Hello everyone, sorry, posting a week later than promised. It was a hard job writing this part. Hope you guys like it. Cheers
picked up speed and a shiver went through Prachi. Her mind vaguely registered
the chill in the air and that she had left her cardigan behind. The music died
down behind them suddenly and all that remained was an eerie silence. The moon
hid behind the clouds again, leaving a pale silhoutte of the two women lost in their
own thoughts. Prachi stared into the night, too tired to think or reason. She
felt no anger or jealousy towards Sally anymore, just sad……..for what Sally had
lost and how helpless and alone she looked that very minute. She hugged her
arms around herself and shivered again.
cold", Sally said softly in a low voice. "Go inside, Prachi", she said again
when Prachi didn't answer.
gave her a humourless smile. In a way it felt good to feel the cold, a pale
reminder of reality. "You should too", she said softly and turned to walk away.
She shuddered at the thought of going back inside and her footsteps slowed down
as she neared the door. Her mind was a riot of thoughts and tears started
flowing down her cheeks and she brushed them away angrily. Her heart cried
silently and she leaned against the wall, just wanting to disappear into the
deep gulps of water, his eyes searching for Prachi in the dimlit room. The
noise was horrendous, people screaming and laughing. Where is she? He laughed and joked as he passed through the crowd,
his eyes trying to locate her. He was exhausted and exhilarated at the same
time. It had been ages since he played for his friends, among his friends and
tonight Prachi's presence in his favourite place only made the night more
special. She had been very quiet that night and that disturbed him a lot. She
didn't seem to want to talk to him and he had put himself into his music with a
vengence trying to stay sane. But now it had been hours since they had come
here and she still seemed to be avoiding him. The joy and exhilaration he felt
was fast receeding and now he felt lonely without her. How strange it was to
feel that way in the place he had always felt so at home, among the people he
had known all his life! He sighed, Prachiii!!
He smiled on seeing her cardigan hanging on the peg near the back door. Aw, she
wouldn't dare step outside without her cardigan. The night would be way too
chilly for her. He decided that she must be in the washroom. A chill blast of
wind made him frown. The back door was was not on latch. Now, surely she
wouldn't have gone outside, would she? Frowning even more, he opened the door
and stepped outside.
jumped hearing the creak of the back door as it opened. Seeing Milind step out,
she moved deeper into the shadows afraid of being spotted. She didn't dare face
him looking like a complete mess. She would have no answer to his questions.
Taking deep breaths to compose herself, she moved a safe distance from him, her
body rubbing against the coarse wall. She bit her lip as something sharp tore
at the soft skin of her arm. "Prachii……..", Milind's voice rang out and she
covered her mouth to muffle her sharp gasp of pain.
eyes searched in the darkness. Damn, this place had been left unattended for so
long, without any lights or security, he thought to himself. He frowned on
seeing a silhoutte of someone at a distance. Oh, there she is! He sighed in relief.
"Prachiii," he called walking swiftly and was taken aback when Sally turned
towards him. "Sal……, sorry, I was looking for Prachi. But what are you doing
here in the dark?", he asked, touching her shoulder. In the wisp of silvery
moonlight, her face shone wet with tears. "Are you alright, Sal?", he asked
again, concerned now.
word, she rested her cheek against his hand and sighed. The warmth of his hand
was soothing against the chill of the night. He called her name again and she
remained silent, her heart grasping on to the moment desperately.
softening, he touched her head, "Its chilly tonight, honey. You should go in".
her tears, Sally gave a small smile, "I want to go home, Milind. I think I am
coming down with a bad headache", she said softly.
Milind nodded, "If Prachi wants to leave early
then I shall drop you home or I will get someone else to do it. Mark seemed
quite drunk already", he said. Arm around her shoulders and offering silent
comfort, he walked back with her.
pulled on the cardigan ignoring the sharp pain as the material grazed her arm.
