@ALL: Thank You so much for the lovely response guys. You make my day. I will be a little busy next week. So hopefully, If we are lucky, then I will see you in a new thread with the next update. Till then, Happy reading!
14.The One With F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
"I am really sorry for that night. I know I had been rude but I was worried about her and then you had lied so I was really angry."
He said it.
No hesitation. No roundabout words.
He had come to apologize and he did.
She had never expected that. If she knew him at all, she never thought he would apologize this easily. But it seemed now that she was again proved wrong.
He watched her silent and frozen and sighed. He knew from Ana that she had no one in her family and that she was all alone in this country. He had truly felt bad for her and genuinely guilty to have hurt her so, without knowing her.
"I have come to take you.." he spoke, putting his hands in the pockets of his trench coat.
"wh...where?" she managed to respond.
Who was this guy?
"To the estates of course." He spoke as a matter-of-fact.
She clenched her fingers into fists by her sides. He looked so sincere and the weeks in his office had taught her to believe in him when he had that look on his face.
"Because Dadima is arranging a diwali party tomorrow and everyone wants you home today. Especially Ana. She isn't well."
Wow. People really wanted her? Just some time back she felt she had no one and suddenly his appearance just blew everything off. She felt at the loss of words. She watched him walk towards his car and open the front passenger door for her, gesturing her to come.
She didn't know how to respond to this. True she had been hurt a little and knew that man disliked her but then he apologizing like that was indeed surprising. And she did what she had been wanting to.
"I'm sorry. I can't come."
Her straight face reflected her denial. She didn't want to go with him, not when she was angry at him.
"Miss Handa...everyone is waiting for you back home." He spoke a little sternly. He was never habituated with people denying him.
She clenched her teeth and shook her head, "No."
"Miss Handa get in the car."
So, back to Miss Handa again Eh?
She thought and twisted her lips away. She didn't want to go with this man at all. But she knew well...that suppressed voice. He was definitely irked by her denial. She knew him that much at least. And she provoked him further.
"Miss Handa... don't you think about your friend? Just few days back, you had been lying to me because of her.."
His remark made her cheeks flare.
"I am not going. End of Discussion."
Why should he always dictate everything? She has to have her say too. And so, she decided not to follow his orders for once. She turned away and walked towards her apartment.
"Miss Geet Handa.."
His sharp booming voice stilled her in her tracks. That commanding, demanding voice made her cringe and she turned back with a sour mouth, "Now what?"
"Do you realize that I am yet to send your performance report to your college?"
He stressed on the word "your" and smirked seeing her gasp. Colour faded away from her cheeks and she looked at him angrily.
That Jerk!! Hate him!!
His lips curled wider into a grin and he pointed towards the open door he was holding out to her.
"So, If you don't mind..."
She felt like screaming at him. He was such a manipulative man. And she knew he would not hesitate in tampering with her performance card...well he needn't tamper because she herself had destroyed things with her stupidity in the office. She watched his smirk grow wider and knew she had just been cornered.
Why Kanha...just why? What did I ever do to him?
She bit her cheeks and left a breath that she had been holding.
He cocked his head to a side and raised a brow in amusement. Her face was a peculiar show right now.
"I...I will just get my things."
And she ran into her apartment.
He watched her vanish into her apartment and broke into a smile. Why was he stuck with this woman? And he had his answer ready. Ana wouldn't listen to anything else. Princess had ordered him to bring Geet home, in any which way. And he laughed more because he realized the kind of way Geet Handa preferred.
She stuffed her duffle bag with her night suit and stopped by her Kanha, "You are enjoying this, aren't you? Wait, this time I am not taking you with me."
She stuffed her blue-green feather and rushed out. He was still waiting for her, with that moronic grin that irritated her. She quietly went and sat down in the car. He sat on the wheels and drove off. Silence prevailed in the car and both preferred to keep quiet, until he stopped somewhere.
She looked around and then back at him with a questioning gaze.
"Need to pick something for Ana. Will be back in a minute."
She watched him enter into a bakery shop and got a huge bag, full of stuffs. The smell of chocolate made her mouth water. He kept the bag properly in the back seat and drove off. he put on a radio station and some faint sultry voice of Beyonce filled the air. She kept her eyes on the road when she heard him speak.
What was wrong with that man? He keeps on giving her shock after shock. First sorry and now a thank you??
Her eyes widened and she turned to look at him, totally shocked, her jaws dropping down.
He caught that look and smiled, "what?"
She closed her mouth quickly and shook her head, "are...are you alright?"
He rolled his eyes, "I am perfectly fine Miss Handa."
"You don't seem to..." she blurted out and then quickly shut her mouth.
