Joined: 23 October 2010
I is here along wiv my Tea Guru
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Joined: 09 April 2010
Prem angrily opened the front door of the Juneja mansion and stormed into the house. His footsteps stomped nosily against the wooden floors as he raced up to his room and slammed his room shut. He started muttering to himself as he threw his school clothes off and put on a clean white under-tee and black basketball shorts. "She was angry at me? Me? I didn't do anything wrong. She just snapped at me for no reason. Saying I don't consider her feelings...what about me? She doesn't consider my feelings." He stopped his grumbling when he heard his cell phone ring. His eyes narrowed at the number and he turned his cell phone off and popped the back lid to take out the battery. He was in no mood to make up with his girlfriend, Heer Maan.
Meanwhile in the room next door, Prem Juneja's little brother Preet was smiling as he spoke on his cell phone. "Yeah, he's home. You weren't kidding he's really mad. You could hear him stomping through the house."
"So, what are you going to do? Your PB just had a huge fight with your future Bhabhi. Things don't sound so good."
"No worries...just like there is a silver lining to every cloud...with every fight there is surely a time to say sorry and makeup," Preet smartly replied.
"Right, but have you heard the saying everything that goes up must come down?"
"Grace, why are you being so negative?" Preet asked with annoyance.
"I'm not. I'm just saying it. You know I'm with you. You can count on me for whatever plan you have in your brain."
"Thanks. How do you know I have a plan?"
"Cause you normally do. Listen I have to go, Sophie is calling from the dressing room...she wants me to look at this outfit she tried on," Grace explained.
"You girls are at the mall?"
"Well of course. Where else would we be?" Grace replied.
Preet flexed his eyebrows realizing how silly his question was. "Okay, I'll talk to you guys later. Bye." He looked around. He couldn't think of anything. Grace was the one who always helped him and gave him the ideas. She was like his main man but a female version. And now she was busy with Sophie helping her try on outfits at the mall.
His brother had just had a fight with his future Bhabi. He knew what was coming next. This had happened before between the two and he knew how angry his brother got when he had a fight with his girlfriend. This was not a good sign. "I thought only girls had mood swings," he said. "But my own brother just proved me wrong,"
He looked at the clock that was hanging on his wall. It was only 10:00 am. He couldn't believe it Grace and Sophie were too busy shopping at this time. He would have still been in bed if his brother hadn't come home stomping his feet at every opportunity he got.
"This Sophie!" he said out aloud. "Couldn't she find a better time to do her shopping?"
"My dear brother," said Abby coming in to the room with a cup of coffee in her hand, she took a seat on the bed. "Why are boys so dirty; next time clean your room it looks like a junk yard,"
"What's wrong with everyone?" he exclaimed. "Why is everyone being so negative today?"
"That's because it's one of those day," said Abby taking a sip of her coffee.
"We should do something sis," he said in excitement. "But what I can't think of anything; have you got any ideas?"
"Hmmm..." tapping her chin, "How about..." She stopped in mid sentence when her cell phone started, "Here," handing her brother her coffee cup.
Preet snuck a sip and smiled. "Good coffee."
"Don't drink all of it. If you want some go get dressed and go downstairs and get your own cup," Abby said with her cell phone pressed against her ear. Preet made a face while Abby replied back to the person on the phone. "Sorry, Preet was stealing my coffee...please continue..."
"I wasn't stealing your coffee!" Preet shouted. Abby just shooed him away with her hand.
Preet gritted his teeth, "Women..." and walked into his bathroom to get ready for the day.
She couldn't believe it this is the second time they had fought in the whole month. She admitted that the first one was her fault. She shouldn't have suspected him for deceiving her. He would never do that with her. She was the typical girl friend who didn't like any other girl get close with her boyfriend other then herself. This time it was all his fault. She knew that she was his best friend. They both knew each other since they were little kids at school. If they had something going on it would have happened long back, but it was nothing like that. But why was she feeling so insecure?
She had promised him that neither of them would bring this topic up but she had done this and in front of everyone. She couldn't help but think about it. Did she do the right thing by asking him in front of her? Or she should have asked him when they were alone together? She closed her eyes and thought about it. "He should know better!" she said to herself. She then turned to see her sister Nabiha who everyone lovingly called Nabz coming in to their bedroom. She was on the phone with someone talking away without a care in the world.
"Yes I know it's the same at my house too," she said to the person on the other end. "Are you serious?! Second one, these guys are just too much."
Heer looked at her face trying to meet her gaze. She needed to know who she was speaking to.
She then decided to go for a walk to clear her mind of the fight she and Prem had had. She didn't want to think about it anymore. She had had enough of him for the day and she wanted to prepare herself for all the questions that would soon be bombarded her way.
"Heer Masi...Heer Masi," she heard a little voice calling out her name. Immediately she knew who that was. It was Krish her little nephew. Her life, she loved him more than anything. He was her elder sister Lisa's son. Krish mostly spent the time at his grandparents' house as both his parents were doctors and were extremely busy with their jobs. No one minded. In fact everyone loved him.
"Krish my little baby!" Heer exclaimed running to him. He had entered their lived 3 years ago but now no one could live without him. Heer had promised Krish a treat and she knew that Krish always remembered her promises to him. She took his hand and walked out of the house after informing her parents where they were going.
Nabz looked down and spoke to the person on the phone. "They are going get some ice cream for Krish, now I must hang up I hope everything gets sorted by the end of the day," and with that she hung up.
Prem had had enough. He didn't know why she loved fighting with him. Heer had thought that Neha and him had something going. She had thought that he was having an affair. He couldn't believe that. He knew that she was over protective about him. She loved him a lot and couldn't bear the thought of losing him but that didn't mean that she could suspect him about anything.
He was very angry and no matter how hard he tried to cool down he just couldn't. Earlier in the day he had turned his Blackberry off but it was now turned back on. He was checking to see if he had gotten any messages from her but there was only one text message. It was from his best friend Preeti. She had only text to ask him if he had any plans for the day. Preeti being the lazy one, never getting up on time for college and always being late had no idea what had happened between the two. And it looked like no one had informed her.
Abby walked into his room. She went and sat done next to him on the bed. "What is this Bhaiya," she said. "You and Heer have had a fight AGAIN!"
"Abby its nothing like that you wouldn't understand," Prem replied.
"What won't I understand?" she said. "That you are both unhappy with this fight and know this shouldn't have happened?"
"Abby can we not talk about this please," pleaded Prem. "I don't want to make my day any worse then it this."
Abby agreed and left the room. She had to think of something to get these two back together. She could tell by the sadness on her brother's face that he regretted fighting with Heer.
A silver Mercedes parked outside a restaurant; two young women came out of it. They looked like they had shopped till they dropped.
"Why do you both take so long to get to a place whenever I tell you to meet me somewhere?" asked the young man waiting at the door for them.
"Don't blame me," said one young lady. She was wearing three quarter length shorts and a strapless top. She looked like a model.
The next lady looked younger in age. She stood along with the other one. "It's not my fault I love to shop till I drop and I just had to buy this Gucci handbag," she tried to explain." Isn't it gorgeous?" she asked holding it up in the sunlight.
"Its 11:30am we have to do something and get Prem Bhaiya and Heer Bhabi together are you willing to help me?
"Of course they both," said together and they all started telling each other ways of how they could bring Prem and Heer together.
She smiled merrily as she parked her white BMW in front of the Juneja household. She was wearing a pair of Prada sunglasses that had been gifted to her by her father. He was a big business man and was always traveling around the world attending meetings and such. He never failed to bring home gifts to the family. His latest business trip was to Italy and so her gift was a pair of Prada sunglasses. She got of the car and carefully closed the driver side door. The most prized possession in the world to her was her white 328i BMW convertible. It was her gift for her 18th birthday. It had the full works; heated leather seats, heated steering wheel, navigation package, Apple multimedia package, all weather car mats, universal garage entry, rear deck spoiler, and the lifetime maintenance and service package. She lifted her glasses up resting them on her head and adjusted her Kate Spade purse on her shoulder. She was wearing a slim fit white t-shirt, slim boot cut jeans, and heeled shoes. She was looking cute and she knew it.
