Joined: 09 April 2010
very nice update.
Joined: 09 April 2010
Mission 30: Truth is in the Eye of the Beholder
Prem stood in front of the TV with his Xbox 360 controller in his hands furiously pressing buttons and moving his joystick around. He scowled when he saw the screen mimic a bomb blast and the character he was playing die. "D*mn it Preet!" Prem yelled into his wireless headset. "What the crap was that? This is the last time I'm following your orders...go over here...better entry way. We got ambushed! Do you know how to play the Call of Duty?!"
"Hey don't yell at me! I didn't do anything wrong. And Yes I Know How to Play the Call of Duty!" Preet shouted back. "You'd think someone who's a trained agent...who is currently training our future agents would be able to handle a simple task. I asked you to do one thing but no you decided to veer from what I told you to do!"
"I was being shot at! You wanted me to stand there and take it?" Prem replied. "I would have died."
"Take one for the team!" Preet growled.
"I don't want to take one for the team...not like that!" Prem barked back. "Especially when it could have been avoided!"
Just then footsteps shuffled their way into the living room; brown eyes looked with surprise while hazel ones simply rolled like it was something they were used to seeing. "Why is he jumping up and down like that?"
"They must have died again in the game," Heer whispered back. "Preet is horrible when he plays on teams. Yet still...Prem lets him take the lead the next time they play together...and then they die and then this happens."
"You know what you can stick that where the sun don't shine!" Prem yelled.
"Hahaha...you really think that's going to get me upset?" Preet laughed. "You can do better than that...curse like a real man!"
Prem scrunched his face as his thick eyebrows knitted and he opened his mouth to say something when he was suddenly stopped by the voice of his fiance. "Prem, Ash is here...we're back from the mall." Prem froze for a few seconds and then turned his head. He then felt his cheeks go warm embarrassed that a friend of Heer's had seen him act so childishly. "What are you going to do man? Huh? You don't have the Balls to say it? " goaded Preet on the other end unaware what was going on at Prem's house and that everyone could hear what he was saying.
Heer walked up to Prem and talked into the microphone piece of the headset, "Preet I think you boys have played enough for today."
"Oh...hi-hi Heer," Preet answered nervously.
"Why don't you take Meher out to a movie or something?" she suggested next.
"Ahehehe...um, yeah, sure I'll go do that. Bye Heer," Preet replied and then cut off the transmission.
Prem took the wireless headset off his ear and timidly smiled. "So back from the mall, huh?" he said looking at Heer's friend Ashlesha. "Did you girls get anything good?"
"Oh yes, there were some nice sales. Heer and I racked up," Ashlesha replied. Prem's eyes traveled to all the bags sitting in the armchair. She saw his wandering eye and smirked, "I think Heer even got you a gift."
"A gift?" Prem asked with hope in his eyes.
Heer gave a warning glare to Ashlesha who simply smiled ignoring her friend's threat. "Well, I best be going. I have to help Mom in the kitchen cause we are having Guests over...again. I have to show I can be a good housewife."
"Wait, you haven't told your parents about that engineer you are dating?" Heer inquired.
"It's complicated. I'm trying but you know how parents are...they never listen," Ashlesha replied.
"Ash, you need to tell them. What if they get you engaged?" Heer asked with worry.
"I know you're right," she sighed. "But as of right now all the guys she keeps trying to set me up with are all so strange and peculiar. Even Dad doesn't like them and says no...so right now I have him on my side."
"That can't last forever."
"I know don't worry. Anyways it's your marriage you should be planning. Have you spoken with a wedding planner yet?" Ashlesha inquired.
"We're going to...this Saturday," Heer replied.
"Well good luck with all of that planning. Make sure you get someone who has credentials and has a good work ethic and will show you reviews or something of their work. You are putting in good money so you should get what you pay for," Ashlesha advised.
"Thanks Ash we will," Prem said as he slipped his arm around his fiance's waist. "Heer can have anything she wants."
"I only really care about the groom," Heer replied looking into Prem's dark brown eyes. "I just want you."
Ashlesha smiled at the little staring moment between the couple. She gently cleared her throat making them break their eye lock and blush. "Well, I'll leave you two lovebirds alone. Heer, I really think you should show him that gift."
