The concert ends, and as expected by Nandini, it is a grand hit. Her Shy Boy pulled out the whole performance like a true rockstar, making her proud. She can see the pride in his parent’s eyes whereas the audience can’t stop themselves from falling in love with HER SHY BOY’S VOICE. The chanting and enthusiasm in the audience’s voices scream the charm he created in their mind and heart. 


The crowd is getting madder and madder over Manik’s performance, making him emotional. He can’t believe that he did it. He proved every individual wrong who says that he is useless or he has no talent at all. For the first time, he felt confident about his bright future and all this happens because of HIS FIREBALL. He bows down one last time thanking the audience for appreciating him and leaves the stage with his bright smile. 

Otherside, Nandini couldn’t control the grin which came on her lips looking at the gang who are Manik’s ex-friends. Their wide eyes and open mouth are enough to tell her the whole story, making her grin wider. With the naughtiest smile, she walked to them and crossed her arms around her chest, royally. 


Alya:- ( angrily ) He…

Nandini cut her in mid with her casual laugh, making them angrier. 

Nandini:- Please, feel free to ask for help. I would like to help you guys in your toughest time. I can understand what you guys are going through but trust me THIS IS JUST STARTING. And I can also arrange monthly passes for hospital beds as my brother is one of the chairpersons in most of the hospitals. 

Dhruv (Alya’s boyfriend):- Don’t you think you are flying too high? 

Nandini:- ( fake surprise ) Am I?…. ( Looking into Alya’s eyes, confidently ) Doesn’t matter when I have Manik to catch me whenever I fall. 

Alya:- ( with a raised eyebrow ) Overconfident, are we? 

Nandini:- Nah… It’s LO… FRIENDSHIP! 

Nandini composed herself before she utters love as she doesn’t want to confess her love for Manik to anyone. At least not when her shy boy is unaware of her feelings. 

Dhruv:- Friendship with that cheater? ( With a humorless chuckle ) You are going to pay hard for trusting him, girl? 

Nandini narrowed her eyes hearing the word cheater for her shy boy but before she pondered on that, Alya’s expressions caught her attention. She saw her wiping her sweat which increased her suspiciousness. 

One of Alya’s friends:- You will regret it, girl. He is not a one-woman guy. Just see beyond his fake innocent mask. 

Nandini:- ( confidently ) You guys can’t see the real Manik which I did. By the way, ( eyeing Alya, suspiciously ) I think you guys are living in someone’s fake scenario. I hope you guys will come out as soon as possible. 

Saying this she went away passing the evil smirk to Alya. Everyone frowns hearing her words except Alya, who understood that Nandini has doubts about her. 

Alya murmurs, “Shit!… Alya, this is not right. No one should know what happened between me and Manik. This is not right!… I can’t tarnish my respect like that. I have to keep Manik on track so that he won’t tell her anything or else she will destroy me.” With a determined face, she walks out to keep a check on Manik. 

Nandini reaches the green room and joins Manik’s parents to welcome him after his marvelous performance but to her shock, he is not present there. 

Ritu:- Nandini, where were you? 

Nandini didn’t reply as she was zoned out from the moment she had the conversation with Alya and her gang. Not getting her response, Ritu shook her to bring her back. 

Ritu:- ( worriedly ) Are you alright, Nandini? 

For a change, Rakesh was also tensed seeing the quiet Nandini. He is habitual of seeing chirpy and naughty Nandini but this image of hers’ is out of his mind. 

Nandini:- Aunty, woh… woh… Alya?

Hearing the name, the color of Ritu’s face fades away, and Rakesh looks at her amused. 

Ritu:- How… How do you know her? 

Nandini noticed their behavior but didn’t pressurize her brain. 

Nandini:- Shy Boy introduced her to me. ( takes a high breath) I know Alya was his ex-girlfriend but…

Suddenly she stopped because she was finding the correct words to foam her sentence. 

Rakesh:- ( sternly ) But, what? 

Nandini couldn’t control herself and asked the question which is troubling her being the curious child. 

Nandini:- They were calling him “A CHEATER”, why? 

Instead of getting an answer, she got another question from Ritu whose tone is as stern as her husband’s. 

Ritu:- Do you believe her? Do you think that Manik can be a cheater ever in his life? 

Nandini opens her mouth to reply but the words die hearing the sound of something falling. She turns around and finds Manik standing at the door with tears in his eyes. Seeing him, his parents gasped. Don’t know how much he heard but seeing his expressions they know he heard what he shouldn’t. 

