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How these two weeks passed, Ishani could not guess. The time was the longest yet the shortest one she had ever come across and had not been able to decipher why. Perhaps because she had not seen in him in these two weeks as well and the time of his special day was drawing near at such a rapid pace that she wondered at her own ability to present him what he had deserved all these years; no wonder she truly wanted to make up for the lost time on this day. But as they say, time is only a matter of perspective, she tried to go with the flow and let the events unfold the way they were supposed to.
Yet, what felt more galling was Ranveer's ignorance towards her. She couldn't say he ignored her: he had to come in contact with her to do that which had not happened and she had not heard anything from him at all since last three weeks. "He must be so busy," Ishani had said to herself everytime her call went unanswered, though her heart beat strangely as she thought of the reasons. Human brain has its own eerie ways to console a human heart. Her thoughts when it became too much for her to endure certainly began to roam into the hundreds of the possibilities that did not please her but before any conclusion could be drawn, she had received a message, however, not from Ranveer. It was Rishi who texted her informing that Ranveer had been out for a month on a trip to Wales and had ended up causing some health problems for himself which made him cut out from the outside world for a while.
Ishani had panicked at this revelation, requesting Rishi to once let her talk to Ranveer, but he had hesitated and had asked for some time. Ranveer, however, had not yet been seen which increased her worrying quotient. It was his birthday in a day, and he himself wasn't seen anywhere. Outrageous! But still, Ishani managed to finally give him her message. I want to meet you tonight. Come before it's too late...' To her utmost surprise, Ranveer did answer immediately, asking if she was alright. Ishani had thrown some tantrums initially but at his seriousness she had only said she will be explaining things when he's there at her place about 11PM. Ranveer, though, reluctantly had agreed to come which was but an essential achievement. He had wondered what was so important that she had to see him the same night itself instead of delaying the meeting for the next day. Sternness in Ishani's tone had finally convinced him that there was something actually very important that could not wait for the next day and Ranveer had finally given in.
"Idiot," Ishani had said under her breath after disconnecting the call. "Who the hell forgets it's their birthday!" But she knew she couldn't expect more from Ranveer. He was always like this.
It had been 10 minutes past 11 pm and Ranveer had not yet come. Ishani took the day off for today and closed cafe sooner than its usual time to make preparations for the evening. All she hoped was Ranveer liked what she had in store for him... and the surprise. Needless to say, she herself had got various calls from Ranveer asking the cause and her ambiguity of the statements in the answers had left him confused and exasperated.
"It's only a matter of a couple of hours, Ranveer, and you will know everything very soon," she whispered to herself, as she sat on a table in the cafe, her eyes fixed on the window that revealed the outside view.
The clock struck 11.30 while Ishani yawned heavily. "He will come! He will come!" she said to herself as though to keep herself awake. It was not long when a knock at the door finally ruptured all her confusions and doubts and Ishani rushed to the door quickly. She must have fallen asleep not to notice him coming.
"Ranveer!" she shouted enthusiastically as she opened the door and saw him standing, eyes showcasing worries for her. She launched herself on him and took him in a strangling embrace while Ranveer literally choked for breath. She pulled herself away from and looked little confused until the truth dawned upon her and she blushed. "I'm sorry. I was too happy to see you."
"Are you alright, Ishani?" he said as soon as he came into senses after the hug. "What was so urgent?"
"No, you tell me where on earth have you been? Do you know how many times have I called you? I must be registered as the biggest fool for waiting for this day like an idiot and you--" Her words fell silent as she saw him smiling at her, while his eyes seemed tired.
"I'm sorry," he said. "But I hope everything is alright."
"Come." Ishani took his hand in hers as she realized they were still standing on the front door and invited him inside the house. She led him to the cafe as diamond like lights glittered faintly in the hall. "Well, I wanted to see you... and that's why I had to scare you like that. I'm sorry but you wouldn't have agreed otherwise."
"Ishani," Ranveer spoke wearily, "I was working and it's such an imp-"
Ishani put her finger on his lips. "Shh! Nothing for today," she said softly, while he was little taken aback.