"Ash..." Heer replied and hurriedly walked forward pushing her out the door.
Ashlesha just giggled and waved her hand, "Goodbye Prem."
"Bye Ash. Drive safe. Take care," he replied. When he heard the door lock close and saw Heer walk back into the living room he smiled curiously, "So this gift?"
"There is no gift," Heer replied.
"But she said you got me a gift," Prem stated and went to the bags sitting on the arm chair. He started looking through them seeing if there was anything hidden among them that could possibly be a gift for him." He frowned but when he opened the last large plastic bag there was a Victoria's Secret bag inside. His eyes lit up as he brought it out.
"It's just underwear Prem," Heer stated taking the bag away from him. She opened it and showed him five cotton hip hugger panties. "Sorry nothing special for you."
Prem slipped his hands around her waist and whispered into her ear, "I don't need any special lingerie...seeing you in those will be perfectly fine for me." Heer turned her head slightly feeling a bit shy. "Where's Kiran Uncle?" Prem nuzzled her ear and replied, "He's out with some friends won't be coming home until well after dinner. We're all alone."
"What do you want for dinner?"
"Let's talk about dessert," Prem replied. Heer chortled at his remark. "It's the best part of the meal."
Heer grabbed his mouth and shook her head. "Tell me about dinner."
"Can you let go of my mouth?" Prem asked. Heer dropped her hand and looked at him waiting for him to talk. "Okay...dinner...hmmm...for appetizers...hugs and some touching...for the main course...kissing and a little massage...for dessert," smiling naughtily, "...well, you know..."
"Haha...very cute," Heer replied. "But no...I was thinking a salad, vegetarian lasagna, and ice cream...maybe sorbet since the lasagna could be a bit heavy. We need to go buy some ingredients. Come on let's go to the grocery store. I know you have salad at the house but you don't have any eggplant or zucchini or any of the lasagna noodles we need."
Prem sighed with a frown, "Okay." Heer gave him a sweet kiss on the cheek causing the ends of his mouth to curl up into a wide grin. "So, to the grocery store to get all the stuff for dinner." He took her hand into his making her smile back at him and his heart filled with happiness. They walked out of the house gently swinging their hands to and fro basking in the joy of being together.
Prem smiled as the front door of his uncle's house opened. "Hi Jaywant Uncle...hope you don't mind sandwiches...got them from this really great deli Heer introduced me too. I even got us some soup. There seems to be some dark clouds hanging up above...probably going to rain later today."
Jaywant gave a warm grin and welcomed his nephew into the house. "Sandwiches and soup sounds fine."
Prem placed the two brown paper bags on the kitchen table and started taking the food items out. "This one is mesquite chicken with cheddar...this one here is turkey cranberry...and we have tomato bisque and baked potato soup."
"I'll take the turkey cranberry and the baked potato soup," Jaywant replied.
"Great," Prem smiled. "I was hoping you'd say that."
"What do you want to drink?" Jaywant asked. "I've got soda, water, and juice."
"I'll just have water," Prem answered. He then noticed a file folder on the kitchen table. "Where do you want me to put this file folder?"
"Oh, let me take that," Jaywant replied and took the folder from his hands. When he turned to find a place to put the folder a single sheet of white paper slipped out. Prem reached down and flipped it over, "This fell out..." he stated and then went mute as his eyes noted the name Lalit Juneja and Gayatri Juneja
"Oh here let me take it," Jaywant said reaching out but Prem turned his body to the side preventing him from taking the paper in his hand. "That was for later not now...we should have lunch."
Prem's eyes lifted from the sheet in his hand and stared at his uncle. His jaw tightened and he simply stated, "Give me the rest of it."
Jaywant wanted to tell him that this conversation could wait until after lunch but the look in his nephew's eyes told him that he wasn't going to wait. He silently placed the folder into his hands and apologized, "I wanted to tell you sooner."
Teji stared out the living room window and sighed, "This rain just won't let up. I've never seen a storm like this before." She gently took a sip from her tea and then glanced over to her daughter who was pacing back and forth with her cell phone. "Any luck?"
"No," Heer replied worriedly. "He hasn't picked up. It just keeps ringing to voicemail. We were suppose to go to the wedding planner today."
