Aayasha Mahmood

When he saw his parents’ room, he was motivated by his curiosity to enter. Dust covered the entire surface of the desk, but there was something more...

The Grand Return

“After all these years, my little Armaan is finally coming. I wonder how he looks like… Chef! Prepare all the food Armaan used to like. I’ll prepare his room. They’ll be here tonight! Hurry and get everything prepared!” she said to the servants as she runs around the entire mansion. It felt like the prince is returning to his palace, everyone was wearing a smile. As the sun set, the mansion was illuminated. All the food was prepared, and put on an enormous dining table decorated with candles and flowers. “Beep…” They’re here!

A white car arrived in front of the mansion, from which a dashing man called Kabir stepped out. He held the door for his beautiful wife, Aliya. But where’s his son? The boy was already heading towards the mansion. Aliya and Kabir looked at him with a sigh, wondering when he’d understand. Ayan loved his father’s Uncle and Aunt more than anyone else; to him, the whole world wasn’t trustworthy except them. Seeing Ayan, the Aunt felt like Armaan has returned after eleven years, he really looked like his dad. He was brought to his father’s bedroom, where he had to stay for some time until he finishes college.

Meanwhile, Aliya and Kabir spoke to the uncle who reassured the couple that their son would be fine there”. Aliya had always trusted them, she knew that Ayan couldn’t get better care anywhere else, but a mother would never stop worrying about her child. She wasn’t sure if bringing him back here was the right decision. Look at Aliya’s concerned faced, the aunt comforted her, saying that this was Ayan’s home as well and it was where his father had grown up. Kabir glanced at her, then gazed at the night sky. “Well I hope you’re still aware that he’s my son, please do remember that.” The aunt just ignored him.

The next morning, Aliya and Kabir were ready to leave; their tickets to New Zealand had already been booked. “Ayan, do take care. Don’t give your grandparents too much trouble. Study well… We’ll miss you!” Aliya couldn’t stop her tears; she had never lived without him for such a long time, ever since he was born. Ayan smiled at her and replied, “Don’t worry… I’ll be fine Mom!” “I’d like to have a word with Ayan,” Kabir interrupted. Aliya left them alone, hoping that things would get better. Kabir tried to explain how much he really for Ayan; he knew how hard it was for Ayan to forget his past, but it was worth a try. Ayan just did not want to talk, so he sat on his bed and looked away. “I don’t want to! And YOU can’t force me!” Before Kabir could say anything, he left the room saying that he had to prepare for his exams. Kabir walked down to the living room, bid his Uncle and Aunt Goodbye and brought Aliya home back to New Zealand.

Then came a phone call for Ayan from the college where he applied to. He was told that he would be transferred to another branch of the same college due to his academic excellence. “Grandma, the college they transferred me to is far away. I guess I’d have to reject the offer. I don’t have a place to live in.” Grandma knew what to do, “No, Ayan. They put in that college for your benefit. I know one place you could live in, which is closer to your college.” Ayan was confused, where else could he live in, rather than with his grandparents. When she replied “Rathore Mansion”, all of Ayan’s memories of that place and of his childhood resurfaced.

Within a few days, the three of them moved into Rathore Mansion. At first, Ayan was reluctant. Returning to his house eleven years later was a big decision for him, but he had to go, with the hope of getting answers to his questions.

As he entered Rathore Mansion, he suddenly remembered everything. On the walls of the corridor he spotted pictures of his family. Pictures that tore him apart. He roamed around the house; every corner in that house had a story. The room where he used to play pool with his dad, and where his mom taught him how to paint, remained untouched after all these years. When he saw his parents’ room, he was motivated by his curiosity to enter. Dust covered the entire surface of the desk, but there was something more… Aliya’s Diary.


-The Diary-

It’s every girl’s wish… to find true love, get married and live happily ever after, like those in fairy tales. Dreams don’t always come true, but this dream of mine is just a step away from coming true. Tomorrow will be one of the most memorable days in my life, it is my wedding. Mom, Dad, Raina and Uncle have spent a lot time preparing for this day; it’s definitely going to be perfect. We don’t have the whole family here in New Zealand, but I’m sure that all their blessings are with me.

