Another clutter sounded on the windowshield. Storm was brewing up outside like there is no tomorrow.
Toss and turn. She sighed with helplessness but sleep had no plan of showing any mercy on her completely exhausted self tonight. And her massively changed physical anatomy was not helping her either. It was a cruel night she tought as she sum up the events. Lying on the bed seemed futile, so, she stepped out of the bed and walked out.
The corridors were eerily quiet. So was the hall. She didn’t want to be alone tonight. Her eyes unmindly searched for the crtain someone. ‘Has he slept already?’ she wondered looking towards the closed door on her way.
‘Don’t think about Him.’ Her inner voice chided.
Sighing in exasperation she made it to the end of the hall and looked out of the curtained window. It was hard to make out anything if not for the occasional lightning piercing the stark dark sky. She couldn’t just walk away but the longer she stared outside, creepier it felt. As if on the cue the wallclock announced the arrival of midnight and just thunder found it best to strike. She scurried herself away from there with a shriek and made it back to her room in a record time. Without any delay she jumped into the bed. For some reason her heart was racing uncontrollably. She felt hot and cold altogether. She felt lonely, and scared. She knew the dark shadows lurking around the corners was the figment of her imagination, however, it didn’t free her from digging herself into the covers.
“It’ll pass.” She chanted over like a mantra.
“Are you alright?”
The voice like a vile in any other time let some warmth to seep into her scared system. Getting out of the thick covers she stared at the man now approaching towards her.
“You are sweating!” Standing by her side he observed her closely.
Go away. She would have yelled at him in any other occasion but at this moment apart from gazing up into his eyes she could do nothing. Ever so slowly his hand carresed her sweaty forehead gently. Relief spread her system in the little warmth it produced.
“You’re running cold.” He said tersely, tensed muscles creasing on his forehead.
Suddenly she felt his warm hands travelling down her body ever so quickly. Earlier hesitance left his feature as he observed her body temperature hastily. Sweaty and cold. She was turning pale with every second. A lowly grumble left her throat. A surge of drowsinees suddenly darkening her vision.
“I’m sleepy.” She whispered hardly understandable to her own.
“You can’t sleep. Hey! Ragini! Open your eyes dammit.” His hand all hot and cold patted her cheek. “No, no, no, no!! Don’t do this to me now. Hey, open your eyes. Please.” She felt his hand shaking her but his panicked voice lowered into void and before she would know it her concsiousness slipped into the nothingness.
Then she opened her eyes. Again. Her body felt taut and achy but there was a delicious warmth cocooning her body. Stirring she leaned to the source and realisation hit her with the knowledge of an unnoticed restraint gripping on her right hand not letting her to move comfortably around.
She looked at her hand which was connected to the IV drip stand by the side. However a masculine hand over her own was what caught her attention.
“You woke up.” His gruff voice hit her ear.
Her body went rigid for a moment but then she scurried her body to her side making a safe distance between them. And now that she faced him lying in the same bed only one thing registered her mind, his bare chest.
“What are you doing here…..llike that?” She questioned assesing herself for a hint of something.
Satisfied with the result of assessment she got out of the bed and removed the IV drip that was empty by now. His eyes followed her every action but he made no move of getting anywhere out of there, if anything, he snuggled more comfortably into the covers.
“What are you doing now? Get out.”
She impatiently wait for him to get out of her bed but he didn’t budge even a bit.
“I said get out of my bed.”
Huffing in annoyance she pulled the sheets with all her strength but lose her footing in the process and toppled over.
His hands securely gripped on her shoulder breaking the possible impact it would have surely caused her babybump had he not shot out his hand on time. She shuddered with the thought. She was still so dazed that it didn’t occur to her how close he had pull her until she felt him hugging close to his……bare chest.
“What the hell!!” She shrieked trying to break free from his hold.
“Don’t move.” His ocean deep voice downed her struggle and the next words stopped her altogether, “I was scared out of my mind when you passed out like that. Let me assure myself that you are fine now.”
She felt stupid for letting this happen but the situation overpowered her mind and action. Laying by his side embraced to his heart she could only wonder why is it so unbelievably comfortable here! She looked at her palms flat on his bare chest. She could feel the rhythm of his wild heartbeat that was reasoning hers. It amazed her and intrigued at the same time.
Don’t fool yourself, her inner voice chided. The whole situation was a misfit. What lead it this far! It stunned her to be in such proximity with him. This was the same man who turned her world upside down.
