The Homecoming15 mins 518 15 mins 518
The lovebirds woke up to a beautiful windy morning. Maya got out of the bed and pulled the curtains open. Just as she was absorbing the scenery outside, Nishant caught her from behind and smelled her.
"Stop behaving like a puppy!"
"Oh baby! I'm your puppy. All I need is a collar"
And both of them laughed
"Neesh! I wish this day wouldn't end!"
"Maya! I wish all days begin and end like this!"
After what they had been through all these years, they couldn't have enough of each other. Maya was amazed at the things they talked about, most of it made no sense but they were giggling and laughing together. They spent the entire Sunday lazing around. A day full of naughty cuddles and lovemaking.
Monday morning Neesh woke up and got ready to leave. He kissed Maya goodbye who was still feeling sleepy.
"Neesh, Next weekend I'll go to visit my parents and kids. They need to know of my decision!"
"That's fine! I'll while away with my other girlfriends! They've been missing me a long time!" He winked
"Dare you to do that or you'll be yourself responsible for their murders" She winked back
"Oh! that sounds like a warning?"
"It sure does!"
"You got me scared! I'll behave I promise!"
"Bye love!" He kissed her on her forehead
The next weekend she first met her parents, who had no issues because all that they wanted was for her to be happy. Her mother though did ask her if she had left her husband for Nishant to which she replied firmly with a no and didn't bother giving any explanations.
The most difficult task lay ahead still. Talking to her kids. She had the permission taken from the warden to see them. This would be the first time she would see them after she had split from her husband. Though she did facetime with them once in a while but they were always in a hurry and never asked her much about what she was upto. They never asked her what went wrong between her and their father. That made her a little skeptical but she was in too much pain to bring up the topic ever.
On her way she thought of what they would feel and may ask her. She had no clue. She wondered for a second if she knew her kids or not? She felt guilty of not staying in touch with them. She felt she had almost lost the track with them. But then they are her kids, they'll forgive her.
In the meeting room, she was waiting for them while they were being informed that she had arrived. The room was tastefully done with abstract art. She felt good about her choice of school for them. They must be taken care of well and would go onto grow up into fine gentlemen who had their mannerism right and their desires sky high. "Amen!" She thought to herself.
Both of them arrived. There was no excitement to be seen on their faces. They came and took a chair each in front of her. She stood up and hugged them but they didn't get up from their chairs. She almost had a heart attack at their visibly cold response.
She came back and sat in her chair
"How are you both doing?"
"I'm good! I'm good!" They both said in chorus
"I'm sorry I didn't come earlier, it was a little too hectic setting up that office!"
"Yeh! Dad keeps telling us about your new office and a new house!"
He's been visiting them? Why didn't that occur to me before! Of course, he must have been. How dumb of me. I was so ignorant. He must have polluted their minds against me.
"Oh really, what all has he told you?" she tried to connect with them.
"He said you were too occupied with your new office and would visit us soon. He says that to us every weekend. Mom, we have been waiting to see you since so long! Why do you have to be so busy all the time! Had you not been so ambitious we might have been at home and not in this wretched hostel!"
Her world came crumbling down! She had been so mean! Her husband was trying to cover up for her all these months. Her kids were in boarding because she wanted them to have a good education and not because she felt that they were a liability on her professional life. She had been misunderstood so awfully. But it was all her fault, she should have been more open with them. She should have consulted them if they themselves were interested before deciding. She was foolish to treat her own kids the way she treated her subordinates at work, give commands. She felt miserable.
She mustered some strength "I'm so sorry! I wanted you to have a good education, the best I could afford. That was the only purpose of sending you to boarding.
Ruhansh was the first to speak "You are a liar mom! You wanted to get rid of us so that you could expand your business! I'll never forgive you. All my friends live with their parents but not me, not us! Its all because of your self centered and selfish attitude! I hate you" and they walked off
She was left standing numb. She completely forgot the purpose of her visit. Instead, she had on hands a problem she hadn't even considered. What had turned her into this selfish woman who completely ignored the good in her husband and the wishes of her children? How did she become so obsessed with her work that she didn't see beyond what she wanted to? Or was it her work actually or Nishant who had subconsciously moved her away from her family? No, it wasn't him, she tried to convince herself. Why had she suddenly grown this pain inside her after the rendezvous with him the night after they met at the airport? She was living a contented life before that. She had no answers to all those questions. She needed to reach back home, her safe zone. She felt like breaking apart. It was quite late at night by the time she could lie down on her bed and cry her heart out! She felt so disgusted at herself.
Her phone rang, when she looked at it, it was her husband calling. He had never called her up all these months. She connected
"Why did you go to see the kids without my permission?"
