And with this, I'm bringing an end to the story. This has been really a long one and it consumed a lot of me. I hope i come up with another story (not a love story this time, i hope!). Till then, let's hibernate. Tortoise is too exhausted!
Special thanks to @pink_berry@blurryface__14 you guys kept me motivated all the while, consistently. Thank you for your overwhelming love to the story. _________________________________________________//
Dressed in an elegant blocked pattern gray colored designer saree, Kritika walked downstairs alongside Abhinav, who matched his outfit with hers. The couple received blessings from the elderly, and gifts from friends, and relatives. Mr. Mehra was busy with the lunch arrangement, and guiding the staff to work perfectly, as a daughter's father is expected to. Her eyes were busy searching for Aditya, who hasn't arrived yet. She felt uncomfortable, and alone. Abhinav held her hand, and whispered to her ears, "He'll be here in a minute, don't worry, love. You're looking sizzling hot. I wonder why can't i take you off to our bedroom right now!" She blushed on his words, and gripped onto his hand. Her body relaxed, and she began enjoying her event.
"Excuse me, guys! Hello. Everyone! Let's raise a toast to my beautiful, gorgeous, and perfectionist wife, Kritika. She has been a lifelong support in all my endeavours, and it's almost impossible to imagine my life without her. She's moody, clumsy, and hard to move, at times, and her brain amuses me often. But even after spending so much time with her, even today, i feel like it's not enough. I want more, i want her even today, and I'll be wanting her all my life. It's her, or none. I don't want anyone. Look at her blush, oh come on darling, don't hide your face, i love you!"
As Abhinav ended his speech, Aditya clapped immediately, drawing her attention to him. She raised her eyebrows in question, and he made a gesture running his hand onto his heart telling her, how gorgeous she was looking right now! Her eyes were in sparkles! How much appreciation is enough appreciation for women, is still a big question, because they feel quite insecure about their presence. Compared to men, who can be wearing the same shirt, and pants, and walking on confidently even with their bulky stomach popping around. To have men who know how to remove your insecurities is a luxury. Words repeated often, boost your confidence, and words said by loved ones leave a long lasting impact. Aditya's praise give wings to Kritika. She took the mic from Abhinav, for it was her time to speak!
"Contrasting to what all of you might be expecting, I'm here to ask you raise a toast, for my best friend, the Best Man, of my life, Aditya! Hey, come on, Adi, don't turn away. You know it's for you! It has to be for you. You gave a new direction to my thinking, and you were the only reason, i and abhinav are standing together happily! People like you are rare, and it might be possible whatever happened, happened because it was destined, and you planned nothing. May be we're destined to meet, and uplift each other as best friends are expected to, but you let me vent myself out. You hear me non judgementally, and even pushed me closer to what my heart desired for. I can't thank you enough, for everything you do for me, because you love me so much. Even if you don't speak out loud, i know how much special I'm to you! And it makes me feel super happy, that I'm cherished so badly by you. If you know, you know, right!"
As she ended her speech, tears rolled down her eyes, and Abhinav handed her, his handkerchief. She wiped her tears, and hugged Abhinav. "I feel so light now baby, i love you so much, Abhi." "I love you the most, kitten. He deserved all of it."
Aditya felt numb to her words, not because they weren't true, but because all his life he was abandoned time and again. No one has stood by his side for long, and forever was only a word, that held no meaning. He remembered, how at her wedding, she had whispered in his ears, "it isn't over yet, i still am your boss, and you're going to prioritise me all your life, i don't care, who comes next, or not. You're my and my best friend".
Giving a dedicated speech, had happened only when one of the client was happy to make profits with the Srivastava Group. All this was new to him. 28 long years of surviving, and not an ounce of true love, had made his heart rock hard, which only Kritika's love melted away. He pointed Mr. Mehra to his car, and asked for something. Mr. Mehra brought a huge wrapped gift, rectangular shaped, along with a bouquet of Cosmos, and he handed it over to the couple. Abhinav couldn't hold his excitement and unwrapped the gift, while Kritika was busy with keeping the Cosmos in a beautiful vase that was in the corner of the hall.
It was the same painting, Getko made for Aditya, that was reframed into an antique wooden brass lining. He had asked, Getko to add a few more details, since he has seen Kritika a little more closely, and it looked amazing now. Abhinav felt joyous, and cheered, "Wow! It's so enchanting! Kritika, come here, see! How majestic this is. We can hang it in our bedroom!" "May be, in the hall, that'd be better." "I see. Absolutely, in the hall. But we make love there too? You forgot?" "Shut up! Everyone's listening, Abhi." "So what! You're mine! And I'm yours."
"Excuse me, Abhinav. She's mine too. Let me take her for a dance now. I'm dying to have a closure with her!" "Same here. Abhi doesn't even know how to dance, so we can do that, Adi!"
"You guys are sick. You stay away from her, Aditya. It's my reception, I'll dance with her. And you, little cat, come here. We're dancing, even if i don't know how to. You've always made me dance according to your moods, so help me here as well."
