Pia was silent now as she stared into the sky.
Archana was angry. "Answer me Pia. You still love him right? Wait, did you make up all this just to get me away from Samar, so that you can have him?"
Pia was about to say something when Archana put up her hand. "Pia listen, he loves you. I know how much he does. You probably are the only one he has held on to for so long. If you love him, you can always go back to him."
Pia remained calm, "I did not make up anything Arch. That's the truth."
Archana did not seem interested. "I don't care Pia. The fact that Samar asked you to marry him when I've been with him for more than a year is enough for me to hate him. I don't need anything more."
Before Pia could reply, Archana walked away.
Pia took a deep breath and looked up. Her hand went to the pendant across her neck and she felt strange emotions stir inside her. She then slowly walked out of the terrace and pressed the button for the lift.
Meanwhile six floors below, Samar was getting restless. He was with a group of people he hardly knew and all he was thinking was of Pia. He did not understand why she was talking to Archana for such a long time. There was no need for her to talk to Archana in the first place. What if Archana tried to get Pia away from him. Finally, his love for Pia was finding a happy destination and this time he would not let anything go wrong. No matter what. Having decided this, he excused himself from the group, fetched himself another drink and went back to the balcony to wait for Pia.
"I shall propose to her again, the same way. And this time we shall not be interrupted." He decided.
Few minutes later he felt impatient and was just walking into the room on his way out to look for her, he saw her entering the hall. He heaved a sigh of relief. He rushed to her and hugged her tight. Nitesh saw this from the corner of his eye and wanted to strangle Samar. All these years he had never understood as to how Pia could bear Samar. He thought Samar was a selfish leech and Pia his innocent prey. He now turned away from that sight and pretended to be interested in the conversation that was happening around him.
"I'm so sorry Pia, Archana is just impossible. I'm so sorry." Samar apologised.
"Its alright, but that was quite something. Can you please fetch me a drink." She asked feeling her throat go dry.
"Sure. Go out to the balcony and I'll see you there in a minute." He said and touched her cheek.
Pia just smiled and walked out to the balcony waving to a few people around who smiled at her.
Samar was back really quick and she took a sip of her wine and stretched her neck on both sides.
"Tired?" Samar asked worriedly. He came forward to massage it for her but she pushed him away.
"No, I'm fine. Just a little stressed."
Samar felt hurt. "Have you really forgiven me Pia?"
Pia now was surprised. "Of course. Didn't you hear anything I told you something ago?"
"You left me over this Pia. And today you are here just so you could sort out things with me? Why didn't you do this sometime back? Why now?" Samar leaned across the balcony and took another sip from his drink.
"Because there is no point in carrying this burden further. Its been more than a year and it hurts me every single time I think of it. You certainly did not make it any easier with you incessant calls and messages. Each time you called, I remembered what you did. And each time I remembered you, I hated you more. My hatred for you was so strong that it started affecting me on a day to day basis. My temper got worse and I had begun to annoy myself. And then I decided to let it all go. I decided that I would forget you. So each time you tried to get in touch with me and remind me of yourself I made a pact to forget you. Every reminder you gave me was a reminder that I need to forget you. Rather remember to forget you." Pia stopped for another sip.
Samar just stood staring at her. "Did it work?" He finally asked.
Pia laughed out loud. "With you calling me about hundred times a day, you think?"
Samar just smiled not knowing what to say.
Pia continued. "Then I realized that as long as I had this hatred for you I would never be able to forget you. You remember people for something. What you did bothered me so much that it began to eat me. I needed to let go of the hate to forget what you did. To forget you. Somethings always exist, as long as there is someone around to remember it. I was a reminder myself and I hated that. I wanted to let go of the anger and live free.That's why I'm here."
"Feeling better now?" Samar came closer to her.
"A lot better. I might sound a lot selfish here but it was worth it. I knew it was the right thing to do. I feel light now." She open her arms wide open and breathed deeply into the late evening breeze.
