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Helllo my UVC crazies!
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Helllo my UVC crazies!
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Helllo my UVC crazies!
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Recap: Forgive me for being me.
Coldplay's beat is running through my head as I run at an alarming rate. There is something oddly relaxing about working out, running away but being in the same place. It releases energy, revives my mind, and keeps me sharp. I can't go out for a run anymore outside: too many people, too many media sharks and even though it sounds vain: too many fans. I used to enjoy it though. It made me come alive at times. Running is when I gather my thoughts, think things through and decide to take action. Not everyone appreciates it as I do, but it has its purposes. The steady thread of the treadmill continues to beat, the sound of my shoes hitting the rubber, and the melody of the music is all there is in the room. Sweat is dripping down my back, the beads of moisture causing the black shirt to stick to my skin.
I don't know what to do to be honest, I have this sick feeling like something terrible is going to happen. And the predator in me wants to pounce, attack and defend. I've never turned away from battle. But at the same time, I feel as if this battle is going to be more then I could have ever bargained for.
It's early yet, only 8 AM and the gym is getting its regulars ... most guests at the hotel are here to relax and come to the gym in the evening, not particularly in the morning.
It's getting too hot to bear anymore, my shirt is soaking with sweat and seems to be weighing me down. Reaching down I pull the shirt off and whip off the sweat around my neck and back. I might as well get in a full work out then go to the upstairs penthouse suite and take a shower. The song is coming to an end, and I don't know what it is, but I feel someone behind me- as if their eyes are glaring through me, I slow down and turn around. It's Mina.
She looks like the heiress she is: tight LuLu shorts in black spandex, and a barely there LuLu Halter in the same color: it would be just work out clothing, but her posture, persona and attitude make sure it's more than that: It's a statement. And I'm not surprised.
She smiles as she climbs up on the treadmill beside mine, her straight black hair in a sleek pony tail that ends at the small of her back, other than that- there isn't much covering her up.
Mina: So UV, when do the rest of the peasants get to meet the Queen of your Heart?
Her tone is light, humorous...and a little unnerving. I'm not nave enough to buy that she just wants to meet Manyata. There is definitely something more sinister here- I just don't know what it is.
Me: I guess at the Ball Mineers.
Mina: Its odd isn't it? You can trample over me before walking out the door, but still retain the nick name you used for me when we were a couple?
What am I supposed to say to that? I've always called her Mineers, I wasn't reminiscing or thinking about her and the time we had spent together, but simply referring to her by the name I had always used. Yet, I feel like a guilty party- as if I am misleading her or something. Woman, they're pretty damn good of making you feel like that; regardless of what your intentions may have been.
Me: I guess it just depends on what you want to read into it.
Mina:Humm, I guess so.
Me: So tell me Mina, what is it that brings you here?
Mina:Well, I'd love to stroke your ego and say you, but I'd be lying.
Me: Of course, you just happened to drop by in my country, city and hotel. What a coincidence.
Mina:Close, but not really Uday. You have the finest Hotel here, hence why my assistance booked it. That's all. But I am here related to a bigger picture.
I look at her, eyebrow raised and face cynical.
Mina:Don't bother with that expression, I could care less what you think: I'm here to organize and round up the Indian Oxford Alumni for the Oxford ball: I'm on the committee.
Mina:Don't bother with that tone UV. Get over yourself.
Me: I'm so over myself Mina, its others that never get over me.
Mina:You keep thinking that.
She kept on running and I can see that she too is working up a sweat, but she never lets down, matching me step for step as we continue in this subconscious race.
Mina:Moving on UV, when are you going to bring that Princess out to play?
I tense a little at her referral- Manyata is a strong person, but I don't know if I'm ready to throw her to the sharks just yet.
Me: she's around Mina: not in hiding.
Mina:I never said she was in hiding Uday, but I find it odd that you don't take her out and introduce her to your inner circle.
Me: What inner circle?
Mina:Your club friends, people you know- the rich and famous. Is she not living up to your expectations?
I can't tell if she's being sincere, or simply trying to rile me up- at this point in time I don't particularly care.
Me: Manyata is busy with her training, she has a lot of catch up.
Mina:Oh of course, how could I forget that your beloved betrothed has been missing for all these years.
Me: Cut the crap Mina.
Mina:I would UV, but it's simply the truth. Does she think you pinned away for her all these years, crying at night, and wishing her safely home?
Mina:Or does she realize that instead of that, you were simply screwing a different girl every night.
I stop running, and look at her, and I see it: the anger. It isn't pain, it isn't remorse or longing- she hates me. She looks up and never do her eyes falter or waver.
Me: Think what you want Mina.
Mina:Oh, I will UV, I will. But You should be aware that one day or another she's going to realize that you're not a saint.
Me: She knows I never was, so that isn't much of a threat Mina.
Mina:Who said that was a threat? She may understand what you've done Uday...but she's never seen it.
Mina:Just wait and Watch Sweetheart, just wait and watch.
She should know by now, I'm not the waiting type. I grab her arm from the treadmill, and the sudden stop in momentum makes her body collapse on to mine, leaning. I could care less if we're practically sticking together. I'm too pissed off to notice.
Me: If you ever, come near her, I will hunt you down Mina.
She breathes into my face with shallow breaths, and runs her perfectly manicured finger down my face.
Mina:Good Uday, because I've been waiting for you to come after me.
She reaches up and kisses me.
For a moment I'm confused, then I'm irritated and push her away, but before I can, she separates her lips from mine. She smiles, and walks away; leaving me clenching my fists and an uneasy feeling in my stomach.
