I am finally back! AND YES! After all your support, I did take the decision for the one year leap! Link to the previous update: http://www.tellyupdates.com/bond-chapter-29/
“The dinner is served,” she heard one of the chef call.
“I’ll eat in the living room,” Sana instructed her head chef as she lazily sauntered into the wide living room and plopping herself on the couch.
Her entire family was going to the annual gala awards while she stayed at him, preventing herself from drowning in boredom in the gala. She sighed as she glanced at the salad before her, after constantly pestered by Sia for a healthier diet, she began to eat salad at least once a week and she knew it was the worst decision she ever made. Who knew salads were so gross and either tasted like dressing or raw leaves. She felt like a herbivorous animal while she ate the damn thing.
After Aarav had left, she had stuffed her face with popcorn for six whole months, to such an extent her family had to go around the city to find the flavours she craved for. Before leaving, Aarav must have informed the popcorn industry of their scarcity for flavours and regarding the new rise so that the people wouldn’t glare at her popcorn addiction like she was just dropped from Pluto.
Throwing her thoughts away, she flipped through the channel to settle on one of the news channels. In the matter of minutes, she would see what was happening at the gala without even being there.
“Aarav Ross, the CEO of the Ross.Inc, has confirmed that he will finally return back to London after a year long of tours.”
Sana sucked in a breath as she saw Aarav being displayed on the plasma screen covering her entire wall, his head nodding in confirmation and a ghostly smile settling on his lips. The fuzzy warm feeling was back as she glanced at those ocean deep eyes. They were hollow and conceived, masking emotions she was once able to determine without a second glance.
A year long worth of sliced her heart as memories flooded her brain of their time. A year passed but her feeling just grew stronger and anger was the most dominant one. She couldn’t believe that he was truly going to be back in another few days. Hurt flashed in her face as tears threatened to leak out as she stuffed another spoon of the tasteless salad into her mouth. A bitter chuckled escaped her throat as she wondered if he would ever come meet her?
She already knew the answer….Probably not.
Aarav clenched his jaw as his fingers began flying on his phone, aimlessly typing away messages to calm his heart down. He couldn’t pinpoint the exact feeling flowing across his body, he was in a messy turmoil of emotions ranging from anxiety to guilt to love. A year worth of emotions were trapped inside his body and he was finally going to let them burst free. He was going to meet her after a whole year and nothing in his body was functioning properly. It was a very wrong move to leave her after her confession. Very. It took his entire willpower to stay away from her, restrain his feelings to fix everything before facing her again.
For a man who has lost everything in life, even lost the hope on love, a girl falling in love with him was shocking. He had no idea what to do or who to ask as no one would be able to understand his situation. He had messed up everything real bad and before something worse happened, he needed to fix it. Having said that, he also couldn’t help but grow stronger feelings towards Sana. The past year has really taught him that having a family is utmost important and staying away from loved ones was not an easy task.
“We are here, sir,” the driver informed him, causing his body to tense up in anxiety once again.
“If I am not back in ten minutes, you can leave,”he ordered as he stepped out of the car, throwing his shades on as he walked through the familiar building as memories flooded his brain.
He walked through the front gates, running a hand through his already disheveled hair, as he sucked in a breath, stopping a few miles away from the front door.
“Mama!” he heard a small voice call out, a little girl run towards a figure in a long skirt. Aarav’s world came crashing down as he glanced up to see the women who the call was intended for.
“Cutepie,”he saw her pick up the little kid and toss her around.
Aarav froze as his eyes skimmed through her figure, her glowing skin radiantly sparkling underneath the sun, her hazels twinkling with curiosity and a serene laugh escaping from her as she talked to another women before her. He felt a dagger slice his heart as he gasped at the little girl. His eyes turning back into their ruthless form, hands forming fists and sparks of anger rising in him as he stormed off.
She got married. She promised not to, but she did. He was late. Extremely late.
