Being displeased with this modified Rajat I went back to my car, unloaded his luggage and dumped it at his doorsteps. I could never forget the tears in amma's eyes since then. Hardly did I know that that was just the beginning. I took her inside and lied to her that he had heavy breakfast in flight and will join her soon after he discuss his future plans with dad; but she was heart-broken and went inside. Raged with fury, I bolted towards my own house, only to find that he had already left to take a look at his new office.

Initially I thought I should wait for him, but then Amma’s face flashed in front of my eyes and so I dashed towards his office to throttle his neck. Lost in thought just as I was about to enter his cabin I heard my sister’s voice coming from inside. Just as i was about to enter i stopped at the doorway when i saw them snogging! I was dazed to see Aisha with Rajat! I felt disgusted and cheated, not just because Aisha was like a sister to Rajat but also because my best friend did not have the audacity to share that emotional development with me! Wordlessly I left the place.

The next morning I went to Aisha’s room and asked her how Rajat liked the new office which she had painstakingly decorated? I was sure I did not imagine the blush of pink in her cheeks when she replied that he loved it. We had been sincerely looking a suitable match for her, to which she was well aware. To confirm my doubt I also asked her whether she had finalized groom for her among the shortlisted ones. To which she meekly answered no. Thereafter, as per the routine, I went to join my parents at the breakfast table where Rajat was already seated. I controlled my anger as I did not wish to make a scene in front of my parents and sat at my usual place.  After completing his breakfast, he left for his office before I could grab an opportunity to talk to him. Just then father reminded me of that day’s important meeting with a client of mine in Chennai. Although my trip was for four days, i finished it in three and came home early as i got the news that find amma was seriously ill. I went to see her, expecting Rajat to be at home instead she was accompanied by my mom. I was amazed at his audacity. He always had been an aspirating man, but never did he prioritize his work front than family. Later in the evening when I enquired about his absence, instead of feeling guilty, he merely excused that he had a very urgent project to handle. He added that my mom was there to take care of her anyway.

Amma could not cope up with this sudden changed behavior and neither did it help with her health Her condition deteriorated day by day with no scope of recovery. Though there were enough servants to nurse her at all times still we all four took turns to ensure at least one member was with her whole day. But Rajat did not pay heed to Amma’s emotional needs. His indifferent attitude to Amma and his secret relationship with my sister affected my behavior towards him. On my questioning, he denied any such kind of relationship with Aisha. We frequently fought openly on petty issues everywhere, and from then on things never improved.

Read the next part here: The Phone Call After Ten Years - Short Story - Part 3

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