You are currently viewing The Brunch (Unscripted Love Series Book 10): Chapter 1
The Brunch

The Brunch (Unscripted Love Series Book 10): Chapter 1

The Brunch

Unscripted Love Series is a collection of 10 books

Book 1 – Arjun’s Jenny (click to read)

Book 2 – Priti’s Rendezvous with Somesh (click to read)

Book 3 – Rana’s Vivacious Girlfriend (click to read)

Book 4 – Claire’s Dashing Raj (click to read)

Book 5 – My Rebirth (click to read)

Book 6 – My Family (click to read)

Book 7 – My Sister’s Wedding (click to read)

Book 8 – My Secret Love (click to read)

Book 9 – My Silent Romeo (click to read)

Book 10 – The Brunch (click to read)

The Brunch (Epilogue: Claire)

“Raj, where are my earrings?” I frantically sifted through the clutter on the dressing table, looking into the array of open boxes, but the earrings were nowhere to be found.

“They would be here only, baby.”

Oh, God, I had to clear this all up. With the kids around now, I couldn’t afford to leave things scattered like before. Yug already crawled, also walked if he got something to hold, picking things and biting them. He got some different level of enjoyment in shoving everything into his mouth. And Misha flailed her hands and legs as if she being left behind.

Previously, I left the mess for Raj. He would come at night and put all my jewelry back in the respective boxes and the makeup scattered on the table. But things had changed now that I was a mother. With Misha and Yug growing every day, excited for everything within their vicinity, I had to be extra vigilant. I started sorting everything, clearing the table, and closing the boxes with a snap. I piled the boxes one above the other yet my antique, gold earrings were nowhere to be found.

Damn, where had I kept them? I had them with me in the morning before I went for the shower. I showed them to Raj and he gave me his thumbs up. Then… I had no idea where I kept them. I must have absentmindedly stowed them away in some obscure corner and completely forgotten about it. They were expensive but more than that, they went well with my dress and Raj had chosen them.

Oh, no. I groaned, realizing I would need to sift through all the boxes to find a new pair to go with the traditional dress I wore.

“Raj, you spoil me with too much jewelry,” I muttered under my breath. “See, now I am not able to find the one I want. I showed you in the morning. Where did you keep it after that?”

“Baby, I didn’t even touch anything. I don’t come on your side of the dresser. And I love to buy gifts for you. You know that.”

I did. I also wouldn’t mind a new bracelet to add to my collection. I had already hinted him about the same, last week, showing him a few bracelet designs so he knows what type I wanted.

He continued when I remained quiet. “I love pampering you. Although, with Misha around, you might have some competition from now on. Perhaps I will alternate between buying for her and then for you, making it a fair 1:1 ratio. Or we could go with a 2:1 ratio, where I buy for her twice, and then your turn comes.”

“Don’t you dare!” I exclaimed with mock seriousness, playfully swatting his arm.

He chuckled, his fingers deftly working on the buttons of his crisp white shirt. With a teasing grin, I nudged his hands away and took charge of buttoning them myself. As I finished, he leaned in and placed a tender kiss on my forehead. My lips broke into a smile and I reciprocated by placing a gentle kiss on the corner of his mouth.

 “Yep… these are too many boxes,” Raj exclaimed, casting his gaze over the large pile.

“Nearly two decades’ worth of collection. I haven’t thrown anything away.”

“Nothing at all?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Once in college, you gave me a bracelet. It broke but I still have it. I tried to repair it twice, but the clasp eventually came loose from the side, so I left it as it is. But I have it with me, a memory of one of the many gifts from you.”

“Oh, baby… love you.”

“Love you more.”

His eyes crinkled at the corners at this. “So, what were you searching for?”

“My earrings,” I said with a pout. “Care to help me?”

“Look in that corner. I need to reply to an email. It’s really urgent. If you still don’t find it, I will help you search them.”

He blew me an air kiss and I sighed, nodding my head as I dutifully went to the corner he pointed.

Rarely did I indulge in buying things for myself, especially when it came to jewelry. Most of my prized possessions were gifts from my beloved husband and best friend, Raj Agnihotri. The corner he pointed at had a lot of things, except for the earrings.

I closed my eyes, rewinding the morning. I showed him the earrings, three of them. He selected this and then I put it aside, keeping the rest on the dresser. Okay, so the earrings weren’t on the dresser, that much I was sure of.

A delightful aroma wafted through the air, enticing my senses as I took a deep inhale. Raj had spritzed on his cologne. The scent instantly transported me back to bygone days. It was the same one that I had gifted him on our first month anniversary, a scent he had cherished so much that it became his signature. It stirred up memories of life from a different era, flooding my mind with nostalgia.

We met in college and this guy had been consistent about one thing from day one — his commitment to being with me, standing by my side, and being there for me through thick and thin. God and I both had tested him rigorously on all fronts, tapping on the last reserves of his patience and confidence, draining him dry. Yet he remained my constant.

When he first entered my life, I was a rebel, staunchly opposed to the idea of us being together. He had to fight tooth and nail for my affection, enduring every challenge I threw his way. But he was relentless, breaking down my barriers until I stood vulnerable before him, ready to accept his love. And he loved with everything within him. He didn’t disappoint me. He showed me instead what unconditional meant in the literal sense. His affection knew no bounds, transcending any conditions or expectations. Normally, people were with you when they wanted something from you. He did want something from me—he wanted me. He fought me for me and no one had done that before.

