@madhubala123: all i would say is, patience yields the sweetest fruits.
@sheen: comments dekhe...may be i wasn't much online.
but anyways, *tish tish* let it go.
what is *tish tish* anyway?
@swetha03: For lavender, read chapter 75. You will know.
@PaintedSky: making her wear the ring this soon? when they haven't even made their relationship official? Now that's a twist!
@sdlife19: ohh my welcome back!!! Missed you here.
how have you been? all well?
so glad to see you back...
@TaranaGeet: will Maan change the dogs name?? You think so???!!!
Btw edit ur 1st comment on chapter 75.
"Oh Shoot!!! Mom is going to kill me." Ana rushed to Geet snatched the ring from her hand.
Geet looked at her friend, trembling with the fear that now lurked in her heart, "th...the ring..."
Ana caressed the ring lovingly, "This is dadima's. She cherished this so much and she has reserved it for Maan Bhai, whenever he gets married that is. And mom had given it to me some time back to get it polished."
Geet blinked a couple of times to gain clarity of her thoughts but then memories of the last time she had seen the ring swirled in her head.
"...and I keep forgetting to give it to the jeweller. I swear mom is going to flip. She had been taking out all the jewelries and getting them polished..."
Ana kept ranting and then stopped abruptly watching the pale face of her friend.
"Geet? What happened?"
"huh? What?" Geet snapped out of her thoughts.
"You are not feeling unwell, are you? Lets cancel the plan if it is so."
Geet let out a sharp breath and rubbed her face with her palms, "No. No. Am alright. I don't want to miss my first Christmas here. I will get ready in a minute."
She nodded and gave her a weak smile before walking towards the washroom, "Yeah. Give me just 5 minutes Ana."
She splashed water on her face a couple of times and held her face between her palms.
"Are you getting married?"
"Do you want me to get married?"
She splashed more water on her face and felt her eyes burning with tears as his voice from the past echoed in her ears.
"What are you doing Geet?"
Her lips trembled as she scolded herself.
"You share nothing. You agreed to that too. Stop crying."
"We share nothing."
"wh...what do you mean?"
With names, come limitations and restrictions Geet and I wouldn't want you to draw lines between you and me..."
They didn't share "nothing" anymore now. she screamed in her head. She wanted him in her life. That was the end of all thoughts. She didn't want him to go. If she was being selfish, she admitted, then be it. She couldn't lose when she had found him after so long. But what about him? He loved her; that is what he said. But then why...
She stood with Ana and Kabir in the hall, listening to them bickering about something and let her mind wander.
"Mi bella...tell that witch am not going to drive her around whenever she wants me to." Kabir made a baby face.
"Talk to me you freak. Don't hide behind Geet like a coward..." Ana pulled him away, not ready to give in.
She saw him walk down the stairs, with a mug of coffee in his hands and that rimless specs almost made her breath hitch.
Their eyes met and his Christmas just brightened, despite the fact that he had spent better part of the night with her and had seen her off to sleep only after the sun was up. But then who was he kidding? She was always his undoing.
Her eyes looked straight at him, holding him captive, as he slowly walked down, one hand tucked in the pocket of his trouser and the other holding the mug near to his mouth. He could feel that intense pull towards her, the searing gaze with which she held him at her mercy, he swore he wouldn't hesitate to just go right to her and kiss her senseless. He gulped that knot in his throat which had turned dry.
As he inched closer to her, he pulled his hand out of his pocket to hold her but then stopped midway when he saw a thin film of tears in her eyes which she quickly blinked to dry it away.
She was crying?
He narrowed his brows at her, asking her what bothered her and received answer as questions. She questioned him, he knew. She accused him of something. her eyes said it all. but he didn't know what it was. Worried, he inched closer but she broke his heart when she turned away from him.
"Geet..." he called her out lovingly, unable to take that coldness from her. but his voice drowned as Ana and Kabir dragged her away, telling her all about their plans for the evening. And she didn't even look back at him. not even once!!!
