Joined: 23 October 2010
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Joined: 09 April 2010
Chapter 67: Relationships 101
Meher yawned sleepily as she came walking out of the hallway and into the living room. She was wearing a blue t-shirt with the University of Toronto Medical College written across the front and gray sweatpants. She breathed gently taking in the fresh aroma of coffee and something cooking on the stove. "Morning!" Ashlesha greeted as she handed her a cup of coffee. "Sleep okay?"
"Thanks," Meher replied and took a sip. "Yeah...sleep all right...thanks for letting me stay over."
"No need to say thank you. You're always welcomed and you should know that," Ashlesha said. "I'm trying to make a frittata...so don't how well it will turn out...it's got potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, and cheese...got a new fry pan yesterday...the kind you can actually stick in the oven...so thought I test it out this morning."
"Sounds delicious. We haven't even started our lessons with Gayatri Auntie...and here you are trying your hand at making a fancy breakfast," Meher replied.
"It's not that fancy...looked simple enough...at least what I gathered from watching the cooking shows," Ashlesha explained.
"Uh-huh, you aren't cooking for anyone in particular are you?" Meher questioned with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
"I don't know what you are talking about," Ashlesha gasped. "I'm tired of just eating salads and sandwiches...high time I learn to cook a few items." She ignored the smirking expression plastered in her cousin's face. "Should we sit at the dining table or at the coffee table in the living room? You know what never mind...let's sit at the coffee table...be more comfortable."
"I'll clean it up and set the table for us," Meher smiled.
Thirty minutes later, the girls were sitting on the floor eating of the living room eating their breakfast. Ashlesha shifted her eyes noting how Meher had suddenly stopped eating and was picking at her food. She knew something was bothering her but she had yet to divulge that secret. She was surprised when she received that call the night before requesting to be picked up. She could hear the tension and stress in Meher's voice but didn't ask any questions when she made her second request; to spend the night at her place. She decided it was best to let her settle things in her mind and get some sleep before gently probing what was bothering her. "I'm sorry Meher...if it doesn't taste that great...do you want something else to eat?"
"No Ash, the food is perfectly fine. I'm sorry," Meher replied. "I'm just got full all of sudden."
Ashlesha shook her head and put her fork down. "Is everything all right?"
Meher looked at her cousin knowing full well what a loaded question that was. She sighed as she scrapped her fork across her food. "Preet and I had a fight last night." Ashlesha simply nodded allowing her to continue her story. Meher told her everything that had happened and then lifted her eyes towards her cousin to see her prospective on the situation.
"Well..." Ashlesha sighed. "Preet is a sweet guy...but even the sweetest guys have their faults...no one is perfect..."
"I never expected him to be. I never said anything to him about how great Prem Jiju is or Harman or anyone else..." Meher defended.
"I know. It's obvious he's got his own insecurities and family issues that he needs to deal with. I think you were right to call him out on his behavior though...I mean how is he suppose to know you don't like it when he has one too many drinks in his system if you don't tell him," Ashlesha said.
"He wasn't drunk...it isn't like he goes around and drinks all the time," Meher replied. "He was just at that buzzed state...feeling happy but not overly out of control. I just don't like the fact that he still seems to flirt with the girls at the party...I mean he knows a lot of people...and I know I shouldn't be worrying because everyone knows we are dating...and he introduces me as his girlfriend. Even though he's not all over them...I hear him complimenting what they wear or how they look...I don't know why but it bothers me. And I know my figure isn't the best---"
"Meher Maan! Don't you dare say anything like that! You look fine the way you are...you're beautiful inside and out. Preet likes you...which means he likes everything about you. Don't go doubting yourself and becoming insecure about your looks. Half those girls probably won't look as good as you 40 years from now. Don't pay any attention that," Ashlesha protested cutting her off. "It seems to me that Preet doesn't seem to realize what he is doing. He's probably so use to being single that he's continuing to act the same way like he normally does at these parties. I really think you two need to talk."
