Greetings everyone! Thank you so much for all the love and affection that you all have been showering this story with! Happy reading!
Twinj: My Lifeline: Episode 36
A quick recap: Twinkle unwittingly tells Usha that Kunj was going to meet Alisha. She and Usha spend some time together with Usha continually trying to get her to change her stand over sacrificing her own happiness for Kunj’s sake. Kunj spins up an imaginary situation to clarify his doubts about his own feelings for Twinkle.
Twinkle had become so used to waking up to the sight of Kunj sleeping peacefully beside her that him missing that morning seemed to be sufficient to spoil her mood. She looked at the wall clock, making sure she hadn’t slept in, surprising her further that Kunj had woken up and appeared to have left the room already, for she couldn’t find him anywhere. She looked at her phone expectantly, but couldn’t find any messages from him either, disappointing her further. She caught a glimpse of the date on the lock screen and let out a sigh. It was her birthday; he probably didn’t know that, just like everyone else, she told herself, for she had been very peculiar that way. She didn’t like having to spend the entire day receiving wishes, and preferred a quiet day at home with the only people whom she had trusted enough to let them into her closest circle, which actually meant Yuvi, Chinki and Leela. She had hoped Kunj would somehow, magically, find out about it and at least wish her, but he wasn’t even around. She smacked her forehead for dreaming of things that were impossible, she didn’t want to think about the possibility of him being with Alisha on that day of all days right then, and headed into the bath lazily, feeling like she would rather skip the day than spend it sulking.
“Kunj?” Twinkle called out when she spotted him enter the room stealthily just as she was about to walk out. “Good morning!” He greeted cheerfully, which she thought was unusual, she knew he wasn’t a morning person and all his good mornings were habitually unhappy mutterings that only people who knew him well enough could catch. “Good morning.” She replied, realising that they seemed to have reversed roles, her greeting coming off as a dull one. “Ma has already prepared breakfast and is waiting for us, so we better hurry down!” He spoke in a singsong fashion, intriguing her further. He snapped his fingers in front of her eyes to jerk her out of her thoughts and dragged her along by her wrist, while she tried to make sense of all the strange things happening since she had woken up. ‘Must be a dream.’ she thought to herself as she saw Kunj trying to stifle a smile, something that he wasn’t very good at doing. He stopped abruptly as they reached the stairs and she looked at the hall below in surprise, it was pitch dark there. ‘Definitely a dream.’ her mind counselled, but before she could think further, she felt Kunj let go of her hand and whisper “Happy birthday!” in her ears. He was so close to her that it made her breath hitch, and as if that wasn’t sufficient he pecked her gently on her cheek before running ahead of her and turning on the little lamps on the banisters. He smiled brightly at her as he waited for her at the foot of the staircase making her beam with pleasure. She walked down the remainder of the stairs slowly, her eyes never leaving his and placed her hand in his that he had held out for her.
Kunj and Twinkle had just turned towards the hall when he snapped his fingers and the lights at the centre came on, bringing a prettily decorated table with a cake on it into view. “Oh my God!” She gasped, her inhibitions evident in her voice. “Don’t worry, I know you don’t like partying and creating a huge fuss for your special day, and that’s why I’ve planned something accordingly.” He whispered assuringly as he led her forward. All the other lights came on when they got to the table, and Usha and Manohar along with the other usual invitees to her secretive birthday came out of their hiding, wishing her gleefully. She looked around the hall, it had been decorated very simply, just like she would have preferred, making her admiration for Kunj grow a hundred fold since he had just fulfilled yet another dream of hers. “So, was all of that okay-ish at least?” Kunj asked once the cake cutting was done. She nodded in response and whispered, “I must say, Kunj Sarna, I’m impressed!” He grinned at that and asked, “What do you think then? Do I stand a chance?” She snapped her head to look at him, trying to spot any sign of mischief in his eyes, but failed. Was he serious? “Maybe!” She answered playfully, shaking her head to get rid of the ideas that had already begun pooling in her mind.
