The office party did not turn out as per Dahaliya's plan. It was terrible. Roma, Sasha and the other girls were fawning over Gautam.
"Leave him alone. He is married for God's sake." Dahaliya found herself saying.
She tried to listen attentively to Naman's ramblings but they meant nothing, just like they never meant anything. She spent some time with Naman and laughed at his inane jokes, just to see if she could catch Gautam's attention. But Guatam seemed lost. Fifteen minutes later, she received a message on phone from Gautam which said " Have a headache. Leaving for home."
"So, in the end, it turns out so ugly." Dahaliya thought." I knew Gautam did not love me but I thought at least he were a gentleman. How dare he leave me like this. "
Dahaliya booked the next cab and headed straight for home.
The lights inside were off.
Dahaliya's head was spinning. "Hadn’t Gautam reached home? Where the hell, was he? "
Images of Sasha and Roma clinging to him blinded her. "No, it can’t be like that. Gautam isn’t like that. But how can I be sure?
Dahaliya opened the lock and turned on the lights to see Gautam lying flat on the sofa.
So, he was indeed home. Was he really having a headache?
Gautam looked up and said "Dahaliya. I didn’t expect you to be back so early. I thought you were having fun."
"Yeah. just too much fun." said Dahaliya sarcastically and added.
"Why did you leave without meeting me? We could have left together.
"You were sort of having fun. I did not want to disturb you."
They were silent for a moment.
The silence was broken by Gautam.
"Dahaliya, its unbearable for me. I think we ought to call it quits"
"Quit what? Your headache. I told you to have proper medication for your migraine."
"No .... I am taking about this...this farce. That our marriage is."
"Oh. . I didn’t know I am so unbearable." said Dahaliya irritated.
"So, you are." sighed Guatam
"I would have appreciated if you had discussed my annoying habits beforehand. But I guess there is nothing we can do right now."
"Nothing. I tried hard."
"Listen Dahaliya. I am in a very difficult situation. I thought I could make this work for our sake, for our parent’s sake but some things are not meant to be. I cannot do wrong to you for my own selfishness. You deserve better. I deserve better."
"I see." said Dahaliya
"Please don’t take it on yourself. I assume, you are not getting a word of what I am saying. Dahaliya, to be near something you want and not able to get it, is very heartbreaking."
"I don’t understand. What do you want?
"You waaaant me." said Dahaliyain disbelief, adding extra syllables to the word want.
"Yes Dahaliya. Ever since I have laid my eyes on you I wanted you. I know situation made us man and wife. But I have loved you since the day you came to talk to me at the pandal. I had never felt that way about anybody. I did not know then whether I should thank my stars or be sorrowful; of that situation. I know that you could anytime find a better match than me. But with you so near me it’s difficult for me, not to hug you when you smile at me, or not admire your wistful eyes, not to look at your lush lips. I know you expect me to be gentleman. But it’s hard for me to sleep in the night with your hair dripping wet, your supple body near me, and your fragrance filling me inside out. It kills me. It takes all my strength not to kiss you when you turn towards me in sleep.
I wanted to kill the guy you were laughing with today. I know it does not make any sense. But it’s also not right to continue living like this. I cannot act not to have any feelings for you to make you stay with me. Nor do you deserve such dishonesty."
"You want me." Dahaliya repeated.
"Yes. I can lie no more. I love you. I want you like a husband wants a wife."
"You find me attractive? "
"My hair are messy "
"They are most beautiful hair"
"My nose is pointed."
"Yes. Your most remarkable feature.
I am UGLY. Dahaliya wanted to shout but for some reason Gautam found her attractive.
"Where are you going?" Asked Dahaliya as Gautam stood up and picked up the sofa cushions.
"To the other room."