Expressions Unfettered-Chapter18-byDiyaa

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Chapter 18

As Shikhar drove, he started talking about a couple of issues regarding his NGO.

“I am wondering if Aashi and you could demonstrate a little bit of the beginning​ level sessions. It might help spread the message.”

“Yes.” Priyanka agreed.” That sounds like a good idea. Once my opening is over, I’ll prepare for it. What are the documents you wanted me to look at?”

Shikhar was silent for a couple seconds. ” Did you text Soumya that she should come to the boutique with Simran?”

“I forgot. I’ll do it now.” Priyanka said looking at her phone.

Priyanka sent a quick message to Soumya. “Done. Now will you tell me what documents you were talking about?”

Shikhar stared at the street ahead of him. “Priyanka, don’t get upset, but there are no documents. I have nothing to show or discuss. In fact I came up with that demonstration idea randomly, but I am glad cos’ it’s kind of nice.”

Priyanka felt her heartbeat quicken. “Ok. Then why did you say there were documents to discuss? Is there something else that you want to talk about that you did not want to mention at the time?”

“Yes.” Shikhar said simply, giving no indication of his own rapid heartbeat. “Should I say it all now?” He thought to himself. He was clueless about the answer to that question. “I was noticing some things about your behavior this morning and I wanted to talk to you about that.” He said out loud.

Priyanka felt a chill run down her spine. “Ok. Go ahead.” she said bracing herself.

“Why were you so jumpy and nervous this morning? Everything with the boutique is going great. You seemed to be in excellent mood when Aashi and I came to visit you for lunch yesterday. You seemed confident and pleased with your progress. What happened between then and this morning to change your demeanor so much?” Shikhar paused for a couple of seconds. “I need to know and I felt that somehow, without really saying it, you have given me the right to ask. Correct me if I am wrong.”

Priyanka stared at her hands, swallowing back the lump in her throat. Three years of incessantly growing affection for this man struck her with full force.”What do I tell him?” she thought. ” That I have been living in a make-believe world? That I have grown pathetically attached to him? That the possibility of him paying special attention to any other girl sends me in a strange panic mode? Or should I make up a story. Tell him a lie?” She took a deep breath. ” It was just jitters. Although I have come this far, I suddenly felt nervous about the opening day.” she said feeling horrible about lying.

” Ok. But why today? You have an army of people setting things up today. I would have understood if you got the jitters tomorrow night, thinking of the opening. But today you are still riding on the excitement of getting ready. The jitters don’t make sense today. Don’t make up another story please. Tell me the truth. What’s going on?”

Each of Shikhar’s sentence worked up her emotions a little more. By the end of his speech she was at the end of her patience. “I got insecure.” she blurted out.

Shikhar looked at her dumbfounded. She suddenly looked exactly like how he had seen her the first few times he had met her before Aashi’s wedding. Unsure, anxious, and seemingly embarrassed for no reason.”This is not good two days before the opening.” He thought. Seeming to come to a decision, Shikhar drove on quietly.

Priyanka sat looking outside the window, swallowing back tears of mortification. Preoccupied with her own thoughts, she did not think about why he hadn’t said a word after she had blurted out her reason. When the car halted, she came out of her reverie. “Thanks.” she said getting ready to step out, when she realized that they were not at her boutique. She turned around sharply to face him with a questioning look.

“Get down Priyanka. We need to talk.” Shikhar said with a resoluteness, that she had never heard from him before.

Priyanka stepped out gingerly and looked around. They were at the entrance of a park. She walked around the car and stepped through the main gate with Shikhar walking by her side. The low- walled park was fairly large and mostly deserted at that time of the morning. There was just a random​ person here and there walking, jogging or sitting on one of the benches that were placed at regular intervals along the boundary wall. Each bench was flanked by trees on both sides making the seating naturally shaded. Shikhar led the way to one of the benches nearby and gestured to her to sit. Priyanka nodded and sat down.

