I love Aditya's turmoil. Also, i like how Ivy talked about Aditya which made Zoya a lill aware. I am so pleased when ever i read this FF, it just makes me happy.
Chapter 12 - We are here (Feb 16)
Aditya waited at the lobby of the Dublin hotel while Zoya was conversing with the receptionist to reserve a room. They had reached late in the evening. It took them close to a week but alas, here she was.
By the time he had composed a text and sent it to his team informing them to convene for work tomorrow, Zoya was done with the reservation formalities. A bellboy had taken her lone suitcase to the room.
"So," she spoke with relief, "Finally, we are here."
"What are you going to do now?" she asked.
"I'll take a train to Limerick. I should be there..." he looked at his watch. It showed 8:00 pm, "...by midnight."
"Isn't that too late? You have had an early start and have been traveling the entire day," she stated, "Maybe you should rest tonight and journey tomorrow. You can book a room here."
Say no, Aditya. Just say no and walk away.
"Erm..." he stammered not responding to her suggestion, "What about you?" he diverted the topic, "Where's your boyfriend?"
"Yash is staying with his mother and sister," she informed him. "I texted him and he replied that he was back home. He was tired so we didn't text much," she said and Aditya felt like she was trying to justify something, maybe the lack of communication, more to herself than him.
"I am planning to go to their house and surprise him." She spoke the sentence with hesitation.
He caught on, "Is there a problem?"
She bit her lower lip, which for some reason had some unusual effect on him. He shook aside the thought to focus on her words.
"Well, his family doesn't exactly like me," she confessed with a nervous chuckle, "Actually I am pretty sure his sister, Mahi, despises me. She straightforwardly told me once over the phone."
"And you still want to interact with these people? Why don't you ask Yash to meet you somewhere else?" he suggested.
"I'll have to meet them sooner or later. It's better to get it done as soon as possible, before I lose my nerve."
"You'll have to meet them?" he asked, confused at why she was bound to meet her boyfriend's hostile family.
"O!" she exclaimed covering her mouth with her hand, "Didn't I tell you? Yash is going to propose marriage. I mean... I am pretty sure he is. That is why this trip was important to him and that is why I had to brave my fear of flying and come running after him."
Aditya stood still, not uttering anything. She was going to marry her boyfriend. Of course she was! What else was he expecting? He should have listened to his rational mind instead of following his feelings.
Not that it should have made any difference. He knew she had a boyfriend, yet he had let himself be overpowered by emotions, leaving aside all logic. He knew he should be guilty for harboring these desires but it wasn't like he had tried to sway her. He had never tried to impose any of his feelings on her.
Never mind it was altogether a different issue- what his feelings exactly were. It was something inexplicable- a warmth he felt when she was around, when she spoke to him or looked at him. Her radiant smile would make him smile. He loved spending time with her evident from the fact that he had skirted his work and was travelling the breadth of Ireland with her. He couldn't name the feeling only that it felt wonderful, conflicting but wonderful.
"No," he finally managed to speak, "You didn't tell me."
Alas! This was the end. He would always cherish the short span of days that they had spent together. He didn't desire anything else.
"Huh," Zoya scrunched her eyebrows. "I wonder how I skipped that part. Anyway, so that's my plan." She sounded nervous. He wanted to quell whatever it was that had her riled up, but decided otherwise. He was too far in this, any more and he wasn't sure if he would ever be able to retreat.
It was time for him to leave. "Good luck with you plans." He wished her with as much sincerity as he could gather, "I hope you and Yash have a happy life together."
"This is really it?" she asked in a low voice. "Thanks for everything, Aditya. I hope we'll be in touch."
He paused before saying, "Good bye, Zoya."
She managed a weak smile, "Bye."
Aditya picked up his bag, and was about to turn around when Zoya caught his wrist. His gaze ventured from her hand where she was holding his to her anxious face.
She pressed her lips in a thin line before speaking, "I..." she exhaled trying to calm herself down, "I can't do this alone... Facing those people... I have never set a foot out of my hometown without company... I don't know how to... how to go to Yash's house when I know they hate me..."
Aditya let go off the suitcase handle and turned to face her, "If it's that important, you'll have to do it."
The next words out of her mouth surprised him, "Will you come with me?"
Zoya's own words surprised her more than him.
It was true that she always had a sheltered life. She had never ventured out of her hometown alone, she always had someone to look after her, to guide her, be it her parents, even Noor and now Yash.
But to go to Yash's house and meet his family was something she couldn't bring herself to do. In their 1 year of relationship, Madhu had never spoken to her. Mahi had been snarky and had outright refused her token of friendship. It would be a hostile ambience in the Arora house yet she knew she would have to face them, sooner or later and the more she delayed, the rougher it would get.
She had made up her mind that she would go and a little moral support wouldn't hurt her. So, in a moment of weakness, she asked the only person she thought could help out- Aditya.
Aditya and she didn't get off on the right foot initially, but gradually, over the course of these few days, somehow they had found companionship in one another. They were not exactly friends but for Zoya, they were on the path of friendship. It was surprising to her how her perception of him changed over the days- from considering him an arrogant jerk to being able to confess her deep fears to him.
Underneath the facade of cynicism and arrogance that he always put on, she realized he was a nice person- one who helped others, who was supportive, who listened, and who cared.
