You were right, it did end.
* * *
“I don’t understand how can this happen,” Shekhar asked her confusedly.
“Even I don’t,” Ramya replied.
“You are saying that the publishing house already had the manuscript,” he spoke, again sounding very confused.
“That’s what they say. They told me they already have published the manuscript and even pay a part of the royalty to someone,” she spoke, looking through the sheets of paper for some clue.
“How is that even possible? Perhaps Mallika had finally got the book published. There are still some letters left right?” he spoke, trying to work out the mystery alongside Ramya.
“If she had then why didn’t she improve her life. Also if she had, Abhimanyu would know something about this. He is clueless,’ she answered, the sheets of paper in hand giving no help.
* * *
Something was just not right. Ayesha, the manuscript everything was connected. She knew this somehow. She had to figure out how. She wanted some answers. She knew one thing, Ayesha was the main clue. She had a feeling more answers lay with the little girl. And so Ramya decided to meet her again.
“Hi Ayesha,” she spoke sweetly.
“Papa is not at home,” Ayesha replied in her authoritative tone.
“I am here to meet you,” Ramya replied.
“I don’t want to meet you. You steal things,” Ayesha replied, clutching the storybook tighter.
Ramya didn’t know how to explain that the book had actually been given to her by Suyash. She had no idea it was Ayesha’s.
Suyash. And suddenly it started to fall on her head.
“I know no publishing house,” Suyash had told her when she asked for help in printing the manuscript.
And then Ramya remembered the cheque that had arrived from a certain publishing house last month. She ran upstairs to look for the bills file. Yes there lay five cheques for each month of the year from the same publisher who had printed Mallika’s manuscript.
But why would this be so?
* * *
Five letters were left. Ramya picked up the stack. She swiftly picked out the last two. They had been written in a hurry.
I was re-reading my last few letters to you. They were all about the pain and happiness of having a child. A daughter. Her name is Ayesha. I could not keep her with me due to the obvious effect my lifestyle can have on her.
She lives with her father. Suyash Mittal. The man who finally made me fall in love with him. Yes made me. It was all a lie. He always saw me as prey. He used me to get my own body as a source of income for him. He knew I was worth a lot. He has taken away all my self-esteem, my will to live and anything that can be employed to bring me back to life.
My own daughter doesn’t know I am her mother. I chose that. I felt it was for her own good that she lives a protected life. And something tells me she will.
I wonder what has happened to me when you would be reading this letter. Now I seriously think I would have died. Because it’s impossible that I have escaped to be free from this world. I know that my end will be my demise from this world.
I hope I was somebody to you, leaving a legacy of pain to some stranger would seem odd. Also why would you like to read my sad story. Last night I read the first letter, I really thought I could become a writer? Did I? It seems like a far away land where I could even think such things.
Thank you for bearing me. Thank you for reading through my life, this is my last letter to you. I hope I had a happy end.
Did I die in an accident?
Ramya for a few minutes didn’t know how to react. It was something so strange that even fiction would have fitted better. Suyash? After all those denials in the first few letters she agreed to marry him? And in the end she found another setback? This actually happened. The story of her life through these letters is Mallika’s last legacy.
Another letter lay on the table. And it was the first two words which caught Ramya’s attention completely.
to be contd. at Dear Ramya-Part 29
* * *
Connecting it with Ultimate Blogging Challenge.