Night Time – Abhishek’s Room
Mihika spreads out the blankets. Abhishek comes out the bathroom, drying his hair with a towel. Mihika tidies away the mess in their room.
Mihika (sits on the bed, facing Abhishek): Arnav called today.
Abhishek: What did he say?
Mihika: He offered me a job.
Abhishek puts the towel away and glances at her.
Abhishek: And you took it?
Mihika (sighs and looks down as she plays with her ring): No, but I’m seriously considering it.
Abhishek: You can’t, Mihika.
Mihika: Why not? I haven’t worked for over six months now. I have been to plenty of interviews but . . . no luck, and I’m tired of it. I get bored of staying at home. I need to do something before I end up mad.
Abhishek: I understand, but you can’t forget that Arnav’s also Khushi’s husband. He’s not just your friend now.
Mihika: So? What difference does it make?
Abhishek (frustrated): Mihika, try to understand. People will talk.
Mihika: Let them. I’ve never been the one to care.
A: You might not, but I do, and I won’t tolerate it if my sister’s affected because of this. Trust me. It’s not a good idea.
Mihika (scoffs as she glares at him): So, you want me to stay at home, and cook and clean for you for the rest of my life?
Abhishek: I didn’t say that. You’re putting words in my mouth.
Mihika (grits her teeth): It sounds like that to me. I’m getting this great opportunity, and I thought you might be happy about it and encourage me, but no! It turns out that you always have to be right and remain in charge.
Abhishek (raising his voice): You’re equal to me, Mihika. What’s the matter with you? Why’re you taking me wrong? I meant no such thing, and you know it. And, if you’d already decided to accept it, why did you bother asking me?
Mihika: Excuse me? You’re mistaken. I don’t need to ask you for anything. I don’t need your permission. I was simply telling you. God, Abhi, you’re ridiculous!
Abhishek (takes a deep breath): Look, all I’m saying is that you need to consider the consequences for accepting Arnav’s offer.
Mihika (angry): Khul k baat karo, Abhi. Kehna kya chah rahe ho?
Abhishek (also angry): Damn it, Mihika, people will start to question the kind of relationship you share with Arnav and think that’s why he did you a favour.
Mihika: How disgusting! Arnav chose me because he knows how I work. How could you have such cheap thoughts? Or, is it that you’re insecure that I’ll becomeÂ independent and won’t have to rely on you?
Abhishek: Shut up, for God’s sake, and open your eyes to see the reality. Look beyond the tall, protective walls of the Kapoor Mansion. You should get used to it. That’s how the REAL world works. I’d rather you stayed at home than work with Arnav and hurt Khushi.
Mihika: You’re so selfish, Abhi. Dad was right. You always think about your family and never me.
Abhishek: You ARE my family, and don’t bring him into this. This is nothing to do with him.
Mihika (scoffs): Of course, it is! It clearly shows he’s better than your dad. At least he cares about me, unlike your dad ever did.
Abhishek’s shocked and stares at her, not saying anything. Mihika also realises her mistake and feels ashamed but refuses to let him see that. In anger, Abhishek settles in the bed, putting the blanket over him, and turns away from her. Mihika sits next to him, guilty, and also lies down. Both of them can’t sleep. Mihika glances at him but his back is still to her. Sighing, she taps his shoulder.
Abhishek (mumbles): I’m sleeping.
Mihika (rolls eyes): Really? You can hardly call that an excuse.
Abhishek looks at her and Mihika smiles sadly, lying her head on his chest.
Mihika (whispers): I’m sorry, Abhi. I was too harsh on you, and I really shouldn’t have said that. It’s just that . . . I’m not used to doing nothing, and it’s killing me. I’ll refuse Arnav, if it makes you feel any better.
Abhishek: I’m not trying to restrict you, Miku. I have other responsibilities as well and, as my wife, you’re also expected to fulfill them. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to give anyone the chance to raise fingers at Khushi.
Mihika (smiles as she looks at him): Hey, I understand. You don’t need to explain it anymore.
Abhishek (sighs and kisses her forehead): Thank you.
They lay awake in each other’s arms, happy.
I’m so sorry for the short chapter. I could only manage to post this much. I look forward to reading your comments. Enjoy!
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