"If you guys plan for a kid, make sure to name the boy Aditya! I deserve that much!" "And what if, Kritika deliver a girl, Aditya?" That made both of the guys wondering, only when Kritika spoke chuckingly, "We'll call her Aditika! Right, Aditya!"
And they all laughed out loud. Abhinav and Kritika danced merrily with each other, and Aditya switched the song to a romantic one. Kritika leaned towards Abhi, and kissed him onto his lips. He kissed her back, and his hands moved on her back, while her hands rubbed his chest. "I can't take it anymore." "Then, carry me to our bedroom!" "Ah! I love you the most, kitten!"
"So what did you tell Aditya?" "And why do you need to know that, Abhi?" "Because there ain't any secrets between best friends!" "But you're my husband!" "Does that mean we're not best friends anymore?" "You want to be friend-zoned again?" "Hahaha! I don't mean that. I mean we can be best friends too." "In that case, you would had to walk beside me in the church, instead of standing in front of me!" "What do you mean?" "The best man, or what you call, A bridesman is a close male relative and/or friend of the bride, one who walks down the aisle in the bridal ceremony in the traditional place of a bridesmaid. It is a position of the highest level of honor in male friendship. So tell me how can you walk beside me, and stand opposite to me, at the same time, Abhi?"
He chuckled. He had been her best friend since 11 years, and to take that honour away felt weird. But he also acknowledged in that moment, what he wanted from their relationship was more than just friends. He wanted to have babies with her, and may be grandchildren too. He didn't want to just visit places with her, he wanted to build homes with her. And she was always the one, he found out of his reach, yet she was his. Now. He sighed relief. The fear he was facing since past three days, that was actually kept suppressed since two years, was finally gone. She loves him, and he loves her too. It was more than okay, if she wants to live their new beginnings as couples. That also meant, Aditya was not going anywhere from the picture, and most likely she'd keep in touch with him. This last thought made him jealous, and he kissed her passionately.
"You know, he gifted us this car and our honeymoon as well." "Really! I thought this car is rented, and our honeymoon! Damn? You already planned it. I'm so excited for it!" "It?" "Yeah. I mean excited to discover a new place. Ofcourse." "Hahaha! I see. He gifted us this protection kit too. I guess, then, it'd be useless right now. Shall i disca.." "Oh shut up. We need it more than anything else, unless you've other plans!" "No babies till one year!" "One year is less, but i guess i can manage my desires." "Sure! We'll see that. Another thing, after our trip, I've organised a reception party as well, at our hometown! So don't forget about it." "Damn! That's surprisingly good idea. Will Aditya join us too?" "The host doesn't need to join a party!" "He's such a good friend." "The best!"
.... .... ....
"Good to see you guys back! I hope the trip went smooth!" "All thanks to you, Adi, and your staff, that gave us a VIP feel!" "Yes, sir.. i mean, Aditya.. sir.. i mean.." "It's okay Abhinav. I already befriended you! Seems like you're not comfortable with my friendship." "Oh no, nothing like that, Aditya!" "It's okay na, Adi. I'm your friend. Let him be your employee only. You're mine only. I don't want to share my best friend with anyone!"
Aditya smiled at Kritika! All he wanted to say, in that moment, was he was also hers. But he knew Abhinav would feel awkward, if not jealous! His eyes followed her, and his heartbeat raised as her hand grasped his. She walked beside him, and they all went to the hometown party that was waiting for them.
As Abhinav saw Kritika walking inside the Church, along with Aditya, his heart melted instantly. And as he realised she was walking towards him, he felt his blood boiling. What was the point of suffering for the last three days, and what was the use of making those divorce papers? But he thought about the legal papers he saw with Kritika. Were they marriage papers for them? Who knew! In a moment of rage, that's been kept suppressed all these years, he went closer to her, and slapped her. Silence prevailed the hall, and in the next moment, he hugged her tightly. Tears were gushing through his eyes, and he spoke in a teary voice, "Why do you always do things that kill me from inside, Kitten! Who gave you the right to hurt me this badly? All these years, I've lived to love you and even when i knew you don't love me back, i accepted it my destiny. You were mine, even if you weren't loving me. The mere thought of you with any other guy crumples me from inside. You may call me possessive, or may be obsessively possessive. I won't mind it, but i, .. but i.."
His voice broke in the middle. Tears filled his throat, and Kritika wiped his face, like a mother does. She was about to cry too, when Aditya said, "Mind the liner. He's natural beauty, you'd need a make up kit again. You want it?"
She smiled on his stupid remark, and Abhinav hugged her again. "I'm sorry for the slap, Kritika. I was so scared of losing you, that i couldn't take your surprise in a good sense. I never meant it. You can slap me back, and we're equal then."
She rose her hand, in a gesture about to slap him, and instead pulled his cheeks, hard. He wasn't prepared for this gesture, specially after 3 years. Earlier it was Kritika's habit to do this to annoy him. "Stop it. We aren't kids anymore, kitten!" "Are you both sure about it? Specially Abhinav you? Remember what you told me, when i ask you guys for some good news?"