He left a sigh and focussed on the road, "No. Am genuinely thankful to you Miss Handa, especially the stand you took against the guy who hurt Ana..."
"hmm yeah...what?" she wondered what was he even talking about.
He looked at her suspiciously for a while and she quickly composed her expression.
"I...I mean Ana told you everything?"
Kanha... now what?
He looked back on the road again, "Yeah, except the guy's name though. She told me about the guy from your college hurting her and that she was in a relationship with him. And she also told me how you slapped that guy for hurting her."
She couldn't believe this is what he knew. She gave him a weak smile, "I...I did??!! Yeah..I guess so.."
She turned her face away from him and made a crying face.
What are you doing Ana?
"That was very brave Miss Handa. Women must stand up against the wrong done to them. I accept I was judgmental and am sorry for that."
She watched him for a while and pulled up her confidence to speak to him, now that she knew she had the upper hand.
"Well, you were wrong indeed but its okay..."
"Who said I was wrong?" he looked at her with amusement, "i wasn't wrong that night Miss Handa."
That confidence on her face...he just wiped it off smoothly. She narrowed her brows at him, "Ohh double standards! I see! Mr. Khurana, you just apologized right now.."
"I did. Yeah. But for being judgmental and not wrong."
"How can you say that? Isn't being judgmental wrong?"
He slowed down a bit and turned off the music player, now that they were having some serious conversation.
"There is a very thin line between right and wrong Miss Handa. I was wrong that night for accusing you to have been a bad influence on Ana. I am very protective towards my family plus I don't know you personally. There, I was judgmental, for which I apologized. But I was not wrong in my conduct because any brother would become furious if his sister goes missing in the middle of the night and her best friend lies to cover her. You could have told me the truth Geet and I would have appreciated that."
She remained silent for a while. Was he right? He was right!!
"But I just didn't want you to worry..."
"I understand that. As a friend you did what you thought was correct and I don't blame you but think Geet, if something wrong would have happened, things would have fallen on your head. Do you realize what implications it could have had on you and Ana?"
She nodded, realized what he was trying to hint at. He apologized for the moment where he realized he was wrong and made her point of view as a brother very clear.
"You people are very young with influential minds. And I hope you do not repeat this again and get both of you into trouble. That is what I had expected of you that night."
All she did was just nod at him. What was she supposed to say? And she kept quiet till they reached the Khurana Estates, where Ana was waiting for her. The moment she stepped out of the car, Ana rushed to her hugged her.
"I was so worried about you Geet. I am so sorry for what my brothers did to you... just don't close yourself up like this. Okay?"
Geet smiled at her friend's concern, "Umm. I won't. Its okay."
"Now come in. We have to catch up."
She dragged her inside and took her to her room and closed the door shut.
"Are you okay?"
"Ana, am fine. Don't worry."
Ana sighed in relief, "I almost thought bhai would back out... but he actually convinced you to come home."
She thought of their conversation and smiled a bit, "Yeah. He did... but what was that about me slapping the college guy? Didn't you tell him about Arjun?"
"Shhh... don't speak loud. Yeah I told him everything but with a twist. Instead of Arjun, I just told him and Kabir that it was the college guy who hurt me and that you slapped him for being a jerk. And I didn't tell him the name because...well, I didn't want anyone in the college to face trouble."
"I know I know...this is all so twisted but Geet you don't know Maan Bhai. He knows every little detail of where I interned and who was my boss and trust me when I say he will create a mess and drag him to hell. I just don't want to disturb him with this matter."
"Okay I agree but you sure this won't land us up in trouble?"
"No. I made them promise me not to take any action until I say so. So relax."
"Umm.. but I am so proud of you Ana... for not giving up to Arjun and standing up for your beliefs."
"Aww... I am proud of you too for being there for me."
They hugged and rushed down to meet dadima and the rest. Diwali was the next day and everyone decided to sit down for a game of cards post dinner. The floor suddenly saw all cushions and pillows and everyone took their seats. Maan excused himself and found Raj(the pup) roaming around aimlessly. He picked it up in his arms and looked at the others, deciding to take a walk.
"Rummy it is!" dadima finally decided and Ana dealt the cards. They all sat in a circle and started the deal.
"Where is Maan?" his mother looked around.
"Mom... you know Bhai.. he doesn't like playing cards." Ana quipped and
Geet looked around and didn't find him. The game started and she forgot all about it.
He entered the hall with Raj in tow and still found the people playing. His parents had gone to bed but surprisingly. Dadima had stayed back, playing and laughing. Raj snuggled between his feet and he smiled.
"Come on buddy, lets sit..." he sat on the bar stool and watched Geet crib about losing.
"Ha ha..Geet you lose... 5th time at that.." Ana hi-fived Kabir.