With that last thought she pushed him with all her might. His eyes were drowsy. All in all he looked really tired but that however didn’t stop her from kicking him out of her room.
She pushed him out of the bed until he was down on the floor with a thud.
“I SAID GET OUT.” She screamed annoyed seeing him not making any move to get out.
“Alright woman!” He got up from the floor upset and glanced at her stiff form.
“Now what are you waiting for? GO. GET OUT.”
“Heard the very first time. No need to give an earbleed.” He grumbled distastefully and turn to leave.
“Guess you are really fine now.” She didn’t miss him mutter under his breath before limply walking out of the room.
“Sanskar called you!!” The Lady yelled in a surprise tone. “Why didn’t you tell me then?”
“Don’t excite yourself. You are not in a good shape already.” The old man grumbled.
The lady puckered her lips and muttered in her breath, “I would have gone with you.”
“Annapurna, he is not that child who would come to you for every little thing. He has changed a lot.”
A shadow loomed her face and it hurt him to see her like that.
“Maybe, he would want to see me. Didn’t he call you?” She said with a hopeful glint in her eyes. “That alone says, he need us. We can’t leave him like that Durga, afterall, we’re a family.”
“He has cut off his ties with us a long time back when he choose his drunkard, good for nothing father over us. Don’t overthink about that call.” Durgaprasad swallowed hard reminiscing the day back. “And he called for a business. He is not alone anymore.”
“We can’t say he was wrong for choosing to stay with his father.” She said lowly then looked at her husband again. “But what do you mean he is not alone anymore?”
“You wouldn’t like to know.”
“Why wouldn’t I? He is my Anandita’s soul. Just tell me already.” She said running out of patience.
He looked over his wife on a wheelchair, looking with those beady, hopeful eyes. He didn’t want to make her sad, not when she was counting her last days.
“He is married and about to be a father.”
He stared at the email on his computer screen without heeding at all to its content. His focus was somewhere else today. Or say, someone else.
‘What was that?’ He questioned himself remembering how he almost kissed her.
“Pull yourself together Lucky. She is not Kavita.” He pulled out his hair frustrated.
The intercom on his desk beeped giving him the needed distraction.
“Sir, Mr Akhil Solanki wants to have few words with you.” His PA said and waited for the order.
The face of a slick, mannerless jerk popped in his head. He never liked the man from the first glance. He was not in the mood to have his company but his sudden visit got his curiosity. He ordered to let him in.
As soon as the man barged inside his cabin like an uncultured animal he is, Lucky welcomed him with a question,
“What must be the reason for this sudden visit Mr Solanki?”
“Why the rush Kashyap?” Akhil said and sat down on a chair as if he owned it.
“I would not like to beat around the bush you know.” Laksh said matter of factly.
“I like your straightforward attitude Kashyap. Lets do it your way then, I don’t like that Swara is living under the same roof with you. You see, we still have something going on and this thing is really getting on my nerve. If it was someone else I would have taken care of him long time ago but you are someone valuable to my father that’s why I’m just giving you a visit.” Akhil smirked crookedly. “I believe you understood me very well.”
“Very well.” Lucky mirrored his expression.
“I like it that you are not that difficult. I can see you will go big.” Akhil stood up flashing his dainty smile.
“Your visit was actually helpful Mr Solanki. Rest assured.” Laksh smirked inside.
He slept like a dead. Giri cleared His schedules seeing His state and informed her how He had take care of her all night. She didn’t know how to take that information well but it somewhat made her nheart a little heavy. She remembered him engulfing herself in a warm embrace while securing her IV drip connected hand at the side. It only weighed her heart even more. She debated whatever she had done, he deserved it all but it however didn’t stop her mind from thinking how ungrateful she has acted.
She didn’t mind it or say she tried her best to not mind it but when the evening came and he was still not up, worry started to creep into her head. Without entertaining anymore thoughts she walked straight into his room. The darkness was slowly consuming the room. She switch on the table lamp and watched his numbly sprawled form on the bed. His sleeping form was a sight to see. He looked totally opposite of himself. Peaceful, vulnerable and childlike. Without even realising, her hand shot up to smooth out array of hair off his forehead. As stupid as the act was at first she still continue to carress his forehead as a gratitude for what he had done for her the other night.
The movement was broke all of a sudden by a hand capturing her at the place and she found herself caged in a pool of brown swirl. Her head run wild for the answers she could provide for the possibe questions he would ask. But all he did was stared at her and as if nothing happened his eyes drooped down and he went back to sleeping. She released the tensed breath she was holding for a while and look at their entertwine hands.
