Joined: 24 May 2010
Sometimes the only way for people to bond is when they are fighting against a common enemy. Camaraderie my friends is a magical thing.
"So you went out with Samrat?"
I frowned, brushing some hair out of my eyes.
"No." I said. "I went out with Chako Agarwal, which was disastrous by the way."
She spread some more confetti over the table. Suhu and I had recruited Adhiraj and Samrat earlier this morning to help set up for Nupur's bridal shower. Mayank wasn't forced to help because he was keeping Nupur distracted so she didn't come 'supervise.' Nupur supervising means taking over and then being angry she had to do everything. The guys hadn't wanted to help since they couldn't come but we pretended we couldn't hear their protests. They were blowing up the balloons, occasionally inhaling the helium and pretending to be Daffy Duck. I'm pretty sure half the things they were saying were not fit for Saturday morning cartoons but whatever made them forget they were being forced to help against their will.
Suhu straightened from where she was examining the table decor and shot me a look over her shoulder.
"You were on a date withChako but you spent the evening making fun of him and escaping with Samrat?" She asked. She didn't look disapproving... just confused.
I shrugged, not making eye contact. Not making eye contact with Suhu was paramount. She was like those gorillas at the zoo that you weren't supposed to look at directly because they'd take it as a challenge. If you didn't have an argument prepared don't challenge her. And I didn't know what last night meant. We had decided to be- What? Not enemies. It's really nothing but it had seemed like something last night. Did I want it to be something? Of course not! He was my carjacker.
"It sounds so mean when you put it like that." I pouted.
"And he walked you-"
She snickered, looking over my head. Before I could look over my shoulder to see what had captured her interest a shiver ran down my back. And then warm breath hit my neck.
"Don't let her make you feel bad." Samrat stage whispered teasingly. "He deserved it. They set you up with a complete loser."
I laughed, looking pointedly atSuhaani. That was right!
Suhu rolled her eyes, taking streamers out of the bag sitting on a nearby chair.
"He couldn't have been that bad."
"He was worse than bad." I insisted.
She rolled her eyes again. I narrowed my own. Now I was prepared to make a challenge about this one. And I had witnesses. I whirled on Samrat, tripping myself in the process. He had to grab my elbow to steady me.
"Tell her." I said, tilting my head back to look at him. "He was bad."
He grinned at me, his eyes lingering on me for a moment before he turned to Suhu.
"Bad." He nodded in confirmation. "He wanted to buy a house."
Suhu looked at me, wide eyed.
"What?" She shrieked. "Like for him, right?"
I chuckled, shaking my head smugly.
"Nope." Samrat answered for me. "He was quite taken with our Beautiful Gunjan. He wanted to shake up right then and there."
He cracked himself up and I smacked his arm, rolling my eyes. He released my elbow and took a step back but his eyes were still shinning with amusement. I hadn't realized he was still holding my elbow.
"He wanted to buy her a house?" Suhu asked, directing her question to Samrat.
He nodded, jolly.
"He wanted to buy them a house." he corrected. "He wanted to make sure there was enough room for future little Chako's." he added, enjoying himself.
"The world doesn't need any more Chako's." I said. "The world wouldn't last with anotherChako. And you're the one that put that in his head."
"And he was planning summer vacations together." Samrat continued, ignoring me.
"Oh my god." Suhu gasped.
"I know." he agreed.
I crossed my arms over my chest.
"Hello." I said, slightly irritated. "I'm right here."
They didn't even look at me. I huffed.
"And he tried walking behind her so he could stare at her butt." he continued. "But she was walking so painfully slow he gave up and let her walk with me."
"I wasn't trying to walk with you." I protested. "I was-"
I shut my mouth. I didn't know he was trying to stare at me. I thought he just didn't want to leave me walking with Samrat were he couldn't keep an eye on us. Gross.
"Ew." Suhu made a disgusted face and I was in complete agreement.
He nodded solemnly.
"I think I should screen all future dates for her." he said. I waited for him to start laughing but he was serious as far as I could tell. 'Screen my dates?' what does that even mean?