"Noo... not again. am not playing."
"One more round..." dadima intervened and she conceded.
Maan watched Ana and Kabir carefully, from his vantage point. And he knew they were up on their tricks. They had been exchanging cards between the cushions and deliberately troubling the poor lass. He smiled. She was too innocent to even notice anything at all.
"Mi Bella...you lose again! So, you will be taking both of us for lunch" Kabir laughed.
"Annn...No am not playing this anymore.." she made a face and threw away the cards.
"Come on Geet...one more round. Its so fun to see you" Ana laughed.
"Am not playing. You guys are just...arrghhh.."
"Come on Geet...don't be a spoil sport..."
"Dadima...not you too.." she crossed her arms over her chest and looked away, only to find him sitting with his Raj...no no...Awaara.
His gaze caught hers and he smiled seeing her red face and watch her twist her lips. He knew what the crazy woman must have thought. She thought he was making fun of her. he watched the rest tease Geet and coax her for another round of game.
"you guys are so mean!" she complained.
"Fine..let me help her then." He announced, making everyone turn towards him.
Geet's jaws dropped...he would help?
He walked closer to them and sat beside her on the floor, making her move a little away.
"Ana, deal the cards and I know what you guys are up to so no more tricks."
Kabir grinned sheepishly, "You want to help her?"
"why not? I need to teach you guys a lesson for doing what you were!"
She watched him as he looked straight and she collected the cards and showed it to him. The game started and he left her on her own initially to see how she played and he laughed. She was a novice.
"Geet.. deal the spades.." he whispered close to her.
She turned to him unable to hear, "what??"
He rolled his eyes and inched closer, "deal the spades. Meld it.."
"what is that?" she whispered back.
"you don't know much about Rummy do you?"
She gave a weak smile affirming his statement. He shook his head and inched closer and told her what to deal for. As the game progressed, he kept on guiding her about laying off and drawing. Ana , Kabir and Dadima watched them in amusement as they completely got involved in the game, whispering stuffs and knew Maan would definitely make them lose. He was a Pro!
It was almost the end of the game and Ana had the lowest number of cards in her hands. He saw the cards that Geet held, now that they stuck together, sitting very closely, and leaned closer to her ears, "Geet...what are you doing?"
She looked at him, "what?"
"Uff. Silly...you have reached the target score. Lay off. Lay off right now.."
It was then she noticed her cards and immediately did as told...and there, she won it.
"Yayyy...I won...I won..."
She turned to Maan raising both her hands for a hi-five, gleaming in joy,
He thought and saw her so happy and gave her, her most awaited hi-five, smiling. She stood up and did a little bhangra, showing tongue to Ana and Kabir, "Ha ha I won...so, am not wasting money on your lunch..."
Dadima retired to her room but the trio were not at all sleepy. Maan was about to leave when Ana stopped him, "Bhai... come on. lets all watch a movie or something."
"No...you guys go ahead.."
"No..Mr. Khurana do come.." Geet stated happily. She was still perhaps in her dream world after the win.
Kabir grinned, "Bhai..come on now even Geet is calling you.. come on."
He saw their enthusiasm and nodded.
In the home theatre, the biggest confusion was what to watch. Settling for series seemed even harder when Kabir opted for the bloody gory Game of Thrones and none of the rest agreed. After half an hour of argument, Maan suggested F.R.I.E.N.D.S to which Geet nodded happily.
"We can do an all season Marathon tonight."
"Nooo..not that.." Kabir cringed.
"Am okay with it." Ana gave her verdict. So the majority was set and Kabir had no choice.
Everyone settled on the heavy woollen carpet, taking in its warmth and Ana sat between Maan and Geet and they turned off the lights.
It was almost 4am when Geet felt something heavy on her shoulder. She looked to her side and saw Ana sleeping on her shoulder. Maan felt something and looked around to see kabir sleeping by his side and then at Ana. He sighed and looked at Geet.
She grinned...an understanding passed and he nodded too. She woke Ana up and made her roll to the other side and took her place beside Maan.
"You Like F.R.I.E.N.D.S?" she asked.
"Of course. One of my favourite series."
He pressed the play button and watched the credits roll with its trademark song.
I'll be there for you When the rain starts to pour I'll be there for you Like I've been there before I'll be there for you 'Cause you're there for me too
He turned and saw her handing him a fresh basket of popcorns and he nodded, placing it between them.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- >>How About another Precap for the long wait?? >>Ain't I nice?
"Stop Stop Stop!" she covered her hands on her ears, "Do we need to discuss that now?"
"Yes Miss Handa... take a seat now."
"Can't we do that later? Its diwali...I have to light lamps." She made a baby face.