I feel good. So much better than I did a few months ago. Lileth and dad visited me. I am happy to see my sister growing up to be a fine young woman. I am proud of her. She looks up to me. I am sad about that. I wish I can be a better role model for her unlike the mess I turned out to be.
I have to tuck away my cynicism when I’m with her. I did not want to spoil the beautiful dreamy world she lives in. It makes me smile listening to her cheerful chatter. I remember my own naivety at that age. She was beaming with hope for the future. Such a refreshing sight.
After lunch dad left. He had to meet some associates of his. It was good to see him. He is a representation of everything stable and reliable. His strength and confidence gave me an assurance that everything is going to be okay. I have not told him about Ashok. I don’t want dad to hate him. Dad respects him but If I tell him what really happened between us he might just hunt Ashok and kill him. Dad is very protective, overly so. I don’t want to make him even more paranoid. Lileth will suffer for that.
Ashok remembered her dad. He liked the man. A warm hearted but principled man. A retired soldier who had seen the worse and had wanted to shield his two daughters from it. Shame and guilt filled his heart. He, Ashok was the monster her father was afraid of. Unknowingly he welcomed evil with open arms into his home. Ashok had never met her sister though. He remember the email Lileth sent him. It was filled with hate. He could not even imagine what her father would be feeling. He swallowed hard just thinking about it. Ashok continued reading.
Lileth and I had a nice time last evening. After dad left we went shopping for clothes and shoes then we went to a salon for some pampering. I didn’t know I was missing doing this girl stuff . It was nice to just giggle and gossip about inane things. I was in such a gloomy state for so long before this. As if a dark haze surrounds my being turning everything bleak every where I go. Now I can see the sun shining again. Everything is warm and golden around me.
Ashok frowned. So she was recovering. Moving on. If only he had known. Why oh why did he have to ruin that again? Ashok turned the pages of the diary hurriedly looking for a specific date. He stopped when he found it. Shame burned his face red.
Ashok has come back. Looking so repentant and tormented in front of my door. I stared at him for a very long time not really believing he was there. I thought it was just a manifestation of my insane wishful thinking.
I treated him coldly. I asked him what he wanted. How is your new wife? I sneered. Is she pregnant already ? He knew I was mocking him. He gave me a weak smile, pain in his eyes. He looked so miserable. His long curls unkept. Beard unshaven. I felt a tug in my heart. I dismissed it. I did not invite him inside the apartment. I know what will happen once he touch me. He will weaken my resolve.
We walked down towards the nearest cafe. My knees trembled but I pretended to be unaffected.
What are you doing here Ashok? I asked him.
My company sent me. I have to check and purchase some supplies from here. I struggled with myself If I should see you or not. I cant help myself. I am sorry.
He reached out for my hands but I withdrew it. No. Not again.
I missed you so much. He groaned. He really looked all torn up. I can see his eyes watering. Turning red. Damn you Ashok. It is so unfair.
It was your choice. You chose this. Remember. I said. Looking away from him. I could not bear to look at him.
Thankfully Mark finally arrived rescuing me. We became good friends eventually. Both men looked at each other with mistrust, hate and jealousy. I didn’t care. I just wanted to be as far away from Ashok as possible.
He is probably still here in the city. He broke my new found serenity. I feel any moment he’ll come knocking at my door and I might let him in. I hate him. I love him still. It was good to see him..should I call him?
Ashok felt disgusted with himself. He had been so selfish. Thinking only of his pain. His needs. In the end he became the kind of man he detested. Despite all the knowledge he knew, all the philosophies he discussed and argued about, when it comes to really living his own life, he was no better than any stupid man. Once he returned home he regressed back into that boy who wanted to please his parents turning his back from all the modern revolutionary ideas he arrogantly paraded in front of the noses of his peers.
He was finding it hard to live with himself day by day the more he kept on reading her diary. But he could not stop. He accepted the curse she placed on his life willingly. Unlike before, he started living a parallel life filled with pain and misery.
It is still so much better than the other life I am living now. He thought.
A Parallel Life