33. NANDINI’S TRUTH

Manik is gawking at THE BEAUTY who is sleeping forgetting that she is with her kidnapper. Her innocent face always stirred something in his heart since he met her. He tried many times to take his hand from her hold but she flinched in fear every time he did that, melting his heart. He is in a dilemma. His mind keeps repeating one thing since last night i.e. “DON’T LET HER AGAIN IN YOUR HEART. SHE WILL BREAK YOU AGAIN.” Whereas his heart is saying, “TILL YESTERDAY YOU WERE WAITING TO GET YOUR NANDINI BACK AND NOW WHEN SHE IS HERE YOU DON’T WANT HER.” He pulls his hair in frustration and groans.

Hearing the noise, Nandini stirs in her sleep and after a minute she opens her doe eyes while rubbing them. The first thing she saw was HIS HAND IN HER HOLD AND THEIR CLOSENESS. She gulps hard and looks at his face timidly. He looked into her eyes and as usual, her eyes skipped his heart. She licked her dry lips anxiously while he fists seeing her seductive gesture and howl, making her scared. “So… sorr..y…” She whispers and moves away from him which brings him back to the earth. 

He gets mad seeing her going away from him as if his past demure arises again. “Can’t you be in your limit, or else you want to warm my bed?” He yelled at her, taking out his frustration on her for nothing. “I never saw a girl who became so clingy on the first night.” He shouts at her unaware of the pain he causes her with his words. 

The little girl did nothing to get this treatment. She didn’t even know how she ended up in his arms, still, she tried to defend herself. “I didn’t…” He cut her in the middle scaring her with his demonic aura unaware of the fact that he would regret his words soon. “Shut Up! I know your type of girl but I didn’t expect that you could be so horny.” He bowls like a monster but stops hearing her hiccup and swiftly turns his attention towards her who is a crying mess. This is the last thing he ever wanted right now. Her tears pierced his heart like a knife. He went out but not before punching the wall, making his knuckles red. 

Here, Nandini cried and palmed her heart when he punched the wall. She wipes her tears and says, “He is so bad like everyone. I thought he was nice, doing this for money but he made me cry like everyone did.”  Outside, Manik heard her and felt bad for her condition but he lost his calm every damn time when she came in front of him. He is not getting anything. He needs time to clear his mind and for that, he chose his all-time partner ALCOHOL

On the other hand, Cabir circulated Nandini’s pictures to every police station and even pasted her posters everywhere in the city. Slowly Nandini’s picture reached everywhere and in Murthy’s house the volcano erupted when this news came out but Palak doesn’t care about anything right now. She just wants Nandini safe and sound. 

Unknown to everyone, Vishal, Alya’s former husband, learned about Nandini’s location through his sources. Since the day he saw her in the bridal lehenga, he wanted her under him. She becomes his obsession that he will fulfill anyhow. He loaded his guns and went out to get Nandini with his men. He commands his men, “Kuch bhi hojaye par mujhe woh ladki zinda chachiye baki jo bhi bich mein aaye use uda do.” ( I want that girl alive anyhow. Kill everyone if they come in between our work. ) 

Nandini is sitting on the floor quietly while her tears have no stop. She tries to be strong but what can we expect from an 18 years old girl? She looks in front when Manik whom she calls Monster enters with another boy who is sweet according to her i.e. Aditya. 

Aditya smiles seeing her and Nandini reciprocates the smile forgetting her fear and sorrow. Their smile exchange was seen by Manik and by god he didn’t appreciate that. Aditya sits beside her and says while rubbing her tears, making her smile, “Tumhe fresh hona hai toh waha chali jao.” ( If you want to get fresh then, go there. ) He points at the little shack outside their cottage. Nandini follows his eyes and gulps seeing the scary hut. 

Aditya stood up and whispered in Manik’s ears, “She is so soft… I don’t think I will ever clean my hands as they smell like her.” Suddenly Manik urged to punch this man who was flirting with HIS GIRL. Aditya giggles but stops hearing the melodious voice of Nandini who calls him ever so softly, “Suniye” ( Listen ) 

Not only Aditya but Manik also looks at her small figure who is fidgeting with her fingers, nervously. She continues while looking at Aditya, ignoring Manik, “Mujhe darr lagta hai aise… toh kya aap… yahan ruk jayegai?” ( I get sacred from such places so, will you please stay with me here? ) The ever energetic Aditya nodded as expected but this didn’t go well with Manik. She wants another man to guard her when he is here. Again the anger overpowered his senses and yelled, “Haa, kyu nahi sab naukar hai na maharani aapke.” ( Yes, why not? We are at your service, madam. ) 

Nandini looks at him with narrowed eyes and says, “Humne aapse kuch nahi kaha.” ( I haven’t said anything to you. ) For this, he replied immediately, “Par maine sunna.” ( But I heard it. ) She murmured, “Toh kaano mai rui dal lijiye…” ( So, put cotton in your ears. ) But Manik didn’t hear her. 

