My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge is A Reader's Take, where everyday I will be picking out a novel title corresponding to that day's letter and write my post based on it. To make it more challenging, I have decided to write a serial story. The novel I have selected for today is 'Upside Down, Inside Out'
Leave Me Never
(Find the series index here)
Everything happened so
fast that Kayra was having a tough time sorting out her emotions. Upon seeing
Ayaan, she had just walked up to him without knowing what to say. It was as if
her body had a mind of its own, which she didn't have a control over. Mrs Iyer,
who had seen the whole thing had soon caught up and invited Ayaan in. Sensible
that she was, she had left Kayra and Ayaan to themselves, ushering Ritwik and
Ansh to her home, promising them to serve her homemade cookies. Now that they
were alone, Kayra didn't know what to say.
All these years, she
had wondered what she would say if she would meet Ayaan ever again. Though
there were thousands of things on her mind, when she opened her mouth to speak,
no words came out. What was Ayaan thinking? How did he find her? Did he know
the truth? What would she say if he didn't? Questions were buzzing in her mind,
yet she couldn't voice them. So she stood there silently, willing Ayaan to say
something. But he seemed to be lost in a world of his own. He had silently
followed her in when Mrs Iyer had invited him and ever since was sitting on the
couch without speaking a word. He just kept staring at her, his face devoid of
expressions. Kayra suddenly felt self conscious. She knew she looked like a
mess. She had just returned from office, after a tiring day. She fumbled with her Dupatta as she thought of something to say.
“You are nervous” said
Ayaan. It wasn't a question; just an observation. It was an old habit of hers, fumbling
with the Dupatta whenever she was nervous. A thrill ran through her seeing he
remembered that little detail about her still. “I, umm, I am just surprised”
she said, hoping he would say why he had come. Ayaan was quick to take the hint
“I spoke to Shruthi” he said. Kayra froze. So he knew. Then why had he come
here all the way? “Why didn't you tell me Kayra? Why did you run away?” There
was pain in his voice which Kayra couldn't let go unnoticed. He deserved to
know the truth. “I was scared Ayaan. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to be
alone, away from everyone. I didn't want to hear people judging me for what
happened. So I came here, to start anew. I wanted to be free”
“I am sure you didn't
have a problem starting anew with him?” his tone turned accusatory. Ayaan didn’t
mean to say that but he felt betrayed. Did she think he wouldn't have
understood if she wanted to start anew somewhere else? She had left him and
started a new life with someone else here when he could do nothing but think
about her all these years. He couldn’t think straight. It was too much for him
to bear. He needed to get out of here soon. “I hope you are having a wonderful
life” he said and left, leaving behind a startled Kayra.
To be continued...
About today's novel: 'Upside Down, Inside Out' is a novel by Monica McInerney. Read more about the novel here.