As Viren left Nivi on the roof and went back to the party it felt like he was walking away from his life and he was still numb when he got to the stairs and saw the sangeet was carrying on as before. Was it really the same night when he'd danced so happily with Nivi? It felt like a lifetime ago now and as he looked down at everyone below, he felt panic flash through him and he wanted to go back to Nivi and tell her he hadn't meant any of it. He shook his head at the thought; he knew he'd done the right thing, it was up to Nivi what she wanted now... He heard a sound behind him and spun around hoping it was Nivi but it was Divya.
'What's wrong Viren?!' Divya had been about to crack a joke when she'd seen Viren but when he turned around she could see instantly that something was not right; he looked pale and worried as Divya repeated her question. She wondered if this had something to do with Nivi as Viren shook his head wordlessly and then his unsteady words confirmed it, 'I...Nivi, she..' his voice seemed to break off and Divya felt her heart sink even though she didn't know what had happened. She opened her mouth to ask when she saw Sid coming up the stairs with a smile on his face. His expression changed too when he reached them and saw their faces and he frowned as he asked what was the matter.
Viren ran a hand through his hair, feeling like this was getting out of hand and he just wanted to switch off his feelings and disappear. He shook his head again and tried to say firmly that he was fine but his voice still shook and Sid didn't look convinced. He sighed and muttered, 'I just need some time to myself...' and then left them there and walked towards his room; he knew they were only trying to help but if he started talking then he might break so it was better not to say anything.
Divya and Sid both looked worriedly after Viren and Sid said, 'I'll go and talk to him' at the same time as Divya said 'I have to find Nivi' and Sid looked at Divya in surprise but didn't say anything. Viren had looked upset and Sid was worried about him; he had a fair idea what might be going on but he wanted to hear it from Viren so he nodded to Divya and was about to follow Viren when they saw Vandana coming down the hallway, 'Tum dono yahaan ho? Mehmaan sab jaane lage hai, mere saath chalo,' She didn't wait for them to answer and they looked at each other a little helplessly before following her back downstairs, both wondering when they'd get to speak to Nivi and Viren.
Nivi was still staring numbly at the place where Viren had been standing; she couldn't believe what had just happened and earlier when she'd imagined speaking to Viren, this would have been the last thing she'd expected. Her lips still tingled from their kiss and she could still hear his voice in her head saying she didn't owe him anything...
The sound of a car starting up somewhere below broke into her thoughts and she shook herself, trying to clear her head. The numbness was beginning to wear off and she felt panic creep into her heart as she wondered what she was going to do. She tried to think; she needed to get off this roof and go somewhere to gather her thoughts, she needed to breathe... she needed Viren... Nivi pushed down the panic and shook her head against the need to see Viren; she didn't want to hurt him any more than she already had tonight.
She wiped her tears and took a deep breath, trying to stay calm for the moment as she made her way back downstairs. A small part of her was worried about bumping into Viren but mostly she just wanted to see him and make sure he was ok; he'd looked shattered and she hated herself for doing that to him. 'Nivi, kya hua? Tu teek hai na?' Nivi blinked and realised she was already downstairs amongst the guests and Dadi was standing in front of her with Chanchal, and both were looking at her worriedly.
No matter how hard she tried she couldn't bring a smile to her face and she knew Dadi would see right through it anyway so she shook her head, 'Dadi mujhe ghar jaana hai, woh...' She swallowed and muttered something about a headache and she could see Dadi wasn't convinced although Chanchal seemed to believe her. When Dadi said she was coming too, Nivi shook her head again, 'Nahi Dadi, aap yahi sab ke saath hi rukiye, main dawa le ke so jaaoongi.' Before she could argue further, Nivi nodded to Chanchal and quickly made her way to the front door, thankfully not running into anyone else. As she made her way home she realised she hadn't seen Viren and she had to resist the urge to go back and find him.
When Nivi got home she forced herself to concentrate on the simple things like taking off her jewellery, clearing everything away and getting changed till finally she was in bed and there was nothing else to do but think about the hurt on Viren's face and his words. His words rang in her ears and she knew he was right, she couldn't let things just carry on and hope for the best but at the same time she was worried about her father too and she didn't know if she had it in her to stop this rishta from happening. She sighed and rolled over in bed, squeezing her eyes shut, hoping for sleep to dull her confusing thoughts.
Nivi was still awake a long while later; she'd heard everyone come home and now the house was quiet again but still sleep refused to come. She got up and tried drawing but all she could draw was Viren and she couldn't face the look in his eyes even in a picture so she gave up on that too and went back to bed after checking her phone for the millionth time. She'd had one text sometime after midnight and her heart had leapt but it was only Divya asking if she was ok and that they needed to talk. She knew Viren wouldn't call or text but she kept checking just in case, not knowing what she'd say to him if he did.
As she lay in bed, she closed her eyes and for a minute tried to imagine what it would be like if she went ahead with her father's wishes. What her life would be like without Viren in it; without his smile, his laughter and his way of always knowing what she was feeling. Behind her closed eyelids, Viren's smiling face faded away as tried to imagine a life with someone else. She felt empty inside as she saw important moments of her life flash by in her mind, the whole time a faceless stranger by her side and no Viren in sight.
She wondered painfully if he'd go back to Delhi and start afresh... and then at some point his family would want to get him married too... she felt her heart twist at that thought and suddenly she sat up in bed feeling like she couldn't breathe. She couldn't do it, she couldn't knowingly choose to have a life without Viren; she had to talk to her father or Dadi - Viren was too important to her to give up on without even trying!
She let out a breath and rubbed her eyes, trying to breathe evenly. She looked down at the bracelet still on her wrist and held the tiny ring in between her fingers, feeling some of the confusion slipping away; it would be hard and maybe Viren wasn't too happy with her right now but hopefully he'd be with her in the end and she had to hold on to that. She lay back in bed slowly, feeling slightly better at reaching a decision but still anxious. She closed her eyes again but instead of sleep all she could see was Viren's face only this time it didn't make her feel so guilty.
Edited by anjaani07 - 18 September 2011 at 3:20pm