I’ve known Kabir for two years, and I’m sure we’d make a great couple. Honestly, I don’t know much about their family, except his parents. He said his elder brother overseas couldn’t attend the wedding. I understand he must be a busy man. But as the younger ones, we had better go and meet him as soon as the ceremony is over, I just don’t want to disappoint anyone. Just a few more hours till I get ready… nobody wants a tired face on an occasion like this one, I’d better sleep…

Finally the time has come; all my friends came over to help me get dressed for the wedding. Some brushed my hair, others did my make up, and I was there sitting as if I were the queen. My friends teased me as, “the young lady traditionally dressed in red with glamourous jewelry and beautiful henna”. Well I can’t deny their tease though. My lovely little sister snatched my phone and snapped loads of pictures of me.

From time to time, my friends went down to peek at the arrangements. Down in the kitchen, all sorts of mouth-watering sweets were made. The hall was decorated with red roses and they smelled heavenly. Dad was welcoming all the guests at the door, after all it’s his first daughter’s wedding and he didn’t want anything to go wrong.

Once I was all prepared and just ready to step out of the room. Raina came running, with a deep breath, she said, “He’s gone… Aliya your life is ruined.” Then she played an audio message sent by Kabir, saying he didn’t want to get married. I was shocked and hurt deep inside, but I wasn’t crying. My family went down and asked the guests to leave. They were extremely embarrassed in front of all of them. However, the guests were so curious that nobody left the place; they kept on asking what happened and why everyone was so upset. My uncle had a dream of seeing the two daughters happily wed, but now it seemed that it would never come rue. Mom couldn’t control herself and insisted going to Kabir’s house. Dad didn’t want me to get married to someone who doesn’t want me, so he refused to let mom out of the house. Uncle tried to comfort Mom, and then she understood how much I needed her that time. I was still standing there at my door, knowing how bad everyone was feeling, but I didn’t know what to do.

Dad apologized to all the guests and pleaded them to leave. They were all confused and started spreading this news about our family. Just then, Armaan heard about it as he entered the hall. He was a student of Uncle, who lived in Germany and travelled all these distance just to meet his childhood teacher. He tried to control the situation, but there was nothing that he could do. Everyone saw how concerned he was, then Dad suddenly said, “Armaan... will you marry my daughter?” Everyone was hoping for a “Yes”. But Armaan was silent. That silence was taken as a denial, but then he said, “It’s Aliya’s decision”. So it was considered a “Yes” from him. The whole family accepted him, but I didn’t know whether I should agree to it. How could I get married with someone else, while being in love with another? However I understood my family’s decision. It’s not like he’s a stranger to me, we’ve met before in business meetings. Since Aliya is an interior designer and Armaan’s an architect. Now that this marriage was accepted and we wedded, through it wasn’t really a “Happily Ever After”.

I had to go to Germany with Armaan right after getting married. That night, which people describe as the most special night in a couple’s life, was just an ordinary one for us. I was tensed about Kabir, and I kept thinking about the audio message. It was replaying itself in my head and I couldn’t sleep at all. I just hope he’s alright…

Armaan received a phone call. It was his Aunt inviting us to lunch. As a newly wedded couple, we’d surely get a lot of invitations but this one seemed different. Armaan’s aunt wanted to talk to his life, since she knew that nothing was going right at that moment. I didn’t want to get involved in these matters, so I was just strolling in their garden. She had probably told him to move on with me, as he told me about it as we head home. He said he knew it might have been what happened between me and Kabir might be true love… but may be God had other plans for me. Maybe Kabir didn’t deserve me, so what’s the use of thinking about it when you know he isn’t coming back into my life? I wouldn’t blame him for saying all this, it’s not his fault and in fact he tried to cheer me up. He asked, “Shall we forget the past and start our new life as friends?” I was speechless, so in return I smiled at him.

It has already been a few weeks since our wedding. I think we’ve become good friends. Well, I understand Armaan better than before and so does he. I’ve also found out some very interesting things about him. He’s a great man, I just hope I don’t turn to be his burden.

I’m afraid of our intimacy. I need some more time and Armaan is being really understanding. I don’t mind being friends with him but it’s better to keep some distance between us. I just don’t know how I’m going to forget Kabir. I really don’t want to think about him, but whatever sweet things Armaan does to me reminds me of Kabir.

