Chapter : 2 (Together)
She went into the study. The door was half open and Neil was standing near the window. His back was towards her. She entered without making a noise and stood there in the middle of the room to have a look at her long-lost friend.
He was leaning towards the window and seemed to be lost somewhere in a world of his own. Very well. Here she was dying to meet and hug him tight. And he? He was just staring outside lost in some random thoughts. He didn’t even realize her presence. Great going Mr. Neil Malhotra. Looks like Mom and Arjun need to be informed about his ignorant attitude towards her. After all she was their princess.
Sam wondered if she really was a princess. Though Arjun and Piyali called her so, but Neil didn’t even look at her properly. She always seemed puny to him. A weakling. But she wasn’t one.
She shut her mind and observed him keenly. He was wearing a blue shirt and blue faded denim. He was looking as usual. Perfect. All sound. She longed to see his face.
Radhika heard him saying it and she blushed heavily and tried to push him aside. She muttered his name but all of it came in a breathy whisper. Arjun didn’t let her go. Instead he leaned in closer and whispered in her ear, “You want me to do it. Right?”…
“Arjun, Sam is here only. Did you forget?”, Radhika mumbled affected.
He seemed not at all worried about it. He knew Sam would have left the moment she heard Radhika cursing. Without looking if Sam really was here or not, he murmured, “Baby, she isn’t dumb like you.. She would have left.”
Radhika fumed. He called her dumb. But before she could say anything, his lips touched hers and his hands held her in a tight embrace. She stood there transfixed pondering over what was happening. Arjun was kissing her. This moment deserved to be a little longer. After all, it was her first kiss. He was going all the way deep down inside her. She had longed for his touch. His care.
But her mind stopped her from losing herself in his touch. His embrace. Him. She feared if he too felt the same for her. He was just playing with her feelings. He would soon forget that he kissed her. So she backed off. She retreated by pushing him away with all of her strength. He stumbled but balanced himself pretty soon.
“I’m going to Sam.”, she declared hastily and turned around to go..
It didn’t cost him much time to hold her wrist and yank her towards him. She collided with his hard front. “What?”, she asked without glancing him.
“Let her be with Neil. They have to sort out things between them.”, Arjun said suddenly seeming uninterested in her. She knew it. He would act as if nothing happened.
“Just wait for a few minutes.”, he ordered her.. He wondered why she always pulled away from him. And then told himself that it was good that she pulled away lest he would have been lost by now. In her. In her pure soul. Her innocent touch. Her expressive eyes. He sighed heavily thinking how crazy he was for her. But he smiled to himself when he realized that she was going to be his soon. Only and solely his.
Sam took a few steps towards Neil and he seemed to sense her presence as his body straightened.
“Hey Baby. Why are you standing alone?”, she asked ecstatically.
He didn’t even reply and continued to look outside. Sam wondered what was out there which held his interest.
“Are you still upset?…..”, she asked dolefully. He turned around and she saw his dear face after a long time.
Finally she saw his face. A square one. With downset eyes. Wide forehead. Prominent cheekbones. Pointed nose and lips like a perfect cupid’s bow. Rounded chin with a small beard. Tanned skin. Black hair all ruffled up in different directions and what else?
God! She almost drew his sketch in her mind. He was looking as usual. Hot and a complete buff.
She was after him again. Wasn’t she?
“Ya.. I am.”, he replied and turned towards the window again.
“I am sorry..for what I said about her…. Can’t you just forget it? Is she more valuable than me to you?”, she chirped out.
“First, I am not upset due to what you said about her and secondly, I am telling you for the thousandth and the last time that my friends are priceless….. But she has got a price tag.”, he stressed out the last sentence.
“Well then why are you still upset? Don’t tell me that you want some attention which Arjun and Radhika couldn’t give.”, she spouted..
“Can’t you just stop your gibberish? And why did you come now? You should have taken some more time.”, he said signalling her that he was upset as she arrived late..