She walked up to the front door and before she could even ring the door bell the door opened and a hand reached out and pulled her into the house. "What took you so d*mn long Preeti?" Her nose crinkled as her eyebrows knitted at his greeting. "A hello would be nice first. Maybe how was your day...did you have a nice drive? How's the family? What did your Dad get you from New York? A Kate Spade purse you say?" lifting her purse up to show him, "Wow, that looks great."
"You think I'd comment on your Kate Spade purse?" Prem asked with a stoic look.
"Okay," sighing, "you're right. Where's Abby?"
"Hello I'm your best friend here. Need some help," Prem said pointing to himself.
"So what do you need help with? You were so cryptic and mysterious on the phone."
"Let's go out and do something," Prem replied. He frowned watching her reach over and touch his forehead like he was running a fever. "I'm not sick."
"Where is your other half?" Preeti suspiciously inquired.
"Preet?" He's out," Prem replied.
"I'm talking about someone about this height," measuring with her hand in the air just a few inches above Prem's shoulder, "Silky black hair, hazel eyes, slim and fit body type, of the female persuasion and someone you once said...and I quote...was the most beautiful thing you had ever seen on this Earth." Preeti saw how he inhaled and sighed. "Really?"
"What?" Prem asked feigning ignorance.
"All's not right in paradise, huh? So what was it this time?"
"What is it always about?" Prem huffed. "She had the nerve to ask if something was going on with me and Neha...right in front of her! I don't understand how she thinks sometimes. I'm not going anywhere. I'm with her for a reason but she can't stop getting jealous over stupid things and people I know."
"Never liked her," Preeti said crossing her arms. "Told you to stay away from the pretty ones. They have issues. If you hate this so much just dump her."
"What?" Prem snapped back.
Preeti smirked at his reaction causing him to scowl at her. "So where do you want to go?"
"Okay, I got it...I got it," snapping her fingers excitedly. "We need to get them to the same place like the mall..."
"Where going back to the mall?!" Sophie asked happily as she twirled her fork in her spaghetti.
"Not the mall Grace. She'll be shopping instead of helping us," Preet replied.
"You know I can hear you. I'm sitting right here," Sophie barked.
"Fine okay, not the mall but someplace...and we will force them to bump into each other. Of course they won't really want to talk to one another but if we can somehow arrange it so that Heer keeps getting hit on by some guys...she obviously is going to say no to them and be annoyed with them...but Prem won't be able to help himself. He'll get all jealous and beat the crap of the guys and then they will patch up," Grace explained.
"Not bad. I think it could work. As mad as PB is with Heer he can't stay away from her even if he tried," Preet said. He took a bite of his fettuccine alfredo and chewed thoughtfully.
"Why don't we go to the beach?" Grace suggested. "Sun, sand, and tans...some nice looking guys too..."
"Are you trying to help or trying to find someone?" Sophie teased.
"Shut it," Grace replied.
"Who?" Preet asked with great interest.
"The lifeguard? What's his name? It starts with a T? Tony? Thomas? Tom? Ted? Or was it Fred?"
"Fred starts with a F," Grace said unamused. "The main focus of this whole thing is to get Prem and Heer back together again. Stop trying to change the subject."
"Whatever," Sophie said rolling her eyes. "If we go to the beach how are we going to convince Heer to go?"
"We need someone on the inside," Grace replied.
"Abby," everyone said at the same time.
"She's friends with Nabz...Heer's little sister. She can help suggest the idea of going to the beach. We just need Nabz to agree to this plan," Preet said.
"Quick, call Abby up. We also need to make sure Prem is still at home. If he leaves now it will be harder to get him to come with us," Grace said.
"So when are we going?" Sophie inquired.
"Why? You have something going on?" Preet asked as he waited for his little sister to pick up her cell phone.
"You think we have time to swing by the mall and buy a swimsuit?" Sophie hesitantly asked.
"Sophie!" Preet and Grace yelled.
"It's just the swimsuit I have is so last year. I need a new one," she defended. Preet and Grace just sighed shaking their heads. "So, that's a no?"
Nabz opened the front door of the Maan's residence and was nearly bowled over by two of her sister's friends. "Where is she?" one of them asked in a highly panicked voice. "She hasn't been picking up her phone."
"Hi Uswah...Fatima," Nabz greeted. Her eyes widened as Uswah grabbed her arm demanding to know if her sister was okay.
Fatima pulled her away reminding her to calm down. "Chill Uswah...you're scaring her."
"Scaring her? She's scaring us...won't answer the phone. We've been calling for the past hour," Uswah replied. "We would have come over sooner but we were still stuck in tennis class." She narrowed her eyes and pushed up the sleeves of her shirt in attempt to act menacing, "He's going to get it from me the next time I see him. How could he do such a thing to her?"
"We don't know what really happened this time," Fatima replied.
"Who's side are you on? She's our friend," Uswah snapped back.
"I know. I'm just saying let's not jump to any conclusions until we hear the entire story from her," Fatima answered. She then looked at Nabz and asked, "Where did she go?"
Before she could answer, the front door opened again and in walked Heer with Krish. "There you are!" Uswah and Fatima shouted. Heer took a step back surprised to see her friends there. They both had extremely worried expression on their faces.
"Di, Lisa Di is on her way over to pick up Krish. She's getting off work earlier than expected," Nabz informed. "And Mama wants to know what you want to eat."
"Pizza..." Krish said with a hopeful look.
Heer smiled and repeated his answer, "Pizza, Nabz. Tell Mama we'll have that for lunch so she doesn't have to worry about cooking anything. Anyways, Papa loves pizza too. Lisa Di will probably be here in the next hour or so she'll be here in time when go pick up our order. Order three large pizzas and breadsticks."
Nabz nodded her head and picked Krish up to go place the order. She walked into the kitchen where her mother was making lemonade. "Mama, Heer Di wants pizza..."
"Pizza!" Krish said with glee.
Teji Maan arched her eyebrows and gave a knowing smile, "This little man," pulling his cheeks, "if he said ice cream she'd say ice cream too...she spoils him so...Lisa gets so mad."
"We all spoil him," Nabz replied. "Last week, you secretly gave him a ladoo even after he already had one and Lisa Di told him no."
Teji ignored her daughter's words and took Krish from her and walked out of the kitchen to go play with her grandson. Nabz went to the cordless phone and was surprised as it suddenly started ringing the moment she picked it up. "Hello, Maan residence."
"Nabz! I've been calling your cell phone like crazy why didn't you answer it?"
"I'm downstairs Abby. I left the phone upstairs and Mama had me vacuuming. Sorrie...I'm holding my ears for you. Huh? Wait," she quickly ran up the stairs to her bedroom and closed the door shut, "So, what's the emergency?" Nabz sat down on her bed and quietly listened to what her friend was saying.
Uswah and Fatima cornered Heer. They had to know what had happened this morning in college. Everyone was talking about it! And on top of that Heer had never done this before. So what had happened now? Had Neha said something to her? Or had someone filled her with words against Prem?
They just had to know what was bothering her. She was their best friend more like their sister and Uswah being the protective one never let anyone say anything to her friends. She made sure they knew who they were speaking to before opening their mouths.
"Heer are you sure alright?" asked Fatima calmly. "You can speak to us if you like."
"What will she say Fatima," said Uswah. "She is already hurt enough, this Prem loves hurting her."
"It's nothing like that guys, we just had a little fight that's all," said Heer sadly.
"What do you mean you just had a fight?" asked Uswah. "The news is around the entire college, that's how big it is,"
"Uswah calm down girl," Heer exclaimed," You're acting like my mama,"
"What do you expect me to do Heer!?" Uswah sourly stated. "I knew he's not the right guy for you but you still went for him and I being a good friend decided to stand by your side because I knew something like this was coming,"
"Gosh Uswah! You know a lot of stuff," Fatima sarcastically replied. "What else do you know seeing as you know so much?"
"Hey now calm down," Heer pleaded. "I do not want you two to start a fight right here in the kitchen,"
"But Heer we want to know why you fought with Prem," said Uswah.
