“Okay, we’ll execute it now. Prachi, Aryan and I are getting together to spend some time together. Also, Aditya, don’t you dare tell this to anyone, I’ll pay you $10K for this,” Riya glares at Aditya.
“No need for money, I won’t do anything,” Aditya raises his hands in the air. Except for making sure this Ranbir doesn’t cause problems in our love life, Riya and I think your sister will be very helpful in making that happen.
“Are going or do I have to give you an invitation?” Riya snaps at Aditya, earning his attention.
“Going where?” Aditya asks, bewildered. He became Riya’s bodyguard to be with her, not go away from her.
“Out of my room of course! You’re my bodyguard, not a spy. You should make sure that no intruders come into my room not stand here listening to my personal conversations!” Riya rolls her eyes, showing her previous attitude.
Aditya clenches his fists angrily and is about to yell at Riya when he remembers why he’s here in the first place. He calms down and slowly exits Riya’s room. Don’t worry Riya, darling, once we’re together I will have the right to listen to all of your personal conversations. He smirks and tries to listen to the conversation going on inside however he hears nothing due to the soundproof walls. So, he decides to focus on his ‘job’.
Prachi and Aryan are impatiently pacing around the living room. Excitement courses through them, they are finally going to spend some quality time together, that too without any tension or worries! Both, however, were oblivious to the fact that their wish of peaceful bonding time would not be fulfilled. Something big and unaccounted for would happen, no one could possibly predict the events that are about to unfold. Nothing would ever be the same again.
“Where is Riya?!”
Aryan sighs, at first was kind of fun seeing Prachi getting impatient for something but now it was just straight up annoying. Though even he wondered where on earth Riya was. She left like an hour ago, okay fine, maybe it hadn’t been that long but 10 minutes was still long enough. They were finally going to spend some time together, wasn’t Riya excited about that?
“Let’s just go without her!” Aryan finally said something, exasperated with both Prachi and Riya.
“Aryan! Did you just say that you’re going to leave without me? How could you Aryan?! I thought I was your sister. I now clearly know that you don’t consider me your sister! You traitor, I am so not coming with you!” Riya starts her melodrama and fake sniffs.
“Are you done with your act?” Aryan asks, unamused. Prachi on the other hand looks completely befuddled.
“What gave it away?” Riya grins, leaving poor Prachi even more confused.
“Hmm… how about next time you drop the fake sniffs?” Aryan suggests while Riya just rolls her eyes.
“Um… wait…. was Riya acting to be upset?!” Prachi finally realises what is going on.
“What gave it away?” Aryan and Riya say in unison, both of them grinning.
Prachi frowns, she really did miss a lot of time with her sister and paternal family. She couldn’t even recognise when her sister was acting.
Riya and Aryan notice the change in Prachi’s demeanour.
“Are you ok?” Aryan asks, tensed. Prachi nods slightly and says, “Where are we going?”
Again both Riya and Aryan grin. “Guess,” they say trying to restrain their excitement.
Prachi feels perplexed however she feigns a smile and then tries to think of a place that both Riya and Aryan would enjoy. Suddenly Prachi’s lips start twitching a little and she breaks out into a genuine grin. Of course! Who wouldn’t love going there?!
“The Cinemas!” Prachi exclaims as Riya and Aryan nod vigorously. Maybe she hadn’t missed so much time with them after all.
Aryan is driving the car while both Prachi and Riya are sitting in the back, to spend some time with each and also annoy Aryan by calling him their driver. A notification pops up on Riya’s phone, her face grows tense after reading the message.
Prachi notices this. “What happened, Riya?”
“I went back up to collect all the gifts I had gotten for you over the years but then – then, the kidnapper came. He escaped jail and wants to attempt the kidnapping again, I made a deal with him. He thinks I’m helping him now as he’s aware of my past affections,” Riya avoids saying Sanju’s name as Aryan was with them.
Prachi instantly understands who Riya is talking about however Aryan remains clueless as Riya, Prachi and Ranbir had decided to keep Sanju’s crimes hidden to stop everyone from getting worried.