She seemed to understand what he meant and went closer to him.
“Ah… I am really sorry for the delay. I just couldn’t help it……”, she replied.
He seemed bored of her and didn’t reply.
She continued, “Won’t you ask me the reason?”
“Why should I?”, he said with a tint of irritation in his tone.
“Ya.. Why should you? You don’t care. Right?”, she questioned him and his friendship. She would cry now if he says it again. It was so mean of him to say all that. What was her fault if she got stuck in traffic.
“I really don’t care.”, he grunted uninterested.
“Why would you? Who am I to care for? You care only for that hussy Erin. Don’t you?”, she complained and taunted him at the same time.
That blo*dy Erin. She was Neil’s new girlfriend. The b*t*h.
“Are you jealous of her?”, he asked and turned towards her. He suddenly seemed so interested.
“Why would I be jealous of that hussy? Anyways it doesn’t matter ’cause you don’t even talk properly to me. And she,….she is the only thing going on in your mind.”, Sam blurted out everything which was at the back of her mind.
“You really are jealous of her..”, he teased her.
“And you want me to leave her. Right?”
“I am not jealous. But I really want you to leave her. You just think about her. And I don’t like her. She just gets on my nerves.”, Sam replied wondering if he would really leave her.
“So you want me to leave her so that you get a chance with me. Don’t you, puny?”, he said smilingly.
Sam mocked a laugh at his reply. He was getting on her nerves. Like Erin.
“Think whatever you want to. But just leave her.”, she said annoyed at his witty replies. She had just taunted him about Erin and look here he was returning her the same flavour. After all he was Mr. Neil Malhotra.
“What are you guys thinking?”, Radhika’s voiced. Arjun and Radhika walked in holding each other’s hand.
“I was just thinking whether we two will make up a good pair. I know she is puny and a weakling. But still, I wanna give her a chance.”, Neil said and hugged Sam from the side.
Radhika and Arjun both snorted a laugh at Neil’s reply.
“You two will make up a good pair.”, Arjun said analysing Neil and Sam. Radhika nodded in affirmative.
“Oh.. I am so happy that Neil Malhotra is giving me a chance and Radhika Mishra and Arjun Mehra are confirming that we will make a good pair. I am so excited..”, Sam said sarcastically.
Everyone had a good laugh after listening her reply.
“So you both patched up?”, Neil said grinning at Arjun and Radhika’s entwined hands.
“Seems so. Arjun how did you shut her up? By threatening, hugging or kissing?”, Sam asked raising her eyebrows.
Radhika blushed. And Sam knew the answer.
“So you kissed her shut up. Aww. So cute.”, Sam said clasping her hands together.
“Ya. I wonder you too need to be treated the same way.”, Neil said and pulled her closer.
Agh..this idiot. Stupid. He was being cheeky again. And Sam didn’t like it. She liked the hard and sometimes rude Neil… Though his other side was as shameless but this face was just too much cheeky.
“Neil…”,she said looking disgusted suddenly and pushed him away.
“What?……”, Neil gave her a-are-you-kidding-me look.
“……..You think its cute. Don’t you? So let’s do it. Let me kiss you shut up so that you know how it really is.”, Neil whispered and chuckled to himself.
“Arjun…..Ask him not to irritate me.”, Sam pleaded Arjun to help her get away from Neil.
“I really think that you two are gonna rock together. Why don’t you two get married?”, Arjun replied ignoring Sam’s plea and instead teased her along with Neil.
“I too feel the same,” Radhika too teased her smiling slyly at her.
“Soon you will be Mrs. Samaira Malhotra. It sounds good. Doesn’t it, my princess?”, Arjun said and pulled Sam towards him.
Sam stumbled and almost fell on the ground but Neil caught hold of her at the right time and pulled her towards him. Great now these two aere gonna play tug-of-war considering her the rope ..