Whatever happened, he never faltered or stepped back or got irritated or bored. When I was angry, I found him beside me, when I was crying, he stayed beside me, holding me, wiping my tears, rubbing my back. There were instances when I was ready to kill anyone, yet he was beside me, not caring about his life, assuring me this too shall pass.

He was like a rock, an unwavering presence in my life, always ready to lend a hand or a listening ear or a shoulder to cry or a guy to scream at, no matter the circumstance. He acted like an anchor in my otherwise chaotic world. He brought peace. But even chaos with him was far better than the peace of my life before him.

“Baby…”

I opened my eyes, nodding to pacify him, but the thoughts ran in my head.

We had navigated through the roughest storms together, grappling with challenges that tested every fiber of our being. But could anyone imagine that we tried to shield each other from the pain, believing it would spare the other from the unbearable hurt we were going through?

You do that for the one you love, not wanting them to be in the same pain you are.

That was the wrong thing to do. Soulmates could never hide their pain from each other. Before it even touched you, it reached them, for they stood before you, ready to face any storm that came your way. You always got the filtered version. This is why I never broke down completely, whatever happened, even after my treatments failed, I was ready to try again. Because he was sucking my pain away, absorbing it and giving me hope of a new day.

Raj took an audible sigh but bent toward the dresser and started searching for my earrings. I straightened up, letting him do the grunt work. He then went to the other side, toward his dresser. My things were always scattered everywhere but when you have the whole house to yourself, you tend to over indulge.

We were lucky, or at least me. When we decided to move in together, his parents gave us their place to stay. And it wasn’t a modest house but a duplex. I wasn’t used to so much space but it was more of a home for me than mine had ever been. We nurtured it together, filling the house with our countless cherished memories until we could buy a place of our own.

Raj went to the study table to search for my earrings while I checked on our children’s clothes for the party. I had brought matching underwear for both the kids, blue color dragons for Yug and red ones for Misha. Then I had got a cute bracelet for Misha, and adorable baby shoes for both of them just for this brunch. I placed everything on the bed so I didn’t have to search for it later. My eyes went to the dress and my lips broke into a smile. The dress has been changed. Yug’s clothes were laid beside it, but they were the same ones he had chosen.

Great, all set!

Today was the big day, and we were invited, not by Jenny but the Boss himself. He wanted us to meet someone. From his past. This was big and I didn’t want to be late. Also, I wanted to be there for my best friend—Jenny. Though, as per Raj, things were okay for them, I wanted to be there for her if they weren’t.

Jenny was the soul of our group, the mama bear, who cared for everyone. This was my one chance to give it back. And my spirited personality had brought a smile to her face last week after she returned from her haunted trip. I intended to do the same today as well if needed be.

I couldn’t ever forget the days she had been with me. Even after Misha came home to live with us permanently, I needed her a few times, overwhelmed by the new duties, afraid I might goof up. Before, making mistakes didn’t seem like a big deal. But now, with my kids’ lives at stake, I couldn’t afford any errors.

She came home as soon as I called her, sniveling on the phone. Enveloping me in her arms as I cried, I poured out my fears to her. I didn’t even understand why I was crying, but Jen reassured me that it was okay—it happened to everyone. All mothers go through this, especially the ones who have to manage everything alone.

Babies do overwhelm. She explained to me. Even though we love them more than ourselves, even though they mean the world to us, they can overwhelm us. We don’t want anything bad happening to them and that makes us slightly agitated. Her words calmed me and I couldn’t help as I grinned and nudged her on the shoulder, proud of who she had become.

She was the same Jenny who couldn’t talk to guys, who was so underconfident that I had to always push her out of her comfort zone, and make her do things. But time had changed her. Arjun had changed her. And now I called her for advice. It was a freaking proud feeling and my heart swelled as I looked at her poised self. She still rarely dressed up but whenever she did, she made heads turn.

I had worn the hat of a clown to hide my pain in front of my friends. But it was different now. Those days were gone now. I was truly happy today with the turn my life had taken. And this happy-go-lucky Claire Raj Agnihotri could bring a smile to Jenny’s face. What more was needed? She had been with me at my worst and I tried to be there at her worst. Normally, with Arjun, we couldn’t interfere much. But he was on the opposite side this time. It was shocking and painful to see them going through a rough time.

I used to smile through my pain in the past. But now there was no pain, only true happiness that seeped through my bones. Life rarely surprised me. I was the soul that was tossed around quite a few times before I got anything worthy in life. And I was used to the struggle, the hard life, the failures. Surprises are for the lucky ones, and I wasn’t one of them. But then it’s true. God sees everything and counts your every struggle. This surprise blew me over and I couldn’t contain my happiness.

Raj took hold of my hand, and I grinned. He placed the earrings in the center of my palm, a smug expression playing on his face. The guy was too happy with himself. I just smiled, shaking my head at the sweetest husband on earth. What was he so pleased about, anyway?

The Brunch is an Epilogue for the unscripted love series. Each character has a chapter dedicated to them, showing their current life and relationships. If you have read Arjun’s story, ‘My Rebirth’, the brunch picks up where it left off, offering a heartfelt conclusion to the series. The characters pen their epilogue, paving the way for the next generation.

Click here to read the book (The Brunch: Unscripted Love Series: Book 10).


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

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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.