Clearly, when it came to lust, the boundaries imposed by society seemed to dissolve into thin air. A short story of forbidden lust, debauchery, and deceit.
“You should also come with us to Goa! It will be a good change for you…” Kiara took Diya’s hand and held it between hers.
“Kiara is right. The sun and sand will do you a lot of good,” said Rishaan, putting his arm around Kiara. “Plus, I get to enjoy the company of two beautiful women, instead of one!”
Diya looked at both of them with consternation, which was mostly jogged by the memory of an evening not so long ago when Rishaan and she had shared a passionate kiss during a vulnerable moment. “No no, you guys should go and enjoy yourselves in Goa. I don’t want to mess up your holiday.”
“Nonsense! We want you to have fun with us. I am not taking ‘no’ for an answer!” Kiara’s eyes flashed in stubbornness, a look that Diya was all too familiar with.
Diya sighed in resignation. “Alright, alright. I will join you. But book my return tickets for an earlier date. I don’t want to stay in Goa for a week. Maybe just three or four days.”
Rishaan looked mischievously at Diya and murmured softly. “Come on, aunty. You need to learn to have fun.”
Diya felt unnerved at the tone of his voice, and she glanced at him surreptitiously. Rishaan seemed to be enjoying her discomfort, but at the same time, he was looking at her in a way that stirred something very deep, almost carnal. Diya looked away, hoping that Kiara had not noticed the wordless, lust-hungry exchange that had just transpired between Rishaan and herself. Diya hated that her flesh wanted to succumb to the vile attentions of Rishaan, where her mind stubbornly refused to give in. But Diya wondered how happy would Kiara be if she realized that Rishaan was just using her to get closer to Diya. Would Diya be able to forgive herself if she was the reason for breaking up their engagement? More importantly, would Kiara ever forgive Diya, her own mother, for seducing her fiancé?
As these wanton questions flooded Diya’s mind, Kiara noticed her mother’s worried face and consoled her, “C’mon Ma…it’s just a holiday. Don’t think I haven’t noticed how withdrawn you have become since our engagement.”
Diya felt her cheeks flush with embarrassment. If Kiara ever found out the real reason behind Diya’s despondency, she knew that she would lose her daughter forever. And she loved Kiara too much to risk that. Diya loathed Rishaan for coming in between Kiara and her, but she could not reveal what kind of person Rishaan was without exposing her culpability in the events that had unfolded the day that Kiara had gotten engaged to Rishaan.
“Ma!” Kiara’s face was etched with concern. “What’s wrong? Why do you look so worried?”
“Nothing beta…just lost in my own thoughts. I am fine.”
“All done! Tickets are booked for tomorrow morning. Rooms are booked. I have booked two double-bed rooms so that in case Kiara wants to sleep with aunty, she has that option.” Rishaan shut down his iPad and placed it in its sleeve.
“Aww…you are such a sweetie...” Kiara fawned over Rishaan, as she slid her arms up from behind him and under his shoulders, placing her head on his back.
Rishaan stroked Kiara’s hands slowly as he fixed his gaze on Diya. “Of course, darling. I have to make sure that we all have comfortable sleeping arrangements. How else can we have fun?”
Diya pointedly ignored his jibe and got up. “I guess I better start packing then.”
Next day, the trip to the airport until the time they entered the flight was uneventful. Rishaan behaved like a dutiful fiancé and a doting future son-in-law. Kiara was very drowsy because she had been up most of the night planning the trip and packing her things. As soon as they settled in their seats on the flight, Kiara was out like a lamp. In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep-starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan's right hand more firmly. Rishaan's other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya's. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa.
When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny...his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher. Diya was silent, already regretting accompanying her daughter and future son-in-law on this trip. Kiara was too excited to notice any change. After the long drive towards Candolim, they checked into the Seashell Beach Suites resort.
At dinner, Kiara excitedly shared the plans for the next couple of days. Her skills as an organizer were exemplary, a testament to her career as a high-flying stockbroker. Diya observed her daughter with pride. She just wished that Kiara has used her better judgment while selecting her life partner.
