Nandini reached home, and when Ethan told her everything and asked her to stay away from Jake, her happiness had no bound because she had mistakenly assumed that Manik had feelings for her and he did all this because he was envious of her relationship with Jake.
Little did she know that when she found out the real reason, she would be shattered. She had no idea yet how much, unrequited love would hurt her.
“Okay, Ethan, if you’re saying, I’ll stay away from Jake.” She sighed, pretending to be sad.
“I’m glad you made me meet him before dating him because that’s how I was able to protect you.” Ethan hugged her, and she smiled broadly.
‘Ethan, I can’t even tell you how much happy I’m after knowing that Manik asked you to keep me away from Jake.’ She wondered, beaming.
She had no idea that after learning the truth, her smile would be replaced by tears.
She was jumping on the bed, squealing cheerily, “I’m so happy, Diana and Ella. I just can’t believe that Manik likes me as well.”
“Oh, Diana, thank you so much as all this happened because of you.” She hugged her tightly after climbing down from the bed.
“We’re also so happy for you, Barbie,” Ella said, hugging her from behind.
“Now it’s time for you to face Manik,” Diana said as they pulled apart.
“The most difficult thing.” She huffed.
When her phone rang, she dashed to the table.
“Oh my God, oh My God, Manik is calling me.” She screamed after seeing the caller id.
“Pick it up fast,” Ella said, getting excited more than Nandini.
She took a deep before answering it, “hello.”
“Can we meet?” He asked her directly, which caused her eyes to widen in surprise.
‘Am I dreaming? Manik Malhotra wants to meet me. I’m on cloud nine.’ She wondered, grinning.
“Yeah sure. Where?” She asked with joy in her eyes.
“At cafe connections.” He told her.
“Okay, I’ll be there in an hour.” As she said, he disconnected the call.
“Diana, he wants to meet me. I just can’t believe it as for the first time he has asked me to meet him.” She is going insane with happiness.
“O… Oh, he’s taking you on a date.” As Diana and Ella teased her, she blushed and hid her face with her palm.
“I wish, but now he’s just asking me to meet him. Now I have to get ready fast as I don’t want to be late.” She told them.
“We’ll make you ready.” Diana whooped.
“Love you, guys.” Nandini hugged them, smiling merrily.
She decked up in a simple floral print purple sleeveless midi because she didn’t want to overdress. Ella and Diana did her light makeup. She kept her hair straight and open because she looked best in it. If Barbie Doll had seen her, she would have been envious because she was looking breathtakingly beautiful.
He was already waiting for her when she arrived at the cafe as quickly as possible. He was smoking, sitting in the corner seat, looking just as hot as always in his black leather jacket and tousled hair.
She wondered, strolling towards him. ‘Damn! He’s taking my breath away, he looks so hot while smoking. I don’t like smokers, but whatever he does drives me insane.’ Her heartbeat accelerated as she approached him, fidgeting with the strap of her sling bag.
“Hi.” She greeted him as she sat down in front of him.
He moved his eyes filled with anger to her, putting the cigarette down on the table. “Why did you do this?” As he asked her in a serious tone, her brows narrowed in confusion.
“That’s what I want to ask you why did you tell my brother to stay away from Jake.” She asked him, taking everything wrong.
“We’ll talk about this later, but first you have to answer my question.” He said sternly.
‘Why he’s so angry?’ She wondered bemusedly. ‘But in anger, he looks more attractive and hot’
He was angry with her, and still, she was busy admiring him, he certainly had some special power to hypnotise her with his charm.
“No, first you tell me why did you come between me and Jake?” She asked him.
He rolled his eyes annoyingly and shouted, “because Jake is a bastard.”
“Why do you care?” She asked him directly.
“Because you’re my best friend’s sister, Goddammit. I can’t let anything bad happen to you because you mean so much to Ethan. Whatever is important to him becomes important to me as well. Do you understand now, or do you have any further questions?” He shut her mouth with his words, and she nodded mutely.
She was heartbroken to learn that he cared for her just because she was his friend’s sister. She held back her tears with great difficulty.
“Now you tell me why did you lie to Ethan that you’re going to date him?” As he asked, her eyes widened in shock.
‘Fuck! How did he come to know that I was lying?’ She wondered, confused.
“Wha-what are you talking about? Why would-would I lie to him?” She stammered, nervously fiddling with her fingers.
“That’s what I’m asking you, Nandini. Why did you lie to him?” He asked, staring at her darkly, and her heart skipped beating with the intensity of his stare.
‘I can’t stay here anymore. My mind is twirling. I wanna cry.’ She thought.
“It’s none of your business, I’m not answerable to you.” She stood up and turned to go, but he stopped her by grabbing her arm firmly.
He swiftly turned her towards himself, banging his body against her. Her breath became heavy and her heartbeat quickened because of their proximity. For the first, he was standing so close to him. She could smell her perfume, and his breath was caressing her face, sending shivers down her spine. His closeness was heaven on the earth for her.
‘Why he’s making everything so difficult for me?’ She thought, closing her eyes.
“When Ethan is involved in this, it is my business. So tell me why did you lie to him?” He asked, staring at her dangerously and taking her breath away with his searingly intense gaze.
“I-I.” She stuttered, not understanding what to tell him.
‘You have to say something, Nandini.’ Her mind said.
“I can’t tell you. It’s my matter.” She gave him a curt answer, having no other option because she couldn’t tell him the truth.
“Okay fine, don’t tell me but remember one thing Ethan shouldn’t get hurt.” He said like he was warning her.
“Ethan is my brother, why would I hurt him?” She questioned him.
“You lied to him. Won’t he get hurt if he comes to know about your lie, Miss Nandini Kapoor?” He asked in a solemn tone, making her tongue-tied.
“Whatever you’re doing, just stop it right away and I won’t tell your brother about your lie.” He warned her, and she just nodded her head meekly.
“I used to think you were a nice girl, Nandini, but by doing this, you have completely lost my respect.” She felt a piercing pain in her heart, as he stated.
He stormed from there after glaring at her for the last time.
Her world came to a halt when she heard those bitter words from the love of her life.
The tears that she was holding back streamed down her cheeks mechanically as he left. Her plan backfired, the person whom she was smitten with hated her. She was shattered and felt like crying aloud.
Nothing hurts more than knowing that you mean nothing to the person who means everything to you. It hurts like hell when you love someone deeply and they only give you pain in return.
Even though it was tearing her apart from the inside, still it couldn’t waver her love for him because she loved him profusely, beyond any pain.