CHAPTER 65: Hidden feelings
(Three months after Pankhuri’s arrest)
They all had returned from the prison after meeting Pankhuri and were currently seated in Arjun’s cabin…. They were all thinking about how to expose the Malhotra brothers and prove Pankhuri’s innocence, considering that only a week was left for the final judgment of Tia’s case…. If they did not prove Pankhuri innocent before that, the court would announce punishment for Pankhuri and once the court had made a decision, they would not be able to do anything….
Dushyant: We know that Tia had proofs against Shaantanu and Adhvik; all we have to do this get those proofs.
Mallika: But where are those proofs, in Kapoor Mansion or….
Arjun: Well, thinking from Tia’s perspective, they can either be in Kapoor mansion or in Oberoi Mansion.
Dushyant: Oberoi Mansion, why there?
Prachi: Since, Tia wanted to tell everything to Shivaay Sir and that the Kapoors were even staying there, it can be possible that the proofs are in Oberoi Mansion.
Anika: That means we have to check both the places.
Mallika: Then what about Kapoor’s main office, Tia may have kept the proofs there….
Dushyant: I don’t think so Bhabhi, as far as I know Tia, she would never keep such important things in her office, it has to be at a place she knew Malhotras won’t suspect.
Arjun: If that is the case, the proofs being at Oberoi Mansion have a higher chance.
Anika: Well, whatever it is and wherever the proofs are, we have to find them at the soonest.
Mallika: Searching at Kapoor Mansion won’t be a tough task, since Mrs. Kapoor and Romi are both in New York for the next few months. It would just be some security guards and few caretakers.
Prachi: Great then, I think Dushyant and Mallika, you both can search there.
Dushyant: Yes, that would be better; I know the ways around there as I have been there quite a few times.
For a moment Dushyant was lost in the memories of the past when he would sneak into Kapoor Mansion to meet Tia…. How they would spend nights talking to each other…. How he would hide whenever they felt Tia’s mom was around…. How he would cross all those hurdles to have a glimpse of her smiling face…. But now, now those times were never going to come back as Tia was now far, very far from him…. He pushed aside all the thoughts and composed himself….
Mallika: We’ll go to Kapoor Mansion, but what about Oberoi Mansion, it is a difficult place to search, considering the family stays there and their tight security ever since Tia’s death.
Arjun: It is not an easy task but we have to do it.
Anika: Yes, Bhai and I’ll go and search Oberoi Mansion.
Both Anika and Mallika looked at the other three people in the room with surprise hearing their disproval in unison on Anika’s thoughts about going to Oberoi Mansion for the search….
Prachi: No Anika, you are not going for any search missions, Bhai and I’ll go to Oberoi mansion.
Dushyant: Prachi is right, Annie you are definitely not going there.
Arjun: No Annie, Dushyant and Prachi are right, you are not going there.
Mallika: Why are you all not allowing her to go to Oberoi Mansion?
Prachi: Because Annie is nyctophobic and while searching at night, it’ll be dark all around and we cannot allow her to be there, it is not good for her health.
Mallika: If that is the case, Anika, you should not take any risk. Let Prachi and Arjun do it.
Anika: Why are you all worrying so much? Nothing will happen to me, and anyways Bhai will be there with me.
Prachi: Stop being stubborn Anika, you are not going to Oberoi Mansion and that is final.
Anika: And why do you think I’ll listen to any of you, I can do what I wish to do, and no one can stop me.
Dushyant: What is wrong with you Annie, why don’t you understand? You are not going to Oberoi Mansion, that’s it.
Anika was about to answer back but at the same moment a voice was heard and she stood frozen…. The voice, the voice she had been waiting to hear since the past three months….
Shivaay looked up from his watch as he opened the door to Arjun’s cabin, but he remained stuck at the door seeing the people present there…. For a moment he thought he was not standing in his best friend’s cabin…. He could understand Prachi and her presence but what on earth were Dushyant and Mallika doing there…. And looking at their expressions, Shivaay understood something serious was going there…. Was Dushyant trying to get Anika back in his life…. Was this the reason Mallika was there, to talk for her brother-in-law…. Various possibilities were building in Shivaay’s mind and he did not know what was right and what was not….
Arjun could not blame his assistant for letting Shivaay in without his permission when he himself was the one who had made it clear to every staff member that no matter what Shivaay could come and go anytime and no one had the rights to stop him…. And for the first time Arjun felt he should not have allowed anyone, not even Shivaay to come to his cabin directly, at least not in the situation they were in right now…. If he had the slightest idea that Shivaay would come unannounced, he would have asked his assistant to inform him….
Anika did not move from her place, she could not even look at him, because she knew looking at him and into his blue eyes would only make her guilt increase…. The moment when he had confessed his love for her and how she had broken his heart, played in her mind and she felt immense pain in her heart…. She could never ever face Shivaay after whatever she had done with him…. She moved back and held the desk for support…. She could not look into his eyes ever again….
