A sleek, black Mercedes brakes sharply. There are beeps and horns.
Man: What the?
Driver (turns around): Sorry, Sir. Yahan maila laga hua hai aur bazaar b hai toh traffic kaafi zaada hai.
Arnav: Fine. How long will it take? I have a meeting in less than an hour.
Driver: I can’t say anything, Sir.
He rolls down his window and looks around. There are a lot of people around, laughing and dancing. It’s a colourful event but it only puts Arnav in a foul mood.
His eyes find a bangle stand, few feet away from his car. Khushi’s there with her friends, trying on bangles, joking about and laughing.
Rabba Vy plays.
Arnav takes off his sunglasses, looking at her dreamily. Her open hair and dupatta brush away from her because of the breeze.
Her laugh is so contagious that Arnav smiles unconsciously.
His eyes fall on his ring finger and his smile disappears.
Flashback – Six Months Before.
In Arnav’s Office.
Arnav (walks behind Khushi): Khushi. Khushi!
She ignores him.
Arnav (grabs her hand and pushes her up against the wall): Look at me.
Arnav (shakes her): Khushi!
She looks up at him, tears in her eyes. Arnav’s worried. He wipes them away.
Arnav (moves closer to her): Why’re you avoiding me for the past few days? And, you’ve handed in your resignation. Why?
Khushi (angry): You know perfectly well why I did that.
Arnav: I don’t understand.
Khushi: Then there’s no point talking about it. Leave my hand, Arnav G. I need to go.
Arnav: You’re not going anywhere until I say so.
He pulls her behind him as he takes her into his cabin. He shut the door.
Arnav: Now talk.
Khushi looks away but doesn’t speak to him.
Arnav’s angry. He holds her arms.
Arnav: I love you, damn it! How long will you make me suffer with your silence?
Khushi (shocked and then angry): Oh, right. It hurts, does it?
Arnav: Of course, it does! You didn’t even look at me for the past few days.
Khushi: You deserve it. You should know how it feels.
Arnav: Khushi, I–
Khushi: Please, Arnav G, enough of your excuses! When were you going to tell me you’re getting engaged, huh?
Arnav: Khushi, believe me, I was going to–
Khushi: The truth is, you can never refuse your sister. I’m pretty sure she must’ve suggested it and you went along with it.
Arnav looks down.
Khushi: You don’t love me, Arnav G. You never did.
Arnav: Khushi, that’s not true, and you know it.
Khushi: No, I’m right. True love gives you courage. Our love was not strong enough, I guess. You can never stand up to your sister, Arnav G. I know you love her and don’t want to hurt her, but what about me? Am I not important to you? Do I hold no meaning in your life?
Khushi (tries to smile through her tears): I got my answer.
Arnav tries to hold her hand to stop her from going, but she pulls it back.
Khushi: Please forget about us. Forget that there was ever something between us. Forget all those times we’ve spent togther. I’m going away from your life, forever, and I’m never, ever coming back.
Khushi feels a little strange. She looks back and her eyes catches Arnav’s. They look at each other for a bit before she turns away, her tears falling.
The traffic clears. Arnav puts on his sunglasses to hide his tears and rolls up his window. His car soon leaves.
Abhishek (concerned): You okay, Miss Not Interested?
Mihika (laughs, her sadness forgotten): If we’re ever going to be friends, which I highly doubt but whatever, I think you should know my name. I’m Mihika.
Abhishek (as they walk away): Nice to meet you, Mihika. May I ask where you were heading?
Mihika: Don’t push your luck, Tiger. That’s none of your business. Let me be.
Abhishek: Oh, come on! I can drop you somewhere.
Mihika: I don’t trust strangers.
Abhishek: I’m a Police Officer, Ma’am. You can trust me. Please, get in the car.
Mihika: Kehne ko toh koi b Police Officer bun jata hai. Do I look stupid enough to believe you?
Abhishek: A bit, yes.
Mihika (gasps and pushes past him): Excuse me. You’re not worth my time. I’m getting late.
Abhishek: Where will you go all alone? I’ll come with you.
Mihika: With the way you’re insisting, I’m pretty sure my family must have hired you to drag me back home. Well, guess what, Mister? That won’t happen. I’m not coming with you.
Abhishek (stands infront of her): I can’t take you back even if I want to. Believe me.
Mihika: Get out of my way.
Abhishek: Listen, Mihika. Mr Raizada said your life might be in danger and he told me to be with you at all times. I’m sorry, but I can’t leave you alone. You’ll have to come with me.