Me: What was that for?
Mina:I told you Uday. Just wait and watch.
Her lack of subtly shows it all: and I know. I know in that instance that somehow, somewhere, there was a picture.
He had walked out of the hotel a bit more guarded then he had entered it. For the mere fact that Mina was trying to create a web of suspicion was setting him off: She wanted to hurt him, and it seemed that the only way to do so was to either take away Jaigard, or hurt Manyata: the latter was easier, and far more satisfying. The white shirt, black jeans and Ray Bans didn't do much to blend him in- as always his posture, and persona caused him to stand out. There was no way that picture was going to stay in her hands. He thought of the possible places it would end up: Probably Queen R's Royal Chronicles. Tomorrow's headline "Prince Udayveer shacks up with old Flame" or something along the lines of that.
He drove towards Manyata's palace and thought of how to broche this subject, he knew he had to be the first, the first to tell her. The first to explain- he couldn't let Mina's actions threaten him: He himself had not done anything wrong, and he'd be damned if he were treated as if he had.
It was passed noon and the palace was bustling, music rang through the hallways and he understood that today was most likely a dancing day. Peering in, he saw her, dressed in a white suit, with no accents, hair in a neat bun, and little make up: she looked 12 years old, fresh, innocent and pure. He felt too seasoned and realized that this is how Mina saw them: how she would make the world see them.
She must have noticed he was nearby, because she looked up, and smiled a mile wide at his presence. Getting up, she crossed her arms and walked right up to him, smiling.
Manyata: Well, look whose here.
Uday: What princess? Should I get you some glasses?
Manyata: I don't know, you seem familiar...where have I seen you before?
He grinned and ran a finger down her cheek.
Uday:In your dreams I think.
She laughed and batted his hand away from her face.
Manyata: You wish Udayveer. Acha, tell me: what brings you here?
Uday: What do you think Princess?
Manyata: Well, breakfast is over, as is lunch...don't know: what else is left Uday?
He boxed her in against the wall, and rested his forehead on hers.
Uday: Just you.
Smiling, she escaped his loose cage and cocked her head to the side.
Manyata:Suck up. Aab tho tum meri saath argument bhi nahi karthey.
Uday: I'll do that later, so Princess, are you free tonight?
She pretended to open a book and read it carefully.
Manyata: You know what, I'm actually all booked up for the next few weeks- can I get back to you?
He took off his sunglasses, and tucked them into the front of his shirt, grinning at her as he crossed his arms.
Uday: oh, that's too bad. And here I was thinking we should go out.
Manyata: Go out?
Uday: Yeah, you know, enjoy some food, go dancing. Live it up and all that jaaz.
Manyata: Where though?
Uday: I was thinking the club, you haven't really been there.
She thought back to the time she had gone there with Akash'.a frown upon her forehead.
Manyata: You were such an asshole back then.
Uday: Who says I'm a nice guy now? Plus, you were such a prima dona.
Manyata: Ptssh, as if. You just thought you could push yourself around and intimidate me.
He took a few steps closer and was chest to chest with her.
Uday:Are you sure I don't intimidate you?
For a moment, eyes locked, breath still, you could hear a pin drop.
But, the moment was broken as soon as she grabbed his sunglasses and bolted up the stairs.
Manyata: "Intimidate" in your dreams Udayveer!
Like a child she stuck out her tongue and made a silly face, dashing up the stairs.
Uday: Keep them! But tell me, do want to come to the club?
She pondered for a moment at the stairs and smiled down at him as she leaned down from the railing.
Manyata: I'll see you there at seven!
Uday: But I 'll pick you up!
Manyata:Forget it, I'll see you there.
Uday: Why though?
Manyata:Because! I said so, I'll see you there.
Uday: Fine, just remember I'm the handsome one whose a prince.
She rolled her eyes at his words.
Manyata:Tu jah jah, barda aya prince vince. I'll look for you and your ugly mug at 7.
Uday: Ugly!? Do you know how many hearts beat for m'
Manyata:I know I know! An infinite amount! Tu chal abb. Tootles.
Grinning at her you-think-you're-hot attitude towards him, he went back to his car, wondering how Mina would attack, and how he would explain things to Manyata.
The club was by no means a public affair: it was almost impossible for an average person to get it, simply because the VIPs would show up, and the place would get filled, but regardless of who was inside, the owner was always let in.
Uday had dressed a little more suave than his usual club attire, he realized that his responsibilities where changing, and a wedding was coming soon enough in the near future with Manyata. His priorities were no longer looking cool, young, and rich. Instead it was more about Manyata, family and the Throne. Yet, even with the black dress shirt, slacks and white belt and shoes, he found himself still looking cool, young and rich. But, now it had a different aura of sophistication, class and subtle wealth. The club was loud, dark and crowded, lights flashed, colours glared and people were mystified. Even with the constant beat of music, people still stopped, woman turned their heads, and men held onto their dates. The Prince had arrived. There was no mistaking his presence when he stepped in a room, the whispers started, the sighing and the longing glances.
But, he ignored them. For the first time in his life he felt a little irritated with himself, his carelessness had put him in a vulnerable position with Manyata, where Mina and others like her could come and try to wedge them apart: simply for their own satisfaction. Not that he could blame them; part of him understood the various vendettas that were set against him- he had done his own fair share of ruining relationships, break hearts and vindictive actions; simply because he could and was capable of doing as such.
