Hello everyone!! I’m so glad that you all are looking forward to this story, so here goes! I’ve had this vague idea on my mind for quite some time now, I hope it does well, and gets as much love as my other stories did. Also, this story is a form of wish fulfilment, I think a few readers who have stayed through my journey for some time will instantly pick up some references and hints I had been throwing for some time now. Even if you don’t figure it out now, you will by and by. Fingers crossed! Happy reading!
Twinj: Meant to be – The Prologue
Twinkle returned her glance to the table at the cozy corner after she had finished wrapping up a customer’s payments. Aditi was still sitting alone by herself; he was late. ‘Again! I’m so fed up, Twinkle!’ She would complain, although he was hands down the most punctual guy Twinkle could have sworn she had ever seen. And, having run the café for a couple of years now, she had seen enough couples to be able to make her claim without as much as a second thought. She eyed the clock briefly, sighing deeply as she figured he was an entire hour late. Aditi wouldn’t be happy, to say the least. She threw the anxiously waiting girl a kind smile nevertheless, before nodding knowingly at her staff member Maya. Maya had worked with Twinkle for long enough to know what that meant, and she hurried into the kitchen as soon as she received her boss’ order. She rushed back in less than a minute, with a slice of Twinkle’s signature red velvet pastry for Aditi, who appeared to cool down instantly. Twinkle felt a wave of relief rush through her. She felt she owed her friend this much at least.
“Yuvraj?” She muttered under her breath when she saw a familiar figure in the garden area right outside the café doors, making her hurry towards him. “Hey!” He greeted her dejectedly the moment he spotted her, looking down at his phone for what he made it look like the hundredth time. “What, may I ask, are you doing here?” She asked sternly, not even attempting to hide the disappointment in her tone, cutting through the regular cheerful greeting she always had in store for people who came to her café. It had been her everything after all. Her place of work, of course, but more importantly, her sanctuary, her escape, her source of new hope every day, the one thing that mattered most to her. And Yuvi knew it. He had seen it all. Been her constant and relentless pillar of support all along. Much more than she would have liked to admit. She hated that she had never actually become as independent as she would have liked. She could still feel the chills running down her spine as the words hurled so hatefully at her still rung in her ears, like it had been just that morning. ‘You are a disappointment, that’s what you are! And you have the audacity to be using that tone? You’ll never be able to make it on your own, you’ve grown so used to me being there for you at every step after all. You’ll have to come back to me, crying and begging! Mind my words!’
Yuvi tugged at Twinkle’s arm a little harder this time round, making her jump out of her reverie. He threw her a scrutinizing glare, reminding her of the reason she had been so annoyed at him in the first place. But she also knew him and so, as the realization of how stupid he must have been slowly seeped into her mind, her eyes widened. “Oh no.” He said, recognizing the look in her eyes. He threw her a questioning gaze and she nodded vigorously, knowing exactly what he was referring to. He sped past her into the café, calling out some incoherent words out of which she could only make out a ‘Why didn’t you tell me before?’ She giggled as she turned around in her place, watching him stumble on the last step like he always did. She could have even called it a ritual; he had done it that many times!
“Also, Twinkle?” Yuvi stopped in his tracks and looked at her, rousing curiosity in her. She didn’t miss the glint in his eyes though, and that she knew, meant bad news. “Yuvi, no!” She found herself exclaiming even before he had put forth whatever it was that he wanted to say. His shoulders slumped at that, but he hadn’t given up yet. “Yes. I am bringing a friend here tomorrow. Stop me if you can.” He hit back calmly before pushing open the door, smiling sweetly at her. They both knew she couldn’t stop him. Even if she wholeheartedly wanted to, which she never could, given that this was Yuvi. However, he didn’t just slip into the café in the hurry that he initially seemed to be in, his eyes straining at the entrance, making Twinkle look in that direction. She felt her breath hitch in her throat as she watched the luxurious car pull up right in front of the gate, and the driver jogged to open the door for his owner. Twinkle felt all the good vibes and positivity leave her as she caught sight of the person getting off the car. She stepped backwards involuntarily, almost tripping on the paved pathway.
“Twinkle!” She heard Yuvi whisper, his voice dripping of concern as he steadied her with one arm going around her. “Shall I just inform the driver to take his owner back? This is your café! Alright, you don’t own it yet, but you will soon, and as the manager, you have the rights to refuse anyone admission into this place!” He was speaking quickly, but none of that really entered her mind, her thoughts were whirling uncontrollably in her head. “You don’t have to be afraid, I’m right here!” He assured her, giving her arm a gentle squeeze to make her snap back into reality. She exhaled harshly, reminding herself to calm down. This was her battle, and hers alone, she repeated in her mind. “I’ll deal with this, Yuvi! You should go.” She said, her voice regaining composure sooner than Yuvi had known it to be possible. She was one strong girl. “No, I can…” He began his argument nevertheless, but she cut him short with a determined, “Really. I can handle this.” He flashed her an encouraging smile and gave her arm another squeeze before steeping away reluctantly, watching her carefully until the walls of the café prevented him from doing so. He would keep an eye through the open windows though, and they both knew it.
It had been a painfully long conversation this time, Yuvi noted the minute he spotted Twinkle walk back in through the glass doors. She looked worn out, like she had been working hard all day at some bulk order that came in last minute and she really needed the money so she couldn’t refuse it either. He had always offered her financial help in such situations, but she had outright refused him. This however, wasn’t the same kind of a situation. And he knew it without her having to say so explicitly. The fact that she had looked equally tired nevertheless bothered him. He quickly peeked through the window, to find the car gone. That was unusual, he mused. And the look on Twinkle’s face didn’t exactly say, ‘It was yet another “Come back, you are blowing this out of proportion, it’s already been so long!” I just refused the offer like always’ either. This seemed different. In a good way or bad, he couldn’t tell just yet.
Yuvi had only got to Twinkle’s cash counter to cheer her up when he heard shuffling beside him. “Twinkle! Your red velvet is truly out of this world! I know it’s only for your ‘elite’ customers, and that just makes me so happy to be one of them!” Aditi chattered cheerfully as she paid her bill, showering Twinkle with praises until the fake smile on Twinkle’s face molded into a genuine one. Yuvi grinned at Aditi, that girl did really good to Twinkle. His eyes though had spotted the headline on the newspaper in front of Twinkle. It spoke about Kunj Sarna, the businessman whose news was making rounds a lot in the town at that point. He was quick enough to realize that Twinkle hadn’t read it yet, else that paper wouldn’t be on her table in the first place. Also, she would have been going on and on about how ‘these rich people are given more importance in the society than they deserve! They aren’t even entitled to all this dignification!’ Although, he knew too well that all her resentment was caused by only certain people, and her disapproval this way was only a façade to the pain she was hiding within. He looked up at her and then, in a flash, snatched the paper from right under her nose, claiming he hadn’t found the time to catch up on the news that morning. Besides Twinkle’s not so secret hatred for the rich – with extremely few exceptions of course – he knew it was best not to let Twinkle read up on Kunj Sarna right now. That could have been an absolute disaster.
That’s it for now, guys! Tell me what you thought about it!! This will not be as long as ‘My Lifeline’, will run for probably a half number of episodes as that one, or even lesser. But hopefully it’ll keep you all engrossed nevertheless! Until next time, much love!!