Christmas in New York was amazing. She had forced herself to not think about anything as of now and enjoy her evening. There was so much lighting everywhere, so many people out on the streets, so much joy everywhere that actually brightened up her mood for a while. They roamed around the city, snacking every now and then, giggling and laughing at some joke and ended up at the Rockefeller Centre. The huge Christmas tree made her gasp with its beauty and grandeur for she couldn't blink her eyes away. There was a live performance by a famous band that reminded her of Ellen's. She closed her eyes and shook her head.
No. Stop Thinking.
They picked up the skating shoes on rent and went to the rink. Ice skating was nothing like skiing that she so enjoyed back home. But it did take away a lot of her worries as she struggled to keep her balance. The golden statue of Prometheus kept a watch on them it seemed.
It was only after a few minutes that she found herself drifted apart from her friends. There was a crowd and she couldn't locate them. Alone and a little exhausted, she walked out of the skating rink and sat on the nearby bench, waiting for Ana and Kabir. She took out her phone to call them and found 8 missed calls from Maan.
Her heart sunk.
The ring still remained at the back of her head and she felt herself being desperate for something she knew not of. She didn't dare call Maan because she was angry and hurt for no apparent reason. He'd go get married and settle off.
He wasn't her "forever" too. She was making the same mistake again!!!
Hot tears rolled down her eyes as she cursed herself. There was nothing in her life that was stagnant.
"Kyun aayi tu Geet? You shouldn't have come here at the first place."
She chided herself and hid her face between her palms to calm herself. But the tears were such traitors.
She felt someone tap her shoulder and looked up to find a girl smiling at her softly. She quickly wiped her tears and realised she was the person who was sitting beside her on the bench. She had been so lost in her woes that she didn't even realize.
"You shouldn't cry on happy days." She spoke cutely, her big black beautiful eyes twinkling in light.
Geet noticed she was not very old; she was probably her age or may be younger. She had this cuteness around her, the plump cheeks, the big eyes, pink lips and a tiny black mole at the corner of her upper lips made her look adorable, like a doll.
"Excuse me?" Geet sniffed, not eager to tell a stranger of her woes.
"I said you shouldn't cry on happy days. It just ruins the mood."
Geet didn't like the way she told her what to do or what not to.
"So, people aren't even allowed to cry if they are in a fix just because it ruins the "mood"?" Geet scoffed.
The girl shrugged innocently, "90% of the problems are the creations of our own brain. And we cry over it because we are stupid to not understand that."
"Our brain?" Geet raised a brow.
"Yeah. Take this example. You get into a problem and then you start thinking of all the possibilities that has led you into it. Then you start hating yourself to have not taken a correct decision. And then you end up comparing yourself to those you think have a better life and then sulk over it."
The stranger girl was right though because Geet found herself nodding to her.
"So..." she flashed her cute smile, "instead of thinking all stupid things, why can't you just think of the solution to the problem? That will actually ease the matter rather than crying over it!!!"
There was something strange about the girl that compelled Geet to respond.
"But.. that man, he just doesn't say anything!!"
"man, eh?" she smirked but Geet missed the subtle tease.
"He just does anything he pleases and I feel myself to be a fool to fall for him."
"Go talk to him."
"You want your man to be yours or not? Tell him and if possible scream your words into his brain. Then see the results."
Geet sunk back to her seat, "I am just scared. What if his answer is what I fear?"
"If you "love" my dear, you have to prepare yourself for the massacre that lies ahead on this path."
She opened her mouth to say something when her phone buzzed with Kabir's name flashing on it.
"Uhh I gotta go. My friends are looking for me." Geet stood up and she stood up too.
"Don't fear anything. Tell him what you are, what you want and what you deserve. Don't create your own problems."
Geet smiled, feeling a little better, which did not even in the slightest mean that she was any less upset.
"Thank you. By the way I am Geet." She extended her hand with a smile, "It was nice meeting you. What's your name?"
The girl smiled and stood up, picking her bag from the bench and shook hands with the lady in front of her.