“Arhaan, you cannot come here to hide for the rest of your life from university,” Sana said disdain as she picked up Arhaan’s call. The past year has really changed her relationship with Arhaan, ever since Aarav left, he had began coming over to the Sen mansion more frequently and cheering Sana up. As time passed, he mingled with the rest of the crowd almost perfectly, as if he was her brother since ages. Her day would never end without Arhaan’s stupid flirting or his and Saanvi’s bickerings.
“Why are you so tempted to break my heart?” he faked hurt.
“Running away is not how you deal with problems,”she mocked back, her eyes scanning through the front porch, she was sure she saw someone walk into through the gates.
“I already learned that from my brother,”Arhaan snickered which caused Sana’s face to leech color with the mention of Aarav.
“I..I didn’t mean it like that. Crap, I didn’t want to hurt you-”Arhaan scrambled away after realizing his mistake.
“It’s fine. I can’t change anything, can I?” she softly said, playing with the ring on her finger.
“Speaking of my brother, did he mention which hotel he is staying at?”
“Why would he tell me?”
“The idiot, where is he?” she heard Arpi Di yell from the background while she could see that Neeraj was trying to calm her down.
“All okay?” Sana asked perplexed.
“Yeah, we are just trying to find him,”Arhaan mumbled sheepishly.
Sana frowned as her brain took a minute to register the happenings before the words hit home,“He will be there in the next hour,”
“What? I know-”
“Bye Arhaan,” she abruptly hung up on him and took a deep breath before calling Aarav’s office,“I am Sana speaking.”
The minute Aarav stepped into his central building of the company, he was bombarded with questions and greeted with camera flashes. He inwardly groaned at the site before his security cleared his way while the journalists on either sides tossed questions at him.
“So, Mr.Ross, you are here after a whole year. Are you planning on staying here?”
“What are your future plans?”
“With so many new business locations, where do you plan on settling with your wife?”
Aarav visible stiffened at the word ‘wife’. Both of them didn’t bother to inform the press about their separation and he hell wasn’t ready to do it now. He sighed before stopping and answering all their questions bluntly, “Only time will tell.”
“Aarav!” he heard Neeraj’s triumph voice call out from the crowd as Aarav went ahead to meet his brother in law.
“Neeraj,” he warmly greeted with a brotherly hug. For the past year, he had received updates and help from the last person he thought he could trust. Neeraj and Aarav went onto clear out their misunderstandings and decided to help each other instead.
“You are coming to the auction this evening right?”
Aarav shrugged and blurted out, “I might, to see my family and all.”
“How long are you staying here?” Neeraj questioned with a frown on his face.
“A few months.”
“You are not living at home, are you?”
“I am going to stay in the hotel.”
“What? Are you insane?” Neeraj deadpanned, reviving his wife’s tantrums at the situation.
“Mr.Ross,” Aarav heard the indication that he has an emergency.
“I’ll be there,”Aarav quickly confirmed with Neeraj and headed back to his cabin.
He stepped into his cabin after a year and stared in disbelief at the amount of stuff lying all over. Clearly, Arhaan had come here more than once and all his games, university books and food was scattered all over the place. He skimmed his eyes to see that his secretary was alarmed and almost shoved the phone into his hands which read- Sana.
A deep yearning to talk to her swept through Aarav before he quickly shook his head and placed it back into his secretary’s hands as he pressed the loud speaker.
“Hello, Ms.Sana! Mr.Ross is currently unavailable but I can pass on any message,” his secretary said in a steady voice.
Her voice was still the same but seemed to be filled with more bitterness than he had ever seen. He heard Sana chuckle sarcastically before fiercely, “Bullshit, I know you are listening to me Aarav.”
“I think you are mistaken, he is no-” his secretary reasoned out but Sana cut her.
“I don’t live in the Ross mansion anymore,” she whispered and Aarav could swear he wouldn’t have heard that if he wasn’t paying keen attention to her voice.
He grabbed the phone out of his secretary’s hands and pointed at the door. He breathed out at her sullen voice, almost on the edge of breaking down, the vulnerability evident in the quiet whisper.
