“Manik, Please, get up… I love you. You have to get up for me Manik… Manik…” Nandini was shaking Manik’s lifeless body which was kept in front of her on floor. She was screaming sitting on the floor beside his body but Manik was not waking up. Her condition was worsening seeing Manik who was lying in front of her like a lifeless body.
“Manik… Manik…” Nandini woke up with the jerk from the deep slumber, shrieking. She was breathing heavily and sweating badly. She sighed deeply after realising that it was just a nightmare. She picked up the phone to look the time. It was at two o’clock . She thought to call Shivansh to ask about Manik but didn’t call him because she didn’t want to disturb his sleep. She again lay down, closing her eyes after keeping her phone back on the side table. She instantly opened her eyes within a few seconds when the glimpse of that scary nightmare again came into her mind. She jumped out of the bed and started roaming across her room restlessly. She was horrified because of the nightmare.
On the other hand, Manik was telling Shivansh about the reason of his pain.
“The problem is that she is married.” Shivansh became silent after listening to Manik’s next words. He was looking at Manik in shock. Shivansh didn’t expect this.
“Does she love you ?” Shivansh asked after a few seconds of silence. Manik looked at him blankly after listening to his question and then again gazed straight. As Nandini’s confession echoed in his ear, tears welled up in his eyes.
“It doesn’t matter Shivansh that she loves me or not. The thing is that she is married. How can I love her? My love is a sin. It’s wrong.” Manik took a deep breath and then uttered looking at Shivansh with brooding eyes. Shivansh could see how much pain his friend was going through. It was hurting him a lot seeing him in anguish. He had no idea that the reason of his pain would be this.
“Manik, love can never be wrong. It’s our thinking. I just want to say that if that girl loves you then you both should come together. If she loves you and she is not coming to you then she is doing wrong with you and her husband both. She betraying her husband by doing this. It’s my opinion. Please don’t think that your love is wrong. The girl who marries you, she will be luckiest person, I am telling you.” Manik smiled slightly. His words made Manik happy. He felt so lucky to have a friend like Shivansh in his life.
“Shivansh, I want to forget that girl. I want to move on in my life. I just need your support. I just don’t want to think, what is wrong and what is right. I just want to forget her.” Manik stated in serious tone after making himself strong.
“I’m always there for you, Manik but forgetting the girl whom you love is not easy. Tell me that girl’s name, I will talk to her. I will make her understand.” Manik gazed down sadly.
“Manik, I can’t see you in pain yaar. I can’t… it hurts. I am feeling like I am losing you.” Shivansh uttered dishearteningly, putting his hand on his shoulder and few tears automatically streamed down his cheeks. Listening to Shivansh’s words, Manik shut his eyes and tears rolled down his cheeks.
“I want my happy and carefree Manik back and I can do anything for that.” He asserted in serious tune, wiping off his tears with the back of his palm.
“Then help me in moving on to get me back. If you don’t want to lose me forever, then stop making the things fine. The more you try to make the things better, the more I will go away from you. Shivansh, I am requesting you to please, just forget the things which I told you today and help me too in forgetting those things.” Manik pleaded him joining his hands in front of Shivansh making him shocked.
“Manik, of course I will help. If moving on is your decision then also I am with you. I am with you, Manik, always. I just want your happiness.” Shivansh hugged him.
“I am sorry, Shivansh, but I can’t hurt you for my happiness. The way my happiness is important to you, in the same way, your happiness is important to me. I can’t hurt you, Shivansh by telling you that I love your wife. It will destroy you and our friendship. You will give Nandini happily to me but inside it will kill you. And it will be the end of our friendship. I will always choose our friendship over my love because I don’t want to lose a friend like you.” Manik cried hugging him back. Shivansh also cried for his friend.
They wiped off their tears before breaking the hug. As they broke the hug, Shivansh’s phone rang up which was kept on the side table. He narrowed his brows, wondering who could call him at this time. He picked up the phone from the table and seeing the caller id, he immediately answered the call. It was Nandini’s call. Manik was looking at him worriedly.
“Shivansh, how is everybody there? How is Manik, you, Cabir and Mukti? Everything is alright there, right?” Nandini asked sounding worried. Shivansh immediately understood that she might have seen a bad dream.
“Nandini, Relax. Everything is fine here. Should I come there if you need me?” Shivansh asked concernedly. Manik looked on the other side when he came to know it was Nandini’s call.
“No.” Nandini instantly denied because She wanted Shivansh to be there with Manik. He needed Shivansh.
“You be there. Manik’s needs you more. I was just worried because of the bad dream. Now I am fine. Good night.” She completely her words.
“Good night. Take care.” Shivansh smiled slightly, and then he hung up the call.
“I think we should sleep now,” as Shivansh said, Manik nodded at him. They lay down on the bed and closed their eyes, but the sleep was far away from their eyes. On the other side, Nandini was lying on the bed and trying to sleep but couldn’t. She went to take shower to get fresh.