He was speaking to his parents about in the hall when the trio burst in, bringing in cheers after a long silent evening. His eyes invariably went towards her but he couldn't catch her gaze. She was busy hitting Kabir and laughing at something. Only he knew how restless he had been and worst, she wasn't even taking his calls.
"Okay kids..." daddy Khurana announced, "There is some announcement here. Attention please."
He clapped his hands to gain attention which he successfully did. And when he knew he had everyone's ears, he looked at Geet and smiled lovingly.
"Now now, this is Geet's first Christmas with us and the New Year too. So, now that you all have enjoyed it in NYC, pack your bags. We are leaving tomorrow."
Kabir placed his hand over Geet's shoulder playfully, "to where?"
Ana looked at Maan and then at her dad and mom and then back at Maan who smiled softly at her.
"Please don't tell me bhai..." her lips twitching to curl into a huge grin.
Maan smiled wider and nodded his head.
"OMG OMG OMG..." Ana squealed and jumped around, "Miami!!!!"
"Yes. So, get back to your rooms and pack stuffs. We leave tomorrow at 8." Radhika added, seeing her children happy.
Ana jumped towards Maan and threw herself in his arms, "Bhai... thank you thank you thank you sooo much...I love you."
He just held Ana in his arms and smiled but his eyes wandered to his little storm. He knew the beach house was Ana's favourite place and that she hadn't been there in a long time. she always insisted but somehow their plans didn't materialize. Ana blabbered like a child, telling her brother what she would do and what not but his heart wasn't with her today. his eyes sought those brown orbs that seemed to be sad about something; upset about something and she wasn't ready to disclose that.
Memories hit her and her eyes automatically looked at him in surprise. he blinked softly, asking what was it that bothered her and she looked away, breaking his heart once again.
Radhika called for dinner and the trio passed saying they ate way too much. The parents walked towards the table while Maan lingered.
Ana plopped herself on the pillow and Kabir went ahead to change. Geet sighed and walked towards the couch when she felt a strong hold on her arm and then she was turned around forcefully.
"Ahhh..." she gasped and found Maan right in front of her, looking straight into her eyes.
The specs still adorned his handsome face and he looked dead serious.
"Kya hua?" he asked. And he asked sternly.
She wriggled her hand from his grip and looked away, "kuch nahi."
"Geet... look at me and tell me. What is wrong?" he didn't let her go knowing that she was struggling. His grip tightened, knowing that it would hurt her. But just couldn't see her so cold towards him. The past few hours had been agonizing.
What was it that she was upset about? What scared her? What the hell happened?
"Just tell me little storm." His tone softened.
She couldn't forget the ring. And now it was Miami. It was like she was travelling to the past. She was always haunted by hears and uncertainty. She looked at him angrily, "Maan, chodo mujhe."
"Not unless you tell me what is wrong." He wasn't letting her go until she yielded and she knew it too.
"I don't walk to talk..."
"Maan..." Radhika called, "your food is getting cold beta..."
Geet jerked her hand away from his grip taking her chance but he held her again, "Come to the study. I will be waiting."
And then he was gone. She let out a long dragged breath and walked back to her room. She didn't even bother to change and fell on the bed, recalling the evening. What Aayat said was right though but she just couldn't bring herself to that point where she was confident enough about the rights she had on him.
She woke up some time later at night and found Ana fast asleep. She sat up, her sleep breaking and stretched herself. She hadn't even changed her clothes. Blinking her eyes, she went ahead and changed into her night suit quickly. As she combed her hair, she found the blue velvet box on Ana's dressing table. She had forgotten to keep it securely. Geet shook her head at her carelessness and decided to keep it safe. She reached out towards the box and then stopped abruptly. She hated the ring. She hated the mere sight of it. She inched away and looked around for water and gulped down the content, leaving nothing for Ana. She was glad because she knew she wouldn't be able to sleep and she might just get it refilled for Ana. With slow steps, she walked towards the kitchen and waited for the bottle to fill up.
