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Joined: 17 February 2008
Kashish got into her new clothes with a new zeal and new determination. Instead of tight fitting jeans, she bought nice well fitted knee length skirts and formal blouses for office and more trendy ones and flared skirts for Akshay. Ridhima helped her track down Akshay and Kashish managed to be at some public places where he would be at. Kashish desperately wanted her new ploy to work, she practiced walking and talking in front of the mirror. Even her new job helped as she had to converse with a lot of people. All in all Kashish felt optimistic every time she was at a place where Akshay was.
But it wasn't enough after all. Even if they were at the same place, Akshay only seemed to have eyes for his new girlfriend and she was too intimidating for Kashish to approach when she was around. On the other hand whenever she did approach Akshay he would say no more than a 'Hi' and then ignore her.
A month passed and Kashish was now growing desperate. Her parents were pressurizing her for returning and also wanted to know why her future in-laws haven't called in yet. Akshay just didn't seem to be seeing Kashish no matter what she did. By the month's end, she was at end of her wits and ready to give up.
She had tried everything, everything she and Ridhima could think of to make Akshay notice her, new look, new attitude, new personality. Now there was nothing left. Dejected Kashish poured all her woes to Ridhima one evening and she soothed her.
"I just don't know anymore Ridhima I just don't know! Tell me what to do, god I-" the phone rang before she could complete her sentence and Kashish moaned when she saw the number on her caller id. Her father was calling her again, asking for the latest update.
"Shh don't worry, I have an idea for your father." Ridhima patted her head and picked up the phone.
After the usual formalities, Ridhima spun a wonderful tale of how hard Kashish was working for the campaign and how invaluable an asset she had become at the office. It just wouldn't d for Kashish to leave everything and rush back to India like that. Kashish had to stay and her leaving might mean the mayor losing his second term at office.
Highly impressed and never doubting that their daughter could lie so much Kashish's parents told Ridhima to congratulate Kashish on her success and gave her permission to stay until the elections were over which was another 3 months.
"I hate myself!!!" Kashish howled as soon as Ridhima put down the receiver.
Ridhima tried to calm her down, but Kashish just couldn't help herself. She hated lying t her parents. Other than being strict they were the best, they never denied her anything inside the rules they had set. She was never left wanting for anything. She had every comfort a girl could dream of. And here she was lying shamelessly through her teeth. She couldn't even begin to imagine what would happen if her parents were to find out about her deceit. Her mother would die of mortification and her father would never even look at her again.
"The mayor would lose if not for me? Ridhima I hardly work 5 hours at that place!! And all I do is assistant work! I bring coffee, make sure everyone has all the papers they want, make copies, send things for printing. I am just labor, not management. Oh god, I'll go to hell for doing this. I will won't I? Gosh I am so pathetic. Why am I whining? You must hate me too by now. All I do is cry and ask for things. I am so spineless. I am so sorry Ridhima I am such a bother. I don't know how you tolerate all my stupid demands. I am a horrible person. Weak, pathetic, horrible!" Kashish sobbed into her favorite crying pillow. Yes she had a crying pillow by now.
"Ow Kashishhh. Baby don't cry. I love you, don't you know that? That's why I can't ever hate you. Yes, sometimes you irritate me highly but… you know I never had any siblings. I grew up in boarding schools with rich snooty kids who never made friends with me. You are the first person I am sharing an apartment, clothes, food, rent, advice, fun, sorrow, everything with. How can I hate you for that huh? I lied coz I don't want you to go for myself ok? I never realized how lonely I was before you came. I love you just the way you are; sweet, innocent and fragile. Someone made to be taken care of. I even admire that stubborn streak of yours. Don't lose it now. We'll think of something."
Kashish sniffed and peaked from behind her pillow with her red nose and huge brown eyes, "You really mean it?"
Ridhima smiled and pulled Kashish into a hug, "Ofcourse I do. I adore you like my little sister ok? Now listen. I have a new plan."
"Ok." Kashish sniffed once more and wiped away all her tears and doubts.
"Now we've tried casual encounter and we've tried keeping it light. Maybe you need to be more aggressive now. You know.. Like suppose if you were talking to him and this Jennifer walked by, would she wait for you to finish your conversation before intruding? No, so you don't either. No, don't confront her. Get him when he is alone, but don't just say hi and nice weather to him. Confront him, act boldly. Compliment him. Ask him how you look, no, infact tell him to compliment you on your look. That's what the other woman would have done. Take control. Talk to him about whatever comes to your mind like you own him and the whole world. And when you run out of things, behave like you're bored and leave. We don't let him think that we are running after him anymore. You understand what I am trying to say?"