Before she could do anything the door to the room creaked open and a blindening light pierced any ounce of darkness there.
“Oh! You’re here.” Giri’s poker face didn’t hid the surprise in his tone finding her there.
“I…Just wanted to know…I mean…if he is alrright.” She uttered foolish to her own ear freeing her hand with a jerk but not before his sneaky eyes catching the sight of it. “He has been sleeping for hours you know, so, I was checking, if he, you know…”
“I got it Mam.” Giri saved her from anymore of ramblings.
“I guess I can retire back to my room now that I’ve seen him. And you’re also here to take care of him.” She mumbled lowly feeling the odd taste of her own words.
She had made it hardly to the door when Giri stopped her.
“Actually, I was thinking about having a few words with you Mam. That is if you don’t mind!”
They hardly had a very few occasions to deal when they exchanged a few words, however it still stunned her as how formal the man in front of her can be every time they met. She never had any opinion about him but now that she thought about it he was like an unbreakable part of Sanskar.
Unsure but curious she nod her head and walk out of the room with him. As soon as they made it to the hall he struck the matter at hand cutting to the chase.
“You might be thinking why would I want to talk to you! Its just to say that, don’t let your guards down. You need to be really catious.” His words held a kind of seriousness.
It threw her offbeat as she stared at him stupified.
“I’m talking about you being around Mr Maheswari.” He cleared himself looking at her now a little shocked expression.
“Why? Are you jealous that I get to live with him, because trust me I’m really not liking it myself a least bit.” She mocked him unsure of his sudden interest of her wellbeing. His face sure had crease a bit by her reference but he didn’t let it get to him too much. “I mean, why would you suggest something like that against your employer? You dont seem like that kind of person!!”
She observed him closely. She could hardly trust people now and he was definitely not the one she would consider even once. Her verbal attack didn’t do anything, he still was calm and collected.
“Its not about my loyalty. You need to know some things about him.” Although she wanted to spat that she had no interest in knowing His business, but the graveness in his voice shut her to get into the actual matter. “He has been taking anxiety pills for years. But it seems he’s been missing it recently.”
“Why was he taking those pills?”
“He”s been suffering OCD.”
Though she anticipated something like this but it still didn’t do much to save her from a shock.
“How serious is it?” She carressed her belly unconsciously, gulping the knot lodging at her throat.
“Though its been a long time I had seen him in such condition but he can go to the extends…” He hesitated to continue but went on after all. “He went sucidal at one point.”
Her mind buzzed with the information. She curld her fingers on her belly fisting her clothe along. It was hard for her to take this all in.
“I’m not trying to scare you here. What I’ve came to know is that he had a hard time as a child. It may sound really odd but please try to understand him just a little. He is no saint, I know. And after the things he had done to you, you might not even consider him as a human too. There is no excuse for his deed and I also feel guilty for the happening…”
“And still, you want my empathy for him!” It came out more colder than she had intended, the uneasy look on his always poker face managed to say it all.
“I know its too much to ask of you. His rude, adamant and rotten personality is too much to handle. But its for your own benefit. He has been controlling his weakness for a quite while but its still not safe for you to be around when all you do is keep pushing him on the edge.”
She felt offended with his last words but before she could say anything he beat her to it, “Don’t be offended. I was only stating the fact. I don’t know what to make out of his recent behaviours but one thing I know is that it all involves you, directly or indirectly. You can be a good thing or bad thing for him. But if he somehow loses his control it surely won’t be a good thing for you.”
“Then you should help me get away from him.” She suggested with zero hope.
“That’s not an option. Don’t even think of that. He would hound you to hell, skinning me alive in the process.” His no nonsense tone popped her bubble in an instant. “I can only suggest you don’t try to tick him off.”
“What a helpful advice coming from you.” She rolled her eyes sarcastically.
“I may seem like a robot most of the time but I’m still a human.”
She couldn’t differ if he understood her obvious sarcasm or if his stiff personality is what his mind is like, though it was hard to believe the latter. either way she felt irritated.
“You’re unbelievable.” She huffed walking away from him, ‘And ignorant.’ Her inner voice added.
Thank you so much for reading.
I didn’t thought I would be welcomed back with such warmth. Thanks guys for your constant support.
Thanks for taking your time and dropping your heartfelt comments. I will make sure to not disappoint you.
SPREAD POSITIVITY AND KEEP SMILING DEA…S.