"The weather is pretty bad right now...he could be stuck in traffic...that's probably why he isn't picking up. He really shouldn't be talking on the phone while driving in this weather anyways. And considering the weather maybe you should cancel this appointment and go on a better day. This weather isn't the type to be going out in," Teji replied.
"I guess you could be right," Heer pondered. "Okay, I'll call the wedding planner and reschedule our appointment."
Mother and daughter turned their heads when they heard the sound of the garage door opening. A few minutes later Balraaj came walking into the house partial soaked from the rain. His socks made squishing noises as they hit the wooden flooring. "Even with an umbrella I got soaked," he greeted.
"Welcome home Papa," Heer replied.
"Go upstairs right now and change into some clean dry clothes before you catch a cold," Teji commanded. "I'll go make some nice hot chai for you."
"Yes dear," Balraaj said and went up the stairs to do as his wife had ordered him to do.
His eyes were burning despite the fact that warm water was trailing from them. It was a strange sensation; one that seemed to defy all logical but here they were burning. He wipes his hands across his eyes cleaning up his tears and he gently sniffled. He didn't know how long he had been sitting there in his truck. After he had stormed out of his uncle's house he drove aimlessly around the city but when the tears began affecting his sight he found a place to park and just sat in his car thinking.
His mind wandered into his childhood replying the memories of his parents over and over again like a broken record. The happy times they shared together and the things he wished he could have done differently. He remembered those nights in Aunt Kuljeet's house laying in his bed blaming himself for not being a good boy and that's why his parents had been taken from him. He had broken his mother's crystal vase, had broken his father's favorite smoking pipe, and had scribbled on the walls of his room with color pencils. He wondered what the last thoughts of his parents were. Did they remember him? Did they recall the good times or did they recall his naughty moments?
He rubbed the temples of his forward feeling exhausted. He never realized how draining crying could be but then again he hadn't had anything to eat since this morning. He had left his lunch at his uncle's house. His eyes roamed towards his cell phone that had been tossed to the passenger seat. It had been placed on silent and was laying on its face so it wouldn't bother him. His eyes flexed as saw the screen illuminated to life. He picked it up and stared at the name flashing knowing she was waiting for him. His eyes suddenly welled with tears at the thought of everything that he knew and tossed the phone back down into the passenger seat. He gripped the steering wheel hard; his knuckles turning a pale white. He had to be home by now and he was going to get his answer. He was going to hear it from his mouth.
Heer continued to pace back and forth beside with worry. The rains had finally settled and she thought by now Prem would have called her back to let her know that he was all right but he didn't. Her anxiety was running high and her mind couldn't help but think of all the disastrous things that could have happened to him. Her chest swelled when she heard the sound of the door bell ringing. Her head immediately turned towards the door as a flash of hope entered her thoughts, could it be? "I'll get it," Heer quickly said and rushed towards the door causing her mother to chuckle softly as she sat on the couch with the TV tuned to the Dr. Phil talk show.
Relief entered her eyes when she saw Prem standing in front of her. She was elated that he was alive and well. Too caught up in her emotions she disregarded his drenched attire and failed to notice his red eyes. Heer threw herself onto him hugging him tightly not caring if her clothes became wet from his soaked ones. "I thought something happened to you," Heer said. "Thank God you're okay." Prem stood mute not uttering a word and made no movements. Heer slowly pulled back finally registering his behavior. Her eyes met with his and flexed with concern, "Prem?"
He removed her arms around his neck and stated coldly, "Where is he?"
"Who?" she innocently asked.
"You're Father!" Prem barked. Heer was startled by the sudden anger in his voice. "Where is he? He's home isn't he? Tell him to come out!" Heer stared at him blankly not understanding where all this rage was coming from.
"Prem, what's going on?"
"What's going on? You tell him to come out here and explain. He'll tell you what's going on!" he shouted.
By this time Teji had heard the voices and made her way to the entry hall of the house. She had no clue to the situation and simply smiled when she saw her soon-to-be son-in-law. The cheer on her lips faded when her eyes registered how agitated he seemed to be. Her daughter was trying to plead with him to explain himself but he refused. Prem shrugged his arm away from Heer's grasp as he walked further into the house demanding to see Balraaj Maan.