Shikhar sat next to her leaving a few inches between them. Lacing his fingers together he rested his hands in his lap. “This place is just twenty minutes away from my office as well as from your boutique. As you can see, it is nicely shaded and also has a decent walking and jogging track. Before Om stepped into Aashi’s and my life, I used to come here in between work; when I couldn’t take the stress.” He laughed softly. “I haven’t been here for the past couple of years and the last time I came it was just for some exercise; not to blow off tension.”

The breeze that blew was warm but pleasant at that time of the morning. His brown hair, that matched Aashi’s in both color and shade, fluttered softly. When he turned to look at Priyanka, she noticed for the hundredth time, that the color of his hair, matched that of his eyes, precisely. “Just like Aashi bhabhi.” she thought.

“How do you blow off tension?” He asked bringing Priyanka back to her senses. “I know you have had your share of stress. What do you do to ease it off? Do you have any special place?”

“No.” Priyanka muttered. “Only special people. And a couple of special activities.”

Shikhar’s lips curved into a faint smile. He felt his heart all warmed up and a strange sense of euphoria started to bubble up inside him. In that moment, he knew for sure. The question he had asked himself a little while ago in the car was answered by his own self. “Yes, the whole truth. Today. Now is the time.” He thought. ” Will you tell me about them?” he asked looking directly into her eyes, feeling utterly at ease.

“It’s remarkable, how different your looks are from Aashi bhabhi’s, and yet, how much the two of you resemble each other. The exact same twinkling eyes. Both breathtaking.” Priyanka said as if talking to herself. She was half aware of what she was doing, but in that moment, at that place, gazing into his eyes, and compelled by her recent agitation, she had entered some sort of a trance. ” To answer your question,” she continued in her daze, ” Initially it used to be Daadi. At every indication of an anxiety or panic attack, I used​ to rush to her. She used to envelope me in her arms, tell me some story or other, and make things better. Later, Shivaay bhaiya shared this job with her. All I had to do was be in the same room as him, and suddenly I would feel safe. As I found sketching and designing as a hobby, that activity became a stress buster. Walking around in Om bhaiya’s studio, looking at his paintings and sculpture also releases tension. Then there are Rudra Bhaiya’s jokes. That makes me forget, what I was worried about in the first place ”

Shikhar chuckled at the mention of Rudra’s jokes. He had sampled a few and just thinking about them was a stress buster. ” That’s an awesome list. You are fortunate to have had such a bunch of people to go to, when stressed. I used to have my gym and this park.” Shikhar said reminiscing the excruciating days from his far away past, when Aashi refused to call him bhaiya and talked to him only when necessary. His eyes stung at the very memory of those times.

“My list was not complete. Three and a half years ago, my fortune grew two times.” Priyanka said still gazing at him, noticing the hint of moisture in his eyes.
” I met you. And talked to you. And meeting you, talking to you, being around you became another one of my anxiety reliever. One of the biggest ones actually.” Priyanka added the last sentence as an afterthought.

Shikhar took a very deep breath. ” Why were you insecure today? You were surrounded by all the people who make you feel secure. What caused your insecurity and about what?”

“About you.” Priyanka said looking down, as her heart raced at a maddening pace. She knew in that moment that the moment of complete truth had arrived, that God had destined it by bringing Shikhar to Oberoi Mansion that morning.

“Me?” Shikhar said astounded.

Priyanka knew that there was no looking back now and summoning all the courage she had gathered in the past few years, she went on talking. “Since yesterday, I have watched you interact with Simran, who is a stunning and beautiful person inside out, and insanely charismatic and glamorous. Watching her notice you, take interest in you, and seeing you respond to her gave me a bad feeling. And feeling like that about a nice girl like her made me feel even more crappy.”

Shikhar listened to her with quiet rapture. Was she saying what he thought she was saying? “Priyanka, how much do you know about Aashi’s and my past and our relationship until four years ago.” He asked looking at her again.

Priyanka shifted a little uncomfortably in her spot. ” I know what bhabhi chose to tell me. I know that she considers you to be the reason why she is alive and Om bhaiya the reason why she reconnected with her life, you, and started to live again.”

“Then you know that I have spent most of my life controlling my emotions and it is almost second nature to me to not express myself. That has been changing in the past couple of years though.”