A waiter came up to him with his signature drink, he held onto it simply so he would have something to do, keep him busy while she came. He glanced at his watch, it was almost 7. Shaking his head he took a sip of the whiskey, looking around and scanning the perimeter. His friends Vikas Kapoor: Vik; Dhivin Chopra: DC; and Karan Verma. Vik was on the shorter side, but focused intensely on building his physic, unfortunately he was losing some of his hair, which he frequently covered up by an expensive ball cap. His father was a rubber industrialist, but if you looked at him, you wouldn't be able to tell. Next was DC, he was by every means a heart throb, tall, dark and handsome, he was by all means new money: his father and him had started a telecome company 6 years ago, and were now enjoying being part of the rich and famous- he was by far the most humble person Uday had ever met. Finally, there was Karan. The youngest of 5 kids, and the only son he was a spoiled brat of an Airline Empire; good genes and a hefty bank account had made him arrogant. However they were, they were his friends, and he had not seen them in what seemed like ages.
Vik: Holy shit guys, is that Uday?
DC: No, no. I don't think so. Buttoned down shirt...
Karan: No torn up jeans.
Vik: And are those WHITE shoes I see?
Karan: Man, where the hell is Uday, and what the hell did you do to him?
Uday: Shut up asswhipes.
The men grinned at each other and took their drinks from the waiter to their side.
DC: Seriously though Uday, it's good to see you bud.
Karan: Yeah, we were about to send out the cavalry for you or something.
Uday: Nothing of the sort. Just busy with a bunch of stuff.
Vik: Does this stuff include a Princess?
Karan: And is it rated PG-13?
Uday: Suck it Karan. And yes Vik, it involved Manyata. It's been interesting the last few months and we've needed to do whatever we could to make her finally get comfortable in becoming a princess.
DC: You know, we still haven't met this bhabi of ours.
Uday grinned at DC's perception of her.
Uday: Don't say that in front of her, she'll skin us both alive.
Mina: Really? There's finally someone who can skin the all Mighty UV?
They turned around towards the voice and saw Mina. In a tight white strapless Minnie she looked stunning, the thick black crystal strands of beads around her long neck framed her face, and her simple French twist left her ears exposed which were adorned by match studs. She looked lethal. Sauntering towards them she reached up to kiss Uday, but he smartly dodged her and gave her his cheek- it was a smooth motion, and only those closest to him would have noticed the change, to everyone else it looked like a simple socialite greeting.
Karan let out a low whistle at Mina's apperence;
Karan: Oh ho, is this her Uday?
Karan kneeled down on one knee and lavishly kissed her knuckles.
Karan: Run away with me princess, I'm better looking, younger, and so much more classy.
Mina laughed and took back her hand subtly, adjusting her black clutch and looked towards Uday while speaking to Karan.
Mina: Thanks love, but I'm not a princess in the same sense.
DC smiled into his drink and understood that it was one of Uday's old flames; he was pretty intuitive.
Vik: Really, so what are you then?
Mina, was just as suggestive as the dress she wore, running a finger down Uday's cheek, she grinned. Her white teeth stood out against the deep red lipstick.
Mina:Ask the Yuvraj gentlemen. Pleasure meeting you all; I'll see you later Uday.
Karan: Not fair Uday. You've got one at home, and you have another one here.
Uday clutched his glass and glared at Karan; who was too self-absorbed to notice his friends warning look.
Vik: Ignore Karan Uday, he's just being the idiot he is.
DC was the subtle one of the three, he took his friend aside and spoke to him in hushed tones.
DC: Is everything alright Uday?
Bracing his hands against the bar, Uday ran a hand through his hair, and then downed his whiskey in one gulp.
Uday: I don't know DC. I really don't know.
DC placed his drink on the bar, and rested his elbows on the counter, signaling the waiter for another round.
DC: Well, for starters, how are things with Manyata?
Uday: Good, or, at least I think so. We get along now.
DC: Well, that's always a plus.
Uday snorted at his friend's obvious sarcasm.
Uday: Tell me about it.
DC: What about her, the babe in white?
DC: One nighter?
Uday: No, we went out for a few months. I guess a multi-nighter would be more accurate.
DC raised an eyebrow at his friend, skeptical and a little surprised.
DC: I've known you for a few years Uday, you've never gone out with someone more than a few days. How did a few months happen?
Uday: She was the only one; and the last. I don't make the same mistake twice.
DC: What's she doing here?
Uday: I think she's here to make my life hell to be honest.
DC: Well, if that's the case, I think you need this my friend.
He handed Uday another drink, which he greatly accepted.
Uday: Hell yeah I do.
DC is a friend that everyone needs in their life. I may not have known him for all of my life, or even most of it, but I know he's genuine. Genuiness is difficult to fine in my profession. DC is nothing if not genuine. Karan on the other hand, I could kill. Vik, is OK. We lean against the bar for a bit, I sip my second drink leisurely compared to the first one. Its deep, rich, expensive whiskey, but I can't taste it. I wonder what she wants from me. Mina hasn't seen me in years. I haven't thought about her, or said hi, and yet here she is: out of the blue and ready for blood. I was still facing the bar and DC had decided to lean his back against it as he looked out towards the crowd. We chatted amicably about little things here and there, I know he isn't leaving my side simply because Mina is watching me like a hawk. Crazy Bitch.
DC: I call dibs.
He's dead serious and I grin at the old line. It's something we used to do were if we saw a girl we both wanted, the first one to call dibs was allowed to get her. I usually always called dibs first, but it seems like he beat me too it. It's alright though, I don't need to call dibs anymore.
