Nandini’s P.O.V ~
” You should’ve been there to see Manik’s expression after that girl followed him all the way to the dressing room… ” Dhruv said as everyone burst out laughing, including me. Cabir, Dhruv and Abhi were talking about a few embarrassing moments they had on and off the field, and it was quite fun. I myself couldn’t believe that I’d made five new friends in such a short span of time.
” If I start talking about your good deeds, I won’t be able to stop. ” Manik tried to say in a serious tone, but failed miserably. Everybody laughed again.
Suddenly, my phone rang snapping me out of the situation. Dad calling… it read. Shit. I looked at the watch, and it was already 9:45 pm. What the hell…
” Excuse me guys, I’ve to take this. ” I said and walked outside in the balcony where nobody was heard.
” Hello? ” I said answered, pressing the phone to my ear.
” Nandini, where are you? It’s 9:45. ” My dad said in a stern tone. This was what I feared the most… my dad’s anger.
” Yeah dad, I know. I was just leaving from here. I’ll be there by 10. ” I said, even though I knew reaching home by 10 was impossible.
Cabir’s place was far away from my house.
” Okay. Get home fast. We need to talk about something. ” He said. Did he come to know about me not being at my friend’s house? I thought, since his tone was stern and bitter. He never spoke to me like that without any reason. I must’ve done something…
” Um… everything okay? ” I asked.
” We’ll talk when you get home. Bye. ” He said and hung up.
I seriously must’ve done something stupid. But what I feared the most was his anger. I didn’t want him to find out about me lying to him. I had never done this before, and as much as I felt guilty for lying, I felt free. I felt like I could be myself for once, and not someone mom, dad or the world wants to see.
” Nandini? Nandu… what are you doing here? ” I heard Manik’s voice from a distance. He was standing at the entrance of the balcony.
” It’s um… dad. I’ve to go home. ” I said. He immediately looked at his watch.
” Oh f**k… ” He muttered and I looked at him in amusement. ” Sorry. You’re right, it’s 9:50… let’s leave. ” He added. I nodded and we walked out.
” Guys, we’re leaving… ” Manik announced.
” You know dad called… He said that he wanted to talk to me about something. The way he spoke… I think I’m in deep, deep, deep trouble… ” I said.
” But he’s your dad, right? I’m sure he understands you… ”
” I wish he could… but anyway, let’s get going. We’re late… ” I said.
10:15… My heart raced as everyone minute passed. Dad must be fuming, mom must be worried, Navya must be sleeping by now. Manik stopped the car in front of my house. Poor guy, I didn’t even talk to him the whole drive. I definitely need to thank him for such a lovely evening.
” Thank you, Manik, ” I said before getting out.
” For what? ” He asked even though he knew for what…
” You know for what. I’d fun… a lot of fun. That’s all because of you… ” I said.
” I didn’t do anything babe. I just asked you to come. But I must say… what you did today was creditable. We’ve just met, and still, without getting to know me properly, you came with me to Cabir’s place. One needs to have guts for this, which you have. So never think that you’re less than the others… You are perfect the way you are… ” He said looking directly into my eyes. His words melted my heart right at that moment. I’ve always wanted someone to say these words to me… and he did. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that Manik Malhotra would say such words to someone like me.
” Thank you, ” I said and kissed his cheek. Clearly, he wasn’t expecting that. But I just wanted him to know what he’s done for me, and that, I’ll always be there for him.
” Uh… okay… thanks… ” He said running a hand in his hair and looking out through the window. He was so cute!
” Okay… bye, good night, ” I said and got out of the car. He waved one last time, and drove away. I sighed… time to face daddy…
The door of my huge house was open. I wandered why did they keep it open. Anybody could come in…
With heavy footsteps I walked in and noticed that it was all dark. Maybe mom and dad slept, and so they’d kept the door open for me. Or maybe some servant had just gone out and forgot to shut the door close. I thought.
Careful, not to wake up anybody, I started climbing the stairs to my room. But I wasn’t going to get away easily, was I? Suddenly, the lights were switched on, making me stop dead in my tracks. Dead. Gone. Dad’s gonna kill me.
” Nandini… ” His loud, manly voice was heard from his room which was downstairs. I slowly turned around like those people in scary movies do when they hear a ghost behind them.
” Y-yeah? Dad… ”
” Where were you? ” He asked. He had the same tone. He stood at the bottom of the stairs with hands folded across his chest.
” At a friend’s place… she needed help for tomorrow’s paper so I- ” I began telling the lie, but he cut me off.
” Where were you, Nandini? This time, I want to hear the truth. ” He said. Shit. He knew. I never felt this guilty before. Ofcourse, he was angry, but he was hurt too. I hated myself hurting him. I couldn’t lie anymore, so I started telling the truth.
” Actually I was at a party… ” I said.
” With whom? That rockstar? ” He asked raising his voice a bit. I was shocked. Rockstar? He meant Manik? But how did he know I’d met Manik? My mind was flooded with questions and confusion was written all over my face. I walked towards dad as his angry gaze burnt me.
” Dad, how did you- ” I asked but he cut me off by grabbing something from the table beside and throwing it angrily on the floor.
Newspaper… it was today’s newspaper. I picked it up and next thing I saw, was a picture of me and Manik, hand-in-hand, walking out of Starbucks.
Manik Malhotra’s Mystery Girl… was written in bold letters on the top.
” Dad, it’s not what it looks like… ” I said quickly.
” So what is it? You tell me. Is this why I’ve raised you with so much love and care? Is this why I’ve given you all that you asked for? So that one day, you would just embarrass me in front of the world… ” He said.
Tears were forming in my eyes. ” No, dad. Please listen to me… ” I begged.
” I was in the office when one of my employees showed me this article. You don’t know how embarrassed I was in front of him. It won’t take much time for such a news to spread in the society. ” He said.
” But dad it’s not what it looks like… ” I tried my best to convince him, but I knew there was no point in doing so.
” I have no other way to see it. Go to your room right now. And don’t you dare meet that guy again. It’s my first and final warning to you. ” He said and walked into his room, slamming the door shut.
I ran up to my room and sat on the floor, holding my knees to my chest. It hurt to see dad like that. I hurt him. I lied. I cried and cried till I fell asleep on the floor itself.
My life sucked…
Awwie. . . The first twist in the tale. His dad. But Manik was adorable when he said all that to Nans, wasn’t he? Comment guys!
Credit to: Nish