Balraaj emerged from the office in his white kurta pajama suit wondering what all the commotion in his house was about. His face paled when he saw Prem's intense eyes land on him. He swallowed nervously and braced himself as Prem grabbed him by the collar. "You," he snarled. "You let this happened! Because of you they are gone! And now you're the Director and you tried hiding everything...sweeping everything under the rug...you didn't think anyone would find out, did you? But I did...I found out!" Teji and Heer gasped in horror as they watch Prem shake Balraaj demanding answers.
Heer went up behind Prem and grabbed his shoulders trying to reason with him, "Prem please...let's talk about this civilly..."
Prem quickly twisted his arm and shoulder flinging his arm backwards forcing Heer to drop her grip. It also sent her flying backwards colliding into a hallway desk. She yelped out in pain and her mother rushed to her side. Prem's face softened as he heard what he had done and let go of Balraaj. He felt a cold sweat of shame engulf him that he had hurt Heer. His eyes shifted to the side but he couldn't bring himself to look at her or face Teji.
"I'm all right Mama," Heer said.
"Look at what you've done. Your grievance is when me not her," Balraaj sternly said. "Enough people have gotten hurt."
Prem turned his head and his eyes narrowed again as he looked coldly at Balraaj. "People have been hurt...hurt by your hands. Why? How could you do that?"
"What is going on here Balraaj?" Teji asked. She knew it was best to ask her husband as Prem didn't seem to be in his right senses. "Why has he come here accusing you of things?"
"Tell them..." Prem icily requested. "Tell them what you've been hiding! Tell them what you did to my family! Tell them it was you who killed them. It was you who killed my parents!"
"What?!" Heer gasped in disbelief. She looked at her father hoping that this was some sort of misunderstanding. But when her father couldn't raise his eyes to met her gaze she placed her hand over her mouth in shock. She silently shook her head.
"He-he's right...I'm...I'm responsible for Lalit and Gayatri Juneja's death," Balraaj replied near tears.
"You're crying?" Prem asked in wonderment. "Cause you've been caught, right? All these years of hiding the truth have finally caught up with you..."
Balraaj nodded his head, "It was never suppose to be like this. He was my friend. We were working a case together. We were so close to catching them. It was an international smuggling ring...drugs and money laundering. I got too impatient and because of that they died. Things got out of hand..."
"You then doctored the report...said it was an accident on the road. They hunted them down because of you," Prem replied heatedly. "But Agent Malhotra knew something wasn't right...he knew the final report was missing documents."
"Jaywant?" Balraaj murmured.
"Here," Prem replied shoving the file folder in his left hand onto his chest. "It's all right there."
Balraaj stared in disbelief at the report documents in the file folder. Teji just looked at her husband shaking her head, "Why Balraaj? Why? That case sent me and your daughter into the witness protection program."
"I was shipped off like some piece of luggage to my Aunt's place...and treated no better," Prem roared. "They didn't want me...nobody in this world wanted me except my parents but you took that away from me."
Balraaj hung his head low and mumbled, "I'm sorry..."
"Sorry, right...sorry..." Prem replied sarcastically. He rubbed his forehead and then turned around to leave. Heer ran after him through the front door and out into the lawn. The dark clouds that had been silent for the past thirty minutes suddenly sprung to life as rain fell from the sky like tearful streams. She reached out to grab him and hold onto him. She could only imagine the type of pain he was going through right now; the irony of the entire situation. He had lost everything when his parents died and then he found it again in his friendship with her. He found a place to belong and a love so warm and caring. But how ironic that the very arms he sought comfort in was part of the same blood that was partly if not fully responsible for the death of his parents. Heer touched Prem's shoulder making him stop short. "Don't...I can't...just leave me..." he said not turning around to face her. Heer's eyes widen at his words and she slowly lifted her hand from his shoulder. Prem stood there looking ahead with tears in his eyes feeling the unbearable pain of something ending. He felt a lump form in the back of his throat and he swallowed hard trying to soften it but without much avail. Prem wiped the rain water from his face and then walked to his truck all the while refusing to look at Heer.(Click here to listen to the song...I think it really sets the mood. Big Bang - Tell Me Goodbye http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYZjU3lA9rY&feature=related)
"Sorry Dad," Prem replied. He took a gentle swig from a beer bottle and then went back to starring at the item in his hand.
