Chep and Music??
From the moment he saw her, he felt a sense of familiarity, as if knew her. A strange pull he couldn't explain caused him to keep staring at her, even after she turned to look away. Did she remind him of a friend? No that wasn't it. Maybe it was how she looked? He quickly studied what she was wearing. It was pretty casual, dark faded jeans, a baggy tee accompanied with a hooded leather jacket and a pair of black boots. It wasn't what she was wearing that caught his attention, but he did like her dress sense.
As he racked his brain for possible answers, still not moving his gaze from her, he failed to realise that everyone in the room was getting up to leave until he saw her standing in front of him. "What's your problem?" she asked sourly. He kind of expected that, after all he had been staring at her for the past 30 minutes. "Excuse me," he questioned her as politely as he could in hope to cover it up. Unfortunately, she didn't return the favour. "Look, I know Guys like you; in fact all guys are pretty much the same. You think by staring at some girl and showing some interest, she'll come to you all shy and blushing. She'll twirl her hair and smile, and you'll compliment her, making her giggle. Fast forward you've been on a couple of dates, you've wasted your time cause the fun's over, and so is the so called 'relationship' you've been in. You never see her again and it's not long before you're staring at some other girl and the whole cycle starts again, until you find someone you think you're actually in love with and you marry them. But obviously it doesn't last long because sooner or later you're staring at some other girl DESPITE being married."
Okay, this he didn't expect. He should be angry at her right? She had after all accused and judged his character and any guy in his place would probably hurl a couple of taunts back. But for some weird reason Viraat didn't say anything. He just silently observed the familiar face noticing her flinch for a nanosecond before she continued. "Oh and Mr Chep, get one thing straight. I'm not like those stupid bimbo girls because I've accepted the reality. All men are douchebags," and she turned around, about to walk away. That's it douchebags, it all made sense now. "You're the third category girl!" he shouted proudly having finally figured out who she was.
She dealt with guys before; she knew how to shut them up. Normally she would've just gone straight to them and probably launch on a full physical attack, but since she was only limited to using her mouth for now, she would resort to saying a couple of smart rebukes leaving them scratching their heads to figure out what just happened. When she walked up to him she planned to do the same. But instead of a few smart taunts, she had managed to convey her inner feelings, present her real hatred towards guys. She had never done that before. Sure it still sounded sarcastic and rude and it had left him dumbfounded, but it also made her feel vulnerable, like giving a piece of herself to someone she barely knew, and that too, a GUY. 'It's only because I'm stressed out,' she thoughtfully convinced herself. She had to make a quick exit before she blurted out anything else. "Oh and Mr Chep get one thing straight. I'm not like those stupid bimbo girls because I know the reality. All men are douchebags."
Satisfied with her recovery sentence she turned around about to leave, that was until she heard him speak. "I already figured you were strong minded but boy was I wrong. You're a complete Sherni." Did he just call her a Sherni? And what the hell did he mean about some third category crap. Without thinking twice she turned to face him to give him a piece of her mind, but he beat her to it. "What? You can call me a, wait what was it.. yes a Chep and I can't call you a Sherni. I know Hindi too okay; I know what a Chep is." He raised his eyebrow at her. 'Again with the raised eyebrow, did he have some stupid defect or was it just another side effect of being a guy?' she thought pretty angry with the situation she was in right now. "You think I feel frightened by your stupid eyebrow. And who the hell are you to call me a Sherni." He just smiled, "Same goes for you too. I mean such a big judgement for someone you've just met, it was pretty harsh." She had nothing to say in response, she wasn't expecting him to answer back in the first place and now here he was questioning her lifelong hatred. She seriously regretted turning back.
"Haven't you heard every human as the right to freedom of thought and speech? And what did you mean by me being a third category whatever you said?" She mentally applauded herself for changing the subject. He kept smiling as he explained how he saw her in central park and how the guy she met was his best friend Ty. "You know I've never seen someone shut Ty up. I mean he still has nightmares about that day. Then again why wouldn't he, after all you are a Sherni." She could feel her blood boil. "Don't call me that."
"Then what do I call you Miss..." he indicated for her name but she told him that there was no way she was going to be sharing any information about herself to a stranger, especially a Chep guy like him. He just crossed his arms over his chest and said, " Fine, I'll keep calling you Sherni," and he started singing Sherni, Sherni, in the annoying way five years olds would sing.
That was it she couldn't take it anymore she so badly want to kick him in the gut. "This is your last chance Maanvi..", she remembered her professors voice and managed to stop herself. That still didn't mean she wasn't angry.
