Third Persons POV.

Zeeshan had had a long day.

The presentations in the office were a mess, the clients were too fussy and his car had a breakdown halfway home. On calling the chauffeur situated at home, he found out all the cars were assigned and so he had to take the bus home. Now, at the gate of his house, or rather mansion considering the size of the construction, he watched as the people around him fussed. The head house help took his briefcase to his room as the chief of security briefed him about the guards.

Soon, he was finally let off. He walked into the house, blazer in hand, to find his favourite women chatting. His Dadi Jaan, Ammi, and Chachis (paternal grandmother, mother, and younger paternal aunts). He relaxed his stance before making his way towards them.

”How are my three girls doing? ” He mocked, watching them scowl at being called girls.

”Sharam Karo. (Be shameful.) Don you have any manners? Is that how you
e supposed to speak to your dadi? ” His mother reprimanded him, smacking him lightly.

”So you agree that you
e my girl? I like it. ” He retorted.

Zeeshan watched horror take over his mothers features and chuckled lightly before making his way to where his Dadi Jaan was seated and laying his head on her lap with a sigh. He closed his eyes and relaxed as the ladies talked about anything and everything.

”The girl you came with, Farida, she seems a little off. She didn even speak to anyone. Whats going on? ” He heard his grandmother question his aunt.

”I noticed that too. ” His mother added.

”To tell you the truth, I don know the whole story either. When I got to London, I found out my sister and brother-in-law had succumbed to their injuries from the accident. I had gone to the hospital to see them when I saw Ayesha in the ward, a surgical blade in hand, threatening to end her life if anyone dared touch her parents bodies. ” His aunt Farida began.

The two elder ladies gasped, horrified.

”I tried my best to placate her but it didn work. In the end, they had to sedate her. Once she got up, I kept her in check as her paternal aunts and uncles prepared for the funeral in secret. She hasn said a word since she woke up from the sedation. ”

”Not one word? Thats not healthy. ” His grandmother commented.

”I know Ammijaan. I tried. She didn even cry for her parents. We tried to come up with something the whole week, but nothing. So we contacted her brother who was on his way back from a business trip and he decided she needed a change of atmosphere. He said since my brother-in-law had always wanted to shift to India permanently, they should do so as it would be easier with all the relatives around and that he would shift the business too. I waited for him to return and once he did, he talked to Ayesha. It ended up with me coming early with Ayesha and Parvaiz, her brother, was left busy preparing for the permanent shift here. ”

Zeeshan shifted to his right, staring at his aunt as she wiped her tears off, his mother consoling her.

Zeeshan got up from his grandmothers lap once dinner was being set and took a short shower. He hurried as he realized no one would begin dinner without him.

”Assalamu aleikum. ”He boomed.

Finding an empty seat, he realized the girl everyone has been talking about was seated right opposite. The first thing he noticed about her was her pale skin. It was the kind that made her look ill. He frowned as he continued scrutinizing her. Her pink dry lips, the mole right below her lips, her small chin, and her honey-brown eyes. When she looked into his eyes, Zeeshan felt like he was falling. Falling where? How? He had no idea. Her eyes were soft, innocent yet angry and sad. They made Zeeshan itch to touch her. Console her. He never looked away. Not even when his mother served and he began eating.

When he saw what she served herself, his frown deepened. Out of all the delicacies on the table, she opted for the simplest of them all. Furthermore, she had served herself little. The flight from London to India was tiring and anyone else would feed themselves to the point of exploding. Then why wasn she? After dinner, everyone was eagerly devouring the sweet dish, while Ms Innocent refused to eat. Once again, disappointment filled Zeeshans senses. Why? He didn know.

”Ya Allah! Ayesha! What have you done? I should have chopped those nails off the moment we got here. What the hell is this? How hard did you even scratch? ” Zeeshan heard his Chachi screech.

He was startled and the first thing his eyes spotted were her fingers, dried blood splayed over the nails and the tips of her fingers. He then noticed her hands. One was worse than the other. Numerous slits caressed the back of her palms, the skin was peeled, as if by force, and blood continued to pool around the wounds. It was aching to watch her sit insignificantly as if it didn hurt. Her eyes were stoned, her facial expressions hard. Even as her aunt fussed, the girl just stared at the plush carpet in front of her. The colour in her cheeks seemed to fade as reality set in.

She was broken, more like shattered.

He stared at her, wishing he could hug her, and tell her that it would all be okay. That after the dark, starless night, there would come bright dawn, filled with sunlight. That everyone around her would help, regardless of whether or not she begged for it. He wished to have the right to hold her, look into her eyes and make her smile.

When his Chachi mentioned that Ayesha should have at least talked to her about it, Zeeshan kind of understood why she escaped. Talking about all the pain wasn easy. It was burdening. To try and put the feelings in words and know the other person would not understand, has not been in your shoes. And it was difficult to look at the person the same way. The fact that they knew the darkest of your secrets and they could use it against you, to give more pain than relief, was a horror story of its own.

Soon enough, everyone retired to their rooms, his chacha consoling his Chachi, telling her to give the little girl some time. Some space. But what they didn know was space and time just taught them to rely on themselves. It taught them that regardless of the pain and misery, the suffering was meant to be theirs and they had to live with it. Instead of making others put up with their pain, theyd rather suck it up and live lonely in misery.

Zeeshan shook his head, trying to push the negative thoughts to the back of his head. He got up and started towards the stairs, his heart pounding against the cages of his chest, begging to be released. On his way to the bedroom, he passed by hers, the muffled whimpers and sobs were not unheard. His heart ached as he stood there for a good minute or so. He wanted to bang his fists and demand she open for him. Look into her eyes and make her realize that it wasn the end of the world. The confines of a room were not always the way out. Sometimes, falling and learning how to fly was the correct way to escape.

Entering his bedroom, he shut the door behind him. Looking around, he shivered as he sensed how cold his room was. His heart clenched, and the dark colours of his walls oddly satisfied him as they always did. He couldn afford to let down his walls. He could stare from afar, help from afar, but never break the glass protecting his sanity. Hed tried once and failed too.

He laid down on his bed, the size made for a king. He chuckled at the irony of actually being the king of the business world. Phone in hand, he checked his emails, replied to some, before he played a game or two, and finally put the gadget away. Rubbing his forehead, he willed his thoughts away, before closing his eyes. He had a meeting early in the morning and he needed sleep as well.

He thought about the presentation he had prepared, mentally confirming that he had done all the necessary arrangements. He went over the most common questions clients asked him and prepared answers accordingly.

Before sleep took over, he thought of a certain honey-brown-eyed innocent beauty. He wondered what her smile would look like. If she would ever smile for him. Her voice that hed never heard. Would it be soft like her eyes? Would she speak in low tones, or would she cackle in laughter? If approached, would she shy away, or would she look him in the eye? In anger, would she scream her heart out, or would she be sarcastic and give him the silent treatment?

Sleep finally took over, letting him rest his thoughts. For the first time, in a long time, he smiled in his sleep. For the first time, in a long time, he slept until his morning alarm rang. Repetitively, throughout the night, his brain played games with him, letting him see the angel in his dreams, letting him caress her and appreciate her as his heart skipped beats happily.

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