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Twinj: Meant to be: Episode 32

Hello everyone!! Heartfelt gratitude to each one of you for your never-ending love and appreciation for the story! It really means so much to me that all of you have been so encouraging! Happy reading!!

Twinj: Meant to be: Episode 32

A quick recap: Usha doesn’t agree with Twinkle on the issue of her continuing to work at the cafe, but Yuvi, Kunj and Aditi manage to handle the situation for the time being. Kunj and Twinkle learn to ease out around each other, and Twinkle is given a tiny party back home.

“I know what your biggest worry right now is.” Yuvi said knowingly when Twinkle had held on to her silence for over ten minutes since they had met in the garden. She looked at him and raised her brows. “The high probability of running into someone who knows you at the reception party.” She sighed with an almost non-existent nod, before bringing her hands up to rub her eyes tiredly. “The fact that you didn’t say anything to that is evidence that you think so too.” She pointed out to him a moment later, crossing her arms in front of her. She had figured this risk right when she had realised that there was no backing off from the wedding, but now, as the time inched closer, she couldn’t stop drumming her fingers nervously on any and every surface.

Yuvi couldn’t deny that accusation either. Even Kunj knew that they were standing on the brink of a revelation. All that they hoped though, was that they would be able to handle the situation subtly and keep the information shielded from Usha anyhow. They couldn’t say that to Twinkle though. It would only make her worry some more. “I’m sure you’ll agree that some things are beyond us. No matter how much we try they are inevitable. That doesn’t mean we stop fighting. We still do our best in each possible instance, and then there’s God to take care of the rest. Also, Kunj and I won’t let anything go wrong. Trust me. And him.” Yuvi offered thoughtfully, smiling when he saw her let out a sigh – one that definitely held some relief in it.

The two had been walking back indoors when they crossed paths with Usha – the same Usha who had surprised Twinkle with her sudden warmth towards the latter, but right then she seemed just so annoyed with everything in her way. Yuvi and Twinkle stood absolutely quietly and watched as she knocked over a table with some decorative material, and then bumped her knee into the sofa. The frustration then made her sweep off things on another table. “Ma, what’s wrong?” Yuvi ventured, quickly looking around for Kunj, but not finding him. Usha raised her glance off the floor and glared at Twinkle, tightening her fists, scaring her.

“Ma’am, I’m really sorry for whatever I’ve gone wrong with. Please trust me, I’ve been trying my best too. I didn’t mean to cause you any trouble!” Twinkle pleaded, her mind racing to recall what she had messed up. Usha had begun to look away from her when she froze, her eyes lighting up with an emotion that Twinkle didn’t quite recognise. Usha’s shoulders slumped like all the tension had been dealt with, and she smiled at both of them, proceeding to try and convince them that it was only something to do with how none of the employed people was doing things in time or up to the mark. She repeated the same set of answers even when Yuvi repeatedly asked her if she was being honest, and then he had no option but to give in.

Twinkle walked in absolute silence to the room that had begun to gradually become hers too. Although Yuvi had assured her that Usha’s sudden outburst possibly had nothing to do with her, she couldn’t bring herself to believe that. There had been something about the look Usha had shot her that flashed before her eyes over and over again, and then there had been that dramatic change in tone and mood that she definitely did not buy. “Whoa! Watch where you’re going!” Kunj’s voice jolted her out of her thoughts right before she bumped into him. She had decided the minute her eyes met his that she wasn’t going to tell him about that incident. He was already worrying a lot for her.

Kunj had been watching her keenly, his hands on her waist as he held her from falling, wondering what thoughts kept her mind so occupied that she hadn’t realised their position yet. Her eyes held a distant look, and she probably hadn’t even considered her hands on his chest. “Twinkle?” He called out when the silence was beginning to frighten him and watched her eyes return their focus on him. And then the way they widened slowly. “I’m sorry!” She mumbled, making a move to stand up, but she was too fast and ended up tumbling into his embrace. He giggled a little, making her shut her eyes in embarrassment. She couldn’t let him know of her feelings for him like that!