That night, Diya had a very disturbed sleep. She had dreamt of Rishaan, his muscular arms roughly slamming her against a wall as his tongue coaxed a lascivious response from every nerve end of her body. And then Kiara had walked in on them, her face distorted in shock and pain. But Diya could still not control her ache to sexually devour Rishaan. She had held him as he made violent love to her, not caring about anything else. When Diya woke up, she was sweating from her imaginary exertions. She shook her head in self-loathing. Why did Rishaan have this effect on her? Was it the excitement of stealing a forbidden fruit? But was she that evil that she would even steal from her own daughter?
The next morning, a weary-eyed Diya joined Kiara and Rishaan in the cab that had been booked to transport them across various locations. While they were walking through the ruins of Fort Aguada, Kiara had quickly gone ahead to keep pace with the guide. But Rishaan had lingered back, waiting for Diya to catch up. When Diya entered one of the inner rooms of the fort, Rishaan caught her arm. “Didn’t sleep well aunty?” He delicately traced his finger against the contour of her cheek and whispered, “Even I couldn’t catch a wink knowing that only a wall separated us…” He moved to kiss her.
Diya’s heart thumped in her chest as she angrily pushed him away and hissed, “Stay away from me Rishaan! I’m warning you!”
Before he could utter anything, she turned around and ran, putting as much distance as she could between Rishaan and herself. She realized that if she needed to survive this trip, she should stay around Kiara as much as possible. And that is what she did for the rest of the day.
When Diya woke up the next day, she had a splitting headache, most probably caused by all the traveling and sun exposure. She decided to stay back at the resort and let Kiara and Rishaan continue with their sightseeing plans.
Kiara was very upset when she heard that Diya was not feeling well. She even suggested that she would cancel the plans for that day, but Diya would not hear of it. Kiara had planned to meet up some of her old school friends who currently lived in Goa, and Diya did not want Kiara to miss that. After Kiara and Rishaan headed out, Diya slept deeply like she had never slept before. Her hunger pangs finally woke her up and she realized that she had slept the entire day. After taking a quick shower, Diya headed out to the restaurant to order some food and a couple of drinks. As she sat there surveying the other diners, she suddenly got the feeling that somebody was observing her as well. She shook off the disconcerting feeling, blaming her jitteriness on her frayed nerves – a result of Rishaan’s unwelcome attention.
Feeling satiated and rested, Diya decided to head back to her room and start looking at the places she wanted to visit in Goa. When she entered her room, it was dark. As she fumbled with the light switch, Diya felt a hand clamp over her mouth while the other hand grabbed her waist. Diya tried to scream, but all that came out were muffled noises. She twisted her head to see who her attacker was, and she was stunned. Rishaan! How did he get in? What was he doing here? Where was Kiara? Had he hurt Kiara? Diya was enraged at the thought. She bit Rishaan’s hand so hard that she could taste his blood on her tongue.
Rishaan roared in pain, clutching his injured hand. “Why the hell did you do that? I just didn’t want you to scream. Now look what you have done!”
“Why are you in my room?” Diya backed away from Rishaan trying to find some way to escape.
“You know why! I can’t get you out of my head. Not since the day we kissed. And I know you feel the same way too Diya.” Rishaan had a glint of determination in his eye that both frightened and excited Diya.
Diya felt her breath catch in her throat. To change the subject, she asked, “Where is Kiara? What have you done to her?”
“Kiara is fine! She is still dancing at Tito’s with our friends. What do you think I will do to her? I just don’t feel the same way about her…the way I feel about you.” Rishaan whispered those last words as he approached Diya.
Diya stood frozen like a deer staring at approaching headlights. When Rishaan grabbed her waist and pulled her up against him, she did not resist. A huge part of her wanted to feel Rishaan’s mouth on every inch of her body. Her last vestiges of resistance gave away when Rishaan’s lips tenderly possessed hers in a moist and quivering mess. Diya felt like putty in his hands as she let him possess her body. And they made passionate love again and again until they were both too spent to do anything else.
