She turned back. She was glad. It was her friend Samjhana. She left her bag in the vendor and went towards her.
“What is this, huh? You disappeared after your marriage. How are you? How is Dhiraj?”
Ranjana’s face turned red.
“We are good. Tell me about you and Ramesh.”
“Everything is going so well. Ramesh has owned his own home in New Baneshwor. There are lots to share. Why don’t you come to my home? Today’s my son’s birthday.”
“Uh, I’m not sure. I mean I have some works. I won’t be able………….”
“Come on, we met after so long time, you must come today. I am inviting both of you. I won’t hear anything. Give me a missed call at 98….”
“I forgot my phone at home. Wait I’ll write down your number.”
“You can call me when you arrive at New Baneshwor. Now I’ve to go you know, many works are left to do for the party. Say my Hello to Dhiraj.”
Samjhana got inside her Mercedes. Ranjana saw her Mercedes till it went away from her sight. Samjhana had been her friend since her high school. Ranjana eloped with Dhiraj after passing 12. After that, she was not in touch with anyone of her friends. She was very happy after meeting Samjhana. She wanted to attend her party. She carried her bag and went towards her home.
“Today I met Samjhana. She was so much changed and you know she’s got a son,” Ranjana said while serving dinner to Dhiraj. She waited response from Dhiraj for some time and then spoke, “Today is her son’s birthday and she has invited us. This is her number”. She handled the piece of paper to him.
“So, you want to go?” His voice was louder.
Ranjana was scared.
“No, I denied, but she forced me and then…”
“I asked: do you want to go or not?”
Ranjana was silent.
“I know why you want to go. You want to meet Ramesh, right?”
“What are you saying Dhiraj? He is just a friend”.
“Did I say anything wrong? I know you are very excited to meet him after all….”
“Dhiraj, stop it. There’s a limit. You cannot always blame me like this. You know I never loved anyone except you. I’m away from my home just because I wanted to be with you. You don’t know how much it hurts not being in touch with my parents.”
“So why did you do that? Did I force you to stay with me?”
He shouted. He threw his plate. The food was all over the dining table. He went to his room.
Ranjana was sobbing. Tears were all over her cheeks. This was not the first time. She has always been crying for such small things. She even had marks on her shoulder when Dhiraj beat her a month ago. The reason was just that she accidentally met her childhood buddy, Shyam, and he took her for coffee.
Dhiraj loved her very much. They were famous as best couple in their high school. But things changed after their marriage. Dhiraj became insecure and over possessive. He used to get angry in very small matters. He used to abuse her physically and mentally. He did not allow her to speak to any male person. She was not allowed to talk with her friends. She was not even allowed to use mobile phones. So, she lied Samjhana that she forgot her phone.
This was not easy for her. She was from a very good family having a sound economic condition. Her parents had never even shouted at her. She was the apple of their eyes. But now she was in hell. She knew that. She even wanted to get away from that hell. But love for her daughter, Sanaya, always stopped her. Sanaya loved her dad very much, so Ranjana did not want her to be deprived of her father’s love.
She knew she did not want to stay, but still had no other option….