“How can you be such a coward? You are not meeting your entire family and living in a freaking hotel just because you can’t face me. How much more pathetic can you get? The minute the contract ends, you leave, just leave, without letting anyone know about your whereabouts. Do you have any idea how worried they were where you went? Well, I did. I was there and I saw all the anxiety they went through till they heard that you were in Denmark after a week. The minute you came back, you are putting them back in the same situation again. Can you please throw your ego in the trash and go back home?” she ranted out harshly.
Aarav sucked in a breath as he heard her fidget to say something else but decided against it, ending the call with a loud sigh. He ran a hand through his hair, how could he go back to the Ross mansion, knowing that her memories will be plastered on wall? How could he live there with guilt haunting him every minute?
“These are too good. I still cannot believe that you both did all these in the month,”Mr.Morris said with astonishment as he glanced around the gallery.
Sana and Neeraj smiled with pride as their paintings adorned the walls of the gallery, awaiting for their new owner. Mr.Morris and many other delegates came for the special auction to raise funds for Sana’s orphanage which was located on an island.
“It was worth it, right?” Neeraj asked her as they both greeted the final guests before making their way to their family.
“Totally!” Sana smiled, elevated at the turnout.
“I am going to end up buying half of these paintings,” Arpi Di fawned while Amay was helping Anisha, the little daughter of Saman bro and Nisha to walk.
“I am buying the one with Amay in the spiderman costume,”Arhaan declared as he placed a bundle of euros in Neeraj’s hand.
“Oh and the one with wedding one is mine,”Sia pointed to the wedding dress she had created a few months ago.
“The Sen empire building is mine,” Sid announced his choice.
“The one with Aarav and Amay is mine,” Arpi Di sternly instructed Sana while she rolled her eyes.
“This is an auction, not a sale,” Sana amusingly said to Arhaan, dropping the bundle of money back in his hands.
“Sana, come explain me your paintings,”Neha squealed and dragged her along to the other side of the gallery while Sana shot from her shoulder,“You guys can start the auction.”
Sana spent the next couple of minutes explaining Neha and Nia about her paintings. Both the girls seemed persistent on getting the one with the mountains of Switzerland and hurried off to bid on it before anyone else. Sana laughed at their enthusiasm before heading back to the side where her family was. On the way, she saw one of her painting with a huge sign which said SOLD. She frowned as the biddings were happening at the other side of the gallery.
The painting of a heart trapped in four walls. The image was painted from the top where the heart was black from the top but turned red it proceeded down. The entire background was shadings of black and red surrounding the golden walls. It was supposed to represent a person she knew, who she tried to break the walls of but alas, it never happened. She glanced at the money the new owner spent on the painting and gasped at the amount on there. Three million dollars?
This person must have been insane or extremely desperate to get this painting to bid such a high amount which no one could possible beat. She needed to meet this person before they left.
“Sana, the painting that you want is up,” Saanvi panted out as she dragged Sana from her painting.
Sana’s eyes sparkled with excitement as she saw the painting of two hands separated by a glass wall. Neeraj portrayed the idea of star crossed lovers in the painting which was truly well painted. The different symbols of stars and hearts along the side truly defined the phrase ‘A picture says a thousand words.’ To Sana, the painting was more like the portrayal of her love story and she fell in love with it the minute she saw it.
“Three thousand euros,” the first bid was placed and Sana smirked at the low rate.
“Ten thousand euros,” she announced which caused everyone to stare at her in shock.
“Twelve thousand euros,” another man, little over fifties, bid.
“Fifteen thousand euros,” the lady at the first increased the price.
“Eighteen thousand euros,”the man placed his bid.
“Twenty-five thousand euros,” Sana declared in between their competition.
“Fifty thousand euros,” they heard a deep husky voice from the back which caused Sana’s heart to flutter while her breathing decided to completely ditch her.