She couldn't stay outside anymore. She couldn't hear them talking but just
seeing Milind and Sally with eachother was too painful. She quickly joined the
crowd. No one seemed to have missed her and the place only seemed noisier than
before. She jumped when she heard Milind call her name from behind her. She
slowly turned to him, her expression guarded seeing Sally standing behind him.
to see her, Milind shook his head, "Where were you, Prachi? I was looking for
you everywhere", he complained.
she could answer, Mark's voice cut in, "Ah, here they are! Why, darling, did
you step outside with Milind for a cosy heart-to-heart talk or what?" he
slurred, his smile almost a sneer. Sally took a step back as he bent closer to
Prachi looked at Milind worriedly. Irritated, Sally turned her head away "Chill
now, Mark", she said sternly.
his shoulders, Mark turned towards Milind unsteadily, "She seemed to have
forgotten, mate. Atleast you should have reminded her that you were only her
ex-boyfriend. Her current boyfriend was still indoors, all alone", he gave a
eyes narrowed. Ignoring Mark, he turned to Prachi, "Do you want to leave now or
stay a bit longer, Prachi?" he asked calmly.
Looking from Mark to Sally and him, Prachi
nodded, "Now, please", she said softly.
stepped closer to her, "Good, we will just let the guys know and we will drop
Sally on our way", he said.
closed her eyes in dismay, "Oh god, how am I going to bear this further", she
Mark patted Milind's shoulder, "Sally will go
with me", he declared slurrily.
gave him a bored look, "Yeah mate, we all knew what happened last time you
drove her home fully drunk", he said sarcastically.
Mark gave a sneer, "Cool. So, you take my
girlfriend home and I take your wife", he laughed.
on his laughter as Milind grabbed his collar, "Don't you dare bring Prachi into
this. One more word and I will smash your face into a pulp", he said in a
dangerously soft voice.
"Enough, guys", cut in Vicky and slowly Milind
released his hold realising that people had gone quiet around them.
is such a bully", whined Mark and Vicky patted his shoulder. "Cool it, man. Pete's
just pouring you another shot. You are not planning to miss all the fun
tonight, are you?", he said suggestively and Mark nodded and walked off
staggeringly towards the drinks table.
gave a reassuring smile at a stunned looking Prachi and Sally. "Sorry about
that, ladies", he applogoised. He put his arm around Milind, "Get going now,
bro. I will handle things here. He is just a drunken idiot. Don't mind him", he
gave a curt nod and put his arm around a shaken Prachi. "Sal", he called out to
Sally and walked off swiftly.
an uncomfortable silence in the car. Prachi closed her eyes and leaned back. Goodbyes
were hurried and they had left immediately. She was still in shock over Mark's
behaviour. He had always come across as a very pleasant and friendly guy but
tonight…….! Her papa always said that alcohol brought out the hidden animal in
man, makes one forget who he was and where he was. How right he was! But then
her papa was always right. Mark had indeed forgotten his own self, all in the
name of fun and partying.
"I appologise for Mark, guys", said Sally
suddenly. She looked embarassed and Prachi felt sorry for her. Their eyes met
and there was a gleam in Sally's eyes that bordered on triumph. Kicking herself
for feeling sorry for Sally, Prachi kept quiet.
gave a slight nod at Prachi and smiled at Sal, "Forget it, Sal. He didn't know
what he was saying. He was never very good in handling alcohol anyway. He will
be fine tomorrow", he said gently.
His eyes kept moving to a very quiet Prachi.
The minute he put his arm around her, she had moved away from him and a sudden
anger had flared in him. He had kept his arm around her shoulder adamantly till
they reached the car. Now, she was sitting hudled near the window as far away
from him as possible. Why is she avoiding him like that? If she had been quiet
on the way to the farm, she had almost shut herself from him now. His eyes kept
searching her face but it remained carefully blank. Anger and frustration
coursed through him and his eyes hardened. Well, two can play the game, he
thought to himself arrogantly.
to Sally, he gave a bright smile, "I am impressed with the report you submitted
this morning, Sal. I might ask you to handle the next one too, only if I am
convinced that you can manage it", he said challengingly.