Nandini:- Shy Boy…

Not giving any reply to anyone, Manik walks out of the room banging the door in their faces. The past again comes before him to ruin his present and future. His tears have no end while his heart is pounding rapidly with the sentence “I AM NOT A CHEATER.”

Ritu:- Manik…

She tried to stop him but Rakesh stopped her, tiredly. 

Rakesh:- let him be alone for some time. He will come back when he feels right. 

Nandini:- ( worriedly ) What happened to him? I never saw him like that. 

Ritu slumped down on one of the chairs and cried while Rakesh replied to her. 

Rakesh:- We are no one to tell you about HIS PAST. It would be nice if he would tell you, yourself. 

Nandini:- ( Nods in understanding ) Ok… but where did he go all of a sudden? 

Ritu:- No idea! He will come back home when he feels alright. It’s his nature. He always spends alone time hiding his emotions from us. 

Nandini exhales tiredly and looks in the direction Manik went a moment ago. She is getting furious with Her Shy Boy because he left the room without saying anything to her and now she doesn’t know where he is. 

Nandini:- Today should have been his best day but it turned out to be a disaster. 

Ritu:- ( caresses Nandini’s head ) Don’t worry, go home and rest. I will call you when he comes back. Don’t take his tension.

Saying this both the husband and wife left the green room. Nandini looks at their retreating back and then notices the flower bouquet on the floor which fell from Manik’s hand. Without any thought, she picked the smashed flowers and smelled them.

Nandini:- ( Cutely ) Why wouldn’t I take his tension? He left the room without saying anything… and I don’t know his whereabouts. ( Angrily ) Come in my hold once, Shy Boy, I will break your legs for leaving without giving a proper excuse. 

She too walked out of the room furiously only to bump into her dearest Brother. 

Cabir:- Hey, Headache! Now to whom you are going to give a headache? 

Nandini:- ( smiling sweetly ) No one because most people have brains in their heads unlike you. 

Cabir:- ( with narrowed eyes ) What do you mean? 

Nandini:- I mean, only the person who has an empty head gets a headache because their top floor is unoccupied just like you.  

Cabir banged his head on the nearby wall. 

Cabir:- ( Gritted his teeth ) Why do I come near you to get insulted? Why god, why? 

Nandini:- Maybe you have different tastes. 

Cabir:- Shut up!… And listen, I invited everyone to tomorrow’s party. 

Nandini:- Shy Boy’s parents? 

Cabir:- Huh? Who? 

Nandini:- I mean, Manik’s parents? 

Cabir:- Ya… I invited them too and they were so sweet. 

Nandini:- ( proudly ) Ya, they are, but only aunty. ( Cringing her face ) Uncle is so bad!

Cabir:- ( Teasingly ) Oh… That means you fought with Manik’s father too. Why do you always fight with others?

Nandini:- I won’t fight with anyone. It’s he who always troubles me. 

Cabir:- Did I grow horns on my head?……… Because the one who troubles everyone and makes their life hell is saying that a random old uncle is troubling me. I am not digesting it. 

Nandini:- Then have rat poison it will help you in good digestion. 

Cabir:- ( Frustratingly ) Why do I get the vibe that you are not my real sister? You always try to give me poison. 

Nandini:- (Savagely) Because you are adopted. Mumma-daddy got you from the dustbin. 

Cabir:- ( getting offended ) Hey, it’s my line. I am the eldest. I should say this to you. 

The two sweet and cute siblings are having their regular argument, entertaining the passers-by for free. After fighting for more than 10 minutes, Cabir surrenders as usual giving murderous looks to his sister. 

Cabir:- I am sorry, Nandini. Pardon me! 

Nandini:- ( proudly ) It’s ok, I forgive you but make sure that you won’t repeat the same mistake. 

Cabir:- ( grits his teeth ) I will try not to get into an argument with you again. 

Nandini:- ( grins like a kid ) Sounds amazing! So, Should I assume that you are going mute for the rest of your life? ( After a pause ) Because it’s very difficult for you to keep your mouth shut in front of me. 

Cabir:- ( Yells angrily ) God!…

To be continued…

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4 thoughts on “29. A CHEATER?”

  1. Loved loved….this cute siblings banter always…..they are the ……highlights….of this story…..pls dear Writer….pls wanted next part soon…..eagerly want to know Manik’s past….with surely Nandini’s sassy avtar….

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