"Right now?" Meher asked a bit apprehensive.
"No, two months from now...of course now, silly...the longer you let this fester the worse it will be for both of you," Ashlesha said.
"But how? I mean he may still be upset over what happened last night...I really don't want to argue with him again. Lalit Uncle doesn't really approve of our relationship and if he sees us fighting..."
"All couples fight Meher...that doesn't mean they don't care for each other any less. Fine, if you don't want to talk now then tomorrow...might be a good idea to let him calm down and think things through a bit," Ashlesha advised.
"Thanks Ash," Meher replied with a slight smile.
"Any time...now eat..." Ashlesha commanded.
Preet groaned and hid his head underneath his pillow trying to ignore the person who had barged into his room so early in the morning. He heard the curtains being pushed open and sensed the darkness of his room lightening. "Preet wake up!" Kulraj ordered as she pulled the bed covers off of his body. It only caused him to curl up into a ball and hide himself further underneath his pillow. Kulraj frowned and took the other pillow on the bed and used it to beat his butt. "Wake up my dear brother!"
"Aaaaaa...stopppp please Di! Just let me sleep..." Preet whined.
"Who told you to come home at the hour that you did?"
"Let me sleep..."
"Preet, you need to get up and help your brother wash the cars," Kulraj pushed.
"Cars? When did I say I was going to wash cars?" Preet asked.
"You've been assigned...now hurry up before Bauji comes in..."
Preet groggily sat up and scowled. He knew if his father had to come and wake him up he would be huge trouble. He'd be scolded for being lazy and then get nagged about anything and everything. He sighed and dragged himself to the bathroom. "I'm up...I'll be down soon."
Kulraj just sighed shaking her head and left the room to go and attend to her morning chores. She wondered when her brother would finally take some initiative and be more responsible in his life. His grades had gotten better only thanks to Meher constantly pushing him to study instead of running around partying. But now that it was summer vacation he was falling back into his old habits. He came home around 5am in the morning. The only reason she knew was because Tanu had woken up fussing. She had a slight fever and Kulraj was concern. Kiran immediately called the doctor's office when it opened at 6am to schedule an appointment for later that day to have Tanu checked out. They had experienced these types of things before with Rishi but it was still nerve wrecking to have it happen.
"Good morning Di," Harman greeted as he set the table.
"Preet will be down soon," Kulraj informed.
"Is Tanu feeling any better?" he asked with concern.
"She's still cranky. Kiran is with her now. She's still warm but I think the fever has stopped."
"I'm sure everything will be all right. You're going to the doctor's office later this afternoon right?" Harman inquired.
"Yes. Thanks for setting the table Harman," Kulraj thanked.
"It's the least I could do. I'm sure you're pretty tired. Why don't you sit down and rest?" he suggested.
"Heer is still on her honeymoon, Veera is in New York, and, Meher isn't here...Ma and Teji Auntie need my help," Kulraj replied.
"Meher isn't here? Where is she?" Harman inquired a bit perplexed.
"She spent the night at Ashlesha's apartment. I got a text from her last night," Kulraj said and then went to the kitchen.
Harman furrowed his eyebrows wondering why Meher had done that. His attention was distracted when he heard his cell phone ringing. "Hello?"
"Morning Harman," Maya sighed on the other end.
"What's wrong? Everything okay?"
"Everything is fine...well, not really but you know what I mean. I'm going to try to talk to Dad again," Maya informed.
"Don't push too hard. Slow and steady wins the race...so we just need to keep doing what we're doing and eventually they will see. Cheer up. I'll take you out for dinner? How does that sound?" Harman replied.
"Thank you. But I think I need to spend some time with Dad...he's been away on business for awhile," Maya said.
