AnuPre FF. Memories That Burn

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Posted: 3 months ago

 

Title: Memories That Burn
Series: KasautiiZindagii Kay 2, locally known as Madefor Each Other. 
Pairing: Prerna and Anurag
Genre: Angst, Hurt, Drama with some Romance on the side
Rating: M (‘cause I don’t write for kids)
Timeline: Current (Ep 303+ goes off on its own)
Written: November 2019: The first story for this series, also firststory after an extended hiatus.
Proofed: Still to be completed 
Language: International (UK) English, with American dialogue (quotation)tags.
Word Count: W.I.P (1,784)

*·.·´¯`·.·* *·.·´¯`·. K Z K .·´¯`·.·*  *·.·´¯`·.·*

 Anurag was restless, but recently he always seems to be when she’s not around. He had hoped that by taking her home he would at least meet her husband and so get to size up the man who owned his childhood friend’s heart, only to be drought to the stark reality of her family’s situation. It has been since then that he could not find peace.

As with so many things in recent months, he has leaned to accept the inevitable, along with the fact that no one, including Prerna was willing to help him recover his memories. She had lied to him, but then could he consider it a lie? From his family’s actions he could deduce that she knew of his condition. So she might have acted under instruction. But how could he then make her understand that even though the doctors had said it was not advisable to push him, he somehow felt that he was missing out on something important, something he needed to remember. 

He could not understand it or reason it through… it just was. And somehow Prerna seemed connected to it all, she had to be, there had to be a reason as to why he felt such calm in her presence.

He had tried to reason with it, but somehow he could not. He could not understand why it was so easy to touch her and feel close to her when he could not even share that with his wife. But then he had no idea what he actually felt for his wife, he just knew that he did not want her close to him, touching him.

It was his restlessness which had driven him to her home, and while her mother had greeted him with a thinly veiled air of welcome, she had remained civil throughout his enquirers. She had gestured him up to Prerna’s room stating she was probably there. The action itself confused him. But when he considered the manner in which everyone treated him, he simply put it down to the fact that it was how things were between them, before he had lost his memory.

His agitation eased some as he made his way there. He welcomed the calmness that swathed him.He knew that it was that sense which brought him to her, time and again. It was the only way he could explain it – to himself. He knew he looked for reasons anything to see her or to talk to her when she was not around him and when she was he could just bask in her presence. And yet somehow it seemed right –normal even, as if she was a part of him somehow. And that in itself was confusing.

Had her husband been about he would probably have felt different about it.

He still could not understand how anyone could leave her. How could any man simply not be around? She had a presence that commanded attention and yet the man failed. And what type of a man could allow her to live in such conditions… she was expecting his child, how could he simply just leave her like that?

Anurag entered her room, and like her presence an immediate calm overcame him. Her scent lingered, her presence could be felt… and as he looked around, the unmistakable presence of another could also be sensed… one not yet there but whose impending arrival would become her world. he knew that once she’d given birth she would be taken from him, and he had no idea how he really felt about that. He had no idea how he even felt about the fact that she, Prerna, his non-stop chatter patter was pregnant.

He knew he had no rights to her, yet he could not help his curiosity. He wanted to know who the man was, who the father was. If he were honest with himself, he would admit that he actually wanted to know whom the person was she had allowed that close to her.

He found intimacy difficult, proximity hard, unless it was with her. He instinctively reached for her, could touch her without restraint, and for some reason that fact appease him. He knew he did not like others coming close to him. But with her he never minded. Other girls would irritate him, yet he felt safe and calm in her presence and that did not really confuse him as much as cause him to become restless.

He’d been conditioned for so long to understand what society expected of one, that it stilted him. But with Prerna he knew he could simply be. But his memory also haunted him with reminders that she had been a far more playful and carefree person. Sometimes she would challenged or teased him, leaving him with no idea as to how he should react to her. A smile crept onto his lips, only to slowly fade away… He remembers mischief in her eyes as a child, how challenging she could be, and that was no longer there. It was as if the playfulness had given in to a weariness she wore around her like a cloak.

He looked about her room. It was uncomplicated and straightforward, much like Prerna. He found himself drawn to the baby cot. He stood there looking at it. Somehow it felt right, it was something he could not explain or even begin to comprehend.  He stood next to it and felt as if he too should be at that stage of his life… and then wondered how she managed to carry on with her heart broken.

Prerna has always been a romantic.  A frown formed on his brow, he had no idea where that thought had come from, only that it was there.

His attention was drawn to an odd piece of string that hung from the end of the cot. He thought it an odd place for something like that. It seemed so unnecessary, so out of place. He reached for it.

On touching it a memory momentarily flashes. A temple. But as quickly as it was there it was gone. He loops it from its place and lifts it for closer inspection. He remembers having a similar one, along with a few other items. Although he cannot remember why he’d hung onto them, he knew, without a doubt, that they were important to him, or he would not have held onto them.

He checks it again, both of them having such string signifies something important… only he had no idea what. He places the string back, but it makes him uncomfortable. He should ask her about it, but he knew that like everyone else she would not tell him. Sometimes it felt as if they wanted to purposely change things, or rewrite things, and he could not understand why. Why anyone would want to do that?

 He thought it over for a moment and then realized that he should not fight certain things,that they were all part of his memories… such as his instinctive knowledge of who and what Prerna is. It also indicated something, larger something that scared him, but at the same time made sense. He also remembers her stubbornness. Why that seemed to come to mind he had no idea, but for some reason it made sense, it seemed important to remember.

His attention was drawn to a parcel that lay on her bed. He approached it. It seemed strangely out of place but at t he same time right where it should be. He drew it closer, knowing that it was not right to check her things, but somehow it drew him.

He checked inside and then reached in to pull out some of the contents, baby clothes, his heart ached, the reality of her condition only seemed to super impose itself on him. It had been easier not to think that it was a little human being growing in her body…that soon she would have different priorities and that she will think of someone other than him. At the same time, he could not understand why that thought disturbed him. Even more so than the fact that he was married and he had no rights on her, or she on him… well other than those he gave her.

He heard something behind him and turned to see who it was.  His entire body went ice cold at the though of being caught, red-handed, with the baby’s clothes.

Prerna moved farther into the room, towards him, and demanded, “What are you doing here?”

