Secretly Loving You (87• Lying To Her) Manan

They stepped out of the mansion to start their old routine, she would go college and he would go office. Ethan had an early morning meeting, that’s why he already left for the office, not before wishing his sister good luck.

“What! We’re going to college by car? Why not bike, Manik?” She asked him as he led her towards the car.

He knew that he had to face this question, therefore he had already planned everything.

“My bike’s tyre is punctured. That’s why we’ll go by car.” As he lied to her, she pouted sadly.

‘Fuck! I’m feeling so guilty for lying to her, but I just can’t even tell her the truth.’ He thought, grasping the handle of the car’s door.

“I miss sitting behind your bike and slipping my hands into your jacket pockets.” As he opened the car door for her, she told him.

‘I’m sorry, Kiddo that I can’t fulfil your this wish.’ He apologised to her in his mind, staring at her with guilt in his eyes while she sat in the car.

He shut the door and went towards the driving seat after composing himself. He settled inside and drove off.

The car came to halt in front of the college. On the whole way, Nandini was feeling anxious that how she would spend the entire day without him in college.

As Manik noticed this, he unclasped the seatbelt and took her hand in his. “Love, everything is gonna be fine. You won’t even get to know, and time will be passed.” He explained to her, caressing her knuckles with his thumbs.

She nodded at him, smiling faintly. “Manik, will you come to pick me up?”

“Of course, Kiddo.” He smiled, tucking her hair stands behind her ears.

“Please come on the bike.” As she requested, his smile vanished and his face turned blank.

“Okay.” He plastered a smile on his face and nodded, his thoughts racing with the excuse he was going to tell her later.

Then they stepped out of the car. He hugged her and whispered in her ear, “all the best, my love.”

“I’m going to miss you.” She wailed like a baby and snuggled into his arms. It seemed to be her first day of kindergarten, and her father had come to drop her off.

“Just give me a call if you miss me a lot, I’ll come to pick you up.” As he told her this, rubbing her back, she felt relieved.

She came out of her arms and kissed his lips after standing on her toes. He grabbed her waist and devoured her lips widely, pinning her against the car.

“See you soon.” He kissed her forehead and sat back in the car.

“Bye.” She waved at him and her heart sank as he drove off after last time smiling at her. She stared at his car with a sad pout until it disappeared from her eyesight.

“You can do it, Nandini. Just take a deep breath.” She inhaled deeply before stepping into college.

Manik was driving the car, anxious about how he was going to lie to her again, and he was puffing on his cigarette. He began smoking again to get some relief because he didn’t have any other options. He was breaking all of his promises to her, such as not lying, not smoking, or concealing his pain from her, because he didn’t want to snatch her smile by telling her about all this.

He went to his father’s mansion to meet his mother because, at this time, she was the only one he could talk to about what he was going through, moreover he felt better after spending time with her.

Mia welcomed her son with a warm hug and led him to the hall. She was so glad to know that he came to meet her.

“Manik, I have made cookies. You sit here, I just come.” She sprinted to the kitchen and returned with the bowl.

She sat down beside him and held out the bowl to him, grinning. He gave her a smile and picked up a cookie.

After savouring the flavour of the first bite, he said. “It’s yummy, Mom.”

“I’ll pack this for Nandini as well.” As she spoke, Manik gave her a thumbs up.

“Great idea! She gonna love it.” He said, eating the second cookie.

“Why didn’t she come with you?”

“I dropped her at the college.” He closed his eyes dejectedly as he recalled her request.

“What happened? Is everything alright?” Mia asked, staring at him with concerned-filled eyes.

“She wants me to come on the bike to pick her up from college. How do I tell her that I can never ride the bike again? I get anxiety attacks if I even think of riding the bike.” He told her what was going on in his head, his voice and eyes vividly depicting what agony he was going through.

“Manik, sooner or later, you have to tell her, so why are you delaying it? Please, son, stop making yourself suffer. Just tell her what you’re going through. You’ll feel better, and I’m sure she will help you to overcome your fear.” She explained to him, taking his hand in hers.

He shook his head. “No, Mom, I can’t tell her. You don’t know, Mom, how sensitive she is. She won’t able to handle it. Moreover, Doctor warned us to keep her away from stress, as it can be dangerous for her.” Mia stared at him helplessly, she wanted to help her son but wasn’t understanding how.

“But for how long will you hide this from her?” She inquired.

“I’ll hide my pain from her until I can.” He told her in a serious tone.

Mia just hugged him to make him feel better. “Everything is gonna be okay, son.” She said, rubbing his back. He smiled slightly, feeling good in the warm arms of his mother.

***

Nandini was sitting in the classroom, and it was getting a bit hard to concentrate because of the after-effects of the coma, moreover, she was missing him. She was doodling in the diary and waiting for the class to end.

As soon as her first class ended, she immediately took out her phone from the pocket of her shorts to call Manik. She smiled, seeing Ethan’s name flashing on the screen.

“Hello.”

She answered the phone cheerily, and he asked, “how is your day going, Sis?”

“So boring. I just can’t concentrate.”

“It’ll take some time, don’t worry.” He reassured her.

“I don’t need to be worried about anything when I have a caring brother like you in my life.” She spoke cheerily.

“Okay, I’ll call you later, Nandini. I have some work.”

“Okay, Bro.” She hung up and immediately called Manik. She pouted when he didn’t answer her call.

As the next class began, she shoved back the phone into her pocket and made herself ready to attend another boring lecture.

On the other hand, Manik was sitting in his cabin, holding the phone. He ignored her call because he wanted to show her that he was busy. He was just resisting himself from not calling her and asking her how her day was going. He opened the laptop and engrossed himself in the work.

When she called him again after an hour, he answered the call, “Hey, Kiddo. How are you?”

“I’m missing you like hell. Anyway, why didn’t you answer my call earlier?” She asked, pouting angrily.

“I’m just occupied with lots of work as you know I joined the office after a month.”

“Manik, what I’m thinking is you should join college with me again, then we’ll stay together all day. Nice idea, right?” She giggled after suggesting this.

“You’re crazy.” As he said, she laughed louder.

He composed himself and lied to her, rubbing his forehead. “Listen, today I won’t be able to come to pick you up because I have a meeting, so I’ll send the driver.”

“What? Then when will we meet?” She freaked out.

“In the evening. I’m so sorry.” He apologised, closing his eyes dejectedly.

“Don’t be. I know if it hadn’t been important, you would have come to pick me up.”

He whispered, “I love you.”

“More, baby. Okay, I’ll call you after next my class. Bye.”

“Bye.” He disconnected the call.

“I’m sorry, Kiddo for lying to you again and again.” He apologised, gazing at her photo on his phone wallpaper.

On the other, Nandini wondered, ‘why I’m feeling as if he is hiding something from me and deliberately not coming to pick me up? It’s not like that I’m just overthinking a lot. Why will he hide something from me?’

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