”I’m sorry, Shivansh. I am sorry.” Manik was crying and murmuring these words in sleep. Tears were trickling down his cheeks.
Nandini was staring at him in shock with wide-open eyes. Her face was only a few inches away from him. Her heart was aching painfully seeing him in pain. She wanted to take away his all pain and wanted to fill his life with happiness. She pursed her lips to control her sobs, but tears rolled down her cheeks automatically. It hurts like hell to see the person in pain whom you love so much.
She was confused that why he was apologising from Shivansh in sleep. But at that time, the more important thing for her was to calm him down and to make him feel better. She couldn’t leave him crying in pain for the whole night.
She took her shivering hand near to his forehead and caressed his forehead lovingly. She placed her other hand on his face and wiped his tears with thumb. She was also shedding tears, gazing at him with sorrowful eyes. Her heart and soul was crying seeing him in pain. It was hurting her a lot. She was feeling like somebody was stabbing the knife into her heart.
He stopped crying in sleep because of the effect of her touch. She was gently stroking his forehead and cheek. She was gazing at him constantly without even blinking her eyes. She badly wanted to know the pain which he was hiding from everybody. She badly wanted to heal him with her love. She wanted to see him happy from inside. A faint smile flashed on her face as he stopped crying.
“I love you so much. Now only your happiness matters to me. I know you can’t be mine but still, I can’t stop my heart from loving you. Her heart wanted to see you happy. From now my motive of life is to bring happiness in your life. What is right, What is wrong, I just don’t want to think about anything right now. I just only want one thing that your happiness. Is… Is it wrong to bring happiness in the life of the person whom you love? No, it is not wrong.”
She murmured, cupping his face while crying. Her heart was crying because she couldn’t get her love, she couldn’t express her love, she couldn’t love him and she couldn’t run away from this love. Every single second her mind thought about him.
As she placed a soft kiss on his forehead, in response he smiled slightly in sleep with the touch of her lips. She promised him with the kiss that she would take away his all pain and bring happiness in his life. She gazed at him for a minute with so much love in her eyes for him. After that, she kissed his both eyelids. A blissful smile touched his lips as her soft lips touched his skin.
“I love you so much, Manik.” She whispered against his lips, her intense gaze was fixed at his eyes. She tried to control herself but couldn’t stop herself from pecking his lips. She knew it was wrong, it was a sin but nothing was in her hand. As her lips brushed against his lips, she felt like his lips touched her soul. The feeling was heavenly beautiful for her. She had never felt so good in her life before.
After kissing his lips, she again murmured I love you against his lips, gazing at him intensely. Manik was now sleeping peacefully because of her. It was the magic of her touch and kisses which took away his all pain and gave him comfort.
She immediately stood straight and wiped off her tears with the back of her hands as she heard the sound of the opening of the door. She looked at the door and found Shivansh stepping into the room.
“You didn’t sleep yet ?” He asked, strolling to her.
Nandini was looking at him, having fear in her eyes.
If he had seen her so close to Manik, what would have happened? She wondered, breathing heavily because of the fear.
“Is everything alright? You are looking scared?”He asked concernedly, cupping her face. She closed her eyes dejectedly because she was cheating him. She was cheating the person who loved her so much.
“Actually… I saw a bad dream and I got up to drink water.” She lied to him and felt guilty.
“You should have gone home. But you never listen to me.” He scolded her because he cared for her. Nandini was just gazing down. Because of the guilt, she couldn’t meet her eyes with him.
“Now I will make you sleep. Come,” as he clasped her hand, she instantly looked up at him and found him smiling at her. She gave him a small smile in response.
He led her to the bed, holding her hand. Through his eyes, he asked her to lie down on the bed. She nodded her head at him and lay down. He covered her with the comforter. She was gazing at him, having guilt in her eyes when he was covering her with the blanket. Her heart was crying seeing how much he loved her and she was cheating him and she was going to break his heart in future by telling him that she never loved him.
He sat down on the floor beside her bed and caressed her forehead to make her sleep.
“Shivansh, I will sleep. You should also sleep.” As She asked him to sleep, he shushed her by putting his finger over her lips.
“First you sleep then I will sleep. Now close your eyes.” He spoke sternly, and he was still caressing her forehead. She closed her eyes and controlled her tears from coming out. The guilt was killing her and breaking her heart.
He loved her, she loved Manik and she didn’t know whom Manik loved. But she was sure that Manik would never love her because she was his best friend’s wife. She had no idea that Manik also loved her a lot.
Manik woke up early in the morning because of the dry throat. He was coughing badly. He needed water but he couldn’t even move because of the pain. He tried to pick up the glass of water by stretching his arm, constantly coughing.
Nandini also woke up and she hastily climbed down from the bed as she found him struggling to pick up the glass. She rushed to help him immediately.
