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So guys, here is the chapter 16. And this mainly because you guys are awesome, you make my day. My expectations from my super MaNan readers have increased a lot, let's say 7 pages of comment and 100 likes on this chapter, at least, and I will do my best to update the next chapter on tonight itself.
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Manik looked toward Nandini and suddenly his eyes fall on her neck which caused him to raise his brow, the pendant he gave her wasn't there instead there was a locket with PR engraved in it. He was deeply hurt, unknowingly a tear licked. He quickly wiped it as he heard Nandini speaking.
She thought a bit then agree "what do you want to talk about?" asked Nandini calmly
"Nandini, I agree what happened two and half years ago shouldn't have happened, I can understand how you must be feeling when you were getting less attention. I apologize," he said the attention thing as he too was feeling a bit out of them, he continued "please can we forget that and start new?" asked Manik, he sincerely prayed that she would agree, he looked at her face and she gave a smile, a smile he had never seen on her face, he didn't know what that smile meant: happiness? Sarcasm? Taunting? Or... hurt?
Moreover, he was shocked to know that he actually was crying to see someone else at his place. She must have cried too and he didn't pay any heed.
"Manik we can be friend, like I am right now with Mukti but I can't be with you the way I used to be, that never," said Nandini with a strange smile.
"So friends?" asked Manik hopefully, even tough he was hurt.
"Yeah I guess so, friends" they shook hands and joined the rest. That was all the talk they had nothing less nothing more.
A week passed by, it was a Sunday Morning, Padma and Shashank were going to come back in the evening.
Manik woke up by 11AM, he came out from his bed and took a shower. Coming out, he dressed in blue denim jean, with a white shirt, he gelled his hairs slightly, giving them a perfect texture.
As he made his way in the hall, he saw the hall was getting decorated, all the servant were placing properly the garland and then his eyes fall on Navya, Cabir, Dhruv, Alia and Mukti, they were decorating the hall, doing last minutes verification. He wondered 'where are Nandini and Abhimanyu? and why are they doing all the decoration?''
Automatically, his eyes closed and engulfed the tasty smell, it was mouth watering 'hmm it smells like cake' he opened his eyes and went in the kitchen in full speed. As he reached there, he saw Abhimanyu sitting on a chair, while Nandini was checking the cake but there were few minutes left, so she too came back and sat on the chair next to Abhimanyu.
He wondered with a frown 'we always baked that cake together, she didn't know the whole ingredients like me. She always used to bake it with me or dad.'
"Nandi, you know I love cake baked by you, I just feel like eating them in a go" said Abhimanyu with his sparkling because of the cake.
She smiled then hit her head and said "shit Abhimanyu, go and see if the caterers are here or not?"
Abhimanyu nodded and left, while Nandini waited for the cake to prepared, she looked at Manik at the door and smiled. "what are you doing here?" asked Nandini politely
"your cake's fragrance brought me here" he entered in the kitchen with a smile and sat down. He couldn't help but ask "Nandini you never knew the whole ingredient then how come you baked it?"
"Manik, Nandu always knew the ingredients but she liked to bake it with her bestfriends company" she said that bit emotionless. Manik nodded and understood what she meant.
He was tad bit confused as she was referring to herself in third person.
"What's going on? there are preparation going on? you are preparing the cake?" asked Manik questioningly
"It's my engagement today" she said seriously.
Manik's eyes and mouth was wide open, he was in horror and wasn't able to believe she was going to get engaged to someone else. He felt like millions knives have pierced in his heart. A tears tickled down, he closed his eyes and tried to control his pain but the pain was unbearable. He wiped his tears and said with heavy heart "congrats"
"Oh my god Manik you think I am really going to get engaged" she chuckled and then she said "It's my parents anniversary and yeah I am baking it alone;" said Nandini with a smile.
Listening that, he sighed in relief all the burden from his heart moved away and he was looking happy, from the reasos he was unknown too.
"By the way how many years it has been since you mom dad get married?" asked Manik, he was really curious to know, his mind was telling him that they got married recently but his heart was telling him something else, so he really wanted to who was right, his heart or his mind.
"24 years" said Nandini, she looked at Manik and found him shocked
"24 years, but how come, you guys were away from Shashank uncle?" asked Manik confusingly even tough, he feared that she will not tell him but to his surprise she did, she did tell him about her mom and dad's past, about what her dad's brother did. Then Manik was really sad, his heart ached to know how much Nandini has suffered along Padma.
"you know, Nandu wanted to share this happy news with you that day" she also confessed her little secret.
Manik felt really bad, he was deeply hurt "you guys have gone through a lot"
"Yeah mom and Nandu did" she said emphasizing in 'Nandu'
"Nandini why don't you say 'I' instead of 'Nandu'?" he asked, he was really confused now to hear Nandini saying 'Nandu' for designing herself
She opened the four door and was checking the cake, she said on the same time "she died the same day when she was insulted, humiliated by her best friend. She died the day when she was slapped by her best friend. She died the day when her best friend choose someone else over her. She died the day when her best friend wasn't ready to listen her."
Listening that, Manik heart pierced, he wasn't able to believe his ears. He just made his way out of the kitchen, with tears in his eyes. While walking toward his room, he questioned himself 'did I kill Nandu? My Nandu?' he was feeling guilty. Even tough, he hadn't killed her physically but he was guilty to know he has killed her emotionally. He didn't know what was wrong and what right. He, at the moment, felt suffocated.
