Link for Episode-05: Episode 5
Finding Solace In You-
“Twinkie did you hear what I even said?” Azeen waved her hand before a total zoned out Twinkle. She shook her head as if bringing it back to reality.
“I don’t know.” She shrugged in frustration.
Emma seeing a distracted Twinkle and a worried Azeen sitting in the kitchen thought nothing much of what was troubling them both. “What’s up girls?” She started in her usual cheerful voice.
“Hey Emma!” Both the girls announced in unison.
“What’s up with you both? Why such long faces?” She gave them both a curt look and inquired in perturbed seriousness.
“Nothing much, just figuring out life I guess.” Azeen answered with slightly shaking her head.
Emma knew well of there inevitable situation. She even knew about Faris’s intruding and his past relationship with Twinkle.
Twinkle somehow formed a bond with Emma after her father passed away. And pouring out her worries and deep scars from the past felt like a very natural thing to do. Maybe she never understood or knew how being around a motherly figure felt like and somewhere in Emma she quench her thirst of compassion and emotional stability. She was the second outsider that knew about all of Twinkle’s secrets apart from Kunj Fateen. His mere thought made her cringe in emotional pain.
The morning she told him she wanted to accept his proposal, he had walked out on her with a curt ‘no’ and didn’t show up for three days now. He’d leave before sunrise and return after dawn, daily. The remaining time he’d trap himself in his studio and not a single soul would’ve any eminent clue of his existence. What kept going in that man’s head was beyond intellectual understanding to Twinkle. He seemed to be so projected in each criteria of life yet he seemed to go back on the propositions he laid for her.
Maybe he felt disgusted with her after she unfolded the rueful petals of her gloomy past. Maybe he was too high to accept anything that was already damaged and scratched. But then again, his reaction that morning signified otherwise to the swirling emotions within her. She read concern, disgust, anger, rage and so many other emotions through the openings of his soul; his eyes. He simply was a mysterious being but she was no less.
“Figuring out where to live? How to work it out?” Emma questioned back Azeen. She nodded her head in obstructive defeat.
“We’ll figure out something. Azeen will move into the campus hostel and I’ll try finding a suitable job I guess.” But the question was where would she live even if she did find a job. Her home wasn’t safe at the moment when Faris and his people were probably out there. Emma knew of it as well.
“You live with me while you find one.” Emma kind of ordered more than requesting.
“No, really I’d work someth-” She was cut mid sentence when Emma shook her head in a no. Now, there was no space to argue with her and she had to listen to how Emma planned out things for them. For now it felt right and sufficient.
Emma was a widow with two children who left her on her own once they bloomed their ages and never once looked back. She developed a soft spot for both the girls instantly. Irfan had always talked about his daughters so fondly that the mere words made her form a connection with his girls. Their presence sort of filled gaps in her heart and she couldn’t afford to see them struggle through the unjust of life anymore. She was going to take them under her protection.
Twinkle had to find a job instantly. At times circumstances push you to brims where you get no option but to cross some of your own borders. Sticking to one major stream doesn’t help you survive the drought, you got to wonder around.
He watched the wind made her skirt dance around her delicate body. He envied the wind’s soft touches on her skin, mesmerising each fragment of her existence, breathing in her presence of sweet scent. He wanted to be the wind but all he could do was watch her from afar.
He hardened his grip on the balcony railing of his studio. Lost and defeat weren’t the kind of feelings he was used to anymore when he had everything and everyone at his feet. But man isn’t an art of perfection, there’s always room for innovation and unfinished strokes. His life was moulding around those incomplete strokes. And he didn’t gleam about that.
She kept strolling in the natural greenery of his villa. Taking delicate steps as if not to damage the life laden beneath her feet. She was an abstraction to him, that he had admitted to himself by now.
He couldn’t just let her go, but then again he didn’t want to enforce the proposal on her. He didn’t want to take advantage of her crucial stances. It wasn’t her own deliberation to marry him and he didn’t want her to believe, ‘all men are beasts’.
Sorely turning away he returned back to his studio. This game he started was taking him onto a road that had no ending or turning point. It was dangerous but he had already started the rebuke.
Twinkle wandered in the little nature that was left in the villa. It eased her nerves to breath in fresh air and relax her stress. She had already decided to search for a job and made a few calls as well. Meanwhile she had to work on finding herself a safer place to stay, she just couldn’t let Emma be burdened by her presence.
