‘What the fuck? How do you know that?’ Aarush was shocked beyond his wits.
‘Your GTalk chats spat out the truth, Aarush.’
‘What chats? Wow! Those are like five years old, and I remember deleting them all!’
‘Whoa! So you can delete the chats, thinking that I will never get to know about it? This is how you start a new relationship, Aarush? From a series of lies and deceits.’
‘What lies? I told you everything about Koel and my live-in relationship with her, before I even had a crush on you. I never lied to you.’
‘Then what about this pregnancy?’
‘It’s nothing. Believe me! It’s not even worth a discussion.’
‘Nothing? What if I was pregnant with someone’s child before I met you, and what if you got to know about it from some third-element?’
‘RADHIKA!’ Aarush screamed at the top of his voice.
‘Now what?’ Radhika shouted back.
‘I can’t believe you just said that.’
‘Whoa! You can do that, and I can’t even say it?’
‘Radhika, times were different back then. I was sure about marrying Koel and so having a baby wasn’t a big-deal. We were both doing good jobs in corporates and we were even positive about our relationship. And hell, I am a guy, I was not carrying a child inside my body! But how did you get those GTalk messages?’
‘2 weeks ago when you were in Pune Hospital, I went to office and I was strolling through your cabin, and your computer beeped with a mail from Koel. First I thought not to open it, but then I thought, why not? There were pictures of you and Koel, making out in the same bed where I sleep with you now. Tell me if that wouldn’t hurt me, then what else would?’ Radhika was sobbing.
‘In the second mail, there was a PDF attachment. I downloaded it and opened it. I was shocked. It was a positive pregnancy report of Koel, dating back to some 2010 or 11. Along with that PDF, she had sent some screenshots of the chat that happened between you both. Nothing could break me any more than the chat, which followed something like this:’
Radhika showed him the screenshots that she had saved in her mobile phone.
30th November, 2010
Aarush: Hey, why are you calling me? I’m in the middle of the meeting.
Koel: I have to tell you something important. Come home, ASAP.
Aarush: Can’t come early today. What’s the issue? Tell here.
Aarush: Okay then don’t talk to me. You know I hate delays!!! >_<
Koel: Come home baby, and we will talk about it 🙂
Aarush: Why did you start it when you weren’t going to complete it? 🙁
Koel: Darling please!!!! <3
Aarush: What is it? Tell me now! -_-
Koel: Guess what.
Aarush: What? :-/
Koel: . . . .
Aarush: What the hell? Tell me!
Koel: I am pregnant!! 😀
Aarush: Are you sure?
Koel: Just got my reports.
Aarush: What the fuck! This can’t be true…tell me it’s a dream!
Koel: No, it’s not.
Aarush: I’m in a meeting and I’m smiling like a fool. You don’t know how happy have you made me!
Koel: I love you!
Aarush: I Love you too, baby girl…let’s get married now.
Koel: YES! But on one condition…
Aarush: What condition?
Koel: Promise me you won’t fight with me.
Aarush: No man can ever fight with a woman who gives him his baby! You have no idea how much more I’ve fallen in love with you after this chat.
Radhika snatched back her phone after she realized that Aarush might have read the entire chat.
‘Radhika, I told you it’s nothing.’
‘Then what about the last line? No man can ever fight with a woman who gives him his baby! I now understand why you still have a soft corner for her. She was the woman who was to give birth to your child. Of course, that is important for any man.’
‘RADHIKA! Just listen to me…’
‘What is there to listen after such big lies? What if your parents come to know that you impregnated a girl five years ago? What if your father had done this before marrying your mother?’
Aarush picked up the glass vessel and dodged it at the wall. It broke into a thousand pieces with a thundering noise.
‘You are just shouting nonsense and crossing your limits! I told you to listen to me once, just once!’
‘Aarush, there’s nothing more to listen.’
‘There is. Of course there is. Sweetheart, Koel was pregnant with my child. True. She almost made me the happiest man of the planet for a few hours. True. But what after that? Hmm? She had a miscarriage and my child was killed. After that things turned sour between us and she left me and married someone else.’
‘So you want to say that if the miscarriage hadn’t happened, maybe you guys would’ve married each other?’
‘No. She still left me for a guy her parents chose for her.’