Turning around I see her. It's a white dress, cut mid-thigh, a halter top, and flowey feel, the dress synchs at her waist by flows down seamlessly. Loose curls run down her back, and sparkling black heels, and black clutch accessorize. Simple diamond studs complete her look. I almost didn't recognize her, but when our eyes locked and she grinned I did. There's no way I could fail to recognize that smile.
I pat DC's shoulder as I put my drink on the counter, grinning at him like a kid on Christmas.
Me: Sorry bud. But I've had dibs on this one since I was 5.
I meet her half way on the dance floor and we don't talk, like naturals I place my hand on her waist and she places hers on my shoulders. She looks so wholesome compared to some of these girls here- pure, fresh'and innocent. I bet she can count the number of times she's been in a club on her hand, and has never had a drink. Nothing about her screams experienced or seasoned, yet she's one heck of a professional when it comes to putting me into my place.
Lights are flashing, and I'm sure someone has pulled out a camera from somewhere, but I don't particularly care. I know I'm smiling like a fool, and she returns the favour. I'm just going to enjoy this for a while.
Me: So Princess, what came over you?
She looks at me with an artificial confused look.
Manyata: Why, whatever do you mean Yuvraj Udayveer Singh?
Me: I mean, what made you go from Manyata to Madonna?
Manyata: Yeh Madonna khon hai?
I laugh at her earnest expression
Me: Never mind, you're better the Madonna. So, abb tho humey batha do, ki yeh change kis liye?
Manyata: Kynuki maan kiya. Kyun, sirf JN chotay, chotay kaprey pahen sakthyi hai?
I laugh at her serious expression and I can feel people staring at us wondering at what the conversation is about. Settling down, tuck back another piece of her hair, and continue dancing.
Me: Nahi, app bhi chotay, chotay kaprey pahen sakthyi hai Princess; lekin zaroorat nahi hai.
I don't want any prying ears to hear these words, so I lean in to speak into her ear.
Me: Because, I like you just the way you are
It's only been the second time I've admitted to this feeling, and I'm still waiting for her to return the sentiment. Maybe tonight? Actually I should but that thought on the back burner, because she simply hits my back with her small clutch.
Manyata: Bakwaas band Udayveer. Tu bhi na, filmy pe filmy line mar tha rahtha hai.
I raise my eyebrow at her, and grin.
Me: If I quote Bollywood is it OK?
Manyata: Shut up Udayveer.
Me: Aye haye! "Uff teri ada..."
Knowing the rest of the song fully well she smacks my arm and lets go of me and mutters Halkat. I take her hand before she can wander off. I fully well know how easy it is to corner someone in this club.
I naturally take her up to the guys to introduce her, when Karan put out his hand to shake, she respectfully did her "Namaste" thing. I know she's capable of shaking hands, but I think she can recognize a slime ball from a mile away and chooses to ignore his outstretched reach. I do my best to surpress a grin. But I think I'm failing miserably at it, because DC is grinning at me too. Vik, is obliviously unaware as he tries to catch someone's attention.
DC: So Manyata Bhab..
I think Manyata knew what DC was about to say and sent him a warning look.
Vik: So Rajkumari Manyata, is this your first time in Uday's club?
Manyata: No, I've been here once before, but had a pretty bad experience.
I tactfully look around and refuse to confirm or deny this instance.
Karan: I find that hard to believe Rajkumariji, UV has the best club in town.
Manyata: He might, but sometimes the best people aren't in here.
I pinch the middle of her back, and she tries to step on my foot, but I think she hit Karan's leg.
Karan: Ouch! What the hell Uday!
Manyata does her best not to laugh, and I coyly touch the back of my neck as I continue to tap a beat on Manyata's back with my fingers.
Me: My bad Karan, I thought it was a bug
Karan, being the freak he is, moves out of the way to ensure the apparent "bug" doesn't come near him again. Idiot.
We continue Chatting and they eventually venture off to find some female company which doesn't include Manyata. We dance, and sit at the bar to eat, people drop by to say hello and introduce themselves. I would have taken a private booth, but whatever Mina may have up her sleeve: she has a point. I need to take Manyata out and share her a little- ensure she gets used to people and they get used to her. Officially, her coronation and coming out party hasn't happened and is booked for a few months down the line; after the Oxford Ball, so this is a nice seep in: they aren't used to her, we've only gone out a few times once for lunch, then the shopping. The big date doesn't really count because we were incognito.
Her training has come in handy, she's perfected the hand shake, the subtle wave, the coy smile and the polite mask of indifference, finally we get a moment alone.
She sips her cola and leans in to talk to me, her words sharp and lethal.
Manyata: Next time you ask me to come out with you, remind me to say NO.
Manyata: Why! What do you mean why! This feels like a meet and great!
Me: Because it sort of is, this is the first time we're out with the general public Manyata.
Manyata: I would have rather watched a movie to be honest.
Mina: I don't blame you, movies are far more entertaining then all this fake politeness within the inner circles.
Her voice is polite, sweet, and very sincere. Manyata gets off her chair and smiles at Mina, extending her hand to Mina's out reached one.
They're both on the short side, but Manyata is taller, both in heels, means Manyata is still taller. Looking at the both of them, they look so different. Both in white, but both completely different. Mina looks seasoned, experienced and aloof, Manyata looks young, and fresh.
Mina: Mina Randhawa, Rajkumari Manyata, pleasure meeting you.
