You are currently viewing Chapter 1: Heartbreak – What happens when someone breaks your heart? Can you fall in love again? (Healing Hearts)

Chapter 1: Heartbreak – What happens when someone breaks your heart? Can you fall in love again? (Healing Hearts)

Chapter 1: Heartbreak

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Chapter 1: Heartbreak

Nivi

“What the heck?” I said aloud. In the dead silence of the house. He couldn’t do this. He just couldn’t. I screamed, as loud as I could as I read his message again. It felt as if my world had just come tumbling down, broken beyond repair.

I called him. It rang, which was a positive sign.

Please answer, please answer. I mumbled in my head. The ringing stopped and before I could check if the call had ended, I heard his voice.

“I am sorry, Nivi, but please don’t call me again.”

My mouth hung open, but no words came out. That’s it. He broke my heart.

Life was so unpredictable. When he came, it was a surprise that took me days to believe, and now, when he was gone, it seemed so unlikely. Like, it just couldn’t happen. I knew him, or so I believed. He wasn’t a runner. He was a keeper, only until he ran away like a coward, without even telling me what I did wrong. If he didn’t like something, he could have told me. I would have changed myself for him, and adjusted according to his needs.

I trusted him and he broke my trust.

Was I pestering too much to meet? Yes, I had been doing that a lot in the past month but I wanted to take this forward, whatever was happening between us. I wanted to see him, meet him, talk to him face to face, see the guy I had so irrevocably fallen in love with.

Love! Yes, I had fallen in love. How could this happen?

I wanted to go on a date with him. But the opposite had happened. He was forever gone now. Because of my foolish acts, I had lost him forever. If I hadn’t pestered him to meet, none of this would have happened. He wouldn’t have ended things on a single message.

An hour had passed but I couldn’t get myself to move.

Tears streamed down my eyes as I peered outside. I sat by the window and watched the traffic as the cars blurred into streaks of light. This was my favorite place to have dinner. While eating, I loved watching the bustling city life outside. I never felt alone, but today, it was a different story. The honking horns and distant sirens faded into the background as I lost myself in the rhythm of the city, the chaos outside mirroring the turmoil within my own heart.

I felt numb inside. From all the crying and screaming I had done in the past hour; I was bone tired, yet I couldn’t stop the tears. They had a life of their own. I didn’t know what was going on inside me. Was I grieving? Or was I angry? My emotions were mixing up, and I couldn’t put a finger on what was affecting me the most. Closing my eyes, I wiped the tears from my cheeks and let out a strangled sigh. It has to be okay. I was fine for twenty-three years and six months, so why did the last six months affect me so much that it all seemed insignificant without him?

How could he carve such a significant place in my life? I could clearly feel the void he left behind. The emptiness was eating me up. Maybe I had to give it time. Another day or two, and I would be okay. Maybe even start dating again.

Stop, Nivi. He mattered. Whatever happened, but he mattered.

Another wave of tears threatened to overwhelm me, and I took a deep breath, controlling the urge to break down and drown in my despair. He didn’t deserve my tears. He deserved indifference, and I so badly wished I could remain unruffled by him and his actions.

My friend, Tanvi, told me this was wrong. The guy who doesn’t want to meet, keep his face hidden, remain a mystery is not a good choice. Yet, I let myself be frenzied by his charm. I never anticipated this pain, never saw it coming, not in my worst nightmare. But it consumed me now, leaving me adrift in a sea of sorrow. 

My phone rang, and my heart skipped a beat. It must be him. He must have called to say sorry. And that he was wrong and things weren’t over between us, we can take it forward. It was just a silly misunderstanding.

I won’t forgive him easily. I will take time. Only when he begged for my forgiveness, would I even consider it. Yes! I will show him what happens when he plays with Nivi Maurya.

I dashed around the living room, frantically finding my phone. Where was it? I strained to hear the ringtone, my eyes scanning the room until they landed on the small table in the corner. Rushing over, I snatched up my phone, far too excited. But it was short-lived. My face fell as I saw Tanvi’s name on the caller ID.

I swiped the green button to the right and slumped on the sofa. “Hey…” I started, unable to muster any enthusiasm in my tone.

“Wow, such a chirpy welcome,” she said, amusement clear in her tone. “Where are you?”

I frowned, not understanding. Where would I be at 10 p.m. in the night? “Sorry? At home, where else would I be?”

She made an irritating sound down her throat. “Weren’t we supposed to meet, darling? You have forgotten again, haven’t you? All because of the we cannot meet loser.”

I winced at her name-calling. But it felt so true today. Oh. I remembered now. We had decided to meet at night for a stroll and ice cream. “Oh. I…”

“Are you okay, Nivi? Your voice sounds hoarse. Have you caught a cold? You were fine before when we left office.”