"You want me to become a person with Jennifer- Scarlett personality."
"Honey, sorry to disappoint you, but sometimes I have this feeling that if Scarlett was born in our times, then she probably would have turned out much more like Jennifer than you."
Kashish nodded her head, looking sad. She wasn't sad coz of how difficult the whole thing was going to be. She was sad coz she didn't want to pretend that much. Sure she could become more bold, but that was just developing her personality. But acting like a completely different person, made her feel like a fraud, moreover she wanted Akshay to accept her for who she was and not as a carbon copy of someone else.
Again with the whining, get a Grip! Kashish scolded herself and pulled her thoughts into more cheerful mode.
"Ok coach. So how do I behave like a total manner less, rude-"
"B*tch? I can coach you well on that!" Ridhima said with a wicked gleam in her eyes and they started making plans.
The plan was simple and totally workable, both the woman agreed on that. And it had looked much better when it had been in the planning stages. Right now on execution stage, Kashish wasn't so crazy about it.
Kashish played with the hem of her top as she sat on the park bench. They had carefully selected her dress for today. Kashish had expressed fears about changing too much so Ridhima had suggested something more closer to Kashish's taste of clothes, but a lot more attitude. She was wearing a straight cut deep blue denim skirt which reached just below knees and smart corset style white top with little puffed sleeves and a slightly lowered neckline. It showed off her figure to the best, gave her a modern, sexy look and yet managed to cover up as much Kashish wanted. Her creamy complexion looked like ivory in early morning light and made her look extremely delicate and fragile. While her long black hair whipped around her face in the wind giving a wild feeling about her.
Not that Kashish realized any such thing about herself, in her nervousness. Kashish paid rapt attention to the early morning joggers in the park, eagerly waiting and equally dreading Akshay's arrival. Today was it. She would confront him. Yes she would. Kashish reminded herself firmly. She got up, walked around a circle and then again sat down full of nerves and dread.
"Kashish? Is that you?" Kashish heard Akshay's breathless voice from somewhere behind, she immediately got up and whipped around with a ready smile on her face.
"Akshay! You jog here!" Kashish gushed and walked over to him quickly. Getting more nervous with each step, to her Akshay looked absolutely divine in his sweat drenched hair and his jogging suite. All manly and earthly.
"I can't believe you are here Kashish." Akshay said after recovering some of his breath. What could have come out as a happy exclamation, came out as snide accusation.
Kashish blanched at Akshay's tone and took an involuntary step back, her alarm grew even more as Akshay gave her once over with disdainful eyes and snorted after it, "Really! Who do you think you can impress like that? You really are thick skinned and my god don't you even have a mirror?"
Growing hot and cold with every word, Kashish flinched inwardly. She had gone to great lengths, such great lengths to prepare for today and here she was being mocked, laughed upon and put down as if she was cheap little nothing.
Well it's not true! Kashish resolved and opened her mouth to tell Akshay he was wrong. To say the speech she had prepared.
"Oh close your mouth Kashish you look stupid gasping for air like that. It's not like you have anything to say for yourself. I mean I was ok with you trying to follow me around, but this is stalking Kashish! We are over. Which part you don't get? I thought you were really ok and just wanted to be friends but has to stop now. God you are so annoying! And please don't cry now."
Kashish had closed her mouth and bit hard on her inner lips when Akshay had been speaking, but now she made another attempt to deny what he was saying. Atleast she was not going to cry!
"Oh please don't again start with your gasping!" Akshay said irritably as Kashish opened her mouth once again. "Seriously. Do you know what all this looks like? This is park Kashish, people come here to exercise, you could have atleast chosen a better place to stalk me at. Now you know you have ruined my whole day."
Kashish thought of apologizing for that. She hadn't wanted to spoil his entire day, hadn't even guessed that this might spoil his entire day.
"Are you trying to speak Kashish? Is that what that weird opening and closing your mouth thing is? You have something to say for yourself? Are you gonna deny that you are here for me? Huh? C'mon speak up Kashish." Akshay voice bordering from being just highly condescending to ruthless taunting.
But this time Kashish kept her lips sealed shut. Indeed she didn't have a thing to say. Instinct told her to deny his accusation, preserve whatever respect she could and run away with it. But a red haze was covering up her brain, clogging up her thought process, preventing her from speaking and also from leaving. Red haze, an angry red haze.
