Hello all...a few things that I would like to say...I know many of you might not like me repeating the SR moments with SidSHi...I am not doing this becasue I have of a lack of scenes or anything...the reason is simply that this is Sid...the kind of love he has for Riddhima, putting him into various romantic situation with a different person just doesnt make sense to me...his love for Riddhima was so strong and deep that he it wouldnt make any difference to him.
That is why I keep talking him back to his past and also indirectly keep replacing Riddhima with Shilpa in those memories so that he can see how much things have changed and at the same time realize that he can feel
again for a person other than Riddhima...I hope I am able to make myself understand lol.
I hope you guys like this chapter...I am not sure whether I should have added more here or not...till now Sid has been dealing (or rather denying) with the fact his he might have feelings beyond friendship for Shilpa...and now he is dealing with his sudden attraction towards her...just wanted to know whether I am able to put that across...
I clearly talk too much! Sorry to bore you people...
She traced the rim of her wine glass and cursed herself for not listening to her inner voice.
She should have stayed at home and never agreed to come here.
And she would have if Naina hadnt been so persistent.
It was yet another annual gathering for the top doctors of the city...an honour for any doctor to get invited for this event.
And it was for her too...but this year, unlike previously, she just did feel so eager to attend it
All she wanted to do was coop up in her bed under her a warm blanket with a good novel for company.
She wanted to be alone...there were just too many disconnected feelings swirling within her at the moment and she didnt feel at ease among so many people.
Taking a sip of her wine, her eyes swept around the hall.
Finely dressed people, soft music, rich food...the recipe for a perfect evening.
Except it wasnt.
She spotted some of her colleagues who waved at her to come join them for a drink.
She smiled and shook her head politely.
Her gaze wandered and landed on Naina and Yuvi seated a few tables ahead of her.
He whispered something to her and a faint blush rose in her cheeks as she hit his arm lightly.
Shilpa's lips curved into a small smile at how content they looked with each other...she was aware of the resistance and harshness Naina had to endure from her family who were against Yuvi ...but despite it all, Naina had stuck boldly to her resolve- either marrying Yuvi or staying alone for the rest of her life.
In the end, parents were parents and they had succumbed into agreeing for the marriage as they realized that Yuvi was where her happiness truly lay.
Sighing ,she looked away from them and continued her perusal of the crowd when her gaze landed on him
The smile left her face slowly though the remnants of it still remained in her eyes.
A warmth gripped her as she recounted that moment in the lift that hadnt left her mind ever since that day...it was one thing for her to realize she loved him but this was the first time she had been so deeply affected by his physical presence.
But what had truly arrested her thoughts was the look in his eyes when she had glanced back at him...hypnotic
It had spoken of so many things that she wondered whether it had been real or she had just imagined it.
Of course she must have imagined it...for how could he ever look at her that way?
As if to prove that point, an image came creeping into her mind, from two nights earlier, when he had backed away fom her in a hurry as she had freed her bracelet from his shirt.
His eyes had been wide and terrified and he had been unable to even look at her properly.Was it so distressing for him to be that close to her?Did her close proximity make him so uncomfortable?
She didnt have any expectations of a future for them ...and yet she couldnt help but feel a deep sense of sadness at the way he had reacted that night...as if being so close to her was such a painful thing for him.
She focused on him again.
He was conversing with a middle-aged, round faced man whose face showed keen interest...which was not surprising as he was conversing with a top most neurosurgeon of the country.
A small smile graced Sid's face and after knowing him for so many years, she knew that it meant he was enjoying himself.
Her chest tightened as it always did whenever she looked at him.
The tightness heightened the fact that he would always be out of her reach...a distant dream that she wanted to hold on to knowing it would inevitably slip out of her hands.
The corner of her eyes pricked with moisture and she tore her eyes away from him.
She stood up deciding to mingle around...she really needed to stop thinking about him.
She had only taken a few steps when...
"Hello Shilpa darling!"
She winced.Not her...please anyone but her.
Plastering a fake, sweet smile she turned around to meet the one person she had been dreading to come across.
