Love was motionless and still for a minute. He couldn’t understand what he heard. His brain couldn’t just process it.
‘What? What did you say?’
‘Koel is pregnant with your child!’ Aarush said each word once again, clearly and louder this time.
‘WHAT?’ Love grabbed a chair to sit, he couldn’t breathe.
‘I knew something was going to happen. Read this!’ Aarush handed him over his own phone in which Radhika’s screen-shot was saved. The message read –
“Hey Radhika, I am glad you are back. I hope you had a great time! I just wanted your help. Love and I shared some intimate moments on the night of your wedding, and I took some pregnancy tests which are positive. I am sure it is his child, and I am even trying to contact him since a month, but he told me that he’s involved with some new girl Sameera. I am carrying his child, Radhika. Yesterday I got to know that you are back from your honeymoon, so I thought to inform you, in case you can put me in touch with Love? I need to talk to him!”
‘What?’ Love finished reading it, and he still couldn’t believe it.
‘Now I understood why you were missing on my wedding, you fucker!’ Aarush slapped him on his arm.
‘No man! I remember what happened on your wedding. I ate some sweets that had chillies in them, and after that I ran to the washroom as my mouth was burning. Once I came out, I met Sahil and we pushed few pegs down our throats, it was your wedding man, how could we not drink? And after that, I drank some more, when Sahil got busy with something boring…and then I woke up next morning…’
‘Where did you wake up exactly?’
‘At my own house. Sahil told me he carried me, I passed out because of excessive drinking!’
‘So, you just drank and woke up. Do you remember if anything happened that night? Anything involving Koel?’
‘No man! I am sure, a hundred percent sure…’
‘I know your level of surety, let me call Sahil to confirm.’
‘Hey, you don’t believe me?’ Love looked at Aarush with suspicion.
‘No!’ Aarush said with a straight-face.
‘Hey Sahil…’ Aarush called him from hospital.
‘Hey Aarush, I am sure my girl isn’t pregnant man!’ Sahil started without even being asked anything.
‘Hey, hold on, we know that, this call isn’t about that!’ Aarush relieved him, ‘I just want to ask if you know anything about Love and Koel from the night of my wedding.’
‘What happened, dude?’ Sahil knew something was fishy.
‘Nothing, I just want to know if Koel met Love on that particular night?’
‘Yeah man! They spent the whole night together, right at the same venue. You were getting married on the ground floor, while Love took her to a room in the same hotel at the fifth floor. Koel called me at around 2 am that night, to inform me that Love has passed out. After that I carried him home.’ Sahil told him the truth, without hiding anything else.
‘Thanks a lot, Sahil!’ Aarush hung up, and looked at Love with eyes full of anger and hate.
‘Sahil told me everything, you liar! You spent the night with my ex-girlfriend, and impregnated her?’
‘Hey, you are married to Radhika now, how many women do you want in your life?’ Love argued.
‘It’s not about that! The issue is, she’s pregnant now, and wants to contact you, but you are not picking up the phone.’
‘When did I not pick up the phone, man?’ Love started searching his call-list frantically but didn’t find any call from Koel.
‘When you told her that you’re dating Sameera, on a text message!’ Aarush told him.
‘That’s a month old news. She did call me once, but I said that I am dating Sameera. I didn’t even remember that I spent a night with her, how can I remember having impregnated her? And Sameera was the one who invited her to the party, I didn’t even talk to her there, although she was hinting me to talk, but I thought she’s a bitch…what should I do now?’ Love held his head in his hands.
‘That’s upon you to figure out, I am seriously walking out of this now!’ Aarush smacked his head as well.
‘Should I ask her to abort it?’
‘What else? Do you have any other option?’ Aarush tried to be logical.
‘I can’t marry her! I don’t love her. I don’t even like her. I just happen to have spent a night with her that led to all this, and ironically enough, I don’t even remember the night I spent with her!’ Love was distressed.
‘I am going to meet Koel and let’s see what happens. I will try my best to convince her to abort the baby, although I know she might disagree. But I will at least try.’
‘I am with you on this. If you want me to accompany you, I don’t mind.’
‘Of course! You have already handled her when she was pregnant with your child, now she’s pregnant with mine! You are experienced with pregnant women…’ Love laughed.
‘Dumbass!’ Aarush slapped his head.
‘Hey, we forgot!’
‘What now?’ Aarush stopped.
‘Sameera! She’s having her tests inside. We almost forgot her man…’
‘Oh yeah! Let’s wait for her…’ Aarush sat in the steel chairs that were fixated on the hospital floor.
‘Can’t they make them a little more uncomfortable?’
‘This is not your office cabin, Aarush!’ Love sipped some water.
After ten more minutes, Sameera was out of the cabin. She didn’t looked so happy.
