Hey, you all! Thank you for your support and wishes, it really means a lot. In case of any confusions, please let me know through the comments, so I can see where I’m lacking at conveying the message and can clear it to you all as soon as possible.
After Seanna asked via the comments, I figured there might be a lot of confusion with how the story began, so here’s a small breakdown, summary rather, of the past:
Riddhima has been best friends with Ishani since her middle-school and over time, she’d also come across Vansh and had spent quite some amount of time with him. In the process, Riddhima fell in love with Vansh, but she hadn’t shared her feelings with him. On the other hand, Vansh has always been ambitious and wanted to move out of the city. So, when Vansh moves out, Riddhima is shattered and she’s tried avoiding him ever since. And during the time Vansh was away, he hadn’t tried contacting her ever, which as per Riddhima, makes the process all the much simpler.
LUKA CHUPPI – PART 2
[Letters. Who writes letters anymore, with technology at the tip of fingers? Yet, here I am, writing letters to you. A lot of thoughtfulness, yes, but no one does that either. But you crush these papers and trash it in the bin. Why? Please, don’t.
From, Luka Chuppi]
[You didn’t seem well today. Those dark circles under your eyes and the features of your face crumbling into tiredness. You kept coughing and sneezing, and I really wanted to come and help you. But you wouldn’t take my help, I know. Since the season is changing, it’s easier to fall ill, but please take care. I hope, the next time I see you, you’d be perfectly fine.
This is really beginning to seem like Luka Chuppi (peek-a-boo) now.
From, Luka Chuppi]
[That blue dress you wore today looked absolutely stunning on you. So gorgeous! You held a sense of calmness and tranquillity to yourself today, and when your hair blew against the wind, I felt myself absorbed in you.
From, Luka Chuppi]
Riddhima stared at the pieces of paper on the table she’d laid on the table-top, concentrating on the scribbled ink. The handwriting seemed very familiar, but she couldn’t figure out who was writing her the stalkerish letters. She’d initially thought, the letters weren’t meant for her, but soon, they’d begun involving things about her.
She looked down at her dress once more, ensuring the colour was blue and picked up the phone from the table. She decided to put an end to this today. Swiping a finger across the screen, she entered the password and typed in a text message to Ishani.
Riddhima (via text): I’m coming over. Don’t close the library.
She shoved the phone inside her purse and walked out of her house, determined to end this. She revved the engine of her scooter and drove toward her destination. How could anyone think she’d sit back and let a stalker overwhelm her?
When Riddhima walked inside the library, she felt the droplets of water on herself and looked up at the sky. In the fit of her rage, she hadn’t noticed how cloudy and dark the sky looked. As the droplets of rain continued falling on her, she shook her head and walked inside.
She’d reached before the closing time, but the library had almost emptied, besides the few people who were issuing their books and hurrying to leave. Maybe, she should’ve stayed at home for the night and figured this matter the next day.
Vansh (over the distance): Hey, why are you here at this hour?
Riddhima (walking toward the counter): Where’s Ishani?
Vansh: She hasn’t been here since the evening. I doubt she’s coming. If you need something, just tell me.
Riddhima (fishing out her phone): I texted her while leaving, so she must be coming.
Vansh: At least, find the books…
Riddhima walked away, sitting down on one of the chairs next to the floor-length windows and ignored him. She looked outside the window and mentally berated herself for coming here today. The weather had gotten worse and it had begun pouring heavily. Several people ran across the streets, trying to find a shelter, while a few others ran to return home.
Moments later, when she looked around, the library had almost emptied, leaving behind the two of them alone. When she turned around toward the counter, she saw Vansh closing the registers and shutting the computer, and she stared at him. She’d missed him for so long.
Vansh: Is she coming?
Riddhima (looking down at her phone): Mostly. She isn’t the one to ignore.
Vansh (looking up from the registers): If you’ve to taunt me, do it directly. Don’t beat around the bush all the time.
Riddhima: How does everything I say hurt your ego? (murmuring) You weren’t like this before.
Vansh: I heard that.
Riddhima (rolling her eyes): Good!
Vansh: But (sitting back) neither were you like this.
She stared at him over the distance, her eyes slowly moistening. She missed being her usual self around him. He’d always understood her so well, supporting her like her own shadow, that she’d never thought he’d leave her behind, ever. But he had, and she couldn’t forget how the pain had pierced through her back then.
Vansh (clearing his throat): Anyway, I guess Ishani isn’t coming. So, let’s not waste time here. We’d leave?
Riddhima: Sure, you can leave. You must have other stuff to do, right?
Vansh (walking toward the table): Ishani won’t come. Have you seen the weather outside? It’s impossible to come right now.
Riddhima (in a frustrated voice): Same, Vansh. I got my scooty, too. I can’t leave until the rain stops.
Vansh: Fine, I’d forgotten. There’s nothing to get hyper about.
Riddhima (smirking): Right! How many more things have you forgotten, Vansh?
Vansh: Can you please… (sighing) What’re we going to do now?
