He hated the fact that he had to leave after all that she said. It had come to him as a sweet surprise when she conveyed her feelings to him, that she needed him in her life as much as he needed her, probably even more. He admitted, she needed him more than he ever needed her. He had always imagined how he'd feel when she'd accept him in her life or when she'd speak her heart out but what he felt now was nothing of that sort. If at all, he felt more responsible for her. She told him what she wanted but she still wasn't sure that all this could be hers. He had to make her believe that he was here to stay and that whatever they share was not going to vanish. He looked out of the window of his car, at the waning moon. The overnight drive to Delhi was going to be a long one. And the fact that she was back in her home all alone worried him as much. He closed his eyes and her helpless face flashed in front of his eyes, how she had not wanted him to go.
"What about us?"
"That I cannot imagine anymore, how I am going to live this life without you!"
He remained quiet for a few moments, absorbing the fact that she said what she had said. And when he regained his voice and opened his mouth to say something, she beat him into that.
"I don't want to lose anyone anymore. And I am scared. I...I cannot imagine myself to have everyone I love to be with me. So much happiness..."
"Geet, embrace that happiness"
"I am not used to it."
She didn't look at him. She looked down, holding the sob that desperately wanted to escape her lips. She had been too broken to even believe. He sighed and lifted her head up holding her chin, making her look at him.
"Now you have to get used to it."
She didn't look convinced.
"Geet, I am right here with you. Everyone of us is. No one will leave you. I promised that to you, didn't I?"
She nodded and fell into his arms, hiding her face, "I am just tired."
He softly caressed her head, "Don't think anymore. Just halt your thoughts for a moment. I am right here."
"but you will be gone." She whispered, suddenly feeling so comfortable and relaxed in his arms. She could feel his chest move up and down with slow and long breaths. She liked that. Rhythmic and composed...just like he was.
He didn't reply for a long time and when he realized it was time to leave, he cupped her face and made her look at him, "Will you be alright on your own?"
She looked into his dark eyes, scared and worried about her and she shook her head, "Maan, do you really have to go?"
He sighed, his breath fell on her lips making her shiver, "Yes, and you have to be strong now."
"I know you Geet. You are one fiercely independent woman..."
Her lashes dropped, "I am not."
"Hush! You Are!" he spoke sternly, making her believe.
"No I..." she tried to tell him that all that was just a facade. That she was tired of being strong and that she wanted to remain weak and in his embrace but he didn't let her speak or think beyond that. he pressed his finger on her lips, quieting her.
"Shhh. When are you leaving for London?" and he gently pulled away his hand from her soft pink lips.
"Next week." She spoke cutely.
He looked straight into her eyes, "Good. I want you to take care of yourself now and go back home safely. Do you get it?"
She couldn't say no even if she wanted. His eyes held so much love and hope from her, how could she have said no? He expected something out of her for the first time, how could she have let him down? She slowly blinked and nodded her head softly.
"Good. And call me if anything happens okay."
She nodded again.
"Don't let me down Geet. Take care of yourself and be strong."
She smiled softly and rested her head on his shoulder, suddenly feeling so happy about everything, "Umm... I won't let you down."
He pressed a kiss on her forehead as he bid his goodbye, not knowing how their relationship should move from this point onwards. But he was happy that she was better. Worried but happy.
"Anaa..." she screamed on the phone, making Ana cringe.
"Ooohhh someone is in a good mood today." Ana teased throwing her bag on the chair and falling on the bed.
Geet couldn't believe she was so happy, especially after she had been back to London. Maan had reached NYC and that he was busy with some work. That was the latest update. But just the thought of accepting her feelings about everyone and everything was so relaxing that she just couldn't wipe that smile off her face. London seemed lively and Pooja had asked repeatedly about her and Maan but she had remained tight lipped. Not that she wasn't in love with him, but there was something else. Something that needed to happen and something that was needed to be done.
She had waited impatiently for Ana to come back from office and the moment she knew it was time for her to return home, she had called up.
"Yeah. I am in a good mood. How are you? Gosh I miss you so much."
Ana felt happy seeing her friend so chirpy. She had missed her so much. Her brother was back and she knew that they had met up and sorted out their differences. As curious as a cat that she was, she wanted to know every juicier detail of their rendezvous back in London but she knew she wouldn't ask her brother. He would never open his mouth come what may. So the easiest target was Geet.
"I am good. You tell me. How is everything back there? I heard you met with
Bhai. Tell me everything about it..."
"Maan? Yeah we met and then he went back to NYC." she pouted at that.
Ana rolled her eyes, "I know that idiot. I am asking what happened between both of you. Did he tell you how much he loves you? Did he propose? Did you say yes? Did you guys kiss? OMG tell me every detail before I die..."
Geet laughed at the other side seeing her friend so excited. She fell on the bed and pulled the duvet close to herself.
"We talked, Yes! And whatever you are thinking, nothing of that sort happened."
Ana's face fell, "shoot!"
Geet sighed, thinking about everything that transpired between them back in Shimla and felt her heart thud.
"So, what did you guys talk?" Ana tried to dig in.
"I am not going to tell you that..." Geet teased making Ana frown.
"Ha! You cheat! You can't do this to me. I am your best friend Geet." She screamed on the other side.
"Didn't you hear the phrase, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? So, what happens in London, stays in London!" Geet pressed her hand on her mouth to stop laughing.
Ana stood up, feeling really angry, "Fine!!!! If that's so, then what happens in New York with Aarush stays in New York! Ha! Take that!"
Geet sat up, "Whattt?? Aarush was in New York?"
"I am not going to tell you that..." she repeated what Geet had said.
"You are a mean mean woman Ana." Geet spat.
"Karma is a bitch, London lady!"
A second of silence and both burst out laughing. It was after a long time that were this relaxed.
"Okay fine. You tell first and then I will tell what happened here.." Ana rolled on her bed.
"No you say first..."
"Geet. Say it."
Geet knew this would go on for long. So it was best they stopped here.
"okay. So, I didn't say a yes directly."
"But you two are... I mean together types right?"
"I don't know. Kind of. Oh I miss you guys so much.."
"I am so happy Geet... damn I will die out of happiness. If you haven't said a proper yes, do it now lady. I have seen him yearning for you. Don't you dare trouble my brother."
Geet pouted, "I am not troubling."
"yeah like the past 3 months were nothing! Huh!" Ana scoffed.
"Shut up Ana. Now tell me about Aarush."
Ana bit her lips, "Uh well... he proposed to me last week."
"Oh. My. God!!"
"Jeez...you sound like Janice!"
"Oh my god...oh my god...oh my god. And I don't care if I sound like Janice. When did this happen? Where? What did you say? How...why...tell me everything."
"That freak proposed me over FaceTime when he was half asleep."
"And what did you say?"
"I said... dekhungi sochungi...kal parson kuch kahungi." Ana giggled on the other side.
"Stop copy pasting dialogs from Bollywood. As such your Hindi sucks!"
"hey, you made me watch that movie, don't forget to take the credits. But on a serious note, I asked him to come to NYC and propose in a proper way. Then and only then I will say a yes to that freak."
"Oh Man...I want to be there when this happens.." Geet cried.
"Then come back na. Who is stopping you? Maan Bhai would be the happiest."
Geet sighed, "I wish I could Ana but the job doesn't allow. You remember I relocated the moment I started working?"
"I do very well thanks to Miss. Geet Runaway Handa."
"Stop taunting me. Okay so, now that I am new here and already working on my first project, they aren't going to release me before 6 months till this is done. I am done with 3 months. 3 more remains!"
"Oh Man...why??? So that means you and Maan bhai will be in a long distance?"
she asked thoughtfully.
It was so new and so thrilling for Geet to even think of what relation she would share with Maan for now but she chose not to comment on it.
"I tell you... it sucks."
"Ahh so much experience!! Not bad Antara Khurana." Geet smirked.
"You find it funny now. But just you wait Handa. You are going to come crying to me...just you wait..."
They talked for hours after such a long time that they forgot the world. It was only when it struck 3am that Geet realized she had to sleep if she had to go back to work the next day.
"Come back Geet."
"I will try coming next month."
Tossin' and Turnin' Losin' hours everyday I keep yearnin' For a love that went away Cause I can't fall asleep without you And I can dream no dream without you And it's a nightmare just to stay awake
He swiped his hand across his forehead to wipe the sweat that rolled down and adjusted his laces. The music blared in his ears and he looked up at the sky, blush pink now that the sun was ready to make an appearance. A good run always made his day and for some reasons he wanted to go for one more round. Raj(the dog) woofed and caught his attention. He was his partner in everything. Maan smiled, "Another round? Lets go buddy!"
I need one more night One more night And in the morning if you don't love me Darling I won't fight. Just give me one more night To make it right And in the morning if you don't love me darling I won't fight
He liked the song but somehow his head wasn't into the music today. His hair fell on his eyes and he flicked his head to push them away. His head was occupied by his little storm. He had been back to the States a week back and they had talked a little. She was back home too. But he wondered if she was still upset and scared. He wanted to feel happy about their relationship but then he just couldn't. He wasn't sad either. He was just hopeful that some day she might just leave behind all her inhibitions. He wanted her to move back to the States but then her career was at stake. He knew it well. And so, he kept mum, despite knowing that having her near would be everything he had ever needed and wished for.
Her lips curled into a wide smile, "Maan!!!"
He smiled, setting his tie, holding the phone between his ear and shoulder.
"How are you?"
She just felt so elated hearing his voice like watching fireworks in the night sky.
"I am good. Loaded with work. How are you and everyone else?"
"I am good. Are you at work?"
"Umm.." she hummed, biting the tip of her pen, "what about you?"
"Getting ready to leave. Did you eat your lunch?"
"Will leave in sometime." She yawned.
"You are not paid to sleep at work Ms. Handa!"
She twisted her lips, "and you aren't my boss anymore Mr. Khurana."
She mimicked him making him smile. She was one feisty woman.
"Wish I were."
"Sorry, not giving that privilege to you anymore."
He could hear the playfulness back in her voice; something that he had missed all these days.
"So rude!" he played along.
"I wasn't..." she yawned again, "being rude."
"Why are you so sleepy? Didn't you sleep well last night?" he walked down the stairs towards his car.
"Umm...ask your sister. She called me up in the middle of the night to chit chat."
His smile widened, "come back to New York. That will solve the problem."
She sighed, "its not that easy."
"Do you want to come back Geet?"
She thought he was asking playfully, just to tease her but when she didn't hear a word after that from the other side, she knew he was being serious.
Taking a few good seconds, she replied, "do you want me to come back?"
"what kind of a question is this?" came his curt reply.
"No really. After all this time..."
He sighed, "Geet, No! I would do anything to have you back here. You know nothing will make me and everyone else more happy than you being here."
"Hmmm..." her voice dropped to a whisper.
"But the time is yours to choose."
She knew what he meant. She knew what he wanted to speak between those words. and how unlucky she had been for not being able to love him at the time of her own choosing.
He finished the call saying he had to drive to work but she kept thinking. The time was hers to choose. To go back to the man she so loved. How would it feel to go back there, now very differently. How would it feel to be back the way they were...how would it feel now, to talk to him and see him laugh or frown or tease her, now so very differently. The thought was so spine chilling that she felt goose pimples erupting in her skin.
That evening when she reached home, she found Pooja hysterical. Upon asking the reason, she burst out crying that none of her clothes fit her now anymore.
"But 7th month of pregnancy does that to you Pooja..." she tried to reason but her friend was inconsolable.
"Ohh dear lord why do women have to go through this? arrghhh..."
Geet shrugged, "I don't know."
Pooja snapped, "Exactly. You don't know. You don't know anything little Geet. You didn't even know you were in love all this time..."
Geet wondered where this was going, "what are you saying?"
Pooja held her head in stress, "God. Now you don't understand what I am saying."
She got up, held Geet by her shoulders and made her sit on the couch, "When are you going to NYC?"
She raised a brow, "Not this soon! I have my job..."
Pooja didn't even let her complete, "that is why I call you stupid. You love him right?"
Geet looked at her hormone-crazy friend blankly.
"Tell me.." Pooja shouted making her jump, "You love him right?"
Gulping down that knot, Geet quickly nodded a yes. The conversation had completely turned a different angle.
"Does he know that?" Pooja asked sternly.
"Yes." Geet quickly replied and shut her eyes expecting another screaming session but nothing came. And when she opened her eyes, she found her friend shaking her head sadly.
"My Poor precious Geet... did you tell him yet?"
"What do you mean kind of'?"
"You are scaring me Pooja."
"Hell you should be scared. You woman are doing a huge mistake. Go claim your man as soon as possible before he slips out of your hand. Maan is an awesome guy. He has waited so much for you and probably will wait more too. not like Raj who now thinks that he can flirt with anyone now that I am pregnant and unable to do anything."
Geet felt like hitting her head somewhere.