Akshay had nothing but methodically destroyed everything she had held precious. Her trust with her parents. Her quite, simple life. Her heart. Her self-image, confidence and personality. If he had his way she would be a real, stuttering, little fool by now.
"Well?" Akshay snapped at her demanding an explanation which Kashish was highly reluctant to give now.
"Well what?" Kashish snapped back. Quite surprised but nonetheless pleased with her tone.
"Say something!" Akshay took a step towards her looking quite angry.
Kashish didn't budge or even flinch at his moment. He couldn't do much more damage than what he already had.
"Oh, am I allowed to speak now? You don't think I am gasping for air any longer?" Kashish spoke in mean voice, she had never thought herself capable of. By the surprised look that quickly passed over Akshay's face neither had he.
"Did that b*tch of a cousin of yours give you a speech lesson too?" Akshay sneered. The red haze in Kashish's mind covered her vision, she saw red and her something snapped inside her. Never in her life had she felt this low, this desperate, this angry all due to one person and now he dared to attack her family too. To call Ridhima a b*tch just couldn't be forgiven. Kashish may have doubts about herself, but none about Ridhima.
"If you want me to reply to any of your questions. You better not call Ridhima anymore names." Kashish glared at Akshay ready to stare him down, her voice hardly even.
"Yeah? What if I don't?" Akshay said trying to bait Kashish, but thought of something and abruptly changed topic, "Whatever. I don't care about her or you, you already wasted my morning. I am going!" he huffed moving away.
But Kashish just couldn't let him have the last word. He had being enjoying that privilege for quite some time now.
"Well I never stopped you; I think you managed to waste it all by your gloating self." Kashish said and fought the immediate need to cover her mouth with her hand. She had just called him names but she wasn't going to cower anymore. Kashish didn't apologize and maintained her steady glare.
"What did you say? Are you implying that I am the one running after you here in the-"
"All I am saying is that, you stopped first and called me. I didn't even know you were here until you called my attention."
"Is that so? Are you saying that you are not here to see me?" Akshay sneered some more hoping to embarrass Kashish further.
"Yes I am saying that." Kashish replied coolly. She had found recently that she could be quite a convincing liar, all thanks to Akshay.
"Oh pray tell me what you are doing here in a jogging park, so early in the morning, in clothes in which you can't jog or exercise. Please do tell, I am intrigued."
"Funny I should be intriguing to you now that…" Kashish drawled, trailing off at the end, buying time to come up with a plausible lie. Her eyes darted over the whole place in front of her looking for an excuse. But she only saw Akshay face and green trees all around them. God really was cruel to her.
"Now that what?" Akshay snapped more angrily than before.
"Now, that you find me here, waiting for my boyfriend." Kashish gushed through the half-truth. Akshay wasn't exactly her boyfriend. He was her ex.
"WHAT!!" Akshay shouted loud enough to attention of nearby joggers.
"What so surprising about me having a boyfriend Akshay? Would you not create a scene please?" Kashish folded her hands over her chest and waited with overdue amusement as Akshay floundered around with the new knowledge.
Taking his time Akshay shook his head first slowly then vigorously, "You are lying! Who would want to be with you? Really you thought I would believe you just coz you say so?"
"It's the truth! I don't care what you think; you can believe what you want. I hardly care." Kashish raised her chin defiantly and turned away from Akshay before her could detect any betraying emotions on her face.
"Well if you are so adamant to prove it then.. Let's see him. Where is he? Who is he?" Akshay said triumphantly. He was so sure that Kashish could never love anyone else, he knew it was a farce, a lie to save the last of her dignity.
"Fine!" Kashish said still looking away from Akshay as her panicked eyes searched the park for some descent guy whom she could point out to from far away..
"Is there a problem here?" a deep male voice asked from behind, interrupting Kashish's search for the suitable male candidate to pose as her fake boyfriend.
"No!" Akshay glared and looked thoroughly disgusted. Kashish knew immediately something about the stranger had ticked off Akshay, more than anything she had said till now, this guy, she had to meet. Kashish pasted a smile on her face and turned around only to catch her breath.