It’s getting obvious that Armaan’s trying to take this friendship to another level. I know he’s trying to be a “husband”, he’s doing everything that a typical husband would do for his wife. He holds my waist while we walk, he makes me tie his tie, he hugs or even kisses me on the cheek before leaving for work.

But how am I supposed to get away from my past? When I know that Kabir is still there somewhere… He loved me, but I wonder why he’d do his to me. Yes, Armaan is trying his best to keep me busy with other things. I just hope that things don’t get worse.

I was waiting for Armaan to come home after work. He is quite late today… may be he has a lot of work to finish. Suddenly all the lights were off and the house became dark and gloomy. One of my greatest fear, is the dark. There was also a loud noise of glass breaking, just like the setting of a horror film. I ran to the living room where Collin was, he was dusting the furniture and mistakenly pushed the lamp. Thank God it was nothing serious. I asked him to go check what happened. He said the main fuse burned and it could only be fixed by a technician.

Since it was quite late, I thought it wouldn’t be too nice to bother them. So I went to the store room to get a couple of candles. Once I lit the candle in the store room, I saw a big canvas. Just then, the lights came back on, as well as Armaan. It was creepy seeing him there all of a sudden. Seeing me staring at the canvas, he asked me whether I’m interested in painting. I pretended not to be enthusiastic but I was thinking about giving him a surprise. I told him to go for dinner while I stayed to paint him on the canvas

Beautiful morning. Everything seemed so peaceful…
Where’s Armaan? As expected, in the Arts room. However there were paint all over his clothes. There is an additional figure on the canvas I painted on last night, me. I am silently grateful that he was asleep so I didn’t have to comment on it. I really understand that he wanted us to truly be together… But I can’t….

At breakfast, Armaan said, “You aren’t good at painting!” Before I could wonder why he used this reproachful tone, he said, “Incomplete things are useless, the painting was incomplete. I am incomplete without you.” I understood why he did that, just another hint telling me that he wanted “us” instead of “me and you”. I replied, “we’re just friends.. I’m not your wife… I thought you’ve understood…” I know it was a bit mean but I’ve got no choice. He told me to take as much time as I wanted.

Today Armaan thought it’d be nice to have Uncle and Aunty here for dinner, so I called to invite them. That afternoon, I was checking if all the arrangements were being made. Everything was well-oragnized, thanks to my servants. New flowers, new cushion covers… all done! Except for the food, which I was about to prepare. Then Armaan came walking down the stairs asking if the kitchen is in good order. I wondered why he’d worry about that as it was my jurisdiction. He said that I should take a day-off from the kitchen and that “my hubby” would be the chef this time. I hate him for making me feel guilty. I whispered in his ears, “My kitchen will be a disaster.” He would not let me in the kitchen so I had to go up to my bedroom to take a rest.

A strange smell woke me up. I immediately dashed to the kitchen, which was filled with smoke. I could not see anything till all the windows had been open. I started choking when I spotted Armaan sitting in front of the oven, staring at the burned turkey. His expression was simply priceless! I wish I could’ve captured that moment! It was so hilarious that I burst into laughter. At first Armaan looked a little bit mad, but later on he started laughing and came closer and closer to me. I knew he was up to something, so I ran. He was chasing after me as I ran all around our house, from the kitchen, through the corridor and into the living room where we were throwing at each other. Freeze! Woops…Hi Uncle and Aunty! They were giggling seeing us play as if we’re children. That was kind of embarrassing, so I quietly went into the kitchen.

This time, the cooking was perfectly done. After dinner, we had dessert. We were chit-chatting like family reunited. I experienced so much love for the first time, after getting married. I hope the laughter in their faces would remain as it is… Armaan’s Aunt thanked him for bringing me to their little family and thanked me for bringing back the real Armaan. He used to be so lonely, but now that I’m here, he always smiles.

Uncle’s whisper to Armaan made me wonder. Both of them went to the rooftop while Aunty and me sat in the living room sharing our stories. Suddenly, Armaan came and told Aunty that Uncle was calling for her. He brought me next to pool and gently put his hand over my mouth to stop me from asking questions. He then moved away his hand and looked into my eyes. He was trying to say something but he appeared to be very nervous. When he finally plucked up his courage, I pushed him into the swimming pool. That’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. Laughing at him, I quickly ran away as I heard him screaming my name.

