Pulling on the tall, stainless steel refrigerator doors, Priya stared
disappointingly into the empty spaces, which seemed to be a common theme
consistent within the cavities of each cabinet that hung throughout the modern,
sleek designed kitchen. Cold steam radiating from the barren fridge weaved
teasingly around her exposed legs causing Goosebumps to rise in protest. "I
can't believe this' What's the point of having such a big kitchen if you don't
stock it with food?" she growled as she began closing the refrigerator door and
mentally devising some other alternative for a meal.
"What am I going to do with this man?" she thought out loud.
"You can love him to bits and pieces'" a voice came out from nowhere
making Priya jump in her spot' It was only when the doors finally slammed shut,
freeing itself from her grip when she realized that he had been leaning against
the edge of the counter near the sink conveniently hidden from her sight.
"You scared me," she gasped, planting her palm on her chest over
his shirt to slow down her rapid breaths. He laughed nervously and scratched
his head. Pushing off the balls of his feet he regained an upright stance,
pausing only for a brief second before inching towards her. Her index finger
promptly sprang up to object his crystal clear intentions. "Don't you dare..." With
a devilish grin, he moistened his lips by quickly swirling his tongue against
it whilst continuing in her direction' "I'm serious Ra-." She stopped mid-sentence,
glancing sideways at the wall that obstructed her backwards path. Gulping
deeply, she stared into his determined eyes, her cheeks automatically flushed
with a pink tinge seeing exactly what was on his mind. He planted his left hand
on the wall before she could side-step her way to freedom. She threw in the
towels, realizing wisely that she was completely cornered and disarmed by his
gaze; the same gaze that had the potency to instantly turn her kneecaps into
blocks of Jell-O. This man knew what he wanted, just as well as he knew how to
reach the target in his mind and right now his only aim was figuring out the
reason behind Priya's alleged anger. He traced his fingers along her jawline
anchoring her chin to make her look up at him. Touching his lips to hers, he
ignited a subtle passion and than whispered, "You're shivering'" She closed her
eyes and whispered back, "It's you're fault for being so close to me." Slightly
caressing her cheeks with the faint touch of his lips he replied, "Are you going
to tell me what I did wrong?" Her hands felt its way up his bare chest; she
could feel his heart skip a beat. "If I tell you what you did wrong, than how
will you ever learn?" He crisscrossed kisses down her neck whispering in
between her sighs of pleasure, "I already know what it is that's bothering
you." Her hands ran through his thick hair, the ends of her fingers gently
scraping his scalp while her mind went blank, void of any smart remarks. "It's
because you can't get over how I treated you in the past and that's why you
can't enjoy this night to the fullest'" he sighed throwing a lowball excuse
before he forced himself to back off of her when he was convinced that she had
been completely drunk on his love. Continuing with the most innocent and sad tone
in his voice, he said, "I'm sorry, it's just that'" Speaking up as fast as she
could recover some sense from beyond the depths of her nostalgic state of mind
she disagreed, not wanting to further mislead him, "No Ram, it's not that at
all' I have no complaints about what happened or how it happened, everything
was perfect'I'm not mad at you at all, I was just teasing y--." The minute she
snapped back to reality from her pleasure trip and saw the mischievous grin on
his face, she slapped his arm, realizing how blindly she walked into his scam...
"Ram you are such a jerk'I hate you'Let me go'" She twisted and turned to get
away but it was to no avail, he quickly grabbed her arms tightly pulling her
intimately close to himself.
"C'mon Ms. Priya Ram Kapoor, you started this teasing game' Now
don't be a spoilsport"
"Leave me Ram'" she insisted'
"Never'" he said staring deep into her eyes to show her that he
"ouch, ahh' You're hurting me.." Digging up her sleeves, this was
the best trick that she found.
"nice try'but I've held you tighter than this tonight and I'm not
an expert or anything but I don't think the sounds you were making was because
you were in pain." She blushed with a coy glare in her eyes. Seizing the
moment, he curled his index finger under her chin, tilting it up to easily
capture her lips for no other reason than to kiss her so deep that he could
reach her soul. But his plans crashed before it even took flight' Just as he
was about to devour her, the sound of the obnoxious doorbell ripped every shred
of romance until it was scattered like colourless, confetti pieces in the
longing atmosphere that surrounded them.