He did not like her tone. It was obvious enough for anyone who knew her that he was infringing on her privacy. “I… um…” He could not remember why he had actually come there for only that he needed to see her.And for some reason, that, in itself, had been reason enough. Prerna placed the clothes back in the bag and held out her hand for those he still held. He looked at it for a moment before finally asking, “You having a boy or a girl?”

She outright answered him, “I don’t know.”

Disbelieving he replied, “What do you mean you don’t know? They would have told you.” He handed her the clothes, for a moment confused. With all the developments of science…he knew that he would want to know. But perhaps it is better if he did not…that would make it easier to keep a distance from her and the child. Placing any distance, for any period of time, between him and Prerna was easier said than done.

“I did not want to know.” She said as she placed the remainder of the clothes back in the bag.

He tilted his head for a moment trying to establish as to why she would do such a thing and then blurted out, “But why?” It was not that he questioned her reasons, only he wanted to know.

“I am thankful for whatever the Goddess gives me.”She said turning towards him. “Is there a reason why you came here?”

“There was but now I can’t remember.” He knew it was a lame excuse, but it had to do. He liked keeping her close to him. Correct that, there was an instinctive need to keep her close. And whether that was from their childhood, or the fact that their fathers had been such good friends, it felt right and he had quickly learned that one should follow one's instincts.

everyone’s confusing behaviour towards her; his father's apology which made no sense, and then Anupam’s welcome and silence, his sister his mother, he had to discover the reason for it all.

 

Posted: 3 months ago

Anurag got into his vehicle. He made to start it but then stopped midway. He turned to look at the house, a frown once again forming on his forehead. He had no idea as to why he once again felt edgy… he had not even been away for her for that long and already he felt strange. He for a moment considered their situation… He had no idea if his father knew of their situation, but knew that his friendship with her father, along with the fact that they had together built Bassu publications to where it was, would have compelled his father to look out for the man’s widow and daughters – at least until the girls were married and settled. It made no sense. Unless his father had no idea. He started the car, intent on finding answers to these contradictions.  

As he entered the house his mother was the first to stophim with her usual, “There you are Anu, I was wondering when you would gethome. You know you really should let your wife know of your movements.”

“Mom.”

“I’m serious Anurag. You are married now. You cannot just come and go as you please, you have a responsibility towards your wife.”

“Mom, please, I need to speak to father, do you know where he is?”

“Anu first go and see your wife, your father can wait.”

“Mom…” he started but then thought better of  it, he knew it was pointless to try and change her mind, it was simply easier to do as she said. He nodded and turned from her. But as he walked away another troubling thought came to him, along with the realization that since running into Prerna, he no longer felt the desire or need to speak with Sonalika as often.

“There you are,” Sonalika’s greeting travelled towards him, for some reason causing his spine to stiffen. He could not quite fathom the reason why.

“I was waiting for you to return, I thought we could have dinner together and you could tell me about your day.” It seemed too sweet, and grated on his nerves. They were not a traditionally married couple, something she knew only too well. He had no desire or intention of pretending that they were.

“I just came to let you know that I’m home, but I really need to speak with my father.”

“Can it not wait, I haven’t seen you all day, you should spend some time with me as well.”

For some reason her words sounded clingy, something he had no desire for.  He held up his hands as she approached him and said, “I need to speak with my father.”

Sonalika pouted,something that suddenly seemed irritating and manipulative, yet he fought his instinct to place as much space as possible between them. Both Sonalika and his mother had a tendency to only hear what they wanted to hear when it came to things he wanted to do. “You can speak to your father after dinner. Come, I had the servants make your favourite.

Anurag had no desire for food, his stomach twisting as he forced himself to accompany her. He knew it would be best to maintain the peace in the house, the others did not understand his discomfort.

They passed Anupam as they made their way downstairs. The man’s expression was something between discomfort and tolerance, greeting them only in passing. It served to confuse Anurag even more. Anupam had always been easy going, sometimes bordering on being a clown, perhaps his marriage with Nivadita had saddened him… but then the ease with which he and Mr. Bassu got along, along with their apparent alliance on matters concerning him, confused him.

They settled for their meal. The words Sonalika spoke went right over his head as his own thoughts seemed unwilling to settle on any particular topic. The day’s events continued to repeat in his mind. That and what he had learned about Prerna’s condition.

Sonalika’s voice grated on his nerves, it seemed almost too saccharine, too artificial. His skin actually started itching in irritation until he could no longer stand it.

“Please excuse me, there is something I need to attend to.” He said as he rose from his seat.He checked for his car’s keys. He had no idea as to where he was going, only that he had to get away from there.     

He drove around for some time, unseeingly, following some unknown guide. It made no sense, but in some way he understood the need not to fight it. Whenever he tried, a twisting sensation settled in his gut,threatening to regurgitate his meal. He stopped outside an old temple. He looked at it, confused. While the restlessness was still there it seemed less.

He got out of the vehicle and made his way up the short flight of steps. There was no one in the temple, other than the idol of the Goddess Durga. He came to stand before her. It had been some time since he had visited a temple. He folded his hands and lowered his head before he spoke,“Goddess, I don’t understand things anymore, even my close ones confuse me. My mother always says that when one faces a problem you do not have an answer to,one should turn to the Goddess for guidance. I ask for your help with this.”

He opened his eyes and lifted his head. Then jolted. The temple seemed familiar, yet there was no actual reason why it should be. He looked at the idol of the Goddess, his gaze dropping to the Goddess’s feet,covered in sindoor.

There was a flash across his mind, an Image of Prerna in a wedding dress. She looked beautiful as a bride, simple but beautiful. He swallowed at the uncomfortable sensation that settled over his heart. He looked around the temple and wondered if Prerna had gotten married there, with him attending her wedding. “Why then can I not see her husband?”

He reached down and picked up some of the sindoor, another image flashed across his mind: One of him holding sindoor in front of Prerna. Anurag shook his head, immediately discarding the image. There was no way he could have married Prerna and not remembered it.Also, his mother would have ensured some fancy wedding with full rituals. Moreover,what would have driven them apart had that been the case?         

He placed the sindoor back on the feet of the idol and then stepped back. If anything his visit rendered him even more confused. He took his leave of the Goddess and left the temple. Once outside his uneasiness returned, increasing whenever he started towards his car. He clenched his hands and fought the irritation he felt building. He looked about and tried to assess at to which way rendered him feel less ill, then set off to it, allowing his instinct to guide him.