Sally brightened up,
"Try me, Milind. I won't let you down", she said softly.
The rest of the
journey was spent in business talk between Milind and Sally, about their new
project, morning meeting and other things. Relieved that she didn't have to
participate in it, Prachi ignored them completely and continued to look outside
the window, aware of Milind's eyes on her now and then. She sat upwith a start
when the car came to a halt in Sally's driveway.
"Why don't you both come inside?" invited
looked at Prachi and realising that it would be petty to refuse she sighed and
got off the car. As they walked into the house, Milind laughed softly, "It's
been years since I dropped you at your father's house after an evening out. The
questions he would ask me!! God knows how I survived it", he sighed dramatically.
smiled, her eyes glazing over. "I bet dad is still awake", she winked at him.
Milind chuckled, "Old habits, I guess", he
said and muffled his laughter with a cough when Simon walked down the stairs.
"Aw, sweety, you are home earlier than I
expected", Sally's father called out and Sally rolled her eyes at Milind.
to keep a straight face, Milind moved forward to shake his hand and Simon
greeted Prachi warmly. "How did you keep tabs when Sally lived in her flat,
Simon?" Milind asked cheekily.
smiled, "I know she is a big girl now, Milind but here it's my house, my rules,
right?" he asked and Sally kissed his cheek.
smiled feeling the warmth between them. Her heart clenched with a sudden
longing to be with her papa and she blinked furiously to clear the sudden tears
be leaving now, Sal. It's quite late already", said Milind, refusing her offer
of coffee and Prachi quickly took her leave from Simon.
of the door, Sally tugged at Milind's arm. "See, that branch still stoops
towards my bedroom window", she said and pointed to the huge tree in the
chuckled, "Yeah, but I am too heavy to swing on those branches now. Now-a-days,
I do the right thing and ring the doorbell", he said. "Now, get some sleep and
don't think about anything else. All will be well tomorrow", he said softly and
walked to the car. Waiting for him to join her, Prachi wished Sally a good
night and got into the car.
As the car
pulled out of the driveway, Milind turned to her, "Prachi, what……?".
him before he could continue, "I am tired, Milind. Do you mind, please?" she
said softly and closed her eyes.
stunned to say anything, Milind stared at her. The shrill ringing of his mobile
phone cut through the silence and Prachi was relieved as he was kept busy by
the overseas business call till they reached home.
threw her purse on the bed and sat down, holding her throbbing head and jerked
up when the bedroom door slammed shut. She closed her eyes seeing the fury in
want to talk to me, be anywhere around me. What the hell is going on, Prachi?"
he asked angrily.
turned away from his probing eyes, "Nothing. I just want to be left alone for
sometime. Is that too much to ask?" she said calmly.
Eyes narrowing in anger, he lifted her face up
towards him roughly, "Yes…..yes, it is when it concerns you and me. I
apologised for my behaviour last night. What more do you want?" he snapped.
herself away from him, she stood up, "I don't want anything, Milind. Just leave
it", she said and turned away from him.
closed on her arm and he pulled her back to him, "Don't you dare turn away from
me when I am talking to you", he said silkily and let her go immediately when
she cried out in pain. "What is it? What is it, Prachi?" he asked concerned.
touched her arm, suddenly remembering that hurt herself in the dark. It had
completely slipped her mind. She slowly slid off her cardigan and stared at her
Milind took a sharp intake of breath, "How
did you get hurt? Why didn't you tell me? No, don't touch it. Let me clean it
up first", he spoke quickly and pulled out the first aid box. He stilled when
Prachi moved away from him.
Just don't" she warned, tears brimming in her eyes.
shocked to react, Milind watched speechlessly as she cleaned the blood herself.
There was a sharp cut and Milind swore under his breath and held her hand. "Let
me do it", he said harshly.