"But, Ishani--" he began.
"If I said no, then it's a no. Do you even know what day is today?"
"Thursday," Ranveer answered immediately.
"1st of May."
"Exactly! How could you possibly not remember it's your birthday in the next 15 minutes? On the second of May you were born, don't you remember it?"
Ranveer's expressions changed from little confusion to surprise and then reposed in a smile as if an old memory had surfaced in his heart. He shook his head, smiling, while Ishani too joined in and smiled. He had truly forgotten this little fact.
"Seriously, Ranveer, how on earth you can't remember that?"
"I didn't remember it, true," Ranveer said, while Ishani stared at him for a while and smiled.
"Well, there's a little surprise for you! Something like a pre-birthday one," Ishani said and before Ranveer could run his mind in any guess, Ishani took his hand in hers and slid his old watch in his wrist. Ranveer looked at her, surprised, but she knew he had remembered it being his own birthday gift of three years ago. "It belongs to you." She smiled.
"It's so old," Ranveer said, looking at the watch in surprise while Ishani beamed at him.
"I know," she said cheerfully. "You didn't expect it to be here, did you?"
Ranveer shook his head. "I didn't know you would have it even now. Mota Babuji had taken it from me the last time we met as a relic of my presence in his life. It's truly a surprise you still have kept it."
"You hide so much from me, Ranveer. I feel like a fool so many times, and I wish I could know things better," Ishani said.
Ranveer sighed. "It's nothing like that. I wouldn't hide anything from you unless it's for your own good. Trust me."
"That I do," Ishani said. Their conversation halted as the clock set nearby struck 12 and lights in the room were set alight. The dimly lit room now was filled with a myriad of lights flickering along the room and fluctuating at once to get set bright once again until the gleam prickled their eyes. There was a faint song played in the background depicting the birthday celebration while their eyes fell at the walls covered with the photographs of their childhood memories: Ishani and Ranveer laughing at each other, Ranveer reading her the book while she took a snap of his and he had not been able to retract the photo from her, or them both covered with the yellow fleshy mesocarp of mangoes and laughing hysterically at each other. Ranveer remembered he and Ishani had had a fight over the mangoes and he had refused to give her any more of the mangoes because she had already devoured nearly all of them despite restrictions from her father due to health reasons in summer. Ishani had not listened to him and clawed her hands upon the last remaining of the set of the fruits which had resulted in their disoriented forms.
Ranveer stared at the happenings about him in awe as though his eyes not believing what he had seen. Ishani had kept all of these things safe all these years?
"I never thought you'll keep these safe..." he said, looking at Ishani. But instead of a verbal response from her he felt her arms circling his neck once again tightly as he heard her shout as loud as she could, "Happy birthday, Ranveer!" Ranveer hugged her back and pulled her closer as if to find a solace after a long weary travel as a "thank you" left his lips in a small voice. His head dropped to her shoulder while he felt Ishani snuggle closer to him, her head as most usual on his chest. No matter where he was or how he felt, he knew his one and only comfort was Ishani. All his sorrows could be but a fleeting streak of the long lost memory as long as she was by his side and her disappearance would mean the end of his life. For a while he wondered if he had only imagined, but in a few moments he could clearly hear Ishani's light sobs, echoing in the empty hall. He pulled herself away and gazed into her eyes while Ishani wiped her tears.
"I'm sorry, I was just overwhelmed for a while. It's so good to be celebrating your birthday after so long."
Ranveer smiled softly and wiped her tears again. "It's been my favorite birthday." He needed not say why; she was very well aware why.
While Ranveer looked around, Ishani brought cake as they cut it, and Ranveer fed Ishani and later the process was repeated by her.
"Well," Ishani said, after a while, and smiling to herself. "Do you know who prepared this cake? It's your favorite."
"No, you're getting it wrong," Ishani said excitedly before Ranveer could even make a guess.
"Let me guess, Ishani," Ranveer said, feigning an irritation.
"I know you won't be able to." Ishani smiled mischievously.