"How long have you been drinking?"
"This is still my first one," Prem answered trying to ease the worry from his father's mind.
Kiran walked closer and saw what his son was holding. It was the diamond engagement ring he had given Heer. Kiran sat down in the chair beside Prem and took the beer bottle away from him. "Going to get it cleaned?" he asked.
"Huh?" Prem automatically uttered. He glanced at his father and shifted his eyes back towards the ring. "Um, yeah..."
"Don't lie to me son. Don't be stupid either. You're really going to let her walk out of your life like this? She was always there for you. When you thought no one cared...she was there for you. When you needed a shoulder to lean on...she was there for you. When no one was standing in your corner...she was there for you. Are you going punish her for something she didn't do? She never asked for this to happen to you. She never asked for any of this. The one thing she's proven over and over is she'd do anything for you. And you're going to just throw it all away?" Kiran questioned. "She's not her father." Prem turned his head and looked at him with wide eyes. "Teji told me. You had been acting very strange since Saturday night. And you actually thought you could hide this little secret forever? I thought maybe you two had a little fight but when I realized by Friday you still weren't speaking with her something serious had occurred. So I made a visit and spoke with Teji. I know you're upset...this wasn't easy news to hear. It would have been far easier to hate a total stranger than someone who is so close. But don't punish her...she's in pain too."
Prem turned his attention back to the engagement ring in his hand and replied, "Would you be able to do it?"
"I would know she wasn't at fault for what happened," Kiran replied.
"It's so easy to say that," Prem snapped. "It's so easy to say just forgive. But it's not...not when it's like this..."
"I've seen how your face lights up when she enters the room...I've seen how relax and calm you've become since you've been with her...you laugh more...you smile more...don't push this away. You lost something...very precious...and what happened to you was terrible but you were also given something in return. God rarely leaves us in the dark tunnel for long...he always gives us a light to make our way out," Kiran reasoned.
Prem tightened his fist and then abruptly pushed his chair back and got up from the table. He walked to the end of the kitchen and grabbed his jacket hanging on the coat rack. "I'm going for a drive," he simply stated.
sighed as he heard the truck engine purr to a start and the sound of the garage
door lifting open. He looked upwards
towards the ceiling and said, "I don't know what to do Kulraj. Help him."
Heer made her way down the stairs heading towards the kitchen. Ever since the explosive revelation that had occurred last Saturday the Maan household was an odd place to be. She stopped talking to her father and so did her mother. Balraaj had resigned himself to the downstairs office. He slept there and he ate there as well because neither mother nor daughter wanted to eat in his presence.
She got herself a glass of water and then saw the stack of unmailed envelopes sitting on the kitchen counter. She grabbed them and went to the front of the house to look for an umbrella. The rains had slowed to a drizzle much to her relief as she opened the front door. Her eyes widened when she saw Prem's truck parked out in front of her house. She walked towards the mailbox and placed the mail items in and pulled the red flag up so the mailman would know there was some mail that needed to be sent. Just as she was finishing her tasks she heard the car door open. Heer turned around and watched as Prem walked towards her without an umbrella. His hair was catching the droplets of rain while his jacket repealed them. Before Heer could say anything Prem cupped his hand over her mouth silencing her and then took her left hand into his and slipped her engagement ring back on her finger. He then hugged her tightly, "You're my life..."
Heer felt herself take in a deep breath relishing this moment of being together again. She rubbed his back as she detected the sounds of sniffles from him. He had been through a lot this week and he needed her support. "I'll always be here for you."
Prem tightened his hold and snuggled his head into the crook of her neck, "Sorry...I'm sorry..." he murmured. The words he thought he wouldn't be able to say seemed to fall so easily from his lips as they were the only words to express his unfair behavior towards her. "You've always been there for me and I treated you like this...I'm sorry..."
"Sssh..." Heer soothed. "I understand...this wasn't easy for you. You had every right to be angry...every right to hate."
Prem lifted his head up and looked at her with his teary eyes, "I never hated you. Never. I," faltering a bit as his voice wavered with emotion, "I...was angry but you didn't deserve my anger...no, I shouldn't have done that. I love you. I Love You."