Prachi pulled her hand away from
him, "Don't touch me, Milind. Just stay away from me", she screamed.
clenched into angry fists, Milind stepped towards her. "You don't mean that,
Prachi", his voice shook.
it, damn you", she screamed and pushed the first aid box away, its contents
dropping on the floor. She gave a harsh laugh ignoring his stunned expression,
"Why this sudden concern for me, haan? All night, you had eyes only for Sally.
Now that she is not here, you remembered me", she bit out angrily.
froze, unable to believe his own ears, "What are you talking about? Where did
Sally come in between all this?" he asked in utter disbelief.
would ask that, wouldn't you? You know what, Milind, you should have taken up
Mark's offer and swaped me for her", she said bitterly.
rang with her words and Prachi froze realising what she said. A shiver went
through her when Milind's hand shot up and pulled her head towards him, his
hand tightening in her hair. His eyes glittered with fury and utmost hurt, "How
dare you, Prachi? How dare you?" his voice shook so badly and he pushed her
away from him in disgust and strode of the room.
shaken and disgusted with herself, Prachi sat down. Oh god, what had she said!
How could she! A fierce anger had gripped her and she wanted to see him in
pain, wanted to hurt him as much as she was hurting within herself. But now
that she saw the hurt in his eyes, she didn't feel content but only ashamed of
herself. Suddenly she felt like a stranger in her own body. A myriad of
emotions had taken over her very soul and she felt lost and utterly terrified. Milind…Milind……her heart cried silently. Why
does she want to be run into his arms and at the same time can't bear his
touch? Why does she want to hurt him as much as she could but can't see him in
pain? But then what does she actually want? She didn't know…..The pain in her
seemed to have numbed her to rational thoughts or behaviour. Could death be
worse than this? Could it be more painful than this? She didn't think so. Oh, If
only she could just die this very moment! Too tired to even cry, she buried her face in
Milind paced the lounge in angry strides. He wondered if he heard her right.
Did she really say that? How dare she……….how dare………He sat down on the sofa,
tears stinging his eyes. Atleast Mark was drunk but Prachi is in her senses.
How could she even think like that let alone say it aloud ………to him? He held
his head in his hands as her words kept ringing in his mind. What did she mean
when she said that he had eyes only for Sally? He closed his eyes in pain. Did
she really think that? How could she?
Why is she bringing up Sally again? He had thought all that was sorted
out months ago. Had he been mistaken? But then why tonight? Was she upset about
him dancing with Sally? Why did she not say that outright? Why is she shutting
Unable to keep the questions to himself, he strode back into the room.
He forgot his anger and questions seeing her whimpering into her hands and
blood oozing out of the cut in her arm. Taking deep breaths to compose himself,
he sat next to her without a word and started cleaning the cut. Prachi stilled
but didn't move away from him. She watched him as he dressed it up efficiently
taking utmost care to not touch her, her heart breaking even more. He pulled
out a nightie for her and threw it on the bed. "I will leave you alone now", he
said and strode out to the balcony. Prachi watched him go, every cell in her
body wanting to call him back to her.
night had turned misty and Milind watched the changing lights of the water
fountain lost in thoughts. He can see clearly
that lastnight's misunderstanding alone was the not the reason for Prachi's
reaction. There was something more but what? He raked his fingers through his
hair confused. He couldn't understand where Sally fit in all this. Now that
they were married, he had thought that she had left behind all her insecurities
about Sally. Suddenly he wasn't sure. But then she had reacted violently when
he praised Sally last night too. He frowned and Prachi's words rang in his mind
clearly.. No one takes my place, Milind.
No one…..He hadn't heard her sound that vehemant before. Now her words took
altogether a different meaning. Oh god, she wasn't talking about the party at
all! And now she said that he should swap her for Sally. She surely wasn't just
repeating Mark's words. Tension coiled inside him and he stared into the dark
night. As if something snapped open, Prachi's reaction to Sally on various
occasions came back to him. And he had been so blind, so blissful in his
married life that he had never even suspected anything. But she had seemed
friendly with Sally. Was there a hidden tension between them that he had failed
to notice? Confused and worried, he paced restlessly. But they had talked about
it before, on various occasions. Damn it, Prachi! He swore angrily. Why does she
keep holding on to this and for how long? Buried up to his neck with work, he
had needed her with him more than ever and she is buried in her own
insecurities, pushing him away. But then he could tolerate anything but that.