"And why you might be amused for that?"
"Because it's going to be a surprise for you to know who made it." She couldn't suppress her excitement any longer.
"In that case, it's a surprise for you," Ranveer said, proudly smiling, "because it's you who made it."
Ishani looked at him, stultified for a while, blinking rapidly in disbelief. "How?" escaped her lips unknowingly.
"Look at its taste," Ranveer said.
"Oh, no! It's perfect," Ranveer said, and smiled. "It's exactly how I'd always liked it and you knew it the best. No one can do this with such perfection."
Ishani smiled, sighing with relief. "I'm glad it wasn't a disaster like two others," she said, making a childlike face.
Ranveer came closer to her and took her in his arms. "It was perfect," he whispered, while Ishani shivered slightly.
"Could you promise one thing on this day, Ranveer?" Ishani said, separating herself from him, for a moment feeling as if her life depended on this promise.
Ranveer looked confused for a moment, but agreed in a while. "Yes," he said, quite uncertainly.
"Would you stay with me for the rest my life?" Ishani asked, her eyes gleaming with both curiosity and hope.
Ranveer hesitated. "What kind of question is that?"
"Promise me!" Ishani said, desperation evident in her voice. She couldn't tell what made her feel so urgent towards the question, but she wanted to know his answer. "What should I make out of your silence?" she said suspiciously when Ranveer made no answer.
"Ishani, look..." Ranveer tried to explain but Ishani interrupted him.
"Alright, alright!" Ranveer said, finally, resigning to her wishes, and his tired eyes away from hers. "Don't look at me like that. I assume you don't mean to scare me?"
"You haven't promised me yet!" Ishani retorted, ignoring his unnecessary questions.
"Alright!" Ranveer said, and looked into her eyes as a strange seriousness took over the place; the lights of the room shut down and the only source of the light were the candles burning genially on the table before them as Ishani looked back into his eyes. She felt he was looking things far away or perhaps deeper into her eyes where she herself had never dared to look upon. He seemed to have been ransacking every fiber of her soul that had entangled all her feelings and passions she held for him, and she was helpless against him. How could he do that everytime? "By my life and death," Ranveer said at length while Ishani gulped, "I promise to be with you as long as you need me. Whenever you'll call me, I will always be there by your side even if you cannot see me." Ishani could not understand what he had really meant but she was somehow relieved. When did he really answer any of her questions directly? She was glad he didn't burst into the fits of laughter at her desperation of his promise; rather his eyes radiated love that she had grown so much accustomed to and now she felt she could look deeper into them without any hesitation.
"I don't get you," she said lightly, after some time. "Why won't I be able to see you?"
"You have a different life, Ishani, and I have my own. It's a truth that we were born with."
Ishani shook her head twice. "We were born with nothing and world made us who we are. We don't have to walk on the path they made and we can choose whatever we want."
Ranveer smiled. "Only if it was that easy," he said, a heart-aching melancholy visible in his voice.
Despite not wanting to look at anything else Ishani withdrew her eyes away from Ranveer's as she felt tears burn in the corners of her eyes, but before she could move away from him, Ranveer grabbed her hand and gently made her turn towards him. Ishani smiled, the dim lights of the room appearing to be embellishing his handsome features. Ranveer slowly moved towards her and Ishani closed her eyes as she felt the touch of his lips on her forehead, pressing in a tender kiss. He did not immediately break apart and she could feel him slowly smile, as though he knew what exactly she felt, but he was afraid and she could tell this by the rapidity with which he pulled himself apart in a few moments. Ishani stared at him but he kept quiet, not meeting his eyes with hers. Ishani took his hand in hers and smiled again.
"I'm sorry," he said, looking away from her.
"You don't have to be," Ishani answered slowly, gently squeezing his hand, and moving closer to him.
Ranveer looked at her, their faces inches apart. "You don't know what you're asking for. It's not possible."
"But why?" Ishani asked, her voice slightly broken. A birthday kiss wasn't a big deal, and she knew he loved her.
