It was almost 7 Anandi was still in office. She was supposed to meet him at 7 which she wanted to skip. She went into the washroom and splashed cold water on her face. She looked tired and harassed. She had braved curious questions from her colleagues all day regarding Shiv and she was pissed off.
She brushed her hairs and tied them in a tight ponytail. “Why shld I go to meet him? Wats the point he will probably say some sob story”. She thought
Shiv was waiting in the hotel’s lounge area. It was 7:30. He sighed but he was sure that she would come.
At 8 Anandi arrived’.She was dressed same like office.
He immediately got up and offered her his hand. She didn’t take it and said “Ok so what do u wannna say?”
“Whoa Anandi’relax. Shall we sit and talk. Are you coming straight from office?”
“God!! Are you that busy??”
“Yes and you should be happy after all it your company”. She said sarcastically
“Well I never want anyone to work overtime’..”
“Leave all that why did u call me here?”
“Let’s sit first”
She followed him into the restaurant. It looked posh and expensive’But then he used to always take her to such places in past.
They down on a reserved table in a private area.
After a spell of silence he said “I am sorry Anandi”.
“I heard you the first time”.
“So say something “
“What do u wants me to say?”
“For a start what happened between you and Jagadish?”
“That’s none of your business”
He said exasperated “Anandi please…I came for you earlier…I wrote mails which I never sent. I …I tried finding you but…decided otherwise because I didn’t want to create problem in your married life”.
Anandi hated the way he said her name. It.made her heart melt.
“How did you know I married Jagadish?”
He looked down n said “I came back…to..To apologies and Swati told me…She was not very kind”.
Anandi could imagine Swati giving a dressing down to Shiv. She suppressed a smile.
“She never told me”.
The waiter came to take their orders. Shiv asked her for her preference.
She simply shrugged “Anything would do”
Shiv ordered for both of them.
He then said “I told Swati not to tell you. It was pointless. So what happened ? Did he know about us?”
Anandi nodded “He knew everything. Our marriage was a disaster right from the start. Two damaged souls can’t create a happy life. It was a mistake.
We just never got along. We never fought or argued but we never loved to. It was as if we were living a mechanical life. It was not his fault he tried his best…He tried to keep me happy. To make me fall in love again. But I was the stubborn damaged one. I couldn’t reciprocate. I guess my heart lost the ability to love”.
Shiv simply stared her each word felt like a thorn to him.
“We were married for a year when he finally lost his patience”
“This can’t go on Anandi. I feel trapped” Jagadish said.
“I am sorry Jagadish. I am trying”.
“But for how long Anandi. Shiv never left you. He is always looming between us like a ghost…It’s just not working out”.
“No jagdish I have forgotten him. He is nothing for me. I don’t have any feelings for him”
“You know last week when you had fever. You were delirious and u were mumbling …do u know what u said?”
“Shiv…U called out for Shiv”.
She just looked at him aghast.
Shiv held her hand “I have been a jerk. I don’t even have right to apologies”
Anandi withdrew her hands as if she touched livewire.
“Few months later Jagadish met Ganga. She was his colleague. And we went to divorce by mutual consent”.
“God !! He cheated on you ?”
“No Shiv he got his right partner. And I released him from that sham of a marriage. I have done many mistakes and releasing him was a way of correcting one of them”.
“But Anandi he broke your trust. He married you after knowing all the fact. He had made a commitment and he should have kept it”.
She gave him a sarcastic smile “Talking about trust and commitment are we ? It doesn’t suit you”.
His looked shocked then realized her implication and quietly looked down.
She could see his muscle clench at his temple. It always did when he was upset. She was surprised at herself how much she still remembered of him.
She knew she had hurt him. But instead of being happy she felt terrible. There was an awkward silence which was thankfully dispelled when their orders arrived.
Anandi looked at her plate. It was spinach ravioli. He still remembered her favorite dish.
After few mins of eating in silence she asked “Did u know before buying Zigma that I worked here?”
He shook his head “No Anandi I didn’t. It was a twist of fate that we met again”.
“I don’t trust you”.
“Why would I lie to you?”
“I don’t know”
“Anandi trust me when I took over Zigma I had no idea of your whereabouts. Had I known then I would have bought it sooner.”
“Shiv please don’t ask me to trust you again. I just can’t”.
She felt drained out and stressed. She needed to be away.
“I should leave now. It’s getting late”
Shiv said “But Anandi I am still not done. I need to talk”.
“Not today Shiv. I am tired”.
“Maybe later’How about tomorrow?” he looked hopeful and his face suddenly brightened up at the prospect of another meeting.
She thought for a moment “I will think about it”.
“May I drop you somewhere?”
“No thanks I have a car” She replied.
“Wow !! So finally u can drive?” He said
She closed her eyes at the memory of Shiv trying to teach her driving on her BMW and she had dashed it in a pole. She had panicked and apologized profusely. He feigned anger and this scared her even more.
“I am really sorry Shiv…I..I will pay for it..how much wld BMW repair cost?”
He said angrily “I dont want any payment”
“Then what do u want ?”
“U will have to give penalty for this” He had said.
“What penalty??” She had asked she was about to cry.
He had held her face and kissed “This’This is my penalty” and proceeded to kiss her all the way down.
She jerked and shrugged off those memories. She looked at him. His eyes said he was having same thoughts.
She looked away and said “Time teaches you everything”.
He walked her to her car and just before she went in he asked “will you ever forgive me Anandi?”
She replied “It’s not that easy Shiv”.
He stood looking at her car till is disappeared from his view. He had a determined look. Destiny had brought them together again. It definitely meant something.
To be continued”””.