Just as he was about to give up, and proclaim the entire exercise futile, he noticed a hut off to the side. It drew him. He knocked on the door but there was no answer, then pressed against it and it swung free.Entering the room he called, “Is there anyone here?”

Silence answered him

He stepped into the simple home and looked about. Just as the temple it seemed familiar, comforting even. He moved about it and tried to understand the reason for it. He lowered his hand, touching the side of the cot, only for there to be another flash harder, stronger than the others before it. He stumbled back a step or two, waiting for his mind to make sense of the last flash. A nauseous sensation took hold of him as an image formed, one which started him far more than he would have thought anything could. His body flushed with heat at remembrance, his heart for a moment sped up, mere moments before his blood seemed to run cold. The sick sensation in his stomach increased and he wondered if it was somehow the Goddess punishing him for something.

A sense of warmth, love and connection filled him as images of Prerna filled his mind. His body instantly responded to the images, the memories of her holding him close, of being so close to her.   He closed his eyes, his hands covered his nose and mouth as he fought the sickening sensation that assailed him. He lowered to the ground, shaking his head in disbelief. He had wanted to know whom the person was she had allowed that close to her… It had been him. A hand tightened around his heart at the realization, the possible consequence of that memory. He sat on the ground, his heart racing, finding it difficult to breathe… it would imply that, could mean that, the child she was carrying… no he should not think such things… but the thought would not relent. 

Certainly his family would have informed him of such, she would have been living in the house, certainly. They would not cast out their own grandchild.

He shook his head. Everything only served to confuse him further. He needed answers, he had to find out the truth. He made to rise, only to realize that the truth was not something anyone seemed too keen to divulge to him. And were the flashes true, a far larger question loomed in his mind: Why would they allow him to marry Sonalika?  

He ran through the various people whom he could ask… He knew Prerna would not answer his questions, he had seen the weariness in her eyes when he had asked her about her husband. His mother was out of the question, she would divert the question onto something else, as she usually did when she did not want to answer a question. His father… he remained uncertain as to whether his father would, because he still had no idea as to why his father would then treat the mother of his child in such a manner. The only one left was Anupam. Anurag released a pent up sigh. He would ask Anupam, however he doubted whether the man would be able to comprehend the importance of the answer, or whether e like everyone else would sidestep things. But he had no other option.

With his mind made up, Anurag got up and made his way backto his vehicle.

The drive home did not take as long but it was only when he reached home that he realized the hour. He made for the stairs, then caught movement out of the side of his eye. He stopped to look in the direction it had come from, his entire body stiffening as Sonalika demanded, “Where have you been? I called you so many times.”

Anurag patted his pockets before replying, “I must have left my phone somewhere.”

“You haven’t answered my question. Where were you.”

Deciding that a half-truth was better than nothing he replied, “I went to the temple.”

“What were you doing there?” Sonalika demanded.

He quickly replied, “I needed some time to think.”

“Were you alone?”

Anurag felt his brow furrow at that and counter question,“and just who would I have been with?”

“Never mind,” Sonalika quickly, dismissively said, sweetly adding, “Come let’s get to bed then.”

Anurag shook his head and said, “No. I need to speak with Anupam first.”

Disbelieving Sonalika said, “At this hour? Can’t it wait until morning.”

“No it can’t.”

“I don’t know if Nivadita would be too pleased with that.”

“It won’t take long. Go up so long, I will join you shortly.” And with that Anurag turned back towards the stairs.

He knocked on Nivadita’s door, waiting for some response. Several moments later he knocked again only to hear Anupam murmur, “I’m on my way.”

He waited for Anupam to open the door, before reaching for the man’s arm, stating, “Come with me.”

“Hey! What’s this? Anurag.”  

“I need some answers, and you’re the one who stands to lose the least in this equation.”

“Anurag, what are you talking about?” Anupam demanded as they entered the study.

“I’ll make this easy, you only need to answer yes or no.”

In disbelief Anupam asked, “What?”

“The questions are simple enough,” Anurag said as he came to a standstill in the middle of the room.

“Prerna…” Anurag said, and then drew in a deep breath to steady his nerves.

“What about Prerna?” Anupam asked.

“Prerna and I were married?”

Anupam looked at him for several moments before asking, “Who told you this?”

“I said yes or no,” Anurag firmly edicted.

Anupam shifted his weight from one foot to the other, his expression wary before he finally closed his eyes and nodded, “Yes.”

He was tempted to ask what had happened, but instead reined in his curiosity and asked instead,“The child she is carrying, it’s mine?”

With less hesitation this time Anupam replied, “Yes.”

A thousand conflicting thoughts swirled in his mind, he gave voice to the most prominent,“Why is she not living here then?”

“She was asked to leave after your return.”

“What? Why?”

“We were told you needed space, that you should not be pressed to remember anything, and with her here… Everyone thought you would feel pressured to remember things best left forgotten.”

“It cannot be that bad.” Anurag countered in disbelief.

Anupam only shook his head.

“But why would mom allow me to get married again, if I was already married.”

“It is no secret that mother in law dislikes Prerna, she would willingly… no I had better stop there.”

“But that means that my and Sonalika’s wedding is void.”

“Much like your marriage to Komilika was.”

“What?” Anurag demanded.

“Just forget it,forget I even mentioned it.”

“No! You can’t do that.”

“It doesn’t matter anyway, Komilika is dead. It is irrelevant.”

“But Prerna… No I can’t even begin to understand this. And how do I, I mean how will I know how she feels about this. She is distant enough whenever I ask her anything about the baby and the father.”

“She is the only one who could answer you now.”

“She won’t,she’s stubborn like that.”

“I’m going to bed, I suggest you do the same.”

Anurag looked at Anupam in disbelief, demanding, “And just how do I do that? I can’t get into bed with a woman who’s not my lawful wife.

“You’ve been doing it up until now.”

“I didn’t know then.”

“Sleep in one of the guestrooms then,” Anupam dismissed the subject and left. 

