“I wish!! Not a fan of this shitty life, either.”

Nandini was dumbfounded when Manik looked into her eyes straight and said this. She had just tried to scare him quoting how people around her died mysteriously. But his reply stunned her. She didn’t say anything to him, but after a moment’s silence, she moved away taking the change of her nightwear inside the washroom.

When she walked out of the washroom, after getting rid of her wedding dress and odhani, and wearing the nightie her aunt had bought for her, she was skeptical of going inside the bedroom, worried about Manik’s reaction to her.

The nightie was beautiful, red in colour with lace at the bodice, hugging her at all the right places, making her look pretty. The spaghetti straps let the nightie stay in place on her shoulders. The satin fabric fell down to her ankles, feeling soft all over her silky skin. She took her hair behind and tied them at the upper back in a loose bun. In this process, she became aware of her open shoulders, open upper back and lace and satin around her. Inwardly, she cursed her aunt for trying to make her look sexy.

Nervous, she slowly opened the door of the washroom and peeped inside the room. Manik was already on the couch, eyes closed, rested on a single pillow, covered under a duvet and he appeared to be deep in sleep. Nandini heaved a sigh of relief. She slowly walked in, without making any noise, went to the huge, king-size bed that Manik had cleaned after removing the flowers, slipped inside the duvet, and tried to get some sleep. It was a new place for her and she couldn’t deal with her anxiety about the unknown.

Within the next few moments, her heart was beating hard and she could feel the bed sucking at her body, numbing her soul. She couldn’t breathe properly and noticed goosebumps on her forearms and arms. Suddenly, she sat up on the bed.

Should I walk around? Should I go to the window to catch some fresh air? Should I try to sleep?

She couldn’t decide. The darkness from the window scared her and she couldn’t step outside her duvet, even when she was desperately craving for fresh air. Her throat was dry and she could feel her lips chipping off because of the dryness and because of the stupid lipstick that she had applied for the first time in two years and couldn’t scrape it off even after vigorous rubbing and washing inside the washroom. The mehendi in her hands had started itching and she could feel her palms getting red because of that. All the parts of her body which were adorned in jewellery today, felt itchy and painful too.

Feeling suffocated and trapped, she once again lay down on one side of the bed. She was afraid of switching the lights off, so she didn’t care to do it. The room was bathed in glorious white and yellow lights. Manik was asleep already. So, there was no one who would insist that she switched off the lights.

She nestled inside the duvet and threw a cursory glance at Manik. He was sleeping like a baby on his side, with one hand folded and his head rested over the folded elbow settled between the pillow and him.

She had heard that he was a doctor. He was not even living in India. She had no idea about his reasons for marrying her, but they must be really strong. Otherwise, why would a man marry a woman at a short notice of 2 days, someone with a problematic past and who had tried her best to scare him before the wedding?

She wondered why he was not deterred even when she told him that she was a lesbian. She twisted her lips and closed her eyes when her tired mind and body refused to think anymore. She didn’t even want to know his reasons. Nor she was ever going to pester him to share them with her. It was none of her business. It was a great relief that this guy was not looking for a physical relationship.

She sighed and started counting sheep to get some sleep. The last statement from him unsettled her again.

“Not a fan of this shitty life, either.” – He had said. She kept thinking about this sentence that he had said. It was weird of her to meet someone this troubled. Sad and disturbed guy, who was not fond of living this life, anymore.

Just like her!

………………………………………

In the morning, Manik’s mom, Superna, knocked at the door of their room and woke them up. Nandini’s sleep was disturbed. It was early morning. 6:00 am. She had just caught sleep, hardly an hour back. She must have been in the middle of a vivid dream that she was jolted out of her sleep. She sat back on the bed, baffled and astonished.

“Relax! It’s mom.” She heard Manik speak, while he moved around the room, dumping his pillow and duvet on the bed, near her.

He was not even looking at her but Nandini was immediately conscious about her bare shoulders, holding a very thin strap of the nightie on each side. Her back was clearly visible and the nightie had a plunging neckline, with lace accentuating the bodice at her front. She lowered her eyes and carefully, she pulled the duvet around her, to cover her. This time Manik noticed her doing this.