At night after his relatives left, we were sitting at the fireplace in the garden. It was warm and cosy in this cold season. Sensing awkwardness in the slience, I teased him saying “I hope they liked the food!”. Armaan resisted the urge to laugh, but at the end he gave in. Abruptly, he stopped and put on a serious face. He gazed at me and whispered those three words. I felt very blessed to be loved, but would I be able to love him in return for all that he has given me?

After Armaan left for work, I sat at the balcony with my eyes closed. I saw Kabir and all those moments we have spent together until right before the wedding. I opened my eyes and asked myself why I can be that selfish. Armaan and I were never close but he still married me to save my family’s reputation and MY reputation. I never tried to understand him, but he always respected my choice and never made me feel like he did a favor for me by marrying me. He truly loves me! I called him right away and I bet Armaan was surprised that I called. Without even greeting Hello, I said “I love you!”. I could tell how happy Armaan was by his breathes. Hearing his assistant came in, I hanged up the phone as I didn’t want to distract him.

Finally everything is happening the way it is supposed to be, we found true love! To celebrate, I thought of preparing a candlelight dinner for Armaan. After the meal was prepared, I had to look gorgeous on a special occasion like that. As I finished dressing up, I came out with a big smile. Expecting an “I love you”, I heard snores instead. I knew how tired he was, so I let him rest. Before this I put pillows between us on bed, but now, the border is no longer needed.

Aunty wanted to meet both of us especially after our confession of love to each other. It has been months since we’ve seen each other, so Armaan took me to their house. Out of nowhere, a question popped into my mind. Why hadn’t Armaan brought me to meet his parents? Before I could get a reply from Aunty, Armaan immediately said that they died in a car accident.

After a while, I heard a loud noise from the room where Armaan and Uncle were. I rushed to see what happened, and saw Armaan standing there listening to Uncle. I didn’t really understand what they were talking about, but Uncle looked angry for sure. I heard him say, “We ever expected this from you! We brought you up as our son with the hopes of giving you the rights virtues.”

Armaan banged on the door and went into another room, where he used to stay when he was a child. He was holding a photo frame. Once I headed towards, he immediately hid it in the drawer. I’m really curious about why he’ do that. Armaan turned to me, trying his best to hide his tears. Seldom do we see men cry, so we they really do, something is definitely not right. I asked him what he was hiding but he said it was nothing special. His cheeks were red as if someone had slapped him. He said it’s a scratch, but I don’t believe it. When I tried to press on, he yelled at me and asked me to leave him alone.

On the way to work, Armaan dropped me back home. I dared not utter single word throughout the journey. Once I got home, I remembered that it was Armaan’s birthday the next day. I told myself that maybe I should not be so stubborn, because after all it’s his special day. I started preparing the cake and decorating the whole house, while thinking about the sudden change in Armaan’s behavior. He became so quiet! Shrrrkk… The car entered the garage. I opened the door and gave him a big hug. But he remained silent even when I pulled him towards the cake. He just walked away unmoved, leaving confused and heartbroken. I guess I will try again tomorrow morning.
Woke up early in the morning, but realized that Armaan was already out for work. When I went to his study, I found box with a ring in it and a small note saying “sorry”. I spent the whole day thinking about whether I should call him, but eventually I decided against it.

At night when he returned home, he found the box still there untouched. Assuming that he wasn’t forgiven, he was in a foul mood when his phone rang. When he lashed out on the poor caller, I tried to calm him down and asked him what happened. He finally replied, “I’ve hidden something from you and I’ve lied to you. Instead of telling you about my family, I lied to you that they were dead.” He told me that he could not get along with them and asked me to give him some time. He promised to tell me everything, but not now.

As promised by Armaan, we went shopping. While I was waiting for my dear husband in a restaurant, I saw a very familiar reflection in the mirror, Kabir! I stood up at once and saw Kabir walking towards me. As he came closer, Armaan came in the way apologizing for keeping me waiting. He said some other stuff but I wasn’t really paying attention as I was shocked by the appearance of Kabir. Armaan followed the direction of my sight and saw Kabir. I didn’t know whether he could recognize Kabir but I just wanted to keep him out of this. I offered my hand and lead him out.

