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Willing To Trust Again - Chapter 25

"I need to start afresh. I’m not giving my life’s control to anyone else from now. I’m really sorry you guys. I didn’t know you cared so much for me."
No one had attended the wedding. No one had met Rajveer. No one knew who he was, why he came into their lives.
But he brought them all together. For that Rhea expressed she was thankful. Arjun got mad when she said this. He left her room and went into the lawn in front of her house. Kiran followed him. "Hey! Rhea’s trying to make sense of the whole thing. There’s no reason to be mad," she said.

"Why is she so annoyingly naïve? She couldn’t call us? You were in the same city."
"I don’t know," Kiran hung her head.
"Why didn’t we ever call her. All of us are in touch with each other. We promised on the last day we’ll call each other," there was a lump in his throat.

"I don’t know," Kiran’s eyes were tearing up.
Arjun hugged her.
"I missed you."
"Me too."
"Three years on phone and texts. I really missed you," he pulled her closer. They let each other go after a long time.
"Come inside. Don’t get mad at Rhea please."
"I’m mad at Rajveer. Not her."

Kiran went inside and joined the rest of the group. Karishma rested her head on Rohan’s lap. Rhea listened to everyone and smiled. She was safe. Things were going to be alright.
Arjun mentioned Amit. Her heart sank. He went through a series of relationships and breakups. Kiran made eyes at Arjun. He immediately quietened.
Rhea fake yawned. "I need to sleep."
Arjun got mad again, "You just lied on our face. Can you man up and talk please?

Enough of pretending alright. I didn’t travel all the way from Delhi to look at this bullshit." He brushed his hand through his hair in frustration.

"He broke your heart, Rhea. Accept it and move on. Please. And not with assholes like Rajveer."
"Arjun stop it," Karishma straightened, immediately at Rhea’s side.

"No! This is not done. You shut us out. Was Amit the only one who was important? Did we mean nothing to you? Why didn’t you reach out to us? We didn’t have your phone number, but you did right? You were my only friend who is honest with me. You brought me into this group. You were the one who warned me not to go after Neha and I’ve saved myself from so much misery. One message, one missed call would have been enough. Or do you like being the tragedy queen?" he shrieked.

"Amit means nothing to me," Rhea shouted back.
"Oh, does he?" He plucked his phone out of hidden jeans pocket and dialed a number.
Rhea’s parents heard the commotion and came at the door.
Rohan pulled Arjun outside.
"What’s going on?" Rhea’s father asked.
"Nothing uncle. Arjun is angry, Rhea didn’t say anything to us or even talk to us for 3 years," Kiran said.

Rhea just sat in a corner and cried.
"It’s our fault. She did all of this for us," her parents stood there helpless.
"Please go and sleep. We’ll take care of everything. Arjun is hot-headed. We’ll handle him," Karishma assured them.

Rhea went outside, took Arjun’s hand, pulled him inside and sat everyone down.
"I’m not going to Amit just because all of this has happened. He was a chapter in my life that is over. Our relationship was not healthy. I have moved on. I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to do. I had given up on everything. I didn’t know there was a way out. When my parents came to see me that day, I don’t know what came over me. I thought – what will he do? He’ll kill me. Dying better than staying there", Rhea kept weeping.

"I need to start afresh. I’m not giving my life’s control to anyone else from now. I’m really sorry you guys. I didn’t know you cared so much for me."

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While outside, Arjun had called Amit.
He sleepily answered, "Who is this? It’s midnight. Please call tomorrow."
"You shithole! You are sleeping there with your next catch. Look what you have done to her. Look at her arms and legs. They are covered with wounds and burns," Arjun shouted at the phone.
"Arjun?"
"Yes, Arjun! You come near her I’ll bury you."
"Rhea? What happened?"
"Stop pretending. You, controlling her all the time, made her think abuse is fine. She ran away or he would have killed her. Mission successful Brother! You Facebook posts worked. You wanted to show her how happy you are without her right. Your plan worked," Rohan pulled the phone from Arjun’s hand and switched it off.
Rhea was standing behind him. "It’s ok," she cooed. She took his hand "It’s alright."

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Published: 10/14/2019
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