Priyanka just listened feeling afraid even to breathe.

” Aashi has always been my reason to live. I always thought that if I didn’t live and did not become strong, then she would meet a terrible fate. That was my reason to live and fight against all odds against her. After I had lost her for a while, Om brought her back to me. I became much happier than before. But I was still this overly controlled person who did not know what to do if he was not taking care of his little sister. Until, you, Priyanka, you reconnected me with my passion, my life. The reason why I haven’t been to this place in the past two years is because one, with Aashi happy with the best guy I could imagine for her, I am not that stressed anymore. And two, because when I did feel stressed due to work, or loneliness, I preferred to talk to you, and discuss my organization and your career, with you. It’s my fault for being so pathetic at expressing myself, that you landed up being insecure about a girl I met yesterday and have known for some ten hours as of now. ” Taking a deep breath, Shikhar continued, ” So, I don’t want any more confusion. I am not particularly good at this so I will just say it flatly. I am not interested in any other stunning, beautiful, charismatic, glamorous, and what-not girl, other than you. I cannot imagine anyone else with whom I am at such perfect ease, than you. There is no one who would understand my past struggles and will let me be me, other than you. There is no girl who would​ understand and respect Aashi’s place in my life, other than you. And if I have horribly mistaken your words and you have not been considering spending your life with me as I am thinking, please consider it now. I promise I will not disappoint you.”

Priyanka stared at him with her mouth open. He was breathing heavily because he had spoken all of that in about two breaths, as if afraid that the moment would pass and that he would not be able to express all that he wanted.

In complete shock and unaware of herself Priyanka took his hand in hers. “You are not mistaken. I have not only been considering, but imagining it, what you just said, spending my life with you, for the past three years. I thought I was being foolish. But now that you have said what you have said , I say yes to everything you asked of me, before you can change your mind.”

Shikhar looked at her hands holding his, then he saw her shocked pale face, her glazed eyes and burst out laughing. He closed the gap between them and put his left arm around her. “We must be the oddest couple around? Who confesses feelings like this?”

Priyanka suddenly felt all tension leave her. She smiled and rested her head on his shoulder. ” We do. It’s not odd. It’s just us. It’s unique.”

Shikhar felt his heart swell and then break out of some imaginary fetters.
“I love you Priyanka. I always will.” he said as he brushed his lips on her hair softly.

They sat like that for a few minutes. Priyanka was the first one to come back to reality. She sat up with a jerk. “They must be wondering where I got lost! Shikhar, we have to get going. I have to help them finish my work!”

Reluctantly Shikhar got up from the bench pulling her up by her right hand.
“As soon as your opening is done, we tell everyone. But Om and Aashi have to know right away. Tonight maybe?”

Priyanka nodded, ” Ok. And my other two brothers and Anika Bhabhi too. It’s one for all, all for one. Can’t break that code.”

Shikhar laughed out loud as he held her hand and walked out of the park and towards his car. ” My God! You guys are like the mafia. Can’t break the code.” he said opening the car-door for her. Then as he got into his seat, and started to drive, he looked at her again. The sun shone on her hair giving it a reddish glow. Her face beamed with happiness. Her delicate lips could barely hold back her grin and her eyes reflected her pure heart. Shikhar’s​ own eyes softened. “Ok. One for all, all for one.” he said as he drove towards her boutique.

_______________________________________________

Thanks for reading Everyone. I am sorry I couldn’t post earlier. But I did not want to post in a haste. These two needed quiet and patient attention so that I could make their words and actions suit their temperament. Thanks for being patient and for inquiring ?I really, truly, thoroughly appreciate it. Please comment if you can ☺

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63 Comments
  1. Jaya Darshini

    Gosh this is beautiful. I can’t stop gushing over this chapter. Oh so good. Such beautiful writing makes reading an even bigger pleasure. Loved this.

    1. Diyaa

      Thank you Jaya. Really appreciate it ☺

  2. Aww..
    Cute

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Charitha ☺

  3. thank u soo much for this episode truly & fully dedicated to PriKher
    it was indeed unique the way they conveyed their emotions
    spellbound or rapture aren’t the words but heartfelt is
    lovely update
    need the confrontation of RuMya wid family
    update soon

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Aashi. Glad you liked the update. Working on the next one. ?

