Joined: 12 December 2012
That girl was going to be the death of him! He couldn't walk around his own house without tripping over her belongings or finding her leftover pizza slice in the most inconvenient of places. Why his Ammi had a soft corner for this girl he would never know.
Asad was not having the best of days. His meeting had gone south when he had realized that the suppliers also worked with Rashid Khan. Intellectually he understood that in a town like Bhopal certain business relations were bound to interlope but he personally believed anyone who worked with a snake like Rashid Khan could not be very honest himself. Thanks to those suppliers not only was he short of material that he needed for his new project but he was also thinking about the past. And the past was something he tried to avoid thinking about!
He was only ten when he had walked in on his father and Shireen. His father'a man he had idolized was betraying his mother in the worst possible way. Even at such a tender age he had understood what he had seen and had lost his innocence. His mother Dilshaad had taken him and his baby sister Najma to her parents' house. They had a roof over their heads but their home was forever broken.
"Ouch!", yelped Asad. Rubbing his sore toe he stared in anger at the laptop bag, which had been left on the floor on the landing of his bedroom floor. "This can belong to only one person. Nobody else in this house would dare leave their things lying about in such a manner."
In absolute anger Asad walked towards Zoya's room. Knocking on her door and without waiting for a reply Asad marched in gun's blazing, he was ready to unload! Just as he was about to tell her what he thought of her he noticed that she was lying face down on her bed crying her heart out. He stared. He didn't like women crying. He had seen his mother cry herself to sleep as a child and he could not stand the thought of anyone willingly hurting a woman so terriblyeven if that woman was Zoya. His anger melted away and he began to retreat.
"Abu aap mujhe chodke...why did you leave? I was all alone...and Ammi..I saw Ammi...why can't I find you? Istayed back in Bhopal just so that I could'." Zoya cried to herself.
Asad was stunned. All he knew in that moment was that he should leave. Unfortunately in his hurry to do that he banged into the door.
"What the hell are you doing here?", said Zoya. "Are you here to rejoice in my misery? Laugh because you perceive me as weak? Let me tell you something Mr. Asad Ahmed Khan. I am not weak and I am more than happy to smack you if you don't get out of here right now!"
Anger boiled in Asad again. NOBODY spoke to him like that and certainly not a wisp of a girl like Zoya. He was about to say something harsh when he remembered the state he had found her in.
"I am sorry. I just came here to give you your bag back. I didn't realize that...anyway I should go...uhm...I hope you feel better...yeah...ok...feel better", said Asad as he looked sheepishly at Zoya.
Zoya was stunned. Had the great Asad Ahmed Khan just apologized to her? Suddenly she felt like opening up to him. She wanted him to understand. She knew what he thought of her. No she didn't want to prove that she was a good person she just felt the need for him to know her, the real her. And so she told him.
"I was three when the house my Ammi and I lived in burnt to the ground. My mother, my mother saved me but she herself was burnt to ashes. And I saw it. I don't remember my father, I don't know who he is. I think he had another family...he couldn't have loved me. He never looked for me. Am I that unlovable? I know I am mischievous and messy and sometimes irresponsible but he was my father...he should have loved me anyway, right? He was my father and he left me." Zoya sobbed her feelings out.
Asad stood rooted staring at her. His heart clenched, not with pity but with some indescribable feeling. He also felt anger. Anger at a father that had abandoned his three-year-old child. He understood abandonment but at least he had had his Ammi to love him. His Ammi who would nurse his wounds and stay up all night when he was ill, who would sing him to sleep when he woke from a nightmare and no matter what be there for him. In that moment he realized how lucky he had been. His mind told him that he should leave the room and Zoya but his heart...his heart knew that he needed to comfort her.
He walked slowly towards Zoya's weeping form and engulfed her in a hug. Her head lying against his chest and his arms tightly encircling her.
Zoya was shocked. She had never been hugged by such strength and tenderness. She could feel his warmth seeping into her bones. She could hear the steady rhythm of his heartbeat against her ear. She felt safer and more cherished than she had ever been in her life. She also felt something else entirely. Despite her absolute grief she could feel the tingles of something more potent. Something she never thought she would feel.
Her crying had subsided. Asad was glad that he could do that for her. He gently rubbed her back as a gesture of comfort. She felt soft. He registered the exact moment when he went from a man who wanted to comfort a woman in pain to a man who knew how to make this woman forget her pain. He had never felt such a potency and urgency before.
He felt her move away from him slightly. He stared down at her. Their eyes were locked. He felt like he was seeing the very depths of her soul. He knew in that moment that she felt the same way. Gently he traced the shape of her lips with his fingers, as if to etch its shape and feel into the very depths of his being. Slowly he lowered his head and placed his lips upon hers.
Her eyes fluttered close. The heat, the feel, the smell of him was entirely too much. She parted her lips and granted him entry.
They deepened the kiss as passion overtook them. She clutched his shirt and he tangled his hands in her beautiful hair. After what seemed like hours they broke apart, staring at each other unsure of what to say. Asad stood up and briskly walked towards the door determined to leave before they crossed the point of no return. Looking back only once, with a softening of his gaze he left. Zoya sat on her bed tracing the shape of her lips, swollen from his kiss, trying to fathom what had happened.
Part 1- Page 1 Part 2- Page 2
Part 3- Page 2 Part 4- Page 6
Part 5- Page 7 Part 6- Page 8
Part 7- Page 10 Part 8- Page 11
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