She looked up at him, biting her lips to stop her cry and twisted her hand to break free.
“i can’t…am sorry…”
The next moment she jerked his hand off and ran away, leaving him all alone in the milling crowd…shocked and unsure about what happened now!
She ran and ran and ran, wiping her tears, far away from him. These seven months, things had changed so much and she just can’t hurt him like this, playing with his feelings. She is not what he thinks she is. She is different yet she is the same. She took a cab and went back home, fighting with herself.
Maan stood there for a long time… wondering what had happened. Meet was behaving differently. Yes, she looked a little more beautiful, a little more trendy and he for once thanked the US to have done that to her but he was worried. Why was she running away? What is not right? There was definitely something bothering her. He wasn’t the one to give up so easily. He was the Maan Singh Khurana after all. He got what he wanted and he knew meet loved him, to no ends. And it was her love that made him determined even more to go after her…pursue her…!
There was also a doubt whether she liked someone else now… but he just smiled. He knew his meet. He would pursue her to no ends, and make her fall for him again. She is behaving differently because she might have a reason but he would go after her and make her spill out the reason no matter what. His meet would always be his.
It was a lazy Saturday and for her, it was a lazy day at home. She was back home after so long…it was time to just relax. She was dreading to face maan again and she just shut her mind off from it. It was just over and he was on his way. She took a quick bath and wore her favourite black jeans with deep blue full puff sleeved shirt and decided to prepare breakfast. It was 9:30 in the morning but then it was a lazy day. She didn’t mind. She hummed one of her favourite tunes and worked her way round the kitchen. She looked at a closed room and then sighed and got back to work.
She thought for a while what to cook and checked the fridge for the ingredients..umm yep she’d make some grilled sandwiches. She had never been too good at cooking, unlike her sister, but over time, she had learned it…well she had to, out of situation!
She hummed her tune as she worked her way when the doorbell chimed calling out for her. She rolled her eyes wondering who could it be!! The doorbell rang again making her frown. She walked towards the door, “arrey baba wait..am coming!!”
She pulled all her hair to one side and pulled open the door, “who’s there…”
And she stopped, seeing him right in front of her. She had never in her life expected him to here out of nowhere. She didn’t to face him…not again! It was like a heart stopping moment for her…
But for him, she was here to take his breath away. Clad in jeans and a blue shirt, with her curly hair down…she looked more than beautiful. Her thick kohl laden eyes blinked in disbelief, waiting for him to make a move but he felt his heart skip beats every time they blinked. Was she really looking this pretty or it was his head??? He settled for both. And seeing her after so long, his brain seemed to capture her beauty with a lot of intensity.
“heyy…”, he smiled and forwarded the bouquet of roses to her
She felt her heart beat against her rib cage..she was not scared of him for he was indeed a very handsome man but her own fears scared her. She quickly composed herself and forced a smile, “hey…thank you. Ahh… Come in..”
He watched her as she led him towards the couch. The house was still the same …just that it was too quite.
He took a seat, while she offered him water. He gulped it down in one go when he saw her quite fidgety. He had to make her comfortable first and then make her speak. She was worried about something now.
“meet… where’s uncle and aunty?“, he asked sweetly, “you told they were with you right!”
She jumped hearing her name and then sighed, “wo.. actually, “, she looked everywhere but him, “when we came back, we got a call from Hoshiyarpur that dadima isn’t well. So mom and dad…i mean maa and papa had to leave all of a sudden.”
She prayed he didn’t catch that slip of tongue and sighed when she realized he hadn’t, and he put forward his next question, “so…you are staying alone here?”
She was about to answer when a strong smell hit her nose and she bit her tongue, “ohh no… my food..”
She rushed towards the kitchen and quickly turned off the gas and checked on her veggies. She was supposed to saut it but all because of this man, her veggies got half burned now. She felt so angry right now…one, she was hungry and second, her food burned so she has to redo it now and third, he was here!!!
She felt so so angry on him. But before she could think anything more, she stilled, feeling his hand slide across her waist and his lips touched her cheek with a tender kiss. She numbed…and froze herself at this unexpected event!!
“hey..you haven’t had your breakfast yet? Meet… are you alright jaan?”, he got worried seeing her so numb. When she didn’t react, he held her by her shoulders and turned her around so that she could face him and cupped her face, “kya hua hain tumhe? Bahut parehsaan lag rai ho… kuch hua hain kya? You know you can tell me right!!”
He leaned forward and pressed a kiss on her forehead, making her tremble. This was going all the wrong way. She quickly held his hand and pushed them away from her face, “no.. i..am okay. I woke up late today. Its okay.. i will redo it..”