"She was just a colleague Pooja and for god's sake they just hugged. And it was not even a hug. She hugged him sideways as a friendly gesture. Stop being hysterical about it..."
She knew she was going to have a terrible headache because, first, she hadn't had a good night's sleep and second reason was Pooja. Just the previous evening she had seen Raj with his beautiful female colleague who he had invited over dinner and she had been crazy since then.
"I am being hysterical? Am I?" and then she burst out crying, "You wouldn't understand Geet. But mark my words lady... men stray! Be careful."
It took Geet hours to calm her friend down and put her to sleep. She checked her phone and found a message from Maan that made her smile.
"Sleep early today and stop talking to Ana all night. Good night."
He always cared. Warm fuzzy feeling erupted in her tummy, making her face heat up. He was always like this. she had known about this for like forever. But now that she knew what he meant and what feeling she harboured for him, the simplest of feelings hit her with such greater force that she wished she could once travel to NYC and meet up with him. it was weird though that it had just been a few weeks to their confrontation in Shimla and she was already in a different world
altogether. She turned to her side only to find her Kanha on her side table, smiling away happily.
"Is this how being in love feels like, Kanha?"
But you have been in love before too, remember?
Something inside of her asked. She pulled the duvet over her head, "Somehow I just can't remember what had happened then..."
She threw the files on the table and sat down, seething in anger. The day was bad. Really really bad! She hated her boss for loading her with so much work when she hadn't been able to complete the pending ones. and when she had tried to protest, he had told her off rudely. Added to that was the scolding she received for keeping the previous work pending. She gritted her teeth and looked for something that would calm her down. and when nothing caught her eyes, she quickly picked up her cell and called the first person who came to her mind.
He angered her more. He didn't pick up the call even after calling thrice. Frustrated and angry, she threw away her phone and then again picked up to call Ana.
"hey babes... what happened?"
She took a deep breath in and ranted all cuss words about her boss as she walked home, feeling lighter. Ana made her laugh and she felt better. her phone buzzed.
She twisted her lips and disconnected the phone.
He called again after a while and she didn't receive. She finished her dinner and went straight to bed, ignoring the phone that was still beeping. She closed her eyes but sleep was far far away. her phone buzzed again and she finally picked it up.
"Stop. Calling. Me!"
She shouted over the phone and disconnected it.
He sighed as he got into his car and drove back to his office. her frantic calls had scared him and her not answering scared him more. He was relieved to find her answering but her response put him in shock. He called again and she tried hard to ignore. And she hated herself for failing.
"I don't want to talk to you. Bye."
She disconnected the call and he rang again.
"Maan I am not..."
"Shut up!" he spoke louder so that she could hear it above her voice.
"Just shut up. First thing, why are you disconnecting the call?"
"because I don't want to talk to you." she snapped.
"And why is that?"
"because you didn't answer my phones. Do you realize how many times I had called?"
He sighed, "I was in a meeting Geet. Now tell me what happened."
"I am not going to tell you. Now bye."
"And I am going to call you again and again until you tell me."
"I will switch off my phone."
He swerved to the right and smirked, "You do know that you can't beat me, right?"
Ohh she knew it very well. she knew he'd reach out to her anyhow, especially knowing Pooja who had been going gaga over Maan since the day she had met him.
Maan ki chamchi! Huh!!!
"You are such a monster!"
"You leave me no choice little storm. I have to keep an eye on you lest you end up inviting trouble for yourself."
"Don't you underestimate me Mister!"
"I am not underestimating you. I am just staring the fact. Now tell me, what happened."
"I hate my boss!"
He rolled his eyes, "Tell me something new. Bosses are never nice."
"Yeah. I know. You set the perfect example."
"Do you like to bruise my ego all the time, eh Geet?" he teased, getting into the lift.
"I take sadistic pleasure in it."
"You are getting pretty good at this huh!"
"learning from the master himself." She retorted.
"Enough now. Tell me why you had called."
"Yeah. That..." suddenly her eyes fell on the calendar that rested on her table and something struck her mind.
"Yea...yeah. never mind. I will talk to you later. Bye."
She checked the dates and quickly opened her laptop to do what she had planned. She looked at the phone and then went back to sleep, leaving him all confused
about her weird behaviour!
>>Super happy update?
>>Romance you crib? Well, hold on a bit. We are getting there.
>>Hopefully next updt will be soon too. *fingers crossed*