The Abyss- Ishqbaaz Fanfic by Aashi
Link to previous chapters: https://www.tellyupdates.com/user/13322/?profiletab=posts
Priyanka sat puzzled in the dining table. Anika was not at the table, which was unsurprising and it explained Shivaay’s absence as well. Rudra was with Soumya; a thing she learnt from Soumya the last day, who had promised to explain her everything soon enough. She smiled at Om bhaiya as she sat down but was mystified by Pinky’s nonattendance. Her mother came up and sat beside her, giving her the warmest smile and surprisingly, her father sat down opposite her mother, gazing at her constantly.
Both the siblings exchanged a look of astonishment and she became glad when Daadi asked about Shakti who joined them soon enough. Om, who was sitting beside her, turned towards her asking, “Hey, how’s life?” jovially. But this simple sentence created havoc inside Priyanka. She was reminded of the last conversation with her Choti Maa which she hid quite easily, “Pretty good. How about yours?” Om recalled the last conversation he had with Gauri as he winded up his artwork at the gallery and how happy she had sounded informing him about the approval of her leave.
“Daadi, actually I have to go to Lucknow for an art exhibition this weekend. Will that be okay?”
“Zaroor puttar, tu bilkul chinta mat kar. We’ll all be fine here. You concentrate on your work,” Daadi replied with an encouraging smile. “Beta, have you booked the tickets?” Jhanvi inquired, sipping at her lentil soup. “Mom, actually I am going by train and yes, I have booked the tickets”, he replied, assuring. “Prinku, do you want me to bring you anything?” he asked, shifting his attention to his lovely sister.
She shook her head smilingly as she carefully chewed the paratha. “Chote Papa, Daadi, Mom; aap log?” Om questioned. “Nahi beta, bass aap ache se apna kaam khataym kar laut aana”, Shakti replied, in his usual deep but understanding tone. Tej felt a pang of misery as Om didn’t ask him anything but moved his attention back to his food and for the first time, Jhanvi too, did not chide him for disrespect.
“Okay then, I’ll leave tomorrow night and Daadi, the dinner was awesome. I love the butter chicken cooked by you. I wish I could eat some more, but I won’t be able to keep that down for sure. I’ll see you guys tomorrow. Good night”, he wished as he got up.
Soon enough, everyone else dispersed to their rooms. Jhanvi accompanied Daadi and sat with her talking for a while on a topic which both of them was expectant about while Tej sat in their room, sipping some coffee.
In their room, Anika and Shivaay sat staring at each other. Shivaay had been horrified to see Anika crying when he returned from work but when she said she was fine but would like to have her dinner in the room, he decide to accompany her. This simple act held a great significance to Anika and both talked about their day a bit but mostly they talked about the past, especially at the time of their meeting. They laughed over the old memories and at last, Anika asked the question that had bothered her for the longest time, “Why had you not believed me when I told you, repeatedly, that Tia was cheating on you?”
Anika knew that the answer could hurt her but she had taken the decision to face it, which meant, she would stand firm. Shivaay gulped. He knew he had to tell her the truth some day but he had not expected it to be so soon. “Well, you know, since long I thought that being happy for only my own self was selfish. Having taking care of three younger siblings, who shared all my happiness and sorrows, intensified this feeling. So when Tia’s family offered the deal, I was happy to accept it as it would have made our family happy and it did. Then, I met you. I could see that the whole family loved you other than Mom and Bade Papa, but all would be happy if I married Tia, if not ecstatic.
You crawled under my skin and clawed the normal human from behind my brittle exterior. Your confidence, your strength, your challenges, your attitude, and everything that is you, was and still is, so enchanting that I hated it and hated the fact that I loved it”, he halted, as if finding words to continue. “You were always right and I loved to challenge you. I was pretty sure that Tia didn’t like me or even was into the marriage but since you tried to prove it, I wanted to prove that you were wrong. And after all, I was so consumed by jealousy against Daksh, who was confessing his love again and again.”
His face held a wistful half-smile, eyes and face drowned in sadness, as he continued, “I could feel that there was a certain connection between the two of us and I was sure that I had a huge liking for you. I wasn’t so sure of your feelings but I was afraid if I accepted my feelings I would be betraying not only Tia and her family, but also my family as well as you. So, I channelized this jealousy into anger and frustration and took it out on you, even though you were never at fault. And so, I ended up treated you horribly and when you could not take the hurt anymore, you left; on the day just before my wedding.
