Part 16

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Days were passing by. Manik and his friends decided to go on a trip. Everyone was busy in their own world, so they hadn't been anywhere together for quite sometime. Manik asked Nandini also to join them. Nandini felt that Mukti and Alya wouldn't like her presence, so she politely declined without telling him the actual reason.

Manik and his friends left for the trip. Manik and Nandini had been spending a lot of time together, so Nandini had begun to miss Manik. As days passed by, things got worse. Without Manik beside her, nothing seemed good to her, she was kind of lost. She wasn't able to figure out why she was feeling so on her own.

Nandini's phone began to ring. After the initial pleasantries,

Navya : "You don't seem fine to me. What's the matter?"

Nandini : "Nothing. I am really fine."

Navya : "Okay. How is Manik?"

Nandini : "He is fine. He is on a trip with his friends."

Navya : "Oh! That's the reason for your sadness. Are you missing him?"

Nandini : "Yes .. I am."

Navya : "If you love him so much that you are already missing him, then why did you let him go. Either you should have stopped him or you also should have gone along with him."

After they were done talking, Nandini was thinking about her conversation with Navya.

Nandini's thoughts : "Navya was telling that I am missing Manik because I love him. Is that true? Do I love him?"

Nandini's thoughts : "Navya is my best friend and has been with me for so many years. I miss her too, but the way I am missing Manik is much different from how I am missing Navya."

Nandini was trying to analyze her feelings. Slowly, she realized that Manik didn't remain as her friend, but he had become a lot more than that for her. She figured out that she had fallen in love with Manik.

Nandini had to face the reality. Her feelings for Manik had changed, but Manik considered her only as his friend.

Nandini's thoughts : "On the day of the wedding itself, Manik had made it clear that he wanted to be with his girlfriend. In spite of knowing that he loves someone else, how did I fall in love with him?"

Nandini remembered Manik's behavior during the initial days after their wedding before they applied for divorce.

Nandini's thoughts : "If Manik comes to know about my feelings for him, what will he think? What if he misunderstands me and gets back to his monster mode like earlier? I won't be able to bear if he ignores or hates me now."

Nandini's thoughts : "What shall I do now? There isn't much time left for the divorce. If I manage to keep my feelings to myself, I can leave him on good terms. I will remain as his friend as he wants me to be. That seems the right thing to do."

Nandini decided to suppress her feelings. She made up her mind that she would never let Manik know how she actually feels for him.

Manik was enjoying with his friends, but he hadn't forgotten Nandini. He called her or messaged her whenever possible.

One day, Manik and his friends were at the restaurant. The waiter spilled the drink on Manik's shirt by mistake. Seeing this, Mukti started scolding the waiter, but Manik stopped her.

Manik : "Mukti, let him go. It was just a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes."

Mukti was surprised at Manik's behavior. In the past, when a similar incident had happened, Manik was the first one to raise his voice. Now, he was stopping her from doing so. His change in behavior didn't go unnoticed by his friends.

Manik remembered a similar incident which had happened when he was with Nandini, that was the reason for his changed behavior.

When Mukti and Alya wanted to go shopping, Manik joined them since it was a new place. He didn't want to leave them on their own. Alya and Mukti were busy looking at the jewelry.

Manik was just looking around when his eyes fell on a necklace, it had stars in it. When he saw that, only one person came to his mind and that was Nandini. He had seen Nandini looking at the stars several times.

Manik asked the salesman to show the set to him. Mukti saw Manik seeing the necklace and came to him.

Manik : "How is this?"

Mukti : "It is nice, but simple. If you are selecting it for Alya, let me tell you she isn't going to like it. It isn't her type."

Manik : "It isn't for Alya. It is for Nandini."

Mukti : "From when did you start getting gifts for someone other than your close friends?"

Manik : "Why can't I buy it for her? She is my close friend too."

Manik purchased the necklace for Nandini.

Nandini was in Manik's thoughts through out the trip, though she wasn't physically present with him.

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