Mrs Winston... one of the general doctors from Old Sanjeevani that she had the misfortune of knowing.
"How are you doing, Mrs. Winston?"
"Fine as always! And you? I see you have turned up with Siddhant...where is that fiance of yours?"
"I am good, thank you...Vivek couldnt make it today..."
"Oh shame! I was looking forward to introduce him to my husband...ah well. So I see Siddhant is single as always...tell me Shilpa, I have been thinking of introducing him to a niece of mine...see that girl standing over there", she pointed somewhere behind Shilpa.
She turned to see a tall, leggy brunette, dressed in a gown that left nothing to the imagination.
"I think they will make a fine pair, dont you think?"
Alarm bells started going off in Shilpa's head and she didnt notice Sid excuse himself from the round faced man and head towards her.
"Well I wouldnt know..."
"Oh come on! It will be good for him...its such a shame to see him single at his young age. And you know...dont get me wrong...but it is isnt really good for you to be seen with Siddhant everywhere...", Mrs Winston trailed off.
Shilpa's eyes narrowed. Sid had reached them now and had heard the last sentence.
"And what exactly do you mean by that? ", her icy tone couldnt be mistaken.
Mrs Winston shrugged carelessly and cast her a knowing look. "Oh come now Shilpa...dont be naive. You have a fiance and yet you are always seen with Sid. It doesnt really leave a good impression about you."
Shilpa counted to ten and tried to swallow her anger.
With a cold smile, she said " Really?"
"Really! And I have to correct them all the time that you both are just friends and that you are engaged to someone else."
"That's so sweet of you Mrs Winston...to be so concerned about me and my reputation. But you shouldnt bother. Just the same way I dont bother when people discuss your daughter 's affair with the chairman of the company that organizes this event...I just met his wife a few minutes back. Would you like me to introduce you to her??"
Mrs. Winston's eyes widened comically and her cheeks turned red making her look like a blotched tomato.
Raising her chin in the air, Shilpa side stepped her and headed towards the balcony not in the mood for any more socializing.
In her haste, she didnt notice the man she passed by and didnt even feel his dark eyes following her.
She gripped the steel railing tightly trying to reign in her anger. The chill from the metal seeped into her fingers numbing them.
Her anger kept rising as Mrs Winston's words echoed in her mind...the way she had been talking, the taunts in her tone...she had mocked her friendship with Sid and had tried to make it sound so...she shook her head in irritation.
Nobody had the right to cheapen that bond with their insignificant words.
Unknowingly one of her hands reached for the small pearl pendant hanging from the delicate white gold chain around her neck...Sid's gift
Nobody knew what they shared...nobody could ever understand the purity of their bond.
She gripped the pendant tighter.
Sid moved the dark, heavy velvet curtains and stepped out into the balcony.
He was awestruck for a moment by the sight in front of him.
She stood at the railing with her back to him, the glittering lights of the city spread out before her.
Her shiny, navy blue halter dress, that ended just above her knees, bore a a striking resemblance to the the dark sky above which twinkled with a countless number of stars.
He walked to her and stood quietly beside her.
Her hair was pulled into a low chignon with a few loose tendrils framing her heart shaped face.
"You shouldnt let her get to you so easily", he said.
She felt his deep baritone relax her and didnt speak for a few seconds.Turning to look at him, she felt the bleakness, that had been gripping her a few minutes back, dissolve just at the sight of him.
"You know how she is", Sid continued, "She didnt spare Yuvi and Naina, who are married
, so how could leave a chance to provoke you or me?"
She looked back at the city spread out before her.
"Yes but that doesnt mean we have to tolerate it all the time...besides you didnt hear the things she was saying", she replied.
"I did...I was right there but you didnt see me."
She frowned. "Well then why didnt you say something to her?"
"You honestly think I am going to stand and justify, what we share between us, to a woman like that??"
She frowned even more and stomped her high heeled shoe. "But she always gets away..."
Sid smiled at her childishness and turned to her, noticing her fingers playing with her pendant.
