Love or… Love? – 1.8 (Finale)

Recap: Varnika’s madness for Haris takes over her loyalty towards Nakul and she decides to have a two-timing fling with Haris. But when she meets him, her true feelings come out.


 

Varnika closed her eyes and took deep breaths after sitting in a cab for home. She was much happy and peaceful right now. She recalled last night when all she was thinking was about Haris and herself and had ignored Nakul’s calls and texts.

“I’ll make it up for him tonight.” She thought and took out her phone.

“Honey, will you pick me up for the comedy show from my place or I should reach myself there?” Varnika texted Nakul.

She reached home but till then did not receive any reply from Nakul. She took out the house keys from her bag and called on Nakul’s phone while climbing stairs and heard his ringtone from inside the house. The main door of the house was slightly open and this surprised Varnika and she disconnected the call. She checked time in her wrist watch and thought “Who is at home at this hour?” and slowly opened the door wide and entered the house. She saw me sitting on the couch and noticed serious expressions on my face.

“Anna, you didn’t go to hospital today? She asked looking at my formal clothes.

“And is Nakul here?” she asked me and there came a voice “Yea, I am here honey!” Nakul came out from the kitchen holding two cups of tea, one for himself and another for me.

“Hey love!” Varnika went to him and hugged him.

“Not working today?” she asked with a fake smile and looked at both of us. I could read an obvious question in her eyes.

“No… I have got some other serious work to be finished first.” He replied placing my tea in front of me and sat on the couch opposite to me. I remained silent for this whole time and took a glimpse at Varnika. She had sensed that something is not right. She sat beside me and asked Nakul “So what time we have to head out for the show?”

Nakul took out two tickets from his bag and threw them on the table and said “We are not going for any show?” and sipped his tea. Varnika squirmed in her place and looked at those tickets and then Nakul. He was furious. She became fearful.

“Is there something wrong? Do you wanna talk?” Varnika, hiding her fear, calmly asked.

“Yea! There is indeed a lot to talk about. I want to hear it all from you. Care to speak?” He replied looking in her eyes fiercely and her heart shuddered on his statement but she remained silent. She had understood that she is being confronted about her and Haris yet she concealed her timid expressions and asked “What is it Nakul? What are you talking about?”

Nakul smirked on her question and spoke to me “Look at her Anna, both of us missed going to our work today because of her, and she doesn’t understand my simple question. Could you please explain to her what am I asking?” and Varnika instantly looked at me for the question. I could read the fear in her eyes. A fear surrounded by guilt; I could foresee a big fight between the two of them but I was helpless as I did not know the whole truth either, so without wasting much time I asked Varnika “Nik… you have kept us in dark about something… Haven’t you?” Varnika gulped out of fear and kept staring at me.

“Don’t you love me anymore?” Nakul asked her in a rough tone and she once again squirmed in her place and fearfully looked at him. “Don’t say that please…. I love you more than anyone in this world.” Varnika had a shaky voice. I saw sweaty drops on her forehead. I felt helpless for my sister but perhaps this was destined to happen.

“Guys, please explain what has happened? What are you people blaming me for?” Varnika again tried her best to hide her mistake but her fake act of innocence stimulated Nakul’s anger and he plunked his tea cup on the table and said “Blaming? You think we are blaming you? Look at her Anna… after showing her true colors to me she says that I am blaming her.” I had never seen Nakul so enraged and I did not understand how to react on this and thus remained silent.

“You know what Nik… If I were in your place, I would have never done this to you… Never ever.” Nakul stood up and turned his back on us. Varnika was stupefied on his sentence as those were the exact words that had echoed in her ears when she was with Haris. Those words had prevented her from committing a big mistake.

She looked at me for an explanation for what Nakul had just said and I, without wasting any time, started speaking “Nik, for last few weeks your attitude seems changed. It is not just Nakul, but even I experienced so. Nakul was having a doubt that perhaps you have started seeing someone else and therefore..”

“..and therefore I had put a tracker in your phone to keep a check on you.” Nakul interrupted and completed the sentence. I remained silent and kept looking at Varnika. Nakul’s statement had changed her expressions from guilty to furious but she did not speak anything.

