Chapter Sixty - Manish and Pallavi

Things could have been different between Manish and Pallavi had they met under different circumstances. But, he had already set his eyes on Mansi and there was nothing that could change the way he thought of Mansi. Pallavi was a good woman and there were times when she made him really happy with the little things she did both during sex and afterwards.

Pallavi was different. She was not Mansi but at the same time she was nothing like the women he had slept with before. In fact, he had never slept with any woman. He had sex and either he left or they left. He always slept alone. Spending time with Pallavi was changing him and on one hand he liked being the person he was turning into and on the other hand he knew, this man would not do things that he wanted to do to Mansi. He wanted Mansi. He needed her. He wanted to feel her soft skin against his. He wanted to feel the warmth of her body, her lips on his, her tongue inside his mouth and him inside her. He wanted to know how she tasted. He moaned as he thought about Mansi and realized that he had an erection. 

Pallavi was still in the bathroom, crying perhaps, he thought. He was not sure what he was going to do. What was the right thing to do? Should he get rid of the erection, console Pallavi or just bang on the door, walk in and ease into her? Consoling Pallavi would put him in awkward position again. He had already done things to create a wrong impression about how he felt for her. All this for what? To get in good books with Pallavi to get closer to Mansi. How was all this going to help now? Pallavi had lied to Mansi about her whereabouts. She wanted to spend time with him and she had so easily ditched her best friend for him. Spending more time with Pallavi was not going to help him with Mansi anymore. Yes, it had done one good thing. It had left Mansi alone, without a friend. She was vulnerable now and he was supposed to be there for her. Instead he was here, satiating his primal needs.
He wanted to make use of the bonus time he got with Pallavi; spending the night in the bed in which Mansi had slept for a few days excited him but at this moment he was not sure whether it was the right thing to do.

He did not realize Pallavi had stepped out of the bathroom and had seen him in action, one hand inside the bedsheet, his mouth slightly open and it did not take her much time to figure out what he was doing. This should have felt disgusting or at least insulting for Pallavi that he was helping himself even though she was around. Maybe he did not want to have sex with her anymore; now that he had made the situation awkward between them. She should have left the room and let him finish the job but she could not move. She kept staring at him and when he saw her watching he stopped.

Pallavi picked up her clothes. She walked to the living room, dropped the bedsheet to the floor and got dressed. She was about to step out of the apartment when Manish came rushing out of the bedroom. He had wrapped a towel around his waist, his erection was gone. He almost ran towards Pallavi and held her hand. “Don’t go” he said. She wanted to wait. Wanted to spend more time with him but she knew she had to go. If she stayed this time, she would not be able to leave ever and she would end up hurting herself further. She had managed to keep her emotions in check so far but she feared that if she let this continue, she would go insane. She would do something she would regret later.

“I have to go” she told Manish and he let go of her hand. Pallavi was slightly disappointed. She opened the door and stepped out of the apartment and continued walking without turning back to look at Manish.
“Damn” Manish cursed as he banged the door shut. He should be happy that he did not have to spend more time with Pallavi, which meant he did not have to lie to be with Mansi. He did not have to manage both women at the same time. Pallavi had done him a favour, he thought and made up his mind to close this chapter right then and there.

Pallavi opened the door to her apartment and stepped in. She closed the door behind her but she could not take any step further. She collapsed on the floor and started to cry. She had allowed herself to fall for all the nice things Manish had said and done.

“I might have had sex with a couple of other women but you are the only one I have made love to. You are the only woman I have bathed with and cooked for’ Manish had said to her. He had not lied about being with other women but he had confessed that she was the only one he had bathed and cooked for. He made her feel special like no one else had ever done and then he had done worse than all the men she had sex with. He had filled her heart with hope only to disappoint her later. It was her fault, she had seen too much into it. She should have known; his friend had hired her and Manish was tempted to make use of her services. He had been kind to her because he knew her as a friend of Mansi’s.

Pallavi wiped her tears and got up from the floor. Whatever it was that he had wanted from her, he had either got it or had realized he won’t get it from her. And – she had ditched her best friend for this man. Her desire of spending more time with Manish had been more powerful than her loyalty for her friend. She felt ashamed. What was she thinking. She had abandoned her friend when she had needed her the most.
Pallavi wanted to call Mansi but she realized she had left her mobile in Manish’s apartment. She was not going back there, not so soon at least. Phone call could wait, she told herself.

She went to the bedroom and climbed into the bed. She pulled a pillow to her chest and closed her eyes. She did not know when she fell asleep.

Now that things were finally sorted out between him and Pallavi, he should have felt relieved. Then, why did he not feel so? What was the reason for the heaviness in his chest. He could not possibly be in love with Pallavi. But, she had become an important part of his life, he had to admit that.

Despite convincing himself that all was over between them, in fact – there was nothing between them in first place; despite convincing himself that all that mattered to him was getting close to Mansi, and that Pallavi was merely a stepping-stone of the path that lead to Mansi; he could not stop himself from feeling guilty about what he had done to Pallavi.

What had brought them closer in first place had in the end pushed them away. He should have climbed out of bed, should have left the room and done the deed. He should have known that Pallavi would not stay in the bathroom forever. He should have known that she would feel humiliated to know that he was getting rid of his erection by helping himself when she was still around. Having an erection in first place was a crime, considering the situation they were in.

How was he going to set this straight? What did he want to set this straight?
He wanted to clear his head and so he decided to drink. He walked to the bar and opened a bottle of whiskey and drank. He wanted to be so drunk that he would stop thinking, he wanted to not feel anything. He just wanted to get drunk and fall asleep.

He brought the bottle to the couch and sat on it. That’s when he spotted the mobile Pallavi had forgotten. He had found a reason to knock on her door. He picked up the mobile and was about to walk to the door when the mobile beeped. It was a text from Mansi. It was a simple hello. The mobile beeped again.
Mansi’s text read – “I hope I am not disturbing you. I just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you. Miss you.”

The text did not suggest it but Manish had a feeling that Mansi was aware that Pallavi was not with her parents. Also, the way Mansi had ended the text meant she was feeling lonely and depressed and she needed a friend at this moment.

Manish deleted the texts and picked up his mobile phone. He dialled Mansi’s number and waited as the phone rang. It took some time for Mansi to attend his call.
“Hi” He said and waited to hear her voice.
“Hello” Mansi said. Manish realized from her voice that she had been crying.
“Are you alright?” He asked.
“I am fine.” Mansi lied.
“You still in office?” Manish asked even though he knew that she was not in the office.
“No, I am at home.” Mansi said. Manish was glad that she did not lie to him at least.
“I know what will make you feel better. Some soup. I will be right there.” Manish said and disconnected the call.

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