However she knew she was asking a lot from him. He had already done more than enough. She couldn't ask more from him. It wasn't right. And he might find her weird. What sane person asks the help of an acquaintance to help her face her own boyfriend's family?
"Forget about it," she chuckled nervously, "It's a silly request."
His eyes were fixed on her but his face was blank. She couldn't gather what was going on in his mind. Was he thinking that she was weak? Or that she was a fool?
He broke his silence, "I'll come with you."
His reply should've been a surprise but for some reason, Zoya knew he wouldn't say no to her. She let out a smile, which he returned. She felt a light squeeze on her palm and looking down, she realized that she was still holding his hand. She let go of his hand abruptly muttering a soft "sorry."
20 minutes and a cab ride later, Zoya and Aditya were standing in front of a small house with 'Aroras' inscribed on a nameplate. Zoya took a deep breath and exhaled through her mouth, repeatedly. The dread of facing Yash's family had overpowered the excitement of surprising him.
Gathering her nerves, she pressed the doorbell, praying desperately for Yash to answer the door. She had texted Yash once again while she was on route to his house and he had said that he was having dinner with his family and would talk to her tomorrow. She hoped that he would open the door. She wondered how he would react on finding her at his doorstep. The look on his face would be priceless!
Aditya was standing beside her. He hadn't said anything in the cab and even now, he was quietly observing. A few seconds later, a girl, with straight hair and a sharp face, opened the door. Zoya straightaway recognized her as Mahi, Yash's younger sister. She had seen Mahi's photo in Yash's house.
"Yes?" Mahi asked from the doorway, her glance wavering between Zoya and Aditya.
"Umm... We're here to meet Yash." Zoya was thankful that Mahi didn't recognize her. She could introduce herself later, once Yash was by her side.
"Yash bhaiyya?" Mahi furrowed her eyebrows. "He is not here."
Yash had just texted Zoya that he was back home after his weekend business trip with Mahi. And Mahi was standing right in front of them, so they were definitely back.
"Did he go out or something?" she asked.
Mahi's brows furrowed further, "No. Yash bhaiyya is not here. He is in India, in Mussoorie.
"What?" Zoya's was confused, "No, he is here, in Dublin. He came a week back."
Mahi put her arms across her chest, "No, he'll come next month, in March."
"That's... that's not possible..." Zoya muttered in a low voice. What was happening? Yash had texted her time and again telling her that he was in Dublin with his family. Then why was Mahi contradicting it?
"Who are you?" Mahi asked pointedly.
"That... can't be right," Zoya ignored her question, "He told me he is here. Why would he lie?"
"Look," Mahi was getting irritated, "I don't know what your deal is but Yash bhaiyya is not here. He is coming next month for vacation. Who are you guys?"
"Yash was our school friend," Aditya chimed in seeing that Zoya was completely stunned, "We were in town and thought he was here. Sorry about that."
"No problem," Mahi had softened her voice while speaking to Aditya, "I can tell bhaiyya you came by. What's your name?"
"Oh, please don't tell him," he coaxed her, "We're planning to surprise him. If you inform him it would be ruined."
"Sure." She didn't pursue the topic further.
Aditya bade her goodnight and grabbed Zoya by the arm, leading her away from the house. They stood on the pavement in the dimly lit residential area.
"Zoya?" he shook her shoulder lightly, "Are you fine?"
Zoya could hardly register his voice. A thousand things were swirling in her mind- Yash had lied to her. He had never come to Dublin. He was still in India. But he definitely couldn't be in Mussoorie. She had seen him taking a flight to Delhi. Why did he lie to her? What was he hiding? From her and from his own family...
She took out her iPhone from her bag and with shaky fingers, dialed Yash's number. He didn't pick up the first time so she dialed again and again and again, all in vain. Yash didn't receive her call.
The confusion in her slowly started giving way to anger. Frustrated Zoya hurled her phone on the road. The glass screen of the phone clashed with the concrete of the pavement and shattered. She felt hot tears stinging her eyes.
Aditya, who had been quietly standing by her side, picked up the broken phone and put it in his pocket. He hailed a cab and when one stopped, he opened the door for her. Without saying a word she got in the cab.
The 20-minute cab ride back to the hotel felt like an eternity. So much went through her mind- happy memories- meeting Yash for the first time, the time he told her that he loved her, their movie dates, their romantic dinners... and some bitter memories- her father's words that Yash was not worthy of her, her own sense of something not being right ever since she came to Dublin and now...
Why was Yash lying? What was she to do now? How would she figure it all out? Would she have the strength to face what he was hiding?
She missed her family at that instant- the warmth of her mother's embrace, the strength from her father, Noor's optimism.
The cab halted suddenly and Zoya was pushed ahead, her face colliding with the back of the front passenger seat.
"Are you all right?" Aditya spoke for the first time after a long bout of silence. He then stated to the driver, "Drive carefully man."
Aditya's hands lightly grasped her shoulder and helped her lean back. She pressed her left palm on her forehead to soothe the pain from colliding with the front seat.
"Zoya?" he asked again, "Are you fine?"
She was anything but fine.
Edited by ErisedWitch45 - 2018-09-19T08:23:14Z
Topic started by ErisedWitch45
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