“Ya.. It sounds good. Just perfect. But Arjun she isn’t your princess anymore.. She is gonna be my queen,” Neil mouthed.
Sam’s heart skipped a beat at his mocking words. What if she really becomes his queen? But how can it be possible? She was going to marry Adarsh.
“If you all are done, can we eat something? I am feeling really hungry.”, Sam mumbled trying to free herself from Neil’s grip.
“You are always eating something or the other. I wonder how much do you eat.”, Neil didn’t let go of her. Instead he held her more tightly. “…..And stop struggling. It won’t help.”
Radhika moved out of the study and spoke in her saccharine undertone, “I am going to make pasta.”
Arjun followed her out of the study and Neil too dragged her outside. All the while, he didn’t let go of her arm.
They had their lunch and were now going to recall their time together. Arjun was sitting on the couch. Sam was lying on the couch with her head in his lap. Radhika was sitting opposite to Arjun on another couch. Neil’s head was in her lap. Rest of his body lay sprawled over the couch.
Arjun and Radhika were talking about something but Sam couldn’t get what they were talking about. She was too busy in observing Neil to notice anyone else. Suddenly his eyes sparkled, crinkling around the edges and mouth upturned revealing dimples in the cheeks.
He was smiling at God knows what. But his smile just knocked her breath away. Sam couldn’t take off her eyes from. He looked so nice whenever he smiled. She wondered what magic he had on her. His touch, his voice, his smile, his ever unexpressive eyes, just made her go crazy. Then a thought strikes in her mind, ‘She was crazy for his every single thing because she loved him.’
She remembered the day it all started. It happened a few years ago when she went to Delhi for further studies.
Sam was staring at Radhika since long. What did she just say? Stay with Neil. The rude & arrogant pisser. No way. Sam wasn’t nuts to stay with him. She knew she had no one in Delhi but staying with Neil? It would be the biggest mistake of her life. She had to pursue MBA in Finance and she got admission in the most reputed college in Delhi. Her luck was with her. But she would be a loonhead to stay with him. Though she knew him since long, but she didn’t along well with him.
“No way. Are you mad Radhika? I am not going to stay with him.”, Sam uttered in complete disbelief at her friend’s advice.
“Why?”, Radhika asked.
“We don’t get along. And you know this very well. Still you are advising me to stay with him. And that too at his apartment. You know he will taunt me and I can’t handle his high handedness.”, Sam growled complaining.
What did she just say? Not going to stay in his apartment? Did she mean that she had no problem otherwise?
Radhika just caught her there and turned the tide against her, “Means you have no problem if you both stay together. Somewhere else?”
“No. I do have a problem him and that too an unsolvable one.”, Sam said putting her dresses in her bag.
“He isn’t like what you think. He is good at heart.”, Radhika helped her put the rest of her clothes in the other bag.
“And he has no problem with you staying there. Why don’t you two clear your misunderstandings?”, Radhika asked.
“I am going to stay as a paying guest somewhere near the college.”, Sam ignored Radhika’s question and informed her about her plan.
“No, you are not.”, an elderly voice warned her from behind. Sam turned to see her mum standing there.
“You are going to stay in his apartment. Got it?”
“But ma…”, Sam stopped as her mum came nearer.
“No but’s or if’s. You have been knowing each other since long and its better if you stay with him rather than with a stranger.”, Sam’s mum said.
“You trust him? You think he isn’t going to do anything wrong with me? You think he isn’t going to take revenge on me for spoiling his project?”, Sam asked bewildered.
She couldn’t believe that he won’t harm her or taunt her. After all she deserved it. His taunts. His anger.
She remembered spoiling his project in the twelfth grade. He had mocked her and that’s why she spoiled his project when he was out of the class. Since it was the last day of submission, he couldn’t prepare a new one. His grades were affected badly. Yet he didn’t care. He just warned her, “I will teach you a lifelong lesson sooner or later.”