"And that will only happen Uswah my dear when Heer wants to tell us," Fatima answered. "And that will only happen when she has some time to herself and thinks over it,"
Just then Krish walked in to the room with his Ben 10 action figure and watch. He was playing at being the cartoon character he loved the most. Uswah, Fatima and Heer turned to look in his direction. This bought a smile on their faces. Everyone completely forgot about the conversation they were just having a couple of minutes ago and concentrated on Krish.
Nabz walked into the kitchen. She was in a happy mood. She's never this happy unless she's up to something. Heer looked at her. Her expressions were unreadable and Heer had a doubt on what she was up to before.
"Nabz what are you up to?" Heer asked. "You have that huge grin on your face which you normally have when you are up to something suspicious but you don't want anyone to know till the last minute or should I say second."
"Hey this is not fair," she stated. "I don't butt into your personal business do I?"
Heer looked at her. She knew she couldn't win against her in this fight. Nabz would be beat this time. She hadn't gone to college today so she probably didn't know about the fight. But Heer was not sure that someone had told her about it and she was up to something but what?
Abby walked back and forth in the room. She had been sitting there trying to think of an idea that could bring Prem and Heer back but till now nothing had popped in her head. She had even got Grace, Sophie and Preet sitting there but even they couldn't think of anything.
"Have any of you thought of something yet?" she asked. "We really need to get a move on with this, you know what their like. Their arrogance will come between them and both of them will be waiting for the other to come and apologize."
"I don't think neither of them will," said Sophie. "If it was me I wouldn't go and say sorry. I'd wait for him and if he didn't come within 10 minutes then I would find someone much better than him."
"You better not put those stupid ideas in their heads Sophie," warned Abby. "We don't want them going off with someone else just because one of them didn't go and say sorry to the other."
"Guys guys calm down we need to think of something!" said Preet.
"But what?" asked Grace. "This time I also can't think of anything."
Just then Abby's phone beeped. She had got a text message from Nabz.
We need to go to some place where these two can meet otherwise they'll be sitting sulking all their lives and regretting that they didn't take the step to get their other half back.
Abby read it out. She looked at everyone and then said, "We really do need to do something otherwise every single word that Nabz has said will come true. We need to think of something and that too fast."
"It's a very hot day," said Sophie, "Why don't we all go down to the beach? I'm sure we'll all love it!" Everyone looked at Sophie. She looked back at them with fright. "You guys are going to attack me aren't you?" she asked. "I know I have said something stupid at the wrong time."
"SOPHIE WE LOVE YOU!" they all shouted at once.
Sophie looked at them surprised. She didn't know why they had said that all of a sudden. "So you guys are not planning on attacking?" she asked.
"Don't be silly," said Grace. "Why would we, you have just given us the idea we needed."
Sophie smiled. "Wow I just helped you guys out, you're welcome."
"Thank you Sophie," they all said together.
They started planning how they were going to get both Prem and Heer to come to the beach. If they knew that the other was coming they wouldn't come. They had just had a fight and neither of them wanted to be the first to apologize.
They all sat there thinking of a way to persuade both Prem and Heer to go to the beach without knowing.
Heer was waiting for her sister to come. Lisa finally had half a day off after some time. Heer decided that they would all go out to some place together along with her friends Uswah and Fatima. She hadn't decided where to go yet. Heer looked at her younger sister and asked, "Hey Nabz, we are planning on going out somewhere today do you know any places where we could all go and Krish would enjoy it too?"
Nabz pretended to think and then said, "Why don't we go to the beach we haven't been there in ages and Krish would enjoy it too/"
Heer liked this idea so she decided to ask Lisa when she came back from her shift in half an hour. She had a feeling that Nabz had told her this place in purpose. She thought she had seen this grin appear on her face when she was telling her the place. She hadn't mentioned any other places and had gone straight on to the beach. What was there at the beach? Of all possible places to visit why did she choose the beach?
Preeti had been watching Grace, Preet, Abby and Sophie and had a suspicious feeling they were up to something. They were always up to something especially Preet and his friends. What was it that they were up to? She had to know. They were planning something behind her and Prem's back and she just had to know. Sophie was walking past her trying to sort out her hair and at the same time do her lip gloss, but it just wasn't working. She had been loaded with so much work and she had never done this much work in her life. Her nails were going to get ruined and she had just had them done a week ago. She was muttering under her breath when she heard a voice. It was Preeti standing there with her Blackberry in her hand busily texting away. Straight away Sophie knew there was trouble.
Preeti was not very nice. She was a spoilt daddy's girl. Ever since her mum had passed away 16 years ago her dad never let her feel her void. She was and would always be a daddy's little princess. She was also Prem's best friend. She was the type of person when she found something to be wrong she found something to be wrong. And at this moment she felt like something was wrong.
Sophie didn't know what to do. She knew if Preeti asked her something she would have to answer truthfully. Preeti was one of those people that could make the strongest of people shiver in fear.
"Now tell me what you people have been doing behind Prem's Back?" she asked. "You guys know I can just tell Prem now."
She waved her Blackberry around in the air in a threatening manner. Sophie just stood there. What could she do? She couldn't tell Preeti what their actually plan was about going to the beach. She would never let it happen. She had not like Heer since day one. She thought there was a problem with her and tried to keep Prem away from her whenever possible.
"Uh, I gotta go," said Sophie. "Mum wants me home early so I got to dash."
Preeti watched the speed to which she was running back down the hallway. It was like she was being chased by something. What had happened to her?
Sophie nearly collided with Abby and Grace as she rounded the corner where Preet's bedroom was. "Watch where you are going," Grace shouted.
"Sorry," Sophie replied panting.
"What happened to you? You look like you just saw a ghost," Abby inquired with some concern.
Sophie swallowed and placed her hand on her chest trying to control her breathing, "Preeti's over there...she asked me what we were doing. She suspects we are up to something. You know how she feels about Heer. She was demanding answers and I didn't know what to do so I just ran."
Abby and Grace cautiously looked around the bend and saw Preeti standing in front of Prem's door like some guard. "Great how are we going to get pass her?" Abby asked. "How are we going to convince Prem Bhaiya to go to the beach if she's standing there? She probably won't allow anyone in that room. She's like a guard dog. I really don't understand why my brother is friends with her."
"This is bad. I know she won't allow Preet to go into his room to talk. We have to distract her somehow," Grace said. "Is her boyfriend still out of town?"
"Yeah, unfortunately," Abby sighed. "We could have called him and he would have helped us out. You know she's a lot nicer when he's around. Too bad his Uncle recently passed away...he's attending the funeral."
"Oh, that's so sad...condolences to his family and may his Uncle rest in peace," Sophie said.
"Does your Mom need any help? Like grinding spices...mincing garlic...chopping green chilies...sauteing onions...you know stuff she sometimes does in big batches for later use in the week or month..." asked Grace. "If we can get her away for just a little bit Preet can go into Prem's room and have a little chat. There is no way Preeti can turn down your Mom's request to help."
"That's true. I think she is about due to do that type of stuff. I'll drag Preeti down with me telling her Mom wanted help...and I'll tell Mom Preeti wants to learn...you know for future reference when she gets married," said Abby. "I'll go down first and talk to Mom. Then I'll come back up and take Preeti with me. When the coast is clear Preet can go into Prem Bhaiya's room.
Grace and Sophie nodded agreeing to the plan and watched as Abby went downstairs to speak with her mother. Preet soon walked out his bedroom ready to go have a chat with his elder brother. He was stopped by the girls who quickly explained the situation. He understood and waited along with them. A few minutes later they saw Abby come back up the stairs and talk to Preeti. They saw to their delight that Preeti had agreed to help Mrs. Juneja and went down the stairs with Abby to the kitchen.
"All right it's time to do my magic," Preet smiled. "One of you call me in about five minutes."
"Why?" Sophie asked.
"Just one of you do it. Trust me...it's all about of my plan to get PB to come with us to the beach," Preet winked.
"Good Luck," Grace said.
"I don't need luck cause I'm that good." Preet gave a silent thumbs up sign to the girls and then went to his brother's room to convince him to come to the beach with them.
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hibbaamir, xPrinceAyaanx, nspn.92, Aymee, biyaahmad, luvharshiti, -SnowKid-, Minnie., MeraCheekuVirat, Kavya...., alicia212, newt2007, -Abigail-, uswah, hopehot, Preeti.xo, -Xpress-, AASUS, -Fatima-,
Joined: 23 October 2010
Prem sat at his desk playing a computer game on his laptop. "Come in," he replied when heard a knock at his door. Not budging from his seat to see who had entered he continued speaking and said, "Preeti, you want some popcorn and soda?"
"So this is how you get her to do things?"
Prem turned around and saw his younger brother smirking at him. "What do you want Preet?"
"I want to know why you won't come to the beach with us? The weather is fantastic outside."
"It's hot," Prem replied with an uninterested tone in his voice.
"All the more reason to go. Just imagine cooling off in the sparkling ocean water, eating snow cones on the sandy beach, going parasailing, jet skiing and cutting through the waves, building huge sand castles together," Preet advertised. "Come on let's go and have some fun. I thought you wanted to go out and do something well, this is something."
"Nah, I change my mind," Prem replied. "I'm happy where I am."
"Sitting in front of your computer?"
"What is with you? You normally do this all day. When I tell you to go out and play basketball with me you always turn me down saying you're almost at the high score and you want to reach some level," Prem replied.
"One day I'm going to be a professional gamer," Preet explained. "I need to get really good. Then I can just get hired by one of those software companies and play games all day and make good money. I can tell them what works and doesn't work. See, I am planning my future."
"We'll see how Dad responds to that," Prem answered.
"Don't worry Bro, I have a plan. I'll take engineering and software programming classes," Preet said.
"Sounds like you have a plan."
"I told you didn't I? Nothing to worry about. So..." The conversation stopped suddenly as Preet's cell phone started ringing. He looked at his cell phone and furrowed his eyebrows muttering, "Huh, that's strange wonder why she's calling." He answered the phone, "Hey, what's up. Really? She is, is she...you saw her there right now? They are following her around? Anyone else with her? Oh...uh-huh...no kidding...what? She's okay now? Oh really? Nah, he doesn't care. But thanks for calling." Prem sat in his chair listening closely at what Preet had been saying rather curious at who had called him. "Sorry," Preet said with a smile. "Well, I guess if you really don't want to come to the beach with us then there is no sense in forcing you. You can bum around the house all day if you want. We're going. Maybe I'll even be nice and take Preeti out too. She looks like she needs some sun and relaxation. She's a little crabbier than normal but then again her boyfriend is out of town. I'm sure she's missing him like crazy. You know I notice how couples get all moody when one of them is away...doesn't matter if they are happy or just had a fight." Prem scowled at his brother for the last remark. Preet just flashed a quick smile in response. He turned around continuing his rambling, "So, I'm going say this even though I know you don't care cause you aren't going to the beach. After all you wouldn't be interested in knowing that Heer is there. She's there with her family and some friends but apparently there are all these guys staring at her and hanging around them. Even the lifeguard is trying to talk to her. Well, she almost got pulled into a riptide and the lifeguard saved her. But you're finished with her right? So it doesn't matter. She can go talk to half naked guys flexing their muscles at her trying to gain her attention and you wouldn't care one bit. So, I'm going tell Mom and Dad we're going to the beach. Enjoy the rest of your day. If we go to a seafood restaurant I'll bring you back some fried shrimp...I know how much you like shrimp. See you later PB."
Preet placed his hand on the door knob and just as he was about exit the room he heard his brother's deep voice, "Um, Preet...on second thought maybe going to the beach isn't such a bad idea. You know getting some fresh air. It will be good. Don't get me wrong...this isn't because she's there. She can talk to whomever she likes. It's just not good to stay indoors all day. We can bring the volleyball and play beach volleyball. Abby loves playing beach volleyball."
He turned around and simply smiled, "Whatever you want to do PB."
"Preet I'm serious I'm not going because she's there," Prem repeated. "You know it's been awhile since us siblings went out and did something together."
"I know. I hear you loud and clear PB. You don't have to explain yourself to me," Preet replied. "I'll go tell Abby."
"Yeah, you go do that. I'll just get ready," Prem said as he rubbed his upper arm and started moving it up and down making pumping gestures as if he was trying his best to work his muscles and make them rip.
Preet quickly turned around trying to hide his laughter. He knew he had gotten his brother's attention with his made up story and could see the jealousy shining in his eyes. He had him hook, line, and sinker. Preet exited the room before he blew his cover and went to inform the girls that his little chat had succeeded.
"I think this was a great idea Nabz," Lisa smiled as she tied her hair back into a ponytail. "We haven't been to the beach in such a long time." She took her son from her sister and carried Krish who was wearing a red tank top and Spiderman swim trunks. He was extremely excited and wanted to get down and walk.
"Mama, I want to walk," Krish asked.
"Okay, but you have to hold my hand," Lisa instructed as she put her son down. Krish held his mother's hand happily walking and taking in the sight of the beach.
"Where should we set up?" Heer asked looking for some input from her older sister.
"The beach is pretty crowded today. Must be because of the weather," Lisa mused. She scanned the area around them looking for an open spot for them to place their blankets and things down. "I think we should walk further down that way and see if there are some spaces open." The group followed her orders and continued walking further down the beach.
"What are you smiling at Fatima?" Uswah asked with a grin.
"Nothing," she replied but the blush on her face betrayed her words.
"Oh-ho...I see," Uswah replied with a wink.
"Stop..." Fatima pleaded only making Uswah laugh.
"I see your taste Fatima Di...very nice...he's got a great smile," Uswah teased.
"You mean body, don't you?" Nabz inquired as she intruded in on the conversation. "It's the one in the blue shorts whose playing frisbee with the guy in the white tank top, right? He's got short hair."
"Both of you stop looking at them...they will get the wrong idea," Fatima sternly said.
"Wrong idea? Maybe you just don't want the guy in the white tank top to get the wrong idea cause you're more interested in his friend," Uswah teased.
"Good one," Nabz laughed and gave her a high-five.
"Oh My God...ewww..." Uswah squirmed. Fatima and Nabz both turned and saw what had made her shout like that.
"Ugh...he needs to put his shirt back on...all that hair...I think I'm going to be sick," Nabz said. "He's like a gorilla."
"Not so loud," Fatima said. "You want him to hear us?"
"You know I've decided when my parents put me through the whole arrange marriage meeting thing I'm going to ask him on a scale from 1 to 10...one being the lowest and ten being the highest...how would you rank yourself in hairiness?" Uswah announced.
"OMG Uswah you're not kidding, are you? You would do that wouldn't you?" Fatima asked in mild surprise.
"Of course, otherwise how am I going to know? And it's arranged so I think that's a very fair question to ask," Uswah explained.
"You're too funny Uswah," Nabz laughed.
"You want to get married to a gorilla?" Uswah asked.
Nabz shook her head vehemently. "No way!"
"What are you girls talking about?" Lisa inquired as she heard lots of cackling and girlish laughter behind her.
"Just how Uswah doesn't want to marry a hairy man and how Fatima has been oogling boys," Nabz answered.
"I am not oogling boys!" Fatima protested.
"Fine looking," Uswah corrected making everyone laugh.
"Didi is Jiju really hairy?" Nabz curiously asked.
"Eww, why do you want to know about Jiju like that?" Heer replied giving a disgusted look.
Lisa's eyes widen at her little sister's comment. "He shaves Nabz dear."
"Did he do that before or did you have to make him?"
Lisa paused and thought for a few minutes. "I made him...now that he's getting order he's getting that shoulder hair. So I help him wax."
"Ewww!" the girls groaned.
"T.M.I...way T.M.I..too much information," Heer said trying to shake the image of her brother-in-law with hairy shoulders.
"So, how's Prem doing?" Lisa asked changing the subject. "You should invite him over for dinner one night."
"Um, he's doing fine," Heer replied trying not to sound angry and sad.
Lisa looked down and told Krish to walk with the girls. Satisfied that Uswah, Fatima, and Nabz were preoccupied she turned to her sister and said, "That was not a very enthusiastic response. Not the one I'm use to hearing. What happened?"
"Nothing to worry about," Heer said flashing a smile on her face.
"Has Prem talked to his parents about Graduate school? You guys want to study in London right? You are both graduating this year. The paper work should probably be submitted soon," Lisa said.