Abhinav blushed. So did Kritika. And the wedding ceremony began as planned. Mr. Mehra stood alongside Aditya, behind Kritika, and near to her mother. That was her side of family. Abhinav's parents stood behind him. They exchanged rings, and garlands, as insisted by their parents, and completed their marriage. As Abhinav was about to turn, Kritika pressed her lips onto his, and gave him a quick kiss, exclaiming, "that's how it's done in movies!" And everyone giggled.
Mr. Mehra came forward and shower his blessings onto the newly married couple. Then he handed a big purple wrapped gift to Kritika. "There's no need for this, kaka." "When I'm roleplaying your dad, let's not argue about the gift." "Hahaha. The wedding ceremony is over. And the play came to an end. So now we're back to being clients. Right?" "Wrong. Once roleplayed as father, you can't deny being my daughter. It's been a lifelong desire of this old man, to be lucky enough to feel what's its like to be a daughter's dad. Please don't take away this privilege from me!" "Aww, thank you for adopting me! I hope you don't regret the decision, later."
Later they hugged, and everyone shower the newly wed their blessings. Aditya was standing in the corner, with his eyes stuck over Kritika. As Abhinav was taking her out of the hall, Kritika turned back to Aditya, and rushed towards him. She whispered something into his ear, and hugged her sidewise. He passed an ear to ear long smile, as Abhinav and Kritika went inside their beautifully decorated wedding car.
Kritika sent the text, and got busy with her family members, and friends. She had invited everyone from her office, and few of Abhinav's close friends too. She knew, it will make him feel good.
*Will be there in 5 minutes. Just to tell you, he didn't ask dozens of questions. To our surprise, he didn't ask even one. As i asked him to join me for meeting with a client in church, he thought for a while, and agreed immediately. I don't know what's running in his head. But your script failed here, Kritika.*
She didn't give any heed to other part of the message. She was too nervous as they were coming soon. She instructed everyone what to do as per the plan, and went inside a small room inside the church.
The door of the car opened, and Abhinav face lightened up. That was the same Church, Kritika used to dream marrying in. His face fell down again, realising it wasn't him. He looked up to Aditya, dressed appropriately to the occasion with the tie and brooch. It was his coat that felt little tight, and inappropriate fit to his muscular body. As they moved forward, Aditya stopped Abhinav just before the entrance, and removed his coat, to offer it to Abhinav.
"What? Why?" "Come on, Abhinav. Your shirt is too bland for the meeting. Clients already know me, they don't need to see me well dressed. But your first impression should be good. You better take this tie with it as well. Wait, let me help."
Abhinav felt awkward, but Aditya's hand moved swiftly. He didn't give Abhinav any time to question him. After he was done, he took out his comb, and asked him to redo his hair. Abhinav obeyed, for he was already sad about his future, only when Aditya whispered, "Buckle up man, your life's gonna change from today. All the best, for only you deserve the best!"
Before Abhinav could understand anything, Mrs. Anjali Dua hugged him. She has always loved him like her own son, and it had been long since they met. "Hey, maa. I didn't know you were here too. I missed you." "I missed you too, Abhi. You're looking so handsome. Not a day older than 21." "All because of Kritika's love and car.."
He suddenly felt the void. Does she know what's gonna happen today? Has Kritika told everyone about marrying Aditya? Moreover, are they happy with her decision? Ofcourse, they must be. Just like he was. In the end, they all love her happiness more than theirs. He hugged her again. As they both made an entry inside, he saw his parents too and his friends with gifts in their hands. His best friend, Vishal came to hug him, and whispered, "Just look at our single ass, you rascal. Have some pity over your friends, who haven't married even once, and you lucky ass, planning for your second official honeymoon?"
Abhinav gasped at his statement, and then he began noticing the decorations inside the Church. The crimson blue shade, which was his favourite, covered the walls, with the contrasting shade of beige in between. He checked his coat again, it wasn't right for Aditya, it was never meant for him in the first place. As soon as he understood, what was it all about, his dad held his hand, and took him to the hall area, where the Father was ready with his marriage oath ceremony. He felt numb for a while.
Everyone was waiting for the bride to enter, and when she didn't enter even after slight drumming that was a signal according to her plan only, Aditya panicked, and reached at the entrance where she was asked to enter from. As soon as she saw Aditya, her face glowed. Dressed in a beautiful white gown, as a traditional dress for typical Christian wedding, she was looking like a princess, with lacy long gloves covering her hands till her elbow, and her light pink colored jewellery. Aditya saw her first time without any sindoor and Mangalsutra, and was swept away in a moment. He completely forgot about the plans, and went near her.
"How am i looking?" "Shall i sit on my right knee or left?" "Haha! Shut up Aditya. Come, give me your hand. Everyone is waiting for my entry. I already feel nervous. Take me to the hall." "In my arms?" "Adi?" "I'm not gonna do it. If i come close, i might lose control." "That was a good compliment. But you know, the bride enters with her best man beside her?" "So?" "So, walk beside me, idiot." "Am i your best man?"
She smiled at him, and locked her hand with his, at the elbow, and they both walked inside the Church.