There was no need for her to step out of house that day but she did. And that how it began.
She like to go out every other day. For shopping bringing make up, dresses and lot of home materials and sometime for her NA meeting. NA meeting are to share their problem and helping them to get rid of some of their addictions. She never told what its about. Why she go there? And even when I asked her she always used not to tell. I never forced her. I trusted her with everything in my life. And always told myself. Whatever she is doing its for good.
I do suffer. That she could talk to stranger and share her problem with them but not with me. I believed that if she can live with devil within her so could I.
At times I use to ask her that if I can pick her up from meetings but she always refuses. And that make me stop offering her.
14years of our marriage. But still there is something between us which was unrevealed.
Which drugs? And what drugs? I don’t want to know. All I know I was afraid in entering a silent house. It test my patient when I don’t find her at home. It scared me to death if I will see her again or not.
Alcohol wasn’t forbidden at home. She used to bring Red wine once in while from Neighborhood store. No Girl or women used to go at that store and in some days that becomes an issue for the colony but it never matters to her.
She always use to say that one drink of wine will never harm to her. And she can also stop herself at one glass of wine. It is use to fine for her. And even use to mark on her words. She never had more than a glass of wine.
He was ready to stay with her with all the devil inside her.
Until the day of blast.
The were 5 consecutive blast in main city. One by one. She called me up in every one hour to know if I am fine or not. How will I come to home back. Are the train and taxi are safe? Till what time I will reach home. She sounded very scared every time she called me up.
I made her relaxed and said ‘Aina Just relax. I am fine. I will call a cab to drop me home. And I will be perfectly fine and on time. So you relax.’
‘Shaan. Please Take care of yourself’ And then she hanged up.
I reached home little late at 8. I rang the bell 10 times but no one opened the door. I was scared. It was again. She wasn’t at home. She again step out. But in such a situation why she went out. I looked at every place but I still couldn’t find her. I even called her but she left her phone at home.
I waited all long. I wasn’t comfortable with the situation around me so I went down. Near the gate running my eyes up and down. After long wait she returned at 10.
She returned with some plastic bags in her hand and pulled out a Chinese food from it. ‘Oh thank god you’re back. How’d you return? I was so worried.’
I exclaimed ‘Oh you were worried.’
She started serving the food she brought for us.
I asked her again ‘Where were you?’
`At market.’ She replied.
I repeated ‘Market?’
‘Why? Oh! Because of all the blasts you are asking? Are baba, I wasn’t feeling good at home so I went outside to shop. It’s a Friday haat in the next colony. And nearby Chinese restaurant as you know.’
‘You were so upset in the morning. Calling me in every hour and then there you suddenly stepped out.’ I said with the anger inside me.
‘You said to relaxed. I called everyone I know. And I didn’t wanted to stay home so I went. And it was near to our house.’
I closed my eyes Ignored all the topic and relaxed my mind saying that she is fine relax. We both finished our Hakka noodles while watching the News.
Everything was perfectly fine till 6 in the morning while I noticed the plastic bags which Aina bought last night.
Aina use to woke up at 7 in the morning and I wake up at 6 and used to look her while she is a sleep. Those plastic bags where of good quality. They aren’t from the Friday haat. They where like the same one which I can see in the news last night near mall blast.
I calm down myself with an innocent explanation. They might be the old bags as sometime haat don’t give bags.
Everything went perfectly fine as it was going till the time a Fire breakout took place in the biggest mall. 2 floors were completely gutted and many of them died and 3 were completely burned. And some of them reported missing.
And again the Aina was missing. I keep my self relax by saying she went to the dry cleaner as she told me in morning about it. Or to near McDonalds for some burger as she said she haven’t ate anything rubbish from long time. And in 10 mins she was at home with McDonald burgers. And I took a deep breath and relaxed.
But still there were thousand question running in my mind. Why didn’t she called for home delivery? Why today?
Everything went fine but then I noticed her salwar with few drops of blood on it. Where it came from? Is she fine? Might be because of Menstruation. I went to a bath. And ignored all the Bad thing.
The month went by. I kept a close look on the news on my computer screen. But there was nothing no riots , no blast and no Fire.
One day she brought home a bottle of wine. This time she took 2 glass of wine and ready to have the 3rd one. I touched her wrist gently. But she suddenly snapped her hand back by saying ‘I can handle it don’t try to play daddy with me.’
