contd from “Will you at least be honest enough?”-Part 26
“Sangeeta, for long I have been with you without expecting much. My parents of course you know have long stopped talking to me. There is a small sister who still calls me off and on. And then there is a brother who leaves no occasion to not mock me. Very little family is left behind to support me, or much rather to even acknowledge me. You were and are my family, the thought of you not being there is more like death if I can permit myself to say so. Yet I want you to be happy, I can see Sangeeta and you are working out. She is undoubtedly in love with you, something I had known for long. And always tried to refute for my own vested interests. Will you at least be honest enough to tell me before hand? I will quietly move out of here, leave the city, never to haunt you back again,” the last words were spoken with such painful expressions etched on Kavita’s face that they instantly evoked Sangeeta into silent tears
Kavita walked away from her. She didn’t know if Sangeeta would even long for her in days to come. But then Kavita knew she needed to be on her own, time had come to test things her way.
* * *
“Arti, why is it that you are behaving in this way? Why are you possibly trying to embarrass me in front of my friends?” Radha could hardly contain her anger.
A cowering Arti couldn’t help but cry. She knew she had done a huge mistake, broken all false promises of being a good girl. But then her mother had been party to many broken promises, no?
“Arti will you look at me and speak,” Radha screamed at her, trying to understand why her usually obedient child did what she did.
“Mumma, I don’t like Sangeeta aunty. I don’t like her,” Arti wailed.
“Does that give you the right to talk stuff you just did?” Radha didn’t lower her volume one bit.
“Mumma, but you know what I think, she is trying to take place of father. I don’t know why but I always get that feeling,” Art stumbled into an explanation between sobs.
Radha couldn’t say anything to Arti now. She wondered what had just happened. What part of child’s mind sensed that?
“Please go up to your room now. I will talk to you only in morning,” Radha spoke with lowered tone but firmness intact.
“But mumma,” Arti spoke haltingly.
“Arti, I said in the morning. Now go upstairs please,” Radha’s please almost did have a shade of desperation.
* * *
And Sangeeta had guessed it right. She found her sitting in the corner lunch table in mess. She had a plate full of food on the table and an expression which clearly showed her disinterest in eating.
“Hello,” Sangeeta spoke softly and drew a chair across to sit.
“Hi,” Radha replied meekily.
They both stared at each other, speaking through their troubled eyes.
“I see you have taken the gulab jamuns,” Sangeeta remarked quietly.
“Where is Kavita? She hasn’t come down for lunch with you today,” Radha spoke softly.
But then they knew each other better to sense what was the issue at the other end.
Sangeeta smiled weakly and said, ” She has gone somewhere and I have no clue where.”
Sangeeta did not have to give reasons or justifications as to why Kavita had gone because that’s something that was very much understood.
Radha was happy inside, she was. Hadn’t she waited for this moment ever since she stepped in here? For a while she forgot her own issues.
“I hope Arti is fine,” Sangeeta said.
“Yes she is fine. Of course she is slightly off handish, but I know with time things will settle,” Radha replied slowly.
* * *
“Mumma I was thinking of calling papa and getting the two of you back together,” Arti’s voice cut across the room to hit Radha.
Radha, who was sitting on her table correcting test papers, suddenly felt her world go dizzy.
“Arti, you are thirteen years old. Please behave like one,” Radha had no choice but to scream again.
“Mumma, I miss him. I think you people should get back together. I know he would be more than happy to do so,” but Arti was not even slightly taken aback by Radha’s anger.
“How do you know that, Arti?” Radha suddenly felt more fear grip her.
“Because I called him today. And he is saying you and I should go back home, I have even packed my bags,” Arti replied with a strange sense of calmness in the face of extreme anguish on Radha’s demeanour.
Tring-Tring, the phone rang…
to be contd. at Her actions were hurting many-Part 28
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