Khushi tightened the sweater around her lean form as she felt sudden chills running down her spine, leaving her trembling slightly. Yet she felt her hands sweating profusely as she clenched and unclenched them. Nervously tapping her feet, she tried her hardest to get her erratic heartbeat under control but to no avail and it certainly wasn’t due to the cold January morning, rather the pent up whirlwind emotions swirling inside her. A shiver worked its way through her body and she felt like she would throw up again. It was happening frequently since last few days where her nausea was getting worst and she would throw up whatever little content she was having in name of meals.
Letting out a deep breath, she nervously cast quick glances around the hospital’s waiting room and saw couple of women adorning varying sizes of baby bumps, waiting for their respective appointments. Few of them were chatting with others, bonding over the new symptoms they were discovering, passing on their remedies to sail through initial stages, congratulating others. Almost all of them were accompanied with someone by their side, mostly with their partners’ ofcourse with the exception of Khushi. Her stomach dropped for a second when she realized how she would miss out on having him by her side throughout this journey. She had absolutely no clue how she was going to make it to the end of this pregnancy all alone? How she was going to raise this child as a single mother? But one thing that she was absolutely certain of, was that this child will never feel unloved and unwelcomed. Not for a single second. She had enormous faith and trust on her Devi Maiya and somehow she knew her deity will guide her through every step of the way holding her hand. She assured herself squaring her shoulders and exhaled a deep breath while trying her best to get her nerves under check. Darting her gaze around, she returned a small smile to the heavily pregnant woman who just got up for her appointment and despite her own sorrows, the corners of her mouth lifted ever so slightly when she saw how that woman’s husband helped her in getting up. A sadness blanketed over herself with the realization that she and her little one weren’t lucky enough to ever experience these sweet gestures during any stage of her pregnancy.
She was almost seven weeks pregnant now. A month and an half and have now started having those pregnancy symptoms. Morning sickness, sensitive breasts, nausea and tiredness was going on in full swing to say the least. With all these things as her new morning ritual, it became hard for her to hide the fact from her buaji as she had guessed it on her own, witnessing Khushi puking her guts out every morning. Buaji seemed excited learning about her pregnancy and had warded off evil eye, every day since then. Babuji was overwhelmed with emotions learning he was going to be a grandparent very soon and she couldn’t make up her heart to tell them the truth about her and Arnav. She knew she had to, soon. It would hurt them to know the truth from outside or through some gossip tabloids. But what would she tell them even. That their son in law freaked out, had abandoned her & her baby. Tears started welling in her eyes as her mind travelled to that road of memories, again. Memories of him, that in past had always lightened her up with contentment. Now, they came accompanied with pain and a dull heartache. She drew in a long shaky breath while blinking back her tears threatening to roll down. It wasn’t the time to shed them for someone who didn’t care an ounce about her. It had been more than 10 days since she last heard from him. Ten days since she got slapped with the harsh reality that there was no such thing as happily ever after. It’s a well fabricated myth, nothing more. It do exists, but only in romance novels.
Strangely, Khushi, hadn’t had an emotional breakdown yet. She had kind of compartmentalize that part of her life in a separate box with a tightly closed lid around it. She knew the urge to call him, plead him to give them another change was so strong that left her unsettled at times. But the mere thought of the life growing inside her stopped her shaky determination to sway. Off lately, she had found herself in a constant battle of thoughts. The wife in her wanted to sympathize with her husband. Wanted to give him the time to figure out things. Wanted to stick with him through thick and thin and wanted to help him overcome his demons. The mother, on the other hand was the fierce and practical one who could see the entire situation through another and more realistic angle. There were two contrasting things, clear as crystal. She was pregnant and he was having cold feet about that. He wasn’t willing to father that child or any child for that matter. No two ways, no second thoughts about it. They had practically no future together. It was as simple as that. Off lately, the mother in her had started to overshadow the wife present in her and so the situation was becoming clearer day by day. She had to be strong for herself and for her child. She shouldn’t shed her tears for someone who didn’t have the courage to at least pick up the phone and say he couldn’t do it anymore, if not on her face directly. He had taken the coward’s way out. So ironic the whole situation was, that the same man who fought his entire life to detach himself from the shadow of his late father, was actually behaving like him. That his ultimate failure was in the simple fact that he was actually letting that monster win by his actions. It wasn’t always the physical abuse that could scar someone permanently. Emotional turmoil impose equal impact ,if not more and what Arnav was doing here was exactly what his own father once did to him, in a different way though. It wasn’t her fault that she got pregnant on the only single time they missed out on using protection? It wasn’t the child’s fault either that its father wasn’t strong enough to fight for himself. Why this innocent life is being treated as if its being imposed upon. Never. It would never feel neglected. She would pour all her love and affection and raise her child to be a better human being than the rest. She might not be able to provide the best luxuries of life but she was sure her child will be incurred with best of the moral values. She would try her best to be both a mother and father figure to her child. She would love her child with all her might so much so that he or she would never question the absence of the father figure in its life. He or she would be loved immensely and endlessly. And that was the reason that had stopped Khushi from breaking down. It was the only thing she was drawing her endless courage from. It was something that was hardening her resolve since past few days. But then, despite all her efforts, there still were times like this, when she felt utterly weak and vulnerable. Where she needed someone to assure her that it indeed will be alright someday and her heart desires that particular someone to be him despite her brain telling otherwise.