‘Hey babe, what happened?’ Love embraced her as she came out.
‘Love…promise me you won’t be mad at me?’
‘WHAT?’ his heartbeat had already increased manifolds.
‘I am pregnant!’ Sameera said the words he didn’t want to hear. Not today at least!
‘Oh my god!’ Aarush started laughing, and he couldn’t control it, so he went aside. While Love was almost on the verge of crying.
‘What happened?’ Sameera asked him.
‘Nothing…’ his voice choked in his own grief.
‘But I am sure I did not take that pregnancy test at home. I knew my period was late, but I did not know that I am pregnant. But one thing I am sure about is that the stick-test was not mine…’ Sameera tried to assure Love that she was telling the truth, ‘Babe, it’s not mine, I swear!’
‘I know Sameera! That stick test is of Koel, she’s pregnant too!’
‘Really? With that new boyfriend of hers?’
‘No, with my child!’ Love said the words that Sameera couldn’t believe.
‘WHAT? You liar! You cheated on me? You scoundrel?’ she slapped his arm and pushed him aside.
‘Hey, at least let me complete! It was nothing, but a one night stand and that too, when I was totally out of my wits! On the night of Aarush and Radhika’s wedding. I don’t even remember it, Sahil told me about it. I just know that I drank a lot and reached home unconscious. Sahil brought me home and I have no memories of that night. Absolutely no!’ Love explained things just as much as he knew.
‘How can I trust you?’
‘Trust me on what?’
‘That you did not meet her after that or that everything was over after that one night?’
‘Baby, I accept that I cheated on you, but you can’t count it as cheating when I didn’t even know what I was doing? I was completely out, and I am sure I must have thought of her to be you and then done it…’
‘Disgusting! So you mean to say, I can think of any guy to be you, and have sex with him?’
‘No, no you are completely misunderstanding! I understand your situation, and I am sorry for it too, that is the reason I am telling you the truth and not hiding things from you. Had I hidden stuff about Koel, how would you know it? Tell me?’ Love made a point.
‘Someone would have told me!’
‘Who? Aarush? Forget about him! He’s my buddy. Sahil? Forget about him too, he would have talked to me before telling you anything. Koel? Forget her too, she knows about our relationship, and she has been trying to contact me since a long time, I thought she had her own mean motives, so I never responded back, and moreover, if she would have to tell you, she’d have told you till now. She wouldn’t wait for so long to contact me! Who else knows about it, who would have told you? No one, not a single person! Now tell me, if I hadn’t told you, how would you have found out? I am telling you the truth only because even I didn’t know it a few minutes back! I am as shocked, and clueless, and angry as you are babe, and believe me, I never had a thing towards Koel, and you know how much I hate her!’ Love pleaded Sameera.
‘Fine…’ Sameera was still shattered that she got cheated upon, although it was not conscious and deliberate one, but cheating is cheating!
‘Are you okay babe? What did the doctor say?’
‘Nothing, you mind your business now!’ she made a face and walked away.
‘Hey, we are a couple at least, right?’ Love shouted, but she didn’t respond.
‘The hell!’ Love rubbed his stubble and Aarush came near him.
‘What happened, man?’
‘Nothing, she just walked away! I mean, if you lie to them, that’s an issue, if you tell the truth, that’s a bigger issue, what to do man?’
‘Just be faithful! At least try to, so that your truth does not hurt them…’ Aarush gave him a practical advice.
‘I was always faithful to Sameera. I never even ogled at any girl outside my relationship with her. I agree I have cheated on many girls in past but not Sameera, I mean, this was the first ever relationship I thought I will pursue seriously.’
‘Now what? Will you ask Sameera too, to abort the child?’
‘No man, I can’t!’
‘WHAT?’ Aarush didn’t expect that coming from a guy like Love.
‘Yeah, I don’t want her to.’
‘Don’t tell me you love her!’
‘I think I do…’ Love wiped his eyes, this was the first girl, first ever for whom he shed tears.
‘Oh my God! Am I seeing tears in your eyes? Seriously brother?’ Aarush knew Love never cried, never for girls.
‘I just can’t see her like this. I cheated on her, and I didn’t even know that myself…’
‘Hey don’t blame yourself. You were unconscious and out of your mind, and we all know how Koel is. I don’t even believe that the child is yours, it can be of her boyfriend’s, and she might be putting it all on you…’
‘I don’t know any of that man, I just know one thing that I hurt the only woman I loved…’ Love drank some water, and calmed down.
‘It’s alright…it’s only after we hurt them, we realize how much we love them!’ Aarush patted his back and Love hugged him.
‘What are you thinking now?’
‘Nothing…I am thinking just one thing…’
‘I produce quality sperm! They impregnate women so easily!’
‘Fucker!’ Aarush slapped his head, and they both walked out of the hospital laughing…