It’s almost 12am now, but Armaan is still awake…

He just came in and sat next to me. He asked me what’s wrong and why I’ve become so quiet. I guess he knew that I am thinking about Kabir, but he wanted to know if I still wanted answers … about why he left. I told him I was happy the way I am now, with him.

I sometimes might wonder why Kabir left me. If he never wanted to marry me, why propose in the beginning? I would never force him to, he could have just told me if he needed some time but not to escape from it. However, looking at the bright side, Armaan and I both love each other undoubtedly.

Raina called, saying that everyone missed me and wanted me to return for a few weeks. I used to think how I could live without my family, but now I wonder how I could live with Armaan. I got used to the sight of him and seeing him the first thing in the morning. Honestly, I don’t think I could stay in New Zealand for too long with my heart left here.

Everything was packed, and I was ready to leave. Armaan went to the airport with me to see me off. We were waiting for the announcement of flight. With all the time left, Armaan went to get some coffee. I was sitting there thinking how lucky I am to have Armaan. I know he is a bit stubborn sometimes, but he has a perfect heart.

Wondering why Armaan still hadn’t returned, I headed towards the café and saw a crowd nearby. It sounded like Armaan and as I went closer it was really him! He was beating up someone… It was KABIR! Both of them were bleeding. I saw the security guards trying to separate them, but they weren’t going to stop. Armaan saw me and tried to calm down. I asked him what happened, but Kabir interrupted, saying that Armaan would lie to me. Seeing that they resumed fighting, I stood right between them and begged them to stop. It was my first time seeing that much anger in Armaan’s eyes. I pleaded, “Kabir, leave! For God’s sake, leave us alone!” He left without saying another word. The plan to New Zealand was cancelled; I couldn’t leave Armaan alone in this state, so we headed back home.

On the way home, Armaan didn’t speak to me at all. He was taking deep breaths as he drove the car. I have no idea what made them fight this way. Suddenly, Armaan lost concentration and we nearly had an accident.

I was so shocked seeing Armaan behave like that for the first time! How could they know each other when Armaan’s in Germany and Kabir’s in New Zealand? They’re not even in the same industry and he never told me about knowing Kabir! Then why would Kabir say that? I’d say Armaan, but right now he might vent all his anger on me.

I had to find out, so I decided to personally meet Kabir. I called his house in New Zealand for his number. Surprisingly they gave me to without further question. I called Kabir and asked him whether there is something that I should know. He suggested that we meet at Firenze, a fine restaurant tomorrow. I’m going to there to find out the truth, one I’m done, I’ll leave.

When I entered the restaurant, Kabir was already there. We greeted and sat down. For a while, I didn’t know how to start. It was really awkward talking to the person whom I used to love, while being married to someone else.

I gathered all the courage and asked why they were fighting. He replied, “Let’s just get this straight, Aliya. I never ran away. Why would I? and I didn’t expect you to take the audio recording seriously…”

“I had no choice! What do you mean I should not take it seriously? What kind of a joke was that?”

“It wasn’t a joke, I was forced to say that at gunpoint! I thought you trusted me, so the recording wouldn’t make much difference.”

“The kidnappers, assigned by your husband, Armaan!”

“How do you two meet each other?”

“He’s my brother”

“You two are brothers?”


“If so, why would he kidnap you?”

“That’s the point! Why? I don’t know! I wanted to find out but he ruined everything at the airport. He didn’t want to tell you all these, but the truth couldn’t stay hidden for long.”

The question was still in my head, why would he kidnap Kabir… and marry me? Brothers? That doesn’t make sense! But his brother didn’t attend our wedding, same goes for his Uncle and Aunt… Armaan, Uncle and Aunty? Uncle was saying to Armaan that he was a disgrace. Now it makes more sense… maybe Kabir was telling the truth. I hardly knew Armaan! But Kabir… we’ve been together for years! Perhaps Armaan really is the one behind all of this! I don’t want to doubt him, but everything’s against him! If I ask him, he’ll be angry that I met Kabir. If I don’t, this doubt will destroy our relationship. While thinking about this, Armaan hugged me from the back. I didn’t realize that he was back from work. He probably noticed my tension and asked if I was alright. I tried to be calm and asked him about his day.

