I stormed out of the house. I felt disgust and hate towards Aarya and Shivaay. Aarya and Shivaay destroyed my life in different ways.
“Anika Beta, are you okay?” Mohan Kaka asked.
I nodded biting my lips. “Beta, do you want to go somewhere?”
I nodded once again. “Kaka, can you take me to the Siddivinayak temple?”
He gave me a nod and opened the door. I slipped in and looked out of the door as he drove by. When we stopped I rushed up the stairs and collapsed in front of the idol.
“Ganesh ji, how can you do that? Shivani was never my child and now we don’t even have blood relations. She can be easily taken away from me and I have no say. I always supported Aarya and she could not even tell me. Shivaay never trusted me. He hurt me so much. Why?” Tears poured out of my eyes.
“Why is a beautiful girl like you crying so much?” A voice asked from behind me. I turned around to see a young man standing there. He had a small gentle smile.
He held his hand out. I took it and he guided me to a corner of the temple where we both sat down.
“Well…..we could begin with introductions.” He grinned.
I gave him a watery smile. “I am Anika.”
He held out his hand. “Shaurya.”
Shaurya? Was he Shaurya Raichand?
He pursed his lips. “If you are thinking who I am, yes I am the Shaurya Raichand.”
My hands clenched by my side. He was a drunk driver. A murderer and could be my cousin.
“Oh so you are the one?” I blurted. He looked a bit shocked and then a look of understanding came in.
He nodded. “You must be the new Oberoi Princess. The one Shivaay brought in.”
I glared at him. I did not want to remember that idiot.
“Paro would be proud of him. She hated Tia.” He mumbled.
I suddenly remembered what Mama had taught us. Aarya and Shivaay taught me how true that was.
Like Twins, every story has 2 sides.
I had to know his.
He nodded. “Yes. Parvati, Shivaay’s cousin.” I saw tears running down his cheeks.
I nodded but kept silent.
“I miss her so much.” He whispered.
My eyes widened. Shivaay had said that Shaurya had been driving drunk that day.
He held his face in his hands. “Bhaiya!” A girl called from behind us. I turned around to see Jia. She paled immediately after seeing me. Naveen was standing next to her.
“Dadu said that you have to be home for the Pooja.” Naveen said.
“Maasi doesn’t want me there. You know that Naveen.”
The siblings grimaced. “No Bhaiya…..there is nothing like that.”
Shaurya grimaced. “Naveen, you don’t have to lie. Your mother hates me. I have heard her say that I am bad luck. And maybe I am. Even my own mother left me. Nana-Nani have no choice. Their daughter left me with them.”
So I had another aunt? But Mama only spoke about her brother.
Jia walked up to us and sat down to the floor and held his arm. “Bhaiya…….Ayesha Bua loved you.”
He pulled his hand away. “Yeah that is why she ran away with that man.”
Mama ran away with Papa but she never told us she left her son behind.
“Shaurya, is she Ayesha Raichand your mother?” I asked hesitantly.
He nodded. “Yes I am Ayesha’s son with her first husband.”
I felt tears roll down my cheeks. My own brother killed Shivaay’s sister.
I felt him put his hand on mine. “Anika, are you okay?”
I saw Jia and Naveen also stare at me worried. “Why did you kill Parvati di? Why were you drunk?”
Shaurya stilled. His eyes glazed over.
“It was an accident Anika. I was not drunk I promise you. I was just driving and I lost control of the car. I never meant to kill Paro. I loved her. I had proposed to her that day. Parvati was meeting Shivaay and we were going to tell him together.” Tears rolled down his cheeks.
“Bhaiya…..do you need your meds?” Jia asked. He shook his head.
“I keep losing everything. First Ma left me then Paro left me.”
I clenched my fists. “Ayesha Raichand is my mother.” I blurted.
The air stilled around us. Jia and Naveen’s eyes were wide open. Shaurya was sitting like a statue. Shaurya clenched his fist and got up and walked away. Naveen rushed after him. Jia sat down closer to me. We both stared straight ahead. She suddenly gave me a tight hug.
“Phew….finally, I have a Didi. If not in this boy colony, I did not have a partner.”
I gave her a watery smile and nodded. I heard the gravel near us crunch and looked up. Shaurya and Naveen were standing there.
“Anika…..I am sorry. I behaved like that.” Shaurya muttered. “Where is Mama?”
He looked like a five year old asking for his mum. I felt my heart shatter. How could I tell him Ma died? I jumped up and threw my arms around him.
