The night was cold, moisture in the air,roads deserted except for one man, walking with his head bent low, little steps,full of uncertainty.
Aryan had been walking for hours now, drifting through the night quietly while a myriad of thoughts collided in his brain with a speed of thousands of miles per hour. He felt numb. Not just physically but mentally too! His always smiling face replaced by a sombre expression, his cheerful eyes were now red due to all the tears he had shed. He couldn't distinguish the feelings he was going through. All he felt was pain ,as if his beating heart had been ripped right out of his body.
He went back to that moment, that moment of truth, the moment which changed everything, which changed Aryan in a way he could've never imagined.
Aryan had been out of town on business meetings for almost two weeks and had returned back just that morning. He was worried for Priya, his girlfriend. She was sick with fever for a few days now and Aryan felt bad because he wasn't there to care for her when she was ill. He had returned early from his business trip because he wanted to meet and give her a surprise. He wanted to go to her house immediately from the airport but he had received a call from his boss,whom he didn't like much, to return to the office ASAP!
Instead of Priya's house, Aryan went to his home, freshened up,changed into his formal clothes for work, which today included a sky blue shirt, black trousers, black blazer paired with some shiny black shoes. He didn't get time to grab breakfast and went empty stomached back to the office.
During lunch hour Aryan tried calling Priya, waiting for her to pick up his call but she didn't. He figured she must be tired and was sleeping. He got through all his meetings and work for the day while anticipating how his night was going to turn out.
Before leaving his office Aryan decided to buy some dinner for him and Priya and take it to her house. He would lighten up her mood by getting her favorite food from her favorite restaurant.
At approximately 8:30 PM, still in his work clothes, Aryan entered the Nightingale Restaurant. At an height of 6 feet 2 inches, with a lean body and formal clothes, Aryan looked exactly what he was, an executive with a domineering presence over the entire room.
He got more than a few glances from some of the ladies in the restaurant, he ignored all of them. His mind was on only one woman, his love Priya. Aryan gave his food order and waited for it to be made and packed.
After waiting almost 45 minutes for the food to be prepared, Aryan paid the bill and exited the restaurant. While walking towards his car,a red Mercedes entered the parking lot. Aryan stopped to admire the beauty of the car. He had no doubt that the owner of the car was filthy rich. The car stopped and a couple excited the car. The man was wearing a black leather jacket , white t-shirt and dark blue jeans and wore converse sneakers. Aryan accepted the fact that the guy had some good fashion sense for a casual night out. Then the woman exited the car, she was wearing a short white dress paired with white high heels, the woman had her back towards Aryan, he almost thought that this woman maybe is as beautiful as his Priya but wiped that thought out because no one could be as beautiful as Priya.
The woman turned around and Aryan got the shock of his life. That woman was Priya. No fever, no signs of weakness, she looked as healthy as always. She had huge smile plastered on her face. She wore the gold chain Aryan had gifted her for her birthday. The bag containing the food fell from his hand. He couldn't move, he couldn't breathe, time had stopped right at that moment.
Priya looked at the man staring at her and Rajeev from across the parking lot. He was standing still and was dressed in formal clothes. It dawned on her that the man staring at her was none other than Aryan,her boyfriend. She made eye contact with him and gave her a faint smile, wiped his eyes, turned around and walked out of the parking lot while his car was still parked there.
As soon as he exited the parking lot, Aryan ran. He ran with all the strength he had, he ran away from the place where his heart was shattered in a million little pieces, he ran from his betrayal,his love. He ran from the source of his pain.
Priya couldn't understand what had just happened. How could Aryan be here? He was supposed to be on his business trip for one more week. She thought she was hallucinating because she was cheating on him. She figured if it was Aryan he would confronted her and figured that the man staring at her was just a creep. She rubbed the thoughts of Aryan from her mind and accompanied Rajeev to the restaurant to eat her favorite food. She called Aryan's cellphone just to be clear but it said that he his cellphone was outside the network coverage area. With the assuarnce that Aryan was not here, Priya became relaxed again.
Aryan had reached an area he was not familiar with. There were no signs of people anywhere. His formal shoes not made for running were torn and his feet had little cuts and were bleeding. But he couldn't feel any of it. He was numb inside and out. Aryan tried to think that maybe the woman in the parking lot was not Neha but someone else who just looked like her. But if that was case, how could she have the same gold chain he had gifted Priya? Maybe you were mistaken since you were so far away from her? And if she was Priya maybe that guy was just her friend. If that was Priya then why would she lie to me? He battled with these kind of thoughts for a hundredth time.
His heart said that the girl was not Priya but his brain knew that she was Priya and she had cheated on him. Now Aryan started questioning his relationship with Priya. He started suspecting everything she had ever told him. He now started to think his relationship was nothing but a facade. He had fallen in love with a cheat.
With his broken heart, self esteem in the drain, bleeding feet, numbness, and nothing but darkness in his near future, Aryan turned back and started walking towards his home. He knew he had to be strong. He knew he had to face this situation and get over it. He knew each day was going to be a tough battle and that he wasn't ready for it. But he had no other option than to face what life had thrown at him.