That evening I went to talk to Tia to cancel the wedding & the deal, but heard the surprising conversation with her pretentious brother that how he hated her to see her being someone else’s wife as she was his. After confronting them, Tia told that how her mother emotionally blackmailed her into the engagement after their business went into a loss and how she was helpless. So, I decided to forgive them and kept the deal but broke off the engagement.
That night, Khanna informed me about Daksh being your stalker along with several proofs, so I compelled him to move back to U.S.A. and had a restraining order issued on his name. Since then, I wanted to talk to you, confess everything but my guilt and mortification did not permit me to go in-front of you and beg your pardon without feeling remorseful. After I got over it and summoned up the courage to ask for forgiveness, you wouldn’t talk to me. So, I had to compel you in the meanest way possible”, Shivaay completed, staring at the white sheets on his bed. He dared not to look up to see Anika’s reaction and was astounded when she reached over and hugged him.
“Thank you Shivaay, for being so honest to me”, Anika said in a hushed and quite tone, but her face held a smile. It was true that the situation had hurt her in the past but she was grateful that her husband had clearly kept his point, truthfully. Their eyes met and held; those deep cocoa eyes against those azure orbs. As if she had no control over her voice, the words she had long- treasured, spilled out, like rain drops on barren land; as soluble as honey in the water-, “I love you Shivaay”, in the quietest murmur.
Priyanka stopped at her tracks when she saw her Choti Maa sitting on her bed. She was silent and still. It was not the silence before the storm but the calmness of an aftermath, the happiness that someone’s house survived in the gale. “I was waiting for you, Prinku”, she said, her voice tranquil. “Come here baccha; let me comb your hair.” Priyanka gave confused smile and sat down in front of her maa. Loosening up her hair and taking off the hair-clips, Pinky looked at the glossy stretch of hair, slightly wavy, sometimes curly, and falling till the waist. She carefully began to unknot the small ties gently with the comb.
“Priyanka, do you remember all the incidents eighteen months back?” Pinky inquired gently. “Yeah of course! It was around the time Anika came to our house as the event organizer to organize Tia and Bhaiya’s wedding”, Priyanka replied, perplexed by Pinky’s question. “Can you please recall all the happenings back then?” Pinky made a bizarre request. “Sure,” Priyanka said and proceeded to tell how her Daadi had chosen Anika to be the wedding planner, and how Shivaay and Anika had shown tashan to each other, but Pinky interrupted. “Tell the incidents involving Gayetri”, Pinky demanded impatiently. Priyanka felt a chill down her spine but she bravely continued, “Gayetri, claiming our family had murdered her husband, tried to kill bhaiya but Rudra bhaiya got hurt and bhaiya got her jailed. But she ran away and called bhaiya, and he left to meet her, without telling any of us. On the way he visited Anika’s house and got locked in there but was able to go to the old mill by a back window but Gayetri wasn’t there when he had arrived.
The next morning the police came, claiming Bhaiya had killed Gayetri and Papa and Chote Papa was involved in the accident-suicide of Ashok. You told me about the one ACP who was pretty sure that Papa and Chote Papa were involved in the accident and took them to the police station for questioning. He even blamed Om bhaiya that he could have possibly killed Gayetri in daze of drugs and he…” Priyanka was livid as she went on and on. “That was Ranveer”, Pinky told, in a small, quiet voice.
“What?” Priyanka asked, as if she hadn’t heard but the thing was, she wished she had heard wrong. In her mind, she wanted to suppose that this conversation was not happening; she wanted to disregard the words her Maa uttered. She wanted the words to be mistaken. “The police inspector who dragged your brothers through dirt and another round of pain was ACP Ranveer Singh Randhawa, the person who is your light now. I just don’t know what to do…” Pinky sat down in a helpless manner on the bed. As for Priyanka, it felt like the life sucked out of her body. She felt her head spin, her face went pale and she sat down quite heavily on the floor.