Manyata: You as well. You're not from here are you?
Mina: Oh no, I'm from the UK. Just rounding up the Oxford Indies for the Ball.
Manyata: Oh, you went to Oxford as well?
Mina: Yes, just a couple years behind UV here.
Manyata looks back at me, and back at Mina.
Manyata: UV? Udayveer you mean?
Mina: Yes, Udayveer. We called him UV back then, I guess I still do sometimes.
Manyata laughs and looks back and me again.
Manyata: UV, really? Wah, kya naam hai.
I roll my eyes at her, and possessively place my hand on Manyata's hip.
Mina: Well, he was something else back then. So Manyata, how do you find your new-found Royal life?
Oddly enough Mina wasn't being a snob about it, it seemed like she was genuinely curious, and I guess that's why Manyata opened up to her so nices, She sat down at the bar beside Manyata, sipping her peach bilini and the two talked, like old friends they had managed to click. There was no malic in Mina's eyes towards Manyata, no anger or distain. But whenever her eyes moved towards mine, they darkened and the hatred was noticeable by those who bothered to read into it.
Manyata: Oh Mina! Where have you been the last few months!
Mina: In England.
They both laugh and continue chatting; and like an oblivious airhead, Manyata gets up to go to the rest room. I don't waste time to speak with Mina.
Me: What the Hell do you think you're doing!
She sips her drink and takes her sweet time answering, crossing and uncrossing her legs, gets up, and braces her arms on either side of my body, caging me against the bar, she's short then me, but some how she makes up for her size with the seriousness in her voice.
Mina: She's a good girl Uday, and you don't seem to deserve her.
I'm stiff and don't bother moving, but she continues.
Mina: But you've never deserved a good girl, you've never deserved me Uday.
Me: Mina, I think you should move out of my way.
Mina: Oh now sweetheart. I'm just getting started.
Mina: I like her you know. She reminds me of someone I once knew.
I know who she's talking about: the old Mina had a little of Manyata in her- of course not the same, but she was wholesome, regardless of who she was now, it was me who had started her off.
Me: Look Mina, you have a problem with me: take it out on me, leave Manyata out of it.
She grins, and leans in, her chest into my face practically.
Mina: You see Uday, I will take my problem out on you. But it seems the only thing that bothers you now a days is when she's upset with you. I like Manyata, but as they say: there are always casualties in war.
I try to push away, but I don't want to touch her. Instead she simply leans in and kisses my neck. I turn away, and I see Manyata to my left, staring.
Mina smiles deviously, holds her clutch and walks up to Manyata.
Me: You should know the truth about him Manyata.
And gives her an envelope. Clutching it, Manyata ignores me and walks by Mina stands in the corner looking pleased...I little sad when she looks at Manyata, but immensely pleased when she looks at me.
I'm angry as hell, and I walk away. I shouldn't go near her again, not making the same mistake twice.
Mina: It's not over Uday. Remember that.
Me: F*ck off Mina.
Mina: I'll do my best Uday. See you in a month.
And with that, we walk away in different directions, never looking back. I hope this is the last I see of her, for her sake if not mine.
The drive to the palace was terrible: evening traffic, people on the streets and families enjoying the cool summer evening. He wanted to race like a madman to her house, but he controlled himself. Knowing full well what Manyata was thinking he decided caution was the only solution. She needed to know that Mina was trying to hurt them. Although he had never planned on discussing his past affairs with Manyata, it might be the only option. Parking his car her asked the guard where she was, he replied that the princess had gone inside, but he didn't know where.
The palace was pretty empty, and it seemed that everyone was gone somewhere; probably to the Country Club. He glanced at his watch and noticed it was 10:30. He considered leaving. It was late, and he didn't want anyone to think they were doing something inappropriate; but at the same time, he knew this couldn't wait. She needed to understand him! She had too!
Uday: Screw it.
He searched the house: J's room , her room, the kitchen, drawing room, even DS's office. But she wasn't anywhere to be found. The garden was also empty. As he roomed the grass in the moonlight, he saw her, sitting on the edge of the roof, head resting on the higher wall, knees drawn to her chest, and face unreadable. Still dressed in her clothing from the club, her white dress shone in the moonlight. He couldn't leave her there, so he made his way up to the terrace, ready for the worst.
She looks at him, angry and hurt. It's visible, but slightly underneath those two emotions there is a level of disgust which is impossible to miss.
He walks near her, she slides off the ledge and leans her back against the wall, her arms resting on the edge.
He's just a few feet away, and that's when she throws the first shoe.
He dodges it, but the second on, hits his shoulder, ignoring the pain he walks closer to her, not willing to back down as she throws a the plants that rest on the ledge. He moves like a panther, sleek, dark and beautiful, the only proof of the attack is in the dirt that settles onto his black clothing, and the graveyard of broken plants which litter the terrace.
He finally reaches her, and attempts to touch her arms, she moves away.
Manyata: Don't even bother.
Uday: Manyata, at least talk to me.
Manyata: What should I talk about Uday? These! Should I talk to you about these?!
She throws photos at him, photo, after photo, after photo.
They weren't the ones he had expected: they weren't from the gym. They were old from Oxford. And they were with Mina.
The first was of them at the beach, her arms around him, lips at his neck, the second was of them at a club, he was dipping her low as they danced.
The third was of them kissing, but it was from a newspaper the heading was titled, "Prince finds new Princess: Prince Udayveer Singh of Jaigard embraces his steady girlfriend Heiress Mina Randhawa"
The fourth was of Mina, dated months later, she looked sick, and tired, beside her there was a picture of me partying with other girls, the heading read, "Prince UV moves on, leave heiress in pieces": Then, there was the picture from the gym.