She pointed a finger at him as she said, "Look CHEP, there is no way I'm going to tell you my name and there is no way I'm going to let you call me Sherni, so you might as well stop now before you get seriously hurt." Suddenly, he grabbed her finger with his and pulled her towards him. "Wanna bet? In less than 24hours you yourself will say not only your name but your age and where you live and I will be there to remember it all, Miss Sherni." Did he just challenge her? 'Bad mistake,' she thought as she took one step towards him in determination, "In your dreams." He also took one step closer to her, clearly enjoying their confrontation. "So, I take that as a yes?" She took a final a step, symbolising war. "Bring. It. On."
They stayed in that position for a few minutes until Jess came and interrupted, "Erm, Viraat Dad called he said he needs to you to meet him urgently, and why aren't you picking up your phone?" Both let go of the others finger instantly and stepped back. 'So the Chep is friends with the mean brunette. Why am I not surprised,' Maanvi thought as she watched Jess pass the Chep her phone. Speaking of phones, she checked hers to find two missed calls; she forgot that the friend, who was called Diya by the way, was waiting outside. She quickly ran out before both them could realise she was gone.
Maanvi entered her hotel suite, courtesy of Harvard, and angrily threw her bag on the floor. "Eghh, since when did I ever let a guy bother me so much. No Maanvi, no. He hasn't made an impact on you, it's just the stress talking, that's all. I'm not going to think about that stupid Chep. He's just another guy. Just another guy."
Whether it was stress or fatigue, she didn't know but she was definitely pissed off. She picked up her bag and put it on the big armchair. If there was one thing she hated more than guys, it was mess. She entered her bedroom and picked up the law book lying on the reading table and opened up to her new semester chapter. She would do anything do divert her mind right now and if that meant learning about the history of criminal punishments, so be it.
Viraat sat tapping his fingers on the table. No doubt about who he was thinking about. 'She's such a Sherni'. He sat smiling remembering her at Central park, where she unknowingly made a whole new category for herself in his game. He then remembers her instant judgement about him. He should've been angry, but when he looked in to her eyes, he noticed pure hatred. It was there and then he made it his personal goal to find out the reason behind so much hate and somehow make it disappear.
Why her? He himself had no clue. But he wasn't going to ignore the strange pull he had towards her. Perhaps fate wanted him to help her. He chuckled as he remembered their finger pulling bet. "That's just the beginning Sherni. If I don't get rid of all your hatred, then I guess my name isn't going to be Viraat and that's unfortunate for you because I really like my name." He took out a notepad and quickly scribbled something inside.
Maanvi woke up to a strained neck. She fell asleep whilst reading. 'Damn it,' she muttered rubbing her neck. She looked at the time, it was 11 am. She groaned in frustration as she dragged her legs towards the bathroom. After a hot shower, two cups of coffee and some aspirin for her neck, she finally felt awake. Now in a happier state, she sat down to watch TV. Before she could even switch it on her phone blasted, she unwillingly grabbed it and answered the call. "Hello." "Erm, hey Maanvi it's me Diya." She said hey to Diya and asked her what's up. Diya answered telling her that she would be dropping her off today at APB. Maanvi being Maanvi declined, but soon agreed as Diya reminded her that it would make a certain someone happy. After hanging up she slumped further down the sofa. The happy state she was in a couple of minutes ago had done a runner. She would rather be picking up trash for community service than attending the APB meetings.
Five hours later she was sat in the same place she had previously sat in 23 hours ago. That idiot Chep sat opposite her again smirking. A couple of minutes ago he had brushed passed her and whispered in to her ears, "You know I'm gonna win the bet right." He walked towards his seat before she could say anything back. "Keep smirking all you want, there is no way I'm going to tell you my name. Just one more hour and I'll have won the bet," she mumbled quietly.
Jess started speaking and this time Maanvi paid attention, after all she did not want to repeat the mistake of catching the Chep's attention again. "So guys, what we are first going to do today is introductions. This was meant to be done yesterday, but some people were late.." Jess first looked at her then at the Chep, but Maanvi just ignored her stare and responded with a bored expression. "Anyway, the rules are simple. We're going to go round the circle one by one and each person is going to tell everyone else in the group their name, age, state of residence, and also if you work or study, include that too. So I'll start.." Maanvi froze at name, she immediately looked at the Chep who sat laid back in his chair grinning. He had set her up. "Of course the Chep knew that introductions were going to happen today. He's like best friends with the mean brunette. He did this on purpose." How could she be so dumb?