“Come on Sam that’s a decades old incident. He doesn’t even remember it.”, Radhika said and zipped up both of the bags.
“Anyways I trust Radhika. If she is saying that staying with him is better, then it surely is.”, Mrs. Khanna said taking Radhika’s side.
Sam knew there was no way to convince her mum now. Her mum believed Radhika blindly. Their families knew each other since long. And Mrs. Piyali wasn’t like those mums who believe that girls can’t have guy friends. Mrs. Piyali was happy to see Sam’s bonding with Arjun. Moreover she wanted Sam to be friends with Neil too. Radhika always praised Neil in front of Piyali and Samrat. And they both liked Neil a lot. In fact they loved him like Abhay. They even called him for a night’s stay. Radhika and Arjun too were there that day. They had enjoyed a lot. And what Piyali said the next day, left Sam speechless. She said, “Sam, Neil’s a good guy. I don’t get it that why don’t you like his presence. He is an ideal son and friend.”
Sam couldn’t reply. She had no reason to justify her behaviour with Neil.
“But Ma I want to stand on my own feet. I don’t want to take his help.”, Sam tried convincing Piyali for the last time.
“No means no. You are not going to stay alone. If you don’t want to stay with him, then get admission in a college here only.”, Ms. Piyali said and started unzipping Sam’s bag.
Shit Sam. What did you do? You want to go to Delhi. Don’t you?
“Sam dear we are worried about you. We can’t let you stay alone there. Not after knowing what the consequences will be. Please try to understand.”, Mr. Samrat said entering the room. And in an instant Piyali stopped taking out Sam’s clothes.
She stared at him for a second and then said, “Leave it Samrat. She isn’t going to listen. She doesn’t worry about us.”
Ah. Mum again started her emotional blackmailing. There was no way out other than accepting the offer.
“Okay. I will stay with him. Are you all happy now?”, Sam said shoving off Piyali and zipped her bag.
“More than happy,” all three of them replied in unison.
“Thanks Radhika. You solved our problem,” Samrat hugged Radhika and thanked her.
Solved the problem. My foot. She put me in trouble instead. I won’t leave her now, Sam thought. And dad too supported her. After all Radhika was like Sam for him. No. More than Sam. Sam sometimes felt jealous when he showered all his fatherly love and care on Radhika. But everything went happy when Radhika’s dad, Mr.Sanjay did the same to Sam.
Both the gentlemen pampered their daughters and loved each others daughters like their own ones. Same was the case with their mothers. Radhika’s mum would take Sam’s side like Piyali took Radhika’s.
“Uncle you are like my dad. And Sam’s my sister and bestie. So its my responsibility to look after her and help her. You don’t have to say sorry.”, Radhika replied in her ever sweet girly murmur and hugged him back. Piyali just smiled at them.
“Sammy. My princess…….”,
Arjun’s voice disturbed Radhika’s and Samrat’s father-daughter moment.
“Hey prince charming. You came at last. I was worried if I would see you before leaving.”, Sam said and went towards Arjun. How did he know that she was here? In her room? He might have asked Abhay, she thought.
“How could I forget that I had to drop you at the airport?”, Arjun replied and came towards her.
“You easily could have.” , Sam said in a sullen whisper and feigned to be hurt at his absence.
“Oh. Really.” , he asked surprised and hugged her from the side.
Sam was at the domestic airport in Delhi waiting for Neil to pick her up. Arjun had informed Neil that Sam was going to stay with him in his apartment and he had no problem. She wondered why everyone was so protective of her.
At last he came. At first she had difficulty in identifying him but soon she realized that it was him. The rude and arrogant pisser.
She was meeting him after three years. The last time she met him was during their farewell meet at school. After that, she went to Bangalore to complete her graduation while Arjun, Radhika and Neil pursued their studies in Delhi.. She met Arjun and Radhika several times during those three years but couldn’t meet him.
