Sequel - Part 12

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Soha's was in deep thoughts trying to figure out how to keep Nandini away from Manik.

Soha's thoughts : "Manik sir doesn't like people who are inefficient. If he comes to know that Nandini is inefficient, he will either fire her or transfer her to some other department. Nandini will be away from Manik sir. I can also get back my position and get closer to him. It will be like killing two birds in one stone."

Soha had access to Manik's schedule since she was Manik's personal assistant before Nandini joined. Soha stayed a little late at work and interchanged the timings of two meetings that had to take place at the office the next day only in Manik's schedule. Soha also had to attend one of them.

Soha's thoughts : "Manik sir will think that Nandini isn't capable of managing even a simple thing like his schedule. I can't wait till tomorrow to see the consequences."

Next day morning, Nandu took a printout of the schedule and went to Manik. She started telling Manik about his schedule for the day, but stopped half way. She had checked it the previous day and figured out that it wasn't the same.

Nandu  excused herself and checked the dairy where she used to roughly note down the appointments and meeting times before entering on the computer. Nandu informed Manik about the correct schedule later.

Nandu : "I am sorry. I don't know how the entries in the schedule got messed up."

Manik : "It's alright."

Nandu apologized again.

Manik : "Mistakes do happen sometimes. You corrected it immediately too, so no worries."

Soha wanted to check the outcome of her plan. She went to one meeting room expecting only Nandini and Manik to be there. She was imagining a scene where furious Manik was screaming at Nandini. The thought itself made her happy. But Soha didn't find anyone in the room. She waited for sometime and then left.

Soha went to the other meeting room where the actual meeting was scheduled. The meeting was going on and both Manik and Nandini were there in the meeting room. Soha excused herself and joined the meeting. Soha was trying to show that Nandini was inefficient, but she herself ended up being late for the meeting. Soha's idea had backfired.

Soha tried once more to prove Nandini was inefficient. This time instead of messing up with the schedule, she manipulated a document which Nandini had to get signed from Manik. But after the last incident, Nandini made sure she checked everything again before going to Manik. So Nandini corrected the document and Soha's this plan also didn't work.

Once Manik and Nandini had gone to meet a client. On their way back, their car engine heated up. They came to know there was a stream nearby, so Manik took a can and went with Nandini to fetch water. 

Once they reached the stream, Manik went ahead to fetch water and Nandini stayed behind. When Manik came back, he saw Nandu was shivering with fear.

Manik : "What happened? Why are you shivering?"

Nandu didn't respond even after asking a few times, but continued to panic. Manik was worried and didn't know what to do. He remembered something from the past and took Nandini in an embrace. Manik wasn't sure if it would work, but at that time he couldn't think of anything else.

Flashback

Manik and Nandini were on vacation. Nandini screamed and Manik rushed to her hearing her scream.

Manik : "What happened? Why did you scream?"

Nandini  hugged Manik immediately.

Nandini : "There was a rat."

Manik : "You are scared of a rat? It is such a tiny creature, what will that do to you?"

Manik : "By the way the rat is still behind you. Then how are you so calm. Aren't you scared now?"

Nandini : "You are there with me now. I don't have to be scared of anything when I am in your arms. I know i am safe, you won't let anything happen to me."

Manik : "Do you trust me so much?"

Nandu : "More than I trust myself. You take more care of me than I take of myself."

Manik : "Then why don't you stay like this with me always."

Nandu : "I would love to. We can stay like this for the next few days if you don't have any plans of stepping out of the room.But it wouldn't be possible once we go back. Both of us have other responsibilities too. Don't you have to go to work. You have to spend time with others in the family and your friends too."

Flashback ends...

Miraculously it worked. Manik stepped back once Nandini calmed down. They started walking back to the car. Neither Manik nor Nandini talked about the embrace.

Manik's thoughts : "I embraced her in the heat of the moment. I don't know what she will think. I just hope she doesn't  take me wrong and things don't get awkward between us."

Nandu's thoughts : "I felt so safe in his arms. My fear disappeared in no time. How is it possible? I felt that is where I belong. I didn't want to come out of his embrace. Why?"

Nandini was so lost in her thoughts, she didn't pay attention to where she was walking. The surface was uneven and her foot twisted. Nandini's sandal broke and she took of her sandals. Manik didn't want her to walk bare feet. If it was in the past he would have lifted and carried her. He was thinking what to do now. Nandini tried to step forward.

Nandini : "Ouch!"

Nandini had twisted her ankle too.

Manik : "Looks like you are hurt. Let me carry you."

Nandu : "No it's alright, I will manage."

She tried to walk again, but couldn't move even a single step.

Manik : "You are not even able to take a step forward, how are you going to walk all the way?"

Manik asked her to hold the water can. He carried her in his arms even before Nandu could protest. Once they reached the car, he made her sit on the trunk of the car. When Manik tried to touch her ankle, Nandini tried to pull her leg back.

Manik : "Don't worry. I won't hurt you. Let me examine your ankle."

Manik held her feet and massaged her ankle. He was trying to see if he could fix it. Meanwhile, Manik tried to divert her attention.

Manik : "Why did you panic when we were near the stream?"

Nandu : "I am not sure. But when i saw the gushing water and the water fall at a distance, fear started building up in me."

Nandu thought for a while.

Nandu : "Bhai told me that he found me drowning in a river. May be that is the reason i was scared."

Nandu became sad remembering what Abhi said about her. Manik observed the change in her expressions.

Manik : "What happened? Why are you looking sad?"

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