What if…. Chapter Eleven

Krishna placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder.
“He is my brother,” said Arjuna. He felt numb. Suyodhana and Vrishasena had left for the Kauravas’ camp a few hours before. He had sat in his tent trying to make sense of all that happened. It seemed grossly unfair.
“Yes,” Krishna’s grip on his shoulder was tight.
“Were you ever planning to tell me?”
Krishna sat down opposite him. “He made me promise not to.”
Arjuna looked at Krishna. “I would have killed him.”
“And I would have made you do it.” Krishna’s voice was gentle but matter-of-fact and Arjuna was once again left with the feeling that he knew nothing about this man. He had barely scratched the surface of Krishna.
“Knowing he was my brother, you would have made me kill him?”
“Had the war took place and had he fought on Suyodhana’s side, there was no power on earth that could have saved him. Why do you think his father took him before the war started even though he was a non-combatant?”
Arjuna shook his head as if to clear it. “What now?”
“Now, we wait while the demobilizing of the two armies is complete and Yudhistira is installed as King in Indraprastha. Then, and only then, will I go to Suryadeva to ask him to let Vasusena return.”
“But he would be knowing.”
“Yes, but the change in situation by itself might not be enough to persuade him.”
“Vasusena should be King,” said Arjuna. He knew Yudhistira would never agree to be King.
Krishna shook his head. “That is for Vasusena to decide when he comes back. In the meantime, Yudhistira will have to accept his responsibility.”
“I still can’t believe you would have let me kill him!”
“Knowing the truth, he was willing to kill you,” said Krishna drily. “Don’t forget that his promise to your mother to spare her sons’ lives did not include yours!”
“That would not make my act all right,” he muttered.
Krishna sighed. “Why do you persist in thinking of what-ifs?”
Arjuna pulled a face. “Wish I knew,”
“So do I,” muttered Krishna in exasperation.

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