The Abyss- Ishqbaaz Fanfic by Aashi
Link to previous chapters: Read Here
Tej stared out of the window hopefully; sleep miles away from his eyes. Jhanvi’s attitude made him was making him fall for her more as each seconds passed. He almost could experience his younger version stir in himself; the college loner who had fallen for his batch-mate at the first glance. It was seldom, almost never, when Tej travelled down the memory lane as he had to face the guilt often. Despite it all, Tej pushed himself up from the chair, took out an old album and began leafing through it.
Om drove the car harshly, hardly caring for anything else other than what occupied his mind at present. In the back of his head the conversation with Misha kept replaying. “Mishu,” he had recognized her voice at once, “How are you? And how’s Abhi? Yaar, you guys have completely forgotten me” He complained. “Arre handsome, we’re fine here but the warden doesn’t let us call for a long time and we are allowed a single call a day. Have you talked to mumma? Mumma didn’t pick the phone yesterday and today as well.”
“Misha, come again. Which warden are you talking about? Where are you guys?” “Om, I’ll call you tomorrow. The warden is coming, bye.” The dial tune sung in his ears. Worry and fear enveloped him and his heart thumped wildly. His legs shook, his palm felt sweaty and he felt short of breath. He sank to the ground as images of his hostel stay reeled in front of his eyes. With unsteady hands, he popped a pill of his anti-depressant and gulped in down with a glass of water. Taking deep breaths, he tried calming himself and rubbed his hands on his temples.
A few second later, he opened his eyes. The anxiety was replaced with pure fury as he pictured the helpless kids in hostel while their mother-their parent; enjoyed her city life. In the mad rage, he drove to her house and knocked sharply at the door, uncaring of whoever minded. “Open the door Gauri” he called out, trying to keep his voice level. He scowled at which did not open. After calling of a few times, in fear of rousing the neighbors, he pushed against the door. Surprisingly, it gave way, indicating it wasn’t bolted. He looked at it suspiciously before moving inside.
The dining table was puzzlingly clean as if the dinner wasn’t laid on it at all and the kitchen space was lit despite of the light in the guest space. He found Gauri sleeping on the children’s bed with her phone beside her. She was clutching onto some soft toy and had covered herself by the kids’ comforter. The sight of it melted Om’s heart and he sat beside her, moving some of the books aside. Tear marks were present under her lashes and Om shook his head at whatever he thought about her a while back.
“Gauri, Gauri, wake up” he called gently, trying to wake her up. Gauri got up with a bewildered expression and looked around herself. “Did I fall asleep?” she asked in a sleepy voice and rubbed her eyes. “Yeah you did!” Om said in a calm voice. “Oh! Okay!” she said and prepared to go to sleep, then jumped up “wait! How dare you break into my house?” Om chuckled at the little fighter in front of him but decided to tease her a bit.
“I got in through the door. You see, I have this lock picking talent and watched you sleep. I stared at those long, silky, white legs of yours as you stuck them out of the blanket so I could have a better view at them. And I traced my forefinger…” Gauri felt her cheeks grow hot and felt embarrassed at his talk. “Okay, stop” she said, trying to hide her face, “I know nothing of that sort happened” covering her legs by the comforter. Om laughed at her reaction and she gave a shy laugh herself.
“Hey Om, why did you drop in suddenly?” she asked curiously, unable to ignore the fact that last meeting was a disaster. Om got up and moved to the kitchen. She waited expectantly as he heated some pasta he found in the fridge, made two cups of coffee and brought the whole lot on a tray to the bed. He took a cup himself and stirred the sugar lightly. “The children called me. They were worried as you hadn’t taken their call. Where have they gone?”
Understanding dawned to Gauri. He hadn’t come there to visit her- how silly of her even to think something so silly. “….now?” “Uh! Oh!” she replied absent mindedly. “Gauri” he shook her shoulder lightly and she seemed to jump away at the touch “What happened?” he asked, concerned at the sudden change in her. “Nothing, nothing at all” she began to check her phone. “Why in the hell’s name did I keep it on silent?” she muttered to herself as she proceeded to unlock it and check. Om felt something change in her, as if she was desperately trying to break free of some invisible shackles.
“Hey, relax. I talked to Mishu and she said she was all right. She was a bit worried for you.” Gauri had regained her composure by then. “Did you talk to Abhi?” “Well, no. I didn’t” he replied, shaking his head in negative. “Okay” she said, as she slipped into deep thought. Om watched her as she ate and thought; the frown of her forehead, the twitch of her eyebrows and the twisting of her ring finger and pinky finger. Om felt at home again after the separation of the last three weeks.
“Can I stay back for tonight?” Om asked suddenly and her trance broke. “Um… You see…” Om sensed the hesitation in her voice, “I was just joking. But be sure I will come back later tomorrow” looking at the clock he added “well, it will be today” he kissed her head as he headed out. “Lock the door” he called from outside. Gauri sat at the bed and listened as the engine purred slowly, tires squealed lightly and the car seemed too sped away. She got up, locked the door and fell on the bed.
Her head spun from the late night visit; his behavior baffled her and the kiss…. “Oh Gauri! You need to get a grip” she admonished herself “Go back to sleep” she advised her brain but she grinned as she remembered his teasing and slowly slipped into a deep sleep with a smile on her face.
Jhanvi returned in the wee hours of morning and was dreadfully tired. All the fun had cost her and she felt drained. Jai had advised her to come late to the office; he’ll forgive her for the time. She was taken aback at the presence of Tej who was awake. “You had fun?” he asked, smiling slowly. “Yeah; Hell tired right now. We’ll talk tomorrow” she said as she went in the bathroom to change. Jhanvi’s mind replayed all the scenes whenever they had tried talking calmly in the past sixteen years; he had ended shouting and hurting her.