Nakul started speaking “Your phone says that you have been visiting all across London after working hours and yesterday you went to a countryside area and then from there you went to Hampstead Heath and yeah…. How can I forget to mention hotel ‘The Park’… you’ve been there thrice.  In fact, you are coming back from there right now… Am I right?” He shouted on his last sentence.

“Absolutely right.” Varnika wiped her tear looking straight in his fuming eyes.

Nakul came closer to Varnika and asked without breaking that gaze “So tell me… who that man is? For whom you are cheating on me?”

I held my head and looked down out of nervousness. I feared that Varnika will say the name of the guy I don’t want to hear.

“How dare you put a tracker in my phone? Had you had this doubt that I am cheating on you, why didn’t you come straight and ask me?” Varnika asked out of rage.

She was a woman after all… despite being guilty, how could she tolerate that she was being spied? Feminism started pumping up in each cell of her body to fight against Nakul’s spying act. Varnika started arguing with Nakul as if she was innocent and was being framed in this situation and a blame game started between the lovey-dovey couple. It was the first time that they were fighting and the reason behind it was way too big.

I was not able to decide whom to support. My mind and heart were going in different directions. I knew my sister was at fault yet I wanted to stand in her defense but my heart wasn’t allowing me to do the same. Varnika and Nakul, completely lost in their own argument had forgotten that I am also present there in between their fight. They were shouting and yelling at each other so loud that the noise attracted the attention of our neighbors. I saw one teenager boy peeping through our main door to check on what is going on and quickly I rushed there and told him “everything is fine” and shut the door.

“For goodness sake…. Shut up you both.” I covered my ears with hands and screamed to end the chaos but none of the two paid attention to me. After this failed attempt to stop both of them I screamed again “Haris! It is her school time crush that she has been meeting.” I yelled and quickly there was a silence. Nakul and Varnika both stared at me with completely different expressions of anger. While Nakul looked furious because I had given him a confirmed identity, Varnika glared at me because I had spilled her secret.

“Haris… Schoolmate… Wow!” Nakul sarcastically spoke. “Old love reignited is it??  You had always told me that I am the first man you have been in love with Nik… Didn’t you? So you lied to me huh? This guy Haris is your ex-boyfriend… sleeping with an ex is nothing but extreme fun… Isn’t it?”

“Shut up will you Nakul… I am not sleeping with him?” Varnika yelled and started crying.

Her tears didn’t seem to dip down Nakul’s anger and I decided to tell him everything that I knew.

“Come with me Nakul. Let me tell you the whole story.” I held Nakul’s hand to take him to the bedroom but he stood firm at his place staring at Varnika. He didn’t make her calm down and just kept standing there, watching her cry. “Stop crying Nik. Let me handle this now.” I told her and pulled Nakul to the bedroom and closed the door slightly. It took me half minute to catch some breath after pulling Nakul. Before explaining it to Nakul, I offered a glass of water to him and spoke in a stern way “Have this water and silently hear me out now.” He gulped down the whole glass and looked at me for the revelation.

“You knew about her affair from the scratch didn’t you?” he asked me angrily and I showed him my frowned brows, “I told you just now that you have to remain silent if you really want to hear the whole thing.”

In an adamant way though, but Nakul folded his hands in each other and told me to go ahead.

“Haris is Varnika’s school time crush, not her boyfriend. She liked him a lot but never ever approached him to express her feelings because they’re like apple and orange – completely different from each other. But recently, we spotted him in London and Varnika and he exchanged phone numbers. They met a few times in a café or a pub and that’s about it. Stop doubting on her as if she is cheating on you. And this tracker thing, don’t you think you overreacted by putting a tracker app on her phone… this is the limit of disgust Nakul. I always thought that you guys have a great sense of understanding but you’ve disappointed me. Relationships don’t work with love only. Trust plays an equally strong role in laying the foundation. How can you be so….”

