Mrs. Mehra came over running, white flour all over her hair… Dhe quickly ushered Radhika inside.
‘Oh darling…! Welcome.. I am so sorry to keep you waiting out in the cold. I just couldn’t succeed with my new pie recipe.’
‘Keep that box over there. you sure have some luggage. As a token of apology, I will get you some hot chocolate. Go sit down by the fireplace before u freeze down… Arjun ! Arjun ! Come over here ! You have an apology to make!’
Saying so, she hurried off to the kitchen. Radhika sat still.
‘This is indeed a big house !’ she thought.
The hall was big, real big furnished with super comfortable sofa sets and a clean and beautiful fireplace. Radhika stood up to examine the family photograph atop the fireplace.
‘So this guy does belong here…and he does know how to smile.’
The sound of heavy footsteps descending the stairs caught her attention. She turned to see Arjun walking towards her.
‘So he is not that bad after all…He sure does have the courtesy to apologise. ‘ she thought.
Arjun walked past her refusing to even look at her. He stopped by the fireplace and stroked the fire, swiftly landing on a single couch in the corner of the hall. He took out a Rubix cube from his left pocket and began twisting it. Radhika could bear it no longer. Her blood began to boil.
‘Call down Radhika’ she kept repeating.
‘What a rude guy. How could he just walk past without saying a word’
Before she could say it loud, Mrs.Mehra came over with a steaming cup of coffee.
‘Here you go dear. I don’t want you to fall sick on the first day. Now Arjun… ( so his name is ARJUN ) this is our new paying guest, Radhika. And Radhika beta this is my elder son Arjun.
Of course Radhika won’t be the first one to say ‘hello’
Mrs.Mehra seemed helpless.
‘So…Arjun I think you forgot something..!’ she prompted.
‘I am sorry, I thought you were the delivery man..no..woman..!, he refused to look up and kept working on his cube.
This was too much for Radhika. She had never been thus treated in her entire life. She desperately wanted to punch him. The air around her was turning highly electrostatic. Mrs. Mehra knew that her son was acting difficult. She found herself helpless.
‘Arrogant’ Radhika murmured.
The whisper was clearly audible to both Arjun and Mrs. Mehra.
‘Chubby’ This time it was Arjun.
‘Come on Radhika. Let me show you to your room. Don’t worry about the luggage. Arjun will help us with that, won’t you dear ?’
‘No offence Mrs. Mehra. But I think I can manage the luggage on my own. after all I made it this far alone.’
‘As you wish’, smiled Mrs. Mehra
Radhika bent down to pick up the cardboard box, gave Arjun one last look before following Mrs. Mehra upstairs.
‘Arrogant Gorilla ! Throwing insults…How dare he call me chubby ! 5 years in here…. either I pretend like he never exists or teach that fool how to respect women ..’
Arjun hated attending to the door. Today the time was just 6:30 in the morning and somebody was already leaning on the doorbell. He knew that his dad would probably be snoring and mom would be conducting her own battle in the kitchen. Putting on a sweatshirt and a cap to block out the light from his eyes, he descended the stairs and dragged himself to the door. Throwing it open, he found himself staring at a huge mass of cardboard.
‘Another delivery’, he thought.
Turning around he called out to his mom. Wait a sec… the bearer of the box wears high heels, cute ones too. So its a lady ! Oopsss !!! he had just said ‘delivery man’…
‘…Delivery man…huh…woman is here.’
Saying so he dragged himself back to bed. Once in his room, he realised that he couldn’t sleep.
‘Damn that bell !’
As he laid down staring at the trickling droplets on the window, the surprised and bewildered face of the delivery woman came to his mind…
‘Too young to be a lady, must be a school girl who decided to take up a part time job… but still she couldn’t spare his abs.’
He had noticed how her eyes fell on his abs… This girl is no different… Fortunately he had not stopped to smile or say good morning. He didn’t want to add on to the list of his stalkers. Women can be such seductresses… Why can’t they leave my abs alone ! He knew he was very handsome and rich…things treasure – hunting girls wanted. For the last two years, he was being stalked by a bunch of such girls. They were willing to throw themselves at him and he hated that… This constant stalking forced him to quit studying at St. Micheals. He decided to join Albama College and continue here, where he was kind of safe and could stay at home. His parents were happy with his decision so was his brother Ram.
Being the hunk in college and the most popular guy pressurised Arjun to join cliques. His was called the ‘Bramas’. Every member in this clique was to have a girlfriend. Arjun decided to have a puppet girlfriend- just for the sake. There were hundreds of applicants from which he selected Ishana – s*xy, rich, pompous, sophisticated and most importantly stayed out of his hair, gave him his freedom, and never demanded a serious relationship. All she wanted was to be seen in public with the hottest guy in college…
Love was a mystery for Arjun. He couldn’t get himself to believe in the so called feeling. ‘ How can anyone ignore all the faults and mistakes of the other person and accept them , all in the name of love !!!! Bizarre !!!’
‘Arjun, come over here. you have an apology to make !’
His mother’s scream broke his thoughts.
Now was she going to make him apologise for the identity confusion..?!
Dragging himself down, he found the delivery woman alone in his hall near the fireplace staring into his favourite family picture. She turned around to face him. Her chocolate skin was mesmerising in the light of the fire. The chocolate colour accentuated her eyes- black eyes. Her eyes seemed to reveal all her emotions. He couldn’t help thinking about how the curls, that had broken free on the sides of her face, could be held back. She sure did look angry though !!
Walking past her, her caught the smell of her perfume – Jasmine ?. He decided to settle down on the single couch after stroking the fire, hoping it would dampen down a little so that the girl in front of him with the chocolate skin won’t stand out. The awkward silence was driving him nuts…maybe he should have said hello… he needed something to distract himself from this girl. The cube would do the trick. Arjun found himself stealing glances at the girl in front of him.
‘Why does she catch my attention. maybe because she is different- well, certainly chubby and certainly not fair, but pretty ! Be careful Arjun ! This girl is no different….remember she was staring at your abs… ‘
Sorry guys for leaving abruptly…an important meeting just sprung up… got to go… will update soon…