: Meant to be: Episode 1
Greetings all you lovely people! I believe we are off with a decent start owing to all your love, thank you so much for that! Happy reading!
What we saw in the prologue: Aditi awaits someone in Twinkle’s café – appears to be a regular there – Twinkle runs into Yuvi outside and just before they make their way back in, the former has a visitor, and the encounter doesn’t seem to go too well. Yuvi prevents Twinkle from reading a newspaper article on Kunj.
“Yes, Yuvi, I get it! You are bringing over a friend –” Twinkle’s uninterested repetition of the facts was interrupted by Yuvi, “– family! I said, family, Twinkle!” She sighed deeply, nodding at him, mostly trying to put off any more of his reiterations. “You’re making something special, right?” He asked, peeking over her shoulder to check for himself. “No!” She hit back, now glaring at him. However, making eye contact at that moment seemed to be a wrong step, for he was shooting his puppy eyes at her now. Yes, she was firm with her principles regarding the café – ‘The most important of them all is that no stranger, no matter how ‘dear’ to anyone, gets special treatment, Yuvraj!’ She had argued even that morning, just as she and Maya had opened the kitchens. ‘But me and Aditi get all the special treatment you can offer, Twinkle!’ The reply had come in a beat, and she couldn’t deny that either, much like him nagging her around later, which had led to him sneaking around right now, as a matter of fact. She couldn’t refuse Yuvi too sternly nevertheless, she owed him a lot to be rude to him.
“Alright, I’ll make those cupcakes that you like.” She gave in finally, passing him a small smile in response to his victorious grin. She had only returned her attention to the batter when he quipped in, “The spiced cookies too, while you’re on a roll?” She wiped her hands on her apron before crossing them and turning to him. “Now you’re pushing your luck!” She informed him and he threw up his arms in surrender before laughing it off. He had only got to the door when she called after him, “I’ll make them.” He spun in his place in surprise, she hadn’t agreed so easily when he had brought his only other special guest a few months ago after all. “Only because your friend – family, I mean – means so much to you.” She added quickly, but he didn’t seem to mind as long as he had got his way with the menu for the day. “He’s going to love this place!” Yuvi declared in his usual singsong fashion, passing her a kind smile before muttering under his breath, “I hope I’ll succeed in helping you open up more this way!”
Yuvi had arrived right on time, just like he always did. It was Twinkle who had got so carried away in experimenting the new recipe she had checked out the previous night that she had lost all track of time, and the frosting of his cupcakes had remained. She had rushed off Maya to take orders while she was at it, hoping she would finish in time, which, given her experience and natural talent was definite. She smiled at the order slip Maya handed her over, recognizing Yuvi’s scribbled ‘Get out here!’ at the bottom. She picked up the beverages in a tray first, and steeped out hurriedly, instructing Maya to take the dish off the stove after it had cooked enough, stepping backwards out of the door and turning around without second thought, bumping into someone, tray and all.
She stilled, literally froze at the moderately large stain on the blazer the person was wearing, her eyes widening and jaw dropping at how the coffee had ruined the apparently rich clothing completely. Her mind had dwindled back to the exact same occurrence from over a couple of years ago and her eyes shut of their own accord, dreading the worst. Before she knew it, she was mumbling a very incoherent apology, but the person in front of her didn’t seem annoyed at all, for he hadn’t said a single word. Yet. She looked up, her fears only worsening at the completely new face. His eyes still held warmth despite her blunder and he smiled at her kindly, surprising her. She had to literally tear away her eyes from his – ones that she feared she would drown in for some reason, they held so much amiability in them – to be able to think straight. This didn’t seem to be leading to the shouting and taunting that had happened on the previous occasion.
‘A new customer, Twinkle! And you spoilt his blazer? What a wonderful way to chase people away and ruin your chances of ever owning this café!’ Her mind pointed out, making her gulp hard. “I’m really sorry. I was in a hurry and …” She trailed off, her hands taking over her explanation with vague gestures, but the man’s smile only widened, in contrast to the frown she was expecting. “That’s absolutely alright. Really.” He spoke his first words, and she let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding in. “I should have looked where I was headed too.” He added quietly, his eyes lowering to assess the damage. “Take this off –” She said, pausing when he snapped his head up at her. “I’m sorry?” He questioned, watching her weirdly, and she knew he had begun to reconsider his decision of coming to the café in the first place. “That’s not what I meant!” She jumped up in her defense, hating how nervous she sounded. “I just want to help with that stain. We’ve got baking soda in the kitchen…” She said in a single breath, and he relaxed almost immediately, letting out a little laugh.
