Hello everyone! Thank you all so much for all of your love and affection for the story!! We’ve come a pretty long way from the beginning, and now it’s time to shift gears, and watch newer things unfold. It’s time for a confrontation. Happy reading!
Twinj: Meant to be: Episode 16
A quick recap: Preparations begin at the wedding venue, where Twinkle and Kunj get to know more about each other. While Twinkle’s assumptions of Kunj’s relationship begin to get firmer, he manages to calm her down later that night when Leela arrives at the café yet again.
“Thank you.” Leela said courteously to Maya who had just brought her a cup of herbal tea. Maya turned to look at Twinkle questioningly, but received no answers. Instead, Twinkle asked her to leave, and informed her that she would lock the café by herself that night. Maya didn’t seem to be too convinced though, and found it very strange that Twinkle had brought a first-time customer into the café after regular closing time, and now insisted to be left alone with her. “I’ll answer all of your questions tomorrow.” Twinkle had to promise Maya finally to get her going.
Leela watched the exchange between them quietly, pretending to be engrossed in the pattern on the table cloth in front of her. She knew Twinkle hadn’t told anyone about her family, and didn’t want to tell them either, so she wouldn’t go against her wishes and reveal everything to Maya. She smiled at Twinkle when the latter turned back and began to walk towards her, but Twinkle didn’t seem the least interested in returning it. Instead, she pulled herself a chair from the adjacent table and sat down, crossing her arms in front of her.
“I thought I would never get to see this beautiful place that you’ve made out of that old, out-of-style structure, all by yourself! Thank you for letting me in!” Leela said softly, and Twinkle nodded. “You know that things don’t have to stay this way, Twinkle! You should try apologizing!” Leela continued, and Twinkle could feel the anger rising in her again. “No, I won’t apologize! None of that was my fault, Ma!” She gushed, both of them freezing at the last word. “No, it wasn’t.” Leela agreed, a lone tear rolling down her cheek. “But I wasn’t at fault either, and yet, I suffer every single day!” She added, and Twinkle looked up unbelievingly.
Kunj had made her realize that her approach of bottling all her emotions withing was hurting only her, and she knew she had to vent out whatever was necessary at least. Perhaps then Leela would at least try to see things from her perspective, and stop annoying her over things that weren’t possible. And maybe, it would make it easier for her to live alone. Hopefully, she wouldn’t be pushed for marriage.
“You were at fault! You chose to hold your silence when all those hurtful things were being said to me! You didn’t even try to stop me when I picked up my bags and headed for the door! You never tried to understand me, not even after I left! Not once during your oh so generous visits did you ask me how I was living, surviving! All you were ever interested in was getting me to apologize to your family!” Twinkle was screaming now and Leela looked horrified.
“That is not true, Twinkle! You know it isn’t! You are my daughter, my first child, and there could never be anything in the world that I wouldn’t willingly give up if it meant your happiness! But you saw what happened that night, you knew that you weren’t the only one making a choice! I had to make one too! I was torn between my daughters! What was I supposed to do? I always believed that me staying back would only keep the door open for you, and that is the biggest reason I did! I knew you were hurt! But I also knew you were determined and stubborn, you wouldn’t return unless you had a compelling reason to. It’s been five whole months over two years to this day since you left, and apparently nothing could bring you back to your home, to your family!” Leela sobbed. Both of them turned to look at the flash of lightning outside, reminding them so horribly of that night.
“I could never choose one of my daughters over the other, Twinkle! But I knew, that you were my strongest. I knew that you would be able to handle things on your own until I found a way around this, but had I left Mahi behind that night, she wouldn’t be able to. She would suffer despite having all that wealth and luxury, and she would finally give up! I always thought I would be able to bring you back, each time I came here, I hoped that would be the day. But both of you have been equally obstinate, and I lost the most in the battle!”
