Greetings all you lovely people! Thank you so much for all the love and affection that you have been showering the story with!! In this episode we come across something that we’ve been waiting for, for quite some time now. I’m super excited! Let’s go! Happy reading!!
Twinj: Meant to be: Episode 18
A quick recap: Twinkle panics when she overhears a staff member discussing her identity as a Taneja, but doesn’t act on it. She and Kunj grow closer owing to his patience and persistence, but it is when they stand unbelievably close to each other that they begin to give into their feelings, until Usha spots them.
Twinkle quickly glanced around for a quick escape route, knowing that this confrontation with Usha Sarna wouldn’t be pleasant to say the least. Finding no other way out, she hid behind Kunj, clearly hidden from Usha’s scrutinizing gaze. “Usha, hand me the keys to that cupboard, will you? We’ll need it to-” The other woman’s words trailed off when she followed Usha’s line of sight to spot Kunj. “Hello, Kunj! I hardly got to catch up with you! How have you been?” The woman spoke fondly to Kunj, and Twinkle quickly lowered her eyes, hoping she would be ignored altogether. As if that worked.
“And who is this, your friend?” The woman, whom Kunj had referred to as ‘Maasi’, asked now, glancing towards Twinkle. None of them missed the way her eyes flickered suggestively to Usha for a fraction of a second at that question. “That’s Twinkle. You should be thanking her for the delicious food that you spent all evening praising!” Usha said quickly. “Of course! I must say that you’re a terrific chef, sweetheart!” The woman said, and Twinkle couldn’t help but wonder at the stark contrast she and Usha were to each other. “You are unfair, Usha! You didn’t let me bring a friend to this this wedding, but staff are allowed to stay?” The woman exclaimed, and Twinkle sighed in defeat at the shades of Usha this woman had begun displaying already.
Kunj though, never seemed to even think if giving up. “Maasi, Twinkle isn’t just staff!” He protested, adding “She’s my friend. And Yuvi’s. She runs a lovely café in town, and was kind enough to agree on helping us out with the food and other arrangements for the wedding.” The woman apologized profusely at that, and now Twinkle was confused about putting her on Usha’s category or Kunj’s. “Maasi is really nice. I’m sure she didn’t mean any of those prejudiced things she said!” Kunj had said when the women had departed, and for the time being, Twinkle decided to just agree with him on this one.
Yuvi was really disappointed when Twinkle got to the balcony a few minutes later, and had only begun complaining about how she wasn’t on time, when she gushed about the incident that had just occurred. Yuvi burst out laughing at her dramatic narration, making her realize how much she had been missing her friend. Yuvi hadn’t missed the way Twinkle’s cheeks had turned crimson as she spoke of hiding with Kunj either. “Whoa. If the two of you were a couple, that would have been a romantic scene in every single way possible!” He exclaimed, watching her freeze for a whole minute.
When she hadn’t spoken anything in response to that, he spoke, “That reminds me of the very reason I asked you to come here. I went to the café earlier today, and heard a woman had come to see you last night, and you let her stay even after closing hours?” Twinkle’s eyes shot up to him, trying to figure out what else he knew. “Yes, I did.” She answered diplomatically, making him roll his eyes. “What exactly was the obligation that made you be civil with Leela Taneja, Twinkle?” He shot his question directly this time, and she knew she was trapped.
“It was all getting too much to take, Yuvi! And then Mahi called me up one afternoon, and I felt all the locked-up emotions returning! You know she’s a weakness even now! What was I to do?” Twinkle mumbled slowly, wiping away the tears welling up in her eyes. “I miss her.” She said as an afterthought, knowing that she could tell Yuvi anything, without the fear of being judged, with absolutely no chances of being pushed away or treated differently. And she was so grateful to him for it all. He had been her strength just as much, there was no denying that fact. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know Mahi had called.” He said slowly, regretting the tone he had previously used. She sniffled at that, and Yuvi recognized it as a ‘Not your fault.’ Yuvi smiled warmly at her, forever in awe at how great she had been at handling all of it. “Want a hug?” He offered a minute later, and she took it gladly – a ‘their’ kinda hug.
“This isn’t a real hug, Twinkle!” Yuvi would have protested normally, when she stood beside him like that – not in front of him, facing him of course, but only resting her head on his shoulder, and holding his hand. They had come up with the gesture of endearment when they had first talked about Yuvi’s family – the Luthras, and she really wanted to make him feel better, but she hadn’t felt like a hug ever since she had left home either. Yuvi had assured her that he understood, that he had a friend – Kunj, as Twinkle would find out later – who had his back when he had been in that phase.
Yuvi let Twinkle hold her quiet for a long moment, knowing that this reaction on the mention of Leela Taneja only meant something huge had happened. Not that he could hate the woman for all Twinkle had to go through though. So, he said “Does Mrs. Taneja finally understand that you have been suffering all along, and not running around making boyfriends? Has she agreed to give you as much time as you need?” She withdrew at that, giving him a ‘You know better than that!’ look, and he shrugged, sighing disappointedly. “She said she would try to understand my life, my issues better. She hasn’t excused the matter of the marriage though. She thinks it’s about time I found someone to spend my life with. She still sticked to her ‘What are people going to say?’ argument, reiterating the entire ‘Every alliance we find for Mahi falls apart because the groom’s family wishes to know what happened of Twinkle Taneja.” She narrated dejectedly, and Yuvi had to fight back his frown. Two years of hearing of Leela Taneja, and he still didn’t understand her one bit.
