THE BREAKUP (A Love Story)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Everything I thought we had between us over the two years of our marriage – the love, the affection, the bonding, the relationship physical, intellectual, and emotional – was a sham, a lie, a painful dishonesty, a cruel disloyalty. Everything is finished, destroyed between us. I had been in love with a woman, my wife, who never loved me…

PROLOGUE

 

Sudha was sitting in a rocking chair in the porch of her father’s house. She was lost in thought with a book lying face down in her lap and a half-filled teacup losing steam on a small side table. She was gently rocking forward and backward in the rocking chair.

 

‘Why did you do this to me, Sudha?’ Katik’s voice was reverberating in her mind. She was looking at his bloody body and face. Bubbles of blood spurted out of his lips as he repeated the question, ‘Why did you do this to me, Sudha? I always loved you.’

 

Suddenly, a spout of blood gushed out of this mouth and drenched her face and breasts. He opened his lips as if to say something even as she screamed insanely, ‘Kartik, Kartik…’

 

His words never left his lips as his body sagged and he slumped lifeless in her lap.

 

Sudha’s screams were lost unheard in the universe, as she was jolted back to reality.

 

The chair continued to rock with Sudha still sitting in it, crying uncontrollably.

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

The kiss was long and passionate. Sudha stood on her toes to match Kartik’s height and kiss him.

 

“You must allow me to come up for air once in a while,” Kartik quipped as he was gasping for breath.

 

“Oh, don’t make a big fuss of it. I won’t see you till evening. Come on, give me one more,” Sudha said to her husband and matched her words with action.

 

Kartik was literally gasping when she let him go. Her face was flushed and breathing was rapid and shallow.

 

“See, what you have done. How will I drive now?”

 

“Don’t go…” Sudha ran after her husband to his car in mock anger.

 

***

 

Kartik was standing in front of his boss’s desk.

 

“The Gulati party has landed a day early, Kartik, without informing. They said their boss wanted to finalise the deal immediately and sent the guys today. Can you manage?”

 

“Don’t worry, sir. The documents are all ready; only signatures remain. I shall see Mr. Gulati at the hotel and settle him. We can complete the formalities tomorrow, instead of day after tomorrow.”

 

“You are a lifesaver, Kartik.”

 

“Remember that when the promotion list is prepared, sir,” Kartik said with an impish smile on his lips.

 

“That’s blackmail. Get out and get the work done,” the boss said suppressing a smile.

 

***

 

Kartik bade goodbye to Mr. Gulati from New Delhi, came out of his hotel room, and briskly walked towards the lift. It was a 5-star hotel near the Shamsabad Airport of Hyderabad.

 

As he passed by the door to the next room, it suddenly opened and a woman rushed out and crashed into Kartik.

 

“I am sorry, ma’am,” Kartik apologised holding her from falling down on the floor.

 

Kartik looked up at the woman and was stunned.

 

It was his wife, Sudha!

 

“What happened, Sudha? Are you okay?” A male voice emanated from inside the room. A bare-chested man in his trunks came to the door.

 

Kartik recognised him. He was Narendra, Kartik’s friend!

 

The three of them gaped at one another in consternation. Sudha and Naren were desperately trying to say something but words failed their quivering lips.

 

A few moments later, Kartik, still in shock, turned away and ran to the lifts, ignoring the calls of his wife, “Kartik, wait. Kartik…Kartik…”

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

A pall of gloom had descended upon the room. It was semi-dark and silent. The silence was intermitted by the sobs of Sudha who was sitting on the edge of their bed. Kartik was standing several feet away in front of her with his legs spread apart and arms crossed in front of him.

 

In between sobs Sudha murmured, “It was a mistake, Kartik. I am sorry, very, very sorry.” She was greeted by studied silence. She made to speak again. Kartik halted her with his raised palm.

 

“Why, Sudha?”

 

“I am sorry, Kartik, it was a mistake; won’t happen again. I promise.”

 

Kartik’s pained looks were not lost upon her when he said, “Oh, you promise? Like the promises we made to each other on our wedding day?”

 

Sudha could only sob.

 

“You didn’t answer my question.”

 

Sudha looked at him pitiably. “I don’t know. It just happened.”

 

“Just happened? Nothing just happens, Sudha, especially such a thing. So, tell me how long this has been going on.”

 

“Only this once, Kartik…”

 

“At least now be honest with me, with yourself.”

 

“I love you so much, Kartik. You know that.”

 

“Answer me, Sudha. Truth will come out eventually.”

 

“Over…a year,” Sudha murmured.

 

“Oh my god and we are married for just under two years! So, from the beginning it was…”

 

Sudha hung her head down in silence.

