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Saturday morning was relatively quiet on the surface since the basic decorations were done and the menu was set and preparations for it were ongoing. When Shivaay came back to his room after a shower, Anika stood in front of the mirror almost ready. His heart beat a little faster as he saw her standing there dressed in a floral lavender , airy churidaar kurtaa. He walked up to her and wrapped his arms tightly around her soft form. “It’s a good day. All my dreams have come true. Thanks to you, my family and my life is complete.”
Anika smiled at him and turned around hugging him back. ” Well, actually thanks to a lot of people. But yes, it’s a good day. And I promise I won’t let any doubt spoil it.” she tiptoed to give him a lingering kiss and pulled back. “I am going downstairs. Get dressed .” she said as she walked towards the door.
“Starting something and not finishing it is a bad, bad habit.” shouted Shivaay after her.
“Who said I won’t finish what I started. I am just setting it to simmer nicely.” she said laughing and left the room to get Saahil ready and take him downstairs.
Shivaay stared at the door for a couple of seconds then walked towards his closet to get dressed. “Yeah! Simmer indeed!” he said rummaging through his clothes.
Downstairs, Anika found Soumya, Rudra, and Priyanka sitting in a corner deep into some conversation while Saahil looked at them curiously. She asked Saahil to go get breakfast and walked up to them. “Very nice. It doesn’t look at all as if you all are planning something.” she said sarcastically.
All three jumped. “Thanks bhabhi.” said Rudra, “When Rudra leads, plan succeeds.”
“She is being sarcastic you duffer.” Soumya said rolling her eyes. Then she realized what she had said. “Sorry…I mean, we will be careful Bhabhi.”
Rudra smiled slightly looking at Soumya’s embarassed face. Then he tried to cover up the situation. “Oh!! Don’t worry bhabhi. We were just figuring out what time to have the kids special menu delivered. It will come in by the same back entrance as the entertainment stuff. Discussion done. Now we have no more things to discuss.”
“Good” Anika said looking at them suspiciously as they got up to leave. “Wait.” she called out and they turned around again. “Soumya, since when do you say “sorry” to Rudra for calling him duffer?”
Soumya looked at Anika nervously and then at Rudra. “Bhabhi, uhh…wo change is the second name of life and Rudra has become so responsible now so it doesn’t look nice to call him such names and my Aai is also here so what will she think of me.”
“That’s enough reasons Sumo.” Rudra said faking a smile at her. ” It was a simple question and not an eight page long answer philosophy question. Calm down.”
Soumya glared at him as Anika laughed.”Haan! Now you two look normal.” she said as she left for the dining area. Priyanka followed her hastily.
“Ab samajh aaya? When someone suddenly asks a tricky question how all sorts of nonsense starts coming out of the mouth?” Rudra asked her smugly.
“Yes.” Soumya sat down on the nearby couch, completely exhausted. “I get it now. And this is getting messy. Hope everything will move fast.”
“What do you mean everything will move fast?” Rudra asked sitting next to her.
Soumya looked down at the floor. “I have sent my application for transfer and I am expecting a response any day now.” she said anxiously.
Rudra’s heart sank and jaw dropped open. He stared at her wordlessly for a few seconds, then got up and left.
As Anika reached the dining area, Priyanka caught up with her and helped her bring breakfast from the kitchen. “Bhabhi, I was thinking, in the evening, I will also help you out besides helping Soumya and Rudra bhaiya with you know what.” she said looking at Saahil who was sitting oblivious at the dining table.
“I really like talking to Aashi di.”
Anika looked affectionately at Priyanka and smiled knowingly.” Yes Priyanka, that sounds good. You help me as well as them.”
Priyanka smiled brightly as they got to the table and went to Saahil to serve him his breakfast. Anika looked at both of them thoughtfully her forehead creasing a little with an unknown worry.
By the time it was quarter to five, Om was besides himself. It was just him and Shivaay in the hall with Saahil sitting in a big chair reading a comic book. Elders were not downstairs as yet, Anika was taking care of the kitchen, and Rudra, Soumya, and Priyanka were getting the kids’ area ready.
Om checked the time in his phone every five minutes and glanced at the entrance every couple of minutes. Shivaay observed him pacing here and there and smiled. “Steady my boy. Steady. ” He said patting Om’s back. “No matter how fast you walk, or how many times you check the phone, it won’t be five o’clock before five o’clock.”
Om smiled “Are you trying to tease me Shivaay?”
“Very much so. Shivaay Singh Oberoi does not let go of golden opportunities.” Shivaay said gleefully.
“There is no opportunity. I am “unteasable” because I accept facts very easily. Yes I am impatient to see her again and I am waiting desperately for her to get here.”
“Whom are you waiting desperately for? Me?” said Shikhar as he walked towards him. Om’s heart skipped a beat as he turned right towards the entrance and saw Shikhar and Aishani walk in.
Shikhar gave him a hug and then hugged Shivaay warmly. “Where is the little Oberoi. There!” he said spotting Saahil and went to meet him as Saahil smiled ear to ear.
“Hi Shivaay Bhaiya.” Aashi said softly.
Shivaay looked at her affectionately and put his right arm around her shoulder to give her quick hug. “Hi Aashi. How are you? So good to see you again. It’s been too long.” he said winking secretly at Om who laughed and shook his head. “How’s your foot?” he asked her.
“Much better.” she said smiling. “No more padded shoe. Only ankle wrap and flat soled shoes.” she said slightly lifting and displaying her right foot clad in soft pink, flat leather pumps.
Shivaay chuckled. “Excellent!” Then he patted her head gently and said, “God bless you.” and went over to Shikhar who was saying something that had Saahil in splits.
“Hi Om.” Aashi said smiling. “How are you?”
Om looked at her dressed in a plain baby pink, chiffon kurtaa hugging her silhouette, a soft floral dupatta matching her churidaar, hanging on her right shoulder, her hair open and framing her face, and a long silver necklace with a large oxidized pendant resting a couple of inches above her waist. While her lightly colored lips curved in a smile, her eyes held back an ocean of emotions. Om looked around him briefly, took a couple of steps forward, and hugged her, placing a quick soft kiss on her lips. Then pulling back he lightly held her by the waist to usher her towards where Saahil was chattering away to glory with Shivaay and Shikhar.
Feeling his entire being awakened and haywire he learned a valuable lesson. “Starting what you can’t finish immediately is a bad, bad idea” he thought to himself without realizing that his grip around her waist had tightened.
Thanks for reading Everyone. I am not sure if this update is long, medium, or short.? But going on would have started a train of thought that would have taken long to finish. So I thought of posting this installment for now. I hope you will like it. Please comment if you can.?