“How-how are you feeling, Manik ?” Nandini asked finally looking at Manik who was already staring at her beautiful face. He was completely lost in looking at her. Her eyes which became red, they were vividly telling him that she had cried a lot for him. Her words brought him on the earth back.
“I am fine.” As he replied, she gave him a faint smile.
“You are the reason that I am feeling better, Nandini. You touched my soul with those kisses. You healed my every wound with those kisses. I am feeling better.” He wondered, gazing at her. These were the words which he wanted to say to her at that moment but he couldn’t. Through his eyes, he was thanking her for making him fine.
She was avoiding eye contact with him because she didn’t want to get lost in his eyes. She was afraid of what would happen if he saw love in her eyes. Therefore, she was looking around, playing with her fingers.
Manik was noticing her every move, the moment of her eyes and hands. He could vividly see that she was trying to control herself from looking at him. He very well knew about this because he used to do the same thing many times.
“You can go now.” The nurse spoke walking into the ICU, catching their attention. They both looked at her. Nandini stood up from the stool and gave a slight nod to her. He felt a sharp pain in his heart. He wanted her to stay with him. He was feeling better in her presence.
Nandini glanced at Manik for the last time and gave him faint smile. Manik also smiled back faintly in response.
“Take care, Manik.” She strolled toward the door. His heart was aching watching her going away from him. He wanted to hold her hand and wanted to ask her to don’t go. Even she also wanted to stay with him.
But the situation wasn’t letting them stay with each other.
After a few hours, Manik was shifted to the private wardroom where anybody could meet him. The doctor told them that he would be discharged within few days. He needed somebody to be with him for twenty-four hours because he couldn’t even move for a few days. His one leg and one arm was fractured.
“I think you both should go the home and take some sleep. Mukti and me, we both will stay here tonight.”Cabir asked Shivansh and Nandini to go back home. They all were sitting outside of the wardroom and Mukti was inside with Manik.
“No, I will stay with Manik tonight. Aren’t you seeing his condition? He can’t even move. How can I go home and sleep comfortably?” Shivansh freaked out making Cabir quiet. Nandini put her hand on his shoulder to calm him down. Shivansh gave helpless looks to her and she blinked her eyes in assurance.
“Cabir, you and Mukti go home tonight. I will stay here with Shivansh.” Nandini spoke looking at Cabir.
“Nandini, you should go home. You must be tired. You are here since morning.” Shivansh asked Nandini to go home. How could she tell him that she didn’t want to go home, she wanted to stay with him and take care of him.
“But,” she paused for a moment to think for a reason.
“I want to stay here with you, Shivansh. Please,” She requested because she really wanted to stay here with Manik.
Shivansh didn’t force her, he just nodded his head. “Okay.” Nandini sighed.
Shivansh got up and went inside the room after leaving Nandini and Cabir.
“Your husband is so stubborn, Nandini.” Cabir spoke looking at Nandini. Nandini just gave him a faint smile.
Nandini stepped into the room and the scene in front of her eyes brought a broad smile on her face.
Shivansh was forcing Manik to take medicine, but Manik was showing tantrums like a two-year-old baby. He was denying to take them and making adorable faces. Nandini was falling in love with him more seeing his cuteness.
“Manik, why are you behaving like a small kid. Just open your mouth and take these medicines.” Shivansh shouted on him like a mother. Manik made a adorable pout.
“Shivansh, you know that I hate to eat medicine. My mouth becomes sour whenever I take them.”Manik spoke cutely and Shivansh frowned.
Nandini laughed mechanically after seeing them behaving like mother and son. She caught both of their attention with this. Now they both were gazing at her. They were completely lost in her laugh. Manik was getting so much peace, seeing her laughing so freely. He was gazing at her without even blinking his eyes. His heart and soul was finally at peace seeing her happy. He always wanted to see her happy like this.
“You both are seriously so funny. One is behaving like kid and the other one like his mother.” She walked toward them and spoke, still laughing. Shivansh smiled while Manik came on the earth back after listening to her words. He looked here and there.
“What I should do, Nandini? Manik is showing tantrums like a small kid. So I have to become his mother.” Shivansh spoke looking at Nandini and at last, he glared at Manik on which Manik made faces.
She took a deep breath after laughing and then uttered, patting his back. “Well keep it up, Mr Mother Oberoi.”
“But now I am tired of facing tantrum of my stubborn son. I think now you should try.” Shivansh said giving her the packet of medicine.
“I,” she paused, not understanding what she should say. It wasn’t easy for her to talk with Manik now because it became more difficult for her to hide her feeling in front of him after realising that she loved him.
“Yes, you.” Shivansh said and strode to the sofa which was kept in his room and sat there comfortably, sighing heavily. Nandini was standing there staring at the medicine which she was holding in her hand. Manik was wondering that how he would deny her.
Nandini took a deep breath and turned toward Manik to face him. As she looked at him, he moved his eyes down.
