“Stop, Reeva. Running is not the solution.”
Suddenly, she halted in her tracks. She knew this voice. After humiliating her at the restaurant, the man had the audacity to come after her! She started walking again, pacing faster still.
“I am not searching for a solution, dammit! I am running away from you. Just leave me alone,” she yelled, striding away from him. Why had this man come into her life? She had somehow gathered her shattered life over these past years, and this man had stirred up everything in a moment. Resentment started building up inside her like a speeding freight train.
He ran after her and caught her by the arm. Without thinking twice, Reeva slapped him so hard that she felt the burn sting her hand too. He looked at her dumbfounded. Without giving him a chance to speak, Reeva pushed him frantically, making him stumble a few steps back.
“Just go away. Go far away from my life. I don’t want you. I know why you have come into my life and I will never let you affect me, even if I have to fight you for it,” Reeva yelled.
“You want to fight me? Come on. Come and fight with me,” Agnivesh said, flexing two of his fingers in invitation. Surprisingly, she took the challenge. She was mad at him, mad at her parents and above all, mad at herself. She threw her bag on the road and strode ahead to push him once again, but this time, he didn’t budge. She shoved both her arms against his chest as forcefully as she could, and as she did it, she felt as if a heavy weight was being lifted off her chest. It was a relief. Suddenly, Agnivesh grabbed both of her arms and pinned them behind her back. She wriggled against his firm hold, but he was too powerful compared to her. She looked up at him in surprise, still squirming under his grip.
She hadn’t expected him to fight back, but the fact that he did, made her feel even more empowered somehow. He locked his gaze with her, and she felt the grip of his hands on her wrists loosening a little. She took the opportunity and freed her hands, jerking them out of his hold and hitting his groin at the same time with her knee. He stumbled back and grimaced in pain.
She suddenly felt concerned about his well-being. She walked up to him and asked, “Are you okay?”
He caught her by her wrist again and pinned it against her back. With his free hand, he grabbed her other arm and pushed her back until she was trapped against the wall. Everything happened so fast that she couldn’t do anything.
He pinned her legs with his knees so that she couldn’t attack him there again. She used all her energy to get out of his grip, but he was too strong for her. Soon, she gave up and helplessness started clouding her face. Agnivesh brought his mouth close to her and whispered against her lips, “I am sorry.” She tilted her head slightly away to get a clearer view of Agnivesh’s expressions. She wanted to understand whether he really meant that or if it was another ruse.
“I am sorry for my behavior today, Reeva. I have my own experiences that colour my perception of relationships a certain way, but that doesn’t justify my behavior. I can’t foist my viewpoint on you.” He loosened his grip a little, but Reeva didn’t push him away. She felt emotionally wrecked and started sobbing soon, resting her forehead against his chest. He released her hands and she supported herself by holding his arms.
“It’s going to be okay,” Agnivesh whispered in her ear soothingly to calm her down.
“I am tired of running. I am tired of having to fight with everyone. I am tired of fighting with my own self. I can’t help myself anymore. I have ruined the lives of everyone around me. I will ruin yours too. You should be scared of me,” she blubbered. She didn’t even realize until the words had escaped her lips that she was giving him a part of herself by sharing her demons with him. She had never let herself break down emotionally in front of anyone. Why was she letting him in? Why did she find solace in his embrace? Agnivesh caressed her back and let her cry her heart out without prodding further.
“The next time you feel like running, run to me. The next time you feel like fighting, fight me. When you feel that you can’t help yourself, just let me help you. Let me be a part of your life, Reeva. There is a good possibility that we both will ruin each other, but in some relationships, ruining is the only way to fix one another. And we won’t know it until we try,” Agnivesh whispered softly into her ear, caressing her back incessantly. Reeva started melting under the warmth of his words. A part of her wanted to trust him. She wanted to believe in his idea of fixing each other. And at that moment, she felt hopeful.
Reeva Panchal has had a traumatising past, but she is trying to build up her life again from scratch with her skill in art. When she receives a surprise marriage proposal from the wealthy hotelier Agnivesh Solanki, she can’t help but feel odd about it even though her parents are insistent that she agrees to it. With Agnivesh’s entry into her life, all her problems seem to alleviate at an unrealistic pace, even though Agnivesh continues to exude a dark aura for her. What unfolds is a series of unprecedented events where relations are broken, mistakes are made and the past is dug up to destroy as well as heal.
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