Edited by K-Shandra - 3 months ago
Posted: 3 months ago

The sun had hardly risen when Anurag made for the door. He had no desire to be at home when the morning rota started, if he was honest he needed space between himself, his mother and Sonalika. Everything sat wrong with him. The entire set up, his mothers insistence some time back that Prerna decorate his room for the sugah rat, the fact that they would have known. He could not understand anyone’s need to inflict such emotional pain on Prerna. It angered him. He was also not oblivious of the venom Sonalika directed at Prerna… Prerna’s eyes could never lie to him, and he had spent the better part of the previous evening remembering every glance they had shared since his return. The meaning they had conveyed had had also changed entirely. And it was that which haunted him most.

She would hate him for inflicting such pain on her, even if it was unknowingly. And the thought of her ever hating him, even for a moment, was something he simply could not live with.

 

Back at the house, Sonalika stirred from her sleep. She at first looked about confused searching for Anurag, only to notice that his side of the bed had not been slept in. She clenched her fists and seethed, “Prerna, you are staring it again, but that is fine, I’ll take care of you, and that brat you’re carrying. Only I will give Anurag children.”

She gets out of the bed and prepares for the morning,intent on discovering from Anupam what they had discussed the night before. He managed to catch him just before breakfast, where she ‘sweetly’ called him aside.

The boy immediately stiffened, and Sonalika wondered what Nivadita had ever seen in him.

“Have you seen Anurag this morning?” Sonalika asked, knowing it was the better option to start with, especially since she suspected that Anupam would once again side with Anurag. She knew better than to underestimate the boy.

“I think he has left already, I know there was some work he needed to get done.”

“Certainly it could have waited until after breakfast.”

“Sister-in-law, you should know that Anurag can be very determined when he sets his mind on something.” Anupam calmly replied.

Sonalika murmured more to herself,  “Just a pity he never sets it on the thing that should be important to us.”

“What was that Sister-in-law?” Anupam asked,

“Nothing, Don’t worry,” Sonalika said turning her attention anew on Anupam. “Tell me, Anurag was somewhat troubled when he went looking for you last nigh, he said something about needing to speak with you urgently about something, What did you talk about.”  

Anupam looked uncomfortable for a moment, and shifted his weight, for a moment looking over Sonalika’s shoulder. Eventually he answered, “You know it Is not important for you to know.”

“Really, somehow I don’t believe you… Look I’m Anurag’s wife, if he is upset about something then it is my duty to know what that is and to make things easier for him, So, by all accounts, I have the right to know.”

Anupam again shifted his weight from one foot to another all the while thinking of a fitting response. Someone had once told him that partial truths were more believable so he replied, “Anurag was asking about babies, and more particularly why Nivadidta and I have not yet thought of having children.”

“Really, Anurag was asking about babies?” Sonalika asked, and then pondered on it for a few moments, before smiling, “That is good to know.”

“I think seeing as Prerna is pregnant, it somehow must have drawn his attention to the fact.”

“Possible,” Sonalika pondered, “I should go see him,” and felt somewhat pleased.

As she walked away from Anupam he smacked his head and murmured, “You idiot, you should not have said anything about Prerna.”


Anurag sat at his desk and checked his watch, she would soon arrive, the thought gave him some comfort but at the same time made him apprehensive. He had no idea as to how he should behave towards her, or if he could even behave normally towards her. He was nervous, and the reason for it continued to elude him. He knew her, she knew him, it should not be that difficult.

Prerna then entered his office, carrying him morning coffee, reminding him that he had not yet eaten.

“Good morning,” Prerna greeted him as she placed his coffee on his desk asking, “Security told me you were here early this morning, is there anything you need, should I get you something to eat?”

Previously he would have only thought her to be a concerned employee, but he could hear her wifely concern behind her words and it soothed his nerves. It gave him hope that things could still be resolved, although there were some difficult decision that needed to be made.

Prerna cleared her throat, causing him to once again focus on her. He recognized the puzzled look she gave him, moments before she turned her one hand pal up in his direction, adding, “What happened?”

He quickly sat uptight and asked, “Why?”

“No. It’s just that you look like someone has just taken away your favourite toy.”

Anurag smiled, her response seemed so apt that he could not resist the opportunity to gall her, “If I remember correctly, you were always the one who took and hid my toys.”  

Prerna looked affronted as she said, “That’s not true, I only hid the ones I liked.”  

“And if I remember correctly, that included all my favourite toys?”

Prerna smiled at him, one that actually went to her eyes.His heart seemed to swell in his chest, he liked it when she smiled, liked to make her smile. But there was a truth to her words that served as a damper to his mood. He knew that someone had taken her, his favourite thing in the world, from him the moment they separated them, and for some strange reason seemed intent on keeping them apart. He had to find out who was behind it all. And until then he could not let others know his memories were slowly returning. He would speak with Anupam and tell his brother-in-law to keep mum about their conversation.

“What is the sudden serious expression for?” Prerna asked,prompting him from his thoughts once again, leaving him to wonder how many times she may have done it in the past.  

He looked at her and then asked, “Prerna, I want to ask you something, it’s personal so it’s okay if you don’t want to answer it.” He saw her hesitation as he continued, “I know you don’t like talking about your child’s father, but I just wanted to ask you one question.”

Prerna folded her arms in which he already knew was a defensive stance, only this time he knew that she was bracing herself against more than his words. “Ask, I’ll decide whether I want to answer it.”

Anurag took a deep breath and braced himself for the worst as he asked, “Do you still love the father of your child.” He noted the sudden jolt as the question registered, knowing it was possibly the last question she had expected from him.

She gently shook her head once before asking, her expression confused, “Why would you ask that.”

“I’ve seen how you often touch your stomach, but at the same time, you tend to get into situations you shouldn’t, given your condition.”

He saw her expression soften, and for a moment thought of the possibility that he had said it to her previously. “I was just wondering.”

Her expression softened and she smiled faintly, “I love him more than my life.” 

“You’re very strong, to carry on during such difficult times and not turn bitter.”

Her hands instinctively went to her belly, and for a moment he felt a twinge of envy, not for the child inside, but for the very reason that he wanted to be able to do that as well.

Prerna firmly stated, “I can face anything for my child. It is the one thing no one can take from me.” 

Anurag knew it was out of place but he needed to know.“She’s a real love child then.” Prerna looked at him and he instantly he realized that she had misunderstood him, he quickly added, “No, don’t misunderstand me, what I meant to say that the baby is a result of your love.”

Instantly  her expression changed, softened, as a gentle smile graced her lips, “Yes.”