Twinkle was crying too by now, recalling Mahi’s voice on the phone the other day when she had cut off the ties by calling it a wrong number. She missed her sister. A lot. The two had been thick before the fateful wedge was driven into their bond. She couldn’t tell which one of the two had been more at fault. She wouldn’t even dare to imagine Mahi missing her too. That wasn’t to be. When she was put to the test that fateful day both Mahi and Leela had stood by quietly. Mahi hadn’t even shed a single tear. How Twinkle still felt her heart go out to her younger sister, she didn’t know. She ought to be hating her, right?
“I’m sorry for everything, Twinkle. I really am. Nothing could have prepared me for that day, and I was just as helpless as you were.” Leela said softly several minutes later, as though from deep reflection. “No, you aren’t! You did not even try and understand my difficulties back then. You don’t understand now either! All you are really bothered about is what people – the society – will think, of you, of your family, of your only daughter Mahi! Isn’t that what was told to me the day I left? That the Tanejas only had one daughter thereafter? Is that what you’re trying to prove?” Twinkle’s outburst didn’t seem to be over yet. She had almost two years and a half’s worth of anger, pain and frustration pent up in her after all.
Leela nodded quietly in acceptance, surprising Twinkle. “You’re right. I haven’t really been all that I should have been to you, have not done all that I should have been doing.” She looked up right at Twinkle, her eyes glinting with her resolve. “I want to correct each one of my mistakes now. Will you allow me that?” She waited a long minute, but like she had already known, Twinkle didn’t respond. “I know that it’s unfair to all your struggles for so long to ask you to return home and apologize, so I won’t. I now also know that your self-respect won’t allow you that. I would though, like to start by hearing you out. By being someone you can talk to at least.” She added, a smile making its way to her lips when she saw Twinkle lean back into her chair, looking much calmer.
“Heyy!” Kunj greeted Twinkle excitedly the next morning like always. “You’re late.” She chose to state pointedly and he bowed his head, murmuring a ‘Guilty as charged!’ She giggled softly, quietening down completely when he raised his head again and their eyes met. The warmth in his eyes made her heart give a sharp tug, reminding her of their conversation the previous evening. “You’re early today!” Kunj stated his observation as he helped her and Maya load the remaining gifts in his car, and she nodded, replying in a fleeting “I learn from my lessons quickly!” before heading back inside the café to check for any remaining stuff.
Kunj glanced at Twinkle who had a constant smile on her face all throughout, and heaved a sigh of relief. Her conversation with Mrs. Taneja ought to have gone well. He wouldn’t pick the topic for discussion nevertheless, he knew better than that. It was at the venue, when she had been carrying too many boxes for her to be able to see where she was going that she had walked backwards for some reason, bumping into him that it did come up. The boxes had toppled over obviously, but she had landed right in his arms, and now appeared too frightened to move, as though that would ruin things.
“Are you alright? I didn’t know you were that clumsy!” He tried to joke as he slowly helped her straighten up. He noticed that although she did cooperate with him, she wasn’t really making any efforts for it herself. “Thank you, Kunj.” She said softly, turning to face him. It was only then that they realized they were just inches apart. “Anytime! I was only at the right time and place.” He said, making vague gestures to indicate her almost fall. “For yesterday.” She said quickly, cutting him short.
Kunj felt awkward under her glance. He didn’t know what to make of her constant gaze after all. He smiled warmly at her, his heart welling up with joy that he had been of some help. “It’s been a hard time dealing with M-” She began, but caught herself in time from saying ‘Ma’. “It’s just that this issue had been bothering me for really long, and although I really don’t appreciate when I have to rely on anyone for anything, but what you did – I’m really grateful. Will always be. Especially because you didn’t ask anything, neither back then, nor now. And most importantly because you didn’t make it seem like a favour.” She spoke slowly and he nodded with a brighter smile, knowing for a fact that the tears in her eyes were of joy. Kunj Sarna was definitely no longer just a customer or Yuvi’s friend to her.
That’s it for now, guys. I know, not too much Twinj in this, but there will be. Just wanted to hint at several things at this point that I did in this one. Hope you all enjoyed it. Lots of love!!