Hey, you all! Thank you for your support and responses, It really means a lot. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to respond to the comments – apparently, the comments’ section is closed after a certain period of time. Anyhow, I know this update took a while, so without much delay, Happy Reading!
PREVIOUSLY, Twinkle tries helping Kunj with music therapy while fighting with her inner conflicts, Aarohi addresses Kunj as Dad
EK TUKDA PYAAR – EPISODE 25
Kunj paused and widened his gaze as the addressal echoed in the surroundings and the sound seemed to reverberate within him. As the realisation began settling within him, his hold around the luggage loosened and he let it fall on the ground, the sharp sound pulling him out of his reverie.
Despite wanting to hear the term of endearment from Aarohi, he had never imagined her to accept him as a fatherly figure in her life. He’d always known Aarohi loved her own father thoroughly, and he’d always tried be a part of her family – her “Partner”. He knew how much his father had meant to him for all his life, and he’d never wanted to replicate or replace that position in her life.
Aarohi (softly): Did I say something wrong?
As the uncertainty lingered in the air, the corners of Kunj’s lips tilted upward and his eyes gleamed in happiness. He turned around and wrapped his arms around Aarohi, slowly shaking his head. He caressed the back of her head and smiled, silently, trying to suppress the wavering emotions within him.
Moments later, when he looked up and stared toward the door, he saw Twinkle looking at them – lost in her own thoughts. He stared at her for a brief minute before the intensity of his gaze swarmed consciousness within her and she smiled at him. He forwarded his palm and called out to her silently, wanting to include her in the moment but she shook her head, trying to refuse.
As she began stepping away – not willing to disturb the two of them in the moment – he called out her name loudly and called her inside, an insistence lacing to his voice. Twinkle stared at him for a long moment, conveying her disappointment, but as Aarohi looked up and a soft smile stretched the corners of her lips, she walked inside the room and wrapped her arms around her daughter.
After a second whirled by, Kunj shifted closer and wrapped an arm around Twinkle. When she looked up at him, a quizzical expression mixing with her facial features, Kunj felt a warmth of completion filling the insides of him. He knew he had his own family now.
Twinkle rummaged through the contents of her bag, ensuring she’d taken everything for the day and picked up the files from the bed, willing to leave. She looked down at her wrist-watch again, mentally heaving a sigh after noting the time. She was thankful, she hadn’t gotten late for the meeting. As she began leaving, she saw Kunj standing at the door – leaning against the framework and paused, looking up at him.
Kunj: I could’ve dropped you.
Twinkle (shaking her head): And gotten late for the meeting yourself? No, thank you.
Kunj: You know there’s enough time for my meeting.
Twinkle: Mr. Sarna, you please take Aarohi home, that’d be, in itself, a very big thing.
Kunj: Twinkle, you don’t listen…
Twinkle (walking toward the door, balancing her belongings): Aapko baat manwaani nahi aati, that’s definitely not my fault.
Kunj (standing up straight): Just because main manwa nahi raha, don’t get the wrong assumptions, Mrs. Sarna. Main abhi uthake tumhe baitha dunga car mein, and I won’t have anyone stopping me.
Twinkle: You sound so unbelievably filmy and typical, Kunj.
She shook her head and walked past him, the ghost of a smile lingering at the corners of her lips. But as his fingers weaved around her wrist, she stopped and looked over her shoulders – her brows furrowing. If she spent more time roaming around in the house, she was certain, she’d get late.
Twinkle: I’m going to get really late, Kunj.
Kunj: I’ll pick you up in the evening.
Twinkle (masking an unbelievable expression): And who will drive my car home?
Kunj: I’ll get Kaka along. He can get back the car.
Twinkle (freeing her hand): If I’m not finished earlier, that is.
Kunj: You’re going to be waiting then.
Twinkle (walking away): Khush fehmi hai tumhari.
But she knew, she’d wait for him. She brushed a hand through the free wisps of her hair and lowered her head, quietly walking away – a sense of contentment filling the insides of her.
As the darkness of the night began engulfing the city, Twinkle served a bowl of soup and walked toward Kunj’s study. After he’d skipped his dinner, Bebe had asked her to whip a bowl of soup and had apologised to her several times. A small smile lingered on her lips as she walked through the corridor, the memory invading her mind.
When she walked inside his study, the room was almost dark besides the brightness of the table-lamp that casted a soft glance on the pieces of furniture in the room. She hadn’t seen him after she’d left from her home in the morning and his mother had told her, he’d been disturbed. She’d waited for him for a long while and after disconnecting several of her calls, he had asked her to return on her own.