“What kidnapper?” Aryan can’t help but ask.
“No one, it’s nothing to worry about Aryan. What movie are we going to watch?” Prachi says, attempting to distract Aryan.
“Enola Holmes!” Riya replies while Aryan glares at her.
“No, we’re watching Jurassic Park!” Aryan says, sternly.
Riya glares at him when Prachi quickly interrupts, “Maybe we could watch something else?”
“No!” both Aryan and Riya say simultaneously.
“But I’ve heard that they are airing Twilight, right now. Why not watch that instead?” Prachi suggests, hoping for a positive answer.
“Fine, but first we’re going to the forest!” Aryan says, childishly.
“NO! Aryan, if you do what you did last time I’ll kill you myself,” Riya shouts annoyed.
“Oh, the great Riya Mehra is afraid of a little dirt?” Aryan teases.
Riya huffs, and says, “I know a little secret that won’t go well for your love life, I could tell Shahana about it. She’ll purposely tell the girl you love about it!”
Prachi silently chuckles in her head as recalls the time when she caught Aryan and Shahana together, her first morning as a married woman. The day before that had changed her life so much, it all felt like it happened so long ago, when in reality it had only been 3 days since she married Ranbir. Prachi’s eyes glisten with tears as she recalls her father’s accident. But what worried her more was that she couldn’t let go of the feeling that something terrible was about to happen to someone she held dear.
“Why are we going to the forest?” Prachi meekly says, she didn’t want to go anyplace with even a tiny amount of danger, especially with her sister and cousin. She just couldn’t help but think something bad would happen, with good reason too. So much has happened, some have been good things, and most haven’t.
“Are you scared, Di?” Riya raises her eyebrows mischievously.
Prachi instantly denies it, not wanting to admit the truth.
“Then come on, let’s go, and Aryan don’t you worry, I’ll make sure that someday or another your love finds out what you did with me! I was so naïve that I fell for your trick, twice in a row, but this time I will not fall for it, for I know not to trust you.” Riya says with an eye roll.
“What was it that Aryan did to you?” Prachi asks.
Riya began to narrate how Aryan and had pushed her in the mud, twice, to get back at her for ruining his favourite shirt and breaking his favourite perfume.
Prachi laughs after Riya finishes the story. Aryan abruptly stops the car, causing Riya and Prachi to look at him in confusion.
“You were serious about going to the forest?” Prachi widens her eyes, surprised that Aryan was almost as careless as Ranbir.
“Yeah. We come here every year, for camping. We’ll be coming again this year as well. We just want you to see the place once before though,” Aryan explains.
Prachi shifts nervously. But before she could say something, Riya drags her into the forest and the two are followed by Aryan. What the three failed to notice was that someone else was following them.
“Fuggy! You still haven’t told me where Dadi is. And when will the reporters be gone?” Abhi frowns when Pragya avoids his question again.
“Don’t you think you should eat something first?”
“Not gonna work, Fuggy. Stop avoiding my question! Though I don’t understand why you are in the first place as Dadi would be elated to meet me, right?”
Tears make their way to Pragya’s cheeks. She missed Abhi’s Dadi, a lot. Maybe even more than she missed her own parents. Abhi is bewildered seeing the tears on his wife’s face.
“Fuggy, what happened?” Abhi waits for a minute but sighs after getting no response, “I won’t ask you any more questions. And I’ll only eat the food if you feed me.”
Abhi frowns when Pragya doesn’t react. “PRAGYA!!”
“Huh? Apne kuch kaha?” (“Huh? Did you say something”) Pragya asks, coming out of her trance.
“Fuggy, I’ll only eat the food if you feed me it, and I promise I won’t ask you any more questions,” Abhi repeats after sighing. Pragya nods and starts feeding him, however, the upset mood of Pragya what would’ve been a sweet romantic moment, a moment that was only filled with sorrow.
