If you missed Episode 26 Click HERE
Days passed by; sometimes sped and sometimes ambled. In this way, two months had gone by. In this period Aariz never contacted Komal,
as he was too afraid about her possible reaction toward his forced marriage, but his heart had never stopped thinking about her for a single moment. With the passage of time, their love for each other grew to be more profound, more passionate and more intense, and at the same time more absorbing.
It was exactly month after his marriage when someone rang Aariz.
“Yes?” Unusually, his voice felt tired and painful.
“Aariz this is me, your Komal.” The voice was flawlessly mellow, enchanting and vibrant.
For some moments, he was breathless, speechless as well.
“Aariz?” She breathed, unable to control her excitement anymore.
“It’s a suprise for me.” He said thickly, his voice still didn’t show any tinge of excitement or happiness.
She waited for him to say something, but on his silence she said.
“Well, here’s another suprise for you, a big one.” She told him, enjoying his condition.
“Aariz, I’m in Pakistan, in your city Karachi.” Komal said excitedly. “I’m back.”
He was completely silent for a few seconds before he spoke again.
“What about your parents?”
He heard Komal sighning loudly.
“I have left them.” Her answer was quick and short.
“Left them?” He couldn’t believe her, forgetting for a moment that this was what they had decided.
“Yes, I revolted.” She said without much expression. “They refused to give me my happiness. I refused to obey them.”
“Komal…. I…. I’ve to tell you something.”
The words burst out like a despairing cry and there was silence for a minute before she said quietly.
“May I know what is that?”
“I can’t tell you right now.” He whispered. “We need to meet.”
“But is everything alright?” Her voice was now shaking with some unknown fear.
“I’d tell you each and everything once we meet.”
He put the phone down and Komal sat looking at hers, her hands coming to her mouth in an unconcious gesture of anxiety.
Something was probably wrong, and she had to find it out soon.
Two hours later, Aariz behind the wheel of his car. He cranked the engine and ground his teeth. With a jerk, his car raced toward Komal’s place and so did his heart.
When he reached there and rang the doorbell, his whole body was drowned in sweat. Luckily, the person who opened the door was Komal herself.
As he looked at his beloved, he forgot everything for a moment. She was far more beautiful than before, tall with lush brown hair that fell past her shoulders in gentle tumbles of curl, and her eyes were blend of black and brown.
Komal had just showered and changed into an amber silk dress, darker than her hair, lighter than her eyes, which glowed like jewels in long-lashed fringes.
His eyes captured hers, and for a moment, an unguarded spark of desire passed between them.
“I’ve missed you.” He said, smile still flirting with his lips, though his voice sounded slightly strained.
“So have I.” She replied in the same tone, her own eyes never leaving his face.
As she stared at him, tears of longing rose and burned her eyes and she shuddered as their eyes locked. He was even more strikingly handsome than she recalled, his hair curling damply over his forehead. He wore a plain white silk shirt with dark gray pants, which made him extraordinarily handsome.
“Would you like to come in for a while?” She asked, pointing out toward the main door of her uncle’s house.
“No, thanks.” He shook his head, biting his lips, his eyes at Komal but his mind somewhere else.
“Worried about the future?”
He nodded and tried to say, “I…..
“Ssh.” She shushed him, grinning, showing a set of perfect white teeth through those moist and red lips.
“You don’t need to say a thing.” She said softly. “I understand everything.”
He smiled sweetly and looked at her gorgeous, silky and thick brown hair. It draped over her shoulders in rippling waves that cried out to be touched.
“Haven’t you heard that joke…..that a woman worries about the future until she gets a husband while a man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.” She broke into a soft wispy laugh.
“So keep your worries saved for later times.”
As always, her laughter was enough to make him impressed by her beauty. He gazed interestingly at her brown eyes that sparkled when she laughed and a dimple that showed itself only when she smiled.
Suddenly, another face emerged from somewhere and entered his mind, blocking Komal’s extra ordinary beauty. It was Zeest’s.
“I’ve to tell her, before I go completely mad.” He thought painfully and grabbed Komal’s hand with force, like if he didn’t do so, someone would take her away from him.
Komal was suprised by his sudden action. Aariz was almost pulling her to his car.
Her own problems were forgotten as she saw his face, so tensed and weird at the moment. Without another word, he started the engine and pressed the accelarator with full force.
“Aariz! What is it? What’s the matter?” She frowned, puzzled as well as scared.
Aariz looked at her for a second and then stopped the car at the side service road.
He then ran his hand through his hair, his face frantic.
“Aariz! Stop this now! Tell me what’s wrong before I go mad.” She grabbed his arm and gave him a little shake. To tell the truth, her own legs were feeling weak because this was not Aariz at all. Something had happened.