"Okay. I guess it works out better this way. Preet and I are washing the cars today...so I really don't know when I would be done. There are a lot of cars to wash...Ma and Bauji's, Preet's, Veera's, Kulraj Di and Kiran Jiju's, and Prem Bhaiya and Heer Bhabhi's, and mine..." Harman said. "I think this might take all day to tell you the truth."
"Wait I thought Prem bought a car for Heer?" Maya asked.
"He was supposed to but Bhabhi was protesting that there wasn't enough room in the driveway to handle all the cars. She and Bhaiya are going to school together and are also working at the hotel together...they would most likely be carpooling so she considered it an unnecessary expense," Harman explained. "The subject has been dropped for now but I know Bhaiya he'll find a way to get her a car no matter how much she protests."
"He's too sweet. Well, I'll talk to you later tonight then?"
"Yea, later tonight...it's a phone date," Harman smiled.
"Phone date it is. Love you," Maya replied.
Harman was about to return the same affectionate gesture when he saw Preet come strolling through the dining room. "Back at you..." he hesitantly replied.
"Back at you? Harman, say it properly. Please?" Maya pouted.
Harman smiled nervously at the request as his brother stood in front of him waiting patiently for him to finish. "Um, yeah...you know I mean the same thing..."
Preet stared at his brother and furrowed his eyebrows wondering why he was acting all jittery. He then smirked as he listened to him continue to hum and haw on the phone. He walked closer and put his arm around his shoulder. "So, who are you talking to?"
"Oh..." he grinned. "Go ahead'pretend I'm not here."
"What do you want Preet?" Harman hissed as he covered the talking piece of the phone.
"Nothing...just thought I hang out with my big brother...haven't seen that much of you recently."
"What are you talking about we live in the same house," Harman replied.
"Anyways...continue..." Preet smirked. Harman stared back at him unamused. "Just say it Bhaiya...you know she won't hang up with you without it...or you're going get in big trouble with her."
Harman narrowed his eyes and mumbled, "I love you too Honeybun."
"What? I couldn't hear you...it was muffled," Maya replied on the other end.
"I Love You too Honeybun."
"Thank you Sweet Cakes. Bye-bye...talk to you later tonight...muuwaah !" Maya kissed.
"Bye-bye," Harman replied.
Preet stood next to him holding his mouth trying not to laugh. Harman raised his hand preparing to hit him. "Sweet Cakes? Hahaha...great name...and she's Honeybun! Oh, this I never saw coming...haha-hehe..."
"Preet!" Harman yelled as he began chasing him. They ran around the dining table and then out into the living room. "Come back here!"
"I can't wait to tell PB about this...hehe..." Preet laughed.
"Like you don't have a name for Meher?" Harman inquired.
"Nope!" Preet grinned.
"By the way why didn't she come back home last night?" Harman asked causing Preet to suddenly stop running.
"She wanted to stay over at Ash's place...you know catch up," Preet replied.
Harman noted the change in his behavior and gently looked at him. "Everything all right?"
"Yeah, of course..." Preet said forcing a smile on his face. "Hey, I just thought of something...you think PB has a name for Bhabhi? What do you think it could be?"
Harman grinned, "Bhaiya probably does have something for her...I see him using a normal name."
"Like Baby?" Preet chuckled.
"Something like that but I don't think he would use that...makes it too easy for us to guess and make fun of him with," Harman snickered.
"Ah, so there you two are...it's time for breakfast. Go get Bauji and Balraaj Uncle," their mother said as she came into the living room.
"Haa Ma," her sons replied and obediently did as she instructed.
Prem walked out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist. He was busy rubbing a hand towel across his head trying to dry his hair. He opened the dresser and stood there contemplating what he should wear today. His lips curled into a tiny grin as he heard his wife enter the room. She was in her bathrobe and just like him was drying her hair with a towel. Prem watched as she titled her head to massage her wet tresses. She shifted the damp strands behind her shoulder and then gently tossed the back of her hair. Prem couldn't help but note the open v-neck view the bathrobe was giving him. Her creamy complexion enticed his eyes to linger and yearn for more despite already having that pleasure earlier in the morning. He was acting like any red blooded male gazing at something he wanted.