“It’s not his fault Anna… don’t say him anything. It is me because of whom all of us are fighting here.” Varnika interrupted me and entered the room. I gaped at her on this and decided to stay mum on this.

“You were right Nakul. I did try to cheat on you.” She said and wept again. Her eyes looked guilty and woeful.  Nakul was irated on her sentence but I indicated him to stay silent and let Varnika speak. I patted on Varnika’s shoulder and said “You guys must talk this out. I’ll be outside.”

“Please stay Anna… you too gotta hear this.” Varnika stopped me and Nakul and I, waited for her word.


 

“I am really sorry honey. I know I shouldn’t have done this to you…. But trust you me, every step that I moved in that direction, I felt so guilty and shameful and hated myself… it is just that I…. I couldn’t just stop” and Varnika started crying once again and drifted towards the floor.

I looked at Nakul who was standing with his hands folded looking in other direction. His face reflected anger on being cheated as well as pain as he could not see Varnika crying.

Nakul too bent down and spoke in a shaky voice “I made you my whole world Nik….But you….. you cheated… Why?” his voice became heavy like Varnika’s and I helplessly watched them go through this heartbreaking situation. I went up to Varnika and whispered “tell us the whole thing now…. Only then the damage can be controlled.” And she nodded and wiped her tears and put her courage together to speak out the truth.

Varnika described the whole set of incidents that had taken place in the last few weeks, about which Nakul and I both were unaware. She kept weeping while saying the things which clearly indicated that she is guilty of doing this on Nakul’s back.

“I know I have done wrong… because at one point I wanted to be that wrong person. Being with him, gave me a thrill, a certain kind of pleasure that probably you and I never had…. and I decided to have two timing affair with him but you know what Nakul…. I did not realize my mistake until I reached that point where my heart and my soul reminded me of my true feelings which are for you and thus prevented me from taking that step….” Varnika again sobbed and Nakul this time looked at her.

“I have learnt my lesson. Can you please treat this as my last mistake honey… You are my life. I can’t be anything without you.” Varnika pleaded to Nakul and I thought that I should leave the two alone to take a decision about their relation so I left the room and locked the door.

Sitting on the couch I looked at my tea which had gone cold and then I looked at the comedy show tickets lying on the table. “Those won’t be used now I guess.” I thought and instantly an idea struck me but then my mind warned me to not take any immediate action on it and deal with the current issue between Varnika and Nakul.

I received a call from Baba on my phone but I resisted picking up as he would also come to know about the serious issue that had surfaced in our house today. There were murmurs, crying and sniffling that I could hear from inside but the bedroom remained lock. I was looking at the clock in every half minute and was restless to know the result exactly like a to-be father outside the delivery room. And finally, after three hours both of them came out. Their eyes were red and swollen. I understood that even Nakul had cried. Varnika was holding Nakul’s arm and both of them gave a brief smile to me. I gave them a questioning look and Varnika came forward to hug me. “I am sorry Anna. Despite your warnings I went forward and did what I must not have” she said and wept again. I ran my fingers through her hair to calm her down and cuddled her and looked at Nakul for an answer. He was standing there with his hands folded in each other. He didn’t say from his mouth, but I read a reply in his eyes that he has forgiven Varnika and they are back in their relationship. I felt so relieved in that moment that I had a few tears in eyes too.


 

Half an hour later, the three of us were sitting with another round of tea and cookies and I looked at the clock and the comedy show tickets again. Varnika and Nakul were busy in talking and I thought this is the right time to say what was on my mind so I said “Guys, you should head out soon for the comedy show.” And both of them gave me a strange look as if they were unaware of what I was talking about.

“What??? Don’t you wanna go for the show?” I asked them both and they looked at each other and smiled “Not anymore.” Nakul said.

“Those tickets look expensive… they will be wasted.” I showed some concern but they remained unbothered which filled me with delight.

“So would you mind if I go for the show?” I asked without wasting a moment and they said “Sure” in unison. I was filled with joy.

I picked my phone and got up from my place and asked them “There is no food ready as of now and you both must be hungry so do you want me to cook something quickly for you both?” it was just a formality that I was doing.