"It's been done. He just hasn't told his parents yet," Heer replied.
"He should. It's better this way than waiting for the acceptance papers to come and then explain the grand plan to them. You know how his parents want him married soon," Lisa said.
"Heer," Lisa said with great warmth and concern. Her hand was on her shoulder in a display of affection and understanding. "Are you sure you are all right?"
Heer shifted her eyes to the side. "We had a fight. But this time it was his fault. He knows how I feel and there he was talking to...no flirting with Neha!" turning around with anger in her eyes, "You know how close she is with Juneja family. She was Prem's childhood friend. Why does he have so many friends who are girls?! Preeti is his best friend and she's a girl!"
"Really? He doesn't seem the type to do that," Lisa said. "He has a very sweet disposition about him and he gets along with everyone really well."
"Are you defending him!" Uswah suddenly shouted interrupting the conversation. "Flirting with another girl? I swear the next time I see him I'm going to bash his brains out. Don't worry Heer I'll take care of this and he'll think twice about doing anything like that again. See didn't I tell you Fatima?"
"Calm down Uswah everyone is looking at us," Fatima said.
"So what? Let them look!" Uswah growled.
"Good thing there isn't a pan laying around like last time," Nabz chuckled under her breath recalling how Uswah had chased Prem with a frying pan around their house.
"So dramatic you girls are," Lisa sighed. "I'm just saying if you want this relationship to work you can't go flying off the handle. But enough of that," sensing how sour the mood had gotten, "We're here to enjoy the weather and our day at the beach. So let's have some fun and forget about our troubles and worries."
The group stopped their walking as they found a nice spot on the sand next to a family of five with a large rainbow colored beach umbrella stuck in the sand. They placed their things down organizing everything properly before heading to the water for some proper beach fun.
The weather was great and they were all enjoying it. Krish had his bucket in his left hand and his spade in the right. He was looking for shells for his sand castles. He loved coming to the beach with his Heer Masi. They always had a great time making sand castles and playing in the water.
Nabz was busy on her phone. Heer and the rest ignored it knowing what she was like. "Nabz you're always on your phone," Lisa whined. "When will there be a time when you will notice other things apart from this phone of yours?"
Nabz ignored her remark and carried on waiting for a text message reply. She had got the news that Prem had agreed to come to the beach and that they were on their way. Abby had promised to keep her updated about what was happening and so far Nabz had found out that it had taken everyone some time to persuade Prem to come to the beach and on top of that Preeti was their biggest obstacle. Nabz's phone beeped and she saw that she had a text message from Abby. She quickly opened the message which read:
Shall be at the beach in 10 mins. Where would you like to meet?
Nabz replied back:
Come and meet us near the ice cream van. I'll somehow get the girls to buy an ice cream and you can walk past us ;)
Nabz smiled to herself. After this her sister could be happy again with Prem and she wouldn't want to fight with him again. She decided to put her phone away for some time so she could join in with the others. She waited for 10 minutes and then decided that she will ask Heer to come with her and Krish to buy some ice creams whilst the others waited. Heer agreed and the three of them walked to the ice cream van. Heer felt a presence around her but when she looked there was nothing there. She ignored this feeling and concentrated on buying ice creams for everyone.
Prem and Preet walked towards the beach. They each had deck chairs and mats in their hands. The girls walked ahead not giving a care in the world. Abby looked around for Nabz. She had been told to come to where the ice cream van was. It would be easier for them to meet each other that way.
Preeti got the idea that something was up. She had a feeling that Grace, Preet, and Sophie were up to something but what? She didn't want to go the way Abby was going. Throughout the whole journey she had been on her phone speaking to someone and right now she was still checking her phone every now and then.
She didn't trust her.
"Guys which way are we going?" Prem asked. "Preeti and Abby are going in opposite directions, now could you hurry up and pick a spot. These things are actually quite heavy."
"Prem I just know the perfect spot," said Preeti. "There is so much great stuff there too especially the pier and all the fun rides. I'm sure you all will love it there."
"I have this favorite spot," Abby chirped in. "I always go there with my friends, and there are such wonderful views from there."
"Prem I assure you that whenever I visit the beach with my friends we always go down to the pier. We always enjoy it and the restaurants there are brilliant...such delicious food. You'll be licking your fingers," Preeti said.
"But we haven't come for the food have we," replied Abby. "Nor have we come for the pier or the rides. We have come to enjoy this nice sunny day, and so I think that the spot I have picked is just perfect.
"I agree with Abby," Grace said. "We could always go to the fair but it's a great day and the sun is shining so the place Abby has picked is perfect."
Everyone else agreed so they all went down the steps to the ice cream van. Preeti scowled if only the others hadn't butted in then maybe she could have saved Prem from whoever was waiting down there for them. She didn't trust Sophie, Preet and Grace one bit. But what could she tell Prem? That they were up to something planning something behind his back? Though she was his bestest friend he wouldn't believe her that his siblings were scheming to do something to him. So she stayed quiet and followed their lead down the stairs.
Nabz had been waiting for Abby but she was nowhere in sight. Where had they gone? The queue was starting to get shorter and soon it would be their turn to choose their ice creams. After that Heer wouldn't like to stand around. "Where are those guys?" Nabz muttered.
Heer looked towards her, "Did you say something?"
"No I didn't you must have misheard," she replied back to her question.
Heer nodded and waited for Krish to pick his favorite. Everyone oohed and awwed as he chose his favorite.
"That is one cute little boy," they heard a woman telling her husband.
Heer smiled at her, "Thank you," she said.
They started walking back to where the others were. Nabz looked around with a worried expression on her face. Where had Abby and the rest of the gang gone? Had Preeti done something to stop them from coming this way? She didn't know what to do. She had text Abby but she hadn't replied yet.
Nabz couldn't think of anything to stop her sister from going back to where they had stationed themselves. She had to wait back for Abby. Her mind was blank and she couldn't think of anything then an idea popped into her head. "I got to go to the loo," she told Heer. "You guys go ahead and I'll meet up with you guys soon."
Heer agreed and went back to everyone with Krish. Nabz waited for them to go out of sight and then she took out her phone and rang Abby. After a few rings there was a reply on the other side.
She could hear the rest behind her. Abby tried to sound as casual as possible. She didn't want either Prem or Preeti to know what was going on or else their plan would get ruined. She quickly started walking fast and when she saw they were out of ear shot she quickly told Nabz about the dispute with Preeti on which place they were going to go. Luckily Grace and Preet helped out so now they were going to come their way. Nabz saw them quickly and turned the phone off.
Prem looked towards the ice cream van and did a double take. He had to make sure what he had just seen. "Abby I think I just saw your best friend and Heer's sister Nabiha," he pointed out.
Abby looked from Grace to Preet to Sophie in shock. How could he make out Nabz from this far? She looked to see if what Prem had seen was true. Indeed he was right. Nabz was standing near the ice cream van. She had been waiting for Abby to come so she could tell her about the next part of the plan, but now it looked impossible since Prem had spotted her.
If he found out that Heer was here then he wouldn't last a second at the beach he would be making his way back home. They had just fought this morning and neither of them would like to come face to face. She had to do something to divert his attention. She also noticed that Preeti was looking at Nabz studying her with a suspicious eye.
Straight away Abby knew that Preeti was going to say or do something and fill her brother's mind on the real reason they were at the beach and why they were walking to this part of the beach. Abby opened her mouth to explain before Preeti could say anything.
She was walking to where the toilets were. Her sister was nowhere to be seen. She looked around but there was no sign of her. She decided to wait outside for some time to see if she turned up but she hadn't. She waited a bit longer and then she started to panic.
Where had Nabz gone? She was old enough to know what she was doing. She couldn't have just gotten lost. She started looking around. There was no one on the beach that looked like her. Not even a resemblance. She couldn't go and tell the girls. They would get worried and she didn't want to ruin this day.
After ages everyone was enjoying themselves and this is when Heer decided that she would go and look for her herself. She ran around looking for her sister like crazy. Where could she have gone? By this time it had been half an hour since she had left the girls to go and look for Nabz. There was absolutely no sign of her.