Life was tough, but then again it was life. Everyone travel on their own journeys. Like they say, bad stuff don’t stick around forever. ‘Verily after hardship comes ease.’ The verse itself soothed her heart. Closing her eyes she prayed that bad phase would just pass away with the blink of an eye but she knew it wouldn’t. Bad phases are supposedly to grant you with a few blessings, lessons at most. Maybe she still tend to learn more from life.
Kunj didn’t see her or her sister the entire week. Yes, he was avoiding a confrontation but he did observe her from afar. Though now she seemed to have dissolved somewhere with the huge house like the rest of his material things decorating and filling his house.
He chewed his dinner in silence. Never had such silence stole his peace but today it seemed to be like a chasm between his life and mental stability. A void that had been left to devour all the remaining light of his life. He needed to talk to her.
Putting down his fork and spoon, he cleaned his face with the napkin. Taking a few seconds before speaking, “Send Twinkle to my office, I need to talk to her.” He ordered the maid who served him his dinner before getting out of his seat and preparing to leave.
“But sir-” The maid tried to speak and was cut short by his curt look in her direction. She lowered her head to speak again, “She’s not here.” She finished.
“What do you mean?” Astonishment was crystal clear in his voice. “Did she go back to her house?” He asked again, concern reeking her voice.
Faris was out of police custody since Twinkle wasn’t willing to give a statement against him. If she went back to her house, she was being unsafe. Anything could happen to her, he could do anything to her. The mere thought sickened him to the stomach. He didn’t even want to imagine about it.
“No she’s staying with Emma for the time being.” She stated from the conversation she had heard between them before Twinkle left.
Relief shot up in his blood. Sighing heavily he flickered his fingers and dismissed the maid.
Throwing away the wet towel he had used to dry up after shower, he seated heavily on the bed. For a strictly organised guy like Kunj Fateen, such an act was simply a prove to say he was frustrate.
He couldn’t bring himself to accept the reality of never being able to see her again. And most of all Faris being out there he couldn’t ease his concern on how much she was putting herself at stake. The image of her laying unconscious on the cold ground covered in bruises couldn’t leave his mind.
By the ticking of clock, each passing minute raised his anxiety. He felt nothing towards her other than the need to boost his inspiration and get him back on track. He was an artist and his drought was making him impatiently crude.
Bringing his hands to his face, he rubbed his face. Getting up he started scrolling within his room trying to focus on his plans.
Firstly, he didn’t want Twinkle to be a part of the sick game he started; she had been damaged enough. Secondly, he didn’t want her to be out in the wild waiting for the demon to chase her down to her death bed. He certainly didn’t want history to repeat itself. Maybe this time his heart wasn’t involved but he still couldn’t imagine his past being reborn. He just couldn’t afford it at any primitive costs.
He wanted his drought to be over and for that he wanted her. He also wanted her safety and at the same time wanted Faris behind the bars. Everything seemed to fall into place suddenly. The puzzle sorted out in fragments.
He looked out of the window to inspect the dark sky. No star seemed to glisten in the depth of the dark firmament. It seemed like even the sky was imitating his dark soul where no hopes of illumination seemed to exist. He had started a new game and this time victory was his.
The consistent loud bell woke up Twinkle from her deep slumber. She rolled over to check the time by the clock standing upon the nightstand. It said seven in the morning. Emma hadn’t informed her of any visitor at such an early hour of the day.
She groaned in frustration since the person outside seemed too impatient. She ran downstairs in a rush, picking her hijaab from the living area sofa and wrapping it loosely around her head. “Coming…” She yelled out.
Bear foot she ran towards the entrance door, struggling to unlock it in a haste. Finally the door opened and she pulled open the door to reveal the impatient person behind it.
“Hi!” Kunj stood tall and cheerfully smiled at a wide eyed Twinkle. She forgot to even blink. Kunj was in a good mood today, as rare as the blue moon but today he believed he was already at triumph.
Her body didn’t seem to respond, he could judge by the look of her that she had just been out of the bed. “Did I wake you up? I’m sorry.” He never apologised for anything but this one was an exception. Her stance didn’t change much.
“Can I come in?” She shook her head in a clear no. Her eyes blinking at him and forming a frown. She seemed to have forgotten the habit of speech at the moment.
Sighing, Kunj pushed open the door wider for him to enter. He entered into Emma’s house without permission, he certainly didn’t need one.
“Emma isn’t home, she’s at work.” Twinkle informed him in her own confounding. For sure she believed he knew of her job timings.
“I know.” He looked at her over her shoulder, walking further into the house and entering the living area. She trailed behind him.
