Thanks for ur responses… I still keep getting fever on and off and the tiredness has just killed me… So i am taking it slow and updating… Hope u like this chapter
Link to Chapter 21 :Chapter 21
(Nandini’s POV) Its summer but there has been sudden outburst of rain in the evening. Generally in Whitby (North Yorkshire) it doesn’t rain that much during summer but I wonder why there was a sudden change in climate. I guess it’s the Global Warming effect. I don’t think anyone else will be coming anymore. I was about to lock the door when I heard a car outside. Past two months over the weekends, my family kept visiting me one after another. I wonder who it is. I opened to see Manik get down from the cab. Why is he here? Didn’t he say he won’t come in front of me anymore? Seeing me at the door, he beamed at me.
(Nandini’s POV) A whisper but somehow it echoed loud. Just hearing his voice brought thoughts that were forgotten.
(Nandini loudly) “You are not welcome here. Go back.”
(Nandini’s POV) He didn’t even turn to stop the cab. He just stood there in the rain. I don’t care. I closed the door. How did he get the address? If someone from home gave it to him, they are so dead! I had my dinner and slept. It looked like the rain stopped somewhere around midnight. I got up early in the morning. This was my daily routine to get up early and go for a jog. The air was fresh and crisp. I took a deep breath as I went out, I saw Manik, sitting by the entrance, breathing hard. What the! He stayed all this time in the rain. I touched him and he was burning up. I really wanted to leave him there but the doctor in me did otherwise. I took him in and let him lie down in the office. I feed him some food and a dose of medicine and went on with my work. Why did he have to come now? If he shows even a bit of kindness to me, I would fall for him again. He didn’t look like he would recover fast. Is he an idiot! I told him I won’t let him in and he was waiting outside. I looked at him from my desk to the bed hidden by curtains now half open. He looked worn out. Wrinkles covered his forehead and seemed to have lost lots of weight. He almost seemed lean instead of the well worked out physique he had. Why am I worrying about him? Despite my thoughts, I took the day off from the local clinic. I could always be reached easily in case of emergency. I came here to a tourist spot, beaches, sea and took a job under a senior doctor and sometimes at ER in the local hospital, bought a house that was the last in line out of the town. From my room, the green meadows were in view. It was the best place I had decided to shift after all the turmoil that took place in my life. Around evening, Manik came to his senses. He got up so abruptly, I was sure he was going to fall. So I ran upto him and said
(Nandini) “Take it easy. 104 isn’t something to be taken lightly.” I got him lying down again.
(Manik) “Nandini!” He murmured like it was a dream.
(Nandini) “Don’t think I care about you or anything. I just couldn’t leave you there.”
(Manik) “I hope it isn’t a dream.” He spoke softly.
(Nandini) “Hey! Don’t drift off to sleep. Eat and take your medicines.”
(Nandini’s POV) But it was no use, he closed his eyes and fell asleep. I really wish I could have someone else take care of him but I didn’t want anyone else to. This conflicting feeling. I wanted to get away from it, get over him and yet, he is here again. I watched him sleep, sleeping peacefully while all this time till now, he was tossing around due to fever. I know I should just come upfront about my emotions but I just am not able to. The next day I woke up, I saw Manik roaming around the kitchen.
(Nandini squealed on seeing Manik walking freely) “Hey! What are you doing? You are still sick!”
(Manik) “Sick? I checked it. It was 100. That is okay. Just slight fever”
(Nandini) “100? Really?” I was amazed. It takes at least two days for the fever to come down.
(Manik) “Yes. I don’t take any tablets for anything. So, the medicines you gave me must have been very effective. Why don’t you have anything worthwhile to eat here?”
(Nandini) “Stop rummaging through my kitchen! If You Are Well Enough To Move, Get Out Of Here!”
(Manik) “You know I won’t”
(Nandini) “And you know you will never get what you want!”.
(Manik) “I will get what I want.” He said it not arrogantly but with kindness, full of confidence. He smiled wickedly. He almost stole my heart. I got a grip of myself.
(Nandini) “You may be an old man before that.”
(Manik sweetly) “Then, that isn’t a problem because people till now have told me that I will die a bachelor. So, it doesn’t sound bad getting married before I die. Anyways, I am glad
to see you look so well.”
(Nandini’s POV) He caressed my cheek with care. I suddenly pushed him back involuntarily.
(Manik) “I see. You still can’t get over your fear.”
(Nandini’s POV) He said looking hurt. But it wasn’t because of fear I pushed him back. True when Mom or Rishabh visited me, I couldn’t bear even to hug them. I told them that I couldn’t tolerate skinship but what I felt for Manik was definitely not fear. I wanted the touch to linger. I felt safe, content. I shouldn’t. He raped me. While I was lost in thoughts,
Manik moved away.
(Manik) “Anyway, I asked my brother to pick me up today.”
(Nandini) “Your brother?” (She didn’t want anyone else other than her family to know where she was.. So she was scared)
(Manik) “Yes. He took my car. I need him to pick me up.” I see. In any case,
(Nandini) “I never thought you would actually give your car to anyone. For that matter anything.” Oh! I can’t believe I said that.
(Manik) “I completely agree with that.” He beamed at me. “I won’t give anyone to you also and this is promise.”
Nandini felt that her cheeks were turning hot as soon as Manik said that he would not let anyone take me. Nandini did not like this feeling because she was scared that Manik would break her and go again. So she was not letting him come close to her.
(Nandini) “I am not yours to give. Anyway, Mr. CEO, do you have time to be fooling around?”
(Manik) “I was demoted.”
(Nandini in a soft tone) “You? Demoted?”