“Ma died, Shaurya. Ma died.” I felt tears run down my cheek and for the first time since Ma died I felt like I had someone to protect me. I felt like I could just let go. I felt Shaurya’s grip tighten around me. I felt a huge load evaporating from my chest as I cried out loud. I felt 2 more people hug me and for the first time in forever, I realised that I had found home.
After a few moments, we let go of each other. Our eyes swollen after all the crying. We sat down once again on the steps.
“So…..what happened, Ani?” Shaurya asked. I smiled hearing the pet name.
I shook my head. “Just some problems at home.”
Shaurya’s fist clenched. “What problem is that Shivaay causing now?”
“Hey Hey…….SB calm down. You haven’t taken your meds today.” Jia squealed.
“SB?” I asked in surprise. Jia nodded.
“Haan Anika Didi…..SB….Shaurya Bhaiya..…SB…. He hates it but Naveen and I still call him that.”
I smirked. Shaurya looked sheepish and annoyed. Naveen smiled.
“So when will you be coming home?” Jia asked.
I shook my head. “Jia, Raichand Mansion is not my home. Ma was kicked out of it. I can never step into that house.”
Naveen and Jia looked aghast.
“But Anika Di, you have your rights there. You are the actual heir.” Naveen protested.
I shook my head. “No Naveen. You will not tell anyone about finding me. I lost myself somewhere between looking after everyone and becoming the Raichand princess will just push me back into that world. Now I want to do somethings for myself.”
Shaurya smiled. “Sure Ani. If that is what you want, I will talk to Nana ji and have it arranged.”
I shook my head. “No Shaurya, it has to be me alone. Just Anika. Living just for herself.”
Jia looked appalled. “But Di….what about Munna/Munni?”
Shaurya looked up shocked. He glanced at my stomach. “Ani?”
I nodded. He gave me a hug. “Ani, I will support you in any way you want but you have to promise me that you will take care of yourself.”
I smiled and got up. “Well, SB you can start with finding an art workshop for me.”
Shaurya groaned but nodded.
As I walked away, I felt a small tug as I had kept Aarya’s existence a secret.
No Anika…..Shaurya is only your brother not hers.
I watched as my little sister walked down the stairs to her stairs.
“SB….we have to go back before the Oberois see you.” Jia said. I nodded and walked to the back garden after all just behind the temple was the Raichand Mansion.
I thought back to Anika. She had Mama’s smile. I had seen old pictures of her in the mansion.
My little sister.
“There he comes.” Chachi sneered. She and Paro had been very close and she could not forgive me for what she thought I did.
But how could I tell anyone that I did not kill my love but it was one of the Oberois. I had promised Paro, I would protect her siblings no matter what.
“Sunaina……have you finished the Lunch preparation?” Nani bellowed from the top of the stairs. As Choti Chachi walked away, Nani gave me a small smile.
“Did you reach in time for the Pooja? Pandit ji said that today would be a very special day.” She said as she climbed down the stairs.
Naveen glanced at me as he walked to his room.
“Nani, Choti will be coming home today.”
Nani smiled. She loved Jia the most as she was the only girl in the family after Mama. I felt a smile on my face when I thought about Anika. What would Nani say? But the smile disappeared just as it came. What would Nani feel when she got to know about Mama and how she was betrayed by that scoundrel? How she still hoped he would go back to her?
I thought back to Tia and Saumya. The Kapoor sisters. I had seen them when they came for Jia’s wedding. Paro and Tia were best friends. Losing Paro had changed her too much. Gone was the sweet girl that played in the Oberoi gardens but replaced with a high ranking woman, who was brought up to be Mrs. Shivaay Singh Oberoi.
I opened my cupboard and in a corner was an unopened envelope. Paro had given it to me when she breathed her last in my arms after I sneaked into the hospital. I still hadn’t opened it. I could not. I would not.
Author’s Note: Hope you liked this chapter. Poor Shivaay like you all is going to think that Shaurya and Anika are an item. 😛
My apologies for updating slowly and such a small chapter. I am interning and my boss buries me under work and I have a school report to also submit. Ugh…..I feel so horrible making you all wait.
Btw. I need some suggestions for Ishqbaaz ff to read. Please suggest some names. I am very keen on reading them. I had a long list but I accidently deleted the file and all went bye bye 🙁
Looking forward to receiving your suggestions. I do not have any preferences except I do not want FFs that has a sadly ever after.