"Please don't murmur when someone is speaking, it's rude," Maanvi looked up to see Jess and everyone else in the room look at her. She apologised to the mean brunette though she clearly didn't mean it and sank lower in her seat. "Okay so who's next?" The guy three chairs to her left raised his hand up. 'Crap, please go left, please go left,' she silently prayed. To her despair, the mean brunette decided it 'made more sense to go right,' so now Maanvi was the second person in line to speak. She knew it. The mean brunette and the Chep were joined together; they both were out to get her.
The person next to her finished her intro and turned to look at Maanvi. Realising she had no other choice, she reluctantly spoke. "My name is Maanvi," she muttered, barely audible. The Chep raised his hand, "Could you repeat that please I couldn't hear you the first time." She gave him the death stare mentally counting all possible ways to instantly kill him. Suffocation by the mouth seemed pretty inviting, that would wipe that stupid grin off his face. The person who sat next to her gave her a light shake bringing her out of her murderous thoughts. She cleared her throat and started again, this time looking directly at the Chep and answering. If she was going to lose the bet, she might as well do it with some dignity. "My name is Maanvi. I'm 20 years old. I currently live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I've already done my undergraduate and I'm about to enter my last year at Harvard Law School," she said confidently.
He couldn't wait for the introductions; it was all he could think about all day. Finally he would get to know the Sherni's name. When he watched her unwillingly mutter her name, he couldn't help but annoy her more by asking her to repeat it. He watched the reluctance disappear instantly, and she was back with her trademark anger. Now that was more like a Sherni. She spoke directly to him and he kept his promise and listened attentively. At first he was impressed by her already completing her undergrad and also in her final year of law, considering she was only 20. But then he heard it. The dreadful name which he and his family fought over. The name which he didn't want to accept as his future but his family forcefully tried to get him to accept it anyway. It was the name that caused him to break ties with his family. "You couldn't pick any other law school in the damn country could you Sherni?" He said it softly, not in anger. He sighed, "It had to be Harvard."
Jess gave him a worrying look as she noticed his dull face. He smiled and shook his head slightly to indicate that everything was okay. He had managed to convince Jess but noticed that there was someone else who wasn't entirely overcome by his fake smile. He looked at Miss Sherni, who no longer held her Sherni look but, instead gave him questioning glares. 'So she can get curious too? Interesting, very interesting indeed,' he thought, this time flashing a real smile at her.
Maanvi studied his face as she spoke and saw his genuine interest. 'Take that Chep,' she thought, as she confidently delivered her short intro. But whilst she spoke, she swore for a moment she saw his eyes harden, a strange cloudiness darkened his eyes. It lasted only for a few seconds, but she immediately realised the reason behind the cloudiness was due to sadness, not anger. "If anyone should be upset, it should be me. I'm the one who lost. What's his problem? He should be busy petting his man ego or something, not looking gloomy." She watched him deliver a fake smile at Jess. She knew it wasn't real as his face didn't have the same glow as it did during the previous times he smiled. She shook herself immediately realising what had just happened. How on earth did she know that, she'd just met him yesterday and already she could read his face? What was wrong with her?? 'You study law Maanvi, you're taught to read people's faces, remember,' her conscious had supplied her with an answer and it had made perfect sense.
She let out a sigh of relief. She would soon turn mad and it would all be the Chep's fault. She sat up straight in determination. She was going to ignore him just like she ignored every other guy. If she didn't see him she wouldn't make herself mad thinking about him, right? It was a fool proof plan except for one tiny glitch. She forgot that she had four other senses in her body, one of which was the ability to hear. "My name is Viraat. I'm 21 and I live in New York, Manhattan. I'm in my last year of my Bachelors in Music and also currently in the first year of completing my Masters in Music at The Juilliard School." Her eyes widened. She couldn't believe it, the Chep was a musician, at Juilliard! Chep and music?!? No freakin way!! She was now truly convinced that the world no longer made sense.
All the introductions were over and now people were getting to know each other in small groups. But Maanvi had stayed put; she still hadn't got out of the shock. "Was it even possible for Chep's to apply to Juilliard?" She looked at him, he was in conversation with the mean brunette, and again she noticed his fake smile and remembered the sadness she saw in his eyes earlier. Maybe she was quick to judge him. Perhaps the Chep wasn't like other guys. Okay, he was annoying and stupid and cheeky, but was it possible for him to be different? Wait was this really her?? Maanvi hater of all things male. "All guys are the same, no guy is different, and neither is he," she chanted.
As soon as the mean brunette left the Chep, Maanvi got up to talk go to him. She was under no circumstances going to let him affect her. Not in a million years.
"And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time."
- Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing
Thanks for reading :)
Edited by SmileXD - 08 November 2012 at 1:07pm