming his identity. Unfortunately, even his wife was falling for the façade he was putting up. He had expected more from her. But, he did not blame her, considering her state of mind. So many times, he had been tempted to tell her about what was troubling him but he could not gather enough courage to tell her that he loved someone else other than her. Vikrant opened his eyes and through his blurred vision he had seen Sangita entering. He had got into bed immediately and pretended to be asleep as Sangita entered the room. He opened his eyes and saw her walking towards the desk. He had almost decided to get up but when he saw that she was crying he continued watching her silently. The chaos of his own thoughts and the anguish of his wife assaulted his mind every waking moment and as a result of the frustration he often ended up doing things he regretted later. He was never the kind of husband to hit his wife but recently he had raised his hand over Sangita, in fact beat the shit out of her because she had asked him to get the fertility tests done. He wanted to tell her that he did not need the tests; he knew he was man enough to give her a child but unfortunately he could never be man enough to tell her what made him so sure of it. The night he had beat Sangita had been the worst night of his life! He knew that the sex he had with her that night had hurt Sangita but she did not know that it had hurt him too. Hurt him beyond repair. His attempt to find release from agonizing thoughts had pushed him further down into the throat of darkness. The next morning when he had looked at himself in the mirror he had failed to recognize the man he had become and without turning to look at Sangita he had walked out of the house, making up his mind that he would find a solution to the problem. He had to do it for being at peace with himself but more than that he had to do it for Sangita because despite everything, he loved her, loved her a lot. When he returned home in the evening he gifted her diamond necklace he had bought for her as an apology.
He loved her every moment of his life, he loved her when they made love and he loved her even when they had calculated sex to get her pregnant. He loved her enough to look at her for hours after she slept, he loved her so much that he could not bear to see the look of accusation in her eyes and hence for the past couple of months he rolled over to his side of the bed after finding his release and pretended to fall asleep only to turn around later and watch her as the worried expression of her face smoothed out as she fell asleep. When Sangita could not get pregnant after calculated sex for months, a thought had crossed his mind that perhaps Sangita had problem in conceiving but he had immediately brushed aside the thought and had made up his mind to give her yet another chance. He did not know about the pressure on her from his own parents. He confronted them when Sangita told him that his parents had suggested visiting a doctor. He had warned them not to pressurize Sangita and told them that if Sangita could never conceive he would accept it without any complaints. He was shocked and relieved at the same time when Sangita told him that she had been to the doctor and got the test done and the doctor believed she was in perfect condition to conceive.
Vikrant’s chain of thoughts had been interrupted when Sangita had got up from the chair and walked out of the house. Vikrant had got up from the bed and walked towards the window to watch her walk out of the gate.
Now, standing alone in the room, his attention turned towards the note Sangita had left for him. He picked up the note and started reading. Series of emotions raced through him as he read what she had written. Surprise, confusion, rage, grief, shock and finally betrayal assaulted his mind as he finished reading the note. He could not believe Sangita had once borne a child who was still alive and living with her relatives. Or was it jealousy? He thought. Was he really jealous of Sangita because her son was alive, and his son was dead?
Vikrant fell on his knees and started sobbing. For moments, he did not know the reason he cried. It was only after tears cleared his mind, that he realized the emotion which had brought out the tears was neither grief not betrayal, but it was shame. He was ashamed of himself, he was ashamed of being so weak, and he was ashamed of not being able to tell the truth to Sangita while she had enough strength to come out with the truth. Vikrant wiped his tears and got up. Walking out of the house he turned in the direction in which he had seen Sangita walk some time ago. After walking for a few minutes, he saw her sitting under a tree, her head resting on her knees. He took a deep breath and continued walking.
It was time to tell her about his first love and his dead child. It was time to relive the pain and even though he hated doing it, he was ready to go through it for Sangita’s sake. He had to tell her about the woman he loved and the time they spent together happily. It was the happiest moment of his life when she had told him the news of her pregnancy; however things turned ugly when one accident had killed the woman he loved the most and his unborn child, thus ruining his life and leaving him alone, miserable, heart-broken and bitter. He had almost ended his life that day, when fate brought him face to face with Sangita. She had changed his life for the better but he could never tell her about his past. He wanted her to know that he had finally stepped out of his past and was ready to walk into the future with her and her son, their son.