The Story of Goodbye and Hello
Fandom(s): Bollywood - Om Shanti Om
Summary: After the play has run its course, the drama has only begun. Om needs this encore before the curtains fall for good. Will Sandy be the leading lady he's been searching for?
Notes: Post-OSO fic, written as a response to fic Anita wrote... thanks for the input!
Sandy placed her hand on the doorknob and took a calming breath. C'mon, you can do this. Plastering a brave look on her face, she stepped into the room where all the closed-circuit monitors hummed monotonously. He was sitting in a chair, tapping a pencil absent-mindedly against the surface of the console.
Om jumped slightly, then turned around to face her. "Hi."
Just spit it out already. "I came by to tell you that I'm going back to Bangalore. I'm going home."
Om blinked once, as if he was slowly processing her words. "Okay."
Sandy's eyes widened in surprise. Okay? That's it? That's his response? That... wasn't what I was expecting. "I'm leaving tomorrow."
"Good- I mean, not 'good that you're leaving' good, just... 'good that you have a flight booked' good. Good." Om shifted awkwardly in his seat.
"... Right." Sandy chewed on her lower lip, wondering what she should say next. "Well, I'm glad I could help you. It was nice to meet you."
Om gave her something halfway between a shrug and a nod, trying his best to be casual. This was rather offset by the fact that he was gripping the pencil in his hands so hard that the veins were standing out around his knuckles.
"Um, Om? Are you okay? Is there something you want to say to me?"
"... No." The pencil in his hands snapped in half. Om stared down at the broken pieces, seemingly surprised that he had done such a thing. Tossing the remains on the floor, Om sighed dispassionately. "Take care, Sandy."
Sandy didn't reply and Om continued to stare at the floor. Not knowing what to make of his response, she left the surveillance room dejectedly.
Even imported sushi created by Tokyo's finest chefs could not raise Om's spirits the next day. He sat at the dining room table and poked at his food despondently, wondering what the hell he had been thinking.How could I have let her go? Why didn't I say anything? Next to him, his father coughed and flipped the pages of the newspaper.
"Dad, I'm an idiot."
His father put down the paper and studied Om for a moment. "This is about that Sandy girl, isn't it?"
Om shot a look upwards. "How did you know?"
His father chuckled good-naturedly. "I was once a young man too, you know. I recognized that mopey look on your face instantly."
Om smiled, touched that his father knew him so well.
"You weren't touching your sushi either. That's a sure sign something's wrong."
"I'm going to Bangalore. I need to find her." Om explained with a sigh.
"You can't go alone, son." His father countered, slightly worried.
Om waved off the concern. "I'll take two of my assistants with me." He nodded at one of the servants standing nearby, who walked off to get said assistants.
Om's father nodded. "That's my boy. The last thing I want is for you to be trampled by mobs while unprotected."
At that moment the servant returned with the assistants: an older man in simple clothes and glasses, and an elderly woman with long greying hair. "Beta, I hear we are going to Bangalore!"
Om's father frowned. "Isn't that the crazy old lady who used to follow you to all of your movie shoots?"
"Me? Crazy old lady? Arre, I'll give him a piece of my mind-"
"Later dad, gotta run!" Om grabbed Pappu and his mother with one hand each and fled the room.
"This reminds me of your movie 'Mein Bhi Chalte Chalte', when you're looking for Rani Mukherjee. Gum shuda,meri daughter-in-law!" Om's mother stared hopefully across the colourful grounds of Lal Bagh.
Om sighed and squirmed. "Yes, Ma. It's just like that. Except in the movie, I didn't have to wear this ridiculous outfit!" He gestured to his fake white beard, massive sunglasses, worn black kurta, and battered cane.
"You're our responsibility, Om." Pappu explained with patience. "We'd never forgive ourselves if something happened to you. Like getting mobbed by a gang of insane, starstruck college girls. They can be dangerous, you know. Now, you look like you fit in with old geezers like me and Ma."
"Look, there she is!" Om's mother grabbed his shoulder excitedly. "Pappu was right, she's shooting a commercial."
Om squinted through his sunglasses and saw that Sandy was sitting in a chair, stock still as someone put the final touches on her hair. She didn't look all that happy and Om couldn't help but wonder why. He knew he had let her go in a very rude way, was she still angry at him?
"Om, you stay here with Ma, I'll go near the shooting and grab her attention." Pappu said, briskly walking towards the film crew.
Om didn't have a chance to protest, Pappu was already talking loudly to a nearby cameraman, causing a ruckus almost immediately. People tried to shoo him away, talk him into leaving the shoot, until Sandi caught sight of him. Om shrunk slightly, suddenly embarrassed. He had a vision in his mind of Sandi seeing him, confusion and anger on her face before she turned away and asked that he leave her alone. Instead, she walked up to Pappu with a hug and spoke with him for a few minutes. There was some mutual nodding, and then she resumed shooting as Pappu returned to them with a smile on his face.
"She's done shooting in about one hour; I told her to come to the hotel we're staying at to speak with you, Om."
Om sighed. This would be the longest hour of his life.
"So... you're trying to get into the industry." Om watched Sandy as she stared out the window of his hotel room, her shoulders stiff and at edge.
"Yes. The same directors that turned me down a year ago suddenly think I have talent. I wonder why?" Her tone made it obvious that she already knew the answer. Om Kapoor himself had cultivated her acting skills from scratch; it was no surprise that directors would take notice of her now.
She turned finally, and Om noticed that her lips were sparkly pink and glossy, pursed with consternation as she stood before him. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again, with the way you let me leave..."
"I know, I shouldn't have acted the way I did, Sandy. I'm the great, charismatic, internationally loved Om Kapoor. I can have anything I want, anyone I want. But the one girl I wanted more than anyone else... I was scared."
Sandy crossed her arms, unconvinced. "Scared of what?"
"Scared that you'd say no! You left so suddenly, what was I supposed to do?" Om said with frustration.
"You were supposed to stop me!" Sandy cried, throwing her arms around him suddenly. "You should have told me not to go, that you wanted me to stay with you forever."
"You've been watching too many of my movies." Om was chiding, but his arms went around her anyway.
"This isn't about your movies, Om." Sandy replied, sniffling into his shirt. "This is about what we did together. You're not just Om Prakash Makhija, you're Om Kapoor too."
"True. But even if you said you'd stay, I didn't want you to think you would live in her shadow forever. You would always wonder if I loved you or if I loved Shantipriya."
"So? Do you love me?"
Om gaped at her, the ability to speak suddenly leaving him.
Sandy snickered inelegantly. "What? It's not a difficult question. If I explain myself will it help?" She straightened herself and looked Om in the eye with such poise and dignity that Om almost forgot that it wasn't Shanti who stood before him. "I left because you didn't stop me, and I left because I didn't want you to think I just loved Om Kapoor the movie star. I love you, the man who brought justice for a wronged woman."
Om shook his head with a sheepish look on his face, finally admitting defeat as he sighed and held her close. "I'm sorry I didn't have any faith in your feelings for me. So I guess we're both idiots?"
Sandy sniffled and leaned into his embrace. "Yes. But at least now we can be idiots together."