Arranged Love - Part 4 ( A short story)


Story so far: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
The story ahead: 

Most of the times in life we think we are in complete control of our lives and that is when life decides to jolt us. Life and destiny together conspire to makes things happen which are beyond our fragment of imagination.
That moment as Koel smiled and clicked on send, she was hopeful of giving a new start to her life with the man of her dreams. But little did she know crashing of hopes does not take as much time as clicking of a button. That day as destiny played its game, Siddharth’s inbox was full. And he did not receive that mail. Unaware about those happenings in the background Siddharth continued with his daily routine nonchalantly.

In the evening as he reached home he was surprised to see a beautifully decked up Koel humming to herself as she went around the house. There was a different swing to her walk today he noticed as she was smiling constantly.  Siddharth liked Koel in the first instant  but did not like the way the matter of marriage was dealt with. He always respected women a lot and never wanted Koel to be forced for marriage as he understood much later from her cousins. He believed in equality in marriage and hence had decided that his wife will never be forced for anything. She would not be expected to change over night just because she was married now. After marrying Koel he had ensured she retained her earlier life style. Both of them were friends first, that is what he always felt. 

He tried hard to help Koel get adjusted to new surroundings. But Koel with the hatred very much there in her heart many times gave him a cold shoulder. Siddharth was left all alone wondering whether his efforts were leading anywhere. There were instances where he was rudely rebuffed by her only to get a text saying sorry the next day at office. He knew it was not Koel who was bad, it was the circumstances which had led her to behave like this. And he wanted to give her time. Time enough to realise that it was not so bad after all. Today he was glad thinking finally maybe she has settled down and was enjoying things here.His heart wanted to believe this to be the reason but his mind wanted to hear it too. He asked Koel,’ What’s the matter…you seem to be very happy today…?

This casually asked question by Siddharth broke a heart somewhere as a tiny flicker of hope died. Koel was aghast at his question as she had expected him to react differently to her mail. She kept staring at him in bewilderment when she was brought back to reality by the waving hands of Siddharth, who was asking her,’ Are you alright? Why do you seem as if you have just seen a ghost? What happened? Is everything ok?’ She could just manage to say, ‘No nothing…’ before leaving that room hurriedly.

Koel cried a lot that night as she perhaps felt the pangs of heartbreak. She realised how much her indifferent attitude would have hurt Siddharth too till now. Suddenly she thought maybe he is behaving like this to get even with me for my earlier behavior. ‘How mean of him…’ she concluded. ‘Let me also see till how many days he continues with this mean game…huh…’ and she went off to sleep, finally convinced that it was all a part of Siddharth’s revenge. But she was proved wrong.

Koel's behaviour that night perplexed Siddharth. The more he thought the more confused he got. He was not able to decipher how a harmlessly asked question could get such unnerving response. He was worried for Koel thinking something untoward would have happened in the office with her. But sadly he acknowledged there is very little he could do for her as she barely shared things with him. Though he knew a few of her colleagues having met them casually once or twice, it was not appropriate to go snooping behind her back. Till now every time Koel behaved like this, Siddharth would brush it off casually. But today, he was hurt. He did not why was he hurt when in hearts of his heart he knew that side of her so well. Already a shy and introvert person by nature, this incident pushed him further into his shell. 

Though Siddharth got his PC problem resolved, he never received any of the mails which might have been sent to him during that particular period. The delivery failure notification also which was sent to Koel was delivered in her junk box which she never saw. Both of them were incessantly trying to analyze the other person’s weird behavior and getting no answers.

Gradually as days passed the distance between them grew and none of them was ready to clear the misunderstanding and understand where the gap lay. It reached a phase where both of them were not even on talking terms any more. Each one was waiting for the other to make the move which resulted into creating more distances. Their communication had suddenly reduced to bare minimal which was necessary for survival together. 

One evening Koel received a text from Siddharth.
Will be late in reaching home. Meeting client for dinner at Taj.

She smirked as she read this and thought, ‘How selfish…He never thought of taking me for dinner at Taj... work is always the priority for him.’ Her friend & colleague Sudha overheard her and intervened, ‘Aha…dinner at Taj huh….how romantic….you are really lucky!’ This irritated Koel and she snapped at her,’ Sudha, please don’t jump to conclusions. Do you even know what has happened?’ and she burst into tears. The dam finally broke today in front of Sudha as Koel could not longer hold back herself. She narrated the entire change of events to Sudha in between sobs as Sudha held her hand listening patiently to her. 

As Koel finished talking Sudha continued staring at her with a smile on her face. Koel looked at her inquiringly, when she replied,’ You both are behaving like class 6 kids. Arre..what was the problem in talking to him and asking him if he had received the mail or not? Would not that have been easy in solving this issue rather than pulling it like this? See Koel, most of the issues in life are like rubber bands. We unnecessarily drag them till the extent where they go snap and hurt both the people who were holding it. Same ways this issue is being dragged unnecessarily and it is hurting both of you. Why don’t you think maybe genuinely did not receive your mail? He was so loving towards you why would he lie to you and behave like this as you said. .. your behavior must have hurt him also…

Koel glared at her angrily,’ No…. I don’t want to believe he did not get the mail. How is it possible? I am sure he does not like me and hence is doing all this so that he can get rid of me forever.’ Sudha realised that this was not going to lead anywhere, so she suggested they both go home and call in for some dinner to spend some more time together for a change. Koel readily agreed. She did not want to be alone tonight in this state of mind. After dinner she would go off to sleep she decided mentally. 

The entire way Koel clearly steered away from this topic not wanting to discuss anything about Siddharth. Sudha  had no option but to sit quietly as she did not want to hurt Koel. She simply did not seem in a mindset to hear or understand anything at all.  On reaching home, Koel ordered for some Chinese meal for both of them.  Sudha waited for her in the living room as Koel went to freshen up herself when something on the television caught her attention.

To be continued....in the concluding part.

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