Yours Forever (Book Excerpt) by Nimmu

Nimmu believes in the adage you are never too old to make your dreams come true. Her novels portray the lives of ordinary people who you can relate to in your day-to-day life, facing struggles and finding love. She also loves to write poems which you can find in her blog. She loves to draw and make greeting cards with paper quilling in her spare time. Born in Chennai, she now lives in New York, with her family. Below you can read an excerpt from her book, Yours Forever. Courtesy: Fingerprint.

An excerpt from the book Yours Forever

She dreamt of Shiva. He was wearing the red-checked shirt that she liked on him very much. She could hear his voice and she smiled in her sleep, taking in the familiar perfume when suddenly, Rajesh shook her and woke her up.

“Sneha, your Shiva is here. Wake up.”

She just smiled, took Rajesh’s hand.

“Sneha . . . wake up.” He shook her hard.

She woke up startled. “What happened? Is Paatti . . .” she stopped midway and saw that her dream had materialized into reality. Shiva was sitting on the bed beside her grandmother and holding her hand and talking to her. She sat there, unable to believe what she was seeing.

But Shiva’s mind was on the guy whose lap Sneha had her head on. He felt a tinge of jealousy and wished he could yank his hands off her. Was he the guy Sneha was in love with? He found it hard to focus on Sneha’s grandmother and talk and harder to believe that he was feeling this way towards Sneha. He didn’t like it one bit. Shiva closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He managed to plaster a smile on his face and looked at Sneha.

Sneha’s knees felt like jelly and her heart raced as if she was running a marathon. She pinched herself hard. This was real, she realized.

“How did you get here?” she squeaked.

“By my private jet.” He chuckled.

“What?” She looked puzzled.

“As if your small village will have an airport. By car, of course.” He grinned.

“This is a town, not a village, Shiva.”

“Whatever.” He rolled his eyes.

“So, looks like Paatti is giving her granddaughter hands-on training,” he said, squeezing Rathna’s hand.

Rajesh cleared his throat and stared at Sneha.

Sneha gathered herself from the shock and introduced him.

“Shiva, this is Rajesh, my cousin.”

“So, you are the Shiva.” He held his hand for a handshake.

“I am not ‘the Shiva’, just Shiva,” he said, irritated at the cockiness of this handsome young man.

“The Shiva everyone has been talking about.”

“Everyone?” he asked, confused.

“At least your student.”

Sneha pinched Rajesh, asking him to stop.

“Ouch!” he yelped.

Shiva laughed heartily seeing them fighting like children.

Rajesh, out of the blue, said, “Shiva, Sneha is begging me to marry her. I am her uncle’s son, so in our tradition, it is fine to marry our cousin. What do you think?”

“I think you should consider yourself lucky if she has agreed to marry you,” he said, shifting his leg awkwardly and getting further annoyed with him. Sneha looked at him with embarrassment.

Sneha pinched Rajesh again. “So, what will you do with your girlfriend in America?”

“Hmm . . .” He scratched his head, pretending to think.

“Six months, I will be here and the next six months, I will be with her. Will that work?”

Sneha twisted his ears. “Shiva . . . just ignore him. He is always like this.”

Rathna was seeing the banter between the cousins and motioned with her right hand to Sneha to come near her. Sneha walked up to her. She called Shiva near her too.

She took Sneha’s hand and placed it in Shiva’s. Unable to form the words that she wanted to say, tears slid down her eyes.

Shiva was taken aback and his heart raced, unable to decipher what Sneha’s grandmother was trying to tell him. Sneha was mortified by her grandma’s gesture.

Why did Paatti do that? This is embarrassing. Sneha found it hard to breathe. She was sure Shiva must be wondering what she had, in fact, told her grandma.

Shiva was confused so Sneha quickly spoke for her grandmother.

“I think Paatti’s concerned that I will be alone in Chennai when she is here. That is all,” she said, trying to ease the awkwardness and removing her hand from their hold.

He nodded his head and held Rathna’s hand in his and said, “Please don’t worry. My mother and

Mithra are there to take care of your granddaughter. So, you focus on getting better and coming back to Chennai, okay?”

Rathna just watched them both, wishing she had had a chance to talk to Sneha about this. But now she could do nothing but pray that her granddaughter would find someone who would love and take care of her as she deserved to be. If Shiva was that someone, she would be very glad.

 

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