Ok, this was requested by Manal about 10000 years ago, but my life decided to go crazy and so this is coming out very very late.
Part 1 - Page 1
Part 2 - Page 3
Part 3 - Page 6
He knew he should have dragged her to the doctor the first time she fainted during the jagraata
It wasn't completely his fault though. Manvi had recovered so quickly and scoffed at his attempts to find out what was wrong so thoroughly, that he'd decided that she had probably overworked herself and was just feeling the strain. And then she'd gone back to being her usual annoying/amusing self and he was having so much fun teasing her that he failed to notice anything else.
Her sickness wasn't the only thing he missed, either ' he didn't see the way her eyes would sparkle when they landed on him, or the way they filled with concern when he lost his temper with his dadaji
. He definitely didn't see the blush that began to accompany her ready smile... which was why it was such a surprise when she'd confessed that she liked him.
He wasn't proud of the way he'd handled that situation. How was Manvi to know he didn't believe in love, not after the way his last relationship had ended? How was she to guess that all he had was a broken heart and endless bitterness, which he carefully kept concealed under his carefree exterior? Her confession had brought back memories of the time when he'd considered himself to be in love with the most wonderful of girls and the resultant heartbreak. Pain and shock turned into anger in an instant, and the next thing he knew, his damnable temper had erupted. He'd grabbed Manvi by her shoulders, and said a lot of things about her that now made him want to cut his tongue out. He'd seen her wilt before his very eyes, taking malicious pleasure in her misery and his own. And then she'd lifted those big eyes to his own, and the love in them had shut him up. As he watched her wordlessly, she'd stepped away from him, a single tear slipping down her cheek. That tear had hurt him more than his heartbreak, but he pushed that thought away firmly, intending to analyze everything later. The next minute, however, she'd clutched her head and keeled over, and this time, nothing he did revived her.
Now, an hour after he'd rushed her to the hospital, he sat in the waiting area, his head in his hands, every so often looking back at the door where he knew Manvi was lying. She still hadn't woken up. The serious faces of the doctors rushing past him scared him out of his wits. He knew he should be worried about what was wrong with Manvi, but all he could think of was the expression on her face as she'd stepped away... and how he'd been the one to cause it.
A tense voice behind him brought him back to reality. Taking a deep breath, he turned around, looking into the worried face of the doctor-on-call.
"I think you had better call her family. Something is terribly wrong."
And the nightmare began.
A week from that fateful day, Manvi was still at the hospital. She kept drifting in and out, looking at the worried faces by her bedside with uncomprehending eyes. Jeevika and Viren had refused to leave her bedside, and were taking turns in staying awake and talking to her softly, in the hope that she'd respond. Virat hadn't left the hospital either, but he refused to step inside her room. He'd caught a glimpse of her the first day, lying completely motionless on the hospital bed, frail as a bird, struggling to breathe and the sight was too much to bear. He couldn't see her like that' a mere shadow of her vivacious self. So he'd settled down in the chair outside her room, lifting his head up each time someone left her room, hoping that he would see some hope in their faces. But the days had passed and there was no improvement, and there was nothing anyone could do but wait.
After almost a full fortnight spent in growing fear, the news that the doctors had finally diagnosed Manvi's problem was welcome. At least, that was what everyone felt till they were told what it actually was.
"Leukemia?" Jeevika stammered, her voice uncharacteristically high. "But hhow' and why her?" She managed to say, her distress evident in her face.
"Mrs. Vadhera, your sister has been sick for quite some time now. Hasn't she ever suffered from unexplained fevers or headaches?", the doctor prodded, shaking his head sadly as he saw her nod slowly. "She should've been diagnosed much earlier, actually. It is going to be very difficult to treat'" his voice trailed off as Virat glared at him.
"I don't care what you do and I most certainly don't care about how you do it, but Manvi had better make a full recovery and soon", he ground out, his jaw clenching as he struggled to keep his temper in check.
"Mr. Vadhera, as I said, the disease is in quite an advanced stage. Ms. Chaudhary isn't responding very well to the medicines we've given her so far'", the doctor began again, only to be interrupted by Virat.