When she had mustered enough courage to withdraw just enough to look at him, he had been watching her intently like nothing else mattered as much. That had to be her own imagination, right? As if the situation wasn’t already ironic enough, having to fight between staying so close to him that she didn’t have to watch his reaction, and pulling away to make sure that he didn’t think lowly of her. “I should go.” She said finally, gulping hard, and pretending she wasn’t too happy right where she was. “Should you?” He blurted out, surprising them both. Had she heard him right? Could this be what her mind was so happily weaving it to be?

Neither of them knew what had changed in that split second when their glances had softened towards each other. What they did know, was that neither seemed to be able to stick to their intention of stepping away; they somehow knew whatever this was, would bring them peace. Despite all the chaos their world was in currently. Rapid knocking on the door made them jump apart, their noses gently nuzzling in the process. The moment had passed, and the awkwardness had returned. “Sorry, you two! We really didn’t mean to barge in like that, but the door was open, you see?” Aditi’s voice made them tear their eyes off of one another to look at the door.

Aditi was elbowed by Yuvi for that remark, making her quieten down. She looked at him awkwardly, her eyes pleading for him to take control of the situation. He winked at her, putting his free arm around her as he commented, “We’re always welcome here, aren’t we, Kunj? I’m sure they don’t mind. After all, I’m the only customer Twinkle allows into her kitchens at the cafe too.” Twinkle let out a small laugh at that, and they all felt the agitation evaporate. “Of course you are, Yuvi. Aditi isn’t.” Kunj said, sticking his tongue out at Aditi. “Oh, so that is how you want to play?” She asked him in response, and when Kunj nodded in a challenge, she turned to Twinkle determinedly. Yuvi and Twinkle who had been watching amusedly till then exchanged a quick glance.

“Come along, Twinkle. Making sure you look *whistles* drop-dead gorgeous in Usha aunty’s extra way today is my responsibility. And as we do that, I’ll also tell you some things that someone definitely does not want you to know.” Aditi spoke, starting off with giving Twinkle a quick peek at her dress for the evening, throwing in a whistle and then smirking at Kunj as she proceeded with her blackmail. “Narrowing your eyes won’t help, Kunj. How about you try apologising with sit-ups. Hands on the ears, you know it.” Aditi said when she saw Kunj fighting for his secret in absolute silence.

When Yuvi laughed at Kunj in a way that Twinkle knew meant ‘You are so done for, and I’m absolutely enjoying the show!’ she had to turn to look at Kunj. He grinned awkwardly at her, making her more suspicious. “She is your wife, Kunj. She deserves to know everything about you.” She heard Aditi quip in, and in a flash, Kunj had dragged Aditi outside, discussing negotiations with her. “Twinkle, this is how you get Kunj to agree to anything you want him to do.” Aditi said over her shoulder even as she was pulled away. It had taken quite some time for the laughter to subside even after the two had returned, both sworn to silence.

Aditi had informed Twinkle of how insistent Usha had been of picking a Lehenga with heavy bead-work on it and all the efforts she and Yuvi had put in to change Usha’s mind. Twinkle thanked Aditi profusely as she held the dress in front of a mirror and looked carefully. By the standards that Twinkle had developed over the almost three years that she had lived alone, the little work on the lilac coloured Lehenga was still too much, but she knew that it had to have been the simplest one they had been able to find. She also knew, by experience, that Aditi was brilliant with makeup and that the latter would never let her get away with none or little like the wedding day. Reminding herself that the ceremony meant a lot to her new home, her new family, she gave in with much lesser resistance this time, and Aditi was pleased, to say the least.

Twinkle had been desperately waiting for Kunj to come there for what had to have been an hour after she had gotten ready and Aditi had dropped him a message, she mused, but the clock thought only ten minutes had passed. She took yet another tiny walk around the room, nervousness beginning to take over her mind when she heard whispering outside the door. She smiled to herself when she recognised Yuvi and Aditi’s voices. Although she had known too well by now that the couple were head over heels in love and never shied away from letting the world know of it, she couldn’t help but admire how adorable they looked right then. Yuvi had his arms around Aditi’s waist, while her hands lay on his shoulders. They appeared to be engrossed in a serious discussion, but Twinkle was familiar with this situation, and she could have bet that they were only gushing about how great the other looked, some secret, romantic long drive they were planning or mostly about how they couldn’t find the right words to let the other know how much they loved the other.

