Kiara, Diya and Rishaan were the last to board the flight. Kiara had a flawless face with an innocent smile, which could draw any strangers’ attention. Diya had a serene face with a curvy body, which was an irresistible combination. Rishaan was a good-looking guy with an athletic body. Diya took the window seat, Kiara sat in the middle with Rishaan by her side.
In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Rishaan’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa. When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny…his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher. Kiara was sparkling with happiness holding Rishaan’s hand. She did not want to leave Rishaan’s hand. Diya silently walked away from Rishaan holding Kiara’s hand. She did not want to give him an opportunity to make advances. Rishaan on the other hand, craved for the elusive touch
They reached their resort. The Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings added charm to the already stupendous cottage. The large living room had two bedrooms on the right, a fully loaded kitchen cum dining on the left and opened up into a balcony with a breathtaking view of the picturesque cyan colour beach with glistening sand. He dreamt about spending time with Diya in one of the rooms. They placed their luggage and started to the restaurant.
At the restaurant:
“What do you like for breakfast?” asked Rishaan
Kiara replied “I will go with whatever you order!!!”
Rishaan ordered “3 Malvani chicken curry”
Kiara sounded excited about the menu. Her eyes were filled with love for Rishaan. Diya was flabbergasted since she knew that Kiara hated chicken.
Diya told “I am not feeling hungry, I will just roam outside and be back in a while”
Rishaan was shocked since he could sense that Diya was famished but still she chose to be apathetic. Rishaan was feeling creepy. He started pondering why Diya was behaving strange. He wanted to hug, kiss and tell her how much he loved her but he was holding himself back since he was bothered about Kiara’s reaction.
Kiara reflected “Why is she behaving like this. Is she really not interested in Rishaan or is she keeping her intentions to herself because of me?”
Rishaan wondered “What is happening around me? Kiara is becoming so close to me and Diya is not even looking at me. Is she hiding her feelings just because Kiara is around? Should I be happy that Kiara is close to me or should I be sad that Diya is avoiding me?”
After the breakfast, Kiara started pestering Rishaan to accompany her to the beach. Diya joined them half-heartedly.
At the beach:
Kiara dashed to the beach and started playing in the water. Diya was not interested in getting drenched. Rishaan decided that it was the best time to have a personal chat with Diya, when Kiara was not around. But before he could collect his thoughts, Kiara dragged him into the waters.
Suddenly Kiara sensed that she had upset Rishaan. She told him in a sweet voice “Do you mind playing with me in the water?”
Rishaan softened on listening to her voice and replied “No! Not at all… Let’s play.”
Kiara was in a blissful state. Kiara realized that she loved Rishaan very much and was looking forward for a delightful future with Rishaan. Kiara was concerned if Diya would play spoilsport.
Even while playing with Kiara, Rishaan was thinking of ways to impress Diya. He realized that Kiara was mad about him but he was not able to give her, his undivided attention because of his love for Diya.
She was still not out of her past relationship. She could not let anyone know about her sufferings. She was not able to decipher the sudden transformation of Kiara’s attitude towards Rishaan.
On the way back to their cottage, Kiara put her arms around Rishaan, kissed him on his cheeks and told “Thank you so much for the wonderful day. I am very happy.”
Rishaan kissed her back and told “Thank you dear.. I am glad that you enjoyed the day”
At the cottage:
There were only two rooms. Rishaan wanted to stay with Diya. Diya wanted to stay with Kiara. Kiara started unpacking her luggage in one of the rooms. When Diya entered the room, Kiara shouted “I want this room for myself. I do not want anyone to be with me”
Diya without any option, went to Rishaan’s room. Rishaan pulled her inside and locked the door immediately. He tightly hugged her and begged “Why you are doing this to me, if you were not interested in this marriage, you could have been candid. Now that we are married, is it right on your part to keep avoiding me? What is your problem? Don’t you like me? Are you afraid that Kiara would mistake you if you get involved in another relationship soon after your divorce? Speak out what is in your mind. Don’t kill me by avoiding me?”
Diya pushed him aside and started crying. Then she retorted “I was not interested in this marriage in the first place and it was our parents who forced me into this. Though I know you well, I am not ready to believe any guy in my life again. Please don’t touch me. I do not want my parents to get hurt, so my only request to you is to pretend as though we are leading a happy married life, in front of them. Otherwise, I wish that we lead a independent life as strangers under the same roof.”
Rishaan banged the door open and went to the living room. He cursed himself for changing his mind for his parents’ sake. Though he had a good opinion on Diya, he was not sure if this would work. He recollected how the love of his life had died in an accident just before his eyes and tears started flowing down his cheeks. He had concluded that there is no life after Sara’s death but ever since he decided to marry Diya, he was confident of a peaceful second innings. This was a huge unexpected blow for him.
The next day, when Kiara saw Rishaan in a pathetic condition, she was shattered. She rushed to him, lifted his head with her palm and kissed him on his forehead and started crying out “Rishaan, you do not know how much I hated my previous father for his betrayal. He pretended as though he loved and cared for us. Suddenly his behaviour started changing and one fine day, he vanished into thin air. We were worried and searched for him all over the city and finally found him at mom’s dearest friend’s place. We found them in an intimate situation and we left the place devastated.
One day, he came back and compelled my mom to sign the divorce document. She was stubborn. He pressed a burning cigar on her lips and forced her to sign the papers. She did not relent as she felt it would have a lasting effect on my life. That night, while we were asleep, he barged into the house with a cricket bat and thrashed me. I started bleeding profusely. On hearing me scream, mom was agitated and agreed to sign the divorce papers immediately.
If mom said something rude to you, I am sorry but she has gone through a very tough time. She does not want me to suffer again. I will talk to her about this. I like you very much and my conscience tells me that you would not cheat on her. I am confident that you will not only be a doting father but also an affable husband.”
Rishaan explained “After the death of Sara, I had been longing for a company for a long time. I wanted to become close to Diya and start my life again without knowing her agony. Do you think that everyone is happy in their lives except your mom? I wanted to end my life and join Sara a dozen times in the last couple of years. Everyone has to move on and accept their present. What is Diya going to gain by being indifferent? Will she be happy then?”
Diya was listening to this conversation and was sobbing inconsolably on recollecting her horrendous past.
Rishaan went out leaving Kiara and Diya at home. Kiara was searching for the AC remote when she found out a letter from Rishaan.
“Diya, I do not want to be like a stranger in your life. You need not have agreed for the marriage. If you think you cannot be happy with me and if you want a divorce, I am ready to even give that. I do not want to burden you for my happiness. But I would be happy if you could leave Kiara with me. I believe she loves me truly and I feel that she could make me come out of my loneliness and bring happiness into my life. I assure that I would be a lovable father to Kiara”
Kiara placed the letter in Diya’s lap and stepped out of the cottage in search of Rishaan. He was standing at the dark corridor leading to the lawns, preoccupied in his thoughts. Kiara went and hugged Rishaan and did not leave him until she slept.
Rishaan decided to cut short the trip and advanced the tickets by a couple of days. There was an uneasy silence and not a word was spoken during the hour long drive to the airport. As soon as they boarded the flight. Kiara chose the window seat. Now Diya and Rishaan had no option other than sitting next to each other. Diya sat near Kiara and Rishaan took the aisle seat. Rishaan did not even look at Diya. When the flight took off, Diya’s hand nervously moved towards Rishaan. His heart skipped a beat in excitement. Rishaan pulled his hand away with a fake indignation. But a defiant Diya held his wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly.