back with an update…finally!!!!
Had been quite busy with college. Pls bear with me.
CHAPTER – 3
“fine then! I will see you only when you wish it!”, he spat and walked away.
She didn’t know why she had tears in her eyes or what she was feeling but the emotion was strong, way too strong for her to handle and her heart went heavy like hundreds of mountains weighing it down.She didn’t feel his presence around her even at Khurana Mansion and it felt like something has just gone missing from the place. She hadn’t seen him for the past three days and everyday she had come to KM on the pretext of planning his birthday party which was also a comeback party for him by both the families. All his friends would be there and she made plans and lists but he wasn’t there. she sat by the window, looking at the final list and smiled recalling their last encounter when he had walked away angrily and smiled, he hasn’t changed even a bit.
“geet…”, he barged into her home screaming out her name. She was sprawled on the floor of her bedroom doing her homework when his voice startled her. she kept the books away and rushed to him, “am here…”
He didn’t even wait for her to ask him anything but dragged her towards his mansion holding her by her wrist.
“ahh Maan…what are you doing?”, she wondered what was he upset about. His hold was firm and he didn’t even stop to give her an explanation. They were half away towards km when she wriggled, “ahh leave me Maan. Where are you taking me?”
He stopped and turned back but that deathly glare from him almost made her gulp. Thats all he needed to do. And then she was quiet all the while he dragged her to km and then to his room and made her sit on his bed. She had looked down all this while and could realize he was angry at her. gathering her courage, she asked him meekly, “are you angry Maan?”
He left a sigh and turned away from her, seething in anger. She knew him all too well perhaps. And he wasn’t going to melt easily. She walked to him, held his hand, “am sorry.”
He tried to jerk his hand off, “just don’t talk to me.”
She held him firm and sighed, “am sorry. Its just that I have projects to submit post this vacation and I haven’t finished even one.”
It was their summer vacation and now that it was nearing its end, geet hadn’t shown her face for the past one week. He had called her up asking her to come and play with him or just simply visit km but she never did. And when his patience had given up, he had gone to her house and dragged her out of her rabbit hole.
He spoke nothing and just turned away but geet, despite being a little kid, knew he wasn’t that angry now. It just felt so beautiful to be of this importance to someone.
He didn’t know why he was angry but the moment she was here with him, in his room, he knew he was tamed but he wouldn’t show that to her.
“you are irritating…”, was all he said.
She couldn’t help smiling thinking of that day as she made the guest list. Ohh how could she have told him that she was sick due to her cycles which was very new for her then! She had been scared and queasy about moving around everything was new to her but now…he was angry yet again. would he hold her hand like he had done the last time and drag her to him? a deep hue of red settled on her cheeks…perhaps he was angrier now! He wouldn’t show himself to her and she had brought it all upon herself. She recalled the events in her backyard two days back…how he had come to see her and how eagerly he had held her hand. Her stomach churned in anxiety and nervousness and before she could dwell further, a familiar voice broke her reverie.
“geet… are you done?”
She stood up to see Dev standing before her, suited up to leave for office. She smiled and forwarded him the guest list, “almost! See you want to add anyone else.”
Dev smiled at her innocent face and checked the list, “its perfect yaar! Geet you’re the best!”
He leaned forward and side hugged her happily.
“thanks Dev,”, geet giggled feeling ticklish. They had been very good friends as well and post Maan’s departure, Dev had been her solace in subsequent years.
He drove around the city catching up with his friends and unwinding himself. But in all this he couldn’t forget that night when she refused to face him. he was angry and he wouldn’t let her off the hook easily. He deliberately stayed out of the house when she was around. If she was adamant then she perhaps had forgotten how stubborn he was.
He stood amidst the crowd, receiving greetings and gifts but his eyes searched for one person all this while. She was supposed to be at th venue half an hour earlier but she wasn’t. He sighed and concentrated on the guests who were pouring in. Rano ma, papaji, naina everyone was there but she was missing. He felt angry and he felt hurt.
It was time to cut the cake when his eyes suddenly fell on a person, slowly walking towards him, with slow and careful steps. He slowly looked up and froze right there!
She had fought with herself and had chided and scolded herself until she found herself fit to face him. they had been too stubborn she realized, things that could have been easy between them had almost become a struggle. But now she was desperate… to see him, to talk to him, to see how he looked and how he smiled and hear how he talked and perhaps she could have held back no more.
Clad in a simple mauve flowing gown, she walked slowly towards him, in shyness, in nervousness…in anxiety. Her hair was tied in a neat bun, leaving a few tendrils flowing down her cheeks and those wedges making a faint tick tock sound on the floor.
He stood rooted, watching her and he forgot everything else. Her face, her eyes, her lips, her poise, her walk, the glow on her skin almost took his breath away. He saw her… finally he did. He knew she was feeling conscious by his looks but he needed to take in that image of hers and replace the old one with this new one.
His eyes locked with hers but it was brief. Before they could cherish the moment, his dad urged him to cut the cake. He felt childish but he was so happy to see his family make efforts to welcome him. their gaze broke and he cut the cake amidst thunderous applauds.
He fed the cake to everyone except her for she stood at a corner, watching him lovingly. He has indeed grown up…morphed into a man from a little boy and she couldn’t take her eyes off him. she felt nostalgic and the corner of her eyes burned with unknown tears.
She felt a tug and realized Dev had pulled her for a dance. She quickly composed herself and looked around. The lights had dimmed and her bade papa had pulled badi ma for a dance. She was blushing hard but bade papa was a romantic at heart. naina was pulling papaji for a dance and Maan’s friends even gathered.
“hey… kahan khoyi ho?”, dev asked, swaying her with the music. She shook her head and smiled, “looking at badi ma and bade papa…”
Dev turned to look at the couple dancing and bickering at the same time and laughed. His one had held geet by her waist and the other held her hand as they talked and swayed to the music.
Maan watched them from afar…they seemed to have so much fun but then why can’t she talk to him normally? Why can’t they’ talk to each other normally? Has the distance really come between them?
Geet felt something and looked up only to meet his gaze, questioning her so many things at once. She couldn’t tear her gaze off for him for he held her captivated. That intense look almost burned her. she swayed with dev but her eyes stuck to Maan, trying to ask him how did he spend his years…did he even miss her at all?
Naina pulled Maan for a dance too but none of them realized as they were lost in their own world. Dev kept talking and so did naina but nothing mattered. The music changed and dev twirled her around. She almost lost her balance and then a familiar touch awakened her. his arm swiftly slid across her waist and steadied her. before she could understand anything, he had swept her off her feet, holding her tightly in his arms.
Their eyes met and the world was forgotten. Her one hand rested on his shoulder while the other basked in the warmth of his palm. His hand held her tight round her waist giving her shivers. He looked so handsome in the black suit and she sighed, looking into his chocolate brown orbs.
Realizing his effect on her, he pulled her closer to him further causing her to gasp, “Maan…”
Ohh his name from her lips sounded so beautiful…he couldn’t do anything but feel his heart flutter. Yet he maintained a stern face, “and finally you showed yourself, eh geet?”
Ohh that drowsiness in his voice almost made her head spin. If this was the beginning then she knew for sure that she’d be a goner in the upcoming days. Her heart thudded against her rib cage as she breathed in sharply to hold herself. Her gaze on him softened, “happy birthday Maan…”
“you are late…”, he whispered against her ear, making her skin tingle.
She sighed and looked up at him again, getting a grip on herself, “how are you?”, she asked softly.
“very well, thank you.”, he swirled her and pulled her back.
“how was your stay in the US? And your University?”
He lead the waltz and gave a curt reply, “everything was grand there and i enjoyed every bit of my stay there.”
“did you miss home?”, she asked looking into his eyes.
“yes I did… i missed everyone…ma, dad, rano ma, dev bhai, naina, papaji…”
“and??”, her brows raised in curiosity as her heart ran a race.
” and what geet?”, he asked nonchalantly.
Her hopeful eyes turned gloomy as she looked down, “and did you miss me Maan?”
He pushed her away and bowed her like an arch and leaned over her. his breath fell on her neck, making her gulp down hard!
“no… I never missed you…jasmine.”, came his sharp reply.
Her heart almost stopped breathing as he made her stand and looked deep into her eyes, realizing she was not happy with the answer she got. She stopped, pushed him away and walked out, feeling hurt, not knowing why she felt so. But his words made her teary. Ten years he was away and wasn’t even there a single moment when he missed her?
She stood in the veranda by a pillar, not knowing she was feeling so sad…to an extent that she felt she’d cry. He never actually cared for her… all this time it was his stubbornness speaking. There was no one around and she felt relieved for that. She felt like going back home… ten years of wait and all she got was this?
She felt a warm hand over her shoulder and was startled. She quickly blinked away her tears and turned back only to see him stand right in front of her, with his expressions unreadable. She looked at him sadly, accusing him of being such a brute.
And he forwarded his other hand that held a piece of cake, near her mouth. Her eyes welled up as he urged her to take a bite. She gulped that lump hard and took a small bite. And the next moment she was in his arms, hugging him tight and crying her eyes out, “ohh I missed you so much Maan… I missed you…”
He sighed and held her tightly in his embrace, throwing away the cake that he had brought and hugged her tightly. This was the end of the wait perhaps for even he felt something precious return to him. he let her cry on his shoulder and stood there silently, waiting for her to stop. It took her sometime to hold herself back and when she did, she heard his words that made her cry all over again… and this time in happiness.
“I missed you too…jasmine!”