“Khushi Singh Raizada”
Someone called her name and she blinked back to present, suddenly returning from the memory lane in an instant. It was her turn finally. Momentarily closing her eyes, she prayed her goddess to give her the strength she now will be needing in abundance.
“Please come in Khushi. Have a seat”
The doctor was a very cheerful lady who greeted her with a genuine and warm smile. It helped in lifting her dampened spirits a bit as Khushi entered the room and took the seat with shaky legs.
“Is there someone to accompany you?..”
Doctor asked in a polite manner while instructing the nurse to set the things ready and nodded in understanding when Khushi shook her head in denial. She enquired about how Khushi was feeling or anything unusual she might have felt, in case. After checking her vitals, the good doctor assured her that everything was normal, that she’s doing well and prescribed the medicine to help her with the morning sickness, before replying with a warm smile,
“Everything looks good as of now. So, are you ready Khushi to see your little one?”
Khushi felt instant relief after knowing there wasn’t any issue with her pregnancy so far and it was for the first time she felt lightheaded. Somewhat. Nodding in approval, she got up from her seat and lie down on the patient’s bed for the doctor to examine her. All the while her heart was jumping up her throat. The feeling wasn’t something she could describe in words. There was fear, there was excitement, anxiety, just everything. You name it and Khushi was going through it. As much anxious she was to finally witness the live proof of the life growing inside her, worries too were lurking just around the corner. What if there was something wrong? What if the baby was not developing properly? what if there turned out to be some major complexities? What if they couldn’t find a heartbeat? Though she knew her fears were irrational and every woman go through them at some stages of pregnancy, but the absence of someone’s positive assurances was what making it worse. At that moment, she regretted declining buaji’s offer of accompanying her to this visit. She had assured buaji that there was absolutely no reason to worry and that she’ll handle it alone. She so wanted to prove to herself that she could handle this pregnancy without depending on another soul that she just put her foot down and flatly refused buaji to come. It felt like first step towards gaining the control back in her life and it might be a small but a very significant step for her. The less she was dependent on others the more easily she’ll be able to take her life back to normality. What felt like a courageous move then was now resembling like a stupid one. Closing her eyes, she hoped against hope that Buaji might change her mind despite her repetitive assurances and come here.
And as if on cue, they heard a faint knock on the door and then someone entered. Though Khushi knew, it must be nothing but her wishful thinking, she still prayed for buaji to make a sudden appearance. Praying one last time, she opened her hopeful eyes and came across the very last person she was expecting to see.
Arnav Singh Raizada!
Readers waiting for Arnav be like😝
Thankyouuuu so much for your lovely comments on last update, couldn’t reply back as I was busy getting Arnav here 😛 but you people are so sweet and generous with your feedback, to say the least and it makes me genuinely happy to read them. Never thought i would meet my old readers back after so long..yet here we are.
Btw, next chapter is going to be the last chapter of this story so please be patient if its a bit late..i would like to take my time in writing it. I hope you guys have liked this story so far as much i have loved penning it down.
Dedicating this update to Kerr ❤ I don’t know you but I so wish god to give you enough strength to sail through tough times. Love and positivity!
Happy reading always ❤