He will have to talk to her and now. He needed answers and fast. He was not
going to waste another night of their life in stupid misunderstandings.
strode back into the bedroom. The lights were still on but Prachi seemed to be
sleeping. Feeling torn between waking her up and letting her sleep, he stood
there. A soft whimper alerted him and he walked closer to the bed. Prachi was
whimpering his name in sleep, a lone tear running down her face. His heart
constricted with such fierce love, that he staggered. He touched her face
gently wiping the tear, "Sweetheart", he called her softly.
woke up with a wild start and stared at him as if he was a stranger. He cupped
her face, "Prachi, Was it a bad dream, darling? It's okay. I am here now", he
suddenly seeing him, she pulled away from him. Feeling like his heart was
being wrenched away from him, he reached for her again, "No, sweetheart, don't
move away from me. I can't bear it, Prachi", his voice broke and he pulled her
stiff body towards him.
glass of water against her lips, he urged her to drink. Prachi obeyed taking a
few slips but remained silent. She moved away from him again and curled up on
the bed. He watched her as her eyes closed. Turning off the lights, he got into
bed and pulled her closer, ignoring her feeble resistance.
her head resting on his chest but she stayed stiff in his arms, "You used to
fall asleep the minute you come into my arms, Prachi. Why not now, sweetheart?
What has changed and Why? You are in my arms but I feel that you are miles away
from me and I can't bear it. It's killing me, Prachi", his voice shook and he
closed his hand over hers. She never relaxed and her fist stayed clenched.
Tears filled his eyes and he brushed his lips against her head softly, "I have
done something to hurt you so much, Prachi. But I don't know what. Oh god, I
just don't know", he whispered in a broken voice. He continued caressing her
head and hummed softly. Dawn broke, its faint rays filtering through the
curtain and atlast she relaxed, slowly falling asleep in his arms. Milind
stayed awake trying to find solace in seeing her sleep, fear and despair
gripping with every passing minute.
Prachi woke up with a start and
found herself alone in bed. The curtains weren't pulled back and the room was
still pleasantly dark. She reached out to touch his pillow, his smell still
lingering in the sheets. She rested her head on it as memories of last night
filled her head. After all that, she had still fallen asleep in his arms as
always. He would be at work now. Did he get any sleep at all lastnight? She
didn't think so. Her mind remembered the helplessness in his voice and her
heart clenched with pain. He wanted to know what he had done. What was she
going to tell him? There was a beep on her phone and resigned, she picked it
up. "Wake up and shine, Prachi BHABHI. My flight leaves in a few hours", it
said. Prachi sat up with a start. Oh god, it had gone 11 am already and Vicky
was leaving that afternoon. She should have been at his house now and that was
more important at the moment. She hurriedly got off the bed and swayed as a
wave of dizziness hit her. She touched her arm, finding a new plaster. He must have changed it this morning, she thought. Her eyes fell on a single red rose on the bedside
table. She picked it up and held it close to her heart, tears brimming in her
eyes. "Milind", she whispered.
pushed the suitcase aside in frustration. He never remembered carrying so much
stuff. He loved to travel lightly and hated packing. Milind packed for him most
of the time and today that moron would come only hours later. To top that,
Prachi was bringing more stuff for Pooja. Ah, it had been weeks since he last
saw her, he smiled to himself. Suddenly travelling didn't seem that bad
anymore. A soft knock sounded on the door and Prachi walked in with bags. The
look in her eyes hit him straightaway but she averted her gaze quickly.
for turning up before my flight took off, Prachi", he said sarcastically and
raised his eyebrows when she didn't respond. He pointed to the bags, "To make
up for the delay, you can carry on with packing. I am giving you exclusive
rights today. I am still hung over and tired", he complained and threw himself
on the bed. With a small smile, Prachi started packing for him.
her closely, Vicky said, "I know I shouldn't be saying this but you do look
terrible, Prachi. And I am sure only one person could be responsible for that".