He took courage from her words.

Prerna turned from him and said, “I’ll arrange for some breakfast for you.” Just then she grunted, her one hand going to her side.

Anurag shot out of his chair and was next to her within moments, “Prerna are you okay, is the baby okay.” Without thought he reached for her. 

Prerna held up her one hand, the other one rubbing the side of her stomach, causing him to lift his hands from her. “I’m okay, it’s just the baby kicking my ribs again.” She looked at him and added, “It’s okay, it gets a little overly jubilant at times. I’ll be fine in a moment.”

Anurag looks at her belly and then asks without giving his request any thought, “Can I feel.”

Prerna looked at him with obvious uncertainty. It was only then that he realized exactly what it was that he had asked. He was about to revoke his request when she took his hand and guided it into position. His fingers instinctively curved and shaped into position. His breath caught and his heart thudded as he waited for the baby to kick. Several moments later he said, “I don’t feel anything.”

“Be patient, the baby does not kick all the time.”    

He felt her hand press against his, moments before he felt a pressing sensation against his palm. It caused his heart to race even faster,his mind to focus on only that sensation. Wonder filled him, the knowledge that it was his child caused a lump to form in his throat. He swallowed against it. Elation bubbled forth. He had had some time to come to terms with his discovery the evening prior, but the incredulity of the moment threatened to overwhelm him. He cleared his throat, allowing his fingers to rub the area. Her grasp did not go unnoticed as he said, obviously addressing the baby, “You shouldn’t kick your mom that hard.” In response the baby kicked again. Anurag looked at Prerna and said, “I think she is going to be stubborn like her mother.”

Causing Prerna to challenge. “Really, and just how do you know it is a girl?”

“I decided, it’s a girl. She will be beautiful like her mother, and have all the boys fall in madly in love with her.”

Prerna looked at him and lifted her hand threateningly as she said, “Don’t go and curse me with problems even before my child is born.”

 Anurag held up his hands in surrender, “Her father will be a lucky man indeed, to have both a beautiful wife and daughter.”

“You do realize that there is only a fifty-fifty chance that you can be right,” Prerna challenged him, but her eyes betrayed her, their glow was missing.

Anorag prepared to provoke her, hoping to rekindle her mischievous nature when Sonalika entered his office. Her sharp demand of, “What’s going on here?” Not only drew their attention but had them turn to look at her.Her

Anurag shrugged his shoulders and said, “The baby was kicking, I was just curious.”

Sonalika looks at them with suspicion, especially Prerna. Her eyes sent piercing daggers at Prerna as she sweetly said, “Yes, I believe you and Anupam were discussing babies last night. But I’m certain it will be just a matter of time before you will also share such good news with the family.”

Anurag could not understand what Sonalika was talking about, for they both knew that they had not been as intimate, and he now knew there was no chance of them ever being that intimate.

Prerna must have picked up on his discomfort, for she turned her attention to him and said, “Has Anupam shared good news with you? And you haven’t even told me. Shame on you!”

Anurag for a moment looked at her, not knowing how he could even start to explain what they had discussed. But it was as if she had given him a way out of the situation. He would not for even a heartbeat deny that his discovery the previous evening had been the best news he had ever received. Shocking but good. He had no reason to deny it, just as it was not his fault if anyone misunderstood the meaning of what he said. Thus he calmly replied, “Yes he did.”

Prerna smiled as she said, “I was wondering when he and Nivadita would conceive. I’m happy for them.” Somehow it seemed too much, for she had been abused enough by his family’s demands – were he to believe Anupam. But Anupam had no reason to lie to him. 

 Sonalika appeared a little lost in the conversation, while Prerna appeared honestly and genuinely delighted by the news.

“Anyway,”Sonalika said, once again drawing attention to herself. She looked at Anurag, her eyes flickered to Prerna, as she spoke, “I think we should also have a baby. That way they will both have companions and playmates as they grow up.” Sonalika turned her attention towards Prerna as she continued, “Don’t you think so? Sibling companionship is so important. Perhaps you should think of having another… oh, wait, I forgot your husband is not around.” 

Her words angered Anurag, who clenched his fists in an attempt to remain calm. 

Anurag saw Prerna stiffen her spine. She tilted her head to the side. Somehow he knew that she was going to give just as a biting reply. “Tell me, Sonalika, just how is it that you know anything about my husband?”

Sonalika for a moment looked uncomfortable, but answered, “Oh, Mrs Mohini told me that he had left you. I’m so sorry for you?”

Prerna shook her head as she replied, “Sorry to disappoint you, but you are sorely mistaken… My husband is with me, no matter what you think.”

“Really and how is that?”

“My husband did not leave me, someone tried to come between us.”

“Sonalika looked at her with something akin to mock disbelief, “Well I would say she succeeded.”

“That remains to be seen.”

Sonalika taunted in reply, “Oh, you seem  to have a lot of faith in him.”

Outright, Prerna replied, “I know him, and I trust what we share.”

“You know,  Mrs Mohini was right… You have a problem with accepting reality.”

“You ‘re one to speak,” Prerna challenged.

“Watch your place,Prerna Sharma. You work for my husband, I can get you fired and thrown out of here in no time.”

“Then do it.”Prerna challenged, “I would be happy to leave.”

Anurag stood stunned at the interaction while Sonalika appeared visibly shocked at Prerna’s defiance.

“Now if you don’t mind I have work to do, so I will leave you to your husband.” And with that Prerna left a seething Sonalika in Anurag’s office.

Edited by K-Shandra - 3 months ago
Posted: 3 months ago

Anurag sat looking at the house, the first time he dropped her there, he had thought it her husband’s home, which was why he had kept his opinion to himself. But after learning the full particulars of their situation, the fact that she had to take shelter there, with her sister and mother irked him. 

He knew what his objective with this particular visit was, only he had no idea exactly how he would achieve this. He had fond memories of Veena Sharma, but he also knows that her daughters got their determination from her. Thus he knew convincing her to agree to his offer was not going to be easy. He got out of the vehicle and made for the door. The house was not as large as their home had been, but was a safe haven he was grateful Prerna had. She had her family around her and that made the irritation he suffered whenever separated from her tolerable.

Gathering together his courage, unknowing of what welcome he would receive, he lifted his hand to knock on the door.