(Manik) “Yes. I couldn’t believe it myself.”
(Nandini) “How? It is almost impossible with you.” I still couldn’t accept it.
(Manik) “Nandini!” (Manik had called Nandini with lot of affection and pain in his voice. She almost went to him but she decided to stand still and not to react much.
(Manik continued) “I couldn’t go on without seeing you. Before I realised it, I made a mistake.”
(Nandini’s POV) He sounded like that is the worst thing that could happen to him. “I just couldn’t go on, Nandini. I cannot go on without seeing you.” He tried to touch me again but withdrew. He kept silent for some time. I didn’t know how to answer him.
(Manik) “Well, I cannot keep brooding over it, can I?”
(Nandini’s thoughts) He smiled brightly. For a moment, he looked vulnerable then the next, happy. But I could relate to him. Somehow, it was exactly what I would do.
(Manik) “Anyways tell me what do you want to have?”
(Nandini) “I don’t want anything.”
(Nandini’s POV) Saying, I went back to my room. What has gotten into me? Has being lonely made me weak to relationships? Around late afternoon, Manik went back with his brother. What do I hope for – for him to come again or never show his face at all? But I knew whatever the answer maybe, Manik will come back. Next week, Friday evening, Manik knocked on the door. How did I know without even opening it, I just knew.
(Nandini) “Why are you here? What is it with that luggage?” He beamed at me.
(Manik) “Can’t you see? I am staying here.” He was about to move in, I stood against him.
(Nandini) “Who is going to let you inside?”
(Manik) “Please, Nandini, lets take this in. I am dead tired.” Hesitatingly, I let him in. And within a moment, he completely made himself at home.
(Nandini) “Manik, I guess I made myself clear that I didn’t want to see you. Then why are you back”
(Manik) “Its very simple. I want to make you fall in love with me again.”
(Nandini) “It is not that simple and please stay away from me.”
(Manik) “It is very simple indeed. So, where am I sleeping? Driving here all the way is a problem.”
(Nandini) “Then, Don’t Come At All!” I could only shout at him. I walked off to eat dinner.
(Manik stood behind Nandini and asked) “Oh my, you don’t you have anything for me to eat. I am feeling damn hungry as I came straight from office?”
(Nandini scowled) “Manik!”
(Nandini giving the plate to Manik)“You have the dinner. I am going to bed.”
(Manik) “Nandini!” He grabbed my hand and let it go suddenly. “Sorry. You eat.”
(Nandini’s POV) He went back to the living room and settled himself on the sofa. What should I do to get him out? Without eating, I did my work and later slept. Next day morning, I was woken up by a loud noise from outside. I peeked out to see Manik playing with his vehicle. I put on an overcoat and went out. I just hope no one from the village sees him.
(Nandini) “What are you doing?” He was tinkering with him motorcycle. I didn’t think he would come all the way here in a two wheeler.
(Manik) “I was thinking that we could go for a ride.” He said sheepishly.
(Nandini) “Why am I not able to get through to you? I don’t want you here.”
(Manik) “Because I don’t want to listen.”
(Nandini’s POV) Why is he so persistent? He was kind and affectionate before but he never showed it explicitly but seeing him be open about it, I would fall in love again faster than the first time. He stood in front of his vehicle, the sun shining on him, he could have been the God Apollo himself.
(Nandini) “Fine. I don’t even care anymore.”
(Manik’s POV) She stood there, staring into space, her red locks had grown longer than before, covering her body like a blanket, it brought out the striking contrast of her creamy skin and crimson hair; her face looked matured and beautiful, my impulse was to hug her tight. But it would have been the wrong move. I have done nothing right till now and I don’t wish to make my position worse. Last week was bad enough. My fever rose back when we were going home. I was stuck at my parents’ home the whole week. Brothers visiting, teasing, lecture from Dad, pulling all nighters for work, I couldn’t wait to get here.
When I went back in, she was having breakfast, looking at her laptop. She treated me like I was invisible, not that it bothered me. When I came out of the bath, she was smiling, talking to someone on the phone.
(Nandini on Phone) “I am really sorry about last week. I had my hands full with a patient. Yes. I am sending it right now, Jack. I also asked Samuel to join. He is delighted. I also can’t wait to see you. Check up things and get back to me.”
(As soon as she hung up Manik asked Nandini) “Who was that?”
(Nandini) “That is none of your business. Isn’t that your favourite phrase?”
(Manik) “Come on, Nandini, Who is Jack and is Samuel from the research team?”
(Nandini) “Jack is a friend whom I am helping with a research paper and yes, Samuel is the one from the research lab. Any problem?”
(Manik) “Are you still in touch with him?”
(Nandini) “Yes. Is that any of your problem?”
(Manik) “Depends.” She looked frustrated.
(Nandini) “I have no reason to answer you.”
(Manik’s POV) She got up and went to the kitchen. Naturally, she isn’t pleased with me being here but how else can I get to her? Making her jealous is out of the books, she would let me go happily. But here I am in risk of losing her to other guys. I didn’t dare to ask her about the other guys, making her angry more than she already is. I spent more time around her. She was invariable stuck in her laptop and making phone calls to that Jack and happily laughing with him. She refused me whenever I asked her to come out with me. She totally ignored me. Her dad was right about one thing, she is too stubborn for her own good.
I kept visiting her every weekend. Almost each of those weekends was spent with both of us indoors. She, atleast, started cooking for me too. Sometimes, I cooked the food. She shut down every conversation I started but now, the conversations were getting longer bit by bit. It was tough easing her up. The third weekend I was there, the Saturday late morning, a car pulled over her front door.
Precap : Again a SLAP!!!!