Riddhima stood up from her chair and looked outside the windows once again. The downpour had been worsening with each passing minute. She doubted if she could return home for the night. Seconds later, she looked back at Vansh and shrugged her shoulders.
Riddhima: You can give me the keys and leave. I’ll be here for the night.
Vansh (walking closer to her): Are you f*ck*ng kidding me? I’m not leaving you alone here for the night.
Riddhima turned around and looked at the city outside. She brushed the strands of hair from her face and shook her head, “Just leave.”
As the downpour continued, Riddhima sat on one of the tables and paged through a book mindlessly. She didn’t know where Vansh had disappeared, but she was glad, she didn’t have to be around him. Suddenly, her phone pinged and she picked it up from the table, unlocking the device.
Ishani (via text): Sh*t, I completely didn’t see this. I’m so sorry. Did you go to the library?
Riddhima: Yeah, but it’s okay.
Ishani: You’re back home?
Riddhima: Thanks for reminding me! But no, I’m stuck here with your brother who’s also disappeared to God knows where.
As Riddhima tapped on the screen to send the text, the lights in the library dimmed and the power failed. She looked around the darkness in the library and quickly switched on the flashlight of her phone. When the light brightened the surrounding areas, she stood up and slowly walked around.
Riddhima: Vansh? Vansh! Where are you?
She walked around in the darkness, the silence slowly enveloping her. The flashlight of the phone guided her through the way and she cautiously stepped further.
Riddhima: Vansh, if you’re still here, please come out. Please don’t crack this stupid joke on me.
She stopped in her tracks when she felt someone’s presence near herself and shut her eyes tightly. Several questions flooded her mind as she stood there, trying to control her fear. What if the stalker had followed her here and switched off the lights? She fisted her hands and gulped nervously.
Riddhima (in a scared voice): Please, let me go.
Vansh (standing behind her): And you asked me to leave? What a joke!
Riddhima jumped at the sudden voice and turned around, the features of her face crumbling in fear. As she flashed the light on his face, she threw her arms around him, immediately. She felt herself relaxing as she held him closer to herself, her worries from before slowly evaporating.
Moments later, when Riddhima held him close, Vansh wrapped his arms around hesitantly and pulled her closer. He rubbed his fingers on her back, trying to calm down her anxiousness. He didn’t know she’d have gotten so scared. As he continued rubbing her back, he felt her breaths even and she looked up at him, her eyes glistening in the darkness.
He continued looking at her and an exciting pulse coursed within him. He slowly brushed his fingers against her face and brushed the loose strands of hair from her face. His fingers lingered on her face, and his gaze slowly lowered, focussing on her plump lips. The pink pigment on her lips was too saturated and…
Riddhima (stepping away): Um,
Vansh (breaking out of the trance): Are you fine?
Riddhima (looking down): Uh, yes. Thanks!
Vansh: No worries. (pausing briefly) All good? You seemed just too scared.
Riddhima (shaking her head): It’s nothing. (in a hesitant voice) Sorry about that. I just…
Vansh: Sorry, I didn’t mean to. I know your boyfriend…
Riddhima (interrupting): Boyfriend, who?
Vansh (in a skeptical tone): The guy who picks you up from here? I’ve seen the two of you together?
Riddhima: Kabir? We are just good friends.
Vansh (smiling): I thought so. You deserve better than him. Some thousand times better.
Riddhima: Excuse me? You’re no one to say that.
Vansh: Right, sorry! (looking toward the entrance/exit) Come, I’ll drop you home. You can pick your scooty tomorrow.
Riddhima: No need. You can leave, if you want. I’ll be fine here.
Vansh: I saw how fine you’d be. (looking at her sternly) Ms. Riddhima Shah, if you don’t listen to me now, I’m going to pick you up and take you from here. (folding his hands and smirking) It’s upon you to decide now.
Riddhima: Are you threatening me? I’m not going anywhere with – Ah, what is this nonsense? Put me down, Vansh. I said, PUT ME DOWN!
Vansh (walking out of the library): I told you.
Vansh drove through the streets as the raindrops hit against the windshield. The rain hadn’t stopped yet and the city was almost drowning. He glanced toward the passenger seat, looking at Riddhima and a small smile curved the corners of his lips. How had the situation completely turned in his favour?
Vansh: Has there been any cyclone warning?
Riddhima (staring outside): I don’t know.
Vansh: Why are you so mad at me, Riddhima?
Riddhima: I’m not…
Vansh (interrupting and pressing the breaks suddenly): Sh*t!
Riddhima (sitting up straight): What the hell, Vansh? I…
When she looked at him, she saw him staring at the road ahead. She followed his gaze and looked ahead, staring outside the windshield and cursed under her breath. Seconds later, they turned around, looking toward each other and fell back against the seat, helplessly. What was this night turning into?
That’d be it for this episode. The next episode is going to be about Riddhima and Vansh stuck together, again. But let me know if you’d want me to add anything through your comments. Thank you for reading!