Suhu sent me a sly look and I busied myself with smoothing a nonexistent crease in the table cloth. It didn't mean anything. He was just being irritating- which just so happened to be his major. But I was going to have a hard time convincing my friend of that.
"I know how guys think, Gunjan." He said, turning to me now. "I'll keep an eye out for you. If the guy's being inappropriate I'll talk to him for you."
I was trying to decide if that was invasive or cute when Suhu walked away, mumbling some lame excuse about needing to help Adhiraj hang the streamers in the living room. I scowled at her back.
"I don't need anyone to keep an eye out for me." I said, turning back to Samrat. My tone may have come out a little... icier than intended. His eyebrows shot up.
"I'm fully capable of taking care of myself."
He nodded, holding his hands out in surrender.
"I know that." He said. "I've been on the receiving end of the Gunjan Bhushan fit, remember?"
My mouth dropped open, indignant.
"You named it?" I asked incredulously. The Gunjan Bhushan fit!
"All I'm saying is that I know you are more than capable of taking care of yourself. Quite honestly I feel sorry for anyone that tries to go up against you."
I rolled my eyes. I wasn't that bad. So I had a bit of an attitude problem.
"But the Temptations got it right."
I corked an eyebrow. What was he talking about now?
"Everyone needs someone to lean on."
I eyed him curiously for a moment. One night I tell him we're not enemies and the next morning he wants to be my protector? My shoulder to cry on? My someone to lean on?
"And you think you should be that someone?"
He ignored me.
"Do you want to play a prank on Adhiraj?"
He was trying to distract me. But it was so very distracting.
"Do you remember what happened last time you 'pranked' someone?" I asked.
He smiled apologetically.
"When you think about it that was really Adhiraj's fault." he insisted. "So we need to get him back."
I thought about it. He had been the instigator of the whole thing. And he hadn't felt bad about it either. He'd been teasing me about not taking Samrat's side before I even knew that was my carjacker. He thought this whole thing was hilarious.
We were going to get him!
"What have you got in mind?" I asked.
"That's the spirit!" He cheered. "So, here's what we're going to do..."
He leaned in closer, whispering his plan in my ear. I was smiling like the Cheshire cat by the time he was done.
"Too mean?" He asked when he was through.
I looked over at Adhiraj who was playing Barbie Girl on his new iPhone for the millionth time that day. He caught my nasty look and turned it up just in time for the chorus which he sang along with- loudly.
"Not at all." I assured him. "I think it's perfect."
Samrat looked very proud of himself.
"I'll take care of it after I leave here." he said. "We're taking Mayank somewhere tonight for his bachelor party but I'll get it done before then."
I nodded, satisfied with our masterly plan. Well, it was really Samrat's plan but I would have thought of it... eventually. Okay, I probably never would have but it was going to be sublime.
"So, where are you taking Mayank for the big night?" I asked, folding napkins and placing the little triangular sandwiches on them.
Samrat didn't answer me and I looked back at him over my shoulder. He was looking at the sandwich in my hand like he was in pain.
"What is that?" He asked, pointing to the snack I held as if I was holding rat poison.
"A sandwich with cucumbers?"
I rolled my eyes.
"Are you trying to avoid the question?" I asked, turning my attention back to stacking the rat poison- I mean sandwiches on a silver plater that Suhu had set out.
He looked over his shoulder as Adhiraj let a balloon go and it squealed around the room.
We both shook our heads although if he was in there he'd probably have done the same thing.
"I'm not avoiding anything." He said, looking back at me. "I don't know where we're taking him. Adhiraj planned the bachelor party. I'm no fun."
He made a face at me and I stuck my tongue out in return. He chuckled.
"No fun?" I asked incredulously. He wasn't a lot of things- Like mature for one. But he seemed like fun to me. Not that I would tell him that.
"I'm not much of a partier." he sighed, running his fingers through his hair. "Wouldn't you have to eat like thirty of those to be full?"
"Easily distracted are we?"