And now when she saw him, he had changed completely. The Neil she knew till the twelfth grade was no more. Instead she found a completely new avatar of his. The excited, cheerful, lively, happy & bony Neil was no more to be seen.
The Neil she saw now was all muscular and manly. Well defined jawbones, toned body and swirling black eyes were what she saw. Three years and this much change, she wondered. She couldn’t take off her eyes from him.
She wondered how the rude and obnoxious pisser appeared hot and handsome to her now. He looked calm and composed. Patient and uninterested.
He didn’t even talk to her. He just took her luggage and went outside. Sam followed his trail towards the parking lot. He went to his car and clicked open the lock.
It was a black shiny Aston Martin, she observed. ‘What a stupid you are to observe the colour and model of a car when you have such a masterpiece to gawk over,” her heart complained when she tried to ignore Neil..
He really was looking like a masterpiece and the idea wasn’t too bad.
Sam always said that she would never fall for someone’s looks but now it seemed that if he was intent to be like this for the next two years, then it won’t take her much time to fall for him.
‘Fall for him?’ Oh..What did she just concluded in her stupid brain?
Her thoughts were interrupted when he said, “Do you want me to take just your luggage home and leave you here?” She came out of the trance he had put her in unknowingly. He was sitting on the driver’s seat grasping the steering wheel. She cursed herself for being so stupid and got in the car hastily. And then they went home. To his apartment. It was the first time her heart skipped a beat.
Sam came out of her thoughts when Arjun shaked her. “Where are you lost,Sammy?”, Radhika asked.
“Um.. No where. I was just thinking about….”, she stopped when Neil cut her off.
“Me and our marriage. Right?”, he said.
She gave him a questioning look.
“I am getting married”, she declared.
“So you considered the option?”, Arjun asked playing with her hair.
“I am not joking. I am getting married to…..Adarsh Malhotra.”, she replied annoyed at their continuous teasing.
Arjun’s hand stopped caressing her hair abruptly. Radhika gasped putting her hand over her mouth. Neil stopped smiling and immediately stood up.
“What?”, three of them asked in unison.
“Ya.. I am getting married to him. He came at my place this morning only and…..”
“He accepted your wish.. I mean he has no problem with you being a virgin?”, Neil asked bewildered.
“He said so.”, Sam answered him.
“I can’t believe it. He is a player then how can he… I just can’t believe it.”, Radhika mumbled unbelievingly.
“I too couldn’t believe him but….”, Sam told them everything about her and Adarsh’s meet except that he kissed her. They all would fume and kill Adarsh if they came to know of it.
“I still can’t trust him. Believe it or not, but I think he has seen some profit in marrying you and that’s why he said yes for the marriage.”, Neil said.
“Leave it guys. I am already bored due to him. Let’s enjoy. I don’t want to talk about him.”, Sam said trying to soothe her besties.
Neil came and plonked on the bed. He was tired to death. All of them had been enjoying the whole day.
He laid down thinking about the day. He was happy to see her after a long time and enjoyed teasing her. But all of it vaporized when she told about her marriage. She was going to marry that bastard Adarsh. Neil didn’t want to believe it. He couldn’t see her getting married. He couldn’t see her with anyone else.
How could she marry anyone else. How could she forget that she was his. He wondered if these three years of slogging had a bad effect on her brain. He had told her many times that she was his girl. But she seemed to forget it all. Or did she take it lightly. His claims.
She was hiding something and it was visible in the way she changed the topic.
He felt restless knowing she would marry Adarsh. He couldn’t let her go. She was his life. His only reason. The only one he wanted to be his.
He had never ever thought of any other girl since he fell for her. Erin? She was just to make her jealous. He had a number of girlfriends but he was never in a serious relationship with them. How could he be when she had his heart and soul.
He remembered the day he saw her at the airport. He met her after three years. She had changed so much. She wasn’t chubby like before. But she was slender and pale. She was wearing a baby pink top and faded blue shorts. He looked at her from head to toe.
