Heyya people 🙂 I guess I’m still not forgiven for not making good on my promise, seeing as how only a handful of people commented on the last episode 🙁 so sorry for that. And everyone who reads and comments on this ff regularly, thanks a lot, lot, lot. 🙂 lots of hugs, kisses and love for being a constant source of support and encouragement 🙂 this is probably the second last episode of Lucky, so feel free to comment on anything you guys feel like 🙂 all criticism and appreciation are welcome 🙂
RECAP: Ishu comes back home. Om and Ishu’s reunion.
Link to previous episodes:
LUCKY: EPISODE 37
I lay on the bed for a long time, waiting for sleep to find me, but also knowing that it wasn’t going to happen. A monologue repeated in my head as I closed my eyes and reveled in the cool feel of her hand at my arm.
“When you were away, there were days when even the most familiar places seemed unfamiliar and the most mundane chores seemed impossibly difficult. On such days, I really missed you, Ishu. Even now, when you are right beside me, I need the physical proof that you really are here. You won’t leave, right?”
Suddenly a hand searched through the contours of my chest and… pulled the collar of my shirt? Shock reverberated through my body as she brought her face dangerously close to me and whispered, “Who do you think you are to make me want you as and when you please?”
Wait, this couldn’t be a dream! My eyes flew open to see a very wide-awake Ishu hovering close, too close to my face. Leaning over me with her hair on a side, she looked more than beautiful in the moonlight streaming in from the window. Her hand was gripping my collar as her breath fanned the hair falling over my cheek. “You… with your silky hair and kind, chocolate eyes and that cut between your brows… Why did you have to be so good that I couldn’t help falling for you? Why did you have to say that you would wait for me? I didn’t want to come back to this hellhole, but you… Why did you make me miss you even though I had done nothing but run away from you? I feel so guilty for being happy whenever I’m with you. But then, why can’t I be a little selfish and be happy? I can do whatever I feel like, you got it?” she ended her speech with a finger pointed at me threateningly. Whichever brand her deodorant was, it was wreaking havoc with my senses. I was entranced, to say the least, so I nodded at her and hoped she couldn’t hear my thunderous heartbeats. But she wasn’t done with her questions and lowered her voice so much that I had to really focus on her accusations, if those could be called that!
“Why didn’t you kiss me when you meant to? I never thought I would say this aloud, but food can wait, right? If you had kissed me then, I probably wouldn’t have been able to leave. We wasted so much time already just because of your thoughtfulness! And what did you make me drink that my head is about to explode? Anyways, I’ll just get rid of this regret and kiss you now!”
Unexpectedly a wide smile burst out my carefully sealed lips and that gave her pause from her mission. “What’s the joke?” she asked like an absent minded high school-er.
Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I softly asked, “Ishu, what are you doing?” To my surprise, my voice came out all soft and absolutely normal, unlike the ragged croak I was expecting. She was confused at first, but then her eyes grew sad. Lowering her head on my arm, she mumbled, “I don’t know. What am I doing, Om? Handing myself over to my supposed enemy on a platter! Only to be beside his polar opposite son!” she giggled a little and then sighed before falling asleep again.
I struggled to push her back on the pillow and covered her with a blanket before moving to the furthest end of the room to keep my hands off her. Watching her sleeping form, I thought of how right my initial impression of her was. I had typed up the verses in my mobile’s notepad long ago and opened it now to confirm my thoughts.
That which beats fire,
That which is vital to all living,
That which defines graceful power,
That humbleness is water.
Water, which is fiercely strong,
But flows to the lowest ground,
Bringing life even to the crushed,
Is but weary of walking to its end
Being chained by its nature
To be drained for another.
Not protesting the wrong,
Not expecting the right,
Only to live with quiet dignity.
Graceful even in destruction,
Benevolence even in fury,
There lies water’s purity.
That was her all along. Unless shaken with force, all she wanted was a quiet, happy life. What man would bring tears to those lovely eyes for his selfishness? But then, was I strong enough to protect her from everything that threatened her smile? Even if it meant lying to the whole wide world, I vowed to myself that no matter what, I will definitely not let anyone or anything ever hurt her. As if pulled by a magnetic force, I came back to my original position beside her and stared at her baby-like face for a long while.
Tugging a strand of hair behind her ear, I told her sleeping pouty-face, “In this whole world, you’re the only one for me. Even if you can’t stay next to me here, even if you want to go away, I’ll always, always love you. I’ll always protect you. And even if you don’t realize it, I’ll always be there with you. You can trust me.”
As if in response to my confession, she smiled in her sleep. Unable to hold myself back anymore, I bent down and kissed her forehead. When I pulled back, the slight pout had returned. So I traced a finger on her chin and whispered, “Don’t worry, you kiss fanatic! I’ll fulfill your wish soon enough and I’ll make sure you are wide awake when I do.”
Holding back my laughter at her still pouting lips, I lay down to watch her. I had no idea when I fell asleep watching her.