Spending the past few weeks alone with her without any family distractions was spoiling him and he knew it. It was going to be hard for him to adjust once their honeymoon was over. They had responsibilities to attend to for their families. Besides being the eldest son of the Juneja family who was expected to take over his father's business, he was now a son-in-law who had familial obligations to uphold, and he was also a husband who needed to be able to provide and protect the home he was building for his wife. Heer had responsibilities as well being the daughter-in-law wasn't going to be an easy task. There would be a period of adjustment as she would be expected to perform certain duties and forge some of her personal freedoms. It wasn't like his parents were going to have her under lock and key. It was a changing of perspectives thinking about and putting the family first before oneself.
Prem continued to let his eyes soak in the beauty of the scene before him. He traced every movement and stance she was making. His heart secretly called out her name wondering when she would finally look at him. The chocolate eyes sparked in exhilaration when she lifted her head and meant his gaze. A wily grin was spread across her lips in playful acknowledgment that his behavior was something she had expected. "So, what should I wear today?" he asked huskily.
"Clothes," she simply replied with dancing mirthfulness in her eyes.
"I know that but what kind and what color?" he continued to pursue.
Heer flashed a knowing look at his game but still walked over to where he stood and pulled out one of the drawers, "Boxers first. Undershirt if you want to."
"Ah, but what color?" Prem grinned as he grabbed her arm before she could walk away.
"Am I dressing you today?" she asked.
"You're not five years old Prem."
"I think it's the least you could do...after scrubbing your back..." he smirked. "Besides it would be kind of fun...I think it completes the circle rather nicely." He then titled his head and whispered something into her ear causing her cheeks to blush a deep red. Heer bit her lower lip and tired breaking from his hold only to have him pull her closer and wrap his arms around her waist. "Going somewhere?" he breathed as he gently rubbed his nose against her nose. He swiftly closed the distance between them before she was able to utter a word of protest. The enchanting trance that always occurred between them when they touched was mesmerizing. Prem let himself melt into the exquisite nothingness forgetting everything around him.
Heer gently gripped the nape of his neck letting her emotions go and enjoying the moment with her husband. Eventually they broke apart with smiles on their faces. "I think...you should wear the blue plaid boxers...a white tank top---"
"Okay done," Prem replied cutting her off as he stripped out of his towel and threw on his clothes. Heer laughed at his antics and started to move away. "Wait, wait, wait..." Prem pleaded and slipped his hands back around her waist pulling her into a back hug.
"You didn't let me finish," Heer explained.
"I'm here to listen but I think...hmmm...I think you should wear the black pair," Prem replied resting his chin on her shoulder.
"Feeling generous...I should do something for you too," Prem beamed.
"And what else?"
"Go put them on and then I'll decide what's next," he cheekily commented.
He walked her towards her side of the dresser and pulled out the top drawer. Heer grinned as she felt the belt around her waist loosen and the soft fabric falling away her body. She turned her head to see that Prem had his eyes closed. She grinned that he was giving her privacy to put on her intimates. Prem's eyelids flexed curiously but remained closed when he felt his wife take his hands and placed them on her waist. "Now suddenly you're being a good boy?" she asked as she rested her hands around his neck.
"Something like that," he replied. Heer gave him a tender kiss causing him to grin widely. "Exactly what I was hoping for."
"You can open your eyes now," Heer said. She giggled as he lifted one eyelid first to inspect the area around him before lifting the other one open. "So Mr. Juneja like what you see?"
"I always like what I see. Mrs. Juneja, beautiful as always," he replied as he glanced downward seeing her wear her black bra and underwear. Heer smiled at his compliment. "So what's next?"
"Those khaki cargo shorts and that dark blue polo shirt," Heer suggested.