She was running and looking around in a frantic state that she didn't notice someone was in front of her. Before she could stop herself she fell to the ground scraping her arm on some glass that was lying there. The first thing that came into her mind was what was the glass doing on the sand? People walked barefoot around the beach and here was some glass on the ground. What if someone didn't see it and walked right onto it? They would have gotten hurt for sure.
Heer looked up to see someone looking down at her. It was him. Prem Juneja, her boyfriend. She didn't know if he even wanted to be her boyfriend anymore; not after all that had happened. He helped her up and looked at her arm. She was bleeding and she could see the hurt and deep concern in his eyes. She couldn't help but wipe his tears away. She couldn't see those precious tears fall.
"Heer are you alright?" he asked.
"I'm fine Prem," she replied. "It's just that I was looking for Nabz, I don't know where she's gone off to."
"Forget that for a minute," he said. "Tell me how you hurt yourself if it was anyone's fault then this will be their last day on this Earth."
"Calm down Prem," she assured him. "It's alright."
Prem looked at her, "Are you sure?"
She nodded. "Have you seen Nabz around anywhere?"
"She's with Abby," he told her. "Come I'll take you to her I can tell how worried you are about her."
Heer gave him a thankful smile and followed his lead.
Everyone was surprised to see Prem and Heer walking together in a friendly manner as they approached the ice cream van. Most were happy to see they were getting along. Preeti on the other hand was not at all pleased. She realized this was what Preet, Abby, Grace, and Sophie had planned all along; to get Prem and Heer to somehow meet on the beach and patch up. She wasn't going to stand for this at all. She knew Prem could do a lot better. Heer was way too jealous and possessive. She flew off the handle a little too easily. It was always Prem having to apologize and finding ways to pacify her. Prem's parents were already pushing him to get married as soon as he graduated from college. She could only imagine the types of tiffs and arguments that would occur if Heer became the Bahu of the family. It would drive the family crazy. Preeti knew she had to put a stop to this before he made a very big mistake.
"Nabiha Maan there you are!" Heer yelled. "Do you know I've been looking for you for the past half hour? You told me you were going to the loo and here you are standing by the ice cream van?"
"I'm so sorry Didi," Nabz replied. She then noticed that her sister's arm was bleeding. "Oh My God Didi you're bleeding! What happened?" She was quickly at her side looking at the arm. "We need to clean that before you get an infection."
"Here take this," Prem said handing over a handkerchief.
Heer looked at him with tender eyes forgetting that she ever had a fight with him earlier in the morning. Preet snickered to himself seeing that things were working out better than planned. They were well on their way to patching up. Abby glanced over at Preeti watching her trying to make sure she wasn't going to ruin everything for them by saying something.
"Lisa Didi probably has some alcohol swabs in her bag. You know she packs everything just in case Krish falls down and scrapes himself," Heer said.
"Yes, let's go now," Nabz replied.
Abby started walking behind the sisters with Preet and Sophie following behind. Grace stayed back a little making sure Prem was going to come with them. To her relief he simply followed behind without saying anything. She walked with him not caring if Preeti was following them or not.
Preeti walked behind everyone trying to think of a way to ruin Preet and his gang of girls' plan. When they got to the beach site Preet and Prem went to work setting up their things, while Heer got her arm cleaned and bandaged by her sister Lisa. Things were going well until Uswah and Fatima returned from their swim.
"You!" Uswah yelled harshly. "You have a lot of nerve showing up here! What are you doing here? Are you trying to ruin our fun?"
Prem looked wide eyed at the way Uswah, who barely came up to his chest was shouting and pointing her finger angrily at him. He recalled what happened the last time she was this upset. She had grabbed a frying pan and had chased him around the Maan household. She didn't stop until Heer intervened. He scanned the area taking note of what she could possibly use to chase him with this time around. The only thing was Krish's plastic spade and bucket. Even though they were children's toys he could still see himself getting beaten to a bloody pulp because they were in the hands of Uswah.
Fatima held Uswah back trying to calm her down. She had been curious when she saw the Juneja siblings and their friends from afar; wondering what they were doing setting up their beach camp right next to their camp. She didn't think Heer was going to be happy about it but then she saw her sitting next to her sister. But before she could take in the situation Uswah suddenly started yelling and making a scene.
Preeti just smirked to herself thankful that Uswah had showed up like she did ruining the momentary peace between the two camps. Her work was half way accomplished thanks to Heer's overly protective and highly dramatic friend. Preeti just hung back and watched the fireworks explode.
"You say maafi maang to Heer right now or else!" Uswah demanded.
"Maafi maang? Why do I have to say that?" Prem asked incredulously. "I didn't do a thing."
"Right, that is why everyone in college knows you're a big flirt," Uswah replied. "They saw you flirting. Heer caught you red handed. Don't deny it!"
"What?" Prem shouted. He could feel his face flush red not because he was hot but because he was getting extremely upset with the way Uswah was butting into his business with Heer. He shot a look at Heer and sternly asked, "What have you been telling your derange friend here?
"I haven't been telling her anything. And don't call Uswah derange!" Heer fumed.
"She thinks I was flirting. Apparently the whole school thinks I was flirting. How many times do I have to say it? Neha is just a friend and I was just talking to her. I have never dated her nor will I ever date her!" Prem furiously replied. "What is wrong with you women? You complain about how guys don't listen when you can't even listen yourself!"
Preet, Grace, Sophie, Abby, and Nabz watched in horror that the plan they had painstakingly crafted was crumbling in front of their eyes. It was too painful to watch. They knew how much Prem and Heer really cared for each other and this one fight they were having was getting completely out of hand.
"You're the one that is not getting it. I told you and you completely disregarded my feelings. How do you think that makes me feel? I'm supposed to be happy about it?" Heer heatedly said.
"I don't know why I even agreed to come to the beach. If I had known you were going to be here I wouldn't have showed up!" Prem shouted.
"Neither would I!" Heer yelled back.
"Fine," Prem said.
"Fine," Heer replied.
The couple then just stood there angrily staring at each other. Neither one made any effort to move away. They were both breathing really hard from all the arguing they had just done and their faces where flushed red.
"Let's all calm down and take a deep breath. If we step back a little I'm sure we can agree that we all said some things we regretted," Preet said in the deathly silence.
"No!" Prem and Heer vehemently replied at the same time.
Preeti cautiously walked up to Prem and softly suggested, "Why don't we go to the pier? Give everyone a chance to cool down?" Prem turned his attention to Preeti making Heer boil with rage. Preeti motioned with her head in a gentle fashion to go further down the beach hoping to coax Prem to agree to her idea.
"Heer let's go for a swim," Uswah said and grabbed her friend's hand pulling her along.
Lisa sighed seeing what was going on. "Prem..."
He stopped from walking away when he heard Heer's older sister call his name. He turned around much to Preeti's disappointment to see what Lisa wanted. "Ji Didi."
"Watch Krish for me," Lisa simply stated handing her son over to him. "I need to get something from the car. I completely forgot."
"Prem Masa," Krish called and hugged him. Besides his parents and his Heer Masi the only other person he adored in the world was his Heer Masi's boyfriend. He didn't like what he saw; seeing his Masi and Masa angry at each other. He didn't want either of them to go away. He clung tightly to Prem so he wouldn't leave. "Are you going to go?" he gently cried.
Prem pulled back his eyes softening at the sight of tiny tears on Krish's face. "No," he replied wiping the droplets away.
Preeti was floored. Prem's anger had completely vanished because of a three year old boy. Preet, Grace, Sophie, and Abby were extremely pleased at the turn of events. Heer's sister Lisa knew exactly want to do to make Prem stay. Now, was the gang's second chance to get Prem and Heer to patch up. They knew what had to be done they had to keep Preeti occupied and calm Uswah down.
Sophie was laying on her towel reading a fashion magazine. She had her feet dangling lazily in the air as she flipped one page at a time reading all about the hot new fashion designers of the year. Abby and Grace decided to go for a swim. Secretly of course they were going to go talk to Uswah and Fatima hoping to straighten things out over the entire situation and get them to come over to their side; the side that wanted Prem and Heer to remain a couple.