She heard faint but quick footsteps behind her and before she could react, she was hauled across the kitchen and found herself pinned to the counter.
"Whattt..." she tried screaming but her voice muffled under a large palm that pressed her mouth tight.
"Shhh. Shhh... its only me little storm." He spoke in whispers, "Don't scream. There is nothing to panic about. Its only me..."
Her eyes had widened in shock and fear as she took time to take in his features in the dim lights. Her heart rate had spiked with the sudden intrusion and quickly calmed down seeing Maan.
When he saw her relaxing, he slowly pulled away his hand from her mouth and narrowed his brows at her, "Why didn't you come to the study? You knew I was waiting, didn't you?"
She turned her eyes away from him which he hated, "because I didn't want to."
"And I am not giving you an option until you tell me what is bothering you." he warned. He was impatient and she was testing his tolerance. He had been tolerant enough. She was in some kind of trouble and she refused to yield to him.
She glared at him at his words, "You can't force me into telling you anything."
"Heck I am."
She was indeed pushing his limits. Without a word, he held her hand dragged her up the stairs, the bottle of water conveniently forgotten in the kitchen counter.
"Maan..." she whisper-yelled, "what the hell do you think you are doing"
"We have to talk."
She tried pulling her hand away, "let go of me."
"Just shut the hell up." He snapped. He was done with her childish behaviour.
"If you don't let me go, am going to scream and call everyone." She tried her best to run away and played her last trump card. She didn't want to have this conversation right now because she was nothing but a mess.
He stopped on the corridor and turned back to face her. she was glad that her trick worked. but who was she kidding? When she was expecting him to let her go, here he comes up with his care-a-damn attitude, daring her to do what she
"do it!" he said as a matter of fact, surprising her.
"go ahead. Scream your lungs out for all I care. But am still taking you with me."
His threatening voice, laced with attitude of sorts was supposed to scare her but she found herself strangely reacting to it. a warm woozy feeling erupted in her stomach and spread all over her body, warming her up in the cold night.
He watched her stunned and tugged at her hand, "Now that you are done with your childish acts, we have some unfinished business."
He dragged her into the study and she followed, without a word, without a protest, quietly until they stopped by the fireplace which was still alight.
"Now..." he spoke, leaving her hand, "would you speak or shall I have to take a special permission for that too?"
She snapped out of her thoughts and looked around. The room was thoroughly warmed up by the fire and she realized he had been here for quite a while. he had been waiting for her all this while?
He found her lost in her thoughts and sighed, calming himself down. she stormed in into his life and brought a whole load of anxiety with her. he ran his fingers through his hair and inched close, cupping her cheeking. He looked into her eyes, catching her gaze and blinked softly.
"Geet, please tell me. I just can't bear the fact that you are troubled and am not able to do anything about it."
His desperate voice was her undoing perhaps because she sighed and looked down, finally willing to open her heart. she swiped her tongue over her dry lips and held his hands that cupped her face.
"Please." He pleaded, his eyes pleaded, his breath quick and shallow and his voice...oh dear his voice was so heart-breaking. She knew her resistance was broken the moment he had uttered those words in the corridor when she had threatened to scream.
"Maan..." she spoke after a few seconds of pregnant pause and looked up into his eyes, that desperately pleaded her to let her into her heart.
"I have a feeling..." she struggled to speak scared to think of the consequences.
If you "love" my dear, you have to prepare yourself for the massacre that lies ahead on this path.
Out of nowhere, the voice of the stranger echoed in her hears as she watched his eager eyes, waiting for her.
"I...I have this feeling..." her voice trembled out of fear, "that I am losing you."
There! she said it!
She heard him gasp and his eyes sought answers in hers, as to why she thought so.
"Losing me? Geet I..."
She didn't let him continue. She had tormented herself enough the entire evening and now that she was letting it all out, she might just do it before she loses all the courage.
"I have this feeling that I might just lose you like I did with everyone else. But then when I was in London, I realized it was hard for me to let you go. and when I came...I saw that ring..."