Before another war could start here, Aditya chirped in, “Let it be, Bhai.” Then, he turns towards Nandini and says, “Tum jao, main hoon idhar.” ( You go, I will guard. ) They both go out leaving a restless Manik behind who takes deep breaths to calm his possessiveness. He lightens his cigarette and leans his body on the window to look at Aditya who is guarding outside the shack where Nandini went to freshen up. He so wanted to be there for HER but his mind was not letting him do that. 

Testing his patience, Nandini comes out in the creme loose shirt and black trousers, looking like a cute teddy bear in those clothes. His eyes darken seeing her wearing Men’s clothes. “This girl is making it worse for me.” He murmurs and holds the iron rack of the window. “Manik, calm your possessiveness. This is not the right time to show her that. She is already scared of you.” 

Soon Nandini entered and he couldn’t stop himself from asking her, “Yeah kapde tumhe kisne diye?” ( Who gave you these clothes? ) Nandini looks at herself and then at him. She didn’t have the heart to answer him but she understood him in this one night. He would get mad at her if she didn’t answer.”Adi ne.” She murmurs timidly, making it hard for him to understand. 

“Who?” He asks again. 

“ADI…..” She replies in a higher tone. 

He tightens his jaw, “Don’t use that tone with me or else I won’t think twice before shutting your mouth.” This made her scared. She nodded while looking down until he left the room. 

“Why did you give her your clothes?” He asks as soon as he spots Aditya only to get a reply which boils his blood. “Why? You wanted to see her nak*d.” In a second, he marched towards him and grabbed his collar. “Don’t you dare to even imagine her in that state or else I will kill you with my bare hands?” 

Aditya nods and replies, politely, “Bhai, how can she stay in that heavy lehenga which is twice her weight? So, I thought to help her.” Before Manik could do anything, Kaushal barged inside and pointed his gun at Nandini, making her scared. 

Manik’s breath hitched seeing Nandini at gunpoint just like his past. Whenever she comes at gunpoint she leaves him alone in this cruel world but this time, he won’t let this happen. He yelled at Kaushal and came in front of Nandini, shielding her from any harm. “Are you mad? Put that gun down, Kaushal.” He screams which does not affect him. Nandini fists Manik’s shirt from the back. He understood that HIS NANDINI was scared of guns. 

Instead of following Manik’s command, Kaushal yelled, “Who are you?” Nandini shivers and a few tears escape from her eyes. “What are you asking, Kaushal? She is Alya.” Instead of her, Manik replies. Kaushal screams at Manik’s face, “NO!… She is not Alya.” 

Manik and Aditya frown because as per their information, they kidnapped Alya. So, she should be Alya, right? Nandini trembles in horror because her little secret is out. She hasn’t told them her true name yet, just to save her sister. 

“Who the hell are you?” Kaushal screams and Nandini replies panicky, “NANDINI…” 

“Then, Alya?” Aditya whispers whereas Manik stands rooted in his position. Same name, same face, does that mean she is HIS NANDINI.? 

Aditya breaks Manik’s bubble and says, “We were supposed to kidnap Alya, not Nandini. Then, how did she come?” Kaushal puts his gun back and asks while looking at Nandini, “Only she can tell us. What are you doing at Alya’s place?” 

Nandini hiccups and looks at Manik who is looking at her with no expressions. She shifted closer to him as she felt safer with him, the reason is unknown to her. She told them everything from the start and how she ended up at the bride’s place.  

“Now, what should we do?” Aditya asks and turns his attention towards Kaushal, “By the way, how did you know that she lied to us?” He replies, “There are posters everywhere of her with names and you don’t believe who is handling her case.” 

“Who?” Aditya asks. 

“Cabir Deshmukh” Kaushal replies while looking at Manik. 

To be continued…

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