Ranveer moved out of her embrace while Ishani looked at him uneasily. "If I did, I won't be able to stop," he said, an uncertain fear explicit in his tone.
I don't want you to, Ishani wanted to say but didn't, instead she looked at him, oblivious to state of time or anything connecting her to the mortal world around her. Why did he have to be so chivalrous on every occasion and everything? Why couldn't he see what she felt for him? And most important, why was it wrong?
"Why do you have to be like this?"
"Nothing," Ishani said and averted her gaze away. "Well, you know, Ranveer, you were the one who ruined the happiest moment of my life?"
He looked at her, confused, for a moment as if offended at her accusation. "Which one?"
Ishani couldn't keep her cheeks from turning red and sighed. "Our first kiss," she said, looking downwards. "Only if you hadn't been so chivalrous back then, things could never be that bad. I would have died of the fear that you wouldn't talk to me for God knows how long."
Ranveer gazed at her, surprised, as if unable to believe what she had said, but he would say nothing of the matter.
"What?" Ishani asked as she found him looking at her.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I never meant to scare you. It was just--"
"It was just that you respected me so much, isn't it?"
Ranveer nodded and fell silent. Ishani felt Ranveer's face looked pale and his eyes were heavy but even at her continuous questions he did not say anything more than that he was getting better now and she needed not worry. Her heart did not believe this.
"It was amazing," Ranveer said after a while when Ishani was engaged in her thoughts, and Ranveer only gazed at her. "I think I should leave now, and I have never had a better birthday. Thank you." He turned back to leave.
"No," Ishani cried, pulling him back. "I have to give you your gift. Just wait." Ishani did not move to fetch anything, rather looked uncertainly about her and deliberately avoided looking at him.
"I think I have had many, and to be honest, everything I came across today is a surprise," Ranveer said, and Ishani could see him slightly smile, his pale looking face hiding his enthusiasm.
"Oh, no!" Ishani shook her head. "It's the most important one... you've waited for it your whole life." She felt her heart beat wildly as Ranveer looked back at her. It was the time. "Go for it! Go for it!" a voice in her head cried while she gulped hard.
Ranveer looked confused. "Have I?"
Ishani nodded and opened her mouth to say something, but before she could utter a single word to him, there was an abrupt sound of the doorbell on the door of the mansion as though someone very impatient from nature had found his hands on the object. Ishani excused herself and left the room. Ranveer felt as though he had been an intruder in something he should have avoided otherwise for the newcomer gave very cold vibes. But who could be at Ishani's place this time? Hopefully not a troublemaker for her, he hoped. Ranveer was lost in his own thoughts when the sound of hurried footsteps neared the cafe hall and Ishani's pleads were heard that grew as she came closer to the place Ranveer was standing.
"There's nothing there," Ishani said, but the footsteps did not halt. In the next couple of minutes Ranveer noticed a familiar face gaping at him in utter shock, eyes emanating a fierce dislike and lips curved in a most unpleasant of the grimace. His own heart pounded in his chest anxiously while he managed to form two broken words. Another shattered piece from his past had returned back. "Falguni Maa!" he said, while Falguni's eyes widened in question.
"Maa!" Ishani came hurriedly after her mother to tackle the situation while Ranveer gave a sigh of relief.
"You said no one was here?" Falguni raised her eyebrows at Ishani.
Ishani looked down.
"What is this, Ishani?" Falguni yelled loudly. "What is Ranveer doing here?"
Ranveer looked at Ishani whose head was still lowered down. Perhaps the mother-daughter needed to talk things in private and it wouldn't really be good if he stayed here. "Ishani, thank you... I'll be leaving now."
"No, you won't," Falguni interrupted coldly and Ranveer halted in his tracks. "What do you need to get out of Ishani's life? Do you even realize what damage you've done to my family and my daughters? Disha is still suffering from the consequences of your monstrous acts! You've even ruined Ishani's life now? She was happy until you came back and look what you've done! She has her relationship with Chirag broken!" Falguni eyes Ranveer in disgust.
