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Chapter 8 Caught

  • Anika's PoV
  • Dad came into the home and yelled at my mom. I am more than scared now. I am dumbstruck. What should I do now? Should I agree that I am in love with Arun or should I hide that fact and act like nothing? What if I tell them now? Arun has no job. I have no job yet. The chances of rejecting him will be high now. But what if I hide the truth now? Dad will fight with mom for hitting me without any reason. He will be my pillar of support. But then, it will be a great sin. I cannot deceive my parents. Later, when I tell them about Arun, dad will be devastated. He trusts me so much. 
  • "Anandhi, how dare you lay your hand on my daughter?" Dad confronted mom.
  • "Your daughter? She is my daughter too." Mom said with a shiver.
  • "If you had thought like that, you would have not laid your hands on her." dad said.
  • "Appa, don't hurt mom. First ask what happened." Advay came in between mom and dad.
  • "Whatever happened, it is wrong to hit a grown girl." dad said.
  • "I am so sorry, Anika. I will never interfere in your life.'' Mom told me and went into the kitchen.
  • "Ma!" Advay ran behind mom. I don't know what to do now. I couldn't even breathe. 
  • "Anu, Go inside, dear. Wash your face and go do your work. I will take care of everything." Dad told me and went inside.
  • I stood there not knowing where to go. Mom is hurt. Dad was wrong to speak like that to mom. I was wrong to have kept my mouth shut when dad hurt mom. I was wrong to have talked without respect to the guest. I was wrong to hide the truth from dad. Dad trusts me so much that he didn't even care to know what happened. I should not do this to them.
  • "Amma!" I went to the kitchen and called her. She was busy cooking dinner for us. Advay was helping mom.
  • "Amma, sorry ma." I said. She ignored me as if I was invisible to her. She kept on doing her work and even Advay ignored me.
  • "Adu, Please ask her to talk to me." I spoke to him.
  • "Why should I? You will speak where it is not required and will keep your mouth shut when you are supposed to talk. Mark my words, you will suffer in your life because of this character of yours." Advay yelled at me.
  • "Adu, go and study. I can finish the rest." Mom told him and he went to the room.
  • "Amma!" I called her again but she continued to ignore me. I knew she was not going to talk to me. I walked out to see dad.
  • "Pa, you were wrong to talk like that to mom. She is deeply hurt. She has all the rights to correct us if we are wrong." I told him.
  • "Come here, dear. Sit down. I know I hurt her. I can make it right. But it is not right for her to hit you. You are a grown woman dear." he said.
  • "No pa. I talked disrespectfully to a guest who came home from mom's hometown. That is why mom was angry." I told him.
  • "This is all the more silly reason to lay hands on you. It shows that I was not wrong. I know you, dear. You won't talk disrespectfully unless they were wrong." he said which made me more guilty. I have no courage to tell the truth to him.
  • "Not that, pa. Please go and compromise mom. She is not at fault here. I am wrong." I tried to tell him.
  • "Oh stop your drama, akka. Appa, you are wrong to have talked like that to mom without knowing what actually happened. Your dear daughter is in love with someone named Arun. The aunty who came here talked about her marriage and Anu talked very badly to her. When mom confronted her about her behavior, she stood there like a statue. That was why mom hit her. You supported her in everything mom tried to stop. But look at her now, she made the very same mistake which mom anticipated to happen and tried to stop. Even now, she is not ready to tell you the truth and stop you from hurting mom. You will always support...." Advay shouted but was cut off in the midst by mom..
  • "Advay, I asked you to go and study." Mom stopped him.
  • "Ma...!" he looked at her.
  • "You were 3months old when I married your dad. I embraced you both as my own when I married your dad. Not even a split second I thought different since then. Your dad made clear that she is his daughter. Are you my son or even you didn't consider me as your mom? Shall I decide that all three of you do not belong to me?!" she said without a hitch. Advay went into the room without a word. He is definitely a mommy's son. It hurts me like hell to witness this heart wrenching scene that is happening because of my stupidity. 
  • Dad threw me a look that asked me what was going on. I have no courage to look him in the eye. I looked down. I heard dad exhale a bit louder before he looked at mom.
  • "Anandhi, I am so sorry. I am so wrong. I should not have talked like that. Please don't talk like this." Dad went to her with his apology but mom just went in the kitchen ignoring him and dad followed her in. I was standing all alone in the hall with no one on my side. I spoiled it all. I decided to give mom and dad their lone time to make their strain straight. I decided to talk to dad and mom tomorrow morning when they are in a better mood. It is not right to keep it hidden any longer. Come whatever may, I should tell everything to dad and mom. I went to the room and unrolled my bed to sleep. Advay looked at me like I am his grave enemy. It hurts me. It hurts me so much that no one is ready to listen to what I feel like.
  • I feel so ashamed of my situation. How cheap is this? I am caught at home as my parents found out about my love affair. I am not in a position to justify myself. Is loving someone so wrong? I thought he would be a better life partner. I felt happy with him. But now everything seems wrong. I was not true to my parents. But again if I want to satisfy my parents, I have to let go of Arun. How can I do that? If I do that then I am not true to him too. The timing this has come in the light to mom and dad is completely wrong. If at all this situation happened after a year, I could have had a chance to talk to mom and dad. But now no one is ready to talk to me. I wanted to talk to someone but I am not yet ready to share this with Nithu yet. This is not the right time to talk to Arun also. 
  • I opened the mail to see the stalker's mail. Once, he felt low and shared it with me. Why did he do that? Because he was not comfortable sharing it with someone who he sees regularly. Yes, I can share it with him too. I am not going to narrate the whole story but I can find solace in writing to him. He is a nobody to me and I am not going to see him in my life. I don't even know if he is using this mail id now. It will not even be read if that is the case which is better.
  • I opened the draft which I composed to send him. It was a happy one. Now the situation is completely different. I erased the draft and tried to compose a new mail.
  • 'Hello Stalker,
  • How are you? Hope you are doing good. I am not good. I am terrible now and I wanted to share it with someone and you are my only vent for now. Hope you won't mind. I did something and my parents are angry. I don't know yet if it was right or wrong  but I did it anyway without any knowledge of the after effects. Give me a little positive vibes and some courage to face the dreadful situation I am in. I am sorry if I have bothered you by this mail but know that I have truly thought of you as my friend. I am totally scared right now but wish me well to do the right thing.
  • Take care!'
  • I hit the send button without second thoughts. I felt a little relieved, funny but true. What will Arun say if I tell him that I am caught at home? He is not settled yet. He has a sister who is in her final year of high school. He is responsible for her studies and wedding. His mother is working as a clerk in a government office. It is her salary that is feeding his family right now. She is going to retire soon and he has to take up the responsibility from her. He had never spoken about our wedding so far and I know it is a little too early. Let's see, if daddy is gracious enough to listen to my side and grant me at least a year's time to make this work. Otherwise? I drifted off to sleep thinking about all negative possibilities.