“Ma-” Twinkle began, but caught herself as the realization struck her, and Yuvi’s smile was as kind as ever. “Mrs. Taneja thinks it would be easier to tell people I am married rather than letting them know I left home, to account for my absence.” She revealed, making Yuvi flinch. There was absolutely no hope left for Leela Taneja, he had begun to think, when Twinkle added, in almost a whisper, “I think she’s worried that my loneliness will end up destroying me. She knows neither of us will give in, which simply means I’ll never return to her home. She wants me to have someone I can call my own.” Yuvi felt his own eyes well up watching hers, realizing that she had never spoken of detaching herself permanently before this.
“I wonder what gave her the idea that she can make up for all that I’ve lost by stubbornly insisting on my wedding. She didn’t seem to understand the fact that I’ve hardly had any time in these couple of years to go out and meet people, let alone falling in love! But again, she probably doesn’t care who I marry as long as it douses her worries for Mahi and her family.” Twinkle continued, hating how she was torn between her heart that still desperately hoped to get her family back, and her mind that knew better than such vain hopes. She looked up at Yuvi, cursing herself for him having to spend the night before his wedding like that, and decided to lighten up the mood – her battles with Leela would apparently go on forever, after all.
She giggled softly before disclosing, “I also lied about having found a nice guy for myself already, so that one is on me, I suppose.” His eyes darted to her immediately. “What?” He asked, not sure if he had heard her right. She bit back a smile as he shook his head, unbelieving. “And?” He prompted, knowing her too well to realize that that wasn’t all about it. “I also narrated a made-up story about him, and how great he is.” She muttered, making Yuvi smack her shoulder, annoyed. “You can’t blame me! She didn’t stop bombarding my phone with pictures and random information about ‘prospective grooms’! She was sitting right across from me in the café, staring as she demanded more details about this guy. I had to say something!”
Yuvi debated his idea for a whole minute before asking, “And do you, if I may ask, see a way out of this mess?” She appeared thoughtful before giving in and shaking her head. “Thought so. But I do have a solution to all your problems.” He said, earning a confused look. “I’m not about to beat around the bush unnecessarily now, but I need you to remember that I am only a well-wisher.” Still lost, she nodded nevertheless. Her heart somehow seemed to know this was a bad idea already, if she were to judge by the nervous thudding. Yuvi inhaled deeply before blurting out, “Twinkle, how do you feel about Kunj?”
Twinkle gasped, stepping away. She felt her throat tighten as a million thoughts rushed across her mind. “Yuvi, you can’t possibly be serious!” She whimpered, her vision going blurry due to unshed tears. “Will you listen to me-” Yuvi’s attempts to explain were cut short when she held her hand up in an indication for him to stop and managed a “No, I won’t. Please don’t ever bring this up again, Yuvi.” She shot a warning look at him before turning around and beginning to walk away. Yuvi, however, was quick to respond. “Is it because Kunj is just another customer that you warmed up to him so easily, when you took weeks to become that comfortable with Ditti?”
She was stunned. She had no response to that. He wasn’t wrong either. The ease she developed around Kunj had surprised her equally too. But there was no way she would let Yuvi know of how she had ended up with a stupid crush on his best friend. “Kunj is a really nice person, Yuvi.” She said, not looking back, because she knew Yuvi would easily catch the lie she was about to tell if she did. “I do not, though, have anything to disclose that might be a viable answer to your question.” She knew she couldn’t give him any more time to try and change her mind. “Good night, Yuvi. It’s your wedding tomorrow – it’s going to be a long day; you should get proper rest tonight.”
Twinkle spotted Kunj right outside the groom’s quarters as she ran back to the tiny room that she had set up for herself. She stilled for a moment, only to see him grin with what had to be a blush on his cheeks as he listened to whatever the person on the phone was telling him. Twinkle figured that this was the very dose of reality check that she needed right then, given that Yuvi’s words had – no matter how much she tried to refuse it – caused her heart to flutter. She slid away quietly, forcing her thoughts back to all that she had to check and get done the next morning.
“Hey!” She greeted Yuvi cheerfully the next morning in his room just as he was about to leave for the first set of rituals. “Hi.” He said softly, eyeing her carefully, making sure he hadn’t actually read the signs all wrong. “Should I tell you how pretty your bride looks today?” She teased, stepping towards him, only glad when he smiled warmly. “I’m sorry about all that happened last night! It’s my best friend’s wedding and I can’t let him have that frown on all day. Just as much as I want to be actually happy and enjoy each one of his rituals!” She said, nudging him. He nodded, agreeing with her completely – it was such a big day after all, before proceeding to point out the fact that she had finally called him her best friend, and dramatically thanking her for it.
That’s it for now, guys. I hope you all observed at least a handful things in this episode, which was so special for so many reasons! Tell me what you thought about it!! Lots of love!