  4. Wow. That was so wonderful. Glad that Shikar talked to Priyanka and she also openly told him about her insecurities and all…

    That was such a cute confession from both sides and showed the trust they have on each other.

    Waiting for her brother and sister-in-laws reactions to the news…

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Fffan. Will update soon ☺

      1. Waiting for next part

  5. Hi Diyaa
    It’s is the most beautiful proposal????I have ever read . You just nailed it diyaa
    I like this story very much there is no drama or suspense like other stories but you have portrayed it beautifully…
    You are an amazing writer
    And once again the proposal was out of the world it was really superb??

    Aadhya

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Adhya. I wanted to keep their moment soft like them. So wasn’t sure if this was going to be liked. Glad it worked out.?

  6. Ashwinee

    this is seriously AWWWWWWesome. waiting for the next!!!!!!!!

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Ashwinee?

  7. Haridhra

    Wow Diyaa di … I’m short of words today. U r truly an amazing writer n the way u write the story is giving life to the fictional characters also..Happy 4 prikar n waiting 4 Rumya’s relation to be revealed…

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Haridhra. I really appreciate your comment. I am so thankful that my fictional characters have been accepted so well by my readers. Working on the next one. Will try to update soon☺

  8. Niriha

    Awesome ????cute confession amazing epi loved it waiting for next update soon

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much for your comment Niriga. Really appreciate it ☺

    2. Diyaa

      Sorry. I meant Thanks Niriha.?

  9. Such a beautiful proposal. Loved the way u expressed their feelings….. It was just amazing

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Muskan. I really appreciate it ☺

  10. Wow diyaa at last you r back….. missed ur story very much…. you’re amazing as always… what a unique proposal…. you have your own charm in your story telling… I can’t imagine this story even in ishqbaaaz…. superb yaar….. Waiting for the mafias reaction….

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Katz. Good to read your comment again. I always write the confessions with fingers crossed cos’ I never sure whether they have adequate passion that audiences want. At the same time I can’t compromise the characters. So it’s a big relief when the situations are accepted and liked. I too am thinking hard about the mafia’s interaction and reaction ? Thanks again. Will try to update as soon as possible.

  11. amazing as usual thus at a loss for words. Can’t wait for the next

    1. Diyaa

      Hi Aisha. Thank you for commenting. Really appreciate it ☺

  12. Nikita_jai29

    It is awesome dii…. Shikhar Priyanka confession is superbbbbbb…

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Nikita ☺

  13. Gayathri.visu

    God di, its….WONDERFUL CONFESSION! Full n full Prikhar… This part really worth for waiting di. I LOVED IT!! You r amazing writer di. Waiting for their brothers, sisters,brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law reaction!

    Take care….. And bye di.

    1. Diyaa

      Hi Gayathri. Thanks so much for your appreciation. Glad you liked this chapter. Will try to update the next one, soon☺

  14. Ria

    Diyaa Di,
    I don’t know how to put this in words. It’s remarkably beautiful. The words chosen are so apt and penned so nicely, that it makes me want to read through it all over again. I CANNOT get over their interaction and more importantly, Confession. It’s so simple, yet so complicated. It’s FABULOUS!

    Shall be looking forward to the next chapter. ?

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Ria. Your appreciation really means a lot. I had no idea if this soft confession would be liked, but I am thanking God and my readers now.?

  15. Arthi

    This is awesome ???? it’s just out of words…….

    Prinku and shikar….. awwwwwwwwe…….

    The way he spoke and confessed his feelings and made her insecure to vanish is just superb…….

    Thank you for this episode dr….

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks for your lovely comment Arthi. Really appreciate it ☺

  16. wow Diya di it was awesome the confession was really pure and heart touching. Seriously,i have read so many ffs but this one was very nice.actually i am a silent reader i kept reading your work from road to redemption. ur writing skills are so awesome it really helps me to visualise the story better.and really looking forward to see the mafias reaction missed anya today. sorry for this long comment but i couldnot control my exictment.