He had never seen her without it since the day he had gifted it to her...he had spotted her many times without her engagement ring but never without that chain.
The possibilities of what that could mean racked his mind but he ignored them all wanting to enjoy the peaceful ambiance around them.
"Is everything alright Shilpa...you have been unusually quiet the whole evening?"
She nodded slightly. "Things are fine Sid...I just have a lot on my mind right now...nothing serious though."
Suddenly the chain got loose and fell down from her neck.
They bent at the same time and banged their heads, eliciting a sheepish laugh from both of them.
Shilpa's eyes filled with affection as they always did whenever he smiled.
She picked up the chain and her hands went around her neck to tie it back.
"You know sometimes I wish I could throw her in a rubbish bin!...and then bang the lid on her head", she added as an after thought.
He chuckled lightly at the image her words conjured in his head and then noticed that she was struggling with the chain.
"Do you want any help with that?"
"Yes actually", she came and stood before him with her back towards him.
He noticed the links of the chain were too tiny thereby making it difficult for her to tie the chain.
As he tried to link the chain back, his fingers kept brushing against the pale skin of her neck sending her nerves into a tizzy.
Sid realized too late that he should have not offered her his help...and Shilpa realized too late that she shouldnt have accepted it.
Closing her eyes, she wringed her hands and waited for him to finish but she was unaware that his fingers had strangely turned slow and numb.
As much as he willed himself to tie the chain quickly and move away, his hands had a different agenda altogether.
A light breeze surrounded them and he could catch the sweet, vanilla-like scent of her hair.
Finally after a lot of forced self convincing, he was able to link the two ends of the chain.
He willed himself to move away immediately but some thing held him back.
Slowly, without even thinking about his actions, he ran his knuckles along her upper back, her skin so soft under his touch.
Little currents of electricity shot through her which she acknowledged by her sharp intake of breath.
She moved slightly and turned around to look at him, her eyes shining with an unexpected tenderness, her cheeks turning a lovely shade of crimson.
The wind played with the soft tendrils around her face and at that moment he had a major realization that scared him...no other woman would ever be beautiful to him.
She tried to look away but his black pools magnetized her gaze.
Finally giving into the temptation he had been fighting against for too long, he reached out and traced the length of the silver chain, lying innocently against her neck, effectively stopping her breath in her throat.
They didnt realize that they was a very little distance between them.
They didnt even realize how long they had been simply staring at each other without a single blink.
And then suddenly, "Yuvi have you seen Shilpa around? I cant find her!", Naina's voice reached them.
The hypnotic trance around them broke and instantly they moved back from each other.
Right at that moment, the curtains moved and Naina found them.
"There you are!", she said hurrying towards Shilpa and grabbing her hand, "I have been looking all over for you."
Sid tried to appear nonchalant and avoided looking at Shilpa who in turn was looking all bright eyed at Naina.
"Now come with me...you wont believe who is here! "
He looked at her as she was dragged away by Naina not expecting to turn around and look back at him.
But she did.
What he truly didnt expect was to see the same longing in her eyes that was currently reflecting in his own eyes.
It was only when she was out of his sight that something struck him hard.
A flashback.Riddhima...standing in front of a mirror with her back to him...struggling with the back ties of her sheer white dress
...He saw himself standing behind her...tying the back ties, running his hands over her back...pulling her close...
It had happened again...
And he didnt even realize it until now...
And this time, not once had he thought or even remembered Riddhima.
He had reminisced that moment for a countless number of times...he had remembered each and every detail, about that particular moment, each detail about Riddhima and her reactions to him...
He also remembered how she had labeled every moment spent with him as her 'duty'.
But this was Shilpa...who had no obligation towards him.
He gripped the railing hard, his knuckles turning white.
This was Shilpa...his closest friend...Vivek's fiancee ...Riddhima's sister.
And despite all that, he had just seen something in her eyes for him that shook him to the core...that very same "something
" that he had always longed to see in Riddhima's eyes for him...This just couldnt be possible.
Edited by sidsk - 01 May 2011 at 12:52am