Greetings everyone! Thank you so much for all the love and affection the story is receiving! Happy reading!!
Twinj: My Lifeline: Episode 67
A quick recap: Twinkle finally convinces herself to get over her disappointment with Kunj forgetting the ‘important day’, while he manages to help her get rid of her inhibitions and just be herself with him.
“Kunj Sarna! You’re such a cheat!” Twinkle protested, but Kunj only snickered in response, annoying her further. “This is just unacceptable!” She began again, making him laugh this time around. “I see, but it was fair when you did it?” He asked, leaning closer to her, and her eyes widened as she recalled her own folly a few minutes ago. “That was an entirely different situation, Kunj!” She hit back at him nevertheless, not wanting to accept her mistake and let go of the argument. “Really? Would you care to explain how exactly?” He demanded, quickly hiding his small smile when she glared at him. “I didn’t make up a rule of my own like you just did.” She stated, and he nodded in mock agreement, only to end it in a firm “I didn’t either! This rule totally exists! Only you haven’t heard of it!” Twinkle looked at him thoughtfully for a moment before pushing his head off her lap and slipping off the bed angrily, but was pulled back before she had even set her feet on the ground. “You can’t leave things hanging in the air like this, Mrs. Sarna!” He said in a matter-of-fact kind of way, his grip tightening when she tried to free herself. “But you cheated, Kunj!” She complained, relaxing into his warm embrace, smirking when she heard him sigh deeply. She had something else in mind, and got to work on it immediately, catching him off guard by knocking him over and trapping his hands in hers. “Twinkle, what are you..” Kunj’s question trailed off when he realised she hadn’t let go of the issue yet, and quickly rolled them over, winking at her as she watched in surprise. He had almost begun to celebrate his victory when he felt a smack on the back of his head with a pillow, making him grab his own pillow and prepare himself for the ensuing fight.
Twinkle was the first one to give up obviously, but she wouldn’t give up until another attack from Kunj’s pillow sent her ripping apart, covering them in the feathers. “It’s about time that you accept your defeat, Twinkle! You’re defenceless now.” He chortled with a little giggle, but it appeared like Kunj Sarna had forgotten for a little while how stubborn his Twinkle actually was. “You wish!” She responded, reaching out for his pillow but he was quicker than her and held it high out of her reach. When she huffed and looked away, he mustered the courage to suggest, “Don’t you think this is getting a little extra now? I should probably be shutting the Monopoly board now.” She snapped at him with narrowed eyes before giving him an almost non-existent nod. She laughed quietly to herself as she watched him collect the game pieces and put them in their boxes. Craziness had set in as the new normal for them recently – the chaos that had just resulted from both of their differing game tricks only a tiny example of what was happening every single day – but Kunj still didn’t seem to be complaining, and Twinkle only loved him some more for it. He might have been slightly annoyed when she had bluntly refused him the TV remote right at the time when the movie he had been waiting to watch for months was finally aired, and a little more when she had just disappeared one morning leaving her phone at home, only to turn up a couple of hours later, claiming casually that she had been on a walk, and although he would never admit it, she had seen him grin supposedly secretly at her antics, bringing her a previously unknown sense of felicity.
With something or the other always happening in the house, primarily owing to Twinkle’s inability to let there be calmness, Kunj had been extremely surprised when she had excused herself from work one afternoon, leaving in such a hurry that she hadn’t even waited for him to finish the recording set he was working on. It had bothered him so much because he had grown accustomed to look up from his music sheets to judge his performance from her expressions, that receiving a note from her that she was going home instead of her presence had come as an unanticipated surprise – one he was definitely unprepared for. He managed to get through the rest of his schedule half-heartedly, really glad that the recording was only a scratch, and he would get another chance to make it better. The absolute silence that welcomed him home felt foreign already, making him wonder if things had really changed in the past few days or he had been dreaming of them all. He felt a mysterious fear shroud him as he walked across the empty hall, aware that Usha would probably be at another of her kitty parties, his idle mind cooking up ill thoughts. He tiptoed through the corridor, acknowledging the maid’s “Twinkle ma’am is asleep, Sir” with a quiet nod, hoping she was alright. He pushed open the door to their room gently, blinking his eyes repeatedly to get used to the darkness owing to the shut blinds. He debated with himself for a moment before deciding not to turn on the lights, before proceeding to put his keys on the table on his right. Just then his eyes darted to the calendar hanging above the table, on which she saw something written in slightly glowing ink. He quickly glanced at Twinkle who was snoring softly to make sure she wouldn’t spot him there, for he had recognised the ink used on the calendar already – it was from the fancy pen Twinkle had, the one that only showed its disappearing ink when the blue light that came along was shone upon it. The tiny torch on his keyring had make it visible now. “Meet Alisha” the little note read, and there could have been only one reason why Twinkle had chosen to write it using that pen of hers – she didn’t want him to figure out.