A futile week passed by since Ram had seen his
brother alive. He was tempted to the core each day to inform his grieving
bhabhi that her husband was live and well. Each time he came close to saying
something he remembered the nightmare he had when he came home that day after
meeting Sid. In this convoluted conception of his mind, he relived the entire
day up until the point where he was brought into the bedroom where in place of
Ayehsa laid his brother Siddhant. He woke up in a pool of his own sweat and it
didn't help that he had a tendency to normally perspire a lot. Images of his
brother connected to machines for basic functions like breathing made Ram fear
the thought of shutting his eyes for even a second. So Johnny Walker was his
self prescribed sedation that allowed his mind and body a chance to recharge
forgetting who and where he was until he would wake up in the same cycle of
hell that he called life. Priya, Vikram and Ram worked closely on a couple of
deals but truthfully the majority of work was split evenly between Vikram and
Priya. Ram, who ran to Vikram to unload details of his every little problem,
now fumbled with a truth that was feasting on his flesh from the inside out.
Sid didn't know who set out to kill him and he had explicitly asked Ram to keep
his secret a secret. Although, Ram could bet his life that Vikram had no
involvement in the tragedies of the past, he was not comfortable enough to
wager his brothers well being on a strong assumption. Vikram, however knew
something was bothering Ram not because of any particular suspicion but solely
on the fact that he actually treated Priya like a human being talking to her
strictly when it was related to business and avoiding her otherwise.
The thing with lying on any level for any
reason is that if you don't want to get caught than
you probably shouldn't lie in the first place.
Yet the most cynical liars who have gotten away with years of fables find new
ways to dodge the bullet named truth. How? The secret is experience. But
experience can only take us so far before we face something new that leaves us
dumbfounded. Sheena wisely constructed a false sense of reality that Ram never
thought to question because it was coming from her. However, when truth and
lies finally collide the doubt created becomes the lethal poison that finds a
way to destroy everyone involved. The life expectancy of a lie is extended when
the person who told it is the only person who knows. For an expert, Sheena made
a novice mistake that ended up costing her the trust and respect that she had
garnered from Ram over the years. One afternoon Ram had left early from work to
question Sheena about the couple million-dollar cheques that Siddhant did
indeed sign out in her name before his planned death. When he reached her room,
he stopped right outside the door, peeking in uncharacteristically through the
crack that was left from the open angle. She was on the phone with someone and
judging by the enthusiasm with which she spoke it was someone that she knew
very well. At first Ram thought it was Mr. Mittal and decided to leave her with
some privacy to carry out a conversation with her father. But as soon as he
turned to leave he heard her utter a name that compelled him to eavesdrop.
Sheena: Raj, I miss you'When are you coming to
Mumbai? (she paused, presumably to hear the response on the other end of the
line) Yes I remember what I have to do next and I am focused but everyone needs
a little incentive. (a brief pause later she continued joyfully) Thank god I
have you'If it weren't for you I would have been foolishly bribed with gold, leaving
behind a gold mine like this mansion. And you know what? Each member in this
family is stupider than the last. I thought Sid was easy to manipulate but Ram ' (she laughed) Arey Yaar, don't worry' No one can hear me' (she looked back at the
small crack provided by the open door and as she came near to close it, Ram ducked to the side.)
The conversation carried on but in mumbles that
Ram was unable to comprehend. In a trance, Ram walked away from her bedroom and
up a flight of stairs to his personal bar. He definitely needed a drink to take
the edge off the stabbing pain in his chest. Two people that he trusted blindly
had taken advantage of him in the same week. The first person that broke his
trust was Siddhant and like the first cut that wound was undoubtedly the
deepest. As one drink turned to two shots and two shots to half a bottle Ram
was convinced that Sid knew about Sheena's deceitful ways, he knew
more than he made Ram aware of' Everyone knew more than
him and they had collectively kept him in the dark. He didn't know why he was so enraged; it was not like if they had told him
about Sheena, he would have believed them. But still his ego threw a massive
tantrum and the only person he could think of to blame was Priya. She had been
with him the whole week but yet she didn't care to tell him,
despite seeing him in such grief, that Sheena was the missing piece to the
puzzle, which he was so desperate to complete for his brother. Slamming his
fist hard on the bar table he wobbled to a standing position with its
assistance. In and out of consciousness he somehow made his way to the garage,
hurling himself in the back seat of the first car that his blurred vision made
"Take me to Priya's house'" he ordered the fearful
driver who could smell the stench of booze on him.
