She didn't know why she was doing it, it was really nonsensical to her. Till now her life had been in her control but now her family wanted her to give that control in someone else's hands! She didn't wanted that, besides to meet a stranger like this on a set up blind date. She hardly knew him, besides his name, Shyam.
This was really idiotic move on her family's part and then she had to give in. She always have to for she loves her family too much. But this surely was most cringe worthy thing that she was doing for them.
She dressed up in a simple black chooridaar and as she came out of her room ready to leave, her sister blocked her way and rolled her eyes.
"what is this?" She asked with her hand on her hip in visible anger and frustration.
"What?" Khushi asked in confusion
"You are going to a club Khushi, Don't you think you are tad bit overdressed?" Payal her sister asked, at which Khushi just rolled her eyes and walked towards the table to get her purse.
"Khushi, I know that you are least bit interested to meet anyone, but the guy your are going to meet is. Don't be like this." Pallavi coaxed.
"Jiji, I should also feel comfortable in the dress that should wear na? and if hes going to like me then he should like me in anyway I dressup..." and then she came near and hugged her from side and said,
"OKay Jiji... can I leave now?" she asked with smile, to which Payal nodded.
And with that Khushi left for the date, it was really unusual for her to entertain such things but this time she had to give in and mainl because it was not just someone she was meeting but her sister's friend. Khushi didn't wanted to break her heart, for she knew that her sister loved her too much, but after the last time she didn't wanted to get disappointed again.
In no time she reached the said club, it was really crowded, the lights were dim and the music was soft. In short the ambience was good for the first time meeting. As she reached the sitting area, she was guided by a waiter to one of the tables in the corner where a man was already seated.
The man stood up as she reached near the table, They already knew each other and met once when Payal had invited her friends to her home but Khushi hadn't stayed long, she had rushed to her room with an excuse of work.
"Hi!" He said politely and then continued as he pulled the chair for her to sit, "You are looking beautiful".
Khushi smiled and nodded, she looked around to take in the surrounding. People around were as it would seem, having a good time. Some were dancing, some were chatting, few couples were getting cozy.
"Shall we order something?" Shyam asked
"Yeah, sure." Khushi agreed.
Shyam ordered few snacks and soda for them and then turned towards her as the waiter left.
"Khushi, I am so happy that you finally agreed to meet. I really wanted to tell you from long time that I have liked you."
This took Khushi by surprise, she didnt know what to say. It was really a shocking confession. She looked at him and tried to say something when Shyam cut her off.
"I know, you might not feel the same for me, but I really wanted to tell you how I feel about you. But I can guarantee that if you give this relation chance, I wont disappoint you. We can be friends, I am not asking you to jump in any other relationship with me." Shyam looked at her pleadingly.
"Shyam ji, you are my sister's friend and I know you and trust you but I have never seen or thought of you in that light. I dont know if I would be the best person for you to spend your life with. I will only be a disappointment."
"Khushi, please don't decide like that, take sometime, think about it. We can start with friendship..."
"Shyam ji... I am so sorry. I came here thinking that I'd talk to you about it and make you understand and I really don't know how can I do that without being fully honest. I wish I could think of you in that light but I am unable to."
"I understand, but I really think that you should take sometime and think about it... Till then we can be friends, atleast..." Shyam said with a soft smile.
Khushi nodded and looked away. They ate their snacks in comfortable silence, occasionally chatting and exchanging comfortable smiles.
Khushi felt comfortable in his company but couldn't decide if it was enough to say yes for anything further. She, thus decided to give it a thought.
After an hour of comfortable company they decided to call it a night. Shyam offered her to drop home but Khushi assured him that she is perfectly comfortable to drive home.
Now in parking lot, she sat in her red Nano and zoomed off.
She was still few minutes from home when she saw a man running in the middle of the road towards her. She slowed down as the man neared, now she could see him under the headlight of her car. She could clearly see him covered in some think like mud. His face was not clear but she could sense that he'd been in some kind of accident.
When the man was almost infront of the car, she stopped. The man, who had slowed down and was gasping for air. He was now leaned on the bonnet of her car and was trying to use some hand signals to ask for help.
Khushi came out and stood near him with a small bottle of water. She stretched her hand to hand over the bottle which he took in an instant, and hurriedly started to drink, which resulted in cough.
"Slowly.. drink slowly... "Khushi said and started to pat his back.
In few minutes when his coughs subsided, he finally looked up towards her in gratitude, for a moment and then his eyes changed and became stoic. It was really surprising for Khushi, she slowly retracted her hand that was patting him and stood their for a moment and the asked, "Do you need any help? where you in some kind of accident?" She all the while couldn't take her eyes off him.
HE was tall, slightly dark or as it seemed at the moment, His face was handsome, though it was covered in mud and a a bit of something she couldn't decipher but his eyes... they felt so deep, like they could penetrate her soul.
She reverted her eyes once his caught hers staring. It was awkward... she had never really done anything like that before... ogled. But here she was shamelessly ogling a stranger who was well.. as it seemed not amused.
"Do you know any place where I could stay for the night?" HE asked, his voice was heavy and authoritative.
Khushi looked him in surprise and asked instead," Don't you want to go to a clinic first?"
He looked up at her in surprise but then nodded for a no instead and repeated, "A place to stay."
"Okay then, I'll take you to a hotel..." she couldn't even finish when he cut in and said, "I would really like a low key place to stay."
"But I dont know any... " she was just saying that when she saw a glimpse of a gun hidden beneath the jeans near the ankle.
She was shocked, would be an understatement. She felt a wave of danger and all she could think was to get out and immediately too.
The man saw her looking at the gun and he stretched his hand and held hers and said, "Please, I am in danger, I really need a place to stay."
His touch was so soft, it made Khushi halt and relax a bit, and before she could stop herself she asked, "Who are you?"
He looked at her for a moment and then said, " I am a better person than those who are following me." Something in his eyes made her believe him. She asked him to get in the car and then they zoomed away.