He didn’t say anything and walked towards the door to open it slightly, and peeped out through it, “Haa, ma?”

Superna rolled her eyes, “Open the door.”

He moved aside and let her come in. Nandini was immediately conscious of her mother-in-law entering the room and moved to step out of the bed when Superna stopped her, “Stay there, beta. Don’t come out. I’m sorry, I disturbed you so early in the morning.”

Superna was pleased to see Nandini ducked inside the duvet around her and the other set of pillow and duvets on the bed beside her. For a mom, it was a reassuring sign. She kept the dresses she had had in her hand on the table, and said, “I wanted to be here before other relatives got up. There are a few ceremonies to be done today. So, wear this saree and this jewellery after you take a bath today. We need to go to our kuldevi temple today. We have a tradition of seeking the blessings of the Goddess before a newlywed couple begins the journey of a lifetime.”

“Ji…” Nandini nodded and made a small sound over a dry throat.

Manik observed the shirt and trousers, Superna had brought for her, and said, “Ma, you know that I have a flight today.”

“Temple visit will not take a lot of time. Later, you can avoid interaction with relatives and leave after lunch. But this is necessary.” Superna touched his cheek with her palm and gave him a long adoring look filled with motherly love and wondered when she was going to meet him again. He came so sparingly to India and was deeply involved in the work that she missed him and regretted sending him abroad for studies and work.

Manik understood what she was thinking. He said, “Don’t worry, ma! I will come early next time.”

She smiled sweetly and patted his cheek, before smiling on her tears, and sighed, “Mothers will never have enough of you, even if you stayed with them all the time.”

He chuckled. Nandini quietly observed them interacting this sweetly and stayed still. Superna patted her head and left.

When they were left alone, Nandini asked him, in one small word, “Flight?”

“Hmm… yeah! I didn’ t get time to tell you,” Manik closed the door and sat on the couch facing her, “Actually, I was on a short leave only to attend Aman’s wedding. The cousin who got married yesterday, with us. I didn’t have any idea that I will be convinced to get married too, otherwise, I would have planned it in that way. Anyway, I have a flight, to go back to Innsbruck today evening. I need to join the hospital tomorrow.”

Nandini was staring at him, astounded out of her wits. She had no idea about it. She murmured, “Were you planning on telling me about it? Or you just wanted to disappear?”

He rolled his eyes, “Of course, I would have told you. Listen, I didn’t have to hide. The wedding was planned at such short notice. We didn’t even talk or meet before that. And I didn’t know that this will happen. I need to go today as I have important surgeries lined up from tomorrow. Dad has said that he will get your formalities done – Schengen visa and travel documents, insurance, etc. It will take a week or 10 days’ time. You can board a plane to Innsbruck, after that.”

She stared directly into his eyes and gave him a long, blank look. No words. No change of expressions. No exchanges of any other kind. For quite a long moment. making him wonder what she was thinking. He waited for her to say something. But she had only a look. Just a long look. For him. And then, she asked –

“What if I don’t come?”

…………………………………………

48 thoughts on “Love, Lies, Etc.: Chapter 4: What if…

  1. Where are you di? No updates?
    In need of your stories nowww.. I hate this anxiety of mine 😤.. I don’t what rubbish am I talking.. Please ignore

  2. plzz di….update tangles and ties book na ……maine abhi itni baar padhi hi nhi ki mujhse satisfaction mile…plzz…..

  3. Di what happened….no updates..just asking..not to pressurise or stress you..hope everything is fine with you..generally you will leave us a note right if you are busy..hence asking..just like that I am informing not to stress you… missing the updates n u…

  4. Urge two mysterious ppl that we can’t predict our own imagination 😂 but I know she is giving Dhamka to escape and he willingly accepting all her excuses 😬😬😬… but last not least she has no options to stay back but go with him… I guess .. can’t wait to see his reaction …

  5. Ok I have doubt b4 re reading this … 1- is Nandu making her sound as witch bcz she thinks ppl who she is with brings death to them … or is she a witch …. Both having some bad past that y they avoiding the concept of marriage

  6. Two mysterious characters, one mysterious writer = Dhamakedaar entertainment and lots of suspense 😜

  7. Guess he will be fine if she did not goto him.. But would she be able to stay here with the in laws..

  8. Part 4 – Yes…..what if she don’t go …..but will that happen. U don’t think so. It was just her one reason to escape, I think. And if she didn’t go there then also he would not be affected. But what about her in laws. Will they allow her to stay there without husband. They already have bad image of her. At least his mother would want her go there, when she saw nandini covered with duvet. And his father will definately help her to reach her to him. Really both are mysterious. I hope she goes there. Eagerly waiting.

