The days merged into nights as Randeep and Ruhi struggled to stay sane and keep their professional life intact. The days were all about meetings, brainstorming, decision making, agreements, disagreements while the nights were about long skype chats, longing, love and loneliness.
Randeep’s hand was getting worse by the day but he pretended to be okay when he chatted with Ruhi. He had shown it to doctors in Singapore but apparently stress is what triggered it.
He knew only Ruhi could heal it. She being away from him was the cause of it accelerating.
He missed her dearly. It had been three weeks. He thought of her every minute. He felt she would walk in thru his cabin door anytime. At night he often woke up thinking she was sleeping next to him. He worried about her constantly.
While In India, Ruhi was not only managing to keep the channel going but also Suhails growing demands on her time. Though she knew he wouldn’t ever cross his line, it was apparent that he was trying to woo her in randeep’s absence. Ruhi sometimes felt tempted to tell him openly about her and Randeep but couldn’t. They still couldn’t forget Nimmi. She was still Randeep’s wife.
Late one night Nimmi and Randeep chatted and Randeep brought up the subject of her future.
Nimmi too seemed keen to discuss it. She and her beau were thinking of marriage.
‘But how will we keep the media from having a field day at our expense?’, asked Nimmi.
Randeep knew what she meant. They were a high profile couple and their divorce would create a lot of headlines for everyone.
Randeep thought for a bit and then said, ‘You know what Nimmi, since there is no gossip, lets come clean. Lets give a joint statement to the press. Lets invite them for high tea and give them the news together. This will ensure there ino fake news, no false quotes and no messing around of our privacy and our loved ones.’
Nimmi agreed to his suggestion. ‘Makes sense Deep’.
‘After we give our statement of the divorce, lets wait for atleast 6 months before you get married. Ruhi and I will figure out after a year. This way no one gets blamed for breaking up our marriage.’ He added.
Nimmi agreed that this was the only way to keep their future spouses out of the whole mess.
‘Come to think of it Deep, we will be setting a trend you know, to handle divorce gracefully. After all you and I are best friends, what if we couldn’t become a great couple?’ she asked rhetorically.
‘True. Its not necessary that you succeed at all things in your life or find all qualities in one person. Sometimes you make a great spouse, sometimes you find a great friend. Lets concentrate on the good we found in each other.’ He offered.
‘So what are your plans Deep?’ Nimmi asked.
‘I cannot stay here anymore Nimms. Not without Ruhi. I need to figure out soon.’, he added sadly and she felt bad for him.
They discussed other things and by night he had a fever running and his hand hurt as if it was going to come apart.
His head throbbed and all he wanted to do was sleep but he got up and made a few calls. He had to. Those were important if he had to ever get back with Ruhi.
Bhasker had informed him that Ruhi’s casew as progressing well and if all went well, she would be free soon.
Randeep then made a couple of calls more and after he was finished, he looked satisfied and there was a gleam in his eye. For a few moments he forgot about the pain.
Contented, he went to sleep.
Ruhi woke up with a start. She was already late for office. She rushed with her morning routine and there was a crazy feeling in her stomach.
She checked her phone a few times. There was no message from Randeep. She tried messaging hom but the messages didn’t deliver. She then called him and was surprised to find his phone switched off.
She tried pushing the feeling away and somehow reached office. The whole office was gathered around the television. She got irritated and walked to her cabin. There was so much work pending and all they could think of was television.
She switched off her laptop but her mind was on Randeep. She trued his number again but it was switched off. Finally she couldn’t bear it any longer. She dialled Randeep’s Singapore office and was surprised to learn that Randeep had taken the early morning flight to India.
Her heart missed a beat. Suddenly she was very excited. Maybe he wanted to surprise her. She saw the time and asked them the details of the flight he was on. The secretary provided the details.
Ruhi didn’t know what to think but was totally thrilled to know that Randeep was coming back. Even if it was for the weekend, it was a boon.
She now went to everyone who were near the tv set and asked them if they should resume work now.
Suhail turned to her and said, Oh Ruhi, You don’t know there has been an air crash and we were seeing that. Its quite tragic, you know.
Ruhi,s heart sank but not wanting to think anything negative, she said which flight? From where?
Suhail said, It was from Singapore. Flight num SI Two Four Three.
Ruhi gasped. She slowly opened her palm to check what she had scribbled a few minutes ago on it. It said, SI Two Four Three.
As the numbers reeled in front of her eyes, she felt the world spin around her.
Suhail held her just in time. Whats the matter Ruhi? Are you alright?
Suhail… Suhail… Randeep was in that flight.
What?? When? No one knows here that he is coming. The office has no news. Are you sure?
Ruhi nodded, tears rolling down her cheeks. Yes, the Singapore office confirmed it to me.
There has to be a mistake. Wait let me check.
When Suhail came back, Ruhi,s worst fears were confirmed. Randeep was indeed on that flight. The secretary too had just heard about the accident.
As Ruhi sank into her chair, she didn’t know what was happening around her.
It was as if her worst fears had come true.
…..to be continued.