Prachi stilled but didn't respond. Vicky sat up, "Okay, I am getting a bit
tired of talking to myself", he said and nodded in satisfaction when Prachi
gave a small smile. "If you are still upset over Mark's behaviour, then I don't
blame you. He was way too jealous and he went off handle. Sorry about that,
Prachi. When he wakes and remembers everything, the first thing he will do is
beg for your forgiveness. You can be as nasty to him as you want but he will
grovel at your feet till you forgive him. He is a good guy but just got way too
drunk yesterday", he said and Prachi nodded.
pushed the suitcase away from her and sat in front of her. "I spoke for so long
and all you do is nodding your head. Things seem to be serious. What happened?"
he asked gently. Prachi looked up and very worried now, he held her hand,
"What's wrong, Prachi?", he asked concerned. This certainly didn't look like a
little tiff with Milind.
all the fight went out of her, Prachi sighed, "He loved her, didn't he?" she
asked almost inaudibly.
eyes narrowed, "Who loved whom, Prachi?" he asked.
she said softly, struggling within herself.
drew a sharp breath, "And Milind?" he asked in disbelief. She nodded, averting her
eyes. Vicky studied her silently, "Why are you asking this question now,
Prachi? Was it the dance yesterday?" he asked. So, it wasn't just Mark but
Prachi too….damn! he swore to himself. When she didn't answer, squeezed her
hand, "What is stopping you from asking Milind? He is the only one who could
answer that", he said.
pulled her hands away and stood up. "I should have known better. Of course,
it's your brother and you wouldn't talk about him", she said bitterly.
"Prachi" called Vicky sternly and she sat down
again. "I know how it looked lastnight. No wonder both you and Mark are
reacting. But Prachi, they had history and that place was brimming with it. You
would always see that underlying chemistry between them. It happens to
everyone. Put me and my ex-girlfriend together that close, you will see it and
Pooja would rip my head from my body", he said gently.
shook her head, "It's not just the dance, Vicky. I know he cared for her very
much. It wasn't a casual fling", he said.
Vicky frowned, "But who said it was a casual
fing? They were together for almost three years, Prachi……his first girlfriend
who also happens to be his best friend from childhood. One must be really
callous to not feel anything and your husband is not such a man", he said.
Seeing her troubled face, "What is bothering you, Prachi? Are you just
wondering if he loved her or do you think that he is still in love with her? If it is the later, then it is very serious
and your relationship is at stake", he asked concerned.
burst into tears and buried her face in her hands, "I don't know what is
bothering me, Vicky. I know he loves me…….very much but I can't accept that he
might have loved Sally just as much. Then why didn't he tell me so? I am scared
to think that I might have come between them, if…..if he would have been
happier with her" her voice shook badly.
looked taken aback and his eyes narrowed, "Wow, now that's strong! If that's
what you think then what are you doing here? Leave him and then he and Sally
can live happily everafter", he said sarcastically.
looked stunned and stared at him. Leave
him and go away…..let Sally take her place…A life without him…..No…Nooo,
her fist clenched into fists and violent sobs raked her.
softening, Vicky touched her head, "Silly girl, do you think he can live
without you? He can be no one else's but yours, Prachi. And you know that too. Then
why such thoughts?" he said gently. Her sobs reduced into hiccups and he passed
on a glass of water, urging her to drink. "How can you even compare his
feelings for you with what he might have felt for Sally? He was a kid then.
That's not an age to make promises of a lifetime together. We didn't even know
which college we were going to. But now he is a grown man who has found his
love and life with you. Yes, he did care for Sally very much and still does but
don't ever compare that with what he feels for you", he said gently.