    1. Diyaa

      Hey Nikki. Thanks so much for reading my work and taking the time to comment. I truly appreciate it. Yeah, I missed Anya too? I am really glad you liked this chapter and Priyanka Shikhar interaction. Working on the next one. Will update soon. BTW I love all comments including the long ones. It’s nice to read the reader’s perspective. Take care?

  17. Wow…its superb….awesome….fantastic… loved the way u show shikhar-priyanka’s confession nd mutual understanding….

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Lilly. Your constant support is so encouraging. Glad you liked this chapter ?

  18. Amore

    (sing in the tune – brush, brush, brush your teeth; rhyme)

    *grin, grin, grin like a fool,
    grin, grin, grin like a fool,
    either driving or post-proposal,
    either driving or post-proposal,
    I was grinning till the end…*

    hehehe

    1. Diyaa

      ??That was such an awesome comment. I read it with a big grin while singing the song in my head? Thanks so much Amore. Really appreciate it ☺

      1. Amore

        hehehe

  19. Hi Diyaa
    I just read Road to Redemption. Needless to say it was as beautiful as expected. But the most serendipitous subplots enhanced the pleasure manifold times 🙂 You must have worked really really hard to incorporate all the characters right from the beginning within their personality traits.

    I can’t just get over the vibe of a united and supportive family that was created after Anika’s leave. Shivaay’s guilt, Omru’s support, Om’s care and selflessness for Shivaay that made him join business, the Anika album, the cupid Ooty resort, cutely mature Sahil, the driver who drove them back, Rudra-Priyanka-Soumya’s excitement on “Ram lakshman’s” return with Sita 😉 Tej’s changed attitude towards O bros, family’s support to Anika and Shivika’s relation- all is so mesmerizing. I really wish to write faultlessly like you some day and change the reader’s POV. You made me understand why it is said “A pen has the ability to change the world”

    Something else that can be discussed at length from Road to Redemption is Omkara Singh Oberoi. A perfect brother and pillar of support to Shivaay and best friend and best twin brother to Anika. His bond with Anika has depth beyond words. “Thanks PAPA” made me speechless. Just two words were the beginning of change in their spoiled relationship. Your pen (keyboard here) is truly great.

    I feel I am actually addicted to your writing. Its difficult not to read another chapter after every 2-3 hours however hard I try. I’m midway on Serendipity and would go with the amazing flow to read today’s chapter later.

    SERENDIPITY- its name summarises it all. How a chance encounter of Om with a ‘she-devil’ brought in the most serendipitous storm in his life and soon they are expecting a ‘devil of their own’. Your subplots involving Sahil-Rudra-Om, Soumya-Om, Anika-Om, Aashi-Shivaay, Aashi-Rumya,Shikhar-Soumya,Soumya-Shivaay, Janvi-Ranjana, Rudra-Ranjana, Om-Shikhar and many more apart from sibling relations are a addictive treat.

    I am extremely guilty for my on-off-off-off-off comments on Serendipity. You deserve to know that you are being appreciated. Sincere apologies for the same.
    Having exams on next three days so I would express my heartfelt views on Serendipity later.

    Keep rocking with your spellbinding keyboard and truly mesmerizing writing 🙂 🙂

    1. Diyaa

      Hi Sanjukta,

      I can’t think of the words to show my appreciation for your encouragement. Everything that comes to mind, seems to be an understatement. So just a big big thanks for taking the time to read Road to Redemption. On and Annika’s bond in that FF is my favorite though it’s Serendipity where I have completely poured my heart and soul.

      I am so thankful to you for recognizing and appreciating the sub-plots. The way I think, life does not revolve around just romantic love. And whether someone is fit for another person or not depends on how they are with each other’s family. The reason I use sub-plots is to reveal the characters in their entirety so as to show how perfect they are for their respective partners. I used to be afraid writing them because o wondered if my readers would get bored since I wasn’t focussing on the romantic lead completely. But to my delight, I was supported warmly.

