Hello, all you lovely people!! Heartfelt gratitude to each one of you who have been instrumental in bringing the story so far! I hope you all have been enjoying the story so far. It’s time to buck up now though, are you ready? Happy reading!!
Twinj: Meant to be: Episode 30
A quick recap: The members of the Sarna family shower Twinkle and Kunj with love and blessings, and then take their new daughter-in-law home. Kunj tries his best to make Twinkle feel comfortable in the new settings, but only ends up hurting himself.
Kunj and Yuvi had left for work after lunch since some unforeseen circumstances had come up, and it had been unavoidable. Usha had been extremely unhappy with that and had tried arguing but in vain. And that was how Aditi and Twinkle had ended up hanging out in the latter’s room on her very first night at the Sarna mansion. When Kunj and Yuvi hadn’t turned up even way past dinner time, Aditi had excused herself, telling Twinkle that she should sleep too. Twinkle found herself in a fix. Would it be alright for her and Kunj to occupy the extreme ends of his huge bed? Or had he planned on alternative arrangements for either of them? She had no clue, and since she had no other way out, she had to wait.
She pushed the door to the room shut and laid down on the couch, tossing and turning as she analysed the pictures of the bills and records from the cafe for that day. She had made it a point to apologise to Maya for leaving all the work to her for an entire day like that. Although that had happened before as well, while she was working at the venue for Yuvi’s wedding, she hadn’t for some reason, ever thought of it this way. ‘Probably because you have way too much free time on your hands right now. You don’t have to cook or do any other chores here after all.’ Her mind reasoned, making her realise that she would have lots of leisure now, and she had absolutely no idea of what she had to do with it.
Perhaps she had fallen asleep when she had been thinking of something productive to do, for when Kunj returned around midnight, a fully rehearsed apology speech prepared in his head, he found her sleeping in what looked like an extremely uncomfortable position on the couch. “Twinkle!” He called out gently, but there was no response. He couldn’t help but admire how adorable he thought she looked while sleeping. He tried nudging her shoulder to wake her up too. When all his possible choices had gone in vain, he had to stick to his last resort, one that he wasn’t sure she would be too happy with. He walked over to the door then, to shut it, where he saw Bebe and Yuvi at the doors to their rooms, watching his door. Since all the rooms on the first floor were located in the corridor that ran around and above the hall below, they all got a pretty good view of each other’s doors. He showed them a thumbs up and smiled. He knew that they had been concerned. Yuvi stayed on for a minute after Bebe had retreated into her room and shut the door. He quickly texted Kunj to make sure everything was alright. “She was asleep when I came back.” Kunj texted back, frowning at Yuvi, who grinned at him before disappearing behind his own door that closed quietly.
Kunj took his time changing into his nightwear before returning to the couch. He picked her up in his arms carefully, dreading that she would wake up right then and freak out. She, however, turned in his arms and went back to sleeping soundly. He carried her to the bed cautiously, not wanting to disturb her. The thought that she might be one of those people with little to no activity once asleep scared him. He knew that he had the tendency to move his hands and legs a lot as he slept, and had definitely not considered the fact that he would now have to share his bed with Twinkle before this exact moment. Despite his painstaking efforts at not disturbing her slumber, she woke up with a start the moment her back touched the matress.
“Hey, it’s alright! Just me!” Kunj cooed, squeezing her shoulders gently in reassurance. “Kunj?” Twinkle muttered, appearing confused momentarily before her eyes widened in realisation. “Hi!” He chuckled, making no effort to move away from her. “You had fallen asleep on the couch. I didn’t want you to wake up with a sore neck, and thought I could manage to put you to bed stealthily. I obviously need to improve.” Kunj explained, shrugging as he finished. “Thank you!” She whispered, torn between feeling embarrassed and grateful, and struggling to contain a yawn but failing. “You should sleep now. We do need to talk, but maybe tomorrow morning?” Kunj said observantly, but she shook her head violently. He raised his eyebrows at her and then lowered his eyes to her hand that was now gripping his, in a bid to stop him from leaving.
Twinkle hesitated and gulped before quietly suggesting, “We could speak now. If you aren’t too sleepy.” Before Kunj could protest in response, she added, “The sooner, the better, I know.” He sighed, wondering what it was exactly that she thought about him. “Are you sure about that? You appear ready to drop off!” He laughed, earning a small giggle from her. “Now it is then.” He confirmed, backing away just a little and sitting cross-legged in front of her in an imitation of her action. She smiled awkwardly when he flashed his ever kind, warm smile.
“So, how are you?” He asked when he figured that he would have to be the one to open this conversation. “I’m good. I don’t even remember when was the last time I felt such belonging. How are you?” She answered, her eyes glistening with contentment. “That’s lovely. I feel great. Everything had felt so tentative for so long that this peace feels heavenly.” He replied, leaving her slightly confused. What was he talking about? Was it about his wedding that was supposed to have happened with Tanisha? Should she bring that up already? “You appear a little worried though. Did someone─” His words were cut off when she shook her head quickly again, assuring him, “Of course not! Everyone is really nice to me. In fact, I’m worried they’re all going out of their way for my sake!” He looked relieved and convinced at that.
Twinkle nodded, albeit appearing unsure of it herself though. He caught the expression immediately, but decided to give her a few moments of silence so that she could think it over and bring it up herself. She was, however, as he would learn by and by, a little smarter at handling emotions than he was. “Kunj, are you sure we have it all under control? Are you sure that this wasn’t a bad decision to make?” She blurted out suddenly, choosing to disclose her other fear to him. “I’m sure. Of both.” He answered in a beat, placing his hands over hers. “I know Usha Ma’am doesn’t like me much. Perhaps she’s right from where she’s seeing it all.” She wondered out loud, to which he said “They are all really nice. Honestly, Ma wasn’t too big a fan of the idea of this wedding and clearly disrupted peace around here for some time, but she came around, didn’t she? I know some people ─ Ma ─ might take some more time to warm up to you entirely, but then she’s definitely one of the coolest people around. She loves me, and is worried for me is all. She’ll soon see what an amazing person you are, too.”