“Don’t worry Anna… we’ll order something later. You please get ready and rush.” Nakul said and I rushed to the bedroom.

“Hey! I have two passes for a stand-up comedy show. Would you like to join me? The show starts at 9.” I quickly messaged this to ‘ohh_photography’ and opened the closet to look for something good to wear and eagerly waited for a positive reply from him.

“Sure.” His message popped up on my phone’s lock screen when I was taking off my shirt.

“Send me the location.” Another message popped and being deliriously happy on his yes, I started dancing and jumping inside the room.  The thought of finally meeting this guy had given me butterflies. I quickly slipped into a shirt dress and wore my favorite black jacket and took out Varnika’s make up kit and did a thing here and there on my face and a question struck me.

I quickly messaged him “But how will I find you? I have not seen you before.”

“I’ll find you don’t worry. JI laughed at his message and typed “Okay” and came out to find my boots. Varnika looked at me in amaze as she had never seen me wearing makeup.

“Babe…!” Varnika said while I was wearing my boots.

“The auditorium will be dark… only the stage performer will be visible.” She remarked and I ignored her as I didn’t want to reply anything to her upon which she can make out that I am meeting someone special tonight.


 

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And finally, I reached the auditorium. The number of butterflies fluttering in my tummy was outgrowing. This was the first time that I was feeling nervous for a man because I had never shown interest in any of them ever before. I was constantly looking here and there to observe people around me and especially the ones who were looking at me as it was him who was supposed to come to me and I had to stand in one place itself and wait for him. I checked time in my wrist watch. It was 8.58 pm and there was no sign of this guy anywhere.

“Perhaps he’ll not show up.” I thought. “Look at the crazy parking crowd… perhaps he is struggling to park his car and getting late because of this or maybe he is coming in a cab which is stuck in traffic somewhere… let’s wait till 9.15 here and then ping him.” I decided and kept standing at my place waiting for him and started daydreaming about a courteous conversation on a dinner date with a wine glass kept by our sides and I was laughing at his jokes and staring at his amazing clicks and asking him some tips about good photography when a voice on my right side interrupted my beautiful thoughts “Hi!” I looked there and said “Hi” and my heart skipped a beat in fear when I recognized the face… “Nooo” I said in a shaky voice.

“Why are you here?” I asked in a very angry tone and he looked at me in wonder.

“Because you invited me Anamika.” He looked surprised on my question but his answer gave me a shock.

“I…. I did not invite you. I am waiting here for a friend.” I told him and looked in opposite direction.

“Alright. So the handsome guy standing in front of you is indeed that friend.” He smirked and showed me his Instagram feed ‘ohh_photography’ and I was stumped on his answer. I looked at his phone and the ground under my feet seemed to be shaking. Being completely astounded, I started walking away from him.

“Hey Anamika…. What’s wrong?” I heard him from the back but I kept walking.

“Is there some kind of misunderstanding?”

“You can’t be him.” I shouted and kept walking fast to move away quickly from him.

“Well, I can’t be who? Babe, what’s the confusion?”He was bemused and he started walking behind me to find his answers which I did not want to give.

“Babe, I thought we had a date today… I fail to understand what suddenly changed your mind?” he asked and kept walking behind me.

“Anamika… stop!” He stopped me by holding my hand from behind. His touch, I swear, was magnetic that this time my feet were compelled to stop.

“What is bothering you so much?” he looked at me and my eyes got captivated by his eyes. But before he could cast any charming spell on me I hastened to release my hand from his grip and angrily said “How dare you kissed my sister?? Her life was almost ruined because of you. Why did you come back in her life? You… it is you Haris who is bothering me.” He got bewildered on my questions.

“You are Varnika’s sister?” Haris wondered.

“Yeah…. And you kissed her.” I furiously spoke.

“Well….” He raised his tone now and said “she kissed me too.”

“And lemme tell you she enjoyed that kiss very much. It is the best kiss in her life by far and I am 100% sure about that.” Haris claimed and I was surprised at his cheap statement.

“Disgusting.” I fumingly said and started walking again.