“Then why are you here?” She questioned him in frustration. This man set her nerves on fire. His bossy attitude ignited her to brims.
“I wanted to talk to you.” He casually informed her.
“What do you want?”
“Are you bad on listening or what? I already told you what I want, I want to talk to you.” He waved his hand in the air to prove how dumb she was behaving.
Sighing inwardly, “Do I’ve any means of an escape route to elope from your presence?” She asked in visible annoyance.
He gave her a smirk to prove who was the dominant specie among both, “No.” He smiled at her sweetly.
“Fine then, make yourself at home though I wouldn’t have offered you that if it were my home, while I’ve a few of my human minutes since you literally dragged me out of bed.” She added sarcastically and walked out of his brooding presence.
Splashing water over and over her face, she kept staring back at the mirror reflection of hers. Emma was at work and Azeen was at her university. That left her all alone with him. Men are dangerous beings, when it comes to taking what they want, they can be cruel than animals even.
She felt panic creeping up her spine. Drying her face and securing back her hijaab, she slowly descended down stairs.
His eyes glued on her, he waited patiently for her to return back. “I’m hungry.” He announced once she stepped down.
Twinkle felt the sudden urge to roll her eyes at him. First he dismissed her from the villa, didn’t let have her the job and now he was at her door wanting a breakfast. For a grown up man he sure had a childish bone.
Without a word she walked into Emma’s small kitchen, with him trailing behind her. Making himself at home more than her, took a seat by the nearby stool.
Twinkle inspected the fridge, “Will pancakes do?” That was her favourite breakfast and she felt her own hunger rising.
“Will do.” He answered back.
“Tea or coffee?”
“Coffee.” He answered short. He was getting impatient by each ticking second. He wanted to get to the point with her already but first he wanted to give her, her space of comfort with him. He wanted her to trust him, that was his most lenient tool to use on her.
Observing him not making any raw move, Twinkle started dissolving her early concerns. Kunj didn’t seem as evil as she thought, after all he did save her life and hadn’t taken any advantage of her circumstances.
“Roasted?” She asked. He seemed to be puzzled for abit. She pointed towards the coffee maker and he nodded with a slight smile.
She prepared for making them both breakfast and placed the coffee to brew.
He watched her cook silently. Once again he had the pleasure of watching her delicate moves. For the next few days or weeks or even a year, this is what he wanted to see and observe. And imprint it into his barren canvas. The thought made him happy inwardly.
After a few minutes she placed a pot with steaming coffee and a plate with hot pancakes before him on the small kitchen island. She brought a stool to the other side of it and put down her own breakfast as well. She fetched the sauce and poured it over his pile of pancakes without asking him his consent.
Brown sauce dripped down his pancakes. Taking a fork full of sliced pancakes he thrust it into his mouth and closed his eyes to devour the pleasant taste of it. “Mmmmm this tastes heaven.” He kept chewing on.
“Yet you kicked me out.” Twinkle stated in a slow voice, difficult for him to listen.
Watching him devour his food with such a passion, her mind wandered around the amount of concentration and compassion he would’ve in making of his paintings. It made her feel envious. Man is a crazy creation. The devalue breathing leaving beings and kill for objects that can’t even show emotions. Materialistic beings they are, Twinkle mused.
“You wanted to talk.” Twinkle stated sternly.
His fork stopped mid way to his mouth and he dropped it with a bang.
“Propositions.” He looked directly into her. The word startled her a bit and she stared back at him, searching his eyes for an explanation. She didn’t find any.
“What games are you playing Mr. Fateen?” She felt her temper taking an agnition.
“I don’t need to play games when I’m the one making them.” He replied in a dangerous voice, a challenge clear in his voice. “Call me Kunj and let’s get formal, shall we?” He tried to ease her abit. For what he was about to offer her next, he wanted to achieve her comfort zone first.
“New ones and better ones.” He smiled at her but didn’t seem to flatter her at all. For one thing was sure by now, Twinkle wasn’t a woman who gets enchanted by status or money. She was a self satisfied woman in such a materialistic world.
“If you’re playing games with me I’m wa-”
“I’m not playing games with you because I don’t need to.” He cut her mid sentence.
“Listen to me first and listen carefully before you get your head wrapped around false assumptions.” He cautioned her and she nodded.
“I know and I remember offering you a proposition of marrying me, and you accepted.” In past few days she had entirely forgotten about his proposition or even the reality that she had accepted it. But she could refuse and she should refuse, she thought to herself.