In her whole life, he was the only man whom she was attracted to. He was the epitome of perfect man for her, complimentary and unbiased, a person who had some harsh life lesson but wasn’t bitter; fun loving but solemn as well, loyal and understanding, supportive and competitive, challenging yet trust-worthy. All the qualities she had found lacking in the ‘men’ of her family, be it her father and uncle, or her brothers. And he had supposedly caused pain to her family. “Maa, please leave me alone for tonight. I need to get my thoughts in order.” Pinky knew this would happen so she just hugged her lightly and prayed she took the best decision and went to her room. Pinky had full faith in her Prinku and she had already decided she will always be there for her daughter.
Jhanvi and Jai sat in front of the bar, catching their breath after dancing a lot. Jhanvi had started to feel more human around Jai; not a mother, or a wife, or a daughter-in-law. Not a relative, just an individual. Jai always listened to her with utmost understanding, even if it was just a silly blabber. After talking to her mum-in-law, Jhanvi decided to meet Jai and he proposed the club. “…So Mummyji was saying that they seem to be in love. The way Anika is, they make the perfect couple- determined, ambitious, loving, caring and they gel perfectly together. I personally think it’s a great idea to send them on honeymoon, so as to give them some space and it would distract them from the troubles.”
“I think it’s an amazing idea. This can help them to acknowledge their feelings, but I think they should get married in a small ceremony again before this and release a vague press statement so that it will protect their reputation”, Jai answered, with raising an eye-brow. “Jai, you’re genius. I don’t know what I’ll do without you”, Jhanvi said, hugging him joyfully. “Oh! You’ll do fine, my love, you raised two children almost on your own”, retorted Jai. “Yep”, Jhanvi said, shrugging her shoulders.
“Cheers to Anika and Shivaay,” Jai said, raising his glass of scotch in a toast. “To Anika-Shivaay”, Jhanvi answered, touching her glass of Champagne to Jai’s. “I thought you stopped drinking,” Jai said amusedly. “Oh yes! But you see, it’s a special occasion”, Jhanvi retorted and her companion rolled his eyes.
Om laid his head against his pillow but sleep was far away. Today, he felt happy; so happy that it made him want to delay his sleep for the longest time. It almost felt like the night Shivaay came back from the high school or when Priyanka danced on the stage. Yes, he’d been there, alone in a corner, but extremely happy. That night, he had seen her hug a man very warmly, as if she had an intimate bond with him.
Even though his back was hurting from long hours of hard work in his gallery and his body was begging for some sleep, he decided to go and talk to Prinku. He hated lies and hiding some sort of truth made him uncomfortable as well. He wore is kurta over his cargo pants, which he usually wore during his night walks and wore his glasses. He had a bit of long slightness’, which meant he had trouble seeing things which was very near him. He walked quietly through the dimly lit passage but stopped short when his vision caught Priyanka downstairs, in the hall, reaching the front door. She quickly punched the buttons to unlock the front door and moved out.
Om hesitated; it felt almost like he was stalking but he instantly remembered that she was his baby sister and he needed to talk with her. Without wasting a minute, he ran behind her, only to see Priyanka disappearing beyond their gates. Om didn’t hesitate to run behind her but kept on the grass; the last thing he wanted was Priyanka to know she was being followed. It was easy to follow her, for the streets were quite dark but it was easy to see Prinku knew the place quite well. She walked accurately through the overshadowed lanes but Om kept stumbling, every now and again.
Priyanka reached Ranveer’s door and pressed the bell. Ranveer looked down from the terrace and came down to open the door for her. He was rather surprised to see Priyanka, two nights in a row. She went in instantly and shut the door behind her. Om emerged from the shadows of a building. It had him surprised to see her going in that particular house; he recognized it at once to be the accommodation of ACP Randhawa, someone who he particularly had distaste for.
Inside the house, Priyanka contemplated the confrontation while Ranveer was completely bewildered by the silent form on his couch. Similar to Om, Priyanka hated to hide a fact, though she would lie than to hurt someone dear. But, here the fact was- she wanted to know if Ranveer was her friend or not; did they had a beautiful relation in between, or was he just using her to cuff her family? The words could not form in her mouth; they seemed stuck somewhere in the back of her throat. She felt her heart race, as if she was running a marathon and she felt panic rise. She shivered, her knees felt unstable.