Uday swallowed the lump in his throat. What was he supposed to say to these?
Mina hadn't been trying to just hurt him: she had wanted Manyata to see his ugly past: the scares he had left on others. And she was succeeding,
Manyata:I knew you weren't the best person Uday, but this? You hurt her!
Uday: Manyata, you don't understand!
Manyata:I fully well understand! Kithni logo ki hi lagi hai tumko Uday? Kithni?!
Uday: It's not like that! I was young!
Manyata:And Heartless! Look at these!
He stared at picture upon picture of Mina's slit wrists and hallow face. The gossip articles, the headings. This envelope contained so much hurt and pain.
Manyata:How could you be so cruel Uday!
Uday: I didn't know!
Manyata:How couldn't you! You fully well know what you're capable of, you DO know.
Uday: it's not like that!
Manyata: Then what is it like? You didn't sleep around, you didn't break hearts? you didn't lead her on: you didn't ruin her life?
Uday: YES! I didn't force anything on Anyone Manyata! They fully well knew I wasn't committed. Why can't you see that?
Manyata:I do see it! But I also see their hurt. Especially Mina's.
Uday: Why the hell are you taking her side?
Manyata:I'm not taking her side. I'm seeing the truth Uday. And the truth is you're not a good person.
She attempted to walk away, but he grabbed her hand.
Uday: I'm not done Manyata, let me talk.
Manyata:No Uday, We're done. I'm done talking to you.
Uday: You can't do this. After all we've been through.
Manyata:You want us together Uday?
Uday: Yes, you know I do. What type of question is that?
Manyata:a legitimate one. You want us together then you need to understand something, I can't be anything let alone friends with someone who has no compassion, remorse or understanding of what they've done wrong.
Uday: Stop talking in circles Manyata! Get to the bloody point!
So looked at him, disappointed, and a little ashamed at him. He didn't feel remorse. He didn't feel as if he was wrong, or had been wrong. He didn't get the point.
Manyata:Uday, when you can make immense to Mina, and to others like her, we'll move forward. But I can't even consider "us" until I know that a week from now, months from now, or years from now, there won't be others like Mina; who want you hurt because you hurt them.
Uday: What the hell! Manyata that makes no sense!
Manyata:Yes it does Uday!
He paced around the terrace, wanting to punch a hole through the wall, but he stopped himself.
Uday: No it doesn't! What does my past have to do with anything? What does it matter who I dated, who I did, and who cried after it was over! It's in the past Manyata! What part of "I Love you" Do you fail to understand?
Manyata: that's not the point Uday.
Uday: What's the point then? I don't get it! You're going to let some person from my youth upset you like this, make you feel as if you owe them something!
Manyata:No Uday, You're wrong. I don't owe them anything, but you do.
He snorted in disbelief, still failing to grasp her concept.
Manyata: You owe Mina, and others like her Uday, an Apology. Just like J.
Uday: Forget it!
Manyata: Just Leave Uday, just leave.
He looked at her in disbelief as she pointed towards the exit, shaking his head he took his leave, storming down the stairs to leave. He sees J walking into the foyer but ignores her and her curious look. Yuvraj Udayveer Singh had never had to apologize to anyone. But it seemed an apology was the only way to win over Manyata.
Waking up the next morning didn't leave me feeling much better. My head hurts like a bitch, and I can't get those images out of my head. I usually dream of Manyata, or my mom. But for the first time in my life, I dreamt about someone I didn't want to think about. Mina. When I look at her now, I can't imagine the same girl I saw in those images last night. Unable to resist, I pull out my laptop and Google her and the words "sick". They're older articles, poking fun, malicious and gruesome. They show pictures of her looking pale, sickly and fragile. Apparently she had been like this for the first 3 months after our break up, and after that, she was gone for almost a year. Fed up, I throw the laptop further along the bed and fall back into my warm sheets. Time, and a lot of whiskey had finally made me understand Manyata's reaction last night: She did understand that there is nothing between Mina and I. Perhaps, Mina knew all along that she couldn't play me and make Manyata think that I was two timing her. But, she also understood Manyata's character, and that she wouldn't appreciate my actions, even if they were in the past.
I groan and roll over, getting ready to take a shower and make my way to the office. But still, I can't shake those images out of my head. She looked so alone...afraid. Tired. The bloody wrists, the scares that covered them. I think back, and realize that Mina had actually worn bracelets both all three times I had met her: large, opulent, chunky jewelry which covered her scares. I don't know what I feel...remorse, guilt...some level or responsibility? I still don't understand why I should. Mina knew. Yes, we were together the longest, but I never told her I loved her, or made her any promises. Angry, I throw the bar of soap across the shower wall and cut the cleansing ritual short. I make my way to my room in the white towel sitting low on my hips. Opting for a t-shirt and jeans I make my way to the various meetings I have with the developers throughout the day. Hoping for a distraction, wishing for some peace.
I lasted an hour, before I couldn't take it anymore. I had to see Manyata, I had to talk to her, to let her know I understood her point of view. I didn't respect it, or like it, but I understood it. I guess it was her wanting me to shut a chapter of my life: ensure that the past doesn't come back to haunt me later on. And I guess in that sense of the thought, she has an accurate point: How can we be happy, when people from the past will do their best to make us unhappy? Actually, I don't think that's what she meant, I think her main point was "You were an asshole and should apologize" but, I'd forgo the latter and consider the first as the reasoning in my head. It makes me feel less guilty.