      I am very happy that you are reading Serendipity in a glow. Take your time, read this when you can, and let me know your thoughts whenever possible.

      Best of luck for your exams. And , thanks again ☺

      1. Diyaa

        Hehe, the typos gave me a good laugh. *Om, * Flow (not glow although I wish you it?)

    2. Samm

      Oh the nostalgia! Sanjukta, you brought back all those hours of reading Diyaa’s ff … You put my feelings into perfect words. As a fellow Diyaa-fan I completely agree with everything you said. Also, it’s a good thing that you get to read all the chapters back to back. The wait is excruciatingly painful, Diyaa! I know I’m not the idol of punctual posts, but please try to upload the next one soon. Even if it’s a small one, just give us something to hang on to! ?

  20. Kanfi

    Ammmmazingggg,,,,mindblowingggg,,,,just loved it,’,,,
    Whole epi was for shikhar n priynka””N the way u described each minute thing us just incredible,,’,,,
    Loved it,,,,,

    N ya i won’t be able to commnt on next parts as i wont be here for a weekk,,,,bt i’ll definately read n commnt when i’ll be back,,,,

    Soo take care,,,,n byee
    Gd night

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Kanfi. I am really glad that you liked this chapter and my descriptions in it. It was really very nice of you to tell me that you won’t be here next week. Read when you can. I’ll wait for your comment.?

  21. Awesome….
    The confession was superb….
    It was truly unique, beautiful & pure….?
    The emotions were expressed so beautifully…. ?
    Loved it….

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Shivika. Really appreciate it ☺

  22. Very nice use of words

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks R. Really appreciate it ☺

  23. I’m dumbstruck by your way of writing.I had to read from road to redemption to know the story thoroughly and lemme tell you I enjoyed it…
    You had expressed each n everything precisely n the way that character is n you have kept the essence of every character.
    Would love to read much more…
    About this update then it’s just fantabulous as always..

    1. Diyaa

      Thank you Madhuani for reading my stories and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it ☺

  24. Aashi26

    sooo sorrrrrrrrry for not commenting before but shikhar’s confession was so beautiful that I had to break my silence………would u accept me as ur little sis diya di ?

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks for reading and commenting Aashi. Means a lot. Of course you can be a little sis to me☺?

  25. Wonderful update…

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Ankita?

  26. Aarti32

    Full on PriKhar episode..Great one..

    Rumya won’t get d chance to tell d family about their relationship ??

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Aarti. ? Yeah, now I have to come up with a way to break all the news to the family. I know you love Anya. I’ll bring her in the next chapter. Thanks so much for commenting ☺

      1. Aarti32

        Haha..I tried not to complain abt anya..But u understand me rilli well ??

  27. Jerry_36

    Hello Diyaa di !!
    I hope you are doing fine. I know I am always late to comment but always studies keep me hooked up, Sorry?
    Coming to the chapter, its really fantastic. Their confession was not too dramatic kind of with roses and a dinner setup, still it was way beyond beautiful. This simplicity of your is what attracts me about your story.
    Eagerly waiting for the next update of your, do post soon, I am waiting. Love yaa❤

    1. Diyaa

      Hey Jerry. Thanks for commenting. Actually I am glad that you focus on your studies and don’t get distracted. I am perfectly ok with a late comment.? I am glad you liked this chapter. Yeah, I find the simple setups more romantic. But enjoy reading the extravagant ones too. Variety makes life interesting after all. ? Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment.

  28. Neha_Pheonix

    The episode was fabulous. Nothing could be as perfect than this! Yeah..finally Prikar united. That was a simple and elegant way. Prinku has double happiness now! I had waited for this a long, kindly post the next chapter soon. And never discontinue writing on IB fc page.
    Like Jerry, even I am late due to my on going exams. They will end soon thus I will also be able to devote more time here.
    In fascination of your writing!
    Love ya!

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Neha. Take your time. Read and comment when you can find some free time. I am happy you liked this update. Working on the next one. Hope I’ll be able to post it soon. Best of luck for your exams☺

  29. Diyaa di,its 28th already
    plz,update soon

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