Everyday is a Rainbow Day

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Jhelum comes back, tired and devastated. Farhan realizes that all is not well with her and does not ask any questions. But he soon discovers the truth; far uglier and murkier than he had thought.

Chapter 8 (v.1) - Chapter VIII: The Return

Submitted: July 04, 2016

Reads: 176

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Submitted: July 04, 2016

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Chapter VIII: The Return

Same night, 11.30 pm

Today has been a very long and tiresome day for Farhan.  He had stretched much beyond his normal working hours. As the elevator reached the fifth floor Farhan let out a breath of relief. Finally, a week was over. Today is Friday.

His phone rang, as he was taking out the apartment keys. It was the apartment security guard. What is it that he wants to talk about, at this hour of the day?

“Hello’’ said a tired and irritated Farhan.

What the man on the other side said startled him. He said a young lady was waiting for Farhan, outside his apartment. Who could that be, he wondered.

The security person further added that he had offered to hand her duplicate keys to the apartment, as she appeared to be a known face.  But she refused to enter without Farhan’s knowledge and insisted on waiting outside.

“Whoa… Jhelum, is that you?”  He almost dropped his laptop bag as he noticed an almost asleep Jhelum curled up at a corner of the long, dimly lit apartment corridor.

The security guard on the phone was going on and on. He said that he requested her repeatedly to wait downstairs. He even tried calling up Farhan a couple of times. But every time his phone was in voicemail mode.

Farhan thanked the man for his efforts and disconnected the call.

He turned towards her.

‘’Hey Jhelum, what are you doing here?’’ the next moment he realized that it was a wrong question to be asked in this context and he corrected himself,’’ how long have you been here?’’

She looked up at him. ‘’don’t remember exactly. Evening; may be from 5.’’ She seemed too tired to answer.

He was surprised, but did not ask any further questions. He unlocked the door and picked up her bags in one hand and asked her to come in.

She walked in slow, undecided steps. Her long skirt was almost sweeping the floor and her layered tresses were in a mess.  What the hell has happened to her, he wondered,

They went inside. She sat on the living room sofa and he gave her a glass of water.

‘’Did you have anything since morning?’’ he asked, looking a tired Jhelum.

‘’Yes’’ she nodded,” I had both breakfast and lunch. Don’t worry about me.’’ Jhelum seemed embarrassed.

‘’So, no dinner for madam?’’

‘’Come on Farhan, stop worrying about me. It is okay to skip meals at times.’’ She turned her eyes away.

‘’Oh really?’’ he looked at her, ‘’very healthy and easy option, indeed.  Let me see what I can do.’’

 

Within twenty minutes Farhan was ready with a bowl of milk and oats for Jhelum. In the meanwhile, she had changed into capris and t-shirt. Her untidy hair was tied into a bun.

He pulled a chair for her. She smiled at him and sat on it.

“Please have it.” He said pointing to the bowl of oats. “This is all I could manage now. Hardly any groceries at home; need to go to market tomorrow.”

“And your dinner?’’ Jhelum asked.

“I already had my dinner in office.”

She took a spoonful and said, ‘’heavenly! So sweet of you, Farhan”.

“My pleasure ma’am” he said with a smile and noticed how quickly she ate. She must have been hungry for a long time, he thought. But he did not ask any questions. 

He waited for her to finish. When Jhelum was finally done with it, she looked at him with a satisfied smile on her face.

“Can we begin ma’am?” he asked.

In the next half an hour Jhelum briefly narrated how she was given a hearty welcome by her uncle’s family, had Bengali meal for lunch and dinner the day she arrived, had a nice time chatting with her cousin sisters (one of whom is getting married next week).

Next day morning, she was asked to leave for her parental home, very politely, by her uncle. He said they are very busy with Tiya’s wedding preparations and have no time to take care of her. He and his wife of course, offered her a nice breakfast and told her that she can also stay back for lunch.

Farhan was astounded. ’’Did you tell them that you are pregnant?’’

She nodded her head and then added, ’’I wanted to, but I changed my mind.’’ Jhelum looked at him. Though she looked tired and helpless, he could see a fire in her eyes, that was so natural of her, ’’I do not need anybody’s pity or sympathy. I am not weak.”

He was silent for quite some time.

She continued to say more, ’’I know why my uncle acted this way. He is venting his anger over my refusal.”

‘’What refusal? ” Farhan was surprised.

“I rejected a match that he had proposed for my marriage. The guy was his brother-in-law’s son. ”

“That’s so crazy!’’ he chuckled.

‘’yes, it is. But that’s how our dear relatives behave at times. I was already in a committed relation then, with Roop”.

 ‘’Then? What did you do the whole day?’’ he asked.

”Well”, she said with lowered glances, I went to the nearest travel booking counter, tried for tickets to Kolkata for the next few hours. But no train or flights are available for the next two days. Went to Forex, got some Indian currency, had lunch at a local eatery, sat in a nearby park, and then took an auto to come here, and the rest, you know.”

She sat still silent and pensive. Her drooping eyes reflected the pain she went through. This is so unnatural of Jhelum, he thought.

Farhan was feeling uneasy and guilty, for letting her go, and what happened thereafter. Suddenly, he stood up, remembering something, and said, ‘’hey Jhelum, want to have some chocolates?’’

Yes. She nodded her head.

He went to the fridge and took out two big boxes.

He gave one to Jhelum who exclaimed, ’’Oh my god, I did not expect so much!”

“There’s a lot more in the fridge, if you want more” he winked. “I got these from Doha for my nephews and nieces.”

“You went to Doha?” she asked.

‘’Yep, I have a few clients there. I was returning from Doha, the night you tripped at the airport.’’


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