Prachi's eyes flashed, "Oh yes, he cared enough
to be heartbroken and miserable when she left. People talk, Vicky and I can
hear them", her voice broke again.
Understanding dawned on Vicky and he relaxed,
"Ah, so you heard people talking. Do you think they know him more than I did?
But whatever I tell you is not going to be enough. You need to hear it from
him, Prachi. Milind is the only person who could answer your questions" he
asked as if she didn't hear him, "Was he really heartbroken, Vicky?", her voice
Vicky sighed and she looked at him with
tearfilled eyes. "He was only a teenage kid, carefree and reckless, great life
and a hot girlfriend. When they became a couple, none of us were surprised.
They had always been very close and they were such a hit. When Sally's world
fell apart, she relied heavily on Milind. He stood by her, we all did. When she
announced that she was leaving, he still supported her. But I think it hit him
only after she left. Of course, he missed her. It was the first time he lost
someone close to him. He didn't know how to handle it. And he didn't want to
talk about it, even to me. So, we let him be. But life moved on and he did too.
The other girls in his life didn't match up to Sally because he didn't find a
friend in them. But you, Prachi…….He found everything in you. So, don't go
around comparing the two" he said.
he hadn't met me in Ooty, he would have got back to her when she came back",
she said almost to herself.
sighed, "May be! He felt very guilty when he came to know that she was in love
with him during their teenage days. If he hadn't already fallen in love with you, he may have
reacted differently. But it didn't happen that way", he said.
Prachi stared at him, "Milind knew that Sally was in love with him?" she
nodded, "Yes, she told him herself and he was so upset for causing her so much
hurt then. When it would have mattered, she never told him and he never
suspected and when she did, he wasn't available any more. They both had moved
on. And don't blame him for that, Prachi. It was not his fault that she was in
love with him", he said gently.
closed her eyes, "Still is, Vicky. She's still in love with him", she said
stared at her in disbelief. "Sh*t", he swore. Oh god, this is a complete mess.
Oh, poor, poor Sal! He felt sorry for his close friend. Suddenly he sat up and
studied her, "How do you know that, Prachi? Did she tell you? What else did she
tell you? What is going on between both of you?" he asked concerned.
Cursing herself for giving it all away, Prachi looked at him with
pleading eyes. "Please, Vicky, let it go. I just know it. Don't ask her
anything", she said.
Vicky's eyes searched her face, "Don't ever forget this, Prachi. Sally
may be my close friend, but if she had caused you any distress, I will never
forgive her. You are my sister, my family. If you want to tell me anything,
please do so. I promise I won't say anything to Milind unless you want me to",
he said softly.
Prachi gave a small smile, her heart lifting up, "Thanks, Vicky. I know
you will. But please trust me. It's a women thing and I am capable of handling
it myself. Please don't say anything to Milind", she begged.
looked at her for several seconds and then nodded, "Alright, Prachi but
whenever you need to talk, you know where to find me", he said. Prachi sighed
with relief and he silently vowed to keep an eye on this. He wasn't going to
let it go that easily. "Tell me one thing, Prachi. Do you doubt Milind's love
for you?" he asked.
Prachi closed her eyes. Did she? She shook her head. "No,
Vicky. I would never doubt it. Not now, not ever", she said, a weight lifting
off her heart.
smiled in approval, "Good and now, talk to him, Prachi. I can sense that you
have a lot of questions and as I said, only he can answer that. So, ask him.
Your relationship is too precious to let such things rattle it. I know what you
mean to him, Prachi and I am sure you know it too. Give him a chance to explain
before you judge him based on what other people said. He deserves that much",
he said softly.
Prachi nodded, tears flowing down her cheeks. Vicky put his arm around
her shoulder and she sobbed softly, her head resting against his shoulder.
sharp knock sounded on the door and before she could look up, Milind walked in
and went still. "Oh, I am sorry………", lost for words, his eyes took in her
tearstained face. With his arm still comfortingly around her shoulder, Vicky
gave a small smile, his eyes gently reassuring a worried looking Milind.