Joined: 01 January 2012
She looked around the restaurant, straining her neck, and swaying her head from side to side to try and find Arjun. She saw him a second later, sitting by himself, looking around much as she had a second earlier. She walked in his direction confidently, looking down at her iPhone as it vibrated in her hand. She groaned in frustration as she read the text, and sat down next to him.
"Sir, I'll need to leave. My
nieces are by themselves. Maybe we could continue the meeting later?"
Arjun looked up surprised, and felt his relatively good mood change drastically as her words sunk in. "What? You're just leaving? What about the meeting?" He shook his head, annoyed at how disappointed his voice was. "I mean this is necessary!"
Riya placed a hand on her hip, and frowned at the whining man. "Well, unless you're willing to wait till my nieces are asleep, and come with me to my brother's house, this won't be happening!"
He stood up in a flash, his speed disconcerting. "Fine. Let's go." He announced, picking up his BlackBerry from where it lay on the table. She gaped at him, and he chuckled silently to himself.
"Let's go." He said again, smiling as she snapped out of it. "I don't have a car. I was dropped off." She said, fiddling with her bracelet.
"Right. I have my car. We both have to go to the same place anyways." He said, walking out of the restaurant briskly. She ran to catch up with him, and stopped him, grabbing his arm as she let out a shy thanks.
He simply nodded, and motioned to his car. She slipped in, and they drove the first five minutes in silence. When they stopped at a light, Riya motioned to the radio. "Go ahead," Arjun allowed.
The song playing was one of her favorites.
Dekho Na, Zara Dekho Na
Tum Ho Main Hoon Aur Yeh Tanhaiyan Hain
Dekho Na Zara Dekho Na
Kaisi Naram Si Yeh Parchhaiyan Hain
Suno Zara, Suno Zara, Dhadkanon Ki Sada
Suno Zara, Suno Zara, Geet Khaamoshi Ka
Suno Zara, Suno Zara, Kehti Hai.. Raat Kya
She stopped singing, her heart suddenly feeling empty as she realized no one would ever sing the next part back to her.
Then a husky baritone broke out in song, and she stared at Arjun in shock. His face had a peaceful expression, and there was a smile on his lips.
Raat Hai Le Ke Aae, Kitne Arman Anjane
Kahti Hai Sau Afsane, Sunta Hoon Main
Raat Ne Li Angdae, Anhoni Baat Hai Hoti
Bikhre Hain Jaise Moti, Chunta Hoon Main
Tumne Yeh Kya Kah Diya, Meri Aankhon Mein Diyeh Hain Jaise Jal Gayeh
Tumne Yeh Kya Kah Diya, Meri Raaton Ke Andhere Jaise Dhal Gayeh
She reached over and slammed the power button to his radio as soon as he finished. "Shut up! You sing?" She asked incredulously at Arjun, and he looked back, slightly sheepish. "Well so do you!" he said, almost accusingly.
It was almost like a barrier was broken, and conversation flowed freely as they spent the rest of the drive chattering away. When they finally reached the house, walking up the steps, they were arguing about iPhones vs. Blackberrys.
They rang the doorbell, and Arjun saw the happiness spread over her face as she heard the two children's voices.
"BUA! Bua!" The two voices chimed, one a loud, happy cheer, and one a sweet melody. Iha was the first to come out, jumping on her bua, and planting a loud kiss on her cheeks. She gently set Iha down and squatted to reach Cia's height "Hello baby!" She said, gently hugging the girl. "Hi bua!" She sung sweetly, before running out of her aunt's grasp Into the house.
They spent the first hour playing board games, then dress-up, and then watching Looney Tunes as Riya cooked some food. She came outside with four steaming bowls of pasta, and set them down on the table, smiling at the sight in front of her.
Arjun was talking to an animated Iha, while Cia snuggled into his chest, her small fist clenching his shirt tightly, as she giggled along. Iha yawned, and then pouted, whispering something Riya couldn't hear into Arjun's ear, to which he responded by pulling her into his other side, laughing as he did. They looked so perfect. He looked so normal. And then she snapped out of it.
"Dinner's served," She announced, smiling and swaying slightly as she brought them their bowls and forks. Iha and Cia ate on the floor, on their mat, and Arjun and Riya ate together on the couch, side by side. At around 9, Riya announced it was bed time, and the girls asked Arjun to tuck them in. He obliged as Riya stayed downstairs cleaning up.
Tucking in led to bed time stories, which led to songs, and he walked downstairs almost an hour later to be greeted by a lovely site.
Riya lay on the couch, two bowls of ice cream melted on the coffee table, her eyes tightly shut, and her hair tipping into her face. Arjun smiled at her innocent expression and decided it would be better to leave a note than wake her up. He wrote it quickly, but still didn't leave, and watched as Riya tossed and turned a couple times before gently picking her up and laying her in the guest bedroom he had seen on his way in. He set her down, and started walking down the stairs and looking back, making sure they were all okay.
As he walked to his car, jangling his keys, he hummed the song that started the evening. Dekho Na.
Inspired by @meghasingh I hope it was up to your expectations. If you have any requests, drop them here: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3178320
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