The Abyss-Ishqbaaz ff by Aashi
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Priyanka burst into Pinky’s room in tears, went straight to her chhoti maa and hugged her tightly. Together they sobbed their hearts out in each other’s arms. Priyanka was never much attached to any one at home, being the youngest, the most neglected and the only female member among the younger Oberois. Daadi, though had been there from time to time,was more preferable towards her grandsons. During those times, the half-witted, loud and unpolished Pinky was there for Priyanka while her mom sogged her innards in alcohol. Pinky was the one who had attended her Parents’- Teachers’ meetings, who had bought her candies, who had told what good touch and bad touch meant, who had given refuge to her while her parents fought.
She had told her all about ‘periods’, the way to cure its pain, the one who hugged her during her troubled teens and let her cry; her bond with Pinky was unexplainable. Sure everyone loved her but no one understood her. She never had a ‘family’ or best friend. Around the time she was nine, fights worsened at home now that Om joined. It was the time when Pinky had hugged the frightened Prinku and had calmed her. Surprising would have been an understatement but they had found friendship in each other.
Pinky had tried to be mother and friend of Shivaay but he had always been ashamed and embarrassed of her- her presence, her class, her language; she found the acceptance in Priyanka who chatted with her for long hours, told her about school, her singing. She had gently corrected her chhoti maa’s Grammer and had consoled her whenever Shivaay had been rude to her. After crying a while, both wiped each other’s tears and sat in silence. “Prinku beta, go and freshen up. We’ll go marketing” Pinky said in a shaky tone with fake cheeriness. “Shopping, maa, not marketing” Priyanka said, trying to smile. “Ha..ha…wahi, wahi” “Chhoti maa, you’re a bad liar. We will not cry; Anika needs us to be strong. Okay, na?” “Hmm…. Ok.” “Maa, aap aise himmat haar jaaogi to kaise chalega? Aap hi to mujhe samhaalte ho; aap aise toot jaaoge to mei to haar jaaungi.”
“Acha, beta, ab nhi roti mei. Ab khush?” “Bohot.” Outside somebody left with a new broken heart, teary eyes and stumbling feet. Jhanvi let her tears flow freely inside the bathroom. She realized how much she had lost due to her addiction. She had missed Rudra’s growing up, and Prinku’s everything- her childhood, her teenage, her adulthood. And now, she can’t undo anything. She realized that she was so lost in her grief and her addiction, that she had lost track of her own self. She had lost her joys, lost thinking about others happiness- other than that of Tej, her health and most of all her responsibilities and life. The ever so strong Jhanvi had turned a puppet in hands of love. Today, as she was sober, she had thought Prinku would come to her to share her misery but what she saw hurted her, a hurt she should have received earlier.
She determined herself to get free of addiction and gain control over her life again. “I will make sure you crave for me Tej; the way I did for you. And I will make sure you understand my worth. YOU are not worthy enough for me but I’m now out of your reach.” Her tears washed under the shower, as someone transformed back, better than before.