She pressed her fingers against the switchboard and switched on the lights, allowing the room to brighten amidst the darkness of the night. He looked up at her, his gaze briefly settling on her before he returned to his work again. Twinkle sighed and walked up-to him, softly placing the serving tray on the farther corner of the table.
Twinkle: What’s wrong?
Kunj shook his head, his gaze fixated on his laptop and Twinkle heaved a tired sigh. She’d never seen Kunj behave this way and an emptiness had begun cinching onto her. She knew, he’d not shared about himself with her, but he’d never behaved so disturbed and ignorant around her. She stood in front of him, leaning forward against the edge of the table and looked at him.
Twinkle: I brought dinner for you.
Kunj (nodding): Hm, leave it here.
Twinkle: Kunj? (after a moment of silence) Kunj?
He looked up and cast a look at her, annoyance crumbling his features. A shadow of doubt crossed her mind and she stepped away, staring at him. She was sure, something had bothered him way too much. She looked at him for a minute longer, before clearing her throat.
Twinkle: Bebe asked me to get this for you. She said, you’d prefer it since you’d skipped dinner.
Kunj (nodding his head): Let it be here.
Twinkle: The soup is lukewarm; can you finish it while I’m here? I can let Bebe know, too.
Kunj (in an agitated voice): Leave it here. I’ll let her know tomorrow morning.
Twinkle inhaled a deep breath and pressed her palm against his laptop, willing to shut it down. As Kunj looked up at her, she pushed the laptop cover and shut the laptop, looking at him, sternly. “Finish the soup first. Just because there’s something bothering you, others shouldn’t be suffering.”
Kunj exhaled a harsh breath and forwarded his hand, asking for the bowl of soup. A faint smile lingered on the corners of her lips and she stretched her hand to pick the bowl of soup from the serving tray.
Kunj (muttering): Wish you really cared that much.
Twinkle stopped mid-way and craned her neck over her shoulder, looking at him. When she caught his distant gaze, she straightened herself and looked at him, unawareness clinging onto her.
Twinkle: What do you mean?
Kunj (shaking his head): Nothing. Let me finish that soup then you can go sleep.
Twinkle (folding her hands across herself): No, tell me, what do you mean. What do you mean by saying you wish I really cared that much?
Kunj (shutting his eyes): I said, nothing, Twinkle. Can you please hand me the bowl of soup?
Twinkle: No, I can’t. Definitely not unless you tell me what that comment was about.
Kunj (clenching his jaw): I said, it’s nothing, Twinkle. If you can’t let me have the soup, please leave me alone.
Twinkle (pressing her palms on the table-top): What was that comment about? You think I don’t care about this family?
Kunj looked away and chuckled, the emotions within him boiling angrily.
Twinkle: What’s going on, Kunj? You didn’t even bother picking me up from the office, and you kept ignoring my calls. And you pick up after an hour to tell me, you’re busy? That’s not you, Kunj.
Kunj (shrugging): You’re right. I should be sorry. Like, how I am all the time. And you must continue making me feel guilty. Right? That’s what your idea of this marriage is?
Twinkle: What nonsense…
Kunj (standing up and interrupting): You worked on the case involving our business. You worked with Saanjh. You knew all this time that I was taking her advisory help, and the other day in the party, you behaved like you didn’t know any of this. You made me feel f*cking guilty about hiding it from you, when in reality, you knew about it all the damn time.
Kunj: Yes, tell me. How do you make me feel guilty this time?
Twinkle (inhaling deeply): Fine, I was at fault. But you could’ve told me too, right? Why do you expect me to be the one always talking about things in this relationship?
Kunj (loudly): Really, Twinkle? You probably knew about this from the day I got to know about it. Because Maa told me, she asked you for contacts.
Twinkle (sternly): Tell me first, Why did Maa have to be the one to ask me for contacts? We were talking every day, why couldn’t you tell me?
Kunj: I knew right from the beginning that you don’t take cases involving personal relations, so don’t put that on me.
Twinkle (clenching the edge of the table and leaning forward): You didn’t have to ask me to take the case. All I wanted you to do was, f*cking share it with me. I can expect that little much, Can’t I?
Kunj (pounding a fist against the table): C’mon, Twinkle. You’re changing the point here. The point remains, we have no damn trust in this relationship.
Twinkle (taken aback): What?