It took her some more minutes to gather her courage to speak out the words, which, though were trifle easy, but seemed to burn on the way out. “A-are y-you my f-friend? Are you t-truly?” Ranveer was taken aback. How did she guess he was in love with her? No, surely she was asleep when he had kissed her cheek and watched her sleeping, her mouth slightly open. He opened his mouth, then shut it, then repeated the action again. “Of course!” he exclaimed, hoping she would buy it. “R-Really?” this time Ranveer clearly noticed Priyanka stutter. “Priyanka, what’s wrong?” he asked, alarmed by the nervousness in her voice and noticing the trail of dried tears on her face.
Priyanka closed her eyes for some time, trying to steady her shaky breaths and gain some control. “Ranveer, I-is there s-something y-you are hiding from me?” His mind reeled. Of course! Pinky Oberoi had informed everything to Prinku. “Yes. I’m”, those two syllables, to Ranveer, seemed, were the hardest thing to utter. “I was the ACP who arrested your father and uncle and was hard on your brothers”. Priyanka closed her eyes as if the pain of his word were hard to bear. In a muffled voice she asked, “You haven’t answered my first question.” Ranveer felt his chest tighten, as if his wind pipe was closed and desperately needed to breathe.
“Yes, I am. Even though you may no longer consider me as one, to me, you’ll always be my friend.” To his great surprise, Priyanka flung herself at him and hugged him tightly. She marveled in sincerity in his words and laughed at herself for being silly. “ Thank you”, she declared, her voice muffled by his torso, “I was so afraid that you’d say, you were just pretending.” “Not in a hundred years,” Ranveer told, earnestly. Since you have asked all this, will you like to hear my side of the story?”
“Absolutely,” Priyanka agreed, sitting down once again, gesturing him to sit beside her. He complied and wrapped an arm around her and began narrating, “Remember the disastrous Maha-aarti? I was there with the security team and was shocked to see no mention of such a huge affair on the television or in the news-papers. I figured some sort of foul play, so when I was handed the case, I was very hostile about the whole affair. Trust me, I had no ulterior motive other than uncovering the truth, and yes, I did mishandle your father and uncle and was harsh on your brothers ‘because I never had thought I’ll befriend their daughter and fall in l…” Ranveer paused, abruptly, realizing what he was about to say and closed his eyes.
“What? Complete the sentence”, Priyanka urged lightly, hoping he would go on but he shook his head and said, “Nothing; I never knew I would be such a great friend of yours.” Priyanka looked at him. She was always the less confident one, the weak one, the shy one but she was not so. She had realized- all she needed was someone to have faith in her. “I don’t know why you won’t complete the sentence,” Priyanka said boldly, “but as far I know you, you were going to tell that you love me; And, I love you, too”.
Ranveer was amazed. How could she love him? He was plain, boring, middle-class, DSP and she was extra-ordinary, talented, beautiful, smart, wealthy, exotic and truly amazing! It puzzled him immensely. Seeing the denial in his eyes, Priyanka said, “I know what you are thinking. I know you are confused by this social gap but my mom-dad belong to same social category and everything is similar between them but they could not work out a simple marriage.
It made me realize a marriage, or any relationship as a matter of fact, runs on understanding, love, trust, loyalty, communication and appreciation, all the things which is already in our relationship. I feel satisfied to be with you and feel some deep connection midst us, don’t you?”
“Isn’t proposing a man’s job?” Ranveer said, after a few minutes, “But since you have already declared your feelings, Priyanka Singh Oberoi, I love you, since ever, till forever.”
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Hey everyone, how are you all? I completed this chapter a few days back but kept forgetting to post it. Since I have received very little feedback, I have decided to end this story in a few more chapters. Here are my replies to the comments on the last chapter:
Rithu17: Hi Rithu, I missed you as well. I’m so glad you liked the last chapter and hope you like this as well. So sorry, this chapter doesn’t contain Om-Ri scenes. My mother keeps laughing reading my story and says ‘this story is not for you all’. Yep, everything is awesome at collage. How about you? Comment me you thoughts on the chapter.
Nikita_jai29: Hey Nikita di, I’m awesome, what about you? I’m real glad you liked the chapter and missed the story. Please do tell me what you thought about this update. Take care.
Niriha: Hey Niriha di, I missed you so much. Thank you for being so detailed about the part you liked. I hope you liked this update as well. Take care as well.
ItsmePrabha: Hey Prabha, I’m so glad that you liked the chapter. I wanted to clear that Om won’t hold back his feelings anymore and want Anika-Pinky to have a nice relationship. I hope you liked this chapter as well. Take care.