SWASAN – SHE’S NOT FOR ME
Heyy, It’s Anjali back with the next chapter!!!
Thnxx for comments and to my silent readers….
CHAPTER 4 LINK :
Swara finds out that she was never pregnant.
The following month was one of the worst Sanskaar had faced in his life. It was his best approximate to hell.
With every document he was asked to sign and everyone’s new found respect for him, it was like Laksh had never existed.
Soon, Sanskaar thought dispassionately, it would be as if heâd never existed. Even the babyâwho was to have been the last piece of Laksh Maheshwari left on earthâwas gone.
And everything that had been Lakshâs was now Sanskaarâs.
And Sanskaar intended to keep it that way. He would notâno, he could not offer his cousin that last insult.
Heâd had to see her, of course, and heâd offered his best words of comfort, but whatever heâd said, it wasnât the right thing, and sheâd just turned her head and looked at the wall.
He didnât know what to say. Frankly, he was more reÂlieved that she was not injured than he was upset that the baby had been lost.
Mr Luthra had asked for all sorts of doctor’s reports and everything to make sure that Swara was actually telling the truth. Sanskaar had wanted to hurl the yappy little man out the window, but instead heâd merely shown him the door. He no longer had energy for that kind of anger, it seemed.
He still hadnât moved into Maheshwari Mansion. He wasnât quite ready for it, and the thought of living there with all those women was suffocating. Heâd have to do so soon, he knew; it was expected of the earl. But for now, he was content enough in his small suite of apartments.
And that was where he was, avoiding his duties, when Swara finally sought him out.
Swara (entering the living room) : Hello Sanskaar!
Sanskaar : SWARA!
He was shocked at her appearance. Sheâd never come here before. Not when Laksh had been alive, and certainly not after.
Sanskaar (finding his voice) : What are you doing here?
Swara (shrugging slightly) : I wanted to see you.
The unspoken message being: Youâre avoiding me.
It was the truth, of course. But he didn’t know what else to do without losing his mind.
Sanskaar : Sit down…… Please.
She sat down awkwardly. He wasn’t sure what to do. The circumstances of their position were so odd, so completely out of order that he had no idea which rules of etiquette were currently governing them.
She sat, and did nothing but fiddle her fingers against her dupatta for a full minute, and then she looked up at him, her eyes meeting his with a heartbreaking intensity.
Swara : I miss you.
The walls began to close in around him. He opened his mouth to reply, but she stopped him.
Swara (in an accusing voice) : YOU were my FRIEND….You were my friend and now, I don’t know who you are any longer.
Sanskaar : I…
He felt like a fool, utterly impotent and brought down by a pair of brown eyes and a mountain of guilt.
Guilt for what, he wasnât even certain any longer. It seemed to come from so many sources, from such a variÂety of directions, that he couldnât quite keep track of it.
Swara (in a sad voice) : Why do you avoid me? What’s wrong with you?
Sanskaar : I don’t know….. I don’t know.
He couldnât lie to her and say that he wasnât. She was too smart for that. But neither could he tell her the truth.
Her lips quivered, and then the lower one caught be-tween her teeth. He stared at it, unable to take his eyes off her mouth, hating himself for the rush of longing that swept over him.
Swara (whispering) : You were my friend…. I needed you…… (softly) I still do.
Sanskaar (in a rough voice) : You don’t need me. You have your mothers, Ragini and your brothers.
Swara : I don’t want to talk to them. They don’t understand.
Sanskaar (desperation lending an ugly tone to his voice) : I certainly don’t understand.
She just stared at him, condemnation coloring her eyes. He wanted to sink down to the floor but he just crossed his arms.
Sanskaar : Swara…. You thought you were pregnant.
Swara (pain clouding her eyes, in a tight voice) : I know.
Sanskaar : What do I know of such things? You need to talk to a woman.
Swara : Can’t you say sorry?
Sanskaar : I DID say I was sorry.
Swara : But you don’t mean it, Do you?
Sanskaar (tired and sighing slightly) : I did mean it, Swara!