Kunj raised a finger to stop her train of thoughts from invading reckless boundaries of new assumptions. “The proposition still stands but with a few amendments.” He talked further.
“You marry me, I look after you and your sister financially and securely. I keep you safe and meet your every single need. It’d be a real marriage to me, a real relationship in every kind of sense. But…” He paused to calculate her reaction, she stared back wide eyed at him.
“But?” Every kind of evil thought invaded her mind.
“But before you get to marry me, you’ve to do something for me first. Marrying me is benefitting you in every possible mode but I’m a businessman Twinkle and I tend to think of my welfare as well in such a proposition.” He didn’t want to tell her about the huge profit this marriage would do him. With a single arrow he was going to hit two targets.
“That would be?” Panic started forming within her body.
“That would be you giving a statement against Faris in the court because I want that man behind bars, rotting for the rest of his miserable life.” He almost snarled on his last words.
“I won’t do that…”
“Yes, you would. As a responsible citizen it is your duty to do that. You do realise the amount of damage he has caused and can cause in future to different people. Do you really want him out there targeting more people? Do you really want other women to go through whatever you went through?” He was playing his best cards. Emotional blackmailing is what always works with women. They stand upon emotional fundaments.
“He’ll kill me.” She looked at him intensely as if he was some madman.
“He won’t. Once you give a statement against him, he’ll be behind bars. You’ll marry me and be my wife. No power on earth can hurt you then that’s a promise, you’ll be safe with me.” He wanted her to believe him.
“No, I can’t.” She shook her head in clear disagreement. This man was insane, how could such an agreement benefit him? Why was he doing this to her, she kept staring at him in search of an answer.
“You don’t get to marry me.” He casually shrugged at him. He seemed so confident in himself. Why did he even think she was that desperate to marry him? She wasn’t.
“I refuse the proposition.” She folded her hands in vibrant annoyance. If he could make the game, she could for sure play it and even win it.
He smiled sarcastically at her and shifted in his seat. “Did I talk about choices? No, I didn’t. You don’t have a choice of refusing the proposition.”
“Excuse me? I don’t work for you, so I’m not liable to agree to any vile thing you utter.” Her temper started building up.
“Then what are you planning for your survival further because I don’t see you can even afford a safe place to live in.” He stated facts at her that hit her like bricks, he was mocking most certainly.
“Have a job and find a place, you need not to concern yourself.” She arrogantly replied him.
With a laugh he carried on, “Twinkle Twinkle Twinkle, I’m a man with power. When I want something I get it. When I said you don’t get a choice to refuse, I meant my words.” He twisted his head to get a better view of her agnition. “The university you graduated from, I fund it. With a flick of my fingers I can dot black your CV and believe me when I say no company or any place in this country will appoint you as an employee. I can ruin your entire career within seconds actually. I can literally bring you to begging but you know what? I’m not that cruel. So, you’re marrying me and giving a statement against that ex husband of yours.” He finished so casually as if he wasn’t being arrogantly disputed in his commands rather inviting her to some bachelor party.
“You toff!” She accused him. She hated how full of himself he was. “I’d never and ever agree to your disgraceful games Kunj Fateen.” She called him by his full name for the first time.
“Do not test me Twinkle, because I hate it when I’m taken for granted and underestimated. Then I tend to do anything and everything to prove myself.” He growled at her in rising temper, getting up from his seat and bending down at her level to stare directly into her bare existence.
“I give you one day to restrain your mind and wrap it around valid facts. You’ve got no option but to agree to whatever I say. Don’t make me go hard on you because I might not be a man to cause physical damage to a woman but I for sure can make your life a living hell then it already is. One day Twinkle and then either you’re going on your own consent or I’m dragging you to the cops to fill in the statement.” His breath felt hot on her face and smelt of mint and coffee.
“Why are you doing this?” She asked in a broken voice.
“I’ve my reasons which you won’t understand. I just wish I was able to do it few years ago-” His voice broke. Hurt was quite prominent from his face. Shutting his eyes to a past defeat, he walked out of the kitchen and left the house. He was gone, leaving behind a startled Twinkle.
Thank you very much for reading.
Heya lovelies! Another update that too quite soon. So much changed… New propositions, new conditions but same motives! Kunj today though was little rude with Twinkle and surely he was sounding mean. What’s your opinions? Do share them in below comment section. I’ll try to update next one till Wednesday In’shaAllah though it partially depends on the way you response on this one;) Also thanks a lot to all those who read and write so much amazing words, truly it means a world to me. I really love y’all so much! Stay awesome till next time;)
Love you all<3