“Manik,” she called him after gathering courage. He instantly looked at her as she called his name.
“Please, take medicine,” she requested him in her pleasant voice and held out the medicine in front of him and her eyes were looking at medicine. Manik understood that she was again trying to avoid eye contact with him.
She paused for a moment and then continued, “or-or else how will you get recover? Everyone wants to see you fine. Don’t you want to get fine? Off course you want to get recover then take this.” While speaking, she was glancing at him and at the medicine.
As Manik immediately snatched the medicine from her hand, she raised her brows in shock. He did this because he could see that it was getting difficult for her to talk to him and he didn’t want to increase her problem.
“Water.” He whispered looking at her. She nodded her head and filled the glass with water from the jar which was kept on the side table. She was about to give him the glass when she noticed that he wasn’t able to take out medicine from the packet because his right arm was fractured.
She put the glass back on the table and took the packet of medicine from his hand. She gave him one tablet after taking out of the packet. He opened his mouth and put on his tongue. She picked up the glass from the table and gave him. In this, as their hand got touched with each other, a shiver ran down their spine. Nandini instantly withdrew her hand, moving her eyes down. He drank the water and swallowed down the tablet. She took the glass from him, smiling faintly.
“Nandini, from today it is your duty to give him medicine.” Shivansh spoke merrily looking at them. Nandini turned toward Shivansh, facing her back to Manik after putting the glass on the table.
“Now it’s time to sleep, Manik.” Shivansh got up and spoke, strolling to him. He picked up the small remote from the table and pressed the button. The upper part of Manik’s bed which was raised, now it was going down making Manik lay down comfortably. His eyes became heavy because of the effect of medicines. He smiled faintly looking at Shivansh who was covering him properly with the blanket. He closed his eyes and fell asleep within a few minutes.
“Nandini, you sleep here on the bed. I will sleep outside.” Shivansh asked her to sleep on the single bed which was in Manik’s room.
“Shivansh you sleep inside. He needs you. I will sleep outside.” Nandini said, looking at the sleeping Manik and then looked at him.
“Anyway I am not feeling sleepy so I will keep a check on him. You go and sleep. And now no arguments.” He spoke strictly and she nodded her head. She was standing there looking at him, he gestured her to go to the bed through his eyes. She gave him faint smile and walked toward the bed.
She stopped as Shivansh held her hand. She turned her face to look at him. He was gazing at her, having so much love in his eyes. She felt more guilty.
“Thank you for always being there for me, Nandini.” As he hispered, Nandini just gave him small smile. The guilt was killing her from inside. He left her hand. She immediately turned her face and shut her eyes tightly because of the guilt. Few tears rolled down her cheeks mechanically. She opened her eyes after composing herself and wiped off her tears with her palm.
She lay down on the bed and covered herself with the blanket. She closed her eyes and wondered how her life had changed so much. She had never thought before marrying to Shivansh that one day she would fall in love with his best friend. If she knew this before then she would have never agreed to marry Shivansh. It was her biggest mistake to say yes for marriage thinking that she would fall in love with him with the time.
From one year Shivansh had been giving her complete space in a hope that one day she would also love him. Nandini knew that Shivansh loved her a lot. But now she started feeling like she was making fun of his love and making him fool because the love which he was expecting from her that love he would never get from her. She couldn’t love him back because now she loved Manik. She wanted to tell this to Shivansh but didn’t know how. How she would explain the things to him? She didn’t want to hurt the person who had always loved her unconditionally. She couldn’t break his heart saying him directly that she would never able to love him back because she fell in love with somebody else and that somebody else was his best friend.
She got goosebumps all over her body thinking that how he would react knowing this. It would surely affect their pure friendship which she admired the most. She didn’t want to come in between them and didn’t want to break their friendship by telling the truth. She wasn’t understanding what she should do at this time. She was bemused. She didn’t want to break anybody’s heart but she wasn’t feeling good by acting in front of Shivansh that she loved him. She was tired of pretending that she was happy and madly in love with her husband.
She didn’t come to know when she fell asleep thinking about all this. On the other side, Shivansh was sitting outside bending forward and his hands were kept on his lap. He was twiddling his thumb thinking about Manik. He was thinking what he should do so that Manik would share his pain with him. The pain which was killing him from inside. He badly wanted to know. He couldn’t see him in pain and spoiling his life like this. He was his friend and he wanted to help him.
Nandini woke up after a few hours breathing heavily. She looked at Manik. She heard him murmuring something in sleep. She climbed down from the bed after removing her blanket. She wore her sleepers and walked toward him taking slow steps. She looked at his face. She felt sharp in her heart as she saw that he was crying in sleep. Lumps formed in her throat and her eyes brimmed up with the tears. She couldn’t see his pain. It was hurting her. His pain was making her weak.
She leaned down to hear what he was saying. She widened her eyes in shock as she heard him.
What do you think, what was Manik whispering in sleep?
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