Swara : Iâm just so angry, and Iâm sad, and Iâm upset, and I look at you and I donât understand why youâre not.
Sanskaar (whispered) : Don’t ever say that.
Swara (anger in her eyes) : Well, youâve a funny way of showing it. You never call, and you never speak to me, and you donât understandâ
Sanskaar : What am I supposed to understand,Swara? What is it… God–
He turned away from her, leaning heavily on the windowsill.
Behind him Swara just sat quietly, still as death.
Swara (finally) : I should go home. This was a mistake.
Sanskaar (hoarsely) : No… Please don’t go.
But he didnât turn around. She said nothing; she wasnât sure what he meant.
Sanskaar ( awkwardly) : This is the first time you’ve come here. At least, have some refreshments.
Swara nodded, even though he still wasnât lookÂing at her.
And they remained thus for several minutes, for far too long, until she could not bear the silence any longer. The clock ticked in the corner, and her only company was his back, and all she could do was sit there and think and think and wonder why sheâd come here.
What did she want from him?
And wouldnât her life be easier if she actually knew.
Swara : Sanskaar!
His name had left her lips before she realized it.
He turned around. He didnât speak, but he acknowlÂedged her with his eyes.
Why had she called out to him? What did she want?
Still, he didnât speak. Just stood there and waited for her to collect her thoughts, which made everything so much harder.
And then, to her horror, it spilled out.
Swara (her voice breaking slightly) : I don’t know what to do… And Iâm so angry, andâ¦ (She stopped, gaspedâanything to halt the tears) What did i do wrong?
Across from her, Sanskaar opened his mouth, but only barely, and even then, nothing came out.
Swara (repeating) : What did I ever do?
Sanskaar : Nothing at all….
She looked up at him, feeling the grief and the anger etching themselves into her face.
Swara : He’s gone. He isnât coming back, and Iâm soâ¦ soâ¦ It isnât fair. It isnât fair that itâs me and not someone else, and it isnât fair that it should be anyone, and it isnât fair that I don’t have my baby —-
And then she choked, and the gasps became sobs, and all she could do was cry. Sanskaar came towards her and knelt at her feet.
Sanskaar (holding her hands) : I’m so sorry… So sorry—
Swara (sobbing) : I know..But that doesn’t make it better… Or fair.
Sanskaar : No!
Swara : It doesn’t……
He didnât try to finish the sentence for her. She wished he had; for years she wished he had, because maybe then he would have said the wrong thing, and maybe then she wouldnât have leaned into him, and maybe then she wouldnât have allowed him to hold her.
But oh, God, how she missed being held.
Swara : Where were you? Why weren’t you there for me?
Sanskaar : I want to… I…I… I donât know what to say.
She was asking too much of him. She knew it, but she didnât care. She was just so sick of being alone.
But right then, at least for a moment, she wasnât alone. Sanskaar was there, and he was holding her, and she felt warm and safe for the first time in weeks. And she just cried. She cried weeks of tears. She cried for Laksh and she cried for the baby that had never been there.
But most of all she cried for herself.
Finally, she spoke once she had recovered enough.
Swara : We can’t go on like this.
She felt something change in him. His embrace tightÂened, or maybe it loosened, but something was not quite the same. She drew back so she could see him, relieved when his arms fell away, and she didnât have to wriggle free.
Swara : You cannot ignore me like this.
Sanskaar : Swara! That’s —
Swara : If there had been a baby, It would have been yours in a way too.
He went pale, deathly pale. So much so that for a moÂment she couldnât breathe.
Sanskaar : What does that mean?
Swara (shrugging helplessly) : The child would have needed a father. It would have had to be you.
Sanskaar (choking) : You have Adarsh and Sahil.
Swara : My brothers didn’t know Laksh. Not like you did.
He moved away, stood, and then, as if that werenât enough, backed up as far as he could, all the way to the window. His eyes flared slightly, and for a moment she could have sworn that he resembled a trapped animal, cornered and terrified, waiting for the finality of the kill.
