(Continued from previous part…)
Aniket and Ritvik, both were asleep.
Aniket woke up when Ritvik moved away Aniket’s hand resting on his belly. Aniket was always extra-sensitive to Ritvik’s touch. Ritvik was trying to get up from the bed, but it was evident that he was having difficulty in doing that. It was not easy for him even to sit, probably because of pain, so he lay down again after first unsuccessful attempt and then tried again by changing to side pose and then slowly got up. Ritvik hardly could stand and lost his balance, but before he could have fallen, he felt Aniket’s arms around him. Aniket held him in his arms and saved him from getting hurt.
Ritvik was all nude. After they reached home, Aniket had just changed the bed-sheet in which he had wrapped and brought Ritvik home. He changed the dirty bed-sheet wrapped around Ritivik with a clean, washed sheet to cover him again after they reached home. It was easier this way to get him properly examined by doctor instead of putting on clothes and then taking it off later. It was obviously much more convenient for Ritvik too who was unable to even move easily because of terrible pain. Ritvik was hardly bearing his body weight. It was all Aniket who supported Ritvik all the time to stand or walk till they got back home. Aniket did not intend to disturb him or cause more inconvenience by asking Ritvik to move un-necessarily during Doctor’s examination, if he had to take off his clothes again. He had seen him walking with a great difficulty.
Aniket was holding Ritvik for support, when he noticed, Ritvik leaned back slowly and pulled the sheet from the bed to cover himself. Aniket helped Ritvik cover his body.
Ritvik started moving towards toilet slowly. He could hardly put a couple of steps forward. His pain was excruciating and because of medicine given he was half drowsy, so his steps were zig-zagged. He was struggling to walk and keep his eyes open. After a few steps of walk, Ritvik felt being lifted up. He opened his eyes and saw Aniket carrying him in his arms.
Aniket carried Ritvik carefully inside the toilet cum bathroom and carefully put him down. Aniket was still standing by him to support Ritvik. Ritvik probably wanted to pee. Ritvik looked back at Aniket who held Ritvik by his arm and was looking at Ritvik’s face. Aniket guessed from Ritvik’s expressions that he was hesitant. Aniket’s love for Ritvik had given him capabilities to read Ritvik’s thoughts precisely. Aniket turned around his face away from Ritvik but kept Ritvik holding strongly. He did not leave a chance for him to fall and get hurt. After Ritvik was done. Aniket turned back to Ritvik, carried him once again in his arm to the bed.
Aniket laid Ritvik back on bed, tugged the sheet around him to cover him properly and lay himself next to Ritvik on other side of bed. He again, embraced Ritvik in similar pose so that he gets alert with Ritvik’s any movements. It was the best option for him to be aware of Ritvik’s needs, even if he fell asleep. Ritvik did not react to Aniket’s embracing. Aniket closed his eyes but his mind was puzzled and restless. He was unable to find an answer to why Ritvik picked up the sheet to cover his body? Did he not trust him now? Today itself, he saved Ritvik and brought him back home. When he reached there to save him, Ritvik was all nude in front of his eyes. He was worried and unable to find a clue why his love of life, Ritvik, could not trust him and opted for a veil to cover his body now. He was worried, if Ritvik counts him in the same category of people like Rizwan and others. No doubt, it hurts more and the damage is deeper on a soft target. Aniket had the most soft corner in his heart for Ritvik, and he was hurt deeply by this act of separating Ritvik away from himself.
The veil was not just separating Ritvik’s body, it was also threatening with the existence of a strong invisible wall between Ritvik and the Aniket’s love for him. It was adding a question mark on his feelings and his love for Ritvik.
For past 28 hours or a little more, Aniket had a single aim in his life, and it was Ritvik. Now, when the Ritvik’s condition improved a little, Aniket’s mind got a little relaxed. He himself had not taken any food since he reached at Rizwan’s apartment in Gurgaon to rescue Ritvik. He was exhausted mentally and physically. Now when he felt a little isolated, abandoned by Ritvik, he felt a need for food to compensate his depleting energy levels.
Aniket opened his eyes, looked back at Ritvik’s face and asked, “Sweet-heart ! What would you like to have, tea or coffee with a sandwich?” Even after all this tension, Ritvik was his first priority.
There was no response to Aniket’s question by Ritvik. He was probably back to sleep. Aniket moved close to Ritvik’s face, gently kissed on his cheek, and then moved his index finger on sidelines of his face, moving back his hair on his forehead. It was an attempt to wake him up. With this tickling movement, there was quick movement in Ritvik’s closed eyes. Aniket repeated his question, “Darling! … would you like to have tea or coffee with a Sandwich?”
Ritvik replied in a feeble voice, “Ummm…. no..thin..g. ” His eyes remained closed. Aniket kept looking at his face for a moment. He himself was feeling like crying seeing Ritvik in this condition. He was afraid that Ritvik might be distancing himself. He felt lonely, sad and broken-heart. Aniket then gently pulled out his arm resting under Ritvik’s head, kissed on his forehead and got off the bed.
Aniket had no interest to take food, but it was the only distraction which could work for him at this moment. He prepared a sandwich and a cup of coffee. He added extra sugar in Coffee. Whenever he felt tensed, he felt an urge to consume something sweet. He finished his sandwich and coffee while thinking again and again on the burning question popping-up in his mind “Why?…why did Ritvik try to cover himself in my presence?”, but was unable to find a satisfactory answer.
After sometime of churning out various possibilities, he concluded, probably it was the traumatic experience that might have made Ritvik behave this way. Aniket emphasized with Ritvik and concluded that he himself might have done same thing probably, if he was in Ritvik’s place. An innocent kid like Ritvik, who was jovial, energetic happy kid, but just a baby confined in an adult body, unaware of any ups and downs of life had suddenly faced the horrible experiences in his life. It would scatter anyone’s beliefs into pieces, but when it comes to a sensitive soul like Ritvik, there were no doubts now in Aniket’s mind that it could have left deeper scars to turn all his worldly beliefs upside down.
Another possibility popped up in his mind. “Probably he might be feeling cold after fever and that’s why he wrapped himself in sheet”, he talked to himself with a more scientific reason this time. It sounded positive to him as it was giving him assurance to get back Ritvik’s confidence and trust in him. He deliberately ignored the fact that Ritvik was reluctant to pee in front of his eyes.
This explanation was a little consoling to Aniket. He felt a little relieved as there was still a hope for survival in the relationship. He now came back and lay down next to Ritvik, embracing him with his one hand and rested his head close to Ritvik’s face.