"Maa, no! It's nothing like that!" Ishani cried while her mother only fumed at her.
"He is the worst manipulator I have ever seen!" Falguni said to Ishani, her eyes glaring at Ranveer hideously.
Ishani shook her head. "No, Maa, please don't say that," she begged.
"If it's not so, why did he get Chirag arrested in Mumbai?"
Ishani gasped in shock while Falguni smiled viciously, hint of triumphant pride etched in her aging features.
"No!" Ishani said, and looked at Ranveer.
"Why haven't you heard anything from him in all these weeks? Oh, and he told me everything this friend of yours did," Falguni said, pointing at Ranveer. "I hope this is the last time you see her."
Ishani looked at Ranveer again who did not meet his eyes with hers.
"Chirag, after all you have done to him, is still ready to marry you, Ishani. You will never find someone like him," Falguni said in a softened tone.
"In that case, Maa," Ishani said stiffly, "your judgment is completely wrong."
"Oh," Falguni jeered, "so now even you are brainwashed by him, are you not? He never wanted to see you two together. He never wanted to keep you for himself, and when he couldn't, he..." Falguni hid her face in her hands, her voice heavy. "Ishani, you are naive, innocent. You have no idea about people like him. Let him go! He was a cheat, a rapist..."
"No!" Ishani screamed again; and grabbing her by wrist, Ishani dragged her mother in the house leaving Ranveer behind.
"Ishani, don't be such a fool," Falguni said, freeing her hand from Ishani's grasp. "Don't you remember what he did to Disha?"
"For God's sake, Maa," Ishani cried, exasperated. "Please get out of the past. There's nothing there. Ranveer has been innocent all along and I know this. He never did anything to Disha... he never did anything wrong to me. He was framed by others... How could he do anything to Disha when he never ever touched me all this time? I have never seen anyone respecting a woman like Ranveer does."
"He's not--" Falguni said but was cut short by Ishani.
"You remember, Maa, Papa always used to say Ranveer was the savior of our family? He has proved this to be true again and again, and I'm sure Papa will be proud of him wherever he is."
"You are being blind because he has made you think so. He needed a chance and got it when he saw you here and ever since he must be planning and plotting against you, against us. People like him never forget what happened to them."
"On the contrary," Ishani said softly, "he has forgiven everyone who hurt him."
Falguni gave a careless glance at Ishani and then looked away. "Why you might even be defending him so much? I'm sure he was never more than a friend to you."
"I never knew," Ishani said, her voice indistinct, "that he has meant much more to me than I ever truly realized. He's life... he's..."
"He's your ex-driver too and there's this fine line you must never cross!" Falguni interposed.
"Don't say that," Ishani pleaded.
"This is the truth," Falguni spoke, her voice cold. Ishani knew the betrayal from her first husband her destroyed her mother's ability to understand the emotions like her, and she did not blame her.
"I love him," Ishani said slowly, closing her eyes as she felt a strange emotion hurtling over her uncontrollably. "I love him, Maa, and this is another truth."
Falguni furrowed her eyebrows as she turned Ishani forcefully to look at her. "Nonsense!" she shrieked.
"No, it's the truth. I have tried running away from him, from what I felt for him for so long but not anymore," Ishani answered with a small smile.
"And you do know you both can never be together?"
Ishani looked disgruntled. "Why do you say that?"
"Because I will never let him come close to you. I'll shield you from everyone who harms you."
Ishani wondered if her mother was alright. Why did she need to protect her from Ranveer anyway? "As long he is by my side, no harm will ever come to me. Trust me."
"You don't understand!" Falguni said, looking at her daughter as though having detected a long hidden flaw. "Ranveer is not the one for you."
"Maa, I think we have talked over this enough already. Let's go and better you take some rest," Ishani said, knowing her mother needed time.
"I'll take rest only when that Ranveer's out of your life! I can't tolerate him anymore in your life let alone you talking about him like a lovesick idiot."
Ishani groaned inwardly. "That will never happen," she said at length. "We both love each other."