At dinner, Armaan asked again. I tried telling him but I started stuttering. He brought me to the sofa and asked me to calm down. As soon as I told him that I met Kabir, his face turned pale. He asked me to repeat what I have said and this time he looked into my eyes. “He was telling me about what happened at the airport… and that you know each other, but could not get along well. Right?” I said. He looked confused and asked, “Didn’t you ask about the wedding?”

“I should have? Well, I did thank him for that, for you/””

Armaan was silent, just like last time when we came back from Uncle and Aunt’s place. This time, I asked him what he was thinking. He simply replied, “You were lying.” That was unexpected, me lying? But I knew what he meant. I replied, “Kabir was lying wasn’t he?” But Armaan said he wasn’t.

“Okay, so you mean you kidnapped your own brother?” He yelled, “He’s not my brother! He was so mad that he broke the mirror next to him and started bleeding. I got the first aid box and attended to his wound.

Suddenly, the phone rang. It was mom, she ask if everything was alright and when I’m going to arrive. I said, “Very soon mom…” After hanging up, my eyes were filled with tears. Without even looking at Armaan, I went up to get my luggage packed. I rushed down the stairs and went to the door. Armaan stopped me and asked where I am going?”. There is a limit to everything, and he couldn’t even face me when he ask me a question. I was angry, but ten times sadder. The last words he said before I stepped out was, “Aliya, don’t! I love you…”

When would someone react in this way? Only when they’re lying… How am I supposed to continue trusting Armaan? The truth is clear now, Kabir wasn’t lying.

The past 5 years have been a disaster. I feel like a shipwreck. My feelings for him still clings onto my heart like a barnacle. He is the one to be blamed for my miserable life. I should get rid of my feelings for him because he’s not worth it. “Enough!” I told myself. I’m happy here with Ayan in Sydney!

At the office, working peacefully as usual. Well… the boss had signed a contract with another car designer. During lunchtime, he was introducing himself, that’s what everybody said. I wasn’t there because I had to go and pick up Ayan. When I came back after lunch break, he was waiting there at my room sitting on my chair. Seeing the back of this man, I had a strange feeling that I knew him. “Excue me?” I said.

He turned around. It was Armaan! Why on earth is he back? It has been five years without him; does he still expect me to start over? What about Ayan, now that he’s here, he’ll find out!

I started sweating and the piles of files on my hand dropped. Armaan tried to help me out. Kneeling down, he looked me into my eyes again. But I rushed out of my room, my heart pounding. I felt suffocated, and needed some fresh air. I went up to the roof top and started thinking about how he found out that I am here, and he is back to my life. Just then, there was a pat on my shoulder. Armaan invited me out for a walk after work. Knowing that I wouldn’t go with him easily, he told me that he took my car keys away. That was smart of him, but I wonder how ridiculous he could get.

He drove me to seaside, I tried my best not to look at him nor speak to him. When we arrived, we were the only ones there. It was quite late, so he insisted having dinner which I rejected immediately. Ayan’s at home sleeping. If he wakes up midnight and doesn’t see me at home, he’ll be worried. I can’t tell Armaan about that so I tried to excuse myself by saying it’s getting late. Suddenly my phone rang and Armaan snatched it away. He put it on speaker and listened. It was Lily. “Ma’am, Ayan said he wouldn’t sleep till you’re home. Are you on the way?” “Ummm… Yes Stella, I’ll be there, don’t worry”. Armaan seemed to be puzzled, “Who is Ayan? And he wouldn’t sleep until you get back?” I was silent, and that silence gave him the answer.

He asked in a deeper voice, “How old is he?”

“What do you mean?”

“Our son! You think I wouldn’t understand? He’s my son as well!”

“Ayan… our five years old child”

“Does he know about me?”

I didn’t know how to answer him, I understand how much it’ll hurt recognizing that your own child doesn’t even know whether you exist. He shouted “Leave!” His eyes were red and filled with tears. As I turned to leave, it started raining heavily.