Guilty. Yes, I guess I do feel a little guilt. I probably never would have, until I saw those images of Mina like that. In that moment she had looked broken'and I can't imagine what saved her from that pain.
I had texted Manyata to come outside, and apparently she had been cool enough to accept my request, meeting me at the palace gates, leaning into the car she spoke.
Manyata: OK, what do you need?
Me: Are you still angry?
She signed and shook her head at me.
Manyata: I'm not angry Uday. I'm disappointed
I don't bother smiling, because frankly I don't particularly feel like it.
Opening the door for her, she hops in. In a gorgeous light purple suit, she doesn't resemble the smokin' girl at the club last night, she looks refined, classic and very Hindustani.
Manyata: So, what did you need Uday.
I start driving, and she glares at me.
Manyata: Stop the car! I'm not going with you!
Me: I'm doing what you wanted Manyata, I'll apologize to her.
Manyata: I need to tell them I'm..what?
Me: I'll apologize to Mina.
Manyata: What made you change your mind?
Me: The pictures.
She rested her head on the seat and closed her eyes.
Manyata: I thought about them last night, the images. How much pain must someone be in emotionally to want to destroy themselves physically? To stop living, breathing. To stop caring about everyone around them?
Me: I don't know.
I look straight ahead and focus on driving. I can't look her in the eye because he words make me feel so little. I hadn't thought of it in that context, and I can't help but feel slightly ashamed. I feel her hand rest on top of mine on the gear shift, and I look at her face at the warmth.
Manyata: You're not the same person Uday. And I think if you had known what she had been going through you would have dropped by. You would have asked. You would have cared.
She was right on that account. I would have. Had I known...But I don't want to think about that. What I felt for Mina was something that could have been more. There could have been and she was already there waiting for me to be on the same level as her. So I left. I could have stayed with her longer had she not uttered " I love you" it was complacent, but she had. And I left, and never looked so much as back once.
I guess there are things in my life that I regret. But then again. What if I had strayed? What if something more happened with Mina? What if I forgot about the alliance, and changed my tune- would I have fallen for Manyata? Maybe it's just fate, this is how things were supposed to happen. I guess I'll never know.
Manyata: So where are we going?
Me: The hotel, she's there- I'll apologize.
Manyata: Do you mean it though Uday?
Me: I do.
I guess my two words were sincere enough, because she didn't push it. Didn't argue, just simply agreed.
We drove like that to the hotel, hand in hand, silence between his, and the occasional sigh of exhaling. It wasn't an awkward silence, it was a peaceful one where we each collected our thoughts, thinking and understanding. We needed this.
Upon our arrival at the hotel, we stop at the front desk and ask the clerk where Mina is staying; 650. We make our way up towards the elevators, and ride up 6 stories in silence, when I knock on the door, Manyata's grip tightens around my hand, she nods in support.
Without asking whose at the door, Mina simply yells out to us.
Mina: Come in! It's open!
I feel like yelling at the idiot, leaving her hotel door unlocked, but I let it go.
We walk in and the room is in the process of being packed, her Louise Vutton Lugadge is open on the bed and being organized, a maid is helping her. She looks up, startled for a moment, and quickly flips something over, and throws some clothing on top, probably her unmentionables.
Mina: Uday, Manyata.
She nods at Manyata, a sincere smile on her face: I guess she wasn't lying when she said she liked her.
Manyata, obviously liked her too. God, this is too freaking weird.
Mina looks 16, gone is the expensive dress and designer jewelry, instead she's in sweat pants and a t-shirt, there's a long sleeved hoodie that covers her wrists. She smiles to the maid, and asks her to come back later, and soon enough we're alone. Just the three of us.
Manyata: We're sorry to intrude.
Mina: Oh, no worries. I was just packing up. Please make yourselves comfortable. Would you like something to drink?
Manyata: No, thank you though.
There's this silence, and I don't know how to start. I don't want to say the words "I'm sorry" but...I suddenly feel as if I need to say them otherwise I'm going to lose a part of myself- not Manyata, but something more intangible then that: My humanity. Manyata looks away, out of the window. I make my way to Mina; she shifts away at my presence, dressed like this, she doesn't seem like the vixen I had met for the last few days, she doesn't look so confident and put together. I guess a big part of her was putting up a front to bring me down. I guess I have to give her that much credit, she wanted me to feel intimidated, and she wanted to be in control. I reach down and grab her hands gently. She stiffens at my touch. Gently I roll up the cuffs of the sleeves and I see them those scares running parallel with her wrists, they don't mar her beauty, but it makes you see that even the beautiful have pain. She tries to pull her hands away, but I don't let her. She won't meet my eyes, but I still look at her.
Me: I'm sorry I hurt you Mina.
She looks up, the hatred is still there, burning strong, bright and almost eternal, but there is surprise there as well.
Mina: Sorry for what Uday!
Manyata turns around and stops herself from taking a step, but Mina isn't done, she continues.
Mina:Sorry you slept with me, let me get attached, left me, but before you did leave, had to have me one last time.
I feel like covering Manyata's ears, but she doesn't flinch. Mina, is shaking in anger.
Mina:Sorry that when you left, the morning after there were headlines, and pictures from my apartment, of you leaving in the middle of the night, pictures of me crying in my room.
Mina: Sorry that when you left, the tabloids, my friends, your friends all whispered, make remarks, there was jubilation, "I told you so's" and the pity.