Oh my.. Now she had always thought that Akshay was handsome and everybody had agreed with her. But this guy, oh he was Mr. Universe jogging in a white, sweat drenched, clingy Tee and gray jogging pants. His black hair was damp and curled a little around his forehead, not at all softening the hard, handsome planes of his face. He was aristocratic, athletic, rebellion bad boy all combined into one. Kashish stared for full 2 seconds making the quick inventory. Her friends had guided her into seeing how handsome Akshay was, with this guy, she could probably guide all the woman on earth. A little shaken by the strong reaction she was having for a complete stranger, Kashish glanced back at Akshay to make sure he was more than pissed at this Adonis. A plan formed in Kashish's mind as she smiling turned and walked up to the stranger.
"No. Nothing is wrong, I just ran into my ex and he insists on meeting my boyfriend." Kashish smiled sweetly first at the stranger and then half turned to smile at Akshay too.
"Can't handle the rejection can he?" the stranger smirked, deriving as much pleasure form Akshay's red face as she was.
"Why don't you just leave. This is between me and her. She has no boyfriend, it's none of your business." Akshay snapped at the stranger.
More than ever Kashish was sure that there was bad blood between the two men and for the first time Kashish felt like hurting someone. Payback's a b*itch as Ridhima would have called the situation.
"Akshay, this does concern him. You said you want to meet my new boy friend? Well here he is. I was waiting by the bench for him to come from his jog." Kashish smiled and stepped closer t the stranger, her arm brushing lightly against his. She kept her eyes trained on Akshay, hoping the stranger wasn't staring at her opened mouthed with a 'are you mad?' expression on his face.
Apparently the stranger was a good impromptu actor and he liked playing practical jokes as he didn't deny Kashish's claim or looked surprised for full 15 seconds after her statement.
On the other hand Akshay kept turning red, until the tip of his ears was red too.
"You are lying!! U.. you two couldn't.. you …NO!" Akshay sputtered.
"Did you forget how to speak? Having troubles forming sentences? You know there are facilities for people like you." The stranger shot. Twisting the dagger which Kashish had driven deeper into Akshay's heart.
For a moment seeing Akshay look so angry and furious that Kashish felt bad for being so nasty, she even felt stupid for giving up just when he was coming around, but then she saw Akshay stiffen up and a calculating look come into his eyes, he wasn't coming around at all.
"Really Kashish, I have to say you have made quite an effort this time. I don't know how you got him to agree to come here. But I know you two aren't going out. I won't believe it. You can't even stand touching him, I can see from the way you are standing away from him. You are bluffing and I am not an idiot to fall for it." Akshay said, his eyes gleaming as he stared at the stranger. She had a feeling it wasn't about her anymore. But to her it was.
"As I told you I don't care what you believe. I don't have any more to say." Kashish turned toward the stranger with a pleading look in her big brown eyes to silently agree with her, her body shook from all the strain and the fading rush of adrenaline. She couldn't lie anymore, "Let's go." Kashish said to the stranger, managing not to make the words come out as a question. The stranger tilted his head to regard her a moment, he was taking his own sweet time to size her up. Slowly he nodded and turned to walk away to too.
"Ha! I knew it. Walk away. You aren't his type anyway, too cheap." Akshay scoffed from behind.
Kashish saw blood, Kashish saw red. Her emotions were already yo-yoing around her head, she didn't even know when she had turned around and taken two angry steps toward Akshay. The need to hurt him as he had hurt her, absorbed her and clouded her logical brain.
"You want a proof that much, do you?" she almost shouted. Not bothering with public manners any more, her heart was painfully thudding in her chest from the emotional rollercoaster, her fists were clenched firmly at her side wanting desperately to connect with Akshay's gloating face.
"I don't care either way. But I'll only believe, if you can give me some proof." Akshay said observing his fingernail, a figure of disinterest.
"Look, forget about him, we don't have to do anything for him" the stranger said, gently holding Kashish's elbow trying to tug her away. But Kashish couldn't see straight reason now. Cheap he had called her cheap. He would never walk over her again.
"Oh no. Akshay, look very closely, I am going to give you a proof right now!" Kashish glared, meeting his eyes. Kashish's heart was racing fast now as daring solution formed into her mind, the only solution. Her throat dried up and her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth, at the thought of what she was determined to do now. She fisted her hands tighter and tried to swallow. This is it. I have to do this! I can't take it anymore.
She angrily cast one last look at Akshay's mocking face in front of her. "Go ahead, prove it." he sneered, goading her to give up and accept humiliation.
