Hey, you all! Thank you for your support and wishes, they really mean a lot. I’ve been replying to your comments in the previous update, but I’m not sure if you guys check through them. Please let me know about that. But for now, here’s the next part. Happy Reading!
LUKA CHUPPI – PART 3
“You know what? I’m heading toward my apartment. We’re going to stay there for the night and we’ll figure out the rest in the morning tomorrow.”
Riddhima stared at the uprooted tree for a longer second before turning toward Vansh and squinting her eyes. She didn’t know how he was commanding over her ever since they’d begun leaving the library, but she needed to stop him.
Vansh (interrupting): I know you’d say no, but that’s also why I’m not giving you an option.
As Riddhima raised her voice to yell at him, he turned the knob on the stereo and increased the volume to quieten her. When the loud volume fell over the expanse inside the car, Riddhima huffed in anger and turned away, looking outside the window. She didn’t like how comfortable he was around her. He was supposed to be guilty, after all.
They hadn’t seen each other since the last three years and Riddhima believed, he couldn’t just return and behave like nothing had ever happened. Like, how he’d never looked back for her. Like, how he’d almost forgotten her, if not for her sister’s best-friend. Like, how he had never tried contacting her in those years.
She stared at the pool of water on the ground and folded her arms across herself. Despite what he did, Riddhima wasn’t going to let him see through her. She knew, she’d hidden herself too well in the past few years.
Riddhima looked around the apartment, her gaze wandering over the showpieces and the framed pictures. The interior design in the apartment was incorporated with a modern Bohemian touch and she liked how minimally it was decorated.
Moments later, Vansh walked into the room holding two wine glasses and a bottle of wine in his hand and sat next to Riddhima, placing the contents in his hands on the table before them.
Vansh: You’re okay with wine? Or, do I get you something else?
Riddhima (shaking her head): I don’t…
Vansh (opening the bottle of wine and laughing): You’ve gotten drunk with me before, Riddhima. So, don’t lie. But if you can’t suggest, we’re going to stick to wine.
Riddhima: I’ve lectures to deliver tomorrow. I can’t be drinking now.
Vansh: How do you’ve so many excuses lined up all the time? Alright, let’s play a game of ‘Never Have I Ever’, then you can be drinking lesser.
Riddhima (sighing): Fine! But only because we’ve nothing to do now.
Vansh poured wine into both the glasses and twisted around toward her. The two of them faced each other and held their drinks in between on the leatherette of the sofa.
Vansh: Okay, let’s see… Never have I ever gotten stuck in rains.
Riddhima (looking at him disappointed): Are those the kind of questions you’re going to ask? Is it not obvious with today’s scenario?
The two of them sipped the drink and Riddhima imitated Vansh, repeating his statement again.
Riddhima: Never have I ever snuck out of home late at night.
Vansh (sipping the drink): That’s pre-school! (noticing Riddhima drink) Wait, you’ve done it? I thought you were the disciplined kid. What did you sneak out for?
Riddhima (looking away): To celebrate your birthday…
Vansh: Really? When was this? I’ve never cut a cake with you late at night.
Riddhima: Yeah, it was the year you left. Ishani was missing you, so she wanted to celebrate somehow. But I’m sure, she wanted the cake.
Vansh (moving closer): And why were you celebrating?
Riddhima (absent-mindedly): Because I was missing (becoming conscious) Because um, I wasn’t going to miss the celebrations, of course.
Vansh (smiling): Of course, of course. Okay, next one – Never have I ever gotten drunk.
Riddhima: Should I pour this drink over you?
Vansh laughed at her annoyance and the two of them sipped their drink again.
Riddhima: Never have I ever received gifts from stalkers.
Vansh: That hasn’t… You have?
Riddhima (nodding): Apparently. And this sh*t is happening at your library. That’s actually why I’m stuck here with you right now.
Vansh (furrowing his brows): Remind me about this tomorrow again. We’ve to find out who’s cracking this joke on… Hold on, was that why you were so tensed in the library today?
Riddhima (nodding): Okay, but let’s continue the game for now. We can do nothing worrying about it right now. (looking at him) Ask!
Vansh: Okay… Never have I ever fallen in love.
Riddhima and Vansh (together): You have?
The two of them argued with each other, wanting to know who the other one has fallen in love with. But as they kept arguing, they realised, neither of them was going to share, so they continued with the game.
As the game continued, the two of them began getting tipsy and began sharing stuff they wouldn’t have in their completely conscious state. A while later,
Riddhima: Never have I ever ignored anyone.
Vansh: Hey, you should be finishing this entire glass for that. You’ve been ignoring me since the time I left.
