Ved does not talk much. Keerthana talks too much. But, they both haven’t talked to each other about the secrets deep in their hearts. They finally got a chance to go on a honeymoon trip almost after one year of their marriage. Though they were not so eager for this trip, they just wanted to get it over, as it was on their list for a long time.
They reached the hill station early in the morning. They were greeted by the hotel staff and were escorted to their room. They were told that they need to come to the cafeteria downstairs before ten to have their breakfast. The cafeteria would be closed from 10 am to 12 30 am, they were informed.
Ved wanted to sleep for some time as he was tired after the night train journey. But, Keerthana did not want to skip breakfast. After arguing for some time, they reached the cafeteria ten minutes before it was supposed to be closed. They were served their breakfast.
Ved saw someone walking into the cafeteria and he could not believe his eyes. He knew for sure he could recognize Radhika from any far. For a moment, he wished he was not here. He did not have time to hide somewhere. He noticed the fact that Radhika was walking towards him. There was another man with her. Ved felt glad that Radhika got married. But, he was frightened that Radhika would walk towards him and start fighting with him for what he has done to her. Fortunately, she smiled at him and walked past him. Ved could not believe his luck.
Keerthana got up to get some coffee. Ved avoided turning back as he knew for sure Radhika and her husband were seated somewhere behind them.
After a few minutes, Keerthana returned. Along with her came Radhika and her husband. Keerthana said, “Hey Ved, I met this wonderful couple, Radhika and her husband Harish. They would like to join us for today’s trip. They are new to this place. I told them that you have been to this hill station many times. They need company too. They have also come on their honeymoon.”
Ved hated this. He did not want to do anything with Radhika again in his life. Before he was about to say anything, Radhika said, “May be, he wants to spend time with you. We’ll just seek some advice and we’ll go away. Else, if he does not want to help us, it’s alright. We’ll manage.” Her husband, Harish nodded in agreement.
Ved said, “Sorry. I was about to say that you are welcome to come with us. We have a wonderful day planned out. It’s nice to have company.”
Keerthana wondered if she did the right thing.
Ved was introduced to Harish. All this while, Ved and Radhika acted as though they did not know each other before.
After a few minutes, Keerthana and Radhika went to the rest room. Ved and Harish were sitting on the breakfast table. They did not have much to talk. Harish was silent and he was looking outside the window.
Ved recollected the last time he met Radhika.
On the farewell day, everybody in the college thought that Ved would ask Radhika’s hand for marriage. Radhika waited the whole day and she kept on looking at Ved anxiously. They had a lot of fun in the team activities and Ved kept avoiding Radhika. She thought that he was being mischievous. Little did she know that he was trying to break up with her. They have been dating for almost two years and everybody in the college that they would get married as soon as college got over. But, as they kept dating, Ved started developing a dislike for Radhika. He was constantly trying to break up with her, in vain. Finally, at the end of the day on their farewell celebrations, Ved walked upto Radhika and said, “I’m sorry. This is not happening. It’s me. It has nothing to do with you. Trust me. You are the best girl on this earth and you deserve someone lot better than me. I’m a hopeless fellow.”
Without evening listening to her or turning back, Ved left the place. He avoided all his college friends ever since then. Even though he broke up with her, he went into depression for a long time. It took some time for him to get well and focus on his career. Finally, he got married to Keerthana and he almost forgot about Radhika. But, once in a while, he would see these nightmares where he felt Radhika was slapping him or hitting him or shouting at him. He never stayed back to listen to her tantrums. He has been seeing these nightmares all these years.
Ved thought that he might get rid of those nightmares because Radhika seems to be happy with her husband.
While Ved was lost in his thoughts and analysis, Harish said, “I heard that liquor is cheaply available in this place. Since you have been here many times, can you tell me where we can get liquor easily? We can sneak out later and grab some beer or whatever is available to drink. Please find some reason and tell these ladies. Radhika will not like the fact that I’m going for drinking again. She thinks that I’m going through some de-addiction program. In fact, I use that time every weekend to drink more with my friends. Somehow, I have managed this far. Please help me out during this honeymoon. I badly need to drink. You know, we cannot quit all of sudden.”
Ved felt bad for Radhika. How in the world did she end up with an alcoholic, he thought. Harish said, “Ours is an arranged marriage. She did not know much about me before our wedding. In fact, she accepted the fact that she was forced into this marriage as she was depressed in life because of some failed love story in her college. I know these things happen in college. I, too, have a failed love story in college. The girl left me because I was drinking too much. I’m just worried. I don’t want Radhika to leave me because I drink too much.”
Ved realized that Radhika’s marriage was in danger. He did not want to be around when they were fighting. Radhika would definitely blame him for everything.
As soon as the ladies returned, Ved said, “Hey Keerthana, can we quickly go to the room. I forgot to take my digestion pill.”
Keerthana realized that something was wrong as she knew he did not take any medication for digestion. Radhika also understood the situation. Keerthana said, “Sure. We’ll meet Radhika after one hour. We can get ready by that time.”
Ved hurried to their room. Ved asked Keerthana to close the doors. He quickly pulled Keerthana to the bed and said, “I need to tell you something. We cannot go with them.”
Keerthana was listening with an amused expression. Ved continued, “I know Radhika before our marriage. In fact, I broke up with her in college because I did not like her after we started dating. She always loved me, though. So, I cannot go with them. Please find an alternative.”
Keerthana looked surprised. She did not what to say. Ved was confused at her expressions. After hesitating for a few moments, she said, “I wanted to tell you the same thing. Let us avoid them. I knew Harish since college. I broke up with him because he is an alcoholic. We did not have a relationship, as such. We went out for a couple of dinners and he would end up drinking too much. Within a few days, I realized it is not worth it and broke up with him. I was surprised when he started acting as though he has never known me before.”
Ved and Keerthana decided to share all their secrets with each other to avoid any further embarrassment. Within a few minutes, they vacated the hotel and logged into another hotel to avoid meeting Radhika and Harish again.