Part 8

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Manik and Nandini had started off from home early in the morning. Manik had driven the entire distance nonstop. It was night now and he was tired, so he went to the room. It was a small room just enough for a cot and few shelves, with very little space to walk around.

        Manik : "What did I get myself into? I shouldn't have agreed to come here. As though what I tolerated during the day was not enough..."

        Manik : "All these days, I was only forced to share the room with her. What shall I do now? I don't want to share the bed with her, but I can't go out of this room and sleep somewhere else too."

        In his frustration, Manik banged his hand against the shelf that was close to him. Nandini who just came inside heard the last part. She saw him banging his hand which wasn't new to her.

        Whenever she saw him banging his hand like that earlier, she was concerned that he would be hurt. She couldn't do anything about it because Manik would get annoyed even if she talked to him.

        The force with which Manik banged the shelf was enough to dislodge a heavy decor that was placed on the top shelf. Manik didn't observe this. Nandini saw the decor topple and realized that it is going to fall on Manik's head. So she immediately rushed towards him and pushed him away from where he was standing.

        Nandini managed to save him from getting injured, but the decor fell on her hand before she could move her hands away. A pain shot through her hand and her eyes brimmed with tears.

        Meanwhile, Manik turned around in anger.

        Manik : "What the..."

        He stopped when he heard the thud sound and saw the decor on the ground, which gave Nandini the chance to explain her action.

        Nandini : "It was going to fall on you, so I had to push you."

        Nandini was expecting some rude words from Manik. Instead, Manik thanked her after realizing what would have happened if she hadn't pushed him. Manik didn't know Nandini was hurt and she didn't tell him.

        Nandini left the room immediately. Tears which she was withholding all this time started flowing. She went to the refrigerator, got some ice and placed it on her hand where she was hurt.

        Manik's attention had got diverted from what he was thinking before. He sat on the bed and thought of what just happened. He was already exhausted and he didn't realize when he drifted off to sleep.

        When Manik woke up next, he saw the door was closed, the pillow and bedsheet next to him were missing. He found Nandini sleeping under the cot, thus solving his problem of sharing the bed.

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        Manik and Nandini stayed there for one more day and then left from his grandmother's place. On their way back home, Nandini was sleeping in the car. She had taken painkillers before they started on their journey, but it's effect had faded away, and she winced and moaned lowly in pain. Manik heard it and turned towards her. In her sleep, her other hand automatically moved to the place she was hurt. It was only then that Manik observed that her hands were badly bruised.

Later when Nandini was awake,

        Manik : "What happened to your hand?"

        The only reason he asked her about her hand was because Nandini had saved him the previous day.

        Nandini : "I got a little hurt when the decor fell that day."

        Manik realized that she had got hurt saving him. So,

        Manik : " Shall I stop at a pharmacy and get some medicines for it?"

        Nandini : "Thanks for asking! I got them yesterday."

        The rest of the journey was silent. Manik and Nandini reached home and got back to their usual routine soon after.

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        A few days passed by. One night when the entire family was in the living room, Nyonika came and hugged Nandini.

        Nyonika : "Thank you Nandini!"

        Nandini didn't know why she was thanking her.

        Nyonika : "I was talking to my mom. Finally, her wish has been fulfilled. Brother met her after so many years. Her happiness had no bounds."

        Nandini was very happy hearing it. After all, her little effort had paid off.

        Nandini : "Really Mom! I can't believe it."

        Nyonika : "Yes dear and you are the one who made it possible."

        Nandini : "I just tried talking to him, I am glad he understood and met Nani."

        Nyonika : "It seems he apologized for being rude to you."

        Nandini : "That's alright Mom, what matters is that grandmother is happy."

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