Yes I was worried and so I decided to follow her next evening. And then there was a drastic change in life came. I saw her whole new. Wearing tight and short dress. Dark red lipstick and Cigarette in her mouth. She was looking like a model. There were 3 mans with her. She seem to very close to the one who is handsome and seen to be lot stylish. They went up to the taxi and all drove in another one.
I was numb for a moment looking at them. Looking at her. I followed the car and looked at it stopped at the dry cleaner and then to the strawberry parlor for fruits.
She didn’t get time to change as I entered just after her. The red lipstick was still there. As she opened the door. ‘Oh! You came so early today?’
I handed him my bag and went to change. All the time there were the question in my mind. She isn’t happy with me. She look for a rich people. Who give him a classy lifestyle. That wasn’t my taste she knew it from starting. Even when I proposed her. Then why she is doing all that?
‘I am tired. I am going for sleep.’ I told her and went back to bed.
I stopped talking to her. Every time there was a fear that today or now she will left me. I use to walk early for office and come back late at night. I started ignoring her.
One day when I reached office one of my friend greeted me like I came from a battle. ‘How are you Shaan? Is Aina fine?’
‘What happen? Why are you so scared?’ I asked
‘Don’t you know there is blast near your area. Cinema hall which is just next to building.’ He replied.
I Ran my hand through my hair and gain my consciousness and ran towards the home. I pulled my car from the parking lot. Every minute in the traffic was scary. I keep on scrolling my phone for the news. And in few minutes there was another bomb last. Breathing was becoming impossible. I parked my car by the side and went in for looking for her. I didn’t want to look on ground I want to look straight and want to find her okay.
And there she was. I ran toward her. Her jaw was bleeding She was handling it with her one hand. I was shivering. I took her to one ambulance But there was no doctor. I shouted on the driver. 'What are you people doing her? Where is the doctor? I took her to the next ambulance and a nurse clean the blood and put up the bandage.
‘That’s it. You wont do any stitching?’ I said in a loud voice.
Nurse only replied with ‘Sir, she is just in state of shock. She is perfectly fine. Take her home and make her rest.’
I wasn’t fine by that. I made her sit in the car. When I finally cut the engine she began to cry.
‘Please’ I said ‘I can’t deal with any more drama right now. Not today!’
He went on her side and open the door But she didn’t step out. ‘Out!’ I said.
‘Are going to leave me?’ She asked while looking down.
He hold her in his arms and took him inside. She hugged him tight as much as she can.
He made her sleep on the bed. She hold his hand. And said ‘What did I do? I tried everything I can. Why are you pushing me? I can understand one day you being tired but every time. You are ignoring me from the last one week.’
‘Really?’ I asked ‘What about you?’
‘If you were unhappy with me you could have told me. Left me.’ I said. I told her everything I knew. About that dress, Handsome man, Cigarette and all.
There was a long silent between us for few minutes. Then she replied ‘I used to get out the moving cars. In college. The boys would challenge me and I would do it. And here the wine shop. No other women around. But I go there. I used to stand there looking at the bottles. It was like coming to a cliff, dangling a foot over. That feeling of being jolted out of my skin, knowing that I still wanted to live… you know?’
He didn’t know. But he didn’t interrupted.
‘NA kept me busy for a while. The risk of their lives was like magnetic force around me. It was a high, listening to them talk, talk ,talk but then I got bored. Needed a bigger high. Those guys were like me. We drink we smoke.’
He didn’t wanted to know more. He know all the rest.
She come forward hold my hand and said ‘But I don’t want to be like this.’ A tear rolled down. ‘I feel different with you.’
I looked down at my hands. Yes, 14 years. If she wanted she can leave me. But I had been a content man.
‘So, what do you want from me?’ I asked. ‘What do you want?’
‘ I want to be your wife.’ She replied. ‘If you don’t mind.’
I look at the innocence in her eyes. And said ‘If you promise me that You never put your life in danger. I can’t stand without you Aina. Feeling of losing you is much dangerous than losing myself.’
She nodded. I shifted the pillow and made her sleep.
I sat there and wondered the women I had chosen. Who go for blast, riots and what not. If I wanted to I could have picked a different woman. But she is right Fear is a special High.
And I sat on sofa and think all the things but more than that to save his love of life form all the danger. And then again I was once more a content man.