“Manik, you could have waked me up. You are not in a state to move even. Your wounds are fresh.” Nandini chided him while laying him down properly on the bed and she put his hand carefully on the bed beside him. She poured the water from the jug to glass. First, she slid her hand under his head and then she raised his head and from her other hand, she made him drink the water.
He was just gazing at her without even blinking his eyes. Her acts were vividly showing him how much she loved him and cared for him. His heart was happy seeing her love for him. A small smile spread across his face seeing her love and care. He was falling in love with her more and more.
“Feeling better now ?” She asked after keeping his head back on the pillow carefully. He just nodded his head slightly in response. Then they passed each other a small smile.
“So do you need something ?” Nandini asked after a few minutes of silence. He just nodded his head in no. Nandini smiled faintly and strolled to the bed, facing her back to him.
“Yes, I don’t need anything. I just only need your love, Nandini. I need your love.” He wanted to shout loudly and tell her that he needed her but nothing was coming out from his mouth. He was just gazing at her silently and a lone tear trickled down his cheek.
Nandini turned her face to look at him because she could feel that he was crying. He immediately turned his face on another side to hide his tears from her. This called the connection of the heart. Their heart was connected. If one cries, other could feel the pain.
“What I should do, Nandini? Your love is making me weaker. Your love is forcing me to accept you. Seeing how much you love me, It is getting more difficult for me to control my growing feeling.” Manik thought while tears were continuously falling from his eyes. Nandini was also crying looking at him. She could feel that he was crying.
“But how could I accept our love, Nandini. I can’t hurt, Shivansh. I can’t see his pain. He loves you a lot. I am the one who came in between you both. I am the culprit. I snatched his love, his wife from him. What kind of friend I am? I snatched the happiness of my friend. I don’t deserve you, Nandini. I don’t deserve to be loved. I don’t deserve to be happy. I deserve only pain for ruining my friend’s marriage.” He cried badly thinking this. His heart and soul was crying because he betrayed his friend. He ruined his life. He snatched his wife from him.
He wanted to run away. He had even tried but he failed. Now he was not in a state to run even. He had to face the truth and the complicated situation. He had to go through all the pain and suffering of pushing the girl away from him who loved him and whom he loved.
Nandini lay down on the bed, facing her back to him. She cried silently burying her face in the pillow and clutched the pillow tightly. Manik was now gazing at her dejectedly and his eyes were filled with tears.
“Manik.” After a few minutes, Nandini composed herself and called him after turning on the side where Manik was lying. Manik who was lying closing eyes, he instantly opened his eyes as she called him. Now both were looking into each other eyes. Next moment only, they both looked away.
“Manik, I know that for you I am just a wife of your friend.” As she spoke, he widened his eyes in shock.
“Is she going to confess her love ?” He wondered because her words were hinting this only.
“No, Nandin,i no, Please don’t confess your love.” He prayed because he knew that her confession would only increase his problem more and would make things more difficult for him. He would have to lie that he didn’t love her. He could hide the truth from her, but it would be more difficult for him to lie.
“But I want to become your friend. I know something is troubling you. There is something which you can’t even share with Shivansh, I know.” Manik was just staring at her blankly.
She paused for a moment and then continued after composing herself. “You can share your problem with me. Sharing your problem will lessen your pain and stress. Keeping the problem inside you, it will do nothing, it will only burn your heart. So you can share with me. I promise you that I won’t tell about this to Shivansh and don’t worry I won’t judge you.” She was trying her best to convince him not knowing that he couldn’t share his problem with her too because the reason of her problem was her.
“Nobody is happy seeing you in pain, Manik. I want to see you happy, I mean everyone wants to see you happy. Please try to share…” she continued speaking and her words were cut down by the doctor who just walked inside. Shivansh also stepped inside, following the doctor.
“How are you feeling, Manik?” Doctor asked after standing beside him.
“Better.” He replied him in low voice. Then he shifted his gaze to Shivansh who was looking at him worriedly. It was written on his face that he hadn’t slept the whole night. His red eyes were showing him that he had cried the whole night for him.
“Shivansh, don’t worry. I am fine now.” He reassured him, holding his hand. Shivansh gave him a small smile in response and Manik blinked his eyes.
Nandini was cursing her fate lying on the bed. She had finally gathered to ask Manik about his problem but she failed.
She composed herself by taking a deep breath and got up from the bed. She sauntered to them and stood beside Shivansh. Shivansh and Nandini passed each other a small smile. Manik didn’t look at her and Nandini was only gazing at him. Then Doctor sent Shivansh and Nandini out of the room because he had to check Manik.
They walked out of the room and she widened her eyes in shock as Shivansh’s uttered, “I know, what you are doing behind my back, Nandini.” She felt like her heart stopped beating for a moment.