Ishani exited the airport and straightaway made a beeline for the taxi standing nearby one of the gates.
“Ishani Raijdas?” the driver asked as she opened the door.
She nodded and sat down in the car.
Just as the car started, she fetched her phone from the bag and rang up Jithu’s mobile.
“Is everything okay?” she asked just as he picked up.
“Yes, Ishani Di,” he replied in a confused tone.
“Okay! I will be there in another hour. There are things that we need to discuss,” she said and then disconnected the call.
As she kept her phone down on the seat, her mind started to think of ways of disclosing the news to Jithu and Annie. While one would stay mumb but Annie would just go berserk. She would catch the next flight to Delhi.
Deep in thought, Ishani closed her eyes trying to regroup all her thoughts.
The best thing to do would be to not tell anyone.
But she has to inform Jithu about SGH taking over. However, somehow she has to stop him from opening his mouth to Annie.
No matter what happens Annie mustn’t know.
By the time she reached home, she was mentally so tired that there was nothing she could think about more than sleep. The past 12 hours have not only taxed her brain to the maximum but had also physically outdone her.
She opened her house and straightaway went to the bedroom. Without even thinking anything else, she just slipped inside the covers and closed her eyes, and somehow her mind listened and within seconds she was asleep.
It was quite early in the morning when she woke up. As she sat up on the bed, everything that had happened just flooded her mind and she mentally swiped her hand to wipe everything out. Throwing the covers off her, she stepped out of the bed and starting shedding her clothes.
Somehow the clothes were reminding her of what had happened.
Totally naked, she stepped inside her bathroom and switched on the shower. As the water pelted down on her body, Ishani’s mind started to play each and everything he had said, each and everything he had done, each and everything he had taken away from her. But among everything, one piercing thing kept attacking the recesses of her brain.
Veera came back; he did come back.
But he came back a monster.
And he destroyed Veera in her.
He lacerated each and every memory she had of Veera, mutilating her whole being.
Suddenly the emptiness was too overwhelming to take on.
Ishani collapsed on the wet floor, crumbling into agonising sobs as her restraint gave away. Till now she had been holding the volcano inside but now as Veera’s face slowly transformed to his, it erupted with violent force.
“URGGGGH!” she cried out with agony but still, nothing happened.
The pain slipped through her veins like burning steel searing everything in its path.
Seconds turned to minutes and minutes to an hour as she sat there under the shower. Even the water falling from her skin couldn’t take the filth of her mind away. Tired, Ishani got up from the floor and turned the shower off.
There was no time to cry.
She needed to act. Jithu needs to get a fair warning before SGH start moving on the NGO. She has to find a new place for her children.
The only ray of hope among all this was the trust.
Thank God Dadisa had cunningly messed up the transferring of the trust. The ownership of the trust cannot be transferred without both her brother’s and her signature until both of them are alive. If one of them is gone then the trust comes under sole ownership.
Exiting the bathroom, she stepped inside her bedroom and pulled the towel lying on the chair by the bed. As she dried herself, her eyes fell on the bed and suddenly the memories of them together in it rushed in.
She grabbed the sheets together and pulled hard. Within seconds the bed was stripped of the sheets. Picking up the pillows and duvet, she threw them on the floor.
Just as she was dressed, she picked up everything from the floor and went to the kitchen. Finding some garbage bags, she stuffed the sheets, pillows and the duvet in them, and stacked them in a corner.
Releasing a much-held breath, she went back to her bedroom and picked up her small temple. Striding inside Annie’s room, she kept the temple in one corner.
Then one by one, she moved almost all her things to Annie’s room. The only things left were her toiletries and clothes.
Well, she could move those later once she is back from the NGO.
Suddenly she remembered the thing that she had shoved in her bag the moment she had sat down in the taxi in Jaipur.
Striding determinedly inside her bedroom, she picked up her handbag and emptied everything on the bed.
And there among the pile of things was the shining diamond ring that he had given her.
She stared at it for a minute and then picked it up. The mixed emotion of anger and pain doubled as she remembered everything.
His lies, his promises of love and his betrayal.
She raised her hand to throw the ring but then a better idea took hold of her brain. Lowering her arm, she strode inside her bathroom and dropped the ring in the pot.
Then she flushed it.
As the water swirled in the pot, she watched it as if trying to tell herself that she was flushing him out too.
Till now she had been doing everything on automation. But now as she started to stuff her handbag again, Ishani started to think about ways of saving the NGO.
There was no way she would let SGH take it from her.
She has to meet Subhash Kaka. But before that, she has to speak to Jithu.
Picking up her bag and house keys, she left her flat and booked a taxi for her NGO.
Explaining what was required to Jithu did not take much of an effort. Making him promise that he wouldn’t utter a word to Annie went smoothly. He just nodded and went away.
Although he didn’t say it, she knew what he was thinking.
That was one question; she didn’t have an answer for.
Letting out a strangled sigh, Ishani stood up from the chair in her office.
She was about to pick up her bag to leave for his place when her phone rang.
Without looking at the caller ID, she answered the call.
“Why is Rajneesh inquiring about the trust?”