Shivani opened the door and looked him over with an obvious degree of distain, before stating,“Sister Prerna is not here,”

“I know, she has an appointment with her doctor.” Anurag said, sounding more confidant than he actually felt.

He had wanted, no hoped, to accompany her, but he knew she would not allow it thus he had made the best of circumstances. He looked past Shivani as he said, “I came to speak with your mother, is she home?”

Shivani only nodded and gestured for him to follow her. Once he’d stepped inside Shivani called out, with some measure of irritation in her voice, “Mom, Anurag Bassu is here to see you.” 

Mrs Sharma appeared several moments later and Anurag folded his hands in greeting, however the action was not returned. Prerna’s mother instead nodded her head and indicated for him to speak.

“Mrs Sharma, I was hoping that I could speak with you.”

Veena nodded and asked, “What about?”

Anurag gestured to their surroundings before he spoke, “I am aware of the events leading up to your current situation, I was hoping that we could talk about matters.”

“And why would you want to do that?”

“Please, Mrs.Sharma, allow me to help you with this, it is only right for me to do so.”

“And why do you think so?”

 Anurag was tempted to tell her that he knew that the baby Prerna was carrying was his, but until he figured out what was going on, and why everyone was treating Prerna the way they were, he did not want to disclose anything. “Please, Mrs. Sharma, I know that your husband died in an accident whilst travelling with my father. That loss would have been difficult enough for you and your daughters. But to loose your house to a fire,that would have removed any security you had. Please, Mrs. Sharma, You have two daughters in your care I cannot see you or them endure this.”

 Veena adamantly replied, “Anurag, you need not concern yourself with such matters. This is our concern, not yours, we will manage.”

“But I don’t see it that way.” Anurag adamantly replied, “Your husband was my father’s best friend, he helped my father not only establish the business but also our position in society.” Veena for a moment looked irritated, however Anurag persevered. “It is because of this friendship that I am compelled to help. Were Mr. Sharma still alive, matters would be different. But because he is not, and because my father view both Shivani and Prerna as his daughters, I cannot allow for them to continue living under such circumstances.”

Veena made to say something, possibly to object and he cur her short, “

“I know there’s some problem with Prerna’s husband, and she does not want to discuss it with me, but, please, she’s pregnant and will soon have the baby. It would be better if you were back in your own home.”

  “Anurag,” Veena firmly started, “I have learned over the years, that the moment your family becomes involved in our matters, things always seem to go wrong. My husband and your father were good friends and for my husband’s sake I tolerated your mother’s snide remarks and comments. But after everything that has happened, I want absolutely nothing to do with your family. We will manage on our own, thank you.”

Anurag could feel panic mounting within him. He had to think fast. “Then allow me to help you anyway.”

“Anurag!” Veena cautioned him.

“No, please, hear me out.” Anurag asked, for a moment holding his hands out as if to stop her. “If you will not allow me to help you, let me buy your home, that way you will have the means to start anew.”

   Veena looked at him for several moments visibly mulling over her options, then said, “But it is not worth much, the structural engineers said it will have to be torn down.”

“I will handle all that as and when needed.”

Obvious concern seeped into Veena’s voice as she said, “I have no idea what the property would be worth, and there is still the outstanding mortgage on the home.”

 “We can arrange for an assessor to assess the property.”

Veena looked at him with suspicion, and Anurag realized that Veena had grown suspicious of the intentions his family had. And with what he had recently learned he was not surprised.  

“If you would feel more comfortable with it, you can get your own in, I’ll be willing to pay for their services, and that of an engineer.”

 “What are you two discussing?” Shivani asked,returning with some tea. Anurag was surprised, not having expected any hospitality from them.

“We were discussing our house.”

“The police and the fire brigade said it was arson,” Shivani said holding the tray towards Anurag. 

“Arson?” Anurag asked, surprised but also confused.

“Drink your tea,Anurag, I will think over your offer and let you know.” Mrs. Sharma said,before turning from them.

“What offer?”Shivani asked.

“I offered for someone to have a look at your home, see what needs to be done, but..”

“But what?” Shivani demanded.

“Your mom is not willing, so I offered to buy the house, that way you can at least have the means to start afresh.”

Shivani looked at him, with some suspicion, as she asked, “And what does sister Prerna say about this?”

“Why does everyone always ask me that question?” Anurag asked, hoping that Shivani would cast caution to the wind and tell him that which he already knew, so that he could use it to confront his family. He could then put a stop to all the pretence and claim his full rights on Prerna. He may not yet fully understand what was between him and Prerna, but he understood his desire to be near her and their child, and that was reason enough.

Shivani made to answer, causing his breath to catch and hope to swell in his chest, only to visibly stop herself. It was that reaction with everyone that irritated him the most.He knew that no matter what had happened between them, Prerna still loved him.And while he knew her to be very forgiving – he shook his head, for a moment trying to establish where the thought had come from. He knew it would be too much to ask of her to forgive his family for ousting her for whatever their reason might have been. Fact remained, she was his wife, carrying his child,and they should have looked after her. Regardless of what happened, they should have at least provided for his child, but no one had thought the child important enough, and that angered him immensely.  Snapping aback to their conversation, Anurag said, “No, please,tell me what you wanted to say.”

Shivani looked in the direction her mother had moved before replying.  “It’s just that sister would not approve.”

“But you also live there, you have also lost your home,” Anurag reasoned, “Try to convince your mother to allow me to make repairs to your home. That is Prerna’s childhood home, all of us played there, I cannot just sit idle on this.”

Just then Veena returned and said, “If that  is how you truly feel about this matter, Anurag, then I will tell you what Veena said I will allow you to bring someone to check the structural soundness of the house.If all it needs is some minor repairs then I will allow you to help us, but no more. Do you understand Anurag? We will take care of the rest, And listen to me closely and hear me on this Anurag, if you break your promise or you cause Prerna any trouble, I will not spare you. I am only allowing this because of who you are and the friendship your father shared with my husband. Once you have been assured that everything is fine, that my daughters would be safe living there again, I want you to leave. ”

Anurag knew it would be futile to push for more. He would arrange whatever he thought necessary with the contractors and work crews. He did however state a condition, “I will agree to this, but only if you promise me something in return.”

Veena indicated for him to continue.   

“I know that Prerna is going through a difficult time, with her husband away, so please don’t tell her that I am responsible for all this. Please, I know she will argue.” He smiled at the memory of her challenging him.

