Hello guys! 🙂 Thanks a lot for your valuable comments on the last part. Fair warning: this one is longer than my other recent posts 🙂
Link to previous episodes: Episode 26
EPISODE 27: LUCKY
We were sitting a little away from the small crowd that was leaning towards us, trying to listen in on our conversation. Om and I were sitting across the Director while he tried to stare us down into admitting the truth. I knew that was just a charade as I had caught the whole team beaming at us when I told them that Om was my boyfriend. Chairs had been laid out on the wide outcropping cliff and cold drinks had been served while I had looked on with a jaw hanging open at the special treatment for my boyfriend. Let’s rewind a little.
Om had called my mobile which I had forgotten with my crew and he had talked to the Director. He reached the site and saw me on the old building being strangled by a stranger, not seeing the crowd below. He ran up to punch the poor guy and turned me around, away from the edge, and hugged me tight against the invisible danger.
When the crew caught up with us, I was the one holding both his hands between mine, calming his unfathomable worries away. The actor had been enraged and hell bent on suing him, but that anger evaporated when Om told him his name. Everyone was more or less amazed with his dramatic entry, but when the wonder had subsided, they asked about his reason to do that. We stuck to the general story of caring and scared boyfriend and the questionnaire had passed too. I was, however, surprised that Om didn’t speak much. To be honest, I thought he looked a little angry and a bit scared. The way he cast worried glances at me, I assumed it had something to do with me. I just couldn’t understand what it was.
Well, that was easier to deal with than the fan girls gushing over him. That irritated me to no end and I even went as far as gluing myself to his side for the rest of the time. Of course, that gave way to a different reaction from the Director, and all my team for that matter. I had stolen a look at them and seen how absolutely shocked they were to see me comfortable with a guy, without kicking and punching him, that is. But their protective instinct led them to interview Om and check if he was good enough for their cute little princess. The Director was assigned with the job and here we were.
“So, you like her?” Director was overacting it; I could see the tightness at the corner of his eyes as he tried to hide his delight. Nevertheless, we nodded in sync and he didn’t seem satisfied.
“Since when is this going on?” he asked in a low voice that was meant to intimidate us, but it didn’t work on either of us. Before I could answer though, Om confidently said, “It’s been a while.” I noted how his voice was low too, but politeness ringed in each syllable. I worked to keep my smile intact.
“Ishu, your shoot is on hold. Go, finish it while we talk” Director’s words were layered thickly with commanding strictness. I didn’t want to go now and not know what they will be talking about. So I looked at a comfortable Om once and then turned my focus on the Director. Leaning over the table, I whispered instructions at him, “Don’t hurt him or ask anything embarrassing. I’ll be back soon enough.” He ignored my childish tone and nodded stiffly. I left with another glance at an amused Om.
This time, I didn’t think of anything unusual before my fall. My eyes and my mind were riveted on the long haired devil and the bronze haired boss, who looked tiny in the distance. “What could they possibly be talking about?” I wondered aloud before turning my attention to the fall. I looked down at the hard mattress below. And then my mind shut off as the words resounded, “Action!”
Kicking off the ancient floor, I launched myself over the concrete railing.
The wind felt good in my face. I wish I could die now. Om would be there to take me back home. Would it cause him pain if I died right now and he couldn’t do anything about it? He shouldn’t have to feel guilty for my death; it’s all I ever wished for, after all. I missed his warmth as the cool wind rushed past me. And then, too soon, I landed on the hard mattress with a thud.
Pain tore through my stomach wound as it hit the edge. I briefly wondered if the hastily done up bandage had come off. I knew they would drag me to the hospital at the smallest sign of blood, and that was the last thing I needed right now. Luckily, that wasn’t the case right now. Bottom line: I would survive.
I lifted my head at the small number of people around me and then turned to the two people sitting far away. The majority of the people were scattered around them, shooting admiring glances at the two handsome men.
“Ugh!” I grunted as I rose to my feet, dusting my arms and legs. Apparently one take was enough for today and I informed them that I was leaving today itself. Under normal circumstances, the movie directors would gripe at me for such unscheduled leaves and lecture me about sticking to my words. But today, he left me with a pleasant “I’m sure you would stay if you could. It’s no problem. You may go early this time.”
“Wow! His mere presence has such an effect on people!” I thought to myself, walking back to Director and Om. What I saw was beyond words. Both of them were wearing ear to ear grins and laughing about something. As I neared them, they stood up and I saw Director roll his eyes.
“What?” I demanded when I was within earshot. Om signaled something to the other and he snickered before catching himself. “Your boyfriend is nice guy Ishu. You’re lucky to have him”, Director congratulated me without telling me any secrets. I was glaring at them when Om said to me, “Are you done for the day? Shall we leave?” He strolled to my side as Director smiled at us ingenuously. I shot them suspicious glares again and went to my juniors. I explained a few things they had to do and picking up my bag, I left with Om.
The walk to the car was quiet. The drive was quieter. I, predictably, gazed at Om’s left profile as the silence dragged on. When it became too much to bear, I sighed heavily. He turned to me, distracted by the sound. Clearly he was thinking about something very deeply. He had that pucker between his brows when he couldn’t decide. I had seen him like that whenever we had gone to buy groceries or when he tried to say something but didn’t know how to put it. I wondered which one was it this time.