“I……” He stammered, avoiding her eyes. “I got married last month.”
For a minute Komal thought she didn’t heard Aariz properly. She just stared at him, her eyes turning from brown to purple, color leaving her face.
“What did you say?” She just whispered the words and he looked at her exasperation, his lips tightening.
“You heard me, Komal.”
The blood drained from her face.
“You….you got married?” She stared in unadulterated horror at him. Her mouth hung open in undisguised pain and her eyes seemed to glaze with disbelief as she stared at him.
“My mother forced me to do so.” He said in a shaky voice.
Komal was silent for a long time and he just let her sit there quietly.
Holding back her tears, she breathlessly replied. “I….. I don’t know what to say, what to ask.”
“You don’t have to say or ask anything, Komal.” He turned his face toward hers. “I’d explain each and everything…..”
“Do you have anything to explain?” She cut in quickly. “Is there anything left?”
“Believe it or not. It’s just a formal marriage and nothing else. I have not even touched her and never will. I am still as pure and untouched as you left me. I don’t want to be called her husband and I will never accept her as my wife.”
“You must surely be mad!” She almost jumped to her feet but the roof of his car prevented her from doing so. “How’s that possible?”
“Wait…” He murmured, keeping his voice as calm as possible. “Try to relax Komal. I’d tell you each and everything in detail.”
She closed her eyes tightly, but the tears squeezed through her lashes and ran down to her cheeks. And then, slowly, gradually he told her everything, right from the beginning.
“You have every right to be angry and call me thousands of names.” He admitted, as he tried to read her expressions through her face.
“You told me how it would be before you left and you were right. My mother is too difficult to handle but I can’t live without you Komal, you’re my life.” He added softly.
His last sentence was followed by a long, deep silence. From Komal’s lowered head, he was unable to judge her present emotional status. She just sat there, silently biting her lips, playing with her nails. She wanted to scream as agony twisted and turned inside her.
At last, she raised her head. Turning her face to his, she forced a sad smile on her lips.
“Congratulations, obedient boy.” She said in trembling voice. “Have a very blessed marriage with your wife.” Her voice felt like a Unclad knife slowly cutting his carotid.
“What’s her name?”
He sighed, and twisted the key in the ignition, switching the car engine back to life.
“Why do you ask?” He asked, his voice low.
“Just curious.” She gave him an injurious smile.
“Zeest.” He said after a short pause and turned the car back toward her house.
“Wow!” Komal exclaimed in a clearly impressed tone. Was it an artificial act or natural? He couldn’t guess.
” What does it mean?” She asked again.
“Life.” His answer was short, quick and spontaneous.
“How does she look like?” Komal asked again.
On her question, Aariz looked deeply into her eyes, trying to know what was going on inside her. But perhaps, she was expert in hiding her inner feelings.
“I didn’t even looked at her thoroughly.” He said sternly. “But she’s just an ordinary girl, a rural one. She’s always wrapped in some veil even in our house. But even if she weren’t, I have no interest in her looks or whatever.”
She parted her lips to speak again but then closed them. The tension in the car, if anything, was more palpable. Aariz was aware of every move Komal made as he handled his car expertly.
“I can’t tolerate anymore it, Komal.” He said firmly, his tone solid. “You tell me what do I do now?”
Komal grinned and said, “Be a mom’s boy and start living with her happily.” Her tone filled with sarcasm.
Aariz gazed at her deeply, but said nothing. He said no more and neithrr did she, aware of him eyeing her speculatively as they drove the short distance to her uncle’s house.
“I’m myself and I can make my own choices.” He said as they reached in front of her house.
“There’s no need for that now.” Komal said as she opened her side door and got out of his car, her voice devoid of any particular expression.
She walked back to her house in a daze.
“I’m so sorry for getting you all worked up like this.” She clamped down on her lower lip to stop its trembling.
“You’ve every right to be angry or get mad or whatever you want.” Aariz said, as he followed her down to the house. “But I’d like to say one last thing.”
Although she didn’t ask what ‘last’ thing was, but she did stop at her place, turning her back to him.
“A guy who can leave his mother for a wife,” Aariz said in a gentle, sober voice. “He can sure leave his wife too, if he finds some other better woman.”
Her feet trembled at his words. They did make sense but her ego didn’t allow her to reveal her honesty and appreciate him for what he’d said.
“Good night Aariz.” She said coldly, stopping at her silhouette. “I have to close this door now.”
She stood there as he backed off, and then stepping in, she closed the door.
Once inside, she remained there for a few minutes, remembering what he had done, fixing it in her mind, she knew she would never forget his betrayal.
To Be Continued…