Sanskaar (voice low) : Why are you telling me this?
Swara (swallowing uncomfortably) : I’m not sure… I don’t know.
But she did know. She wanted him to grieve as she grieved. She wanted him to hurt in every way she hurt. It wasnât fair, and it wasnât nice, but she couldnât help it and she didnât feel like apologizing for it, either.
Sanskaar (his voice sharp) : Swara! I’m not Laksh.
Swara : I know.
His eyes narrowed and focused on her with dangerous intensity.
Sanskaar : That wasn’t my baby.. There WASN’T a baby. I can’t be what you need.
And inside of her, something started to die.
Swara : Sanskaar, I…
Sanskaar (shouting now) : I wonât take his place.
And then, in a startling flash of motion, he was at her side, and heâd grabbed her shoulders and hauled her to her feet.
Sanskaar (yelling) : I wonât do it!
He was shaking her, and then holding her still, and then shaking her again.
She couldnât speak, couldnât form words, didnât know what to do.
Didnât know who he was.
He stopped shaking her, but his fingers bit into her shoulders as he stared down at her, his eyes afire with something terrifying and sad.
Sanskaar : Please don’t ask me for this.
Swara (whispering) : Let me go, Sanskaar!
He didnât, but she wasnât even sure heâd heard her. His eyes were lost, and he seemed beyond her, unreachable. She called him again, panicked.
And then, abruptly, he did as she asked, and he stumÂbled back, his face a portrait of self-loathing.
Sanskaar (staring at his hands like they were not his) : I’m sorry. I’m so sorry…
Swara inched toward the door.
Swara : I should go.
Swara (softly) : I think…… I think we should not talk to each other for a while.
He nodded jerkily.
She didnât say anything more. She didnât know what to say. If sheâd known what had just happened between them she might have found some words, but for now she was too bewildered and scared to figure it all out.
Scared, but why? She certainly wasnât scared of him. Sanskaar would never hurt her. Heâd lay down his life for her if the opportunity forced itself; she was quite sure of that.
Maybe she was just scared of tomorrow. And the day after that. Sheâd lost everything, and now it appeared sheâd lost Sanskaar as well, and she just wasnât sure how she was supposed to bear it all.
Swara told she was leaving one last time, giving him one last chance to stop her, to say something, to say anything that might make it all go away.
But he didnât. He didnât even nod. He just looked at her, his eyes silent in their agreement.
Swara left. She walked out the door and out of his house. And then she went home.
And she didnât say a word. She climbed up her stairs and she climbed into her bed. She didnât cry. She kept thinking she should, kept feeling like she might like to. But all she did was stare at the ceiling. The ceiling, at least, didnât mind her regard.
Sanskaar had sunk to a new low. That much was clear.
But try as he might, he couldnât figure out what else he could have done. It wasnât as if heâd meant to hurt her, and he certainly hadnât stopped, pondered, and decided Oh, yes, I do believe I shall act like an a*s, but even though his reactions had been swift and unconsidered, he didnât see how he might have behaved any other way.
He knew himself. He didnât alwaysâor these days even oftenâlike himself, but he knew himself. And when Swara had told him that the baby would have been his, his soul was shattered.
She didnât know.
She had no idea.
And as long as she remained in the dark about his feelÂings for her, as long as she couldnât understand why he had no choice but to hate himself for every step he took in Lakshâs shoes, he couldnât be near her. Because she was going to keep saying tilings like that.
And he simply didnât know how much he could take.
And so, as he stood in his study, his body taut with misery and guilt, he realized two things.
The first was easy.
If even in the midst of his grieving for Laksh, he couldn’t get rid of his feelings for Swara, Nothing would.
Which led him to the second, which wasnât easy at all.
But he had to do it. Rarely had the choices in his life been so clear. Painful, but painfully clear.
He moved to his bedroom, opened his cupboard and started packing.
HE HAD TO LEAVE KOLKATA… HE HAD TO LEAVE SWARA!
PRECAP : 4 years later
Sorry for the late update..
will upload next during the diwali weekend. ð
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