Mihika: You listen to me loud and clear, Mister, because I’m tired of repeating it. I’ve said I’m not coming with you, so I’m not coming. That’s it. End of discussion.
Abhishek (angry): Fine. Don’t blame me for what I’m about to do next.
Abhishek picks her up bridal style. Mihika shouts and yells, punching him and kicking her legs, but it doesn’t bother him. He puts her in the jeep and handcuffs her to the seat.
Abhishek: There. Now, you won’t be able to move.
Mihika: You . . ..
Mihika flinches and blinks at him.
He fastens her seatbelt for her and accidentally comes too close to her lips. They share a little moment, staring in each other’s eyes, a little mesmerised.
Shocked, Abhishek moves away first and comes to the driver’s side, starting the jeep and soon driving it on the road.
Mihika’s still quiet, confused about before.
Abhishek: Here’s my ID card, in case you’re still in a doubt.
Mihika (rolls eyes): And, in case you’re dumb, let me spell it out for you. People can fake their identity these days. It’s too easy for them.
Abhishek (glares at her): I’m an honest man.
Mihika (shifts to sit in a comfortable position): And, I’m trained in self-defence. I’m fully prepared and equipped to take down anyone. Don’t you dare try anything on me.
Abhishek: I wouldn’t dream of it. You’re not my type anyway.
Mihika (scoffs): You’re only saying that because you can’t handle me.
Abhishek (sarcastically): Yes, that’s why you’re handcuffed.
Mihika glares at him.
Mihika: Where are you taking me?
Abhishek: Out of the city. I’ll book a hotel room for you where you’ll stay for the next couple of days.
Mihika: No! I did NOT run away to stay in a hotel. It’ll be too boring. Please, let’s go somewhere else. Let’s go on a roadtrip. Please!
Abhishek: I’m sorry, but I can’t compromise with your safety.
Mihika: Please, Abhishek. Try and understand. I don’t want to be stuck there doing nothing. I want to live free for the last few days of my single life. Besides, you’ll be with me.
Abhishek sighs and stares at her for a bit. Her teary eyes startles him and he looks away, his jaw clenching. He stops the jeep on the road side.
Abhishek: Fine. Where do you want to go?
Mihika (grins): Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Mihika grabs him and pulls him close, kissing his cheek. Abhishek’s surprised. He touches his cheek as he looks into his eyes. Mihika’s equally shocked over her actions.
She looks away first and puts her hair behind her ear with her free hand, clearing her throat.
Mihika: If you’re really a Police Officer, like you claim to be, do you think you can crack my case?
Abhishek: As in, I need to try and find out the real reason of why you ran away? Is that a challenge?
Mihika: Take it as one.
Abhishek (nods): Okay, sure. What’ll I get if I win?
Mihika: Can you open the handcuffs first? It’s irritating me.
Abhishek: Tum bhaago gi toh nai?
Mihika: I promise.
Abhishek unlocks the handcuffs and Mihika hisses, inspecting her tender wrist.
Abhishek glances at her hand and feels guilty. He takes out the first aid box from the dashboard and applies ointment on her wrist, blowing on it. Mihika looks at him as he does that.
Mihika (thinks): Yeh kya kar rahi hai, Miku? You’re about to get married.Tu toh Arnav sy pyaar karti hai, then why’re you feeling so . . . safe and comfortable around this stranger? A handsome one at that.
Abhishek: It’s done.
He puts the box back in its place.
Mihika (looks at the bandage): Looks neat. Anyway, if you figure out the real reason of why I’ve run away, then I’ll do whatever you want me to.
Abhishek: You won’t go back on your words, right?
Mihika: As long as you don’t take the advantage of it, I won’t.
Abhishek: Fine, okay. Tell me then, where’s our first stop?
Mihika: I want to see the Taj Mahal.
Abhishek: Are you mad? That’s about 4 hours away from here.
Mihika: You’re forgetting something, Abhishek. You’re my bodyguard, my personal driver for the next few days. You might as well enjoy the time while you’re stuck with me, and stop complaining at every little thing. Gosh, you’re so uptight.
Abhishek (thinks): God, aap nay kahan passa diya mujhe.
Abhishek (makes a face): Okay.
He starts the jeep again. Mihika smirks.
Mihika (thinks): Ab maaza aaye ga.
YES! I managed to write the next part. I hope I continue to update as regularly as I’m doing right now. What did you think about this one?