The next morning, Aarush woke up in the couch alone, and the first thing he did in the morning was shout out for Radhika.
‘Coming!’ she came rushing into the living room.
‘Where were you? I was so worried!’
‘I was in the bathroom, Aarush. Can’t I even go to the bathroom without your permission?’ she teased him.
‘No…’ he grabbed her arm and hugged her.
‘Morning hugs are the best you know…’ Aarush bit her cheek.
‘Ouch! Why do you always do that?’
‘Because I love doing that!’ Aarush bit her cheek again.
‘Ouch! For the last time, Aarush…’ Radhika pushed him away and got up.
‘Has Love woken up?’ Aarush asked.
‘I’m afraid not. You should check on him once, I think.’ Radhika advised.
‘Hold on…’ Aarush got up and ran his hand through his hair. He knocked on Love’s room.
‘Love…? Are you awake?’ Aarush shouted. No one answered. He kept knocking, and after a few minutes, Love opened the door. His hair were a mess, he was wearing the same clothes from previous night, his expensive Armani jacket along with formal leather shoes.
‘Fucker you let me sleep in my Armani jacket?’
‘Sorry?’ Aarush thought Love would thank him!
‘It’s okay, but don’t do that next time!’
‘You asshole!’ Aarush punched him in his chest.
‘You should be thankful that I got you home safely last night, after whatever happened at Bandstand.’
‘What happened at Bandstand?’
‘You asked Koel to abort the baby and she agreed!’
‘What? I said that? She agreed?’
‘Don’t you even remember that? And you cried for two hours after that! I carried you to the car and then to your bedroom. And you are asking me why I didn’t remove your expensive clothes?’
‘Oh damn! I don’t remember a thing. Maybe that’s why my head is blasting. I need some lemonade.’ Love walked out into the kitchen, squeezed some lemons, added salt and water, and gulped it in one go.
‘And what happened next?’
‘Nothing! But you lectured Koel so fantastically giving her reasons why she should abort a child that none of the parents planned in the first place and all that…’
‘Yeah! And she is going to get that child aborted too – one problem solved!’
‘Man…I don’t know why I am feeling so bad for all of this.’
‘Hey, don’t start crying again. I beg you!’
‘Stop it, Aarush. I mean, I never wanted to do this to Koel. I know I never liked her but I never hated her that much either…shit! I feel like signing off all my ownership of the company off on her name.’
‘Hey! Don’t even think of doing that!’ Aarush was worried about the company he had established with so much efforts.
‘Of course I am not doing that, but I feel bad…’
‘That happens. When I lost my first child, I know I couldn’t sleep for months!’
‘It’s not about losing the child even, it’s about Koel. I mean, she has gone through so much in her life already and now this. I think I still owe her something.’ Love rushed into his room to get his phone and once outside, he called up Koel.
‘Hey, what are you doing?’ Aarush whispered.
‘Sshhh…’ Love shushed him up.
‘Hello, Koel? Yeah…I want to meet you if you are free any time?’ Love said.
‘Oh! Right now? Great! I am on my way…’ Love hung up.
‘What the hell is happening?’ Aarush couldn’t understand a thing.
‘I don’t think I should run away from my responsibilities. Getting her pregnant was my fault, and it is my duty to be with her till she gets out of this mess.’
‘Whoa, look who’s talking about responsibilities now!’
‘Yeah man, times change. I also need to see Sameera today.’
‘Do you even know where she is?’
‘Yeah, she must be at some friend’s place. I will see her today.’ Love grabbed his car keys.
‘Hey, you haven’t even taken a bath!’
‘Do I need a bath?’ Love combed his hair with his fingertips.
‘Damn you asshole!’ Aarush laughed as sometimes Love reminded him of his college days, where guys would attend classes without taking a bath, and rather using hundreds of bottles of deodorant and perfumes!
‘Good old days…’ Aarush was smiling at himself, that Radhika noticed him.
‘What are you smiling at?’
‘Nothing! You say how are you? Do you remember?’
‘What?’ Radhika looked at him with suspicion.
‘That you had your check up today? See, I saved it as a reminder, but you forgot! Come on, be ready now!’ Aarush said.
‘Oh man, you saved me! That would have totally skipped my mind.’ Radhika rushed inside her room to dress up and Aarush took a bath in the meantime.
‘Let’s go!’ Aarush locked the apartment, and both of them boarded the elevator.
‘You know what? We will be shifting in two days.’
‘Shifting where, Aarush?’
‘To our old 1-BHK apartment!’
‘Oh, it’s ready? So soon?’