“Hmm… all good. I completely forgot we were supposed to meet. Sorry… can we postpone the plan?”

“I am downstairs. Just come. What’s the big deal? I will wait if you need to change.”

“Not right now. Please… something has happened, and I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I will tell you tomorrow.”

“I can come up if you want.”

“No, please,” I whispered, the words barely audible even to myself. “I just… I want to be alone.”

“Okay,” she murmured. “I don’t like this, but I won’t push you. As your best friend, every fiber of my being screams to rush up your stairs and wrap you in my arms. But… I also know that if you need comfort, you will call me. Is it regarding Rajveer?”

“Um…”

“I knew that jerk would hurt you. I just knew it. He was all red signal. Who says we wouldn’t meet. If they are interested in you, they want to meet. But he only wanted to waste your time.”

“Tanvi…”

“What?”

“I cannot do this right now. I am just so exhausted and weepy and lost…”

“Oh, sorry, let it be. Babes, it will be okay. Take care. Call me, even at midnight. I will not put my phone on silent, so just call me if you need me. I will ask Shyam Chacha to drop me by your building if it gets late. Don’t worry about the time, call if you need me. And don’t cry much over that loser. He doesn’t deserve it.”

I sighed, feeling bad that I wasn’t telling her anything. It was not hidden that Tanvi hated Rajveer. She just couldn’t digest our weird relationship. Now she won’t have to worry. He was gone just like she wanted.

Shyam Chacha was her building’s security. While I stayed in a paying guest facility, she stayed with her parents, just two blocks away. Shyam Chacha always walked her to my building if it was late.

“Thank you. I will tell you everything tomorrow. Just not right now.”

“Okay, I am sending something for you from the Sarkar stores.”

I sighed. “Not required, Tanu.”

“It is required, sweetheart. Bye.”

Ending the call, I returned to my seat by the window and picked up my plate of dinner. I was yet to eat my first bite. I sat there, staring at the sky, remembering the happy times, the flutter in my belly, the pounding of my heart, and the constant smiles on my face. But now, all I felt was this strange hollowness that constricted my chest, suffocating me with its emptiness.

How will I move on from this? Tanvi had warned me, yet I went all in. And now I was hurt, broken, and felt miserable about everything.

Thank God my window was on the backside, or Tanvi would have seen me bawling and demanded to know everything. Not today. She was loud and would give me a long speech of I-told-you-so. I wasn’t in the mood to listen. I was just in the mood to cry and drown in my sorrow. A sudden onslaught of horns made me wince, and I tried to save my ears by wrapping my palms over them.

Living by the main road had its advantages, but along with a truckload of disadvantages. One of the advantages was that you never felt alone. Staying on the first floor, I heard the rumble of engines clearly and the hum of tires against the pavement, a constant symphony of life pulsating through the city streets. It was as if the world was alive, breathing and pulsating with energy, even as I sat here drowning in my own sorrow.

When I first shifted here, I couldn’t sleep. I would toss and turn in the bed, but as soon as I would start to drift off, I would be jolted awake by some strange noise. The constant blaring of horns and other noises made it impossible for me to sleep.

Mumbai never sleeps, and it was so damn true in my case because I stayed close to the main road, and my bedroom and hall room window fell on the road.

I couldn’t even close my windows because then it would suffocate me in no time. But within a month, I got used to the noise, and then whenever I visited my home in Indore, the peace and silence ate me up at night. My parents visited me once and stayed for over a week, constantly complaining about the noise.

But that was Mumbai. You cannot get everything. If you want your dreams to come true, you have to give up peaceful silence.

The doorbell rang, and whatever Tanvi had sent had arrived. With a sigh, I set down my untouched dinner on the chair opposite me and rose from my seat, dragging my weary body toward the door. Opening the door, I accepted the parcel and smiled at the delivery man as I closed the door. Peering inside the paper bag, I smiled as I saw a tub of ice cream. Tanvi was a lifesaver. I needed this, like desperately craved comfort food. Deciding to eat it later, I put it in the freezer and returned to my seat to mop more. I tried taking a bite of the dinner I had made before all hell broke loose, but I couldn’t eat it. It tasted like ashes in my mouth.

The last few months were so blissful. There was a jump in my every step, a constant smile playing on my lips, an excitement I couldn’t tame, all because of him. He was someone a girl like me wouldn’t have ever dared dream of, yet he came and gave me hope for a bright future filled with love and giddiness.

Then he left without even a goodbye.

It was all in the past now.

He was a past now, my past.

How did this happen?

