“How long would you be gone for?” Akriti’s voice was shaking. The last thing she wanted was to break down in front of Parth. She had heard her father rebuking her mother numerous times for weakening his resolve by crying in front of him. It was the same story almost every other day. Subsequently, she had vowed never to let her man see her tears. Even though they hadn’t said the words, it was an unspoken agreement that they belonged together. But now, he was leaving India with his family, for God knew how long. To avoid meeting his gaze, she focused on removing invisible lint off her dupatta.