Twinkle backed away from this man slowly, her eyes now taking in more of his form. He definitely had the looks that could make girls swoon over him, she noted, but again, she wasn’t like any other girl herself, she had greater goals than would allow her to be drifted away by good looking men. Besides, she had encountered several such people before too, and none had managed to sway her resolve. “Kunj!” A familiar voice broke her reverie just in time to see Yuvi walking towards them. “I see you’ve already met Twinkle. She’s the manager and head chef here.” He commented casually, his eyes drifting between the two of them momentarily. Twinkle, although more embarrassed now with the realization that this man was the one Yuvi had been blabbering insufferably about, managed to flash her cheerful welcoming smile at the stranger – ‘Kunj!’ her mind pointed out immediately – before looking over to Yuvi. “I’ll just go get your drinks again. Why don’t you get back to your table?” She suggested, returning to her composed tone effortlessly. They exchanged a quick glance and nodded in agreement before walking away, while Twinkle rushed into the kitchen, sending cleaning help to get rid of the mess she had just created.
“Your coffee.” Twinkle’s soft voice made Kunj look up from his laptop. A smile crept up his face – one he had absolutely no control over – at the memory of her looking so worried over something as insignificant as a stain. He had subconsciously termed her cute right then. Watching her up close as she set the table, a few loose strands of her hair played around by the gentle breeze held him enraptured at the sight. “Where’s Yuvi?” She asked as she straightened up. He cleared his throat, wondering why he had suddenly gone wordless, but managed to get out a “He had to take a call. He’ll be back anytime now.” She smiled at him, choosing to apologize again, “I’m sorry about your blazer. That doesn’t happen all the time, I really don’t know how I could be so careless! But please don’t let that effect your opinion of the place!” He blinked at her quietly, making her fear she had already lost this customer and more importantly, Yuvi’s firm faith in her, but Kunj smiled again, relieving her. “OF course not!” He said once, and then repeated himself, softer and more reassuring.
“I’ll let you in on a little secret, I don’t really like this blazer anyway. An absolute idiot gifted it to me and now I have to wear it, lest he should be annoyed.” Kunj spoke conversationally, as he watched her glance in the direction of the main doors, presumably waiting for Yuvi. “Hey!” She heard Yuvi’s voice from right behind her – he had probably just taken his call by his preferred corner. “I gifted you that!” He said, making Twinkle gasp. She had messed up really bad. “I know.” Kunj replied nonchalantly, sipping his coffee and humming appreciatively before nodding his acknowledgement at her. “Yuvi was right! Your food is just too good for words!” Kunj continued – another reason to like the girl – as though Yuvi was not glaring at him. Twinkle stood quietly, unaware of whether she had to be gladly accepting the praise like she always did, or trying to cool Yuvi down. “Kunj! How dare you say that about my gift?” Yuvi was almost screaming now, making Twinkle feel even more guilty about the whole thing. From all that Yuvi had said, Kunj and he seemed to be very close and that obviously meant Kunj cherished that blazer. And now, she had wrecked it and caused a quarrel between them. Kunj had refused to let her try to clean it too, despite her requests to let her. To top it all, Kunj had probably just put it off so that it wouldn’t bother her too much, making her feel even lesser of herself.
“Yuvi, I’m sorry! This is all my fault! I was worried I would make your special guest wait too long and hurried out without even looking…” Her explanation wasn’t even complete when Yuvi burst out laughing. She noticed that Kunj too had been smiling to himself. She had only begun to pray that she hadn’t done anything more stupid when Yuvi said, “Don’t be, Twinkle! I’m sure Usha aunty will call you up herself if she’s unable to get this stain off. She’s dealt with so many of mine after all. Besides, Kunj and I keep bickering all the time, all in good taste. Absolutely nothing you should be getting so worked up over!” She glanced at Kunj who was now looking at her directly. He confirmed Yuvi’s reasoning, making her smack her forehead and allow herself a tiny giggle. She stopped abruptly though, a question popping up in her mind. “Usha aunty will?” She asked, looking at Yuvi who shut his eyes, a clear indication that he hadn’t intended for that to slip through, while Kunj seemed to be surprised at their expressions. “Kunj is Usha auntie’s son.” He mumbled, making her eyes widen.
That’s it for now, guys. Hope you had a good read. Please let me know. Initial encouragement is more important than I can stress. Also, please don’t jump to conclusions about Kunj yet, because we don’t know much right now. We will soon, and then you’ll know more about him. Until next time, lots of love!!