Yuvi and Aditi had said that to Twinkle too. One would think she would have been convinced enough by now. “Should we just tell her about the Tanejas? Will that make things any easier for you?” She asked Kunj earnestly, making his heart melt. He knew that the Tanejas were the secret of hers that she guarded with her everything, and now she was willing to give it up to Usha Sarna of all people just for his sake! She was way stronger than he had perceived. “We won’t do that. Not for my sake! I know we’ll have to tell them all someday. But you’ll have to be prepared for it. It shouldn’t be for any reason other than letting them know. No other interest or selfish excuse. Is that okay?” He said, more of a declaration than a question. “You should definitely think it over. Just in case, know that this is an open option.” She said softly, feeling obligated to do that for someone who had done so much for her.
“No, it isn’t something we’ll even consider.” Kunj said strictly, and she knew she had lost that debate, and it was only for her own good. She might have willed herself for that disclosure for his sake, but she definitely wasn’t ready. “I know you’re thinking Ma has problems with you just because she thinks you aren’t one of those spoilt daughters of her friends, but it isn’t that. She values the respect this family has in the society very highly, and she has her reasons to do so too. But that isn’t anything you have to worry about, right? You know exactly how the society functions around here, and so, technically, you can handle it all way past her expectations. And bingo! You’ll be her favourite before she knows it!” He gushed, beginning in a very serious tone, but unable to hold back his excitement as he went by.
Twinkle lowered her eyes at that. And Kunj wondered where he had gone wrong, realising immediately. “I know you probably don’t want to associate yourself with all this posh show. But trust me, I didn’t mean it like that either! I’m sorry, that was such a stupid thing to say!” He struggled with his words to get his point across, feeling incredibly nervous and afraid of being misunderstood. “Kunj.” Her utterance of his name calmed him down like he didn’t even know was possible. “It’s just that, it’s been over two years since I left. I have cut myself completely from them ever since. Life taught me several lessons along this path, and one of the most important ones was to be happy with what I had. I know that is something people around here definitely do not resonate with. And that is only one of the many differences in opinion that are bound to happen. I don’t want to cause you any more disappointment!” She explained honestly.
Kunj nodded understandingly, left speechless. “We’ll deal with it all. One step at a time. There’s absolutely no reason to be worrying over something that won’t come up for a long time from now. Being happy with what we have now, remember?” He managed a whole minute of silence later. He had been watching her carefully though, feeling his heart ache when she wiped away the tears flowing down her cheeks. He didn’t realise when he had cupped her face, directing her wordlessly to look at him. What he did know, was that he was telling her, “Twinkle, you have never caused me any disappointment. Not when you poured coffee all over my blazer. Not with your display of concern for Yuvi and Aditi that may have annoyed me back then. Not when you turned down my proposal. Not with any bit of your past, and definitely not with your too good to be real food!”
His heart fluttered as the shock on her face that had resulted from his advances turned into a glad smile amidst the tears. “You think you’re funny.” She commented, trying her best to drown out the melancholy, and aiming for a sarcastic tone but not quite succeeding. Kunj didn’t call her out for it though. He played along instead, gasping dramatically. “What do you mean? I am funny! I’ll take offense at that!” He said, pretending to sulk, turning his face away from her. She let out a barely audible laugh at that, and for him, it was sufficient to begin with. “What if I told you that you only think you are Yuvi’s best friend?” He nudged her, and it was her turn to pointedly protest against that.
“Twinkle?” Kunj called out when they had decided they had laughed enough for the day, and should finally go to sleep. She was already lying down on her side now, her back to him. She hummed, indicating that she was listening, and waited for him to speak. When he had stayed quiet for longer than she thought was normal, she turned around, only to find him looking at her with concerned eyes. “It’ll all be okay.” He said, boiling down all the thoughts that had been racing in his mind. She smiled a little with an almost non-existent nod, and he turned out the light.
“Was easier to fall asleep on that couch, huh?” Kunj asked, his voice a clear evidence of how worn out he was. It had been a really long, eventful day after all. She rolled around yet again, making him laugh internally at his initial perception of her being a very deep sleeper. “Don’t laugh.” He heard her speak in the dark, obviously turned towards him, from how close her voice sounded. God, if this wasn’t his dream! “It’s a new place, and all those excuses!” She continued, making him laugh. “Can’t fall back asleep once woken up halfway through you sleep.” He stated, as though he knew her inside out. “How did you know that?” She asked, sounding suspicious, and somehow her voice was now even closer. “Because I know.” He said casually, turning to face her, but ended up bumping into her instead. Apparently, she had raised herself on her elbows as she put forth that question, and now she was lying partially below him.
Twinkle could hear her heart pounding, and was worried he could hear it too. Neither of them had intended it, but they were so close that she could feel his breath fanning her cheek. “Kunj” She stammered with his name, snapping him out of his daze. Her mumbled an apology under his breath before rolling off, both cursing themselves. “Good night.” He heard her murmur a moment later, and he muttered his own “Sweet dreams” before both of them slid away a little more and forced their eyes shut.
That’s it for now, guys!! So tell me, how do you all feel about these developments? What kind of a husband do you think Kunj is? What kind of a wife do you think Twinkle will turn out to be? Looking forward to hearing from you all. Until next time, much love!!