Mihika has worn her night dress. She knocks on Raman and Ishita’s bedroom, a big gift bag in her hands.
Ishita (muffles): Come in.
Mihika comes inside as Ishita puts a sleeping Adi in his cot.
Ishita (surprised): Miku, come and sit.
Mihika does and Ishita sits in front of her.
Mihika: Here you go. Mom sent these gifts for all of you.
Ishita: And you couldn’t refuse? Come on, Mihika, there was no need for them.
Mihika: Ishita Di, think of these gifts as her blessings and keep them. Please, otherwise we’ll all feel bad.
Ishita (puts the gift bag on the side and shakes her head): I can never win against you.
Mihika (jokes): Yes, and don’t even try to.
Both burst into giggles.
Bhalla House – First Floor’s Balcony.
Abhishek’s on the phone.
Gayatri: Did you give the gifts to Raman?
Abhishek: Yes, Ma, he refused to take them at first. It took a long time to convince him.
Gayatri: It’s good you did that. I wouldn’t have let you back in the house otherwise. How’s Ishita and the baby?
Abhishek: They’re both fine. You know, Adi has Raman’s nose and Ishita G’s eyes.
Gayatri: Take a lot of pictures of him. I want to see them.
Abhishek: Yes, Ma, I will.
Gayatri: Okay, I must go. I need to sleep.
Abhishek: Take care.
Gayatri: You too.
Abhishek: And, Ma?
Abhishek: Love you.
Gayatri (smiles): If you really love me, then bring my daughter-in-law back home.
Gayatri hangs up and Abhishek stares at his phone for a while.
Abhishek shakes his head. He passes Raman and Ishita’s room to see the door wide open. Mihika and Ishita have serious expressions.
He’s about to leave when something Mihika says stops him.
Mihika: Dad said he’s from a nice family. He has his own business and is earning well. I’ve met him. He’s a real gentleman. He understands me, or at least tries to.
Abhishek grows angry and leaves from there.
Ishita (holds Mihika’s hand): And you’ve said yes?
Mihika (smiles and shakes her head): I talked to him and I explained I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t say yes if I had wanted to. I love Abhishek even though he’s hurt me a lot. I don’t understand why Abhishek thinks he always needs to be a sacrificing hero. There’s something he’s hiding from me but he’s not telling me.
Ishita: Give him time. He might open up to you.
Mihika: Aunty told me he’s quite a reserved person. I doubt he’ll ever share his concerns, his burdens, and his sorrows with me. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t even know him.
Ishita: Raman was the same. I had to be very patient with him. He used to – and sometimes still does – get on my nerves. All I do is stay away from him until we both have calmed down and then we talk.
Mihika: Too bad I can’t do that. I’m leaving India soon, perhaps forever.
Ishita (shocked): You’ll leave him behind?
Mihika: It seems so. If he doesn’t do anything in these coming days, then I’ve certainly lost him.
Ishita (in disbelief): You’ll give up on your love so soon?
Mihika (smiles sadly): There’s no point in fighting for it if he doesn’t wish to. Love involves togetherness, and here, in my case, he’s not on the same page as me. He doesn’t stand WITH me. He’d rather oppose me.
Ishita: So . . . ab kya karo gi?
Mihika: Di, I’m taking it as it comes. I’ve left everything in God’s hands. Whatever He decides, I’ll accept it. I don’t have the energy in me anymore. I’m tired of fighting already.
Ishita (nods): I can understand but, Mihika, don’t ever give up on love. Few are blessed with it.
Abhishek paces back and forth in his room, his anger increasing by seconds.
Abhishek (thinks): How could she even think of marrying someone else? Didn’t she love me? Did she . . . did she forget about me? How could she? I know I told her to but she should have known me better. I didn’t mean those words. I-I had to push her away not because I wanted to. How could Mihika . . . why would she hurt me like this?
Raman sees a distressed Abhishek.
Raman: Yaar, kya hua? I came to say goodnight only to find you with a long face.
Abhishek (forces a smile): Nothing, Raman. I’m a bit . . . tensed about . . . something.
Raman (pats his back): It’s about Mihika, isn’t it? Go on, I’ll listen.
Abhishek: Why would you think it’s to do with her?
Raman: Abhi, you might be a police officer but, in the matters of love, consider me your father. Besides, that look on your face tells an obvious story. And the way you two acted tonight clearly shows you also had a fight. Who’s responsible for it?
Abhishek: Our fight?
Raman (shakes his head): The jealousy.
Abhishek (sighs): I don’t know. I only heard her talk about him.
Raman: Eavesdropping, huh? That’s bad manners.
Abhishek: Raman! That’s not our main concern right now. Tell me, what should I do?
Raman: You love her. You should know best. I can’t tell you to do anything.
Abhishek (frustrated): That doesn’t help.
Raman (shrugs): That’s not my problem. I came here to advise you and I did. The rest is up to you.
Raman pats Abhishek’s shoulder.
Abhishek’s confused, hurt, angry.
Mihika heads to her room when Mrs Bhalla rushes towards her and nearly bumps into her, the glass of milk in her hand about to spill.
Mrs Bhalla (in a hurry): Haye-aye, Puttar, can you give this to Abhishek? I have to do something.
Mihika (nervous): Aunty, I–
Mrs Bhalla: Please.
Mihika sighs and takes the glass from her.
Mihika knocks on Abhishek’s door. He opens it, suprised to see her there. Mihika doesn’t even look at him and holds out the glass for him. Abhishek takes it from her, purposely brushing his hand over hers. They share a little moment.
Mihika takes her hand back and clears her throat.
Abhishek: Mihika, I–
Mihika: I’m feeling sleepy. I should go.
Upset, Abhishek stares after her as she leaves.
The entire night Mihika and Abhishek are unable to sleep. He’s bothered by her supposed to-be husband and she’s hurt about his decision to part ways.
The sun rises. Birds chirp.
Bhalla House – Dining Table.
Raman, Ishita, Abhishek, and Mihika’s there. Mrs Bhalla is at Mrs Iyer’s house. Mr Bhalla and Mr Iyer have gone to exercise, and Romi’s out with friends.
Ishita puts the teapot on the table and sits next to Raman.
Ishita (starts to butter her toast): Do you have to leave so soon?
Mihika (takes a sip of her juice): I thought I should take a last tour of Delhi.
Raman (confused): Last tour?
Ishita: Mihika’s moving to Australia next week.
Abhishek freezes and stares at Mihika in shock. Mihika smiles at Ishita, ignoring his reaction.
Raman (curious): Why’s that?
Mihika: I was originally supposed to move to London, but our company recently opened a new branch in Sydney and they require my expertise.
Raman: How long will you stay there?
Mihika (shrugs, taking a bite of her toast): God knows.
Raman (glances at Ishita as he speaks): What about Abhishek?
Mihika (confused): What about him?
Ishita grips Raman’s arm, silently telling him to remain quiet. He doesn’t.
Raman (points at Mihika and Abhishek): Aren’t you two together?
Mihika (shakes her head): Nope! It’s nothing like that. Abhishek and I are only . . . friends.
Abhishek’s hurt and angry.
Mihika (turns to him and smiles innocently): Isn’t that right, Abhishek?
Abhishek stands abruptly and glares at her. Mihika looks at him blankly as Raman and Ishita share a worried glance. Abhishek storms off, his breakfast half-eaten. Mihika also stops eating and sighs, pushing the plate away.
I’m so sorry for the late update! I’ve been busy. Thanks for your lovely comments, and for sticking by this story. Hope this part makes up for a long gap between the updates. How was it? I’d love to read your thoughts. ?