This time, she wouldn’t let that happen; she wouldn’t get hurt; she’ll just avoid the talking. She wouldn’t ruin the fun-day so she showered and went to bed without a second glance to the man who sat and stared at her, guilt and hurt visible in his eyes.
“Di” Saahil whispered slowly, “You are awake, right?” “Hmm…” Anika hummed slowly in answer. “Kya soch rahi ho?” he asked. “Nothing yaar, bas aise hi.” Anika said quietly. She was staying there with Saahil for the night. “Saahil, tu abhi so jaa; kal subah baat karungi.” She said with finality in her tone. Saahil gazed at her for some before going back to sleep. Anika turned and stared at the clock as it ticked every second.
“Soumya” he called quietly. She turned to face him and looked at him innocently with those beautiful, big eyes. They looked almost black with the little light in the room. “What are you thinking?” he asked in the same tone. She smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes “I was thinking how will Aai react to this?” she said, interlacing their fingers. “What’s there to think? She’ll get us married.” Rudra attempted to joke to lighten the atmosphere.
“Achaa? What if she refuses?” Soumya played along. “I have already stolen her daughter’s heart; do you think it’ll be hard for me to steal hers?” Rudra smiled as he pulled her on top of him. “Anyways I have a trump card” he added, his eyes twinkling “Daadi”. Soumya laughed and put her head on his chest. “Rudra, why don’t you share anything with me?” “Like what?” he said raising his eye-brows. “Like your childhood or something. I practically don’t know you.” “We’ll deal with practicality later” he said stifling a yawn.
“Yeah” she said and nuzzled into his neck before falling off asleep. A tear slowly gathered in his eye as he watched her in his embrace, sleeping so trustingly, and traced his forefinger on her temple before his eyes drooped and he hugged her tight as his eyes closed.
Anika gazed outside from the window. The speeding early Mumbai traffic looked different from the fourteenth floor of the hospital. From somewhere, low Azaan sound came and a light flutter of birds was heard. Far away sound of the train whistle was heard in the temporary stillness of the city. Anika felt very, very alone in the strange silence of the room despite the ticking of the clock and the low beeping of the machines. The temperature of the room seemed to have fallen several degrees and Anika shivered in spite of the thick coverlet around her.
The sound of door opening shook her out of her trance. Early morning sunlight filtered through those long, white curtains. She looked at the nurse who was entering the room. She was young; probably younger than her and her face wore a huge smile. She looked carefree and all of a sudden, Anika felt a tug on her heart. She smiled back slowly, unable to explain the sudden ting of envy she had experienced. The nurse changed another bottle of saline, injected some medicines in it and left. Anika went up to Saahil, wrote a note on the bedstead notepad and kept it on his pillow beside him and went out but not before kissing her brother’s forehead.
Tej looked at the sleeping form of Jhanvi, her head under a pillow and her mouth slightly agape. She looked innocent and very pretty in the morning light. He pulled the curtains shut, so as not to disturb her, and went downstairs for breakfast.
Priyanka looked cheerful and energetic. It was certainly a relief to tell the truth. Another reason for her joyfulness was that she was going to Ranveer’s office to spend the evening together. Pinky seemed more excited by the prospect than her was what made her laugh.
“Shivaay, where’s Anika?” Shivaay was taken aback by the sudden question and was more surprised by the one who had asked it. “Bare papa, she’s in the hospital with Saahil.” Tej nodded appreciatively at that and was about to ask something more but stopped on hearing a snide remark “Seems Mr. Oberoi has some concerns”. The voice had an audible smirk.
“Om…” Shivaay began to speak when he was interrupted, “I’m done” declared Om as he got up and stormed away. Tej looked at his plate, cutting the eggs with the same amount of viciousness as the frustration he felt. His throat seemed to have swollen shut with the lump that arose in it and the tears he was fighting. Tej regretted every moment of his past when he had cheated on Jhanvi or had pushed his children aside.
Each memory of his infidelity came laced with the fright that one day he’d lose everything. Every time he tried bullying Omkara into the business was not concern about his future; he knew Om was a well known artist, a millionaire who could live without comforts and will never face difficulty in acquiring wealth, but it was a way that he hoped will attach them.
He wished if Om learnt business like Shivaay, Om would ask for help from him, thus starting a platform of independent and uninterrupted conversation between the two of them. It was something he wishes since the last year and he had received no console yet.
Jhanvi’s phone vibrated which drew her out of the dreamless sleep. A message popped on the screen; a simple “good morning”. She smiled involuntarily and answered back and went forward with her morning routine.
Om ran a hand through his shoulder length hair. Today, of all days, he wanted to remain calm but he couldn’t control his bitterness when it came to Mr. Oberoi. He rubbed his temples to stay calm and breathed deeply. He returned to the table which was empty other than Priyanka and Chotti Maa’s presence. He quickly grabbed a toast and bidding a farewell to the ladies, went to his gallery.
He kept carving a wooden plank as it gradually began to shape up with splinters here and there but started to come to life. Om smiled at the piece, proud and glad. The dream had begun and was taking up its shape.
Hello everyone, it’s me Aashi again back with a boring chapter. Even I have started to lose interest in the story. The first sign of physical intimacy had started between Ri-Kara which will be tested by time. Soumya has stepped into Rudra’s life to fill the depthless void which no one has been able to fill till now and the couple will heal each other.
Anika is almost a single mother for Saahil and being an ultra independent person, she’ll need time to adjust to Shivaay’s protectiveness and possessiveness. Gauri is a mystery yet to be solved and let’s hope Om will be the one to solve it. Jhanvi’s life is going to take an unexpected turn; buckle up for it. I hope you like Ranveer and Prinku together. Do continue reading to find out more, take care.