“Shahana, Mish, I don’t feel good. Do you know where Prachi went with Aryan and Riya?” Ranbir asks, pacing up and down the room.
“Chill, bro. Nothing will happen to Bhabhi. She has Aryan and Riya with her for protection.” Mishti attempts to calm down her brother, despite her heart completely agreeing with him.
“Mishti, I don’t know. I agree with Jiju on this. In fact, I’m worried Aryan and Riya are in just as much danger as Prachi, if not more.” Shahana voices out her own worries.
“Maybe we should try calling them instead of assuming things panicking?” Mishti suggests and the other two give her a weird look.
“We already tried that Mish! Prachi didn’t pick up my call at all!”
“And Aryan didn’t reply to me either.”
“Did either of you try Riya’s number?” Mishti shot them a look when she was met with silence and so she quickly dials the number on her phone, while she, Shahana and Ranbir wait nervously hoping she picks up.
Mishti throws her phone on the ground in anger after it reached voicemail and the other two act like it’s completely normal.
“Mish, Shahana, I’ll be back. Stay here both of you.” Ranbir says, about to rush off when he’s stopped by someone.
“And where do you think you are going?” Pallavi glares at her son.
“Mom, not now, I don’t have the time! Prachi’s been gone forever and she’s not picking up her phone either.”
Pallavi is astonished, “What? Prachi’s in trouble! I’m coming with you.”
“No mom. Aryan and Riya are in trouble with her too. Besides, who will take of everyone here if we all go look for them?”
“Fine. You must take Arnav with you then.”
Ranbir hesitantly agrees and rushes off to his car, Arnav following him closely.
“Di what should we do? We’re in a forest lost and it’s the middle of the night! We can’t even call anyone thanks to this idiot.” Riya frowns while gesturing at Aryan.
“I’m your brother Riya, you’re not supposed to be blaming me! Besides, you’re the one who used your phone so much during the car ride that you made it go from 100% to completely dead!” Aryan retorts.
“Well, you’re the one who left your phone in your car!” Riya raged.
“SHUT UP BOTH OF YOU!!” Prachi shouts at them and then goes on to rant.
“I was the one saying we shouldn’t come here! But no, the two of you had to venture out in the forest and look where that’s gotten us now! Stuck in the forest, with no range, no one nearby despite a few animals and no sign of any human civilization at all. None of this would’ve happened if you guys had just listened to me!”
Aryan and Riya share a glance and nervously shrug, still recovering from the outburst.
“So much for bonding time.” Riya scoffs.
“Maybe we could still make it work. I mean, we’re alone in the forest. There’s not much else to do.” Aryan suggests and the twins agree.
“We should gather some wood. Try and start a fire. It might attract attention too and someone could come looking for us.”
“You’re right Di. Should we split up? It’ll-”
“NO! Absolutely no splitting up. We stick together.” Prachi instantly denied it.
“Chill Di. This isn’t a horror movie, let’s go.”
‘I feel so free, so alive! I’m finally out of that prison, but what should I do now?! I mean, should I follow through with my plan or not yet. I really don’t want to do it, but what other hope do I have? It seems to work if I do follow through with it.’ Kiara sighs and kicks a nearby pebble into a nearby lake.
How she wished she could use her powers for the better. She knew she was gifted for a reason, but she couldn’t help and wonder what the reason was. Were her powers even a blessing? That’s what Tanu and Nikhil had told her. Why would they lie about something as simple as that?
If only her biological parents knew of her existence. From the few flashback moments, she had with her biological mother she knew one thing for certain; her mother loved her immensely, definitely more than Tanu and Nikhil. Perhaps her mother would know what to do. Kiara was just about to leave and find refuge for the night when she saw a silhouette in the corner of her eye.
She grabbed her small bag and stealthily moved towards the shadow she saw, frowning. She didn’t have a good feeling about following them, but they seemed to have seen her, and even if they hadn’t yet, she was not going to be snuck upon.