Why did I meet Rajveer when we had to break apart? We had a story brewing slowly like a gentle simmer on the stove, until we hadn’t. What suddenly happened that he changed his mind? Questions swarmed in my head with no answers. He had all the answers. But he wasn’t replying to my messages.

Before dinner, I was the happiest version of myself, and now, after dinner, it was all over. I couldn’t even fathom how swiftly everything unraveled.

Why did it have to end like this? Why did fate bring us together only to tear us apart?

Tanvi was right, after all. She told me such stories are a recipe for disaster. Yet I couldn’t catch the warning signs, blinded by the intoxicating allure of love. It was everything I dreamed about. I didn’t know what he looked like; I didn’t know if his biceps were bulkier or if he was lean or sturdy. He had a great sense of humor, which I knew. But I had no idea what color eyes he had or his skin tone. But I knew he loved spicy food. Yet I didn’t know if he had a masculine walk or if his jaw ticked when he got angry. But I knew he rarely got angry.

Love is blind. And it was, at least in my case, not metaphorically, but literally.

Giving up on dinner, I stood from the chair. Heading for the kitchen, I cleaned my plate, throwing everything in the garbage, my favorite pesto pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and peanuts. At least I kept wet and dry waste separate. This food wouldn’t go to waste and be composted and recycled. Each scrape of the fork against the ceramic dish echoed in the empty kitchen, a hollow reminder of the emptiness that now filled my soul. The last line was dramatic, but I felt like that. Once the plate was clean, I put it in the sink and put on Arijit Singh’s songs on full volume as I cleaned the kitchen.

As I rinsed the plate under the cold stream of water, I sang along—Hamari Adhuri Kahani. Singing at the top of my lungs, I let my pain flow out with each note, finding solace in the music. It was as if the lyrics understood my heartache better than anyone else.

Dooriyaan phir bhi kam naa hui

Ek adhuri si hamari kahani rahi

Aasmaan ko zameen, ye zaroori nahi

Jaa mile.. jaa mile…

Ishq saccha wahi

Jisko milti nahi manzilein.. manzilein…

I couldn’t help but feel a pang of bitterness. Rajveer wanted to taste my pasta. Whenever I made them, he would say—when would I get a chance to eat your delicious cooking?

My heart would cry—we can meet anytime you want. Though I had promised Tanvi that I wouldn’t meet him at home. I would if that was the only way I could meet him. But then he would say we would meet soon. When? No idea, but soon.

I thought… he wanted to take it slow. But Tanvi was right. He didn’t want to meet. He just wanted to do a time pass with me, and when it started to get real, he got cold feet. Maybe he wasn’t who he claimed to be. Maybe he was a liar, pretending to be someone he wasn’t, and got stuck in his own lies with no way out.

I went through the motions, cleaning the marble counter, rigorously wiping down every surface as if trying to scrub away the memories that clung to them like stubborn stains. But nothing worked. Nothing would work. I was more irritated by the abruptness. When things don’t work, you sense them. I didn’t. Not even for a second. Even when his message came, I thought he had pinged to know if I was done with dinner or not. I just didn’t see this coming.

Sighing, I gathered myself and tossed the cloth aside. This would do. At least now I had a sparkling clean kitchen to match the facade of normalcy I was desperately trying to maintain.

Turning to the sink, I let the cool water cascade over my hands as I remembered the last time we talked about food.

“I can make you a mean lasagna, Nivi. And I tell you, you will lick your fingers as you eat it.”

 I had laughed so hard at this. He was funny. Who ate lasagna with hands?

“Thank God I don’t eat lasagna with my hands.”

“You got me there, so how about licking your spoon?”

“Can’t wait to try it.”

“Very soon, Nivi.”

That day will never come now. I will never meet him. He will forever be a haunting memory of a guy I saw in my dreams and had a chance to talk to.

We talked constantly, even finding time between our work. But nighttime was our favorite time to have heartfelt conversations without disturbance. Our conversations flowed endlessly, blurring the lines between night and day. Sometimes, dawn would break before, and we were still chatting or talking. Sometimes, we wished each other night and morning at the same time before finally drifting off to sleep. Then, whoever woke up first started the message chain again. It was an endless cycle, but we loved it.

Once the chores were over, I headed to the living room, but not before grabbing the tub of ice cream and a large spoon, the largest I could find. Eyeing my phone with disgust, I took a big bite of the soothing guava ice cream, my favorite flavor.

