'Viren?! Tum yahaan kya kar rahe ho?' Even in his sleep Viren registered the disapproving tone attached to the words and in a few seconds he was awake and sitting up on the sofa blinking in the bright sunlight when he realised he was looking straight at Nivi's Dad! Keshav hadn't gone with the rest of the family but Nivi had gotten a voicemail message from him last night saying he was stuck because of the weather but they hadn't been able to contact him after that so he wasn't aware Viren had been there at all... As Keshav waited for him to reply, Viren tried to think of an easy way to explain the events of the day and night before.
Nivi was in the kitchen preparing breakfast when she heard a noise in the living room and thought Viren must be awake. She'd woken up still on the sofa and the first thing she'd seen was a fast asleep Viren opposite her; he slept like a child, on his front with one arm sticking out and his blanket almost all on the floor and when Nivi went and stood by him she saw he even looked like a kid, sweet and innocent with no hint of the usual cheekiness on his face. She was surprised but happy to see him still there and as she moved some hair off his forehead and fixed his blanket, she decided she at least owed him a proper breakfast. She was still thinking about Viren when she realised she could hear voices in the living room now and went to see if Dadi and Yash had come home.
'Chachaji, woh kal raat...' Viren had no idea what he'd been about to say to Keshav but he was saved for the moment by Nivi who'd come from the kitchen just then. 'Papa! Aap kab aaye?' She ran over and hugged Keshav happily and Viren tried to ignore the way his heart leapt at simply seeing her; now wasn't the time... Keshav hugged Nivi and told her he'd only just walked in but he was still looking at Viren and he didn't seem happy. Nivi finally noticed Keshav's expression and as she looked at Viren, he could see her reaching the same conclusion he had about explaining the situation.
Viren was trying not to look at Nivi for too long, he wasn't used to these feelings at all and he was worried that Keshav could probably see them written all over his face. 'Tum ne mujhe jawaab nahi diya Viren,' Keshav said and Nivi cut in, 'Papa woh toh meri waje se..' before she could finish they both heard Dadi's voice saying, 'Maine isse kaha tha yahaan rukne ko Keshav; Nivi akeli thi.'
Viren had never been so happy to see Dadi in his life! She came in with Yash and Divya, who went straight to Nivi and hugged her and then waved at Viren from across the room. Dadi saw Viren standing next to the unmade sofa and asked why he hadn't slept in Yash's room but he said he'd been fine. She turned and explained to Keshav that she'd asked Viren to stay because she hadn't wanted Nivi to be alone in such a bad storm and then she asked them if they were both ok. The tension had eased a little and Keshav seemed doubtful but ok with Dadi's explanation and Viren breathed a sigh of relief as they both started discussing how bad the storm had been.
As they spoke Viren noticed Nivi giving him frantic looks and he frowned at her, not understanding till she looked over at the sofa she'd slept on. She hadn't moved anything so it was clear someone had slept there too and Viren's eyes widened in horror as he imagined both Keshav and Dadi's faces when they realised it was Nivi; somehow he didn't think they'd be very pleased. He thought quickly and then looked at Nivi shaking his head a tiny bit, trying to say that he couldn't go over there without them noticing.
Divya meanwhile had stood quietly and noticed both Nivi and Viren acting strange; it didn't take her long to figure out what was up. She looked at the sofa's and wondered what exactly had happened last night and thought she had a lot of catching up to do as she decided to save them both from a parental grilling. She sighed and gave Nivi a 'You owe me' look and then while Dadi and Keshav were speaking she quietly went and sat down on the sofa Nivi had slept on, moving the blanket out of the way as she did, so that it was just in one corner. She re-arranged the cushions as if she was trying to get comfy and then looked up at Viren with a smile and raised eyebrows, trying not to laugh as the colour returned to his face.
Nivi sighed in relief as Divya moved any trace of her having slept just a few feet away from Viren all night; she remembered her Dad's face when he'd looked at Viren and felt a flutter of worry even though it seemed fine now. She didn't want him to think badly of Viren when all he'd done was help her. She looked up now and saw her Dad going into his room and realised Viren was about to leave too.
'Main ab chal tha hoon Dadi.' Nivi watched Viren pick up his phone from the table and turn to leave and said quickly, 'Aren't you going to have breakfast at least?' It wasn't like Viren to pass up an offer of food so she was a little surprised when he looked around towards her and shook his head, 'No, I should go home; they're probably wondering where I am...'
Viren wasn't looking directly at her as he spoke for some reason and Nivi felt odd but before she could think anything of it, Dadi said 'Teek hai beta' She went over and thanked him for staying till they'd got back and Viren said it was nothing and then left. He turned once at the door and looked at Nivi quickly before he disappeared and Nivi felt a horrible sense of emptiness as soon as he'd gone even though Divya had started telling her all about how their trip had gone.
Edited by anjaani07 - 08 June 2011 at 12:42pm