Yeh Zindagi… Episode 7

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Getting a house was not at all easy for Sumeet and Ayesha. They had little money and people were not very keen on having an unmarried couple as their tenant. Ayesha’s friend came to her rescue in this difficult hour. Her uncle, who lived abroad, had a small apartment and he wanted a caretaker to look after the little flat. After a lot of coaxing from her friend the uncle finally agreed to let the couple become the caretakers/tenants. The rent being low (as they were the caretakers too) they both did not mind the tiny space they were allotted. After all it gave them an opportunity to take care of other monthly expenses even if it meant living hand to mouth.
Ayesha was really excited to decorate her ‘house’ with whatever little second-hand furniture they both could manage. She meticulously arranged the groceries in the kitchenette and labeling every bottle while doing so. She was so engrossed in the work that she didn’t even understand that Sumeet had been observing her from a long time. Sumeet, on the other hand, was so happy to see her happy that he too forgot that he had been just staring at her all this while. Both did not realize that it had started raining outside and the sound of a thunder brought startled them. Seeing each other a little scared, both start laughing and teasing each other.

Sumeet just could not believe that this was actually happening; that the girl of his dreams was now living with him in reality.

‘Life’ had finally started for Sumeet. He started working zealously at his office and was keen on getting more and more work because that meant more money and finally stability. He wanted to give Ayesha all the comforts of life; obviously not of the standards that she was used to. Ayesha too adored Sumeet and did little things that meant a lot to him. She was not a great cook but she made his favorite dishes once in a while. Putting on his favorite music when he came back from the office and sometimes surprising him at work whenever she could manage to sneak out from her own office.

Sumeet was already in love with Ayesha but now he started falling in love with the life they had started living together. Ayesha, on the other hand, started building her world around Sumeet. She was very particular about likes and dislikes and never did anything that would hurt him. She cared for him a lot but she was not in love with him; although that was not how she was thinking right now.

Both were now officially a couple when it came to their friends and colleagues. Now friends had started visiting their house. They occasionally started hosting small parties for their gang and social life was in full swing. On one such occasion almost all their friends were gathered at their place; even Ritu was present but was absent mentally. She was sitting by the window and looking outside. Sumeet goes and starts talking to her.

“Hey Ritu.. what are you thinking?” He said.
“I was just mentally taking notes of few things.” She managed to say with a smile.
“I’m sorry yaar.. I was so occupied these days that I couldn’t spend much time with you.” He was genuinely sorry and he continued, “How about going for a movie tomorrow, haan? Just like old times?”
“You are talking as if it has been years. And sorry I won’t be able to. I have some work.” She said with a tinge of sarcasm and jealousy that Sumeet did not notice.

Here Ayesha was surrounded by her friends who were admiring Sumeet and congratulating Ayesha for finding herself a good man.
“I’m telling you Ayesha, you have struck a goldmine here.” Said one of her friends, “He loves you from the bottom of his heart and will do anything for you.” She was looking at whatever little they both had managed to put together and made a home.
“Hey Sumeet.. come here dude.” Ayesha’s friend Chirag called out. He was a little tipsy from the number of drinks he had had.
“Tell her right now how much you love her, right now!”
“Chirag, stop it” Thundered Ayesha.
“Yeah right, we know how much he loves you. Now Ayesha you tell him how much you love him.”
Others chimed in too and Ayesha was surrounded by her childish friends who did not take no for an answer.
“Of course I love him.” She said finally and started to look down and outside; anywhere but Sumeet’ eyes.

Others started cheering and saying that she was so shy etc. but something made Sumeet think. He thought that something was not right. Another person in the room too sensed something that was not natural and that person was Ritu.

The party got over after a while and everyone left. Ayesha started tidying up the place and this time too Sumeet observed her; but with a different angle. Ayesha too was deep in thoughts and did not notice that she was being observed. This time nothing jerked both of them back; not even the thunderstorm that had started outside.

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