Chapter 17 | The Day She Was Unsure

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Maya woke up to an empty room and wondered if Shiv had been there at all. She looked around and found a note. It was by Shiv. It said, ‘We have to buy a ring for me. You remember? Call me when you’re up.’ Maya had a relieved smile on her face. She took a quick shower and wore a white dress. Her phone rang and it was her editor Ganesh. He informed her about a few more topics sent to her on her email and the deadline for the same was in 8 days. Maya got ready and called up Shiv. He didn’t receive the call. She called him back again but he disconnected the call and sent her a text – ‘I’m in the lobby. Pack your stuff. I am sending the room service guy to collect your bag.’ She called him back and he received. He told her that Shiv met Shubhro who told her that Maya might either go back to Pune or Delhi with him. And that’s why he has booked them a ticket for Delhi. Maya said, “I would go back to Pune. You finish your work.” Shiv said in a straight tone, “Pack your bags, the room service guy would be there. I have packed mine.” He hung up. Maya was confused as to what was Shiv’s reaction. She couldn’t gauge it over the call.
She decided that she would go back to Pune, instead of Delhi. She needed her space.

She packed her bag and went down after the room service guy left. She had changed to jeans and extra loose t-shirt as she guessed that Shiv was not in the mood to go on a date or buy a ring. She didn’t want to be overly dressed for a fight. Shiv was at the reception clearing the bills. He had no expression on his face. He saw Maya walking in and looked at her for a brief moment and then looked away. Maya had washed off her makeup and tied her hair into a messy bun. Her face had a few remains of the makeup which gave her a different look altogether. Maya was now upset with Shiv as he had no right to behave with her so distant.
She had made it very clear the first time they made love that she wasn’t a virgin. She just didn’t give him the details which were something she won’t give unless it is necessary. She didn’t have to explain her point of view as she wasn’t wrong in any form. She walked up to the baggage and took out her phone and sent a text to Shubhro – ‘I am leaving now. Where are you?’ Shiv stood next to Maya as she told him she is waiting for Shubhro and Blake. Shubhro had brought quite a crowd with him. Also, Maya noticed Vishal followed the entire crowd and was on his phone while looking at Maya. Maya told herself, “You don’t have to be ashamed of anything or feel bad about anything. Before Shiv proposed to you, you took your own decisions and did what you wanted to. Now is nothing different! If need be, return the ring to him and break it off, but don’t break your self-respect at any cost.” In the meanwhile, people from the seminar were there to say Goodbye to Maya. She hugged all of them.
Vishal came near Maya while Shiv joined Maya’s company and held her by her waist while talking to his mom. Vishal said, “I am sorry for whatever happened. I am happy for you. Call me once.” Maya rolled her eyes at him and waved Goodbye to all of them and walked towards the gate where the cab was waiting for them. The moment they sat in the cab, Maya looked at Shiv who was still talking to his mom and telling her about the proposal. He also told her not to start the planning for the wedding, as they need time for themselves. Shiv disconnected the call and looked at Maya and said, “I am sorry.” Maya looked at him and said, “I am not angry. I need to go to Pune. I need space.” Shiv with no argument at all canceled her ticket to Delhi and booked her tickets to Pune. They didn’t speak at all and reached the airport. Shiv’s flight was delayed by 2 hours and Maya’s flight was on time. They bid goodbyes and Maya kissed Shiv on his cheeks and left. Maya felt bad for Shiv but she also had to get her space. It had been just a day since they got engaged, but Shiv stopped talking to her because of something that happened years ago.
On reaching Pune, Maya was relieved to be back at home in her bed. She lay down on the bed and looked at her engagement ring and slept off. In the middle of the night, Maya woke up to her phone ringing. It was Shiv; she decided to miss the call. She switched off her phone and start with her laptop to write down one article. By the time she completed one article it was already morning. Maya recollected that her maid won’t be coming in as she had told her that she won’t be there for a week.  Maya made herself a mug full of tea and sat on the balcony, thinking of a lot of things. She wasn’t used to commitments.
She was thinking of Vishal and Shiv. She thought to herself, “Did I ever tell Vishal that I wanted to marry him? I just didn’t want him to leave me after the first night.” She had tears in her eyes. She then told herself, “Shiv should have taken this situation in a better way and shouldn’t have shut himself out.” With the cyclone of thoughts going through her mind, she got up and spent time in the shower; clearing off her mind. Maya stepped out of the bathroom in the towel, just when she heard someone knocking at the door. She peeped through the hole and was confused to see Shiv standing there. She was already getting exhausted and she didn’t want more clutter. She wanted to not open the door, but she couldn’t let him stand there. She replied, “Wait.” And wore her shorts and T-Shirt and tied the towel to her hair and opened the door. Shiv smiled at her, she asked him to come in. He was there with his baggage. She asked him if he would have tea and he nodded. He kept staring at her while she escaped to the kitchen. He followed her to the kitchen and stood by the door while she started making tea.
Shiv looked at Maya’s Gray colored striped t-shirt and navy green cargo shorts and her shabbily tied hair. Maya looked hot in the kitchen while she was pretty upset with Shiv. Shiv said, “So are you not going to talk to me?” Maya snapped at him, “I told you I need space. And here you are. This is why I never wanted a boyfriend.” Shiv walked up to her and said, “Hey! Don’t be so mad at me? From when did you hate having me here?” Maya shrugged and got rid of Shiv’s hand that was on her waist and said, “From the moment I realized what I have signed in for.” She added milk to the tea and put the stove on low flame and walked out of the kitchen, sat on the couch and continued, “I love you but I need my freedom Shiv. You also should try to concentrate more on work.” Shiv looked at her while standing a few steps away from her. She continued, “Shiv, you shouldn’t have come down to Pune while you had to be at Delhi. Don’t be so crazy in love because I can’t show this kind of dedication.” Shiv stood there without uttering a word. Maya wanted to yell and scream but all she could do is talk to him. She wanted to save her friendship with Shiv at any cost.
Shiv went to the kitchen and switched off the stove and bought tea for both of them. Maya took the mug from him while Shiv sat on the chair right in front of the couch and kept the mug on the table and said, “Maya, I Love you. I wasn’t quiet because I was angry. I was quiet because I didn’t want to abuse that guy in front of you. I am human too. I feel sad and I have all the rights to show my feelings to someone I love, can’t I?” Maya kept looking at the mug. Shiv continued, “I am sorry for going all quiet.” Maya took a sip of her tea while Shiv continued, “I called you up last night to check on you if you reached home or no. when you didn’t receive my call and switched off your phone I was worried. There was no way that I could contact you.” Maya nodded. Shiv said, “I love my career too and I promise that I will never give up my family business for anything, but also family comes first. And you are family.” Maya took a long sip of tea while trying to take in the commitment role. She didn’t want to argue and was quite sleepy. She yawned and said, “I am sorry for not calling you when I reached. When’s your flight back?” Shiv smiled and said, “I booked a ticket for tomorrow.” Maya frowned and said, “Cool… Freshen up and take some rest. WI am quite sleepy, I will go to sleep now.”
Maya was fast asleep when she crashed her bed. Shiv lied down beside her and hugged her. They both slept like babies. Peacefully!
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