Kunj stood in a corner by himself, smiling as his eyes followed Twinkle around while she went over to everyone and spoke to them. He had come to realise lately that her happiness meant a lot more to him than he knew, and the glint of joy her eyes held right then made his world somehow brighter than she had already made it with her mere presence. “Hey!” Yuvi greeted him, annoying him at being disturbed when he had been indulging in his favourite pastime these days, watching Twinkle that is. He smiled at Yuvi nevertheless and spoke, “Thank you so much for your valuable suggestions in planning this, man. Although I had figured Twinkle wasn’t a fan of big celebrations and stuff, I wasn’t sure what to do about it; I don’t know how I would have managed without your help!” Yuvi nodded with a smile, recalling how he used to plan little surprises for Twinkle all these years, perhaps his turn was over now, her husband had taken over. “I could have asked Chinki as well, but she’s fiercely loyal to Twinkle, she would have revealed everything to her!” Kunj added, making both of them chuckle. He didn’t want to have anything to do with Yuvi, he had been utterly jealous of him after all, but he had convinced himself that it was the least he could do for Twinkle, his best friend, who deserved all the happiness in the world. Yuvi glanced over at Twinkle who was chatting excitedly with Chinki and told Kunj, “I’m glad I could be of some help. There is this little thing that I want to tell you though, Kunj. You’ve got to be extremely lucky to have Twinkle in your life, and even more lucky to have her care for you as much as she does. I don’t know if you’re aware of it yet, but if not, I hope you realise it before it’s too late. Also, please, never break her heart, she trusts you, which is really rare for her.” Kunj listened carefully and nodded, he knew every single word Yuvi had uttered was true, and wasn’t born of spite or jealousy for him, it was just out of pure admiration and affection, and it showed that he clearly knew his limits. He felt his respect for Yuvi rising, something that he would have hated himself for earlier, but now he knew this man was worth his appreciation. “I promise.” Kunj responded, more of to himself than to Yuvi, who was now smiling gladly.
Twinkle gasped for what seemed like the hundredth time that day when she saw Usha and Manohar’s presents for her-a lovely gown and simple but elegant jewellery to go with it. “You really didn’t have to!” She exclaimed when she finally found her vocabulary lost in a maze of amazement in her head. “But these must be expensive, Ma. How could I accept these?” She questioned, feeling humbled by their gesture. She knew it was out of love, but she hadn’t been used to such things and it brought along mixed feelings to her. “Tch. You don’t have to worry about the cost, Twinkle! It’s more important that you like it. After all, all that we and Leela Ji have, belong to you and Kunj. We insist.” Usha answered warmly as she placed her hand on Twinkle’s shoulder lovingly. “But I don’t even go anywhere so fancy that I may require something like this!” Twinkle protested, trying her last argument, knowing that they would probably not give in. “Kunj knows how to resolve that problem.” Manohar said and Kunj appeared, as if on cue, smiling to his parents. “What?” Twinkle asked as Usha and Manohar walked to the sofa, leaving her and Kunj alone. “What?” He repeated after her, annoying her. “Very funny, Kunj!” She retorted, making him giggle. “Will you tell me now?” She asked impatiently when he continued staring at her without another word. “First you need to promise me that you won’t refuse!” He said calmly, smiling to himself as she thought over the proposition. “I can’t promise something without knowing what it is about!” She responded diplomatically, making him grin appreciatively. “Fine then, I won’t tell you. Just dress up in this gown tomorrow evening and wait for me.” He hit back, and turned, pretending to walk away, when she called out to him. “I promise!” She said as soon as he turned back.
“No way, Kunj! I am not coming to an award show!” Twinkle protested when Kunj revealed his plans for the weekend. She knew he had been invited and was nominated, but didn’t know when he had decided to go. She found out then, that that wasn’t the only thing she didn’t know. “I’m performing too.” He revealed, surprising her. “Didn’t you say you would watch all of my performances in the crowd? So unfair!” He spoke disapprovingly, trapping her in her own words. She had, like she had wished, watched all his concerts, just like the first one, as a regular fan, and now that seemed to cost her dearly. “Pretty please! I want you to be there for me!” He requested, putting on his best puppy face, not relenting until she finally agreed. “Awesome! Thank you!” He said excitedly, proceeding to tell her all the other things about the show, while she watched him lovingly, smiling to herself, not caring for the rest of the world and simply getting lost in him. He caught her watching him midway and soon enough, found himself watching her equally intently. She was the first to look away, the realisation that he was staring at her keenly causing the heat to rise to her cheeks. She then smiled hesitantly at him and walked away, cringing to herself.
“Twinkle, I know my daughter is responsible enough and doesn’t need a constant reminder of what is to be done and what not, but seeing you here today, as someone else’s daughter in law, I really think there is something I still need to tell you.” Leela spoke affectionately when she finally got an opportunity to speak to Twinkle in private. “I’m really glad that you and Kunj are getting along so well, I don’t know what is making me say all this, but it’s important and I want you to remember this. At times, although we have everything in life that we could wish for, we tend to ruin it by over thinking. Nobody does it intentionally, it’s a general tendency, but it’s great to have it under control. If ever, you and Kunj find yourselves in a fix, always remember to talk it out. You’ll find a way out for sure. It isn’t up to you alone to take decisions when both your lives are to be impacted. Never let any misunderstanding, silent or verbal, make a place for itself between the two of you.” She added, and Twinkle listened attentively, although unaware of why her mother thought it was the right time to be advising her that way, but before she could question the reason, Kunj came along with his usual cheerful prattle. She nodded understandingly at Leela nonetheless, knowing that her mother could never be wrong, and if she had said something, there definitely was her intuition or her reasoning leading her.
That’s it for now, guys. Hope you enjoyed it. Lots of love!