This morning, there was a man at the door. Lily opened the door and he handed him a box saying “This if for Mr. Ayan from Mr Armaan. I went downstairs wondering what could it be. “Ma’am it’s a gift for Ayan from Mr. Arm,” said Lily. Ayan, hearing his name, ran down the stairs and shouted “Mr. Arm? What kind of a name is that?” “Oh Lily, this says “To Ayan, From Armaan. Dad loves you! Wait…Dad!!! Mom look! Dad is back! You said he went somewhere for some work and would be there soon, he’s finally here Mom!” he said with enthusiasm, while clinging on to me. But I was lost in my own world, worrying what would happen next. Seeing my son jumping around with laughter for the very first time, I was really happy for him. Lily approached us with the phone, “Ma’am it’s for Ayan” He snatched it from her and yelled, “Hello? Is this Dad?” Despite all the happiness, Ayan was still a bit as he had never spoken to his father before. “Where are you? Please come home Dad!” Ayan just got even more excited knowing that they’ll meet soon. Happy that they finally would reunite, I couldn’t help but worry about what would happen next.

After I brought Ayan to school, I went to work. I thought Armaan would definitely speak to me about Ayan, but that’s not what happened. We didn’t meet at all, except for the office meeting we had. Armaan was busy for the whole morning until it was lunchtime. My phone buzzed at 1pm with a message “Meet me downstairs, next to the building.” It was really sunny there. As I waited for Armaan next to the car, I just hoped that nothing wrong would happen. Suddenly someone gave me a kiss on the ceek. “Ayan sounded really happy, did he like the gift?” he said to me. And I just replied with a “Yes”. “Well I expected something more than a yes, madam,” he said, holding the door of the car open for me. There’s no point quarrelling with Armaan and it’s obvious that he’d win. I just sat in the car quietly. He said “I’m bringing my family for lunch and no one can stop me.” When we reached school, Armaan dropped me off to pick up Ayan and went to find a space to park. Ayan came running towards me as usual, but instead of talking about his day, the first thing he said was, “Silly me, I forgot to ask Dad when he’ll be coming…” with a sad but adorable face. “Well I think you won’t need to do that anymore,” Armaan said from behind. Ayan ran to him and gave him a big hug, while Armaan lifted him up high in the sky. We had lunch together, and had a lot of fun till it was time to go to work again, so Ayan was brought home.

Early morning, I slowly sneaked into Ayan’s room to lift the curtains. Once I turned, there stood Armaan, shading Ayan from the sunlight. I was shocked to see him, “What are you doing here? And how did you…” “Shhhh…” Armaan replied, covering my mouth with his hands. He then lower the curtains and led me to the dining room. I asked again and he replied, “It was dumb of you to keep the key under the doormat.” I wanted him to leave, but I knew how stubborn he is. Armaan prepared breakfast without burning the food.

Today, there was a Science Carnvial where Ayan was invited to go to by the school. He was told to bring his parents with him, which he was extremely happy about. He called Armaan last night to confirm his availability and Armaan gave his promise. He arrived at 3 pm with his car, asking whether Ayan was ready. Ayan fored me to sit next to Armaan because he said that’s where mothers sit… I couldn’t say no to him.

At the carnival, they ran off to different booths. The carnival was filled with children of all ages. Armaan and Ayan chose the Chemistry Corner, heading towards “Creative Potion Mix Booth”. I told them not to, because anything could happen if you’re not careful. Ayan really wanted to give it a try, so Armaan let him. As parents, we can’t fulfill every desire knowing that it’s harmful! When I told him the rules, Armaan told him, “Tell your mom to relax, Ayan!” My son talked back to me for the first in these five years!” As predicted, they mistakenly mixed the wrong potions and created a tiny explosion. Their clothes were ruined, but they were laughing madly. I was shouting at Armaan about how dangerous it could have been. Why do I even have to tell him all that? He should be old enough to understand! He thinks that I should have told him about his son, but would he share my responsibility in raising Ayan? Armaan was taking long and deep breaths after laughing, and this is strange.

I told Ayan to go back home with me at once, but he insisted to be with Armaan. Ayan never lived without me, sometimes he can’t even sleep until I’m home! And now he wants to sleep at his house! Armaan would never understand how I am feeling, but simply egging him on.