‘Tell me one thing, Aarush. Do you think that her miscarriage was your fault because of which she left you and married another guy? And now that she’s back, you are trying to mend your mistake by being overly sweet to her? And tell me one thing honestly, if I was ‘not’ there in your life right now, would you confront her and propose to her for marriage?’
Aarush sat back in the bean-bag once again, holding his head between his hands.
‘I guess it’s time to tell you everything. Or else I will always be the asshole boyfriend for you!’
‘Good then. Please begin…’
‘See, Radhika. My relationship with Koel, before you came into my life, was extremely troubled. We used to have a lot of fights and arguments. We never agreed on anything. She always demanded time and I had nothing to give because of my hectic job. The day she told me about her pregnancy, I came home early and we had a very nice dinner. Things were smooth for a few more days, and like that, a month passed by. In December, on the eve of New Year I remember, we had a bad fight. I wanted her to tell her parents about me so that we could marry as soon as possible. It was the second month of her pregnancy and I didn’t want an abortion at any cost. It was my baby after all. That day, we had a bad fight as she wanted an abortion, she wanted to build her career first and then think about a child. She wanted to get married, but not have this baby because it would set back her career and her job. I was not ready for this at any cost!’
‘What then?’ Radhika was tensed. She couldn’t imagine Aarush had to face such a tough moment in his life.
‘Then nothing. She was one hell of a short-tempered girl. I said I will leave her if she gets an abortion, and she ran out of the building in anger. Downstairs in the middle of the road, she had a minor accident with a rickshaw but in that accident, we lost the baby…’
‘Oh…’ Radhika felt bad for Koel.
‘And after the child was dead, Koel lost herself. She wouldn’t talk to me properly, she wouldn’t eat anything. And one day, she packed her bags and went to her parents, without telling me anything. The next thing I know is – she is getting married to someone of her parents’ choice and shifting to America. That was shocking to me, but I never went to Delhi to mend things, because somewhere deep down, I believe that it was all my fault…’
‘And it’s impossible that she met you after so many years and you both just talked about me and her ex-husband.’
‘Of course not Radhika. She told me that night that she was depressed after the miscarriage and she couldn’t differentiate between the right and the wrong. In haste, she took a wrong decision of marrying someone who was not meant for her. And now, when she was back, she wanted that relationship with me too, but I told her that I love you, Radhika. She sent all those photos and the parcel in a wrong notion, thinking of me to be still single and waiting for her. I can’t even think about anyone else now, Radhika. And the condition that she left me in, only I know how I passed that one year of depression myself, all alone! None of my friends had any idea about the dimensions of my relationship with Keol. People just think that she’s a bitch who left me hanging in the middle. Nobody knows that she also had my baby inside her that was killed. Nobody can imagine the pain that ‘she’ went through…’
‘And somewhere deep down in your heart, you still love her, do you?’ Radhika’s heart was becoming heavier with every word that she uttered.
‘No. I don’t. I’ve moved on from that phase. I love you, Radhika and I see you as my girlfriend, my partner and my wife now. I can’t even think about going back to Koel. I just don’t know how to make you understand this thing. You are right, if I were at your place, even I wouldn’t trust you in such a situation, but I thank you, for at least listening to me…’ Aarush got up and hugged her.
‘So tell me Mr Choudhury, when are we getting married?’ Radhika was satisfied after knowing truth. She knew Aarush wasn’t lying to her this time. She could understand his position better now. He was someone who lost a girlfriend, a baby and moved on from a bitter phase of his life with so much difficulty and guts. She couldn’t leave him now and drag him back to the same hell-hole. She looked at him with a smile of assurance and forgiveness. Aarush hugged her tighter.
‘I knew it Aarush, I knew it that a broken relationship has more secrets than anything in the world, and when I came into a relationship with you, I was prepared for the worst. I knew it that some things might surface later in life and I would have to deal with them, I can’t run away and leave you in the middle, because I love you, above all these things…and lastly, I am not Koel.’
‘I love you too, Radhika. I can’t thank you enough and I know I don’t deserve an apology, but you genuinely have a very big-heart. Thank you…’ Aarush placed his head on her shoulder and cried for a few minutes.
Radhika held his face in both her hands and kissed his forehead. Aarush kissed back on her lips. They didn’t make out that evening, but just lied in bed in each other’s arms…