“Come away with me!”
His hands hurt and his mouth was tightened into a grim line of remorse and anger, “Please…!” he begged as he pulled her closer to him.
“No”, he heard her lifeless voice and there was no emotion in her voice.
There she sat, so young and beautiful on the bed, wearing the bright red glitters of bride and golden of the sunshine. Her eyes glittered, her tears already dry and spent.
“No”, she repeated but there was no firmness in her voice. Raising her gray eyes she bit her lip. A habit that was endearing to Arnav for a very long time-almost three years
He moved closer to his, cupping her face in his hands and forced her to look at him, “But why! You don’t want to marry this guy, do you?” his mouth slowly moved closer to her when she suddenly pushed hi \m away from her. Her gray eyes no longer dim “Damn you Arnav! Damn you! What do you want me to do? Leave all this”, she spread her hands and looked around, “You want me to go with you and disgrace my family…my husband!”
“You don’t even know him”, he snared, his no longer pleading, “That guy could have seen you hundreds of times in a wedding…is it my fault that I don’t belong to your community?”
“No”, she said morosely, “It was never your fault. And that guy you are referring to is now my husband”.
“I don’t care a damn about that! He hasn’t touched you. I have!” he pulled her closer again and plundered his mouth into hers, punishing her for the torture he was going through sitting here waiting for her relinquish her principles for once and do something that they both wanted. He moved her lips closer to her ears, “Can you tell me that after being with me you want to be with him? I can hear your heart beating Shriya. Its telling me that I’m the only one whom you will ever love!”
“Y-yes”, she answered, her voice no longer steady. It shook with the force of love she felt for him.
“Then come away with me…you know you want to…”
“No”, she repeated again.
His whole body stiffened and he suddenly let go of her. She fell on her back and stared at him with helpless eyes. Pulling his T-shirt down to his jeans he ran his fingers roughly on his thick long hair. It almost reached his shoulder.
“You are too young!” he protested, “Why in the hell they got you married?”
“We, Arnav”, she repeated, “We are too young. You forget that we are of the same age”
“So what!” he barked then closed his eyes swallowing the pain because he knew that no matter how much he protested now Shriya had made up her mind. He looked at her drinking in the beauty, the innocence of youth…only eighteen waiting for her husband to come and ravish her. Just the thought burned his blood. He felt like killing…he felt like dying!
“You have to leave now”, she said, her voice marvelously calm again, “I hear footsteps”.
He narrowed his eyes, “You want me to go”, repeating her words as if he was hearing that he was about to be given a death sentence, “And what then? Where do I go from here?”
“I know where I go from here Arnav. Where you go, you have to decide”.
“I want you. Only you!” He shouted again.
She closed her eyes and looked away, breathing unsteadying while silent tears ran on his cheeks.
“So I should go?”
She nodded and pursed her lips, an unwanted sob passing through her lips.
“God! Don’t cry! Why are you crying”, he almost sneered, “It should be me who should be crying. Should I?”
“No!” she yelled this time and then glared at him showing the old sprit that had attracted Arnav to her at the first place, “I want you to leave. My husband is going to be here any minute now. Do you want him to find out that I was having an affair before our marriage?”
“I don’t want to shame you”, Arnav drew a sharp breath, “Or do you think that is why I came here. Climbing that window?”
“I just want you to leave”.
“I’m asking you again”, he slowly walked towards her, “I’ll earn Shriya…I can make money. We don’t have to live on love only…”
“So that’s it, is it?” he paused on his steps and looked at the because he knew that this would be the one last time he would.
Their eyes met and a strong current seemed to pass, Arnav turned away before it destroyed him. He slowly walked towards the open French window. Though he didn’t look back he could hear her soft sobs and she didn’t even call his name. The door of the room suddenly clicked and he quickly climbed back. The last thing he heard was a man talking and Shriya’s soft answer to him.
His Shriya was married.
His beautiful young Shriya was married and he couldn’t do a damn about anything. He walked slowly on the road his eyes blind to the fast paced traffic coming along on the road. Miraculously he walked straight without getting hit, his thoughts only about the wedding night of Shriya ahead. She was not his any longer…
His eyes hardened at the thought. She could have come with him. If she loved him, she would have come with him…
Maybe she didn’t love him enough. Maybe…just maybe their love not strong enough to protect them.A tortured cry left right from his heart to his mouth and the only thing he didn’t do was to cry.