The car slowed down and was eventually left to idle as he looked deep into my eyes, trying to find something hidden there. “What happened? What are you trying to decide?” I asked finally. His eyes grew imperceptibly wider just before he looked away. Contrition spelled clearly in his features while he shut his eyes tight. It physically pained me to see his misery, although that could have just been my fresh wound. I placed a hand at his taut knuckles over the steering and he silently turned to me.
“Why did you come today? You seemed genuinely worried about me. What happened, Om?” I asked passionately. If he didn’t say anything now, I was going to ask Shivaay and Rudra. He probably saw the determination in my eyes as I saw the desperation for truth in his. I could almost hear the words clicking in place in his head as he formed the sentences to speak.
“Ishu, how would you react if I told you someone wanted to kill you?” his voice was husky with the pressure on his mind. I took a long minute to think about it while he grew restless with my silence. Dying in a murder case? After a careful deliberation, I said, “If my body won’t be sent for post mortem, I think I’ll be okay with it. Why do you ask?”
To say my answer was unconventional was an understatement. His reaction to it was… Well, it was different from what I expected. “Yeah sure. They might even ask you the weapon of choice!” he said sarcastically. I observed his features morph into an angry mask and I was immediately scared. Why was he mad at me now? Gathering as much courage as I could, I retorted, “If you didn’t want to know the truth, why did you ask me? Or you should have specified that you preferred the common lie!”
Only, my retort sounded more like a whiny kid’s. I looked down at my hands rubbing together. For some reason, Om’s anger didn’t frighten me; it made me sad. More than sad, I felt isolated, unwanted. My eyes stung and my palms turned cold. Om noticed the paleness in them and took them from me. With drooping eyes, he warmed my ice cold hands while saying, “I’m sorry Ishu. I didn’t want to hurt you. And that’s why I didn’t want to tell you either. But it’s been disturbing me. so, I decided to get it off my chest. I’m sorry.”
His apology dropped to a whisper and I understood his dejection now. But why should he feel sorry for that? I wasn’t hurt by his truth. I had just assumed that he wanted to hear my truth too, unable to grasp his sensitive nature completely. I chose my words carefully before opening my mouth.
“Om, I know you can never hurt me. And I’m sorry I made you angry. But I wasn’t lying, or even being sarcastic. Even though you are sensitive about such topics, I’m not. I really wouldn’t mind if someone wanted to kill me, as long as my body isn’t sent for post mortem. I’m not kidding, but I’m not crazy either, if that’s what you’re thinking.” My mumbled explanation didn’t make any sense to me by the end. My head was filled with the dark chocolate in his eyes and I couldn’t think of anything else. As for his reaction, I didn’t notice much besides high slightly open mouth. I swiftly turned my head away, thinking of any reason for why I would tell something like that to him. These were thoughts that I had never shared with anyone; literally no one.
The dry throbbing from my abdomen was like background music to me as I fought with myself to control my weird emotions. Om demanded my attention with a soft “Ishu”. I had never known how true the phrase “eyes are the windows to soul” was; except for now. Om had bared his very soul to me as his eyes glistened in the evening sun. The only problem was I didn’t know what to make of it. “He’ll never tell me anything after that stupid speech!” I thought in despair.
I remembered how he had comforted me in my time of sorrow, without asking questions, and it was my turn now. I pulled my hand from his grasp and trapped a tear in the corner of his eye before it rolled over. I looked at it curiously and then asked him, “Who made you sad?”
He was about to turn away when I touched his cheek to claim his attention and said, “Tell me Om, I promise I won’t do anything rash.”
When he spoke, his voice was lighter, but still husky. “Let it be Ishu. Now I get it. Sometimes, truth is not the best option after all.” I deliberated over that for some time. I wanted to know who it was, but the last time I was curious like this resulted in an ocean of dejection, rejection and isolation. I should trust him, like I had in case of my twin. And I told him as much. “I trust you Om.”
He met my simple confession with doubt, which I guessed was self-directed. “Really?” he asked in his deep voice. My stomach beat me to the answer and grumbled loudly. I looked up sheepishly and said, “Yeah. Your food never gave me food poisoning. So… yeah! I totally trust you.”
His mood visibly lightened with my silly joke and I felt so much happier just by seeing his tiny smile. We drove back with much less depressing talk and snacks on the way.
One fine day in the future, my mind went back to this moment and I thought about the things I like: Long, glossy hair that hung near his neck and touched his shoulders and flew back with the wind; large, soft and warm hands; cute, big hugs; bright, smiling eyes and lips; dark chocolate and lots of food, any food he makes.
Things that I don’t like: anything and everything that keeps me away from those things I like.
SNEAK PEEK: Shivika shocked.
What do you think people? Will Om tell Ishu the truth? Or will he go against his own ideals to keep her from being hurt?
Also, I was wondering if I should do a Valentine’s Day special. It won’t fit perfectly chronologically with my story, but a few mistakes are allowed, right? 😉 Tell me soon, so I can work on it accordingly.
Please do comment if you can. 🙂