"Sir, it's very late. You must go home," said Puneet, Ranveer's manager, to him as he found his boss still in the bar, who'd been drinking continuously for 2 hours. Ranveer would come to this bar every night, drink carelessly for hours before going home. If he could help, RV would stay in this place all night long.
"Sir, please!" Puneet repeated in a requesting tone.
Ranveer looked at him, his eyes out of focus.
"What's the matter?" he asked curtly.
"It's late, sir, and you must be getting home now. Tomorrow we have an important meeting with Mr. Wilson. You know how important it is for us. He'll be arriving early in the morning. "
Ranveer thought for a second, and said, "Yes, yes! I remember that. I'm going home; better you go as well."
"You're drunk, sir. I will drop you, if you don't mind."
"No, I'll take care of myself. It's late and you should be preparing for the meeting." Yes, he'd been reckless with himself. How did it matter? His life. His rules.
Puneet did not further argue knowing the short temper of his boss that would originate from nowhere. He shook his head wondering about this impulsive behavior of his boss and headed towards his home.
It was already late but Ranveer did not feel any inclination to go home. He drove slowly and steadily. The thought of going back to his house shot him with a strong spasm of pain and countless painful memories flashed through his mind. He winced, but they became stronger with the time passing.
His car stopped in front of the grey gates of his house and the guards opened them to let his car enter.
Ranveer went to his house: it was empty and the lights were closed. The Parekh Family did not live there anymore. Otherwise there used to be lots of tumult even late at night. His parents were sleeping in their room. Without wanting others to disturb he tiptoed to his room silently.
The room was dark. The darkness seemed dreadful to him. Ranveer looked here and there as if waiting for something unexpected to happen. But things remained normal and nothing changed. He swallowed hard as he took last steps towards his room. He placed his jacket on the bed and sat there restlessly. He still looked around him hoping for everything to change. He hoped from one dark corner of his room Ishaani would turn up scolding him for his carelessness of coming home late, and he would apologize to her saying he would never make her wait for him like this again and hug her tightly. But deep down he knew it was not possible now.
Ishaani had left Ranveer promising him to free him from her presence forever.
"This is what you wanted, Ranveer," she had said smiling, that evening. "And I will most certainly let you go if you find happiness like this."
He had not understood her gesture back then, and when he did, it was too late.
"Ishaani, don't leave me. I'm sorry!"
But his apology had had no impact on her at all. She looked determined and stiff when she said her final goodbye to him.
"Don't wait for me ever, Mr. RV," she had said in a sad voice. "For I will never come back."
His all efforts of apologizing to her had gone in vain. Ishaani left his house and her family went with her as well.
He insulted her when she deserved all his love. She deserved his company when he labeled her as a characterless woman not knowing the truth. He labeled her truth to be a means of her selfishness. It was not so. She was his. She had always been his wife: loyal to him. But his misjudgment caused him to lose her. Truthfully, he was not giving any thought to his pain, but his heart would shatter thinking the loneliness, the pain she was in because of him. His derogatory remarks about her infidelity would have torn very core of her soul that he ignored because of his blind anger for her.
It had been months since he saw Ishaani in his house. He had met her in various business meetings and she would get misty eyed whenever she would see him but say nothing. She never answered his questions despite his continuous attempts.
Ranveer stood up from the bed, tears pouring out of his eyes profusely. He looked at her photo that still was in his phone. She looked pretty in that smile and carefree too. He had loved her that way. Her smile healed his heart even now. But he hated himself for depriving that happiness from her.
Life had changed for worse, but he knew he and Ishaani were like the two doves that could not survive without each other.
No matter what she said, he decided to get her back.