She was looking gorgeous which was unusual. Her wavy black hair added more to her looks. She looked appealing. And in an instant his heart wanted to have her. He had never ever thought about her this way. He sighed and shook his head.
He didn’t want to take off his eyes from her. But then, he knew he was being a jerk. He went towards her and carried her luggage outside without talking to her. She followed him suit. He clicked open the lock of the car and put the luggage in the back seat. She was just staring at his car.
He asked her whether she wanted to come. She turned red from embarrassment and got in hastily.
All the while driving towards home, he gave quick glances at her. She was busy staring outside. He didn’t know why he wanted to look at her. But he realized it later on when she drove him crazy with her mature yet sometimes childish antics. She was cheerful always. And he saw his childhood in her. And it did not cost much time for his desire to convert into obsession and possessiveness.
He couldn’t sleep. He was tossing in his bed when Arjun asked him,”What happened? Are you still thinking about her?”
“Ya.. I am thinking why is that Adarsh marrying her. He surely has some motive. And I am worried for her.”, Neil replied and sat on the bed resting his back against the pillow. Arjun too sat beside him.
“Don’t worry. Everything is going to be fine. We will find out what is it that he wants.”, Arjun said comforting Neil. He knew how much sensitive Neil was. For Sam.
“He must be after her money.”, Neil suggested.
“Maybe, but he knows very well that he won’t get a penny even after marrying her.”, Arjun said rubbing his beard.
“You are right. He knows it very well. Then what the hell does he want?”, Neil was irritated now. For two reasons. One, she was going away. Second, he didn’t know what was Adarsh motive.
“We will find out. As for now, sleep. We have to get to work tomorrow.”, Arjun said and laid back on the bed. He pulled up the covers and acted to be asleep. But Neil knew he too was tensed. Arjun loved Sam more than anyone. Even more than Radhika. He was so protective of her. He always supported her like a big brother.
Neil sighed and switched off the bedside lamp. He got into the bed laying down at his back. He closed his eyes trying to sleep but he very well knew that sleep won’t come his way for the coming few weeks.
Sam was thinking about the turn her life took. She was always happy with her life and now her life was playing with her. She loved Neil and wanted to be with him. Always. But….
She remembered how she avoided many proposals waiting for him. Thinking that he would come asking for her hand. But the day never came. She concluded that he wasn’t serious about them. The claims he made earlier were just to console her. This conclusion hurt her. Very bad.
But now she had to forget his love. Maybe they were destined to be just friends. Now she had to prepare herself for new life. New role. New responsibilities. New people.
She knew she would never be able to love Adarsh or anyone else. For her, being in love was a unique feeling and it happened only once in one’s life. She had felt it once. She decided that she would never let anyone else take his place. Tired by the day’s events, she lay down beside Radhika and fell asleep.
Little did she knew that one day someone else would try heels and toes to get that place. And would soon break her down.
Radhika was lost in thoughts. She was wondering what was happening in their lives. She was happy getting married to Arjun but she couldn’t believe that Sam was getting married to Adarsh. She saw Sam sleeping. Sam was hiding something. But she didn’t know what and why. She was very much worried for Sam.
She closed her eyes reminiscing their childhood and soon dozed off.
So here it is. I am back again with my boring and long story.
Am extremely sorry. Couldn’t post as I caught cold and was not well. But posted it now in the noon.
Just listen to the song “Innocence” by Avril Lavigne
“Purpose” by Justin Bieber.
Stay happy and healthy dearies. I know sometimes life sucks the hell out of us. but be happy and optimistic.
Live in the present. Neither in the stupid past nor in the senseless future. Real happiness lies in now. Enjoy every moment. God knows when you have to regret over your past.
So stop worrying about the future and live your present to the fullest.
LOL I have turned philosophical. Hope you don’t get bored reading my rubbish.