He picked some lint of his sleeve, not bothered in the least. It didn't seem like much bothered him ever.
"Sometimes." He allowed.
"So, you'll follow through with the first phase of the plan when you leave here?" I asked.
His eyes lit up.
"Yes, Ma'am." he saluted.
"I'll follow through with: 'operation change Adhiraj phone' ASAP."
"You've been demoted." He said. "That's a horrible name."
I made a face at him.
"Isn't it time for you to go?"
"Are you trying to say that you don't enjoy my company, Beautiful Gunjan?" he teased.
I put my hands on my hips.
"That's exactly what I'm saying." I said, feigning seriousness. "Be gone!"
I flung my hand in the general direction of the door dramatically. When had I decided that I liked his company? He wasn't all that bad I suppose. He was fun enough... when he wasn't stealing my vehicle and making me want to hit him. But he did that often. Make me want to hit him that is. Seriously, the man could make a monk angry. But when he wasn't doing that he was okay company.
He reached out and grabbed my outstretched hand, kissing the palm.
"I'm sorry, M'lady." He bowed. "I'll be leaving now to prank the big jolly friend."
My eyes widened and I jerked my hand back. It was the same feeling from last night when he reached out to hold my hand. He hadn't seemed to think about it at all. And I thought about it too much.
"Until we meet again, noble prankster." I teased back, hoping he didn't notice my odd reaction.
He just grinned, walking towards the door casually.
"I've got to go do something before the bachelor party!" he called to the living room.
I was going out of my mind. I had been sitting in this chair for two hours while Nupur opened presents and all the other girls giggled at the obscene outfits. I was turning red and I wasn't even participating. Well, I was doing my best to look like I was participating. This just wasn't my type of party. All the games were meant to embarrass someone and there's nothing good to eat. And if I knew Suhu there would be a male stripper knocking on the door any second now. Yep, there's Suhu starting to hand out the shot glasses.
I was trying to think of an excuse to get out of here when my phone beeped.
I'M GOING AWALL. THOSE DWARF SANDWHICHES FILL YOU UP? -Samrat
I grinned, saving the number to my phone.
TRUCK NAPPER! THEY'RE CUCUMBER SANDWICHES. -Gunjan.
"Nupur, will you come here for a second?" Suhu called, pulling a chair into the middle of the living room. "Sit here. We're going to have a special guest."
All the girls squealed and giggled, looking anxiously towards the door. That's my cue. I'm not sticking around to ogle some guy who gets paid to strip. They're so cheesy.
APATIZING. BUT ARE YOU STILL HUNGRY? -Samrat.
I typed this response as I was getting my coat on. There was no way I'm sticking around for this. I'd have to sneak out the back door since all of the girls were watching the front door like hawks.
My phone beeped and I checked it before it alerted my friends to my departure.
CAN YOU SNEAK AWAY AND MEET ME AT THE DINER ON 12TH? -Samrat.
I shut the door softly behind me and got my car keys out of my pocket, my mind already flicking over the menu. Hamburgers. Fries. And a strawberry shake. Take that cucumber sandwiches!
My phone beeped almost as soon as the message was sent. I furrowed my eyebrows, checking the message.
DON'T SOUND SO ENTHUSIASTIC, BHUSHAN! DO YOU NEED ME TO CREAT A DIVERSION? -Samrat.
I thought about telling him that I did need a diversion for half a second just to see what he'd do. I laughed lightly, imagining him dressed in black- propelling from the rough mission impossible style.
SOUNDS ENTERTAINING. BUT NO. THEY JUST BROKE OUT THE ALCOHOL SO THEY'LL NEVER KNOW I WAS GONE. -Gunjan.
I snickered. I got one more text before I started the truck(newly jump started) and drove off for the diner.
SAME HERE. MEET YOU IN FIFTEEN?- Samrat.
NOTE: I hope you liked it. Don't forget to Comment. What they're going to do to Adhiraj will be revealed in the next couple of chapters. Comments=quicker updates. :) Much Love!
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