Shivaay had seen her but decided not to let her presence affect him….
Mallika and Dushyant kept quiet and decided not to speak anything…. Silence was the best thing to keep matters away from going in unwanted directions….
Prachi was also not sure how to react…. She stood beside her friend….
Shivaay: I think I should come later; you seem to be busy with some things.
Arjun: No, not at all, you come, take a seat.
Arjun signed the others and they walked out of the room…. As Anika was about to go, she stopped hearing her name….
Shivaay: You can stay Ms. Raichand, I am here with an invitation for the entire Raichand family, and you need not go anywhere.
His voice felt so different…. There was no love, no care and no affection in his voice for her…. Anika felt thousand knives piercing her heart…. She however controlled her tears and looked at him…. For a brief moment their eyes met, but he quickly turned to Arjun….
Shivaay: Yes, as you know Prinku’s wedding has been fixed. It is three days and you have to come with your family. Tomorrow is the sangeet and I am sure I’ll see you all there.
Arjun: You didn’t have to be so formal Shivaay; you could have just called me, this invitation….
Shivaay: Invitation is not for my best friend Arjun, the invite is for Ms. Raichand, I have a formal relation with her, and she has helped a lot in the past, I had to come myself to make sure the invite reached her. Also, I had been to her office, but they informed me that she was here; I thought it was the right chance to meet her as well as you. Little did I know that I’ll meet some other people too.
With every word Shivaay spoke, Anika’s guilt increased…. Shivaay stood up from his seat and forwarded the card towards Anika…. She took it without looking at him….
Shivaay: I am sure you’ll come Ms. Raichand.
Anika just gave a slight nod and walked out of the room…. She could not take it any longer….
As she walked away, Shivaay did notice her tears and he wished to stop her but he composed himself…. She did not deserve him and he had no reasons now to feel hurt for her….
Pretending is not a difficult thing to do….
But pretending that it doesn’t hurt you when in reality it is killing everything inside you is difficult….
Pretending to be fine when everything is wrong is not easy….
Similarly, it was not easy for Anika to be always pretending to be fine, to show that nothing was hurting her….
It had been more than three years to that dreadful day and yet she could not gather herself up again…. Her heart that had been broken once, it could not dare to love again…. She knew Shivaay loved her truly and that he would never leave her alone, but still a part of her was afraid….
Afraid to fall in love again…. Afraid to get broken again…. Afraid to be left alone again…. Afraid to move on…. Afraid to be happy….
She had developed this fear in her mind that if she again fell in love with someone and that she found someone who could make her happy, she would again end up losing that person and no matter what happened, she did not have the courage to face all that again…. She could not survive any of those dreadful days again….
She had forgiven Dushyant, but she had not forgotten anything….
And she would never forget anything….
And hence it was better to pretend…. Pretend that she did not love him…. Pretend that it did not hurt her…. Pretend that he did not affect her…. Pretend that she was fine….
She wiped the tears that were ready to flow and composed herself…. She washed her face with the cold water and looked at her reflection in the mirror…. She put on her widest smile and told herself to be strong…. And with a composed mind, she walked out of the washroom….
Nothing and no one could affect her….
As Anika walked out of the room…. Shivaay turned back to look at Arjun….
Shivaay: I should get going, I have an important meeting. See you tomorrow.
Shivaay smiled at Arjun and turned to go outside…. Shivaay was about to go out of the door when Arjun’s words stopped him….
Arjun: She loves you Shivaay and she needs you.
Shivaay turned to look at Arjun…. He did not know how to react….
Arjun: Annie, she loves you Shivaay, don’t do this to her, don’t leave her.
Shivaay: I think you don’t know Arjun, but it was not me who left her. She is the one who left me.
Arjun: And did you try to know why she did it….
Shivaay did not know what to say…. He never tried…. He never tried to know why Anika left him…. He had only assumed things….
Arjun: Shivaay, before deciding anything, just try to know her reasons once.
Shivaay just nodded at Arjun’s words and walked out of the cabin….
Shivaay sat in his car thinking about Arjun’s words….
Arjun was right; he had never tried knowing the reason for Anika’s behavior…. He had assumed that she did not love him…. He had assumed that she still loved Dushyant…. Even today when he had seen them together, he had assumed things…. This was not right….
If Arjun was saying that she loved him, then it was true…. If Arjun was asking him to find the reason, he should…. If Arjun was saying that she needed him, then it was true….
Arjun’s words were making Shivaay think more and more….
He closed his eyes tightly and took some breathes…. He opened his eyes….
Shivaay: I have to find out why Anika is denying that she loves me. I have to know what she is stopping her from being with me.
Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing well.
Here is the next chapter of the story, do share your views on the same.
So, will Arjun and team find the evidences against the Malhotra brothers? Will Shivaay find why Anika denied loving him? Will Anika be able to get over her fears?
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