Shivaay lay on his bed. Once again he was overwhelmed with emotions. Exactly 3 months back he had thrown his heart out of the door. He opened the bedside drawer and pulled out a picture of her.
“Why did you do that? Was my love not enough? Or was my love what you never wanted?”
Suddenly, there was a knock on his door.
“Bhaiya?” His little brother called in.
“Haan Rudra. I am awake.”
He walked in and lay down next to his brother. “Bhaiya, can O and Gauri Bhabhi also come with us tomorrow?”
Shivaay quickly sat up. “Why? What happened?”
Were my brothers that uncomfortable in traveling with me alone? I had noticed that Om and Rudra spent lesser time with me. Did that witch destroy us so much before she left? Shivaay’s mind raced with all these questions.
Rudra turned to face Shivaay. “No Bhaiya……actually I was thinking Bhabhi and Bhaiya did not have a honeymoon right? So they can come with us. They can roam Paris and we will attend the ceremony and after-party.”
My mind calmed down. “Why not Rudra? Why don’t you call Bhavya also?”
Rudra smiled. “Okay Bhaiya.”
He jumped off the bed and rushed out of the door.
Rudra ran into the room where the conspirers were seated.
“What did he say?” Bhavya squealed. Rudra gave a wide grin.
“Bhaiya said okay.”
Tej and Jhanvi smiled. She held the hands of her 4 children. “Don’t you four dare come home without your Bhabhi. When Shivaay comes back, I want to see Anika with him. The Oberoi Bahu needs to come back home.”
The 4 of them nodded. Tej just watched the scene and for once as he watched his younger brother head to the temple in the house, he too sent god a wish to send his little princess back home.
Meghana may be a princess in name and wealth but Anika was a princess at heart.
“I should have never listened to you.” Tej told Jhanvi as he watched his children rush off to their rooms to pack.
Jhanvi squeezed his hand. “Sometimes, even I regret threatening you. Losing Anika was like losing the spark of this house. Look at Shivaay……..he is never with us nowadays. I cannot understand why Pinky can’t see that. She loves him like her own yet cannot see her own child dying from within.”
Tej glared at the plump woman walk across the hall. “That is because she is an idiot.” He boomed before storming back into his room.
“Jethaniji……” Pinky cooed.
Jhanvi stopped. “Yes Pinky?”
She came to Jhanvi in all her finery. “You know I just gave Shivaay…..Maaji’s ring and told him to get the Oberoi Bahu home.” Jhanvi held her breathe praying what she heard was right.
“By the time, Shivaay comes back, Meghana beta would have become our Oberoi Bahu.” She sauntered away.
Jhanvi heard a door slam and saw Gauri stand at the terrace. She was looking behind her.
Losing Anika might be killing Shivaay but it was destroying my Om as well. The lies were killing him. Keeping the truth a secret ate him.
Hey Bhagwan listen to a mother’s prayer to keep her sons happy. My children, Om and Shivaay need your help now.
“Chutki……at this times awards function, I am introducing you as my little sister.” Mallika proclaimed.
Anika dropped the spoon she was feeding Shivani with.
“Mama!” Shivani squealed.
Siddarth was sitting and reading silently. For once he agreed with his wife regarding her sister. Anika had hidden for too long.
“No Mallika please….I don’t want to be…..”
Mallika stopped her from talking anymore. “No Anu……enough. How long will you hide? At least for Shivani. She deserves to be known as Shivani Anika Chaudhry.”
Siddarth also spoke up. “Anika, even the Rana company needs you to come out of hiding. At the event, you will speak about our new venture and how we are going to expand.”
Anika’s expression became guarded. Mallika and Siddarth exchanged a glance as they watched her wall building up.
“No Jiju and Di. I told I will not do it.”
Mallika glanced at Sid. “Anu……….it is time for you to move on.” Another voice walked into the room.
“Listen to Mallika and Siddarth. I know Shivaay hurt you but how long are you going to hide from him. The Anika I knew never hid from anyone. She ran after people with cricket bats. Anika……..If you want I will come with you.” Mahi sat on a chair next to her. Shivani held out her hands to be carried.
“Mahi Mamu…..” She whined. Mahi picked her up.
“Did Mamu’s princess eat food?”
Shivani giggled as she wiped her tomato sauce stained hands on Mahi. Maha just laughed.
“Did Shivani destroy Mamu’s shirt?” He buried his face into her tummy and started tickling her.