“You remember her?” Shivani said, “I’ve seen that look on your face before.”

“I remember how she was never scared to stand down, even as a child, when she hid my toys. Idon’t think that is something that would have changed.”

“It hasn’t.”Shivani stated.

 Prerna and Anurag had worked in a comfortable silence for some time already. At times it was as if she could read him mind, knew what needed even before he himself knew.Whenever he looked at her, he realized that even though he did not remember,she did. While her behaviour was not that of anyone wronged – he knew she had been. He had once caught her glancing his way, when she did not think he was watching. It was the pain in her eyes that scratched his soul. His heart ached whenever it appeared. And while he had no idea how to soothe it, he hated the mere fact that it was there, that he could have put it there.

He desperately wanted to approach her, and let her know that he knows, only he could not bring himself to do it. He knew that if the dynamics of their interactions suddenly changed, then it would alert others. He had noticed how everyone would first look at her, as if questioning her, before proceeding with whatever they had wanted to discuss with him. It irritated him, but he also understood that with her position it was to be expected.

As quitting time approached, his feet turned heavy. He sought any reason to remain at the office, but knew he could not avoid going home altogether. Just as he knew that Sonalika had complained to his mother again. The call earlier, summoning him to a family dinner that was as good as mandatory, had been indication enough. And if he was totally honest with himself, he had no desire to sit around the table with everyone else. He wondered exactly how severely his mother intended to question him this time, just as he had tired of the need to provide reasons for his actions. He knew he needed to speak with his father about Prerna’s home,and the meal may provide him with the opportunity. He was certain his father had no knowledge, for he would have done something – Anurag was certain of that.”

He entered the home, feeling the complete opposite of what he should. His back muscles stiffened. He saw Anupam walking about, making some arrangements on his phone…He felt her rather than saw her, and it concerned him far more than it should have. The crawling sensation along his spine he had experienced before, that much he knew, only the reason for it he did not understand.

“There you are,Anu, baby. I was wondering when you would get home. You know mom told me you would be home for dinner but I did not believe her. You’re so busy these days.”

“Well I’m home now,” he said, extracting himself from her clutches. “Please excuse me. I will go freshen up before diner.”

 Everyone settled at the table, and it felt somewhat stilted. He had no idea whether it was the usual feeling around the table these days, or if it was just him being overly sensitive to everyone’s mood. For a moment he considered the possibility that his outlook had changed, that the people around the table no longer seemed as sincere as they claimed to be. 

The atmosphere around the table remained tense, as dishes were politely handed about. The servants loomed, serving or retrieving whatever was needed, while the conversation between the occupants remained stilted, focusing on more superficial interactions.

It was Sonalika who stirred the pot, with the seemingly harmless comment of, “I recently heard some exciting news,” she then looked towards Nivadita, “Why don’t you share the news with everyone?”

Nivadita frowned in obvious confusion as she wearily replied, “I don’t have any news to share.”

“I believe Anupam informed Anurag of your pregnancy,” Sonalika sweetly said.

“What!” Nivadita exclaimed, turning to look at Anupam in obvious and total shock.

“Is this true Nevi? Are you pregnant?” Mohini asked, her tone delighted for the first time that evening.

“No mom. I have no idea where that came from?” She glared at Anupam, as if to extract blood from him.

“Pitty. It would have been lovely to have another baby in the house.” Maloy said, his words had everyone turn to look at him. Mohini glared at him before casting her eyes towards Anurag. Moloy the quickly countered by asking, “What? If it were to be a little girl, she would be as pretty as her mother, because heavens help us we don’t need another Anupam.”

“Don’t be like that father in law, I would be happy with either.” Anupam firmly stated.

Sonalika then looked at Anupam, with obvious confusion, and asked, “Did you not tell Anurag that your wife was expecting?”

“No. But I would definitely be more than happy to comply with such plans.”

“Anupam, have some shame!” Nivadita scolded him.

Sonalika then turned to Anurag and said, “But you had said something like that, that you and Anupam had discussed babies. That Anupam had given you some good news.”

“We had discussed babies,” Anurag started, “But Anupam never said anything about sister Nivadita being pregnant. You must have misunderstood the conversation.”

Nivadita immediately looked relieved.

“I did not misunderstand anything…” Sonalika quickly countered, “ Wait a minute, just what did Anupam say to you? If you were discussing babies, what were you discussing.” Anurag did not like her tone.

Wordplay, his family was good with it, especially when providing truthful answers without proper clarification. It was a skill he did not often indulge in, but knew howto use. “Anupam only verified that he would soon be an uncle.”

Anurag’s words rendered the entire table motionless. The air thickened, filled with suspense.And even without any confirmation, he knew exactly what they all thought. No one seemed willing to even speak. 

Sonalika was again the one to speak, “But Prerna was right there when we discussed this, why did you not correct her?”

Anurag replied,“Because you did not give me the opportunity to.”

An uncomfortable silence followed, and this time Mohini broke the silence, possibly injecting too much enthusiasm into her tone as she said, “So, Anu, tell us what you have been up to?”

Anurag for a moment thought over the question, uncertain as to what she actually wanted to know. “We’re in the process on negotiating a deal, so there’s not much to tell.”

“That’s strange,because when I called Prerna, to find out where you were and why you weren’t answering my calls, she mentioned that she was at the doctor.” Sonalika said.

“She had to go for a check up.” Anurag replied, not liking Sonalika’s tone. He had promised Prerna that he would always be there to support her… again the realization struck him as familiar, but he could not place it. 

“So you weren’t with her?” Sonalika demanded.

“No, I had a meeting to attend.” Anurag answered, his thoughts still on the realization. 

“Really, Anu,”his mother started, “Things like that should be done on her own time.”

“And just how is she supposed to arrange that?” Anurag demanded, instantly irritated.

“You really should replace her. She gets so little work done in her condition. She has also not even worked for you long enough to qualify for leave.”

“Prerna will remain with me until I find a suitable replacement.”

“Really, Anu,”Mohini started, “You are not responsible for her or the Bajaj brat she’s carrying.”

“Mom!”

“Mohini!” Anurag and his father simultaneously, angrily, cautioned.

“How can you say that?” Anurag demanded, he felt a band contract around his heart, but he also knew that his mother was a master at wordplay.

