Ankahee Chapter 9

Posted by Shabia Walia on

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Ankahee

Episode 9

It wasn't until 2 am that night that Randeep reached home. He had dropped off Ruhi below her building but her warmth stayed with him.

He had relived the moment in his head a thousand times. Ruhi in his arms and the hug that had seemed like forever. They had separated and smiled at each other, nothing awkward, just the feeling of being touched and healed.

‘We should be moving, it's a big day tmrw’, she reminded him and almost unwillingly he had agreed with her. It was a big day tmrw. They were launching three new shows and there was lots to be done. Press conferences, last minute quality checks, news stories to be looked at and lots more.

Their drive back was silent as if both were lost in their own thoughts. Neither felt the need to fill in the silences. They had talked enough on the beach in a few sentences to last a lifetime.

As he opened his door with the keys, he sighed. What a mad evening it had been. From the short circuit in his office to the sharp pain in his arm to the warmth of Ruhi in his arms, It really had been one hell of an evening.

The house was quiet but today he didn't mind returning to it. Alone is not lonely, Ruhi had said and tonight he didn't feel alone. He smiled.

He walked across the hall to his room and on a hunch stopped by Nimmi’s room. He felt guilty now for not having informing her about his whereabouts. He peeped into the room and saw Nimmi sleeping soundly.

She looked quite peaceful in her sleep. And these occasions were rare. He hardly ever had seen her sleep peacefully. It was a luxury for her to sleep a full night without those recurring nightmares.

He stood at the door for quite some time staring at her. And as if sensing his presence, she opened her eyes. She smiled at him as he made no attempt to move.

‘Emergency at work?’, she asked.

‘Yes the control room crashed due to a shirt circuit. We were off air for almost three hours’. He offered.

She sat up looking concerned for him. He liked that about her. She had never stopped caring for him despite their distance. It's just that she didn't express it often. Theirs was a relationship of a different kind and he had never held it against her.

‘Come and sit with me, Randeep’. She beckoned him.

Randeep said apologetically, ‘I am sorry I woke you Nimmi. It's not often that you sleep so well’.

Nimmi smiled. ‘Not your fault Randeep. Come here.’

He walked in and sat down on the bed. She looked rested, he was happy to see that.

‘The sleep has done you well, Nimmi.’, he said gently to her.

‘And you need it lots, you look tired’, she retorted.

‘I agree too, it was a long day and tomorrow is another one.’, he explained.

‘Why do you need to work so hard? It's just the two of us and we have enough.’ She tried telling him as if he didn't know.

‘You know I don’t work to earn. I work because I enjoy it. Plus it keeps me busy,’ Randeep replied.

He rotated his shoulders as he felt a little jab rising again. She was about to say something when he cut her.

‘I know, I know Nimmi, I need to get this treated. I will, I will, I assure you.’ She listened as he blabbered on.

Realising soon enough that she was saying it for his benefit, he softened.

Then he suddenly looked at her and said, ‘Hey Nimmi, come here. I want to give you a hug.’

Nimmi was surprised at the sudden request.

Randeep realised he had come along too sudden. ‘I am sorry, it came out like that. But you don't need to fear it. I just want to give you a hug.’

‘I don't fear you Randeep. Neither do I fear your hug.’, she said as she moved closer to him and into his arms.

He hugged her tight just the way Ruhi had hugged him. Nimmi could feel the warmth in his hug. It was closer than it had ever been. She moved even closer as much as she could. He hugged her tighter.

He spoke softly to her as he hugged her. He kept talking reassuring words lest she panicked again. ‘Easy Nimmi, take it easy. It's nice to be able to hug you.’. She sighed and moved closer telling her brain it was just Randeep.

She soaked in his warmth, his manly smell, his cozy grip. He moved his face a little behind to be able to look at her. ‘You know I am sorry I left for office suddenly without informing you. I should have messaged you,' he said apologetically.

She tilted her head to look at him and said, 'It's fine. I checked with Rakesh at office about you. He told me about the stressful situation at office. Am glad it's over'. Saying so she went back into his arms. It was indeed a nice place to be.

By the time they moved away, Nimmi felt better and Randeep even better. He wished her good night and moved away to his room. She kept looking at him leaving, kept thinking about him, long after he was gone.

Randeep was a good man, had always been. She recalled their initial days of marriage and his gentleness towards her. He had genuinely tried to make her comfortable, make her feel loved and did all that he could to make her happy.

She had fallen short. She had tried her best, she loved him and wanted to make a success of her marriage. She had thought she would be able to overcome all that she had faced till then. But she wasn't.

Initially he had been patient with her thinking it was her anxiety of being in a new place, in a new relationship.

But when every time he came close to her and she showed signs of panic, he knew something was really, really wrong.

And when after several months of trying to establish intimacy, they had completely failed, what she had confessed amidst her own frustrations and his, had left him completely shocked and helpless.

The sound of Randeep’s door closing brought her back to the present.

She could sense something different in him today. He was at ease. She felt happy for him. For long she had prayed he found his happiness.

His hug today spoke volumes of his mental state. She had never seem him so happy. She fluffed her pillow and went back to sleep.

In his room, Randeep was sleeping with a smile on his face. The hug he shared with Nimmi a few minutes away had brought him a lot of peace. He was happy she had given into his arms and not panicked, like always. He hoped she would be able to get rid of her fears. For her sake more than his. He had long given up trying to be her husband but he definitely wanted to be her friend, a friend she could trust and rely upon.

His thoughts drifted to Ruhi, well here the matter was completely different. He definitely wanted her as much more than a friend.

He smiled at the irony.

Life is strange, he concluded and forced himself to sleep.

…….to be continued.

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