"And you know what he did for that love or have you forgotten that?"
"I remember everything," Ishani shrieked, closing her eyes as memories of the past again surfaced in her heart. "Maa, you have to trust me. He did nothing... he was innocent. It was others who framed him... insulted him so that he..." The rest was history but Falguni seemed to be unaffected by Ishani's pleads, for her stern features never softened.
"No, it all does make sense. Even Papa knew about Ranveer... and it was Ranveer who had asked him not to take any action against Disha or Chirag because he loved me so much. He loved us so much. He respected Papa so much. And you know what, Maa? Ranveer has done everything for us what Papa would have done had he been with us. I cannot forget how he saved this cafe from someone working for Zaveri uncle. He saved the company from Zaveri uncle himself; and needless to say, he saved me from Chirag. And Chirag most certainly is not the one you believed him to be all these years. Ranveer had promised Papa to get me married to someone who would love me but he knew Chirag was not the one and it was I being a blind fool all the time while he only had to pay for loving me so much."
Falguni had suddenly fallen silent and Ishani thought she could go on without being interrupted by her mother.
"Papa trusted Ranveer and it wasn't without a reason. He was the only one who knew the truth all along but Ranveer had asked him never to say anything to us. Perhaps he wanted to stay away from me as much as possible." She said the last words more to herself than her mother. "Still he came back. For me. For Papa. You know what, Maa? Ranveer loves me so much that it hurts. I never thought anyone could love me the way he does. It's always a girl's dream to be loved so deeply and I'm the luckiest woman in the world because I have Ranveer and he loves me. If I can return tiniest bit of love he has for me, I'll have achieved an impossible feat."
Ishani felt Falguni sniff the air but she said nothing. Ishani continued. "It's his birthday today and I wanted him to know what I felt for him; that his love wasn't one-sided anymore. Couldn't it have made for an excellent gift for him? I wish I could have said this to him today but I know he has left already. And he won't be mad either at me or you. I don't know how but he knows to forgive everyone. He forgave Zaveri uncle too... or perhaps not. We never talked about it... But he was never angry whenever I mentioned Zaveri uncle's name and he held no grudge against him. He wanted me to forgive Disha and Baa as well for what they did to him. How could I? I don't know how he can love so much. Maa, if you really, really do love me, please don't think of separating me from him. We'll not be able to live without each other."
Falguni was still silent and Ishani did not like it. Her mother's eyes were fixed on her the entire time Ishani spoke as though scrutinizing the truths in her words. But she knew she hated Ranveer and this journey now wasn't easy. Falguni sighed as though having decided something that she would not say and Ishani stared at her mother for any hint of response. She got none.
"I think I need some rest," Falguni said at last and Ishani nodded, fearing the silence could be more dangerous than her reproachful words, but for now it would do.
Falguni had retired to her room while Ishani lay sleepless on her bed after 2 hours of the incident, her eyes staring the ceiling above vacantly. A streak of the moonlight gushed into the room, smearing her entire self while tears cascaded out of her eyes frequently. Ishani sobbed as she read the note 15th time and held it closer to her heart again.
Thank you so much, Ishani. This birthday has been a very special one and certainly the closest to my heart. I will cherish our moments for the rest of my life. Don't be sad for anything that happened today. Sooner or later it was meant to happen. Falguni Maa, Baa and everyone at home was going to know about it one day or another. You cannot hide the truth, but perhaps it should not have come out this way. Anyway, don't think of the matter too deeply.
Take care and don't stress over anything. I was called for an urgent meeting, and might not be available until this morning. My apologies for leaving like this but I hope you will understand.
