(This should be read as a sequel to Melancholy)
He strolled leisurely towards the walk in closet,leaving behind a trail of water dripping off him. A towel wrapped around his toned muscular waist glistening with a sheer coating of droplets traversing the path from his wet black manes,sliding downwards through the ups n downs of his chiseled abs. His hand expertly sliding through the racks of perfectly arranged pristine ironed shirts. Multiple shirts of the same color. Hundreds of them. Mostly black, white, Grey. The colors that define him. The colors that people relate to him and his personality. A black n white one. That he was. His shell as hard as concrete from outside. Like a glacier. Hard for others to crack him down and most of the times, they dont dare trying.
His mind drifted back to the incident of last week. Guilt was a completely new territory as far as he was concerned. Nagging conscience, an even stranger one. He wasn’t the one to give justifications or explanations. He wouldn’t have survived the cut throat business world then and it was for his shrewd excellency in his profession that had somewhere manipulated him down into a person he was today.
That was the reason he found himself dwindling in between as his thumb hovered over the send button. “Sorry for earlier”, the composed message said. For the first time, he felt just three words confusing the hell out of him. A message as simple as that felt too less and too overwhelming at the same time. It would have been easy for some one other. but for him it felt like they were playing with his head, switching sides every now n then. The uneasiness wasn’t something he was used to, something he had been feeling since morning, since the way he snapped at her, since the moment he saw her eyes losing that shine from them only to be washed away by a wave of guilt.
Pressing backspace he deleted those words mocking him, questioning him and settled for the next three that were far balanced than the previous one. “I am diabetic“.
He felt settled again only after he got her reply
“Sorry Arnav ji. I didn’t know. Thankyou for telling me”
A message far better than his, containing far more emotions compared to his,in just few words. Apology. Acknowledgment.Gratefulness.
Putting him at ease instantly. He wondered whether his message had done the same for her or was it just few crumbs and effectively short of making the point. His mind nagging him that he should have send the previous message instead. Another new emotion, Regret, making a guest appearance in his life. He would have basked in his thoughts longer that he wished, had it not been for Aman who interrupted him for his upcoming meeting. He wasn’t sure he was relieved or irritated at that.
Now as his mind drifted itself back to the present, he felt himself still standing in the closet, still to pick up the shirt he has to wear today. Raking a hand through his wet manes, his gaze drifted to a packed shirt placed at one remote corner. Far from regular ones. A moment of uncertainty crossed his mind as his brain tried to counter him. Pushing aside those thoughts, he called the newly hired house help to iron the shirt for him.
She was busy preparing his breakfast plate. Filling it with all the items he prefers having in the morning, that too in just the exact proportions he wasnted. Scrambled eggs, toast, a mug of black sugarless coffee enough to kick start his busy day ahead. She turned the moment she heard his footsteps from behind, descending the stairs.
Her husband. Looking prim, proper and immaculate as ever. His attire accentuating his primal beauty to the point of making him stand out in a crowd. The dominating aura that comes with it, makes him the person that he is. and it was a moment later when her eyes drifted to the shirt he was wearing, widening in itself as she quickly met his gaze again, asking the silent question.
It was the one her Amma Babuji had gifted him when they came to visit her couple weeks ago. It was no Armani, Dior or Gucci. Nor it was any custom made from high end designer labels, the ones that have been already stacked in his closet whose material in itself emanates the power it will transfer to the one wearing it. The luxurious labels, the rich smooth fabric designed for the elite, the comfort they provided, the unique prints, the top notch quality it all screamed Raizada. Like it would be a sin for him to dress himself in anything but those. He already has hundreds of them. Stacked to the hilt. Rows n rows. Ranging from the darkest black to a lighter grey. Each one pristine than the previous and thus khushi felt at a loss when she looked at the shirt in her hands. He had accepted it graciously from his parents and khushi remembered herself swooning that day. Her parents had been so happy. It was no expensive brand but still the best they could afford for their son in law. She felt her eyes softening at the contentment that had settled over her amma’s face that day.
But later in the night when she had chirpily picked it up to place it amongst the ones in his closet, she felt her spirits deflated at the stacks of the fabric emanating brand, luxury and money. She searched a good place for the matte blue shirt in her hand but could’t come up with one. One look at the shirt and then towards the one in his closet, she had quietly placed the packed one on a remote corner. Far from the reach. As if he would even remember it let alone trying to search for it. A slight twinge deep down her gut at the fate of that shirt that would never see the light of the day again.
And now, that same ‘non-branded’ shirt was clinging to his body as if feeling proud at the sudden twist of its fate. She couldn’t help but a warm smile spread over her face as she met his gaze again. His questioning brow started settling once it dawned upon him and he shrugged it like nothing. Hoping she wouldn’t point it out for then he would be at a loss of words. and he was glad when she didn’t.
No words were exchanged regarding that shirt but something did happened for sure. May be it was understanding trying to take its first baby steps or was it both of them involuntarily taking a step towards each other.
Whatever it was, their journey has started!