This is in continuation to Without a Past – Part 1. Read it here
Fast forward few months….
“Is this what you’re wearing for the conference?” Kirti just joined Kunal in his room.
“Oh conference! Kirti, my honey, you please manage it for me. I’m having an important mission for today”, answered Kunal with his signature running-from-responsibility smile.
“No, you can’t skip this meeting. And are you proposing her today?” asked surprised Kirti.
“You always guess correct, my darling”, he said picking up his Mercedes keys.
“No, wait, we’re still not clear about Mr. Pratap’s proposal…”
“I trust you, Kirti. Go ahead”, Kunal interrupted her and shut the door behind him to leave.
Pratyusha arrived to see Kunal already sitting at a table that offer a perfect view of sea. The ambiance couldn’t have been any better with cool breeze and dusk light at the beach. All these months, even Kunal knew Pratyusha’s feeling for him. After some casual talk, chilly paneer and a Choco Frappe, he made his point. Not fancy, but he expressed how much he loved her, looking right into her eyes.
“Will you please marry me?” he smiled opening the sparkling ring box to her.
“What happened, Pratyusha? I’m the one who should be nervous, why are you?” he couldn’t resist not asking.
“I can’t be with you, Kunal. I should’ve told you earlier, before all this…” she choked, unable to continue. Her statement was enough to vanish smile on Kunal’s face.
“Why… what are you talking about? I… I thought you too…. I can’t understand.”
“I was raised in an orphanage but with camaraderie since I was five. I wasn’t lucky enough to spend time with my parents. I hardly recall their faces now.” Kunal could see her eyes shining as a tear roll down her left cheek. “Vaishali aunty, who ran our orphanage arranged my wedding. Veer and his family was undoubtedly good, but I was never looking forward for it. I didn’t feel like getting married. But it was Veer’s love and Vaishali aunty who convinced me for wedding. We got engaged in a glitzy ceremony. He did everything to keep me happy. He promised to do the same till his last breath.”
“But you never told me that you’re married”, Kunal finally spoke up.
“We didn’t get married Kunal. Our wedding day never came. Before that came an unfortunate accident and everything was shattered. The horrendous day destroyed his family, dreams about us, his life”, Kunal could see Pratyusha gasping.
“I’m so sorry. But it has been long he left us. You should move on honey, shouldn’t you?” Kunal expressed exactly what he felt.
“That accident killed his mother but Veer is not dead, Kunal. He’s in coma. I go to spend time with him every evening. That is why I denied night shifts”, Pratyusha couldn’t hold her tears.
Kunal couldn’t imagine worse. He rose from his chair and hugged her assuring everything would be fine, even though both knew it was uncertain.
“Veer and I have been together since long. I never really loved him, I just love.… I love you Kunal, but I can’t be with you”, said Pratyusha, wiping her tears. “Veer is living up to his promise to love me till last breath. It’s my payback time, Kunal. At least for what Veer did for me, for the sake of our togetherness. I must not betray him leaving him at this stage.”
Kunal can understand what Pratyusha was going through. Today she made him love her even more. Kunal wasn’t habitual of taking a no from girls. But this was different.
“One more thing, Kunal”, said Pratyusha, now calm. “Please don’t try to meet Veer. I don’t want you to meet him.”
“But why Pratyusha? He’s brain-dead, he won’t even know me”, Kunal spoke his heart out.
“That’s what doctor said, but I know he can still feel few things. I told you about Veer because I love you. This is my entirely different world. You show up there and he’ll know. I don’t want him to know about you, about our relationship.”
“I still love you the same. I know I can’t live without you, Pratyusha”, he couldn’t resist expressing and it brought a smile on her face. Her beautiful eyes never failed to mesmerize him. He was hypnotized to her fragrance.
Kunal spent sleepless night, intentionally missing several phone calls from Kirti. He knew he couldn’t tell her over phone. Next morning he narrated Kirti everything from previous night.
~~~ ❤ ❤ ❤ ~~~
The final part of the story Without a Past – Part 3 to be published on April 05, 18:00 IST