Entering in his room, he closed the door and went to open wide the window. He tried to breath calmly but his breath was getting hard, Nandini's words were ringing in his mind "she died the same day... insulted... Best friend... died... Slapped... Best friend... died... best friend... chose someone else... died... best friend... wasn't ready to listen her".
All this kept ringing in his mind, and his brain was throbbing now, he felt so cheap, he has insulted not only her but her mom too, he could not believe he did this, he could not believe he said bad thing about her whole family, to Padma who was like his mom, Shashank uncle in whose house he was staying, who always treated him like a son. He insulted and slapped his daughter, he insulted his wife.
Oh God! He was ashamed.
As he closed his eyes he remembered each and every word he has said to Nandini with so much anger, he felt horrible as he remembered them. He had hurt Nandini badly "You know Nandini, I was wrong, I was wrong to give you a chance if you ask forgiveness to Soha, you didn't deserve any forgiveness. What you said 'bloody bi***' then let me tell you it's you here who is the word you said. You don't know who your dad is". All the the things keep coming in his mind again and again and were haunting him, he let a loud shout "please stop it.. I am sorry..." all the ringing in his mind stopped.
He still was feeling suffocated, he felt so low as he remembered what he had told her that dreadful day. He took his shirt off and found himself cover in sweat, he wiped the sweat with his shirt "maybe a cold shower will do well"
He took a shower and came out, he was only in his pant. The bath has really did a bit better to him but still he was feeling guilty, someone's emotion's killer. But he was confused, enable to understand anything. He sat on the bed and closed his eyes, soon he relaxed as Nandini smiling face come in his mind, a cute smile was playing on his lips.
After few minutes, he opened his eyes and he was calm, he got ready and a casual dress and went down to help them. He did help everybody in their work. For the first time, he wasn't ready to blame Nandini, his heart has started over powering him.
Nandini was standing on the stool and adjusting the garland when suddenly her feet slipped and she closed her eyes with the fear of falling down but to her luck she didn't fall down. She opened her eyes and looked at the person.
Manik was passing by where Nandini was adjusting the garland as he saw her feet slipped, he ran to her and caught her before she could fall down. As soon she opened her eyes, he was lost in them, he was feeling different well he was feeling like this after a lot of years. He always felt something strange when he looked in her eyes, there was butterfly in his stomach.
Nandini soon stood straight and said with a smile "thanks for saving me," then she got busy with some other work.
After a bit Manik went to Nandini, who was saying something to the servant "Nandini" he called her
"Yeah" said said as she was facing him now
"I want to say something" he said nervously
"and what's that?" she asked with a frown
"This" he said bringing his hand in front with a gift wrapped in his hand
"open it, yourself"
She opened and saw a beautiful white salwar kameez, she looked at him and said "Manik I can't take this"
"Please Nandini,take it for our new friendship's sake, I want to see you in that dress... please" he tried to convince her and she gave in, seeing no harm in it, and went to her room to change. Manik was happy to see that.
As after some times, she came out from her room, Manik looked at her and he was mesmerized. All complimented her and Nandini came to him then said with a smile "thanks Manik"
"Ma'am there is no place for thanks and sorry in friendship" said Manik with a smile and then continued and said "lagta hai aaj zameen per pari aagayi hai, you are looking beautiful"
"tha..." she stopped in the middle as she remembered 'no sorry and thanks' so she only smiled slightly.
Manik said with a smile"that's better", soon Nandini left as she had to check last few things.
All the decorations, along catering and other stuff were ready. Only family members and friend were there. Manik smiled at this, this family was still the same, they never liked celebrating there birthdays in big manner. Shashank and Padma were now going to come any minute.
As they heard the bell, Nandini told the servant to off the light. Padma and Shashank were standing outside and Padma said "Shanshank woh ghar to hain na?"
"I think, they are at home" he said then he continued "We'll check it, I have the extra keys" he took the keys from his coat pocket and opened the door.
"why is it so da..." before Shashank could finish his sentence, they were left mesmerized as the lights turned on. And the hall was decorated really beautifully.
Padma and Shashank were overwhelmed, they went to the kids and hugged them including Manik. Manik was happy to be hugged by Padma. Padma and Shashank complimented Nandini for the dress as she was looking really beautiful. Padma even put a tikka near her ear, the put evils away.
All wished them and flooded them with gifts. Both Shashank and Padma cut the cook together and feed each other and then they feed the kids. The party was on it's full height.
"Mom dad you must be tired, you should go and take rest" said Nandini sheepishly.
"I guess you are right Nandi" added Abha
Their parents agreed and left to their room, the younger too followed them and soon Shashank opened the door, to be left spell-bounded. The room was decorated as it was their first night after married. There were flowers, candles, garlands.
They looked at each other and Shanshank said "Padma, see how much are children love us, they left us alone so that we can have some time alone. So today once again I am going to make you mine."
Padma looked at him with blush, Shashank hold her by her waist and entered in the room then they closed the door.
All the younger were watching that and they were glad to know Shashank and Padma loved their surprise.
Manik wondered 'has Soha ever blush when I commented her? Do we really love each other? or was it just attraction? And later it became a need for me to have someone as I had no one?' coming here arose millions of questions in his mind.
...to be continued.
So here is the chapter 16, what is ur take?
Just for reminder, I know some feel the story is going slow but the thing is, now, Manik doesn't really judge her action as bad, as he himself feel like punching Abhimanyu. In his mind, he is just able to justify Nandini. He doesn't know anything what happened that day. He would find it out steadily, slowly.
You have to keep trusting me.
If any typo or name mistake please let me know.
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