Anika smirked. Mahi was just acting like he will come.
“Okay Mahi, if you come then I will go.”
Mahi looked at her and then breathed in. Did his ex-sister-in-law really think that he would not go? He watched her take the utensils to wash.
“Okay. Siddarth, I need a suit of yours.”
Anika paused near the door. Maha grinned. Did she really think she could outwit him? Mallika and Siddarth sent a grateful look to Mahi.
“Anu…..see Mahi is coming. I am booking a room for you and Shivani. Maha also. Do you think Sahil will come?”
Mahi shook his head. “No Mallika…….Sahil is going for a school trip day after, so he can’t come.”
Anika came back and took the messy Shivani out of Mahi’s arms. “But why do we need to stay in a hotel. Our house is just 2 hours away from the location.”
Mallika rolled her eyes. “Well for one, Ani, I have no interest in going in the heavy traffic and a hotel is booked for all the nominees. So if we are staying, you can also stay and who knows maybe your Prince Charming will be there.”
Anika stilled. “Di……….there is no such thing as Prince Charming.”
Shivani stopped all her noise. “Mama……no pwince Charming?” Her eyes began to tear up. Anika quickly wiped them.
“Don’t worry Shivani……..I will catch your Prince Charming. He is there somewhere.” Shivani giggled as Anika tickled.
“Mama………..I find your pwince Charming and bring for you.”
Anika smiled. “No, ma petit papillon(my little butterfly in French), Mama has you. She needs no prince.”
Mahi watched his sister-in-law interact with her daughter. He could see her pain and understand her like no one ever could, so when she came in search of him, he had finally given up running away. By not running away, he had found a family.
Bhai look what you missed out on. I am sure your daughter would have looked like our Shivani.
Later that night, as Mallika walked to the kitchen, she heard some sobs from her sister’s room. Clenching her fists and cursing her best friend, she trudged to the room and paused for a minute and peaked through a crack.
She saw her little sister on the bed with a box.
“Shivaay…………I know I did this to us but was our love so weak that you forgot it in 3 months.”
She was holding a newspaper to her chest and in front of her lay the box filled with the only thinks she had when she left his house.
Shivaay how could you do this to her? She is breaking without you.
“Anika?” Mallika knocked. She knew her sister would hide everything so she waited a few minutes before walking in.
“Mallika are you okay?”
Mallika scowled. “I and your Bhaiya fought. I am going to lie down in your room today.”
She lay down on the bed next to Anika.
Anika smiled. “You can go to your room. I am fine. You don’t need to lie.”
Mallika sat up and held Anika’s hand. “Chutki…….losing you was the worst thing that happened to our family. Mama found it so hard to live that one day her heart just gave up. For me and Sid, you are very important. Vikram Papa and Dad searched everywhere for you. Vikram papa even today says about the day he lost us both in the fair. So any time you need us we are here. Today, you need me, Princess. I know you are not a princess but a wonder woman. But still I am your elder sister. Sometimes even a great wall needs support. Learn to lean on others.”
Anika thought back to how she had leaned on Shivaay and immediately pulled her hand out of Mallika’s hand. “Mallika……a great wall is built with time and pain when it leans, it breaks and breaking is not something I can afford to do especially with 2 kids and a brother to look after.”
Mallika reached over and took her hand back into her own. “Anika……….till three months back, you were alone. But now, you have a family. A family looks out for each other. I know that it is hard to trust anyone but try to. I promise you won’t regret it. Now lie down before Shivani gets up and thinks what are Maasi and Mama are doing in the middle of the night.”
Anika lay down. “Mallika…..”
Mallika turned to her. “Yes Baby Bird?”
Anika giggled hearing the nickname. “Baby Bird?”
Mallika smiled. “I used to call you that when we were kids. I was looking at some of our old videos a few days back.”
She patted Anika. “Now go to sleep. We have to get you ready for your speech tomorrow and then we have to go shopping and destroy Sid’s bank balance. Do you want to take Mahi with us?
Anika cackled wickedly. “Why not Di? I have to take revenge from him for make me chase him in his chawl three months back.”
Mallika laughed. “Crazy girl! Now sleep.”
Author’s note: Hope you all loved this chapter. I really wanted to show the dynamics of the two sisters. Also please check out the previous chapter, I have made some small changes.
I have one question for all you, should I use the POV approach or is this way okay?