 

“I know you had a relationship with Naren even during our college days but when he dumped you for another girl, Ketki, you became friends with me. Then, sometime later, you declared your love for me. I always loved you but backed off when I realised your love for Naren. When you declared that you loved me, I reciprocated with my true feelings for you. Eventually, we got married. I thought we were good. Now I realise we weren’t good at all!” Kartik paused. “When did Naren come back into the picture?”

 

“Last year. I ran into him at a friend’s wedding at Vijayawada…”

 

“Vijayawada wedding! That was within months of our wedding; I couldn’t attend because of a conference here.”

 

Sudha couldn’t lift her head and look him in the eye.

 

“Go on,” Kartik said sternly.

 

“He was staying in the same hotel as I did. We had dinner and got to talking. He broke up with me to marry Ketki but she was tired of him within a few weeks and dumped him. He said he was very sorry for what he did to me and asked if we could be friends again. I was surprised and didn’t know what to say; I said ‘just friends’. After dinner, he walked me to my room and said he had a lot more to talk with me. He asked if he could come in for a few minutes. I hesitated but I didn’t suspect anything amiss…”

 

Kartik interrupted her, “Didn’t suspect anything? Seriously? Are you really so naïve?”

 

Sudha was fumbling for a reply, “Well…you see…I was…we were…”

 

It was difficult to tell if it was pain or anger behind Kartik’s consternation.

 

“Be honest, at least for once. You wanted him to go into your room, didn’t you?”

 

Sudha remained silent.

 

“I think I got the answer.”

 

The tension was palpable in their forlorn bedroom.

 

“Then what? You…did it?”

 

Sudha softly cleared her throat and murmured, “We got to…talking and…one thing led to another and…we…just…” Sudha paused and continued after a few moments, “…it…happened…I am really sorry about all of this, Kartik…I…”

 

“That was in Vijayawada. How did he end up in Hyderabad?”

 

He had a job in HiTec City.  He went to Vijayawada for the wedding. I didn’t know it. I accidentally met him at Vijayawada.”

 

“And, after you guys returned to Hyderabad, you chose to continue your…your…affair…with him. Right?”

 

Sudha did not lift her head up nor did she reply.

 

“How many times did you guys…ahem…meet…daily or weekly or monthly?”

 

“Kartik…Kartik, what I did was horrible. I can’t repeat the details. I am ashamed. I…”

 

Kartik was livid when he interrupted her. “Oh, you are all decency now! You can’t repeat the details but you could do it over and over again and hide it from me? You did not feel any guilt, any shame?”

 

Sudha slumped to the floor like a broken rag doll, sobbing uncontrollably. In between hiccups, she blurted out, “Stop, Kartik, stop. It is torture. I can’t bear it. I did the unthinkable. I don’t know what got into me. I know that I have hurt, no, wounded you grievously. I can’t take it back. I want you to punish me as you wish, as harshly as you want, for as long as you would like to. Please Kartik, please, please, I beg you…”

 

Kartik began pacing the floor up and down. He fell completely silent. Finally, he asked, “Do you still love him?”

 

“Kartik…I love you…”

 

“Tell me honestly, Sudha. Do you?”

 

Sudha did not reply. She remained slumped on the floor.

 

“I got it, Sudha; you still love him and I was your rebound.”

 

“No, Kartik it is not like that.”

 

“What is it like, Sudha?”

 

“Kartik…I am really sorry. Any punishment you give…”

 

“What would be the purpose, the meaning of any punishment? Everything I thought we had between us over the two years of our marriage – the love, the affection, the bonding, the relationship physical, intellectual, and emotional – was a sham, a lie, a painful dishonesty, a cruel disloyalty. Everything is finished, destroyed between us. I had been in love with a woman, my wife, who never loved me…”

 

“That is not true, Kartik…”

 

“It is true. It was all a lie. Only, I didn’t see it. You managed it all so cleverly.”

 

“No, Kartik…”

 

Kartik was lost in deep anguished thought for long minutes, while Sudha sat up on the floor and adjusted her dress.

 

Finally, Kartik broke the silence.

 

“We are finished, Sudha. We can’t live together anymore. I shall…”

 

“”Don’t say that, Katik,” Sudha screamed, “Don’t say that. We can still work this out. I want us to work this out.”

 

“To what end? The very trust that binds us together through thick and thin has vanished now.”

 

“No, Kartik…please…no…”

 

“Just tell me something, Sudha…”

 

“Anything you want to know, Kartik, anything,” Sudha said eagerly.

 

“Why did you do this to me, Sudha? I always loved you.”

 

 

EPILOGUE

 

“Why did you do this to me, Sudha? I always loved you.”

 

A visibly shattered Kartik rushed to the door that opened on to the balcony, opened it, and jumped over the parapet. Within seconds, he hit the ground six floors below in a bloody mess even as Sudha screamed her heart out, “Kartik, Kartik…”

 

***

 


Submitted: November 29, 2020

© Copyright 2021 shyam sundar bulusu. All rights reserved.

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