“They are so in love, aren’t they?” Kunj whispered into her ear, bending to get to her height and making her gasp at the idea that her thoughts had been read so precisely. She turned to say something along those lines to him, but then it was his turn to gasp. ‘She looks so pretty!’ He could hear himself exclaim in his head. The confused look he earned from her, however, made it clear that he must have been staring. Her own heart had been fluttering restlessly, for it had to be the first time she had seen him in a three-piece suit. She lowered her eyes when she caught the adoration in his. What made her look up was his left hand meekly reaching out to hers, and gently bringing it up between them. She could feel his fear of being resented and willed herself not to freak out. Her heart desperately needed to know how and where this would go.

Kunj placed a gentle peck on her knuckles, and her breath caught. “I know you don’t like being all dolled up like this, but I think this look suits you just as much as every other one. You look lovely!” He whispered, and Twinkle’s attention went straight to the fact that his first concern was letting her know that he understood her distaste in this before he complimented her. “Thank you!” She whispered, trying not to think too hard on whether he actually thought that she looked ‘lovely’. Her eyes dropped down to her hand still in his, both of them being drawn back to that moment back in their room an hour or so earlier. She heard Kunj clear his throat awkwardly, but he didn’t drop her hand. And it felt so right to her that she hoped he wouldn’t too.

“Shall we?” He asked, trying to sound as casual as he could, fighting the raging feelings in his heart. The way she had looked right back at him, ought to have meant something, right? Or was he deceived by his own senses? “What about them?” Twinkle asked, suddenly reminded that it wasn’t really just them in the world as she turned to look at Yuvi and Aditi still unaware of her and Kunj’s presence there. “They won’t know.” He laughed softly, something that she agreed to with a knowing smile. She had other ideas than leaving the two in the corridor though. She whispered something to Kunj that he had a hard time listening to without drifting off at how close she was to him. He smiled appreciatively at her and nodded in a ‘Let’s go!’

Kunj and Twinkle tiptoed to Yuvi and Aditi respectively, and on a finger count of three, Kunj hugged Yuvi from behind while Twinkle held Aditi’s hand and rested her head on the latter’s shoulder. Yuvi and Aditi let out small screams at the intrusion. “Sweet revenge.” Kunj declared to the still dazed couple while Twinkle snickered. Aditi and Yuvi rolled their eyes disapprovingly. “It was her idea.” Kunj let Yuvi know in a hushed voice, both of them obviously surprised but also really glad that she had found enough comfort in their presence to be able to plan out pranks – something neither of them had ever seen her do before.

Twinkle inhaled deeply as Kunj led her down the stairs into the garden where the party was on in full force. She hadn’t been in this kind of company for so long now, and so many people were already looking at her. She sighted Usha among them too, reminding her of the morning’s episode. She felt Kunj’s fingers squeeze reassuringly around hers as they reached the foot of the staircase. Turning to him, she found him smiling his usual warm one at her. She managed to keep on a smile as she was introduced to so many people out there that she was sure she had forgotten the first few already. Kunj, however, seemed to know exactly when she needed a reminder that he was right there for her, for his kind gestures came around right in time. He and Yuvi had stood true to their word too. Whenever anyone suspected of having seen or met Twinkle before, they carefully diverted the topic, making sure she was alright. She had only begun to feel that she would be able to get through this just fine, when she heard a painfully familiar voice, “Twinkle?”

That’s it for now, guys. Tell me what you thought about it! I would love to hear your takes and guesses on the yet to be unveiled things. Sincere apologies for being way too late with this one, but I promise that the sooner I get responses, the quicker you’ll get the updates here on. Until next time, lots of love!!

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