Me : Mina..
Mina:Or, are you sorry that after you left me, you did everything you could to make it clear that you had moved on. Or are you sorry that my reputation was in taters, that every time I went somewhere, did something, every leach on the face of this earth would come up to me thinking I was some easy sl ut!
If felt like a splash of cold water, that word. It was used constantly to demean woman, by both genders.
Mina:Or are you sorry that the verbal and emotional abuse was to the point that I thought it was better I died! Are you sorry that my parents were ashamed of me, thought I had brought it on myself because I wasn't "a good Indian girl" who had waited till she was married! Are you sorry about that!
She was yelling now, tears were brimming out of her eyes.
Mina: Are you sorry I...
She stopped though, placed her hand on her mouth and sobbed. Sitting on the bed, she looked so young, and broken. I tried to help in the only way I could, offer a comforting hand, which she batted away.
Mina: Don't you DARE touch me Uday. NEVER touch me again. You did you're fair share for a life time, and I'm still repenting that.
Manyata flinched at her words and stepped forward.
Manyata: Mina...I want you to know that..
Mina: What do you want me to know Manyata?
Her words weren't sharp, or lethal, they were exhausted.
Mina: How you're disappointed in him? Want better from him? That's fine. But it doesn't change anything. If you're here for forgiveness, you won't find it from me.
Manyata: I guess, he doesn't deserve the forgiveness. I can understand that.
Mina: You're right. He doesn't deserve it. And he doesn't deserve happiness either.
Manyata's eyes darkened at Mina's cynical response.
Manyata: Is that a threat of some sort Mina?
Mina: No Manyata darling, it's a promise. It's also a shame, because I actually like you.
I guess we were done here, because Manyata grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the room, but before she left, Manyata spoke the last word.
Manyata: The real shame is that you haven't moved on yet Mina.
The door shuts behind us, and silence ensues.
We made our way down the hall and down the elevator. Hand in hand, all I can hear is my own breathing, her angry breaths and heartbeat, she's pissed off, and I don't particularly blame her, but I'm amazed how quickly her focus shifted from me and my errors to Mina's misguided vendetta. Rich girls are crazy. Thank god Manyata was brought up poor.
She's storming away but I slow her down.
Me:Eat something at least? It's passed Lunch time.
She nods and we walk towards the lobby. She stops mid-step and looks back towards her dupatta which has caught onto something or someone. I turn around and see some dude a 6 foot something, with tawny brown hair, in a white shirt and sweat pants which were obviously drying from some fun in the sun.
He's looking down at his watch were Manyata's dupatta is stuck, and I feel like laughing at this ridiculous Bollywood movie moment, he untangles the fabric, and smiles gently at Manyata.
Manyata hesitantly smiles, and holds my hand. Wow, I'm being claimed. How amazing.
Manyata: It's alright, thank you though.
It takes me a moment but I finally recognize that face!
Me: Yash?! Is that you? Holy shit! I'd hug you but you stink buddy!
He doesn't stink, but I can't help but rile him. It's been a few years since I've seen him, and he's filled out from his awkward dork faze.
He grins at me, and I'm happy to know he recognized me as well: and he didn't miss a beat.
Yash: Don't worry UV, I wouldn't want to hug you either, I'd catch some STD.
I grin at the smart ass remark, I would expect nothing less from Liam Yashvardan Ryan: smart ass has a prissy name too.
I think Manyata was about to have a heart attack before we both burst out laughing and hug each other in one of those manly embraces. His wet clothing seeps into mine, and I frankly don't care. It's just so good to see him. We let go, before our bromance gets too out of control.
Me: So, what brings you here man?
I try to peer behind him at the girl whose hiding, but she's good, and doesn't give me much to work with behind his broad shoulders. Oh well, I can't blame her, she most likely doesn't want to be seen soaking wet in front of strangers
Yash: Long story man; we'll chat over dinner and drinks some time, catch up. It's been a while!
Me: It has! Are you staying here, at my place then?
Yash: Yeah, I knew it was yours but I wasn't expecting the great Yuvraj Udayveer Singh to be gracing me with his presence!
Me: Well, you're in luck you peasant. You've been graced by another royal today.
I bring Manyata forward and introduce her to him.
Me: Yash, meet my fiance Rajkumari Manyata of Devgard.
Manyata smartly steps on my foot at the title, and I do my best not to grimace
He's sincere and happy to see her, he like many others knew about Manyata and the circumstances of her disappearance.
Yash: It's a pleasure meeting you princess.
I grin at his title. Obviously this half whitie wouldn't think of the word "Rajkumari". How I've missed this guy.
Me: No Ryan, forget it. I only call her princess.
He rolls his eyes at my words and grins
Yash: Ok there Romeo. What do I call her then?
Manyata: You can call me Manyata Mr. Ryan.
Yash laughs at the Mr. In front of his name that Manyata kindly placed.
Yash: Well, in that case Manyata you should call me Yash.
Manyata : It's nice to meet you Yash.
My phone rings and I excuse myself, waving good bye and signaling that I'll call him in a moment. Manyata, of course comes with me.
This has been some week. It seems like everyone from my past is coming into my present.
So, if you think its boring, I'm sorry. I sort of work up to the big bang with smaller fireworks! I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you liked, and especially DISLIKED. Thanks so much for reading guys! and even more: THANK YOU FOR WAITING!
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The Jainandini Chronicles| NEW UPDATE| PART 9| PG. 45
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