Preet and Lisa had gone to a nearby stand to get some snacks for everyone. Nabiha was playing with Krish and Prem in the sand. They were busy building sand castles.
Preeti was sitting in a beach chair texting with some friends. She wanted to be near Prem to make sure nothing else was going to happen. She looked up and lowered her Prada sunglasses down so she could see clearly. She smirked to herself and said in a rather calm and innocent voice. "Looks like someone has a male admirer. Looks to be six foot, brown hair, handsome features..."
Prem immediately turned his attention towards the water and narrowed his eyes. He could see some goon was talking to Heer. He could tell by the guy's body language he was very interested in her. "I'll be back," Prem announced and rushed off to see what was going on.
Preeti hid her smile but she was delighted to see that her plan had worked. Prem and Heer would have another fight and that would be the end of their relationship. Meanwhile, Nabz and Sophie exchanged worried concerns over this new situation that had suddenly presented itself. What were they going to do? What if Prem and Heer had another fight? Could their relationship survive another blow out?
When Prem got closer to Heer and this guy he could see right away Heer was doing everything she could to get the guy to leave her alone. But no matter what she said or did he would not give up. "So you say you have a boyfriend but you're all alone here," the guy replied. "Maybe I can fill in for a day or for the rest of your life."
Heer tightened her jaw. She was fed up with being nice. "Listen here, I told you already. Leave me alone or else."
"Feisty aren't we? I like feisty. It makes things exciting if you get what I mean," the guy said winking at her. Heer had a repulsed expression etched on her face. "One kiss from me and you're done. I guarantee it."
"No thank you!" Heer shouted.
"Oh come on Babe, that was a joke. Can't take a joke? At least let me buy you dinner one night. I'll change your mind for sure. I can be a prince charming too."
Prem had heard enough and stepped in between them. "Excuse me. She told you already the answer is no. Now go away."
"Who are you?" the guy asked. "Listen here buddy I'm chatting with this lovely lady. You should butt out of other people's business."
"This is my business," Prem replied his nostrils flaring. "Leave my girlfriend alone."
"Yes," Prem answered.
"Oh, I get it...I see how it is. You're trying to be the good guy here. Walking by seeing her apparently in distress and you come over here acting like some big hero and try to shoo me away?"
"You really are stupid, aren't you?" Prem replied shaking his head in disbelief.
Heer was soon by his side with her arm around his waist. "I told you didn't I? I'm not alone. This is my boyfriend. Now leave me alone."
The guy stood there for a few seconds trying to decipher what was going on. He could see that both of them had annoyed expressions on their faces and it was directed all towards his direction. He mumbled an apology, "Sorry," and then scuttled away.
"Gosh, the nerve of that guy. He couldn't take a hint," Heer said her arm still around Prem's waist.
"I really wanted to pound that guy," Prem replied tightening his arm around her shoulder. "He called you Babe...made that disgusting pass at you...tried to kiss you..."
Heer looked at him making him look at her. They then realized what they were doing and quickly moved away from each other. "Um, thanks," Heer said and began walking away.
Prem followed her back to their beach camp and sat down on the soft sand to continue building his sand castle with Krish.
"Look, Heer Masi see this big castle Prem Masa helped me build. Isn't it great?" Krish asked excitedly.
"That's because I build really great sand castles," Prem said with a smirk.
Heer felt a sudden surge of jealousy for some odd reason to their remarks and commanded, "Krish, come here. You're Masi is going to build something bigger for you." Prem gave her a glare while innocent little Krish walked over to his Masi with his spade and bucket.
"Krish can you let your Masa burrow your bucket?" Prem inquired.
"Krish, Masi needs the bucket to help make you an even bigger sand castle," Heer said.
"Heer you really shouldn't be using your three old nephew against me like this," Prem snapped.
"What are you talking about? I need the bucket. You can us something else," Heer replied.
Little Krish looked back and forth between the two as they fought over his bucket. Preeti who had been displeased with the outcome of her previous plan thinking for sure Prem was going to fight with Heer over the guy on the beach was mildly surprised that the two were actually going to get into a huge fight over sand castles and the use of Krish's bucket instead. She was the only one sitting at the beach camp rooting for a massive fight. Nabz and Sophie had worried expression etched on their faces. They were looking about them hoping Preet, Lisa, Abby, or Grace would come soon to help them out.
"Why don't you have a sand castle building contest?" Preeti suggested. Prem and Heer both stopped their bickering and looked at her questioningly. "Um, whomever wins gets the bucket."
"Doesn't that defy the point of the contest?" Preet inquired. He had just returned with Lisa from the snacks van carrying a bag full of bottle water and popcorn. "How about whomever loses pays for tonight's dinner?"
"That's an excellent idea!" Lisa chimed in.
"But Didi I don't have enough money on me," Heer protested.
"I'll help you pay...then just pay me back," Lisa smartly explained.
"Preeti and me are on PB's team," Preet said as he dragged Preeti over to stand by Prem.
"Lisa and Krish...they are considered one unit and Abby," Heer said.
"Uh? What is going on here?" Abby asked with confusion as Heer pulled her over to her side. She had just walked back with Grace, Uswah, and Fatima. They had a long discussion and straightened everything out and now everyone was on the same page.
"That means we get Nabiha," Preet replied.
"Then I'll take Uswah and Sophie."
"Okay great, Fatima and Grace you're on our team," Preet smiled.
"What is going on?" Fatima asked.
"We're having a sand castle building contest. Prem and Heer are the team captains. Losing team has to pay for dinner," Preet explained.
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In the beginning everyone was in high spirits as they started to build their sand castles. Krish's bucket and spade were considered off limit items since there was only one. So the teams had to improvise with items they had or found to mold, dampen, and carve the sand into shapes they wanted. The groups came to blows several times as there was no designated boundary between the sand castles. People would accidentally or purposefully walk into opposing team members causing sand castle towers to collapse or be severely damaged. Eventually a line was drawn in the sand to keep the boundary and the peace between the two groups.
"What time is it?" Grace asked as she stood up and stretched her back.
"Wow, it's already 4:50?" Preeti exclaimed checking her Blackberry.
"The sun should be setting soon," Lisa replied.
"Mama, I'm tired. Can we stop?" Krish inquired.
"Yeah, me too," Nabz agreed. "I think we should stop now."
"We should get someone to judge the sand castles," Sophie said. "By design, height, or length?"
"That's sounds good to me," Abby seconded.
"Let's go find someone," Fatima said. "Maybe that family over there?" pointing to a family of four with a dog.
"We should get another family to come and see as well...try to make it even voting," Preet suggested.
"Okay you two, you can stop now," Lisa announced as Prem and Heer continued to madly build and fuss over their sand castles.
"No," they both said at the same time.
"I'm not done yet," Heer explained.
"Neither am I," Prem replied.
"What happened to time limit?" Uswah asked.
"We probably should have set that up in the beginning," Preeti sighed. Her eyes flexed as she saw her cell phone ringing. It was Sehban, her boyfriend. "Okay guys, I gotta go. Important phone call," Preeti rambled and ran off in a hurry.
"What was that all about?" Sophie asked.
"Must be the boyfriend," Abby replied.
"Well, I'm going to take Krish and wash up," Lisa said. "We'll meet you guys at the pier and decide what restaurant to go to."
"I want to wash up too," Nabz said. "Abby?"
"Yeah, let me find my flop-flips and I'll go with you," she replied.
It wasn't long before everyone just gave up and wandered away doing their own thing. They had pretty much given up on the contest and called it a tie. But of course Prem and Heer wouldn't give in and they continued building.
Prem bent down low and started shoveling sand like crazy with his hands shooting it out from between his legs, doggie style. He didn't realize that Heer was behind him. It wasn't until he heard some yelping did he stop and turn to look at what had happened. Heer had her eyes closed tightly shut and her face was in pain. "What happened?" Prem asked with worry as he came over. He was trying to move her hand away so he could see.
"Sand. It got in my eyes," Heer replied. "You were flinging it everywhere."
"I'm sorry. I didn't know you were behind me," Prem said.
"Would it have killed you to check?" Heer huffed.
"I told you I was sorry," Prem replied with annoyance.
"Ehhh...shhh...it hurts..." Heer whined as she tried opening her eyes.
