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She had been sprawled in bed, still asleep, when he had called her. Khushi jumped into a sitting position, her hair in a mess and her eyes wide. Then, she had answered his call with a huge yawn.
"Now you're getting up?" he grinned to himself.
It had been five months now since they were dating and he loved waking her up every morning, as soon as he did. Arnav didn't even wait to get out of bed to dial her up. He just snatched his mobile from the bedside table and called her.
"You always wake me up," she grumbled in mock indignation.
He chuckled lightly. "How are you doing?"
"How can I be after you wake me up?"
Arnav sat up and leaned against the headboard of his bed, his eyebrows raised. "You flirting with me, Miss Gupta?" he teased, making her blush furiously.
"Don't you have to go to work, Mr Raizada?"
He sighed when she reminded him of work. If he could simply take the day off to be with her, he would, but she refused. She had her own job, and he had a business to handle too which was gradually becoming more and more popular, hence increasing his workload. But then, at times, she would complain that he was becoming such a workaholic he was not getting enough time for her. And during those times, he would reckon she was mad. His eighth wonder of the world...
His BlackBerry beeped loudly at that precise instant and he looked at it silently. He knew he needed to see what it was about but he wanted to talk to Khushi too. Was it about the report he had asked Aman the previous day? Khushi smiled. She had heard the bleep too and understood his plight.
"Go! I'll meet you tonight."
"You sure?" he mumbled half-heartedly.
"Perfectly! I have to get ready too, haven't I?"
Arnav chuckled again. "So, tonight at my dad's place?"
"Yeah. Okay, bye."
Khushi sighed after she had disconnected. She always hated when he had to leave her for his work but she understood he had to. She rubbed her eyes as she got down from the bed.
"Letters on the table for you, Khush!" Anjali shouted from the bathroom.
Groggily, she walked up to there and looked at the letters. They had probably come in yesterday while she was at work but Anji had not been able to give them to her as she had been out late. One of them was from the bank. Khushi smiled remembering how she had escaped problems with the same bank so narrowly five months ago. But she had been able to deal with it tactfully, without missing the first breakfast her first boyfriend had made her.
She had called up the bank manager as soon as she had remembered, the gears working fast in her mind. She was almost unable to find a valid excuse. Then, she jumped on the one which popped up first in her mind, even if she thought it was the lamest one could come up with. Khushi sniggered as she remembered the bank manager's gullible weakness when she had invented a dog of hers which had gotten unexpectedly. She had been forgiven her lateness and she had repaid three thirds of the debt with the money she had earned from her article. Then, the rest had been filled up in monthly instalments and Arnav had not needed not know anything of it.
"So, where were you last night?" she asked casually as Anjali came out of the bathroom, her towel slung on a shoulder.
She failed to see the blush which tinted Anjali's cheeks. "Oh... nothing that special... just a movie... with Shyaam."
Khushi nodded absent-mindedly. She was thinking about the night which was about to come, smiling to herself. Pavitraa, Arnav's mother, liked her a lot and sometimes, she even made her forget that she was an orphan and that Garima, the only other woman she could look up at as a mother was miles away. Arnav's father was very warm to her too.
Both of them always took an immense pleasure to tell her about her boyfriend's childhood, even if it bothered him a bit. When they were alone once, Arnav had admitted he was quite embarrassed of himself as a child because of the follies he had but Khushi found them really amusing and she could not help but anecdotes of her own early years, which she either remembered or had been told about.
This was what she liked best. At times, his parents would even start imagining how it would be if Khushi and Arnav got married and had kids, and her eyes would automatically go to him to find him staring back. And he would look at her for a long time, his eyes dark and thoughtful, until she would tear her gaze away...
"Hmm?" she looked away from the scene outside the car while he sped her back home that night after a wonderful dinner at his parents'.
"What say about a weekend in Cardiff? Just you and me..."
Her eyes widened immediately, causing him to grin devilishly.
"I promise I'll behave!" he laughed.
"Ah... Khush? There's a problem..."
She frowned as she sat in the passenger seat beside him. "Now what?" she groaned suspiciously. She was sure this had something to do with his first wife.
Arnav did seem quite embarrassed as he started the car and drove off the curb. "Uhh... I'm really sorry, Khushi... A meeting came up for tomorrow... I couldn't refuse..."
"What?" Khushi spluttered. "What? But you said-"
"I know!" he shook his head reegretfull. "But the clients are going to be here for this weekend only! And they won't be back this soon! And I always wanted to meet them, you know, like... face to face!"
She clenched her jaws together, glaring at the road ahead. "You said this weekend was just you and me!"
"I know, Khush... I'm really sorry!"
Khushi sighed. "Stop the car! I said stop the car, Arnav!"
He halted in an empty parking place by the road and looked at her in surprise.
"Don't you 'what-the' me, Mr Raizada! You know what? Go to that stupid meeting of yours! I'm heading back home!"
She got down, her cobalt blue pumps clicking loudly on the pavement. "Can you believe it? Meeting clients on Sunday when you should be with your girlfriend? What does he expect me to do? Bloody workaholic!"
"Khushi!" Arnav had gotten down from the car and jogged to catch up with her. "Wait! Listen, I'll cancel it, okay?"
She turned to him in confusion. What was he talking about? Surely not the meeting. Mr Arnav Workaholic Singh Raizada would never ever cancel anything when it came to business. Then what? Their weekend plans? How could he do this to her?
"The meeting," he explained gently, seeing the torment on her face. "I'll cancel it."
She watched in pure shock as he whipped his BlackBerry out and dialled a number. Her hand shot out to snatch it from his hands.
"No!" she shrieked, cutting the call at once. "I won't let you do that!"
"By the way," she asked innocently once they had left the outskirts of London for the green countryside. "Were you really calling your clients to cancel things?"
Arnav smirked at her, mischief brimming his coffee eyes. "Were you really going back home?"
Khushi gasped, her jaw falling in indignation. She crossed her arms on her chest gruffly, looking away from him, even as his laughter rang in the car.
Joined: 03 April 2012
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