Few more days passed in agony. Manik was recovering from the injuries. Shivansh was trying his best to keep his friend happy, but he could see that he was still in pain. Nandini was keeping herself busy in work of the NGO and trying her best to not think about Manik. They both slept for only two or three hours at night and that too very difficultly. The separation was making them more crazy instead of helping them out.
Manik was coming back from the hospital after the routine check-up. Manik gazed out of the window when the car stopped at the red light. He was sitting at the backseat with Cabir and the driver was sitting at the front seat. His eyes fell over the kids who were playing with the ball and Nandini was also playing with the kids happily. Seeing her happy, a bright smile touched his lips. He got lost in her. She was the peace of his eyes, heart, mind and soul.
“Manik, are you listening to me ?” Cabir shouted, putting his hand on his shoulder. Manik looked at him after coming on the earth back.
Manik was about to say something but he again glanced out of the window as the driver started the car. He was shocked to find the another girl who was playing with the kids in the same clothes which Nandini was wearing. Manik closed his eyes dejectedly realising that he was imagining her.
“Manik, Are you fine?” Cabir who was noticing Manik’s every expression, he asked worriedly seeing him upset. Manik blinked his eyes, looking at him saying him in a gesture that he is fine.
This was the day when Manik started imagining Nandini everywhere. His condition was worsening and nobody knew that because he was pretending in front of everyone that he was fine. Only Shivansh knew that he was not fine but he was helping him a lot at his bad time like always.
“Nandini, I think we should go on a small trip. Since a few weeks, I am not able to give you time and I am really sorry about that.” Shivansh spoke at the dining table when they were having breakfast.
“Shivansh, I can understand. Don’t be sorry, please. You are taking care of your best friend and there is nothing wrong in that. We can go on vacation when Manik gets completely fine.” Nandini answered him and inside her mind, she scolded herself for saying no because she wanted to spend some time with him to proceed with their marriage.
“Thank you for always understanding me, Nandini. I really love you a lot.” Shivansh confessed his love and held her hand. He brought her hand near to his lips and kissed them gently. Nandini gave him small smile in response.
After One Month
Manik and Nandini didn’t meet each other for the whole month. Manik was physically fine now. A week back he shifted to his own house and started going to his office also. He was trying to forget Nandini. He again started drinking and smoking to take out Nandini from his head. He wanted to see her beautiful face, he wanted to hold her in his arms and store her in them forever. The thing which was stopping him from going back to Nandini was Shivansh. He didn’t want to lose him. He didn’t want to make his life happy by snatching his friend happiness. Manik and Nandini, they both had been yearning to see each other from one month which was like more than one year for them. Their heart was beating for each other and asking them to go and meet each other every second, but they were listening to their mind and staying away from each other.
Nandini was getting ready for a business party of Shivansh, standing in front of the mirror in beautiful black saree. Her hair was tied up in a bun. The blouse of her saree was backless. She was wearing the earring. She was looking beautiful, but the smile was missing from her face. The dori of her blouse was still open. She looked in the mirror and found Manik strolling over her.
“You are looking so beautiful that if the moon sees you today, it will also get jealous of seeing you,” Manik spoke huskily in her ear and held both the dori of her blouse. He nuzzled her neck, tying the dori with his hands. Nandini was enjoying his touch with her eyes closed. She was loving his touch. Her body was burning with the desire when his warm breath was caressing his cold skin. After tying the dori, he pulled her toward himself from behind by grasping her bare waist. She gazed at him in shook through the mirror.
“I love you.” Then he whispered those three magical words in her ear and bit her earlobe.
Nandini was startled as she heard the sound of the opening of door and Manik also disappeared. She moved her hand at her back and found that her dori was still open. She felt like crying on realising that she was imagining him. She composed herself when she saw Shivansh in the mirror. He was walking toward her taking slow steps.
“How can anybody look so beautiful always? Today I want the answer.” Shivansh spoke looking at her through the mirror while tying the dori of her blouse. Nandini was also looking at him. She was smiling from outside but inside her heart was crying. Every day she was breaking more for not loving his husband the way he loved her. Every day she was losing a part of her by leaving away from Manik. She was losing herself. The pain was killing her from inside.
He turned her toward himself holding her from shoulder. “Nandini, I want to tell you an important thing. After the party, I have to leave for a business trip. I will be back in a few days. After this business trip, we will go on our vacation. So be ready and decide the place.” She nodded at him in response, having a small smile on her face. Shivansh could see that she was sad and that’s was the only reason he was planning the vacation. He wanted her to be frank with him and start sharing her problems with him.
On the other side, Manik was drinking, sitting at the bar counter at the party. Lots of people were around him but he was still alone because the girl whom he loved, she was not with him. He had no idea that Nandini was also coming to the party and she also had no idea that Manik would be there in the party. Both were unaware that the god himself was planning to make them meet at the party.
So.. so.. Manan are going to meet each other after a long one month. What is going to happen at the party?
Shivansh is going on a business trip. What is going to happen in the absence of him? Any Idea.
Just buckle up and be ready for the roller coaster ride from the next part.