“Because it is the truth.” Mohini maintained, flashing Maloy a warning glance.

“Who is this Bajaj?” Anurag demanded

Mohini did not miss a beat as she maliciously replied, “He’s Prerna’s husband. The one who divorced her and left her pregnant.”

Anurag looked towards Anupam, who’s eyes met his. Anupam gently shook his head once. Anurag then looked at his mother as he said, “ Mom, you should not speak of someone like that.”

“Well it’s a fact, I don’t have to pretend that it is anything else.” Mohini malevolently replied, adding, “ don’t see why you should in any way feel responsible for either her or the brat she’s carrying.”

“Mohini!” This time Maloy glared a this wife, “That is enough! Can’t you see you are upsetting Anurag. The doctor implicidly stated that he should not be angered or upset,but you just…” He fell silent for a moment. “You say such foul things without thinking. How would you like it someone said that about your daughters?”

“My daughters would not do such things.”

“Says the same woman who thought it appropriate to try and marry Prerna off to a despicable man twice her age!”

“What?” Anurag demanded, his heart racing as he turned to his mother and demanded, “Mom is this true?”

His mother looked uncomfortable, which cased him to again look towards Anupam, who nodded.

“Please mother-in-law, everyone, it is not good to upset Anurag like this…” Sonalika started, but her words went unheeded as Anurag a visibly distressed he shot up. “Anu, baby, calm down.” Sonalika said, as she too got up and reached for his arm.

Anurag jerked free from her hold and shouted, “Leave me alone! Don’t touch me! Don’t even come near me.” He made to say something else, but thought against it. He instead turned from the table and left.

“Anu, you can’t leave here without eating something,” Mohini insisted, however her argument went unheeded.

As Anurag stomped away, Sonalika turned to them and angrily demanded, particularly from Mohini“What were you thinking? You know the doctors said that you should not discuss past events with him, that it would upset him, now look what has happened.”

“I couldn’t help it, he’s always spending time with that girl, worrying about that girl when he should be focused on you.” 

“What does it matter?” Anupam said causing everyone to look at him,  “He will cast her aside soon enough.”

“Anupam, he is my son, he will do no such a thing. He takes his commitments and responsibilities seriously.” Mohini said.

“Exactly, and as soon as the rest of his memories return, he will take up his responsibilities,and everyone at this table knows where those responsibilities lie.”

“What,” Mohini demanded glaring at Anupam, “What are you saying?”

“He knows Prerna is important to him.” Anupam said, also rising from his seat.

“Anupam, sit!”Nivadita commanded.

“You may choose to remain here, but I don’t agree with what is happening here.”

“You should be more supportive.”

“And I have told you before that I will support you, that I will stand behind you only when you are right.” Anupam defiantly stated.

“What is going on here?” Mohini demanded glaring at Anupam.

“I will make it simple for you, mother in law. The thin veil of civility is slipping, revealing an unavoidable truth.” he looked towards Sonalika as he continued, “The fact that your actions, and choices have shattered this family.” Anupam looked towards Mohini as he continued. “The day Anurag remembers everything you have done to Prerna, is the day he will come to hate you.”

“Don’t you daresay that about my Anu! I have only ever done what I thought best for him.”

“If you had, then you would know that Prerna is the one for him,” Anupam then pointed to Sonalika, “…and you would not constantly be trying to marry him off to women like her.”

“Anurag chose to get married.” Sonalika professed.

“Which he would not have done had his mother not conveniently forgotten that he’s already married. And no matter what anyone claims or says, Prerna remains Anurag’s first wife.”

“Be quiet, he will hear you.” Mohini chided.

“He knows.”


Link to next series of chapters  (site will not allow. Manual shift to page 2 then.

Edited by K-Shandra - 2 months ago
Posted: 3 months ago

Res

Posted: 3 months ago

Originally posted by K-Shandra


 

Title: Memories That Burn
Series: KasautiiZindagii Kay 2, locally known as Madefor Each Other. 
Pairing: Prerna and Anurag
Genre: Angst, Hurt, Drama with some Romance on the side
Rating: M (‘cause I don’t write for kids)
Timeline: Current (Ep 303+ goes off on its own)
Written: November 2019: The first story for this series, also firststory after an extended hiatus.
Proofed: Still to be completed 
Language: International (UK) English, with American dialogue (quotation)tags.
Word Count: W.I.P (1,78...


WOW! Love your way of explaining scenarios!! Would love to see where the story heads. Please keep updating.

Posted: 3 months ago

Oh wow, I never thought I'd be eager to read any fanfiction on this forum but this one is compelling me to read and comment. Also happy it's an Anupre story. 

It's so well written and I do like Anurag's characterization here.  I'm interested to see where this goes and I have highlighted my favorite parts below. 

Originally posted by K-Shandra


He’d been conditioned for solong to understand what society expected of one, that it stilted him. But with Prerna he knew he could simply be.

This. 

This is how I perceive Anurag. 

Originally posted by K-Shandra



A nauseous sensation took hold of him as an image formed, one which started him far more than he would have thought anything could. His body flushed with heat at remembrance, his heart for a moment sped up,

A sense of warmth, love and connection filled him as images of Prerna filled his mind. His body instantly responded to the images, the memories of her holding him close, of being so close to her.

Not writing for kiddies, but also not being explicit while at the same time also creating an accurate visual of what is going onsmiley36

Posted: 3 months ago

Reviewing Chapter 3:


Originally posted by K-Shandra


“Much like your marriage to Komilika was.”

“What?”Anurag demanded.

“Just forget it, forget I even mentioned it.”

“No! You can’t do that.”

“It doesn’t matter anyway, Komilika is dead. It is irrelevant.”

smiley36

Oh I wish the show takes this route, imagine Anurag's face when hearing about Komo. Could imagine Parth's face during the interview when he learnt the other Anu had 4 wives. 

 

Originally posted by K-Shandra


***

“I’m going to bed, I suggest you do the same.”

Anurag looked at Anupam in disbelief, demanding, “And just how do I do that? I can’t get into bed with a woman who’s not my lawful wife.

“You’ve been doing it up until now.”

“I didn’t know then.”

“Sleep in one of the guestrooms then,” Anupam dismissed the subject and left. 

***

Savage!

This Anupam is slightly different to the show's one. I like it that Anurag went to him for answers. 

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