"What do you mean? I don't need your permission to see them!"
"Sure you do! The day you walked out of our house was the day you decided to leave them. You better keep off them. They are already having a difficult time adjusting to your absence, don't provoke their longing for you or you'll see my side you've never seen!"
"Are you trying to scare me off!"
"Yes, I'm! Mind it!" and he disconnected
She had never heard him speak so aggressively! Never. This new avatar of him scared her. It actually did.
She was clueless about what she ought to do to remorse for her deeds. But she was sure of one thing, she couldn't marry Nishant! He wasn't designed to be part of her destiny. She couldn't live happily knowing her kids cursed her!
She woke up the next morning clueless about where her life was headed! Suddenly everything had lost its meaning! She felt hopeless as she could see no way forward! Whom should she go to for help? She didn't have any friends except Nishant. No, she couldn't go to him. She didn't have the courage of breaking his heart one more time! Her mother? She wouldn't be of any help except passing a few sermons her way! Her husband? He had already threatened her. But he was the one she could take a chance with. Besides their split which was bitter, he was a well-sorted man! May be she should give it a try. of course, he must be furious but he may just understand her. The chance looked bleak but she didn't have any option. She called him up.
He didn't take the call.
She called again. He connected this time.
"I'm so sorry! Please listen to me!"
No response from the other side, but she could hear his heavy breathing. So she went on.
"I never wanted to move out, it was you who didn't give me an option."
"I didn't give you an option? Hang on! You took the decision to send the kids to boarding, you took the decision to move your office to another town. Not on one occasion, you thought of even consulting me and then you say I didn't give you an option? Maya, you need to come out of your cocoon! You can't see anyone around except yourself. You think you are the smartest around and everyone else is fooling around. I had been so patient with everything you did. I never complained about anything all these years. And then you expect me to put up with crap?"
"You call it crap? It's my career, my profession, my organization!"
"If it was your profession I would have always stood by your side!"
"What do you mean?"
"You know what I mean!"
"No, I don't!"
"It's Nishant you have been chasing and not your profession!"
She felt a stab in her chest. How could he have known about Nishant?
He went on
"I saw his calls on your phone while I was away touring and you were in bed with your injury!"
"You should have asked me for an explanation?"
"Explanation? You don't talk to someone for hours at a stretch for no reason! I needed no explanations! Everything made sense, your changed behaviour, your over the board insistence on sending the kids to boarding and your insistence on driving the car yourself without the driver!"
"I don't believe that! I wish you had given me a chance!"
"I didn't give you a chance? I didn't say anything and behaved as if I knew nothing hoping against hope that you would realise soon what you meant to me and kids! I asked you to choose between staying back or moving out for just this reason. You wouldn't know how much was I praying for you to stay back! But you had already made up your mind. You were bored with me. You needed him. You abandoned me for him!"
"No that's not fair! I swear I moved out for my office. I had not thought of moving in with him. I had no intentions. I still live alone!"
"Stop lying, Maya! I'm no fool. He visits you every weekend ever since you moved to your apartment!"
She had no words! No explanations! Nothing to counter what he had just said!
"You are right! you are absolutely right! Maybe I couldn't see it the way you have explained to me!"
"I don't care what you think you wicked woman! Just one thing that I want you to have in your mind, is to stay off my kids. I want them to remember their mom as a loving and caring woman. I already have enough to handle. This year they will complete in the boarding but the next year they will be back home! YOU STAY AWAY FROM THEM! Do you understand that? Do not push me into doing something I shouldn't!"
She lay motionless there. He checked on her phone? She had never done that. She had never questioned him about who he talked to or where he went to on his work tours. It was always supposed to be mutual respect. Maybe he was always doing it but she never realised. Women are so naive. Men show that they trust but they don't. They always keep an eye on their women. When you love your man, you call it care. When you don't, you label it spying! He is still spying on her or otherwise how would he know Nishant comes to me every weekend! He didn't for even once asked her to stay back, he just demanded and that too just once! He knew Nishant comes to me but not even once confronted me! Had he loved me wouldn't he have come to take me back?
She didn't know her grounds! In one week's time, she had been through it all. It was a roller coaster ride from the high she was in the last weekend with Neesh when it felt like a fairytale to the reality check this weekend when she's been brought to term with her selfish and ulterior motives by her kids and her husband. She still couldn't accept the accusations. She still felt it wasn't entirely her fault. The circumstances had led her to where she was. If her husband had loved her, she wouldn't have moved back to Neesh. Now that she had actually taken the step, it was his ego that was hurting him. He didn't care to ask her to stay back even once, that can't be love!
While she was struggling with analysing and over analysing the circumstances, her phone rang. The ring brought her back into reality.