"I'd love see you in a black tank top and jean shorts," Prem replied.
"You just want to be able to nibble on my shoulder," Heer said with an accusatory look.
He flashed a mischievous grin, "What can I say? Okay, fine...wear the red polo shirt then."
"Ahh, are we matching now?"
"Matching would be wearing the same color and same shirt and the same type of shorts...which we are not," Prem corrected.
"All right enough playing...I want to go to that cathedral and that museum," Heer said as she moved to the dresser and grabbed her clothes. She tossed Prem's clothes to him and then scurried into the bathroom so he couldn't disturb her while she changed. Prem just smirked and put on his clothes.
Sang furrowed his eyebrows as he stared through the peep-hole surprised to see his friend standing on the other side. "Hey man," he greeted as he opened the door. "I thought you would be chilling at home...resting after all that partying you did last night. How was the party at Scott's? Sorry I couldn't make it...had a gig to do."
"It's was pretty good. I think you would have enjoyed yourself. I got woken up by my sister to go help Harman wash the cars this morning. I just finished," Preet replied.
"I barely woke up at 2pm. Mom was not too happy about that but she forgave me once I gave her half of the paycheck they gave me for the party," Sang chuckled. "Come on in.
A petite Korean woman came to the doorway with a curious expression on her face wondering who was at their door. "Hi Mrs. Kim," Preet smiled and nodded his head in greeting.
"Oh, Hi Pleet...staying for dinne-l?" she inquired in her slight Korean accented English.
"I didn't mean to intrude...I just stopped by---"
"Call you-l Mother and tell her you'le staying for dinne-l. I'r make vegetarian Jap chae...the glass potato noodles...and haemul pajeon...that green onion and seafood pancake you like so much," she simply replied cutting him off. She then rattled something off in Korean to her son who stood there obediently nodding his head in response. She then smiled at Preet and left to go to the kitchen.
"You're Mom doesn't have to do that," Preet protested.
"Don't even'she's invited you to dinner...you're required to stay now. So what's up?" Sang asked.
"Have any of that banana milk around?" Preet replied with a shy grin.
"Yeah, I'll get us some...why don't we talk in the basement in the gaming room?" Preet nodded and went downstairs while Sang went to the kitchen to get two small cartons of banana milk for them to drink.
Sang swiftly came down the stairs and walked pass the pool table and into the alcove of the basement room where a medium sized flat screen TV hung and a comfortable couch sat. Three gaming consoles: Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation III, and the Nintendo Wii sat neatly next to each on the TV stand. He handed Preet his banana milk and then opened his carton by poking the straw through the tiny hole. "Cheers," he grinned and as he knocked his carton against Preet's carton.
"Cheers," Preet replied. Sang sat in silence politely waiting for his friend to open up to him about what was troubling him. "So, um Meher and I had a fight."
"Really? Over what...don't tell me food," Sang joked. He then stopped chuckling when he realized Preet wasn't laughing and he had a rather somber expression on his face. "What happened?"
"I don't know. She just suddenly got upset at me over nothing," Preet explained.
"Over nothing? Meher doesn't seem the type to get angry over nothing. Sure you didn't do something? Maybe it's something you didn't know you did?" Sang replied. "I know I get yelled at all the time over something that I wasn't even aware of that I was doing. It isn't until the third fight does Yuri finally tell me what I did wrong...it's quite frustrating. I'm always like why don't you tell me first before you start yelling at me...I can't read minds...which then leads into a whole other fight. Sorry, anyways as you were saying."
"Well, she told me she doesn't like it when I drink. It's not like I drink a lot anyways...I don't get drunk...just a little bit happy...and I don't do it all the time," Preet defended. "I'm not an alcoholic."
Sang held up his hands in surrender, "Hey, I didn't say you are man."
"I know you're not a drunkard. Trust me I've seen a few. My uncle...he's got some issues but anyways...I get what you're saying. You're not bad...you actually behave pretty well," Sang replied.