He arched his brows, "Ring? What ring?"
But she wasn't even listening to him.
"It felt as if I was again standing at that precipice where the next moment, I will pushed off the edge and I will have no solid ground below me or a hand to hold. I will be back to where I had begun and that there would be no trace of you in my "forever""
She stopped for a moment and watched him intently looking at her. she pushed herself away from him and hid her face between her palms and cried, "I know I sound stupid and unreasonable and perhaps it is stupid too... but I.. I just can't help it. I cannot imagine my "forever" without you but then that ring and Miami...I felt like I was going back to the past and I had no way out. No matter what I do, where I go, this thing still remains with me...oh I am just so stupid Maan... so stupid..."
She sobbed, hiding away her face, feeling so bare and vulnerable in front him, almost like being naked.
"I can't help it Maan... I try not to think but I just can't..."
His heart constricted seeing her so broken and there was one thing he realized today. it was not her feelings towards him that bothered her.
That was something else.
He inched closer to her and pulled away her hands from her face. she didn't even deny. She let him see her tears and her broken side. If anything, he felt himself falling in love with her all over again. she had taken a bold step by accepting her feelings even in this condition where she was haunted by her own demons. She looked at him helplessly and fell limp in his arms, sobbing.
His arms went around her and pressed her closer to him, trying to calm her down.
"Geet...I am not going anywhere. And what is the ring thing?"
She sniffed, "Dadima's ring... it is with Ana. I saw today..."
She trembled in his arms and he could very well recall the time back in Miami when she had found the ring back then too. she had been distressed.
Ohh my little Geet, what do I do with you?
He pressed a kiss on the top of her head and wound his arms tighter around her.
"First thing, know that I am not going anywhere Geet. I can't go. Mein kahin jaa hi nahi sakta jahan tum nahi..."
Her heart stopped beating right there.
He parted her from him and made her look at him as he slowly wiped off the tears from her cheeks, "forget about the ring. It is just a piece of jewellery that defines nothing that is between us."
She kept looking at him, stunned.
He knew he had her attention and he'd do anything to make her feel better.
Even if it meant confessing all over again or leaving everything behind just to walk the distance with her.
He cupped her face once again and trailed his thumbs over her soft cheeks, "I love you way too much to even think of going away from you."
She couldn't breathe anymore. She was so stunned with his confession that had it not been her slow blinking lashes that the world would have thought her dead for good.
"I mean it then and I mean to now too. And I want you to trust me Geet. Can you do that?"
She didn't reply. She couldn't.
He held her hands and kissed them, "I want you to tell me everything that bothers you. I want you to tell me what scares you, what makes you happy."
Her body trembled with his words. he knelt in front of her and she couldn't avert her gaze. Her eyes moved with his.
"I want to be your "forever" Geet."
A drop of tear probably trickled down saying zillions of things that she couldn't speak.
"Give me a chance and let me prove it to you that I won't go anywhere. Even if you ask me to, I won't go anywhere! Can you do that?"
She fell on her knees in front of him, unable to take it anymore.
"I want to be in your "forever"... let me into that little storm. Please..."
"Maan stop..." she finally gathered courage to speak and cut him off in between.
She wouldn't be able to take this anymore. He brought her in and swept her in a tidal surge of emotions that overpowered even her existence.
He stopped abruptly and she just went into his arms like it was her home. He felt the difference. She didn't cry. She didn't sob. She just remained, resting her head on his shoulder, clutching his shirt in her fist, she just remained.
He smiled and pressed a kiss on her temple, hoping to bring every inch of security in her life.
Ohh what has become of you Maan Khurana...
He laughed mentally.
...you are losing your heart and yourself in this battle and yet, you just want to lose more!!!
oh I just loved n love this forever concept...stupid geet didn't know what she meant for him but after this confession n then miami wow...will ring also go with them to miami...will maan give new year gift to his parents with his love...is ayaat that girl who met with kabir...