It was Nishant
"Hi! Where are you?"
"I'm home! Hi"
What have you been upto? I've been texting you all day and you've not checked a single message. You were last seen yesterday morning. That got me a bit worried! Are you Ok"
"I'm not sure Neesh" and she broke down
He waited for her wails to come down a bit
"What is it, Maya? What happened? Please tell me, maybe we can try and work out the things!"
"You wouldn't understand!"
"It's ok if that's what you feel"
"No, I didn't mean to hurt you but the situation isn't very good and I got no clue about what to do!"
"Hmmmm! If you do not feel like sharing that's perfectly fine! All I can say is give yourself some time, I'm sure you can come up with something. In the meantime, if you feel like just let me know and I'll join you in 2hrs!"
In the last 48 hours, those were the most reassuring words she had heard.
The entire week went by, luckily she was busy in the office, which didn't give her much time to think! The nights were long where she kept contemplating what lies ahead but she got no clue. Friday night she called up Nishant. He picked up the phone at the first ring.
"Hey, sweetie! How have you been!"
"You didn't call me the entire week!"
"I'm so sorry, I thought you needed some space and I wasn't sure of what to say since I didn't know what you are going through! I'm so sorry once again"
"Neesh can you come here over the weekend?"
"Sure I can, I'll be with you at 8 sharp tomorrow evening. And yes I'm ok with having curd rice" He tried to make things lighter.
"I'll wait for you!"
He was at her door at 8!
She opened the door and led him to the dining. He didn't say anything except a hello. After they had been seated for a while, she finally spoke
"My kids think I sent them to boarding because I didn't want to look after them. My husband thinks I left him because of you and not my office. He's been spying on me all this while and was always doing that but I never doubted him. He knew you called me up after I was in that accident. He knows you visit me every weekend. He had threatened me of dire consequences if I try to meet my kids! What am I supposed to do?"
"Are you sure what you did was right under the circumstances?"
"I don't know! I've lost all the confidence I had in myself! I feel like a selfish and self-indulgent woman who left her kids and her husband to pursuit another man! Yes, that's what he called me, wicked woman! That's who I'm!"
He held her and hugged her
"Did I ask you to leave him and come to me?"
"Did you send your kids to boarding for their better education and not your own personal gains?"
"Why did you move to this town, was it for me?"
"No! I had no clue where you lived, I had not even approached you, it was you who came looking for me, to see what I was up to!"
"So where's your fault!"
"I don't know! I really really don't know!"
He brought her face up to have an eye contact
"Maya! Sometimes in life, in spite of trying our best, we are perceived wrongly and no matter how hard you try you can't explain to others why you reacted in a certain manner! Give yourself time, give them some time! Let time decide where you are going!"
"I feel so helpless and awful!"
"It's ok to feel awful! But it's not ok to feel helpless. I'm with you no matter what! I'm with you whether you choose to stay here or with me! I'll watch over you if you choose to join back your family! So you are not alone! As long as I live, I won't let any harm come to you! Trust me with that! Do you?"
"Yes, I do!"
Nishant was with her the entire weekend. She didn't talk much. He didn't ask anything! And he left on Monday
She kept wondering how different these two men were! Her husband wasn't a bad man. He was more practical and pragmatic but Neesh was so much more caring!
Relationships thrive on care, love, and affection. And it requires an ongoing effort to nurture a relationship over time. Each relationship has its own ups and downs. The ones that stay are the ones where both the involved people are equally interested in staying together. You don't give up on people you love! Circumstances turn difficult, circumstances may keep two people together even if they don't want to. But two people staying together without wanting to; know hearts of hearts how disinterested the other person is. That's what marriage does to two people who were so madly in love with other once. It gives them duties and it gives them rights. It gives them expectations and it gives them goals. But it robs them of the mutual care and affection that was the very basis of their love! The love dies it's natural death before they realise. They stop putting in any effort for each other. They keep reminding each other off their responsibilities towards each other's family and themselves. They keep reminding each other of their failures and they seek opportunities to hurt and poke each other. They get so obsessed with the idea of what their spouse should do and what's right, that they forget to appreciate anything they do! They forget to tell each other those little lies to boost up "You look so beautiful"
"You did an amazing job!"
"You need a break! you look so tired!"
"Take it easy, I'm with you!"
"Wow! you cracked an amazing deal!"
"Thank you for always taking care of mundane things like groceries! If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be able to work!"
"I'll take your mom to the doctor if you are busy?"
Empathy dies down! The concern dies down! The love dies down..........
She decided she would never marry Nishant. That's one person who must live with her till they both want to. Let him go away and let him come back. Let him fight with me and let him make up. No strings attached..............