‘What soon? It’s been almost 3 weeks we are living with Love and Sameera, what happened to your memory?’
‘What? It didn’t feel like 3 weeks at all.’
‘Yeah, that happens, when you have good and entertaining company!’ Aarush mocked.
‘Hey, I just hope things are better soon for Love. Anyways, where is he now?’ Radhika got into the car as Aarush opened the door for her.
‘He’s gone to meet Koel.’
‘To help her through her abortion-phase. Suddenly he’s a responsible man now, and said that he can’t see Koel going through it all alone.’
‘True that! I feel for her too. She’s been such a strong and mature woman throughout this mess.’
‘Yeah, let’s hope things are good.’
Aarush drove and they reached the gynaecologist within an hour. It took half an hour for the doctor to perform an ultrasound. For the first time, Aarush and Radhika saw their baby moving inside Radhika’s womb.
‘It’s so beautiful…’ Radhika had tears in her eyes, and she held to Aarush so firmly.
‘Don’t you think it’s beautiful?’ she asked him.
‘Yeah, absolutely!’ Aarush looked at the screen, as Radhika stared at him.
‘Only if you stop using your phone for a while!’ she grabbed his phone.
‘Baby, that’s an important issue I am discussing.’ Aarush asked for it back.
‘You men have no emotions.’
‘We do! Just that we don’t know how to express them. I love you I swear…now please give me the phone back?’ Aarush pleaded.
‘Fine!’ Radhika threw the phone at Aarush and he caught it by an inch.
‘See? Your reflexes are so fine all of a sudden, when your phone is about to fall, and if that would have been me, you would have let me hit the ground!’ Radhika complained.
‘What? Why are you even comparing yourself to my phone in the first place?’
‘Because that is what you love more than me!’ Radhika walked out of the cabin, bickering with him.
‘Who said that?’ Aarush followed her.
‘I know that! It was such an important day today, I had my first ultrasound, and you couldn’t even see the baby properly.’
‘I saw it sweetheart, I swear I saw it!’
‘Seriously? Then tell me how was it?’
‘You are being so stubborn now, Radhika. How can I tell you how was it? It was so dark and black on the screen.’
‘So that means you didn’t see the baby!’
‘Holy Shit!’ Aarush slapped his forehead. He didn’t know how to win the argument when there was a woman he loved on the other side of it.
‘I am hungry.’ Radhika announced.
‘Better, let’s go to any restaurant that you like, okay? Name it!’
‘I want to have the best noodles, the best lentils, the best naan, the best brownie and the best ice-cream.’
‘Sweetheart, you can’t get the ‘best’ of everything at one place, it’s like roaming the entire city for one thing at one place!’
‘Do you have anything better to do today?’
‘Yeah, some meetings that will cost me thousands of dollars from International clientele!’
‘So are they more important than your wife and your unborn child?’
‘No, how can they be?’ Aarush was helpless now, but he loved when Radhika made demands, it made him feel like she was treating him like her own.
‘So let’s go!’ Radhika smiled. It was her revenge on Aarush for using his phone during the ultrasound.
‘Whatever the missus says!’ Aarush drove the car and started their journey.
On the other hand, Love took Koel to an unnamed clinic at a shabby corner of the city for an abortion. They had asked about getting an abortion, but some big hospitals demanded that they both be married, and for unmarried couples, having an abortion was as hard as finding a needle in the hay. Somehow they found a clinic with a doctor who agreed to do it but with almost double the amount, which Love was ready to pay.
‘You are doing enough for me, Love…’
‘This is nothing, Koel, believe me.’ Love handed over the money to the doctor, and he took Koel inside the cabin.
After half an hour, she was back.
‘She’s fine, just take some rest today, tomorrow you will be all set for your life, as if nothing happened!’ the creepy doctor smiled at them both. Love took her out and dropped her to her apartment.
‘Here, take this. Please don’t say no!’ Love handed over an envelope to her.
‘What is this, Love? Believe me, I don’t want anything…’
‘Please Koel, I told you, don’t say no!’ Love insisted, and Koel accepted the envelope. Love drove off to see Sameera. Once inside her apartment Koel opened the envelope and found a paid vacation for two for twenty days. She pressed her lips. Love had done it for Koel and her boyfriend.
Late in the evening, Love reached under the building of Sameera’s friend.
‘Hey is Sameera with you?’
‘Yeah!’ a chirpy girl spoke from the other side of the phone.
‘Can I come to your apartment?’
‘Yeah Love, sure…’ the girl was a good friend of Sameera and she knew the equation they both shared.
