Nandini fell asleep in Manik’s arms. Her head rested on his chest and his arms curled around her. For a long time, he observed her face that had the most peaceful look he had ever witnessed. His warmth and care, plus his presence today, gave her the security that she felt comfortable enough to forget everything. Without realizing it, she had drifted to sleep.
With an adoring smile, he planted a soft peck on her forehead, took his arm away, and shifted away from her. He made her comfortable by placing cushions around her and carefully wrapped a blanket at her sleeping form.
She nestled deep inside the blanket, her bed, and the cushions that supported her. He straightened himself down, wore his jacket, his shoes, and stood facing the mirror in her room to correct his ruffled hair.
The subtle movement at the bed drew his attention to him. Nandini had moved slightly, deep in her sleep, and hugged the cushion that was placed before her. He smiled at the cuteness of that. She was adorable with a baby soft skin, plump lips, long silky hair, and tiny eyelids covering the oceans of love that were her eyes. The long eyelashes caressed her cheeks as they fanned on them.
His heart started beating hard at the sight. He had been her closest friend since childhood and he had seen her sleeping several times. She slept cutely, hugging the nearest cushion or teddy bear. She often shifted and moved in sleep and sometimes she whispered certain things too. He used to tease her and pull her leg if he ever managed to hear any of things she murmured in sleep.
He smiled remembering those days and watched her face with an overwhelming love for her. Softly, he came back and kneeled down beside her bed to lean over her when softly, she whispered, “Don’t go!”
He frowned and observed her face, as she was now having a troubled look on her face instead of peace that was present a while ago. He wondered what she was saying and to whom. Was it for him?
She clutched the cushion tightly, drew it closer and winced in disturbed sleep, “Please don’t go Manik. Please don’t leave me.”
This time it made his heartbeat go faster and he was stunned looking at her when in her deep sleep, she was pleading him to not go. It seems she was talking to him in her dream and was requesting him to stay beside her.
Nothing could be more adorable than this. He already knew about his feelings. He was aware that he was madly in love with her. But what was this??
Immediately, he wanted to wake her up and tell her that he was there and he was not going anywhere. He was going to stay back as long as she wanted him to. But what she said next, stunned him more, and left him shocked.
She whispered, softly, “Please don’t leave me, nah! Don’t go to New York.”
He couldn’t believe what he had just heard. His jaw dropped and his face became pale. He stood up, confused, and lost, with his hand on his lips which went towards his hair trying to understand the situation.
So, is that why she had walked away on the last day of the Miami trip when they had been discussing their future plans? Is that why she had started remaining aloof and stopped talking to him?
She didn’t want him to go to New York? Why? Why did she say – don’t leave me?
Did she want him with her? Him and Her? Here?
Was she in love with him??