She followed the person and was surprised to see two more people. In her astonished state, she failed to notice the stick in front of her, and so she tripped, now visible in the fire that the three strangers had lit – at least she had thought they were strangers.
Her face lit up with horror when she saw the terrified face of her younger sister – Prachi.
Prachi looks up at Kiara with horror, “You! You tried to kill her! Why are you here? What do you want? I will not let you near my Maa if you came back for her.”
“Di, I doubt she tried to kill our mother! I saw her in the dream! She was the one who said your name.” Another girl, who Kiara figured out was her youngest munchkin, spoke up.
“Riya, maybe you’re mistaken. She tried to kill Maa last year in front of mine and Shahana’s eyes!” Prachi shouts back, worrying Kiara.
“Please, let me explain! Prachi, I would never try to do anything to harm mo- your mother. She’s an amazing woman and I have no enmity with her. Last year, I was merely putting on an act for my boss. My boss is very brutal. I would’ve been killed right then and there if I didn’t kill your mother – or at least pretend to so I could save both our lives. But my boss also provided me with a home, though I ran away from there today.” Kiara explains.
“Why were you in my dream?” Riya asks.
Kiara contemplates whether or not to tell her. She only just met her sisters, what if she left the wrong impression on her youngest one as well? Prachi already seemed to hate her. She decided it was best to gain their trust rather than break it, so she began to think of ways to reveal the truth.
“Because I made you have it.”
The trio stand silent for a minute before bursting out into laughter.
“Nice joke! Do you really think we’ll fall for that? We’re not five you know.” Riya says, laughing.
“I’m serious. I made you have the dream. I made both of you have the exact same dream, on the exact same night, so you would know that your family is in danger.” Kiara repeats, with a serious face, leaving the trio with their mouths agape.
“But how do you know our family is in danger?”
“My boss is our family’s biggest enemy.”
“And how exactly did you make us have the exact same dreams?” Prachi questions, having a hard digesting this fact.
“I- I have this gift. It enabled me to give you guys the same dream and I-”
“PRACHI!!!!” a male came running in before lifting Prachi off the ground and wrapping his arms tightly around her. Prachi gently reciprocated and smiled lightly, feeling his presence after literal hours again.
“Prachi, what are you guys doing here? Everyone is so worried. The Muh Dikhayi got postponed as well.” Ranbir moved back slightly so he could look at Prachi, however, his arms remained firmly around her back.
“Shoot! Honestly Ranbir, I don’t know. These two thought it would be a good idea to wander in the forest and then somehow we got lost and we had no way to contact you guys. So we thought of starting a fire for the night.” Prachi explained.
Before the two could continue their conversation they were interrupted by someone else, “Prachi, Aryan! The two of you had me worried sick. I was so worried that you guys were in trouble or something.”
“And why were you so worried about Aryan?” Prachi smirks on seeing Aryan and Shahana blush while Ranbir, Kiara and Riya stand there confused.
“Shut up! You know, you and Ranbir are still in each other’s arms, right? I wouldn’t be surprised if you two spend the entire night like that. After all, you must be used to it by now, no?” Shahana retorts and chuckles slightly when Prachi immediately tries pulling away from Ranbir, only for him to pull her back.
“You’re not going anywhere. I saw you after a literal millennia. And Shahana as for your remarks, at least we’re not doing it before marriage. You and Aryan are doing the same thing right now.” Ranbir replies.
Shahana opens her mouth to retort when she gets interrupted.
“Riya! Aryan! Prachi! I was so worried for you guys. I had come over and aunty informed me you guys weren’t home when I saw Ranbir and Shahana leave the house in a hurry. I then found out that you guys were lost!” Akhil says and hugs Aryan.
He then proceeds to hug Prachi but becomes reluctant when Ranbir shoots him a glare, however, Prachi ignores Ranbir’s glare and moves to hug her friend, causing Ranbir to pout. Akhil then hesitantly moves towards Riya and the two awkwardly hug.
“Why did you hug him?!” Ranbir pouts at Prachi.