She turned to clean the mess up when he held her hand, “lets go out and have breakfast. “
Her eyes widened with that statement with a clear denial in them, “out? Umm..no..i..i don’t think..”
“shhh…”, he places his finger on her lips, making her flinch, “i had almost lost you. I want to be with you meet… we were supposed to get married when you got back…ohh well that reminds me, where is that evil sister of yours who had delayed our marriage?? She was supposed to be back with you right?”
First she was all in denial and confused but now hearing him talk about her evil sister’ almost made her blood boil,”my sister is not evil okay… she wanted to be here on my marriage…thats it!”
She twisted her lips and looked away… the audacity of this man!!
“evil sister…my foot!“, she murmured under her breath!
Maan was quite surprised to see her like this..which nevertheless amused him. He held her close to him by snaking his arms round her wait and pulled her close, “easy tiger… i wonder how much US has changed you! Or maybe that evil sister of yours…”
She fumed but she could do nothing. He whisked her away towards her favourite cafe for breakfast. She stood there, looking around, wondering where they were.
He locked the car and came across, again holding her close, “its your day meet! Your favourite place and everything what you wish for!!”
She smiled weakly but it hurt her. He was so happy and what was she doing? Breaking him bit by bit!! She saw his smile..and he really seemed happy. She said nothing but just followed him. They sat quietly at a corner while he urged her to place order. She was careful with what she ordered and finished with her cappuccino. He just watched her and smiled.
“you aren’t going to order?”, she asked meekly.
“nope… today i just wish to watch you. You look so good in jeans meet..why the hell you never wore them before?”
She looked down, contemplating things and braved a smile, “My sister kind of forced me to…”
And before she could say more, he laughed, “ohh for once am thank ful to your evil sister to have done something good. You should try these clothes more often jaan…you look so beautiful in them..”
She didn’t fight now. She just looked down and quietly finished her food. He was such a nice person and she had to make things right. She knew he was watching her so she dare not make an eye contact. She held her mug and took in a sip of her cappuccino when he held her hand all of a sudden!
“meet…where’s your ring?”
She looked at him and he seemed quiet upset about something. She couldn’t understand.
He seemed visibly hurt now, “meet…where’s your engagement ring?”
It was then she noticed a ring on his finger… a beautiful platinum engagement ring with a beautiful diamond studded in the middle, shinning in the sun. She, for the first time looked into his eyes which had so many questions and a hurt. She gulped hard, trying to formulate her answer.
“wo..actually i..I took it off while taking a bath and forgot it on my dressing table.”
His expressions immediately changed into a more relaxed one and he smiled, “hey hey… you don’t be upset about it meet. I was just curious… am sorry if i hurt you. Am really sorry jaan…”
She sighed and faked a smile, “no…its alright maan..! so, you don’t have office today?”, she quickly tried to change the topic.
He checked the time and leaned back on his chair, “yep..have a meeting in an hour. I will drop you and then go!”
He paid the bill and drove her back to her place. She was about to get off the car when he held her hand. She turned to look at him and he held her captive with his look. Their eyes met and she felt something deep within.
“meet… just don’t hide from me okay. You know I love you and no matter what I will always love you. You don’t have to worry about anything at all. while i am here, there nothing that can hurt you.”
He leaned forward and pecked her forehead almost making her cry. He loves her so much but whatever in the world was she doing to him!!! She got off the car, faking to be brave and waved him a bye as he drove off. The moment he was gone, she ran into her house and barged into ‘her’ room.
She sat by the window, looking out at the lawn and she was sure, she’d have seen her with maan in the porch. She had had enough. Her own sister was trying to ruin her her life with her own hands and she wouldn’t let that happen.
“Stop hurting him Meet…”, she screamed, “if not yourself, then at least stop hurting him. I cannot pretend to be someone that I am not!!”
She watched her sister slowly turn herself along with the wheelchair and smile at her… her shadow, her mirror image but the only difference was that she was on her feet while her shadow was on the wheelchair, fighting for her life.
“why Meet? Why are you doing this to yourself?”, she cried and went to her. She sat on the floor and put her head on her lap, “stop this…tell him…everything!”
Meet smiled and wiped her tears, “I see you are doing great!”
“no.. you are doing well Geet… accept it!”, she encouraged.
” and am not going to do this anymore…to pretend to be you and hurt him. Never!”
Meet wiped her sister’s tears, “You can’t leave me in the middle. You promised to help me right…”
Geet straightened herself, “yes i promised to help you but not like this! Not hurting someone…he loves you a lot meet. Tell him… everything!”
Meet looked away, trying to hold herself from breaking down, “he wouldn’t stop pursuing me if i tell him everything… thats why i need to break him!”
next: geet’s dilemma