I had awesome luck, especially when it came to following my chosen path and getting what I wanted. In this case, the one person who was absolutely vital to my existence and the one who had invaded my dreams and thoughts for a long, long time now. Om… Even his name was as divine as him!
I could feel the warmth of the morning sun on my skin, but I was reluctant to open my eyes just yet. It had been a long time since I had felt such warmth around me and I was scared it would go away if I wake up. However, my body had different plans as my head started to ache from blurred memories of last night; or was it last evening? My stomach reacted to it with a loud rumble and I grudgingly opened an eye.
My ran-away-from-and-came-back-to personal room heater was sitting right beside me, reading a newspaper. On the little coffee table in the corner was a covered tray of orange fluid and something else. I looked around the familiar room in confusion and then sat right up; too quickly. My head swam a little but soon enough the walls were steady again. “Good Morning, sleepyhead!” he greeted me suspiciously cheerily. I looked at him as if seeing him for the first time and then bits and pieces from yesterday came floating to me. I smoothed my hair while trying to keep calm but then almost whispered to myself, “Rudra!”
I scrambled to my feet with some difficulty, hyper aware of Om watching me amusedly, without making any move to either stop or help me! Which, I decided later, was a good thing; especially if I wanted to avoid him for now! I decided to go after the youngest Oberoi brother myself, but was met with an equally amused Shivika at the door. Shivaay was wary about how to react, but Anika couldn’t smile wider at me. I noted how she glowed with the sindoor in her hairline but she hadn’t changed one bit in all this time. And the first thing she said confirmed it, “That hangover drink has raw eggs in it. You won’t drink that right?” Shivaay gave her a stink-eye but watched me for any abnormal reaction. Like screaming and running away at the mention of anything edible that cures this damn headache? I don’t think so.
But I felt like I should stand by my sister, so my reply was: “Maybe not. Is it tasty?”
They bickered over whether that drink, whatever it was, could be considered tasty or not, but left soon after for breakfast. I, too, proceeded to Prinku’s room for some clothes before I washed up. Luckily, I hadn’t slept through the better part of the morning, so I had had some time for exercise and to catch up with the updates on the Oberoi family. The grumpy Uncles and the pretty Aunties and the lovely Dadi, they seemed to me as if no time had passed since I last saw them.
However, there was this one exceptional person, who was still sitting on the bed, nose buried in the paper as if memorizing it for some kind of exam: he seemed to have returned after one hell of a time travel! How did he change so much? Or was he always like this, and I’m seeing him differently for some reason that I haven’t grasped yet? I cast him a dubious look and was about to go downstairs when he called out, “Ishu. Are you going to disappear again? If that is the case, you should leave right away. Because I won’t let you go later.”
My face went blank at the implication and his unconsciously intense stare knocked the breath out of me. So it took me a while to reply, but when I was about to, he cut me off again, “There’s something that I don’t know, right? What is it?”
Uncertainly, I answered him, “That I’m hungry…?”
I was angry. I knew it was childish and it definitely didn’t make sense, but I was really just mad at everyone who was unlucky enough to cross my path today. ‘Is this some kind of prank?’ I couldn’t help wondering to myself. It was impossible to ignore the growing realization that things might not be as simple as one plus one equals two. And that was more or less killing me inside.
It had been a few hours since she had skipped and hopped around the house, talking to everyone like the first time she was in the Oberoi Mansion; everyone but me. I had taken a day off from work, but it wasn’t amounting to much with my annoyance piling up higher and higher with every unanswered question she had brought with herself. After a late lunch, everyone who didn’t have to be out, had retired to their rooms for some rest, Ishu walking straight towards Pirinku’s room like her own. And I stomped in to see her playing Candy Crush!
“Why are you avoiding me? How dare you steal my shirts and just take off? Do you think you can just waltz in and out of my life as you please?” I finally vented while throwing my arms in the air for effect. It was stupid to be angry and stupider to enjoy her fear of my anger. But I kinda reveled in her cowering figure as she sat cross-legged on the bed, looking down at her entwined fingers, phone cast away. Somehow, it made her seem more real. Honestly, she looked like a cute little doll in her borrowed lavender top and it was becoming more and more difficult for me to believe she was really here. But that sure as hell didn’t mean she was forgiven. As if reading my mind, she looked up with wide eyes and asked in a quiet voice, “Sorry, Om. What should I do for you to not be mad at me?”
And just like that I couldn’t be angry anymore. I gathered her in my arms and whispered in her ears, “I missed you, Ishu. Never do that to me again.”
She smiled brightly for a moment before confusion flickered in her eyes. “Om, what do you mean I took off? Didn’t you know I had a shoot scheduled?” I gave her a blank look as she searched my face for answers to questions that didn’t make any sense. At length, I managed to stutter out my doubts, “Ishu, what… what are you ta… talking about?”
SNEAK PEEK: Feel free to take guesses! 😉