    Madhuri53

  9. Every story of yours is different as in the way you deal with the characters but this is really unique…..both of them so mysterious intimidating and rigid…..at the end of each chapter you realize that you still don’t know the characteristics fully…..super interesting…..

  10. Mysterious! Can’t analyze them too quickly. But I am loving it . Eagerly waiting for the story to unfold.
    Much love doc!

  11. Nice! looking forward for couple more chapters to form my theories around these two individuals😬😬. Its too soon to analyze any of them now.

    In any ways, good start for new book!!

  12. omg !! how embarassing to have your mother-in-law barge into your bedroom the morning after (even if in this case nothing happened 🙂 ) Does this still happen in India ? how cringey!!. But awesome update. Love how the plot and characters are unfolding

    1. Different people have different reactions to similar circumstances. Here, Manik is leaving in the evening and Superna was not really happy with the marriage. So she came to check (yes, actually check) what happened last night.

  13. Means Nandini won’t go?🤔 And why Nandini was feeling so uncomfortable and was not able to sleep whole night? She seems to be very mysterious. And I am curious. Also the only reason of Manik to get Married to Nandini was that he doesn’t believe in marriage? No not possible something more is there. Waiting to know. You are writing another master piece 👌
    Thank you. Take care and stay safe Dii💞

      1. I think nandini heard many people negetive voices while growing up so it trobles her as nightmares. And i don know what r ur reasons for maniks thoughts. But this story will be a super hit.. You are always capture our heart… I am so much curious to know abt thwir future

  14. Mystery and mystery…..
    Thanks for the update di…😘
    The story is intriguing!!! 🤔🤔

  15. This story is so different your other works di. Lots and lots of suspense. Can’t wait to read more ..I just feel all you stories should just go on n on ….the wait for BEB and this story is now becoming a challenging even though when you put in so much efforts and update on a daily basis ❤️

  16. This story is so mysterious.. I am really not able to think what might happen next.. what might have been their past that they both are so distant… what’s in store next.. only thing I know is this story is ur baby and lots in store for us 💕

    1. Aww… thank you so so much Pooja, for that trust in me. I hope that I don’t let people down. This is another of my baby, that is very close to my heart 🥰

  17. Omd exactly what if she doesn’t wanna go, obviously she will I can’t wait to read their story when there both together alone and no distractions from anyone else, that would be amazing!

    I don’t know why after reading this part, it’s making me miss tangle and ties, I would love to read that story again!
    😘😙

      1. me too — I loved tangles and ties ( but my all time favorite of your stories is still spark and spice 🙂 ). I just got through reading it for the second time — all in one go this time. That’s how you know when a story is truly good – you can keep rereading and never get tired of it. Thank you for keeping it free for us die hard fans

  18. Can’t wait for the story to unfold 😍😍 more mysteries, am thrilled to read further 😍😍😍

  19. Thank god manik want nandini to join him! Actually the way he was so interested in the mrg 😝😝 I thought he would leave her behind in india🙈 as expected nandini don’t want to leave india 😑 I really don’t have any idea or any guess how would these two will love each other 😂😂😂

  20. Ahhh here’s the twist..I knew Nandini would tell this…I mean the last line..god this story is getting into me now..I just want to know the mystery behind both of them…what’s so sad for manik..he called his life shitty..and poor nandu unable to sleep peacefully too..will pray that their problems get sorted soon and be the happy couple soon…thku for the lovely story di and for making us happy always during this tough times..love you loads..

  21. Wow just too excited and happy about the update …about to read it now…thku di..will comment after reading…

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