Ishani kept the letter as close to her heart as possible. As soon as Falguni had gone to her room, Ishani had checked the cafe, hoping that perhaps Ranveer would be there but he wasn't and she had found this little note from him, tucked under a box on their table. Ishani noticed a scrawl on the paper below as if Ranveer had wanted to write something more but hadn't. What could it be and why hadn't he finished it? This was not the only mystery Ishani was fighting with tonight but she didn't know why, but something else too felt wrong. Perhaps it was her instinct which she feared and her mother's arrival proved it to be true as well. Or perhaps there was something more: something related to Ranveer. He was happy, but she felt he was hiding something. Why did she feel so? His eyes never lied and that crinkle in them was an evidence he was happy to be here. Why couldn't she put her finger on what could be wrong? Perhaps after tonight's fiasco her brain was playing tricks with her. If so, why she couldn't bring herself to believe the same thing as well?
Her eyes fell on the photo of Ranveer's as she picked it up. It needed no mention what was missing from him today that tortured her: his exultant spirit everytime she wished him and they celebrated his birthday together.
"I love you, Ranveer," she whispered to the photo while tears sparkled in her eyes. It was meant to be his day but things had again gone ugly for him. Why did this have to happen on this day only? She had wanted to see his face when she told him about her feelings that she had loved him just like he loved her. She had played the moments again and again in her mind, wondering how would he really react, but when the time came it all had been in vain. He wouldn't have been able to believe anything she said and probably he would have taken her in a tight embrace. Perhaps he would have kissed her: something he hadn't done yet. Ishani smiled slightly through the tears of agony. She hoped she could capture all his reactions somewhere to keep them safe for the rest of their lives. How strange it was truly. Loving your best friend and never knowing it. She knew what he had been going through all those years when she was unaware of his feelings but now she wouldn't let him fight anything alone. Even shadows leave when it's dark; she wanted to be his soul so that she lived with him all the time; in this world and another too. Just like two soulmates are. They don't just complete each other: they are each other. A part of her lived within him ever since they had met, and his had lived within her. That's why she felt so lifeless and empty without him and probably just like him she too loved him since the moment she had seen him. How she came to get so used to him she never knew, but tonight all her questions had been answered. The answer of all of her questions was Love. She loved him. What else could it be?
Ishani sighed. The night was wearing on and soon the dawn would break through, gleaming at the dewy leaves and illuminating the darkened hearts and it would be the day when she would tell Ranveer that their hearts were not meant to be remain broken anymore. She would be by his side for the rest of their lives. She would love him, heal him and protect him from anyone who tried to hurt him. He had fought enough within himself for her and those he had loved but now he didn't have to be alone or pretending to be strong for she will be his strength. His life and all he would have hoped from life. Oh, no. It wasn't a big deal to know what he might have hoped from his life. When did he really bother with himself whenever it came to his own happiness? Ishani's heart clenched deeply as the realization of her own thoughts struck her and she wondered how could she truly be loved by someone so much, so deeply and so dearly. He loved her as though capturing her soul to heal it from all the wounds and sorrows of the world that tormented her everyday but at the same time he had set her free to wander in the realm of light where only happiness dwelt. What price he would have had to pay for all her happiness she could not think but she wanted to be with him and be his light, life and everything he had been devoid of all his life. If it all was a dream and she were a part of it, she wouldn't be surprised a bit if she found it broken in the morning, but if not, she would cherish these moments forever.
Ishani kissed the photograph of Ranveer's as her eyes devoured his last genuinely happy smile she had seen and slowly felt drifting off into a delicious sleep. She could feel herself being wrapped up in his arms and listening to a song flowing through the thin air in the midnight of the warm summer.
Lying beside you
Listening to you breathe
The life that flows inside of you
Burns inside of me
Hold and speak to me
Of love without a sound
Tell me you will live through this
And I will die for you
Cast me not away
Say you'll be with me
For I know I cannot
Bear it all alone
You're not alone honey.
When the song came to an end, Ishani had already fallen asleep, her lips curved in a tender smile and moonlight pouring in with such intensity as though sharing in with all her happiness as the sole witness of her love.
A simple note: Any guesses about why Ranveer was surprised when Ishani questioned him about their first kiss? Not that it's very important thing to be remembered by Ranveer himself but since Chirag had pretended something horrible after his exposure in front of Ranveer, I think, this bit of revelation was quite necessary that the moment that was most special for him, was just as special and new for her. I know crazy... xD
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