Thank you for your comments. The response was a little disheartening to see, but I hope it gets better with this update. I’ve responded to your comments in the comments section, please do check them out. Happy Reading!
Link to Chapter 2: https://www.tellyupdate.co.in/riansh-it-ends-with-us-chapter-2/
It Ends With Us – Chapter 3
Riddhima tossed the contents in the pan and looked at the time on the opposite wall, outside the kitchen. She’d decided to wrap her day earlier, but she’d been forced to spend a significant fraction of her day packing and later, in the kitchen, prepping for a few days until the weekend. As she poured in a cup of water into the pan, she figured that she would have ample time in the flight to relax the next day.
She heaved a deep breath and let the water boil down while she scrolled through her phone, checking her inbox notifications. She leaned against the marbleized counter and scrolled through her phone mindlessly as the sound of the simmering water filled in the corners of the kitchen.
“Have you checked your flight details? Is the flight on time?”
She looked up at the breakfast counter and saw him tousling his hair tiredly at the end of the day. She nodded her head and returned to her phone, continuing to read the blog she had come across. Several moments later, she turned around and turned down the stove. As she poured the contents from the pan into a serving bowl, she saw Vansh cleaning the countertop.
Riddhima: Let it be. You can ask Maushi to do it when she comes the day after. She won’t have a lot of work to do, anyway. Plus, you’d be hardly cooking.
Vansh: It’s no big deal. If the counter remains like this, the house will smell like a dustbin when I return tomorrow night. (looking up at her while cleaning) When are you sleeping?
Riddhima: I’m almost done. Just tossing these vegetables is remaining and then I’ll be done.
Vansh nodded and chucked the wet waste into the dustbin and cleaned up the counter, before sitting on the counter and looking at Riddhima. He noticed the way her hair was tied into a messy bun, with hair strands falling on her face. Her brows were furrowed together as she concentrated on oiling the pan, with her lips pulled into a short grimace. He could watch her all day.
Riddhima: Stop staring, It’s so intimidating.
Vansh: Right, sorry. (looking at the dished-out food) I told you, you needn’t have burdened yourself with this work. You’re going to be tired tomorrow.
Riddhima: I’ll go sleep in the hotel tomorrow; I have to join only from Wednesday morning.
Vansh: But this was not needed. I could’ve whipped something on my own until the weekend or gotten something delivered.
Riddhima: You would just eat outside the whole week. Ma told me if I could, then I must make something. (looking at him momentarily) It was no trouble, don’t worry. I’d some time on my hands, anyway.
Vansh (nodding his head slowly): So, if Aunty hadn’t asked, you wouldn’t have prepared anything?
Riddhima: I hadn’t really thought of it. I was planning to sleep earlier today to stay rested for the entire week. It’s going to be pretty hectic.
Vansh: You break my heart.
He saw her shrug at that and suppress a smile as she continued tossing the vegetables on the pan. He’d observed her nonchalant behavior in the last two months. She tried masking her expressions whenever their conversations turned heartfelt, but she failed miserably. He could always see how her lips pulled upward into a soft but bright smile and how the crimson of her skin faded around her skin.
Riddhima: Taste this and tell me how it is!
She shoved a spoonful of semi-solid into his mouth and he widened his gaze, shocked at the suddenness of the moment. He nodded his head several moments later, realizing it was Kheer and chewed on the cashews and pistachios. When he looked up at her, he saw her putting away the spoon to wash.
Riddhima: How is it? Mom said that you love Kheer.
Vansh: You talked to Mom today? She didn’t tell me anything when I called her.
Riddhima: You know I don’t really talk that much. It was just the basic stuff and she asked me what I was doing, so she told me that you really like Kheer. Did you like it?
Vansh (nodding): Just that, it’s not this sweet at our home.
Riddhima: Sorry, I’d no idea. The next time I make it, I’ll take care of it. (looking at the serving bowl doubtfully) If you don’t want to have this then, let it be in the refrigerator. I’ll finish it over the weekend. I’ll make some for you after I return. I wish I knew. I should’ve just asked…
He wrapped his fingers around her wrist and pulled her toward himself, making her stand in between his legs. Her face was a mix of tension and surprise and he mentally laughed at her. Ever since he’d gotten to know her for the better, he’d known that the smallest of discrepancies worried her. He knew she hated imperfection.
Vansh: I said, I like it. Stop worrying about the tiniest of things, Riddhima. A spoonful or two more of sugar can’t spoil the dish. In fact, it’s going to help me be sweeter and like, you know love you more.
Riddhima (shaking her head): Has anyone ever told you you’re hopeless? Move away now, I’ve to refrigerate these dishes and clean the kitchen. Then we can go sleep.
Vansh looked at her and smirked almost invisibly. He didn’t find intimate moments as these too often and he wasn’t just going to let her go. He knew she always made her way out of such moments, but he could try, nonetheless. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer to himself. He saw the surprise wavering on her face and a small smile pulled at the corner of his lips.
Vansh: You know, the weekend is going to be too far away.
Riddhima furrowed her brows and looked at him, before rolling her eyes and covering the serving bowls to wrap-up her work. Vansh stared at her and as she finished covering the last bowl, he held onto her hand, stopping her from doing any work.
Riddhima: Are you not tired? We’re leaving for the airport at the same time.
Vansh: The house is going to be so empty without you.
Riddhima (smiling softly): Is there any way I can help change the calendar for you, Mr. Raisinghania?
Vansh: You’re so mean, Riddhima. Here I am, sharing my heartfelt realizations with you and you’re making fun of me?
Riddhima: Aha, now it’s my fault. Who asked you to act like the epitome of a husband and say you must go? This relationship isn’t meant to burden me with responsibilities? I was ready to stay back.
Vansh (seconds later): Will you miss me?
Riddhima (suppressing her smile): No way! I’m going to be at peace without you for the next few days.
Vansh (looking at her with a scrutinizing gaze): Not even once?
Riddhima: I’ll have better work to do there. I’m not going there to miss you, right?
Vansh (loosening his hold around her and shaking his head): One day, you’d really break my heart.
Riddhima stepped away and started stacking the serving bowls inside the refrigerator. When she shut the refrigerator door, she looked at him with a pointed gaze.
Riddhima: Heart or no, I’ll break your head if you don’t pick all of my hundred calls!
As Vansh smiled at her, she walked away to switch off the lights in the adjoining rooms. He looked at her sitting on the kitchen counter, almost unable to suppress his happiness. He knew she would never tell him things directly, but all these counter arguments of hers made him appreciate her more. She made him appreciate her more, and he couldn’t have it any other way.
Because he knew, he loved her. He really, really loved her.
I’d love to know your thoughts on the chapter. If the response is satisfactory, I’d try and update another chapter by tonight. Thank you for reading!