"I don't want to hear this! I want that girl back to normal, do you hear me?", he yelled, ignoring his family's disapproving glances. Viren stepped in before Virat could say anything further. "Calm down, Virat. You are not helping anybody. The doctors are trying. That's all anyone can do now'" He flinched, seeing his brother's anger turned on him for the first time in his life. "And whose fault is that, bhai? If these people had paid Manvi half as much attention as they give to Jeevika bhabhi, things wouldn't have gone out of hand'"
"That is enough, Virat. Leave the room, right now", Jeevika's cold voice brought him back to his senses. Shooting a sullen glare at everybody, he stomped out of the room and closed the door.
He kicked the wall ferociously, wincing slightly when his foot exploded in pain. Not that he cared. Pain was welcome. Anything that would make him forget her face just before she fainted was welcome.
The gods must have decided that his misery had gone on long enough, because there was finally some good news the next day. The doctors had decided that a marrow transplant was Manvi's only hope and the good news that Jeevika was a match. The bad news was that the Vadheras, with the exception of Viren and Virat, were against the procedure, concerned that it might affect Jeevika and her unborn baby adversely. Virat's outburst the previous day seemed to have struck a chord with Manvi's family, who were now willing to do whatever it took to have her back to normal. Jeevika herself had, in her characteristic quiet manner, decided that she would save her sister if that was the last thing she did. The atmosphere was fraught with tension, and time was running out, but the Vadheras wouldn't budge, leading to yet another nasty slanging match between Virat, his dadaji and Swamini bua. He just couldn't understand why they were hell-bent on making everything so complicated ' Manvi was dying and these people were actually worried about a procedure which the doctors had repeatedly reassured them about. He felt like breaking everything in sight; only the thought of his brother and bhabhi restrained him. He had to be strong for them. He had to be strong for Manvi. He just couldn't lose hope now'
Things had come to an impasse, when Viren's doctor friend arrived from the USA and convinced the Vadheras that he'd make sure that nothing would go wrong at all. After a good deal of drama and talk, which Virat barely registered, the family finally agreed. Things started moving quickly then, with a stack of papers being signed, Jeevika being prepared for the surgery and the procedure taking place the very next day, with the welcome news that everything had gone well.
Virat stood at the ICU door, peering through the glass. He'd avoided looking at Manvi so far, but now that it was certain that she would recover, he hadn't been able to resist. He had steeled himself, been prepared for the worst, but the sight of her still shocked him. Always slender, she'd gotten painfully thin, her cheekbones jutting out prominently. Dark circles ringed her eyes and her skin had a ghostly pallor that scared him. Her thick dark hair was spilled over the white pillow, the one thing that remained unchanged. Virat turned away, closing his eyes. He leaned against the wall, breathing rather heavily, when he felt a hand against his shoulder. He opened his eyes, seeing the concerned face of his brother before him.
"She'll be fine soon", Viren said, leading him towards the chairs.
"I know. I just'" Virat began, fumbling for the right words.
"Can't see her in pain? That's to be expected. You love her, after all. Jeevika can't look at her without crying either", Viren finished, with a sad half-smile.
"Bhai, I don't love her. She's just my friend'" Virat's voice trailed off as his brother shot him a knowing glance.
"Stop lying to me, Virat. And stop lying to yourself. You're in love with her. You've been in love with for a long time now. It was fairly obvious to anyone who was looking. Did you know badi-maa actually spoke to beeji, asking her to keep Manvi away from you?" He nodded, looking at Virat's outraged expression. "Yes, but beeji said she couldn't deny her grand-daughter the happiness that she'd been looking for all her life."
"Thank heavens for that' Manvi would've done something stupid in response to that emotional drama, I'm sure", Virat mumbled, making his brother smirk.
"And if she had? What does it matter to you? You said you don't love her." Viren teased, laughing when his normally quick-witted brother seemed to be at a loss for words.
"Exactly. You care. A lot. Wake up, li'l bro", he said, ruffling Virat's hair affectionately, before getting up to leave. "You know, Virat, I once told Jeevika that you only realize how much someone means to you when you might lose them. Think about it."
Virat leaned back in his chair, thinking about everything that had happened since Manvi had collapsed, about how he'd felt when he didn't know what was wrong with her' He suddenly sat up straight, expelling a shaky breath, a weak smile on his lips. He was a fool. A complete, total fool, who was completely, totally, madly in love.
****How was it? Good? Okay? Pathetic? Do let me know what you think
Edited by divya86 - 21 November 2011 at 10:49am