The Abyss-Ishqbaaz Fanfic by Aashi
Link to previous chapters: Chapter 28
He stole glances at the older woman, sitting opposite them as discomforted as he himself felt in the welcoming light of the café. ACP Ranveer can hardly mistake anyone and Pinky Singh Oberoi was not an easy face to be forgotten. He looked at the cheerful face of Priyanka, blabbering happily, not noticing the grim look on her companions’ faces. He so wanted to slap himself. “She’s the least famous of Oberois, Priyanka Singh Oberoi.” Pieces of puzzle seemed to fit accurately. Miss Oberoi had social anxiety and mild depression, apart from fear of media. His Priyanka was the sister of one of the most reputed, powerful and rich families of India and their meetings held potential danger for both of them.
He looked up to see Priyanka looking at him with a weird expression. “What happened, Ranveer?” his mind slowly registered the fact that the look on her face was one of concern. “No…Nothing….” he stammered out somehow. She looked at him intently so he gave a fake smile “I’d a long day; just tired.” “Prinku, I think we should leave. He should go home and rest. He looks fatigued.” Pinky cut in. “Uh…Ok” Priyanka said uncertainly, feeling strange of their behavior. They paid the bill and exited. Outside, Ranveer hugged Priyanka briefly and shook Mrs. Oberoi’s hand before parting. He looked at the rearview mirror to see a jubilant Priyanka looking at his disappearing car accompanied by a blank-faced ‘Chotti maa’. Slowly, tears gathered in his caramel colored eyes and climbed slowly down his face. The look in the older woman’s eyes made him sure that he will never have a ‘happily ever after’.
Om stared at Gauri in silence. “So, why did you send them to boarding if you miss them so much?” “It’s the best for them and I, as their mother, have the right to decide it for them.” Her tone challenged him to defy her but he nodded solemnly and asked “when are you going to visit them next?” It took her by surprise as she had expected him to lecture her for her ‘insensitive’ move. “As soon as I can manage to get a week-end off from the company. Why?” she replied. “Okay…. Well I need to go home but I’ll drop you to office tomorrow”, seeing her open her mouth to protest, he continued “And no arguments please. I really needed to talk something important” he retorted earnestly, looking into her eyes. Soon after, they bid each other the night and parted.
Om crept quietly upstairs to his room. The best part he liked about the day was his meeting with Gauri. He smiled at the memory of their first meeting; how quaint and funny it was as he thought about it? He was taken aback by the presence of Rudra in his room. “Hi O, do you return this late every-day?” he sat up casually, legs on the pillows. “Ru?!! Tu yahan kya kar raha hai?” “Arre O, tum bhi to bin-byaahe paraya dhan ban gye ho. Yaar, kitne dino se no O-bro moment” he complained, making a sad face “kisi ko meri yaad nahi aati.” “Acha, aisa hai?” Om smiled at his younger brother’s antics. “Humein yaad nahi aati yaa tu khud busy rahta hai?” he said, pulling him in a side hug.
“Aaj tera cheat day hai kya?” Om asked. It was almost magical how his worries seemed to melt away by his brother’s mere presence. Ru snuggled into the calm and comforting frame of O, as if trying to draw some comfort from him. Om seemed to understand his need to be held, and he slightly tightened the hold around him, securing him.
“Chal kuch banate hai khaane ko” Om said, once he felt Rudra loosening his grip. “Chalo bhaiya se bhi puch lete hai” Rudra piped up. “Will it not be odd to call him now? Anika kya sochegi?” “O, bhabhi to hospital me hogi naa, Saahil ke saath?” Om shot an appreciative look to him and they proceeded to Shivaay’s room. The door was shut but not bolted so they crept inside. Shivaay was lying with his eyes closed indicating his sleep. Om gestured Rudra not to disturb him and attempted to go out quietly but it proved futile as a floor-board creaked which resulted in Shivaay, who was a very light sleeper, waking up.
“Om, Ru, what are you doing here?” he inquired, getting up and looking at his watch kept on his bed-stead table. They exchanged a guilty glance on seeing their elder brother, looking very sleep deprived, yet so anxious regarding them. “Bhaiya, aap tension mat lo. Hum bas dekhne aaye the ki aap ghar aa gye ho ya nahi.” Shivaay smiled inwardly. He had taken care of all his siblings since they were infants and here Rudra was thinking he couldn’t understand the agenda of their night visit.
“Chal kuch banaate hai kitchen mein,” he retorted, getting up. “Shivaay, you should get some sleep, I think” Om said, trying to discourage Shivaay but the other only smiled and led them to the kitchen. Rudra was visibly cheerful but Om could sense sadness in both of his brothers. They cooked pasta with white sauce and eggs with ‘desi twist’ as Rudra called it. They chopped the vegetables (though Rudra ate more than he chopped) and boiled the pasta.
They sang together in low voices and danced round the kitchen while the food boiled, steamed and sizzled. They ate a hearty late-night dinner at three in the morning. Later, they sat dipping their feet in the chilly water of the pool. “Ru, kya baat hai? Why are you so tensed?” Rudra gaped at his superman. And here he was thinking he was good at hiding things.
He contemplated lying but he really needed some good advice so told his brothers of his situation. “It’s not that I don’t want to commit but it makes me feel so afraid to be vulnerable, even in front of her” he concluded. Shivaay and Om exchanged a glance. Despite all their efforts to shield him, baby Ru’s life had been devastatingly affected by their toxic environment. Om felt helpless and agitated but Shivaay put a hand on Rudra’s shoulder. “Ru, you have seen me and Anika, how we suffered because we didn’t confess. All the raita was because…. I was afraid to be soft, soft enough to listen, to tell, to express and it caused us a lot of pain. And when we did, we became support for each-other. All the fears were pointless, meaningless. So, if you are serious about Soumya, you need to open up to her. Yes, it will hurt a little, will make you feel ashamed or inferior but it is love. If you both are made for each other, you’ll be with each other through highs and lows, sometimes strong, sometimes weak. Now, get everything sorted in your head and tell her.”
The place was silent. It was a long speech and his brothers looked at him in admiration. “Wow…..” Rudra said, after a few moments and hugged him and Om saw their eyes slightly damp and he too joined the hug. After some seconds, the older brothers shared a look and coughed lightly to gain their younger brother’s attention. “Ru, moment nikal gya…. Pehle emotional tha, ab akward ho gaya.” They all went to sleep, gradually, with lighter hearts, uncaringly lying on the pool side.
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– Hey everyone, so sorry for this long break. I had been busy with the semester end examinations during April and early May and then suffered from Typhoid. Sorry for disappearing for so long. Hope you like the chapter and comment on it. Comment anything, but please do comment. Have a great day.