"Thanks a lot Pia. You brought me back to life. But I'm not gonna let you forget me. Ever. I love you so much Pia. Its been so long now that all I remember is loving you. Not having you by my side made me a different person. Insensitive and cruel. When you left me over the Namitha episode, I thought a lot to myself and decided that yes, I was wrong. I shouldn't have taken advantage of Namitha's feelings towards me. Maybe subconsciously I decided to myself that if you ended up with someone else instead of me at least I'll have someone to go back to and not end up being a loser."
Pia's eyes were cold now. "What about Archana?"
"What about her? She was never in the picture Pia. It was always you. I love you like crazy woman, please understand." He said with tears in his eyes.
Pia ignored his teary eyes and asked "If I had not forgiven you, what would you have done? I'll tell you what, you would have gone back to Archana."
Samar was irritated now and started pacing up and down the balcony. Pia waited sipping her drink. She had witnessed his scenes way too often to even react to it. Finally Samar calmed down, gulped down his drink and came closer. He held her face in his hands and tearfully looked into her eyes. His eyes looked bloodshot with all the drinks he had had.
"Pia, it has been about five years now and I have loved you for every minute of it. I have spent every second of these years trying to get you into my life, without caring about anything else. All I wanted and want, is you. Yes Pia, I have made mistakes and I'm ashamed of them. But a day hasn't passed when I have not tried to get you back into my life. I did everything I could to get you back. I might not be the best person around here, but I'm the person who loves you madly and would do anything for you. Even if it means breaking a million other hearts. I live for you and I want to do that for the rest of my life."
He let her go and moved back and went down on his knees. "I'm sorry for all the hurt I caused Pia. I promise I shall spend the rest of my life trying to make up for it. Pia, please marry me." He then began sobbing.
Pia came closer and brought him back to his feet. She looked into his bloodshot eyes and she could see the love for her in them. She hugged him tight until he stopped sobbing.
"Fine now?" Pia asked with a smile.
"I need a drink." Samar said and was about to walk out of the balcony when Pia caught his hand.
"No, you have had more than enough. Let it be." Pia's voice was crisp.
Samar turned back and looked at her with admiration and raised his index finger to point at her. "Only you, only you have the power to control me. I don't have it myself. Only you. What have you done to me Pia?" He said and held his pounding head with both hands.
Pia was all serious. "Samar?"
He came closer to her and brushed her cheek with his thumb. "Hmmm...??"
"I know you love me, I have never doubted that one bit. But you involving other people in it just so you don't end up a loser is so selfish that it makes you a horrible person. I cannot marry you, I'm sorry." Pia looked away.
Samar started in disbelief. "What? You won't marry me now just because Archana is involved. I love you Pia, she was just someone I had for company. I never even touched her I swear. Please don't do this to me Pia. Please." He begged.
Pia was unperturbed. "That's not the only reason Samar. I do not love you anymore."
Samar felt a strong pain in his gut. This was not happening to him.
Pia went on. "I have forgiven you Samar, that does not mean that I marry you or come back to you."
Samar banged his fist on the wall. "That bitch Archana, she had to come and spoil it for me. Damn her."
Pia was angry now. "This has nothing to do with her Samar, you need to...... " Her phone rang.
Samar walked away to the corner of the balcony trying a get a hold on himself. Pia answered the call.
"Hello? Hmmmm I'm almost done. I'll be ready to leave in about 20......... Okay fine, see you then. Bye." She hung up.
She walked to the corner where Samar was struggling to stand and helped him stand straight.
"This has nothing to do with Archana, Samar. What you did after we broke up is no business of mine." Pia said without any feeling.
Samar started at her blankly. "So you are leaving me? Again?"
Pia was removing her necklace. She handed it back to him. "You can think what ever you want. Here, I also came to return this."
Samar took the necklace from her hand and swung it out of the balcony. "Damn you Pia, I want you, not this."
"I'm sorry Samar. The very reason that you felt the need to have a back up probably means that we are never meant to be." Pia said and started walking out.
"Pia?" Samar stopped her. "Please stay for a while."
Pia shook her head. "My work here is done. My past ends here. Moreover Akash is here to pick me up. I need to leave. Bye Samar."
Samar's head hurt more. "Akash?"
Pia turned and gave him a last look. "Yes. Akash, my husband."