"Stop trying to do that," Prem ordered. "You're going to make it worse for yourself." He quickly grabbed a bottle of water and washed his fingers and wiped it on a clean towel. He then took another clean towel and the bottle over to Heer. "Put your hands down."
"I know. Let me clean your eyes. We'll wash the sand out," Prem explained. He carefully poured water around her eyes and helped her wash the sand away. After a few minutes Heer had her eyes open and blinking. "Better?"
She nodded her head and looked about her. "They really left us?"
"Yeah, some friends and family we have," Prem grumbled. "It's just you and me."
Heer looked at their sand castles and started to laugh. "I'm sorry," Heer said answering the look he was giving her. "They are both pretty pathetic looking now. We've worked on them so much I think we destroyed everything that was nice about them."
Prem startled to chuckle along with her. "They are pretty pathetic," sighing, "We're pretty pathetic." Heer stop her giggling and looked at him. "I really don't like fighting about something I thought we had an understanding about. You know I love you. You shouldn't feel jealous over anyone. Neha is like my sister. I've known her since childhood. I have never felt that way about her. I will never feel that way about her."
"It's sort of hard not to. I know...and I've tried...not to but, it's just you've got a great personality and people just sort of flock to you. Your childhood friend who happens to know your family really well is a girl. Your best friend is a girl. You have a lot of girls who are your friends. You're a great guy and I know any girl would be dying to have you as their boyfriend," Heer explained. "I can't help but feel insecure sometimes when you talk to them."
"You shouldn't. And Preeti? Really? She's like one of the boys to me. I have never seen her in that light at all. That's just too weird. It's the same with her. She doesn't see me like that at all," Prem replied. He tenderly cupped her cheek and continued, "You really think I would say things and not mean them? My family knows how serious am I with you. When Ma started looking for girls for me, I told her I was going to find my own love. And when I found you I told her you were it. I didn't need to search anymore. You're the one I was going to marry. I know my parents have been pushing for a marriage after college graduation and I've put those plans of theirs on hold so we can go get our Master degrees in London...that doesn't mean we aren't going to get married if you were getting worried about that. There is a ring and a mangalsutra at the end of this I promise you this. We'll get engaged before we leave for London."
"Prem," Heer softly uttered her voice thick with emotion. She hugged him tightly, "I'm really sorry."
"I'm sorry too."
"But," pulling back slightly to face him, "please...be aware of your boundaries...the personal space and the touching. Even if you don't mean it that way for others it comes off as if you have some other intention. You get what I'm saying? Doesn't mean I won't allow you to talk to your friends but you're not single anymore Prem. When you're that close or doing something simple like touching their arm...it just sends off the wrong signal," Heer gently explained.
"Okay, I got it," Prem answered nodding his head. "But please talk to me first about something. It wasn't cool doing that in front of everyone."
"I'm sorry. I'll try my best to do that next time," Heer replied.
"So, the sand castles..." Prem said looking down and around them, "truce?"
"Truce," Heer laughed.
"A tie?" Prem chuckled.
"Yea, a tie."
"A kiss?" Prem asked wiggling his eyebrows up and down in a playful manner.
"Most definitely," Heer replied leaning in and closing her eyes.
Prem grinned and prepared to close the distance between them. They were unfortunately interrupted by a series of ooohs and awwws. The couple looked up to see their friends and family staring at them. Their faces had both turned to a candy apply red and they quickly broke apart.
"What's the matter?" Preet innocently asked. "I thought we were going to see a pappi." Prem just glared at his brother while he sweetly smiled back.
"Now that has been settled. Let's go get dinner. I'm starving," Preeti said.
Fatima elbowed Uswah who elbowed Nabz who elbowed Grace who elbowed Sophie who elbowed Abby wondering what just happened. They watched as Preeti merrily started packing things up. She seemed all right with Prem and Heer's relationship all of a sudden. It was a bit strange.
"So when is Sehban coming back?" Preet asked as he collapsed the folding chairs.
"Tomorrow," Preeti replied with a big smile.
"That explains it all," Preet whispered to Abby and the girls.
"Well, at least she's happy now. She'll leave Prem and Heer alone," Sophie replied making everyone smile.
Two figures standing in the dusk on the boardwalk of the pier; one head tilted to the left gently bumping into the other as two mischievous smiles appeared on their faces. Prem sighed and tightened his arms around Heer's waist as they stood there enjoying the ocean night breeze. Heer giggled at the way Prem was rubbing his head against hers. She could feel his warm breath in her ear making her giggle even more.
"Hmmm...I think we should just leave and not come back," Prem murmured in her ear.
"And have them gather a search party for us?" Heer replied.
"It's hard to get close to you with so many people," Prem explained giving her a tender peck on the side of her forehead.
"You need to stop trying to play footsie with me underneath the table. Uswah was getting irritated because you kept hitting her and I had to keep apologizing to her so she thought it was me not you doing it."
"I guess I got my pay back for that time she chased me around the house with a frying pan," Prem smirked happily.
"You two are so childish at times," Heer sighed.
"What to do? We have another thing in common." Heer turned her head to look at him wondering what he was going to say. "We both love you a lot and we don't like seeing you get hurt." She smiled at his words making him break out in a beaming grin himself.
"Mai tumse pyar karti hu," Heer simply replied.
Their faces inched closer as their eyelids slowly fell and within seconds they were both flying high above the clouds. The kissing was tender and sweet, but their hearts still fluttered rapidly in their chest as tingling sensations flowed through their bodies from the top of their heads to the tips of their toes. Just as Heer turned around so she was facing directly in front of Prem and he sunk his hand into her dark tresses cupping her neck, they heard the unwelcome clearing of the throat and cough. They both reluctantly broke the kiss and turned their heads to see pearly white teeth smiling at them.
"I just wanted to let you two know the entrees have arrived," Preet said his eyes twinkling in mirth and mischief. "You two really think we didn't know what you guys were up to when you both left after appetizers? One going to the ladies room and the other had an important phone call to make?" arching his eyebrows in a sarcastic way. "How little do you think of us?"
"Shut up Preet," Prem said.
"I can't win today can I? This morning you were in a sour mood because you and Bhabhi had a tiff. Now when you're back to your lovey dovey ways you are still upset with me. Who convinced you to come to the beach when you didn't want to? Who gave you this opportunity right now to sneak off and go smooching at the pier?" Preet said sourly.
Heer let go of Prem and walked over to her future brother-in-law. "Thank you Preet. In fact say thank you to all the girls." Preet's eyes widen at her comment. "You didn't plan this all by yourself and I know it so don't try taking all the credit." Preet's face slumped into a tiny frown. "I think after dinner we should get ice cream."
"Of course, your brother's treat," Heer replied.
Prem's went wide, "What a sec...I didn't agree to this...Heer..."
"Pakka promise?" Preet inquired in a child like voice.
"Pakka," Heer answered hooking her pinky with his.
"You're the best Bhabhi!" Preet grinned. "Better get back to the table you two. Bye!" running off in delight.
"Heer, how can you make a pakka promise like that?" Prem whined. "I won't have any money left to take you anywhere."
"I don't need you to take me anywhere. Just spending time with you is enough," Heer replied. "Besides if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be standing here right now. We wouldn't have been able to clear everything between us."
Prem's eyes softened and he nodded his head. "Yeah, you're right."
Heer turned to head back to the restaurant when she felt a tug on her hand. "Premmm...we have to go back inside..."
He smirked and pulled her towards him making her land on his chest. "Just one more." He lowered his head and captured her lips savoring the feel of her soft lips against his.
When the kiss naturally broke Heer gave him timid smile. "Prem, you said one," Heer protested as she felt him pull her back towards him. She quickly placed her hand on his mouth preventing him from stealing another kiss. "You and I have a whole lifetime to spend together. A whole lifetime of kisses."
"Pakka?" Prem asked as he lowered her hand from his mouth.
"Pakka promise," Heer smiled hooking her pinky around his.
Prem grinned brightly and swung his arm around her shoulder feeling light and happy as they walked back into the seafood restaurant. All was right with the world again because he got his Heer back. All was right because of their friends and family who wouldn't let them give up on their love.
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