“Because he’s my friend! And didn’t you hug that Ishaani a few days ago? AND she’s clearly into you as well.” Prachi glared back.
“She hugged me! And that was completely different. I had to do it because I was literally dared to be nice to everyone the entire day. I’m pretty sure not hugging her back would’ve made me lose the dare! And I never lose a dare.” Ranbir says.
“I don’t care. You hugged her without my permission. You know what, you should go stay with Ishaani. I’m no one to you.” Prachi said, turning her back to Ranbir.
“I- Prachi, it’s not such a big deal now, is it?” Ranbir sighs, not knowing how to convince her.
“Fine. I’ll just to Akhil and hug him then. Is that fine with you?”
“Absolutely not! You’ve already hugged him once. That’s more than enough.” Ranbir back hugs Prachi, stopping her from moving.
“Don’t touch me. That Isha-”
“Guys, both of you cut it out! In case you didn’t notice, the two of you aren’t alone right now. Fight in your own time. Also, we do need to get home too you know.” Aryan says, despite wanting to see more of their banter.
The last line made everyone remember where they actually were, they had almost forgotten in the warmth of the fire and the presence of their significant other, well, everyone excluding Kiara had.
“And we still need to know about how Prachi and I had that dream!” Riya points out, gesturing towards Kiara, making the three who had arrived later realise there was an outsider with them too.
“Who are you?” they chorused.
“I’m the reason Prachi and Riya had the same dream. And my name is Kiara…. Kiara Mehra.” Kiara says, remembering her name from her recent dream.
“Kiara Di? You’re the little girl in the dreams too?!” Prachi asks, astonished that the woman who had tried to kill her mother could be her elder sister.
Kiara nods, “I’ve missed you two so much. Ever since I found out that I had twin sisters, there hasn’t been a moment I haven’t thought of you guys and our parents.”
“Why didn’t you come back then? To either one of them. They would’ve been ecstatic to see you! Why spend your entire life working for one of our enemies?” Riya asks.
“Wait, she’s your older sister?” Ranbir asks and is surprised when Prachi nods.
Everyone present then turns there attention to Kiara and begins to listen to the story of her life.
“Are you sure it will work?” Priyanka asks.
“Yes I am. You’ll get Rishi, I’ll get Riya and Sanju will get Prachi this way. It’s a win win situation for all of us.” Aditya replies. “Though Sanju already made a deal with Riya, didn’t you?”
“I already told you. The only reason I made a deal with her was to get Prachi! I’ll get Prachi and then I’ll ditch the plan so you can get Riya.” Sanju says, slightly trembling under Aditya’s glare.
“SHUT UP! None of you will be getting anyone if Abhi, Pragya and their eldest daughter along with their grandmother do not die. I’ll make sure each of you die before you can execute any of your plans if you fail to execute this one. They’re eldest daughter already managed to escape my clutches! Luckily, I know exactly where she is and she will regret trying to outsmart me. Of course she’ll still think I’m her mother, so none of you are to reveal the truth to her. Is that clear?” Tanu glares at everyone and they all quickly nod, feigning their fear.
“As for you Nikhil, keep an eye on Alia. I’m sure she’s up to no good and she’ll probably get in the way of our plans too. Make sure she doesn’t know anything about the rest of them.” Tanu instructs and smirks as she thinks about how close the Mehra’s are to destruction.
“Umm… Mam, how exactly are we going to find this Kiara lady?” Sanju asks, voicing out everyone else’s thoughts.
“Take this tracking device and if she’s with that adopted daughter of Pragya and Alia’s son, then kill the both of them. But Kiara can not know it was you guys who killed those two. Got it?” Tanu throws a small device to them and leaves before getting a reply.
I know it’s been a really long time since I updated this story and I am so sorry about that. I do have good news for those who have still stuck around, that will be the longest wait you will have to do for the entirety of this story for I will be updating quite often and I’m aiming to complete this story by the end of this month.
Did you guys like the update?
Please do comment with feedback if time permits.
Until Next Time!
~ Riya Sharma