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RED!!! – The Rejection
“So finally you are back!”, said Jennie welcoming back Akshat.
“Yeah Jennie!”, Akshat replied in a heavy and poignant tone. Jennie understood that Akshat is depressed by the loss of his mother; she didn’t say much and just tried to comfort him as much as possible.
“You don’t worry sweety! Everything will be fine!”, she said as she brought water for Akshat.
“Nothing is going to be alright Jennie! Mom is gone! My mother is no more Jennie! There’s no one to take care of me now! I feel like an orphan!”, Akshat started crying like a little child lost in a fair.
“Akshat baby! Don’t cry! See I am there! I am there to take care of you na! Everything will be fine!”, said Jennie and hugged him tight. They both wept on each other’s shoulder.
“Nothing is going to be fine Jennie! Dad is still the same. He says that its because of you that mom is no more! Instead of helping the police to find the real culprit, he blames you of bringing ill-omen for the family!”, Akshat said in pain and disgust.
Jennie was taken aback! She knew that Akshat’s family was orthodox and even superstitious, but she could never ever think of that she will be the one who will be blamed for such a heinous crime. She wanted to scream and shout to show her abhorrence. But she knew that Akshat needs her right now and she needs to keep strong for her husband’s sake. She wiped her tears and silently whispered, “We will see that later Akshu!” and kissed Akshat’s forehead.
Slowly and steadily Akshat was learning to live with the loss. Jennie took care of every little thing so that Akshat didn’t missed his mother much! His best friend and second cousin Adrit was another pillar of strength for him. He made sure that Akshat never felt alone on work! Almost a week passed away. Akshat went to see his family on weekend with Jennie accompanying him.
Akshat opened the gate and rang the door bell. The house help Kiran opened the door. Akshat greeted her with a smile and asked her to call Nischal and dad. But her face went white suddenly in fear, as if something was seriously wrong.
“akshu bhaiya butttttt…..”, she tried saying something.
“What but? Kiran tell dad and Nischal that I am home to see them!”, Akshat ordered.
Kiran ran upstairs to inform Nischal and Akshat’s dad.
“Why was she behaving so weird?”, Jennie asked Akshat.
“Don’t know. Maybe she is disturbed because of mom’s demise!”, he tried making a wild guess.
“Akshat how dare you bring this woman in our house?”, akshat’s dad roared as he descended the staircase in white kurta and pajama. The red tilak on his forehead showed that he was sitting in puja.
“But dad!” , Akshat’s tongue was frozen. He had never dared to look into his father’s eye. His retired colonel father treated him like his academy’s cadet instead of his own son.
“What dad haan? Haven’t i told you earlier? This house is not for such women!”, he screamed on top of his voice.
“Dad please! We are sorry!”, Jennie tried saying something.
“Don’t you think of calling me dad lady! Never in this life time will you get the status of a daughter-in-law in this house! it will be better for you that you leave as soon as possible and please don’t come back again ever, i don’t like insulting women!”, Akshat’s dad gave his verdicts loud and clear and climbed back to staircase to attend his Puja which he had left in between without showing any trace of emotions for Akshat and jennie.
Jennie’s eyes were in tears. She had never thought that someone could have hated her so much! She held Akshat’s hand tightly and wanted to fall and cry on his shoulders. Akshat’s dad had insulted her far more than she could have taken. Akshat supported her by shoulder and brought her back to their place. he himself couldn’t match Jennie’s eyes as it kept making him feel guilty of his complete silence in front of his dad.
Jennie kept crying all night and Akshat kept making attempts to pacify her. But he couldn’t console her.
next morning Akshat woke up early as it was a Monday morning and he had to comfort Jennie as he thought she was still upset.
He checked his phone after stepping out of his bed; it showed the day as ‘TUESDAY’, Akshat felt confused. The memory of past few days and the terrifying things following it started haunting him again!
He walked to the main door and picked the newspaper only to see that it was the Tuesday’s edition. Newspaper slipped out of his hand. What was this strange game happening around him?