My best friend knew me so well. I wish I had heard her when she persistently asked me to stop this bullshit. I argued with her about how was this any different from meeting guys on dating apps. She had no answer to that, and I continued. Every day, she would shake her head at my giddiness and ask me not to go far with my fantasies, but no one could stop me. I was flying in the air, enjoying the bliss of first love. Yep, I was a simple girl from Indore who had spent her college days studying and making her career. I didn’t have time for boyfriends. And until he came, I hadn’t felt like this for anyone.

I glared at my phone, the main culprit for my pain. If I hadn’t checked my phone before dinner, at least I could have enjoyed the pasta. Before, I always ordered dinner from nearby restaurants. But after Rajveer entered my life, he pushed me to have a home-cooked meal. He would send me easy recipes, and I like a fool would try them all.

The phone felt heavy in my hands, yet I unlocked it, wanting to see again if this was all truly happening. I went to the messaging app and tapped his name—Rajveer Khanna. I had saved his full name in my contacts so he felt real and not the fragment of my imagination or a liar and a creep that Tanvi called him. My vision blurred as tears threatened to spill from my eyes, but I forced myself to focus as I read the message for the thousandth time.

I stared at the glowing screen of my phone, disbelief coursing through my veins like ice water. The words on the screen blurred, but their meaning remained painfully clear.

Rajveer: I can’t do this anymore. It’s over. I am sorry, Nivi.

At least he said sorry, I grumbled to myself bitterly. I missed him. It all felt so empty without him. I hadn’t met him yet he was everywhere. I asked him what color of nail polish I should put. We sometimes synced our dinners as well, making the same dish or wearing the same color for the day.

We were just taking it slow. Enjoying the foreplay as he said. So, what suddenly happened that he ended everything? I hadn’t lied to him, not even once. I wasn’t flirting with anyone else, or two-timing him. I was doing everything right, so why did he end things?

Our morning conversation was fine. We hadn’t fought. We hadn’t argued, yet by evening it all turned into ashes. I went to our morning conversation, trying to search for any clues that had triggered this.

Rajveer: Hey beautiful, ready for office?

Nivi: Ah, I love the endearment, but only if it is valid

Rajveer: It is

Nivi: You haven’t seen me so it’s invalid. Compliments are only allowed if you have seen the goods

Rajveer: **Laughing emoji** What if I say your heart is beautiful? Do you think I haven’t met your heart yet?

Nivi: You have

Rajveer: What’s for lunch today?

Nivi: Jeera rice and dal for lunch. Is your mouth watering? What about you?

I had asked because he loved simple dal with jeera rice.

Rajveer: Oh, wow, sounds delicious. Yes, dal rice tops anything for me. Me… just curd rice. Not feeling well today so the doctor asked me to go easy on the stomach.

Nivi: Oh, what happened?

Rajveer: Forget that. So, what does my horoscope say for today?

I had frowned but had let him change the topic. Because I had a habit of reading the daily horoscope, he always asked me how the day was looking for him. He didn’t believe in astrology, yet he always wanted to know his future.

Nivi: It all looks good though you might sneak a fortune on your way to the office.

Rajveer: Ah, who wants fortune? Tell me I will bump into you and have the most romantic meet.

Nivi: **Laughing emoji** Like we bump into each other, and I fall. Then you save me just in time before my butt hits the floor, and we see each other for the first time, already forgetting the world around us exists. Then you pull me closer, your lips just inches from mine, debating whether to kiss me or not. Then, we both burst out laughing because we were just too happy to see each other.

Tears brimmed in my eyes as I re-read the message. Why, Rajveer, just why?

I couldn’t get myself to read anymore, so I tossed the phone on the couch and hid my face in my hands, crying some more.

How will I get above him? How will I forget him?

End of Chapter 1: Heartbreak (Healing Hearts)

End of Chapter 1: Heartbreak (Healing hearts)


Author Payal Dedhia independently publishes books on Amazon Kindle. You can check her collection by clicking here.

Image credit: Freepik

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Payal Dedhia

Hi there, I’m Payal Dedhia. I’m a proud Mumbai local who spends my days guiding budding coders through the fascinating world of development. But when I'm not deep in the tech scene, you’ll find me exploring new corners of the city or jetting off to faraway lands in search of adventure. As a lifelong bookworm, I’ve always devoured stories faster than my friends could recommend them. Eventually, I couldn’t resist the urge to write my own. Some of my tales dive into the darker corners of romance, while others highlight the beauty of contemporary love, where hearts connect in the most unexpected ways. Just like I strive to bring out the best in my students, I pour the same passion into my writing. My goal is to captivate you with every word and take you on a journey through the many forms of love—sometimes twisted, sometimes tender, but always compelling. Thank you for joining me on this adventure. Welcome to my world, where passion meets the page. I hope my stories whisk you away on an unforgettable journey.