Never again! Kashish raised her chin and whipped around to face the other man by her side, before sheer nervousness could freeze her body, she tugged the man down to her height by pulling at his white tee, while her other hand settled around his neck, brushing his slightly overlong hair. While pulling him down to her, she stood on her tiptoe at the same moment. Eyes closed, she firmly placed her puckered lips over his surprised ones. But 'Hope that's proof enough' was not what Kashish was thinking then seconds after the contact, instead she though- My god! My first kiss and I don't even know his name!
Had anyone ever told Sujal before, that defending beautiful women and getting petty revenge could get him such a free, delicious kisses.. He might have considered making a profession out of it. Oh boy.. But the damsel in question was something else. He had come up from behind her, her better than average behind and had been hit by the sweetest, innocent smile ever. Although the situation said she wasn't what her smile made her look like, at the first brush of their lips Sujal knew better. The lady was clearly inexperienced, an innocent and before she could lose her balance he circled her waist and pulled her tight against him. His other hand closed around her slender neck, adjusting her face so that he could show her what a proper kiss between lovers should be like, by dipping deeper into her open mouth. Sweet, definitely sweet.
The dazed thought passed by Sujal's brain. He grinned and continued to give her a kiss which would have burned eyes of anyone who was watching them. By the time he was done, she was hanging onto him, unstable on her feet. Sujal himself felt a little wobbly . Something within him had reacted strongly during the kiss. Ignoring the strange feeling for now, Sujal gently broke their kiss and briefly rested his chin on her head. He could feel her trembling and from the way she was hanging on to him, Sujal knew she was having a case of rubber legs.
"Let's go honey." Sujal whispered in her ear and tugged her away, keeping his hand wrapped firmly around her shoulders, never bothering to look back at the slime ball who had asked her for proof.
Kashish was feeling a pleasant daze in her mind ever since the kiss, not really able o think about what had happened or was happening. It took her full 5 minutes to step out of the haze into the fact that she had just French Kissed a complete stranger and he was leading her away. God what he must be thinking about her?!! Kashish stiffened immediately ready to pull away from the safety of his arm around her shoulder.
"Don't pull away just yet, wait for the next bend until we are out of his sight.", the man said sensing her stiffness.
Kashish nodded but continued walking stiffly, trying to put in as much space between them as possible. Just around the bend they were surrounded by thick patch of trees and if Akshay had been hanging around he couldn't see them now. Reaching that point Kashish pulled away quickly and the man let her go even faster.
"Look I am not the type of girl you think I am."Kashish blurted putting a safe distance between them.
"Uh huh… And what type of girl you aren't?" the stranger asked slightly mocking, but Kashish didn't feel bad. He looked more like he was trying to repress a grin than being truly awful.
"The type, you know…" Kashish said at a loss of word splaying out her hands, hoping he wouldn't make her go through the humiliation of saying the word. But he crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head.
"Oh… You know, they … The type!.. Those type of girls who do it for money…" Kashish managed the best she could.
"Do what?" he asked giving her innocent eyes, but Kashish could see the devil's laughter lurking behind them. At that moment Kashish knew, that this man knew, she wasn't a prostitute, he was simply goading her.
"I don't go around kissing strange men, ever." Kashish said taking a different path of action. The man nodded in acceptance and then finally managed to embarrass her.
"You don't know much about kissing and kissing strange men isn't the best way to learn either, so I can believe you when you say that." He said allowing the grin to break out on his face and softening all the hard planes of his face, making him look probably even more handsome, "What I want know is… Why did you choose me?"
"I … needed to prove to my ex that I wasn't available anymore, and well I don't really have a boyfriend and you came and…." Kashish lied, making it look as if it had Sujal after her not the other way round.
"He is stalking you?" he looked faintly alarmed, getting all serious.
"Oh no.. Just this once he followed me.. I… I have to go now." Kashish said, suddenly feeling sick about telling another lie. She felt bile rising up her throat, shamed at how she had fallen just to back up a silly lie.
"I am sorry for causing you any trouble, bye!!" Kashish said backing away and then ran away.
"Trouble? What trouble?" Sujal muttered to himself as he watched her jog away.
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hinal60, AKForever, ...anshu..., moonlight2630, vidu87, gupta.aditi20, Sumi_162710, dazzling_glory, ronojoy_ria, aamirkhanfan, spvd,
Joined: 01 September 2010
oh.. my gosh...
confused sujal... ha ha ha.
n way to go kashish....
bt i wa ted to see akshay's reaction too....
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