Heer gently wiped the tears from his eyes and said, "I know."
Prem hugged her again and cried, "I'm sorry...I'm sorry Heer..."
Heer just held him in her arms rubbing his back trying to sooth his guilt away. Prem clung to her feeling remorseful for what he had done. He berated himself for being so stupid. What his Dad had said to him was right. She had given him everything without knowing what had happened between their parents. She couldn't be blamed. "Let's go inside out of the rain," Heer suggested as she gently pulled away and took his hand into hers. She felt the hesitation as he tugged with his arm causing her to stop walking. "He's not home. It's okay."
Prem felt her tighten his hold and he relinquished his stance and followed her into the house. Heer led him to her bedroom and then got him a towel to dry his head. Prem looked at her with mild surprise when she handed him a pink towel. "Isn't it your favorite color?" she teased causing him to break out in a chuckle. He took it and began drying his hair. Heer propped up the pillows on her bed and sat down to read a magazine while she waited for him to finish.
After Prem had finished drying his hair he took off his jacket and hung it on the back of the desk chair and then got on the other side of the bed. He crawled over to Heer and then laid his head down in her lap. Heer stopped reading and smiled. She took a smaller pillow nearby and placed it underneath his head before she began to gently massage his head. He lay on his side clutching her legs with his hands. Prem sighed and let himself be comforted in this manner. "We need to reschedule with the wedding planner," he pondered out loud.
"I did...it was suppose to be this Saturday but you know what happened this afternoon..." Heer said.
"Sorry," Prem replied. "The lady must think we're flakes...can't keep an appointment."
"I just told her the family emergency that happened last Saturday didn't get resolved so we'll just call her back another time to schedule a new date and time."
A thoughtful silence passed between them before Prem spoke again. "Why did you give the ring back?"
"I knew what happened last Saturday was really hard to digest...to find out what you found out. It hasn't been easy here either," Heer replied. "I wanted to give you time without any pressure of this engagement. There was a lot for you to sort out...and to be honest when I gave the ring back I didn't think I was going to ever see you again. I didn't know if our relationship could survive this...even though I know we love each other. The pain of everything that you went through was caused by my own father...that's not something you can easily forgive...not that you even have to forgive."
Prem turned over so he could face her. His eyes softened and his mouth slacked in sadness as he saw the emotions in her eyes over the thought of their relationship ending. "I'm sorry I didn't stop you from leaving the coffee shop. I should have. But I didn't know what to do at that moment because before that I had been thinking about us...how was I going to be able to face your father day in and day out after our marriage? How were we going to explain to our kids why I don't speak to their grandfather and won't do anything with him? Could I do that to them...could I do that to you?"
"I'll break my relation with him Prem," Heer said with conviction in her voice.
"Heer," he said voicing disagreement. "I can't ask you to do that..."
"You don't have to ask. I'll do it and I won't regret it."
"Despite everything...I still know how important families are...I can't allow you to break relations with your parents," Prem replied sitting up.
"I've stopped talking to him...and so has Mama," Heer explained. "He's moved himself to the downstairs office...eats there and sleeps there now. We are already separating ourselves from him." She cupped Prem's face and looked into his eyes, "I choose you." Prem hugged her tightly letting the comforting feeling of holding her in his arms again ease the pain he was still struggling with. "You always give so much of yourself for me...I don't deserve all of this," breathing deeply, "We'll find a way to make this work..."
"Prem..." she uttered in soft tone.
He pulled back while one hand cupped her face; his thumb gently caressing her cheek as he gazed into her hazel eyes, "I love you."
"I love you too," Heer replied and gave him a tender kiss. They both melted into the moment of being together again as the familiar warm fuzzy feelings spread from the tips of their fingers down to the tips of their toes. Heer smiled holding his face in her hands and touching his forehead with her forehead. "Now lay back down so I can finish giving your head massage." Prem grinned and obediently laid his head back into her lap. He enjoyed the feeling of her fingers combing through his hair and the delicate pressure they provided as they nimbly worked against his head. He sighed happily and curled himself against her leg.
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awesomeee too good very nice part waitinggg for next asap
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|new ff dil ka rishta chpt 2||lub.harshiti||6||411||08 March 2010 at 12:55am