A lot of things happned today that made me question whether Armaan is suitable for Ayan. I can’t change their biological relationship, but I can remove him as being Ayan’s bad influence. I’ve lived alone for five years without him, and I managed to sustain myself. But once Ayan becomes too attached to him… I don’t want to deal with another Armaan. It might be a hard decision, but it is one that I had to make for Ayan.

Today I’ve made that decision that could change Ayan’s life entirely. Armaan’s absence would matter to a lot to Ayan, but his existence would do no good to Ayan. I know it’s hard. Cutting our ties would indeed be painful after having loved him deeply, but this step has to be taken.

One similarity of the two of them is their stubbornness, and now Ayan’s yearning for Armaan. I don’t mind them being together, sometimes I do feel like letting them go together. I couldn’t take his rights away, nor Armaan’s, but I can protect my son from Armaan’s bad company.

Today Armaan brought Ayan to the office, he was fascinated by the sight of all the cars his Buddy designed. Armaan asked him if he wanted to go on a ride, beyond any doubt they went for a drive. I thought Armaan would want to talk about the case, but he seemed to think that he had already won.

After the long drive, Ayan was asleep. When I bumped into him, he asked me why I looked so pale, and if I’ve already given up. I requested him to sign it, yet he was unwilling to. I warned him, ‘if so, you might be arrested!” He thought it was a joke, “By whom, Kabir? Kabir would never get me arrested.” I asked him how he was so assured. He replied, “just that I’m fonder of Kabir than you are.” I feel taunted and I had the feeling that I would lose Ayan. When Armaan wants something, he would do everything to achieve it.

Before leaving, he said, “Don’t worry, I want the custody of my family. And that can’t be achieved by divorce.”

Today was the day of the hearing. Mr. John spoke on my behalf, “We hereby demand custody of the child in question given her financial and physically capability.” Armaan’s lawyer Mr. Stan countered the claim by stating that Armaan had no knowledge of his son until now. Then John added, “My lord, the appellant submits that the respondent was pre-meditated. He had his brother Kabir kidnapped when he was about to be married to Aliya.”

“The respondent submits that Mr. Kabir had waived his rights to sue the respondent. My lord, we submit the relevant papers with Mr. Kabir’s signature.”

How’s that possible? I never knew that Kabir dropped the case! I looked at Armaan to see his reaction, he seemed concerned.

The magistrate declared, “After learning about the submission from both sides, the court has decided to talk to the child in question.”

The magistrate came over to speak to Ayan about the case. “Hello, young man” he said with a friendly voice.


“My name is Edward.”

“Oh, I have a friend called Edward!”

“That’s great. Now you’ve got two friends called Edward.”

“Well, yes. But we should shake hands to become friends!”

“Of course! Do you like chocolate?”

“Who doesn’t? Everyone loves chocolate”

“When I was young, my mother hardly gave me any. She said it’s bad for your teeth.”

“Cool! My mom says that too! But then she gives me a little sometimes. She’s the world’s best mom! She loves me so so so so so much!”

“Yes! She sure does. What about your Dad?”

“Dad? Oh you mean Buddy! Ummm…”

“My father was so helpful; he helped me in studying law. I used to hate books, but he made it easier for me to understand by joking about it.”

Ayan was still wondering what to say, and the magistrate got his answer.

The magistrate said, “It’s about the child’s future. He needs the two of you together, and I would suggest you two reconsidering your options. In this light, the court has decided to grant six months of grace period for reconsideration, by living together in Germany, where you came from.”

These six months is going to be the longest six months for me, I was afraid that all those memories would come back. I was scared that I would lose control and repeat my mistakes. I’ve already forgiven him, but it was hard letting it go. In fact I never did. I pondered about my next decision, should I stay with Armaan or leave all of his memories here?

They say time flies, but I disagree. Seeing Armaan every single day is a miff. I could neither understand why he’s maintaining a distance, nor do I know why I am so anxious about it. I can’t deny that it was love, despite that he betrayed me. Preventing Ayan from getting too close is getting tough, he’s becoming a rebel. Who knows what’s going to happen if I take his Buddy away?

Now here’s another hassle A Cruise Vacation Package… by Mr. Armaan.