“Well, what about the comedy show?” I heard Haris from behind and tore apart the tickets and threw on the street.

I was fearful that this will irate him and he will come back again from behind and misbehave with me but nothing happened. I kept walking briskly for the next few minutes without looking back even once and reached by the Queen’s Walk. This was the most peaceful place for me in London. I leaned on the river wall under a lantern and took a few deep breaths.

“What the fuck just happened?” “All this while I was dreaming about being with the guy I wanted my sister to stay away from? Hell, how could I be so foolish?” I questioned myself. “Well, you did not know it is Haris you were chatting with all this while… he never posted his own picture on his Insta feed which could divulge his identity so don’t blame yourself.” I consoled myself. “But why in this world of zillion people it had to be him? Nik had said that he is a model… How can a model be such a good photographer?” “Are you stupid Anna? You’re a doctor and if you’re fond of photography, then a person from modeling world is more likely to get inclined to these hobbies no?” Questions and answers kept tossing in my head and I got lost in my own thoughts without noticing any of the people passing by, not even the melodious sound of the swirls and waves coming from the Thames.

I kept standing there for more than an hour to figure out how to tackle things now and ultimately I decided that I will never reveal this incident to Varnika. This decision calmed down my mind and my stomach reminded me of its emptiness and I checked time in my watch. “There is no point standing here anymore. I should head back home now.” I thought and moved one step ahead when I saw him there, again. He was standing around ten feet away from me and was perhaps waiting for one eye contact before making a move in my direction. I huffed to myself and he started walking towards me with his bewitching smile. He was holding a packet of some meal in one hand and two cans of beer in another. I started looking in another direction when he reached me “you know what Anamika… I wanted to take you on a dinner date tonight… but my destiny…tsch” he moved his neck from left to right to express his dismay and in utmost anger I said “Kitne bade chep ho tum… pata hai tumhe? (Do you have any idea how sticky and despo man you are?)” and he chuckled on this and offered a sub sandwich to me and even though my hands wanted to grab that packet, my mind prevented them from taking it and he said “Agar main chep hota to tum dono sisters ko mere hi peeche kyun aana tha? (if I am so sticky and despo a guy, then why the hell you and your sister were craving to be with me?)” I tried, but failed to hide my laugh on this and sarcastically said “destiny…tsch tsch” and moved my neck exactly like him.

That brief but casual talk had ironed out the tension on my mind and Haris said “You’re reading too much out of this situation… grab a bite and gulp this down” He said and handed over a beer can in my hand. “Life will be nothing less than hell if one becomes sensitive about everything.” I gulped some beer and what he had just said started making sense to me.

“And what kind of name is ‘ohh_photography?” Who puts such handle names on social media?” I asked another doubt.

He sipped his beer and spoke, “Probably you read it as an interjection ‘Oh’ with double H… For me, it’s the reverse of my name HHO.” He clarified and I was stunned for one second.

“I wish I could have understood that earlier…. Bloody destiny!” I thought sipping my beer.


 

My phone buzzed and I saw Varnika’s messages:

“Baba called up.”

“He wants us to be home for Durgo Pujo next month.”

“Come home and we’ll discuss out the travel dates.”

“Okay” I replied her and closed my eyes “India….” I deep sighed and murmured “Bari ta ami khub miss kori (I miss being home so much)” and he replied “Wow! You guys going home. I have my ticket for next week. Till then…” he paused and came closer and looking straight into my eyes he said, “I am here in London, at your service!” He winked and I…. simply had no answer to this.



 

THE END.

10 thoughts on “Love or… Love? – 1.8 (Finale)

Add yours

  1. Nice end to the beautiful story and somewhere back in my mind i felt ohh_photography would be Haris only but wasn’t sure though😬
    Will be waiting for more stories 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved the end and a required take away “Life will be nothing less than hell, if one becomes sensitive about everything”!!

    Waiting for more stories.. Happy writing!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Finally got the chance the read the great story…Well done😃 Finished all the parts in one go. Perfect company for my solo train journey!! Keep it up👍

    Liked by 1 person

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