Love entered the flat with a straight face. He spotted Sameera sitting in a couch, eating popcorns, while watching a movie with her friend on the TV.
‘Sameera…’ Love said.
‘Why are you here?’ Sameera didn’t even turn around to face him.
‘To apologize. Please look at me baby…’
‘I don’t want to see your face, go to hell! And you Franky, why did you let him in?’ Sameera started scolding her friend.
‘I think you both should talk. Sameera please…’ Franky got up, switched the TV off, and went inside her room leaving Love and Sameera alone in the living room.
‘Hey sweetheart…’ Love went on his knees for her and rested his head in her lap, ‘I am sorry…’ he hugged her.
‘Love, there’s no use of doing all this. I told you I have forgiven you, just go!’
‘No, I don’t want your forgiveness, I want you! Please come back babe…’ Love was pleading her again and again.
‘That can’t happen. I always demanded one thing from you and that was monogamy. I always had a problem with guys just because of this one thing, and that is many of them are not faithful to their partners, and you did the same! How can I ever trust you again?’
‘I know that. I want to tell you the truth, Sameera. I met Koel last night, and asked her to abort the child, today she did! I went to the clinic with her myself.’
‘Whoa! Superb. That’s your new low, Mr Love! What else do you plan to do in life now?’
‘I am a really horrible person, Sameera. I know that, but you are my weakness. I can’t let you go. I love you…’
‘In almost four months of our relationship you never said that, and now what makes you say it?’
‘Marry me!’ Love pulled out a ring from his jacket.
‘WHAT?’ Sameera got up in shock. She didn’t expect this coming. She knew Love would plead her, ask for forgiveness, but a marriage proposal was not something expected from him!
‘Are you serious?’ Sameera asked him.
‘Dead serious! I can’t be any more serious in my life. I have told you the truth, from A to Z. You can verify anything. You know everything about me, my past relationships, and even about Koel. There’s nothing else that I have hidden from you. I love you and I want you to be my wife. Let’s marry. I want you to have this baby…’ Love hugged her while on his knees.
‘Love, you are rushing…’
‘I am not. I have thought about it a lot, and I have reached to this conclusion that I need you and you alone. I can’t even breathe without you, and that is how much I love you, baby! Please don’t even think about leaving me. I promise I will stop drinking.’
‘WHAT?’ Love was giving new shocks to Sameera, ‘Are you drunk now?’
‘No, I am not! And I promise that I will never be again. Please say yes!’ Love was waiting for her answer, still on one knee, holding the ring.
‘I’m sorry Love…’ Sameera backed off.
‘Get up…’ she held him from his shoulders, and made him sit down in the couch.
‘Look there…’ she pointed at the packed luggage, ‘I am leaving tonight.’
‘Why?’ Love had tears in his eyes.
‘I am going to my sister. I told her everything, and she asked me to come over. I have applied for a job there, and I am going to start a new life there.’
‘In just two days, you did so much?’
‘Yes Love! I am not a person who would waste months and years in thinking what to do. I am a quick thinker, and a witty problem-solver. And you know that since the day you interviewed me for the job in your company.’
‘I know but…’
‘The day I got to know that I am pregnant, I knew that none of us are ready for a child or marriage and when I came out of the doctor’s cabin, you told me about Koel and that broke my heart even more. I went home. Packed my stuff, and came to Franky. The first thing I did that night was call my sister and ask her to send me the tickets. And that night, I even filed a resignation in the company. The HR said that my documents, experience certificate, everything will be sent to me via post to my Australian address. Since today morning, I am just passing time. I have a flight at 09 pm today, oh my God, I am late.’ Sameera got up.
‘But you can’t go…’
‘I am going Love…’
‘But Sameera I love you!’ Love broke down.
‘I know that.’
‘I can’t!’ she got up and started picking up her bags.
‘Franky, are you coming to see me off?’ she shouted, and Franky came out of her room.
‘Let me at least drop you to the airport.’ Love wiped off his tears, and picked her bags along. He loaded them all in his car, and sobbing incessantly, he drove his car to the airport.
‘Sameera, at least think about it one more time.’ Love used every ounce of courage he had to stop her.
‘Baby, I can’t. I am going to abort this child and start a new life. And it will be good if you also start a new life without me. I am sorry…’
‘Don’t say that, Sameera. I know I deserve this!’ Love sighed, as he unloaded the bags.
‘Our story would have been the best had we been together…’ Love smiled at her, as she was placed her bags on the trolley.
‘I know, honey. But happy endings are not a part of everyone’s story…’ she kissed his forehead and walked inside the airport gates.