Om and Shivaay parted for their respective rooms and settled for the night. Shivaay took the room that Anika had slept in. Once ready for bed, he looked at the side she had lain on. A couple of strands of her hair were on the pillow. He touched it gently. Then he lay down on the same side and covered himself with the same blanket that she had used. The bed on that side and the blanket still held a mild , sweet fragrance of her. He closed his eyes and the events of the day went past the screen of his mind. He winced at her accusations, felt distress at her tears, and then settled upon the image of her lying on him with her face buried in his shoulder and held on to it. With a satisfied sigh, Shivaay fell asleep.
Anika got Saahil ready for bed and explained to him why they were going to Mumbai the next day. “Remember Saahil, this is for Dadi, Om, Rudra, Priyanka, and Soumya. They did nothing to deserve this pain. I want to see them once again and keep the ties with them. But we might not stay there forever. We might come back here and lead the life we have been leading for the last 2 months. It will be a lot of change for you and emotionally challenging too. But Bhai, this is what life is like. And when we take on challenges head on and with boldness they eventually bend in front of us.” Saahil nodded. “Don’t worry didi. I am tough. I know you will do whatever is best for our self-respect. As long as you are with me, I am ok. And I am very excited about seeing Dadi, Rudra bhaiya , Priyanka didi, and Soumyaa too.” He got a dreamy look at Soumya’s name and Anika could not help laughing at her pint sized Romeo. “And didi, I really love Om bhaiya. He makes me feel very warm and safe.” Anika smiled. “Yes Saahil, he is a good soul. ” Then Saahil looked at Anika sideways and said “And didi, that SSO has made mistakes but I think he is really sorry. Remember what you told me once?”
“What” said Anika with a frown.
” That it is good to always do the right thing. But a person who makes mistakes, then recognizes and accepts it and makes honest effort to make things better is the special one”
Anika looked at her little Buddha and smiled at him. “You talk at a much higher level than your age. Go to sleep. It’s a busy day tomorrow.”
Saahil nodded and lay down. Anika lay down next to him and switched off the light switch by the bed. She thought about what Saahil had just said. The events of the day went past her closed eyes. Then her mind settled on the moment when she handed Shivaay her own picture. She saw his sad smile and felt sad herself. Then saw herself lying on top of him her face buried in his shoulder and with that last image in her mind she fell asleep.
Shivaay and Om got to the lobby area with their respective overnight bags at 8:05 A.M. and found Saahil and Anika sitting there with their luggage. Anika looked cool in her blue jeans and a white, embroidered, cotton peasant top. Shivaay looked at her with open admiration. Anika got up when she saw them and came up to them. “We have eaten our breakfast and are ready. You guys have your breakfast while I go and meet my co-workers before I leave.” she said. Om nodded and walked to the dining hall with Shivaay.
Anika took Saahil with her and went to the kitchen. One by one she said bye to as many people as she could see and told them that she will see them again soon. One of them said “Anika, we hope to see you soon with Mr. Oberoi. It’s just our prayer that everything works out for both of you. That man is clearly crazy about you. ”
Anika blushed at that comment and said bye once again. They all hugged Saahil and handed him some chocolates. Then they waved at her affectionately. “We’ll miss you Anika. We’ll miss you Saahil” they said. She turned around teary eyed, held Saahil’s hand and walked back slowly to the dining hall.
Shivaay and Om were done with their breakfast and were ready to leave. They walked out to the portico where their car waited for them. All the luggage had already been loaded in the car. Sharma stood by the car waiting.
Om shook hands with him and assured him that the new manager would be there by that evening. Shivaay shook hands with Mr. Sharma as well. Sharma looked at him seriously and said, ” I am sorry for any disrespect I may have shown yesterday. I am just another employee Mr. Oberoi so maybe I have no right to say this, but this girl is special. Please take care of her.” Shivaay said “you don’t have to apologize Mr. Sharma. In fact I have great respect for you after yesterday and you have every right to say what you just said.I promise to do that”
Sharma turned to Anika and said, “Take care Anika beta. Yelling at the managers and workers is my way of keeping discipline but I care about each one of you. I wish you the best.” He then gave a hug to Saahil. Anika felt more tears streaming out of her eyes. She touched Mr. Sharma’s feet and he blessed her.
Om got into the front passenger seat. Shivaay got in the left side back seat. Anika waited for Saahil to get in the back middle seat so she could sit on the right side. And then, Saahil started his drama.
“Main beech me nahi baithoonga. I want the window seat.”
Anika: What! Kya bakwaas hai Saahil. Chalo jaldi baitho.
Saahil: No. Beech me se Kuch dhang se nahi dikhtaa. I want to see the mountains and scenary. I won’t sit in the middle”
Anika( gritting her teeth): Ab tu maar khaayegaa mujhse. Baith beech me.
Saahil: you know I might get motion sickness on mountain roads. Fine I’ll sit in middle but I might vomit during the journey.
All passengers except Anika got horrified at that idea.”phenk rahaa hai ye window seat ke liye. Koi ulti nahi aani ise” she tried to assure others.
But Om, Shivaay , and the driver were all horrified at the possibility. Saahil had a sinister smile on his imp like face as he saw his effect on everyone.
Finally Shivaay said, ” ok fine! I’ll sit in the middle. Saahil, come around to my side.” Anika looked horrified now. But there was no option left. Saahil went happily to the other side and sat at the left window seat. Shivaay shifted to the middle.Anika, grudgingly sat at the right window seat. Saahil’s crutches were kept in the trunk after he sat down. And they finally started their journey.
Anika waved at Mr. Sharma and said “I’ll see you soon sir” He smiled at her.
Shivaay looked lovingly at Saahil who was looking outside the open window blissfully. He mentally thanked Saahil for his tantrum.
Anika sat pressed to the car door making every effort not to touch Shivaay. The driver noticed this and said “Ma’am please don’t sit like that. This is a good car but you never know. Leaning on the door like that may just push it open especially around curves and bends. ”
Anika got away from the door terrified at that statement and landed right into the nook of Shivaay’s outstretched right arm. Exhausted with all this effort she just gave up, rolling her eyes and sat comfortably. Shivaay smiled and made a mental note of giving a heavy tip to the driver when they reached their airport in Coimbatore.
They were seated in their private jet 4 hours later ready for take off to Mumbai. Saahil was thrilled at being inside an airplane and explored everything. Om made small talk trying to keep Anika’s nerves calm. Shivaay sat quietly looking at Anika. And Anika was a bundle of nerves thinking about entering Oberoi Mansion again and meeting everyone after 3 months. She looked at Shivaay’s calm face and they just kept looking at each other. Om eventually gave up on the small talk and started to have fun showing Saahil stuff around the plane.
The plane started to take off and Anika felt her nerves hitting the sky. Sensing her panic, Shivaay went to sit at her side and quietly held her hand. She held it back but kept her face looking outside the window avoiding looking at him. Shivaay was totally fine with that as he could now openly look at her without any hesitation.
Precap: They reach Oberoi Mansion and give a huge surprise to everyone there.
Thanks for reading everyone. Do leave a comment if you can. I’d really appreciate it. I am trying to keep this interesting without dragging it. Thinking of a suitable ending. Hopefully I’ll be able to maintain interest till the end. Makes me appreciate the writers on the show. 😊