Meanwhile, Priya had just returned home from
work, exhausted to say the least. Kicking off her sandals, she ran her fingers
through her hair pushing it back and tying it into a loose ponytail. Slumping
down on the couch she exhaled deeply, shutting her eyes briefly before
examining the empty house. "Ma? Papa?" she called out, too lazy to get up and actually search for them.
Hearing her voice, Karthik walked into the living room holding Kush in his
Karthik: Di, you're home' How was your day?
The moment Kush laid eyes on Priya he had began
stretching his tiny arms towards her, rambling something in excitement probably
saying how badly he missed her the whole day. The pure joy in his action gave
Priya ample strength to get up and take Kush from Karthik, placing a kiss on
his forehead saying, "Aww my baby, I missed you
too'" Karthik smiled in peace witnessing a bond like no other he had
Karthik: Di, have a seat' I'll get you something to
Priya: (speaking over Kush's excited squeals) No Karthik, I am fine' Ma, Papa kahan hain?
Karthik: (sadly) Di, you haven't forgiven me yet right? I am sorry di for the things I said,
Priya: Karthik, what are you
talking about? I was never mad at you to begin with'
Karthik: Than sit down di' let me get you something to drink'
She shook her head and smiled'
Priya: okay baba!
Karthik: (walking to the kitchen
he hollered) Papa had his doctor's appointment today and
Ma went with him also. (he brought back a glass of ice cold water for Priya,
handing it over to her he said) Here you go Di' No one works harder than
Kush watched with his eyebrows knotted as Priya
took a much-needed gulp of the ice-cold water.
Karthik: (handing Kush lukewarm
water in his bottle) Here you are Champ' I haven't forgotten about you'
Taking the bottle from Karthik hesitantly, Kush
glared at it and than at Priya's glass and than back at
his bottle before he chucked it on the floor'
Priya: (trying to speak with
some strictness but not quite being able to pull it off) Kush ye kya kiya
apne? (Kush reached for her glass,
starting to whimper when she pulled it back) Aacha so ye baat hain' Kush wants to drink like a big boy in the glass. (She brought the
glass of water to his mouth and he nibbled at the top of the cup with his gums
maintaining a confused look on his face. Karthik and Priya laughed but he was
not bothered as he continued to explore the mystery of how to get the water
from the glass and into his little mouth; it was definitely harder than it
Karthik: Di, is it okay if I go?
I have to meet a friend.
Priya: Yeah sure Karthik' Why are you asking me? Go right ahead'
Karthik: umm' If you want I can wait until Ma and Papa come home? I feel bad
leaving you all alone like this'
Priya: (she insisted) Don't worry Karthik' I will be fine' Waise bhi, I have this naughty boy to keep me company. (she
smiled watching Kush continue on his quest for water)
Karthik: Thanks di' You are the best' (he kissed her forehead
and said goodbye)
When Karthik left, Priya walked over to the
sink and spilled out her water, filling her cup back up with something lukewarm
so that Kush could actually drink' She made him sit on the
countertop, supporting him in place with her arm around him and than she helped
him drink with tiny tilts of the cup. He spat out more than he drank,
scrunching his face with every little sip and making a mess on his t-shirt.
Priya watched him dip his hand into the glass, sucking the water from his
fingers, clearly not pleased with the results. Being with Kush gave her a
refreshing blast of happiness but for some reason there was uneasiness in her
heart, which was constantly restricting her ability to enjoy freely. It started
when she left the office and now it reached a point where she couldn't ignore the feeling; no matter how hard she tried.