Kunj (standing in front of her and clenching his jaw): Yes, we’ve no f*cking trust between us. There’s absolutely nothing in this relationship, because you clearly don’t trust me. And your main aim, was to make me feel guilty about not sharing things with you, so you could learn about my past. Then what did you want to do? Laugh at me? Make a joke about how weak and stupid I am?
Twinkle (in disbelief): You think, that’s what I’d do?
Kunj (chuckling and staring at her in the eye; in a harsh tone): No, I was a fool to believe that you wouldn’t do something like that. I thought, for once – in fact, for months – that you wanted to help me, that what we’d between us was something real; something too good to be true. But no.
Twinkle (softly): You think, whatever’s there between us is all a lie? Everything is fake?
Kunj: Clearly. A relation is based on trust and…
Twinkle (clenching her jaw): You know what, Kunj Sarna? You dare not talk about trust in this relationship. I’ve been one goddamn foolish woman to ever have thought that I could help you. (pointing a finger in the distance between them) You think, things between us are fake, right? Yes, it is. Because the trust in our relationship is f*cking one-sided…
Kunj (seething in anger): Clearly. Because I’m the only fool to invest myself…
Twinkle (interrupting and smirking): Invest? Do you know what it feels like to invest in a relationship? You’ve been the person who’s always been distant in this relationship and you expect me to believe the crap of you being completely invested?
Kunj (stepping back; furiously): Just let me finish the soup and you can leave. Don’t create a scene in the middle of the night. We’re going to wake up everyone.
Kunj turned around to leave, but Twinkle wrapped her fingers around his wrist and twisted him around, forcefully – almost losing her balance in the process.
Twinkle (fuming in anger): No, Kunj Sarna. You should’ve thought of this before you made that ridiculous comment. You think, our relationship doesn’t have any trust, right? Then, there’s point of this relationship. Kyun ki, kisi bhi rishte mein, trust hona bohot zaruri hai. Trust is always the basis of every relationship, aur agar hamare beech bharosa hi nahi hai, toh iss pyaar ka, iss attraction ka, ya phir koi bhi emotion ka koi matlab hi nahi hai.
Kunj: We will talk about this in the morning again. It’s gotten really late.
Twinkle: No, Mr. Sarna. Get one thing straight. I’ve invested myself in this relationship for too long. And I’ve had my share of flaws, my share of mistakes which I apologise for, but I don’t want a discussion on this topic anymore. (exhaling harshly) You can continue blaming me, accusing me for all I care, but I’m not talking about this anymore.
Kunj walked closer to her and tried to place a soft hand on her shoulder, but she stepped away and shook her head, wanting to rid herself of the tension and emotions bubbling in the room.
Twinkle: Hamare beech mein jab trust nahi hai, toh there’s no point of talking. (walking away) Just, just leave me alone.
Kunj (following her): Twinkle, listen to me. Please, it’s getting really late. Don’t create a scene in the middle of the night.
Twinkle walked toward the foyer and picked up her car keys from the top surface of the shoe rack. Despite the tiredness from the day clinging onto her, she couldn’t ignore the pang of hurt that wavered within her and she wanted to be away from him and the house.
Kunj: Where are you going?
Twinkle (snapping at him; shrieking): I said, just leave me alone.
Kunj wrapped his fingers around her wrist and pulled her toward himself, harshly. He looked at her in the eye, but Twinkle looked away, trying to hide the pain that sliced through her. After they’d argued about the reality of their relationship, Twinkle didn’t know if she could appreciate his presence around her. But at the present moment, she wanted to steer herself away from him.
Kunj (snatching the keys from her): You’re not going outside the house in the middle of the night.
Twinkle (furiously): Give me back the keys. You shouldn’t be worried about what I do. After all, everything between us is a lie anyway, right?
Kunj: Jo bhi ho, you’re not going out now. Tum meri zimmedari ho and I can’t let you be out on the streets at this hour of the night.
Twinkle (freeing herself out of his hold): Kahan thi tumhari zimmedari, when you were accusing me? And since you could forget about it at that time, forget it now also and return the keys to me.
Kunj (stepping away): I’ve said, you’re not going out which means you aren’t.
Kunj began walking away from her and Twinkle stared at his retreating figure, the pain suffocating her. She leaned against the wall behind her and let herself slide against the surface and fall down on the floor. She brought her legs closer to her chest and rested her forehead against her knees. Moments later, when the pain began exhausting her, she muffled her screams and let the tears roll down her cheeks, finally.
She couldn’t hold it within herself anymore.
Alright, that’d be it for this episode. Tell me your thoughts about this episode and like always, Thank you for reading!