"I know. That's why I don't get it. Everyone knows I'm dating her'and I make it a point to introduce her as my girlfriend. I'm not hiding our relationship. I don't go and make-out with random strangers...I'm not hitting on anyone. So I really don't see her problem. I'm naturally a friendly guy...I say hi to people...I compliment people...that's just what I do. If I think that dress looks pretty on you I'm going to say it...if you're hair looks good today I'm going say it."
Sang shook his head and waved his hands suddenly, "Whoa...I get it...I get it...the problem...that's not going to fly."
"What's not going to fly?" Preet asked.
Sang paused for a second as he scanned his mind making sure what he was going to say was going to make sense for Preet. "Okay...it's cool that you're a friendly guy. But girls don't like it if you over compliment...you know they get a bit insecure about these things sometimes. Like they may start thinking will if you complimented her about her hair what about me? Don't I have good hair? Don't I look pretty in my outfit today? It's the whole body image issue. They need to know we want them..."
"Want them?" Preet repeated. "Of course I want her...why else would I be dating her? I admit sometimes I get a bit touchy-feely when I get at that happy buzzed state...I go to her of course cause she's my girlfriend. Who else am I going to hug and kiss?"
"Wait...backup..." Sang dramatically stated. "Okay...yes, it's getting clearer now. I know what's wrong."
Preet stared at him strangely. "I think you need to stop dating Yuri...she's making you all weird and everything. This isn't a quiz show...there isn't a right or wrong answer."
"You're wrong. There is always a right and wrong answer...according to them, anyways," Sang replied. "I still think there is that whole body image insecurity issue. It's okay to compliment but you got to realize she's you're girlfriend and having you being friendly...even though you've always been...to another girl just doesn't sit right. It's like if Meher was complimenting other guys for looking good in their shirts or something...wouldn't you get jealous? Or feel a bit hurt? Why is she paying so much attention to those guys instead of you?"
"But I wouldn't get jealous of Meher. I know I'm her boyfriend. I trust her. Are you saying she doesn't trust me?"
"No, no, no..." Sang panicked as his eyes went wide. "That's not what I'm saying. Don't bring the trust word up."
"You're the one who brought it up first," Preet stated. "This obviously has to do with trust if she's feeling this way about me complimenting people."
Sang scratched his head knowing this was getting complicated. "I think what it is...is she doesn't like the way you act when you have too many drinks...not that you can't drink...because she didn't tell you not to drink right?"
"Right," Preet nodded.
"You are by nature a friendly guy. You compliment people whether they are a girl or boy," Sang continued.
"But when it comes to girls there is a fine line you can't cross. You can't make it seem like you're interested in someone...even if it is an innocent remark...because others on the outside may see it as flirting. And no girlfriend wants to have to deal with that...having people question your intentions. So I think I got the first point covered...with me so far?" Sang asked.
"I think so," Preet said seriously processing what Sang had just explained.
"This brings us to point number two...you are her boyfriend and she is your girlfriend...with that comes certain privileges...hugging, kissing, cuddling, and so on...the drinking bit makes you a bit more sensitive to certain things...which naturally you're going to go to her for...but Meher isn't much of drinker is she..."
"She's drinks a little but not too much," Preet replied.
Sang nodded his head in satisfaction with the information. "Okay...so...I think she wants you to want her without the alcoholic beverage induced...um, desire..."
"Uh?" Preet arched his eyebrow at his remark.
"Think about it man...would you prefer kissing someone with minty fresh breath or alcohol breath?"
"Minty fresh breath," Preet immediately replied.
"Exactly," Sang pointed with his finger up in the air. Preet gave a reflected look as he sat there thinking over his fight with Meher and what he and Sang had just discussed. "Just let it sink in...you'll get..." Sang said as he patted his shoulder, "You'll understand soon enough."
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