Diya lay awake long after Rishaan had gone back to sleep in his room. She kept thinking about Kiara. There was no way she could let Kiara marry Rishaan after what had happened tonight. And she needed to tell her right away. Diya slipped into her bathrobe and opened her door a crack to check if anybody was around. That was when she heard Kiara and Rishaan talking in low voices. They were standing outside their room. Diya had her heart in her throat. Did Rishaan already reveal everything to Kiara? She inched a little forward to listen more closely to what they were discussing.
Kiara was saying, “…she doesn’t suspect anything. Make sure that it looks like an accident. Tomorrow, I am going to pretend to have a hangover. I have booked a cab to take you and mom to Cabo de Rama…it’s an old, deserted fort around 60 kilometers from here with almost no tourists. After you reach, follow the dirt trail that will take you to the watchtower. Make sure that she stands on the edge of the wall and then it will be easy to give her a gentle push over the edge. It’s a 50-feet drop to a rocky beach. She sure as hell won’t survive.”
Rishaan seemed a little wary of Kiara’s plan. “Are you sure you want to go ahead with this? Why kill her?”
“Are you going soft on me now? Or have you developed feelings for her after fucking her?” Kiara’s face was livid. “I HATE HER! How could she do this to me? Ever since you told me that she kissed you, I have been observing how she behaves around you. Does she think I am an idiot not to notice? Now she has become the woman who sleeps with her daughter’s fiancé. She has failed every test that I put her through!”
Diya felt her entire world crumble around her. She could not even begin to understand how Kiara could ask Rishaan to seduce Diya in order to test her character. And now her own daughter was planning to kill her? She shut the door softly so as to not draw their attention and slumped into the nearest chair. Her sweet, innocent girl…Diya could not believe it, but she knew that she had not imagined the conversation that she had just witnessed. Diya realized she had to make things right with Kiara. A plan started to formulate in her mind.
Next day, Kiara predictably feigned a hangover and asked Diya and Rishaan to carry on with the day’s plan. Before leaving, Diya handed over an envelope to the hotel desk manager and gave him specific instructions on what should be done with it.
After they reached the fort, Diya followed Rishaan as he led her down the dirt path towards the decrepit ruins of what was once a watchtower. Diya could understand why Kiara had chosen this spot for Diya’s final hour. There were no tourists around in spite of it being the tourist season.
Rishaan turned around and hugged her. “I want to take a picture of you Diya. Stand over there, on top of those rocks. It will be a beautiful picture!”
Diya nodded and proceeded to the spot he had pointed to. However, when she reached there, she turned around and called out to Rishaan. “Rishaan, I am too scared. Can you please help me up?”
Rishaan willingly came over, ready to provide a helpful hand. When Rishaan caught her hand to help her up, Diya gripped his forearm. “Why don’t you join me up there Rishaan? Let’s take a selfie from there.”
Rishaan looked uncertain for the first time. “I don’t know...”
Diya brushed away his concerns, “It’s just a selfie. After that, I will pose for you however you want.”
“Okay…” Rishaan tenderly climbed on the rocky edge of the wall, checking the stability of the rocks. And then he held out his hand to Diya to pull her up. Diya grabbed his hand and hauled herself up, and then she continued gripping his hand as she wordlessly stepped over the wall and plunged into the precipice, pulling a screaming Rishaan along with her.
Back at the resort, Kiara was desperately waiting to hear back from Rishaan. He had not answered his mobile all this while. At 7 PM, the hotel concierge knocked on her door and handed her an envelope addressed to her in her mother’s handwriting. Inside the envelope was a letter from her mother.
My Dear Kiara,
This is an apology long overdue. I cannot allow you to marry Rishaan. On the day of your engagement, Rishaan had behaved despicably by kissing me. When I scolded him, he begged me to remain silent. For your sake and happiness, I did not tell you anything. However, he took my silence as approval and tried seducing me at every opportunity. The truth is that I was not immune to his charms and yesterday night, I slept with him. I hate myself for it and I can only ask for your forgiveness. As atonement, by the time you get this letter, both Rishaan and I would have fallen to our deaths. I hope you will live a good life and will forgive this errant mother of yours. I will always love you.