Kunj shuddered as he recalled how the conversation between him and Twinkle regarding visiting Alisha in jail for one last time had gone. She had remained absolutely quiet, evidently stunned, but he had seen her sulk over it for a couple of days, but nothing had brought him enough courage to bring up the issue again. The next was going to be the eventful day, the very day he had said they would be confronting Alisha, he had to get off the burden of what actually led to her accident off his heart, and he had prepared himself accordingly, never faltering until right now. The possibility that Twinkle could have been so badly impacted by the thought of facing Alisha yet again shook the very roots of his own strong resolve. He knew – he had seen how unreceptive Twinkle had been of Alisha ever since the fateful attack took place, and he wouldn’t put her through hell again, not for anything in the whole wide world. He resolved to cancel the plan altogether if need be as he stepped towards the bed and sat down beside Twinkle, and in the proximity, he could hear her whimpering; she sounded almost delirious. He quickly turned on the bed lamp and placed his hand over her forehead, slightly relieved with the observation that she was warm, but did not have a fever. “Kunj..” She whined, opening her eyes just enough to be able to recognise him. “What’s wrong?” He asked, concern dripping in his voice, and she flashed as bright a smile as she could, shaking her head. “No, just go back to sleep. Tell me if I should get you something.” He whispered, gently coercing her by her shoulders when she began to sit up. “I’m alright. Just felt a little sleepy.” She tried reasoning with him when her eyes landed on something that she had intended to put away before getting into bed, but had forgotten, and now, as she realised that Kunj had spotted it too, she sat up quickly, mortified and unaware of what she should be doing.
“Twinkle..” Kunj began his attempt to assure her that it was nothing she had to get so awkward about, but she cut him short with, “I’m so sorry, Kunj. I didn’t ever mean for this to happen; this is just so embarrassing! I’ll put it in the closet right now..” He held up his hand with a straight face and she dreaded the worst had happened until she heard him reach out to the bag of sanitary napkins himself and whispered, “I’ll put this away. It’s not as big a deal as you’re making of it, Twinkle! Besides, you should rest right now. We’ll take care of everything else later.” He silenced whatever her argument would have been by an insistent index finger on her lips, blinking reassuringly at her, but she still remained highly disappointed with herself as she watched him walk away to put away the bag like it was the most normal thing to do. “I’m never going to let that happen again, Kunj. I’m so sorry!” She apologised yet again, her eyes welled up, when he got back to her side, but he would take none of that. He slipped under the sheets next to her instead, realising that this had been the first time they had stumbled upon the issue that’s sadly a taboo to even talk about in the society, and evidently, his Twinkle, who was now as comfortable with him as ever, too seemed to be held back by those beliefs. He knew it would take a long, patient, understanding conversation with her to get her to adopt to the more modern outlook the world had slowly begun to give the issue. He didn’t know if she was ready for it right now, so he would just try and only push ahead if it worked, for it seemed to be more important right now to tend to her needs and care for her. He pulled her close despite her reservedness, uttering assurances that she never knew she needed, lulling her back to sleep.
Twinkle couldn’t believe the sight she woke up to some time later, or the fact that Kunj had brought her a hot water bag, and tons of chocolates. “Kunj, what is all this for?” She asked, sitting up slowly and watching her loving husband engrossed in his laptop, but still right beside her. “They’re for my wife, so you better stay out of this!” He informed her, putting away the laptop and shifting closer to her, reminding her of Leela so dearly. Not even in her best dreams had she known someone other than her mother would become her go-to person, and proceed to widen her own horizon of thoughts about something she couldn’t even find in herself to speak about until now. But there had been something warm and welcoming in Kunj’s love, his care, his presence and just him, that made her feel better, and more significantly, loved and empowered, something she would spend entirety being grateful for.
That’s it for now, guys! Whew! I had made my mind to bring in this issue in this story long ago but kept brushing it for later since I wasn’t sure how any of you would react, and trust me when I say this, it took me all the courage within to put this into words, besides the fact that making it sound acceptable was another challenge. I would love to hear your thoughts on the episode, please, would mean so much, especially for this one. Much love!!