One long year. More than three hundred and sixty five days of not listening to his voice. All she could think now was how hollow his voice became, completely emotionless. She could hear her cousins gasp at the sight of him and it took her entire willpower to turn around. Nothing in life was more harder than turning around with the exotic beating of her hearts as her breathing turned hacked. She finally let her eyes avert the gaze from the floor and into an ocean of emotions.
Sana could feel her breath knocked out, her stomach knotting rigidly as her eyes locked into the familiar pair of blue ones, masking their emotions as always. Her heart ached to crash into his warmth as she took his appearance in, he looked the exact same except more like a walking skeleton. No emotions, no interest in life, just living for the sake of the world. It was quite clear he hardly cared about anything in the world but the icy blue eyes caused chills down her spine.
“We are running out of time. We request all of you to move onto to the next painting while the young couple decides who will pay for the picture,” the auctioneer decided to break the ice which Sana was thankful for as most of the people decided to head to the next one.
She smiled at her family in assurance, indicating them to move ahead, causing only her and Aarav to stay behind. This was the moment she was waiting for a year and now that it is finally here, she had no clue what to do or say.
“I am willing to pay Seventy thousand euros for this,” she curtly spoke, unsure as to what else to say.
“Hundred thousand euros,” he gravelly countered as he took a few steps closer to Sana.
“Two hundred thousand euros,” she breathed, aiming her eyes to the floor while she saw Aarav stop at two steps before her.
“Three hundred thousand euros,” he calmly argued while her nostrils flared at his cologne.
“Why do you even want this?” she semi-yelled as the anger buried in her for the past year began to burst out like a volcano.
“Why do you want this?” he cross-questioned and making Sana to look up and lose herself in the electric blue eyes.
“None of your concern,”she ordered firmly as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“Stop telling me what to do,” he said in a dangerously low eyes, a murderous glare flowing in his eyes.
“I wouldn’t if you didn’t act like a coward,” she shot back, knowing she hit a sensitive spot.
“I am not a coward,” he defensively said, lifting his hand to grab her but decided against it.
“Then why did you run away the minute I confessed my feelings to you?” she snapped brutally. It was high time they talked about all this.
“I left for work,” he blinked twice before calmly lying.
She chuckled sourly before retorting,“Saying the same thing will not change it into reality.”
“Why do you think I ran away from here?”
“You tell me! Why did you run away? Was it because you didn’t have the same feelings for me? Was it because you were too scared to break my heart?”
“I don’t find it important to give you answers,” he said in displeasure which was like a slap to her face.
“And I don’t find it important to let you take my painting.”
“I am glad you realized that you hold no importance in my life,” he called out over his shoulder before leaving the place. Sana was shocked at his blunt hatred and even more hurt by his piercing words.
She had imagined their first meeting after a year to go in so many different ways but never so..curt. The words hurt her more than the death of her parents and she knew why. After the death of her parents, she knew she was not alone, she knew she could find their affection in her aunt and uncle but in the case of Aarav. Sana knew she wouldn’t get the love she needed back. Either way she lost. She could possibly not ever get him to love her back or she would have to move on.
She sighed and gathered the courage to walk to down the gallery to see Arhaan bidding for the painting with Amay dressed like Spiderman. Ofcourse, Neeraj had made sure to blur all the faces out but it was quite evident to the rest that it was way too similar to Amay. She squinted her eyes as she saw her heart painting disappeared. She frowned as she moved past the crowd to find the painting to see Aarav exiting with the huge painting.
She gasped as a warm sensation filled her heart. He bought the painting? Did he know it was hers? Well he must, it clearly said in big bold title that it was hers. Tears welled in her eyes as his mixed signals registered in her brain.
What does he want from her? Why was he doing this to her?
How was that?! You didn’t expect their meeting to be all sappy, romantic and stuff right?! And I didn’t even bother to show all their sad emotions for the past year and cut right into the interesting part. Loads of misunderstandings heh?
I am actually really excited to see where I am going to take this and all of you COMMENT on how you like their relation back into hatred. This was one of the best chapters for me to write and I hope you enjoyed it too! Soo many painting, which painting did you like?