Riddhima (laughing): Not me, you should be. You’ve ignored me for three whole years. (moving closer to Vansh) You deserted me all this while. No texts, No calls, No nothing.
Vansh: Excuse me! I did everything to get in touch, but you kept ignoring me. (finding his phone) Let me show you the number of times I’ve tried contacting you.
Vansh swiped a finger through the screen and unlocked the device, before tapping on the screen. After a few seconds, he held the phone in front of Riddhima and showed her the several times he’d texted and called her, but she hadn’t replied. She stared at the thread of the texts, her eyes widening and she searched for her own phone.
Riddhima: I swear, I haven’t received texts from you, ever. (holding up her phone) Look! The last conversation I’ve had with you was before you’d left.
Vansh (holding her phone): Did you block me or something? How can you not receive the messages just like that?
Riddhima: Why the hell will I block you, Vansh?
Vansh (tapping on the screen): I am listed under blocked contacts, though.
He held the phone to show her and Riddhima stared at the screen in shock. She tried recalling if she’d blocked him by mistake, but she knew she hadn’t. He’d always been one of her starred contacts and she could’ve never thought of blocking him from her list of contacts.
Riddhima: I haven’t done this. Must be some software error.
Vansh: There’s never been any software error to block contacts, Riddhima. (pausing briefly) Have you shared your password with anyone? Someone else could’ve had done it.
Riddhima (folding her hands across herself): I’ve no one in my circle who’d do this stupid thing. Only Ishani and Kabir know…
Vansh (interrupting): I knew it. That guy was never fit for you. Always felt something was fishy with him.
Riddhima: You don’t even know him, Vansh. Don’t judge him. And we shouldn’t be blaming…
Vansh (interrupting and holding her by the shoulders): Listen, I know my sister, okay? She’d never do such a horrible thing. And if these are the only two people who know your password, then it has to be him. There’s no one else.
Riddhima (softly): But why would he…
Vansh (in a frustrated voice): You don’t see it, do you? There’s clearly a love triangle, and he doesn’t want to take any chances.
Riddhima: What love triangle?
Vansh: You, me and Ka… (inhaling deeply) I guess, we should call it a night now.
As Vansh turned around to leave, Riddhima wrapped her fingers around his wrist and stood up. She walked up to him and stood before him, placing her hands on his cheeks. He looked down and shut his eyes, softly pressing his lips to inside of her palms. Riddhima stared at him silently, wanting time to slow down and noticed how his lashes rested on his cheeks. She noticed, again after so many years, how gorgeous he was.
As she continued looking at him and recalled his confession from before, she couldn’t avoid the tears that leaked through her eyes. How had she misunderstood him since the past three years? He’d tried talking to her several times, but she’d always ignored him, taking it upon her ego at times, too.
Riddhima (pressing her forehead against him): I’m sorry.
As the sun rays filtered through the curtains, Riddhima woke up in the morning and looked around herself, trying to figure out her surroundings. Seconds later, when she saw Vansh lying next to her, on the adjacent sofa, she jumped up and looked at him.
She held her head in between her palms and massaged her temples. She couldn’t understand why her head seemed to burst from pain. But as her gaze settled upon the glasses on the sofa, she remembered the instances from the previous night. But a part of the night still seemed blurry to her and she sat down again, trying to recall.
She shifted in her place, pulling out the thing she’d sat on top of and held it before her. As she stared at the phone in her hands, she recalled their conversation which involved their phones. Moments later, she walked up to Vansh and pressed his finger against the sensor to unlock his phone.
When she stared at the screen, her gaze settled on the text messages in the conversation. As she continued reading through them, the events from the previous night slowly began resurfacing and she looked at Vansh, her lips curving into a small smile.
She’d missed him so dearly.
As the clock continued to tick by, she sipped the coffee in her hand and tied her hair to leave from his apartment. Before anything was said and done anymore, she wanted to talk to Kabir, first. If he’d truly blocked Vansh’s contact from her account, it was about time she called off things with him. She fished out the phone from her purse and swiped her finger on the screen.
Riddhima (via text): I’m going to be at your campus by 9. We need to talk.
After she tapped on the screen to send the message, she looked around the apartment for a piece of paper and pen. When she found a bunch of sticky notes sprawled on the kitchen counter, she picked one of them and stuck it on the refrigerator, scribbling a small note for Vansh to read later.
Riddhima (on the note): I’m leaving. Please don’t contact me, yet.
[UPCOMING: Riddhima confronts Kabir. Later, she is kidnapped.]
That’d be it for this episode. I guess, things are pretty much out in the open now. But let me know what you thought of this part and if there are any suggestions. Also, I think, I’ve almost figured that there are going to be about 8-10 parts of this FF, so I hope it doesn’t get boring by then. Thank you for reading!