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Fate-Mate Thread 13 Chapter 37 (Page 17)

karmachameleon IF-Dazzler
karmachameleon
karmachameleon

Joined: 17 February 2012
Posts: 3208

Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:31am | IP Logged


Part D

 

Where did he go? All she could see was the blinking light. Where was she?

She wasn't standing. Or walking. Or following anyone.

 

She was sitting.

But where?

 

It took her a whole minute to put it all together...

 

She was dreaming.

She wasn't lost in a forest...

She never had a candle...

 

She never almost fell from the cliff...

He was never there...

 

What was that? Why that dream? 

 

She looked at her hand. Checking it over and over again.

 

No wax.

No pain.

No physical pain.

 

No him.

Him?

Was it him?

Then why did she address him Arnav?

 

She looked at her trembling hand.

Felt her pounding heart.

 

And realized how he left her.

In that dream.

 

Why did he leave her?

 

She remembered "Khushi..."

 

Her eyes glazed with clear water...

Just remembering how he addressed her Khushi...

And not Gloomy...

 

And wet her face...

Why was she crying?

Why was she so upset?

Why did she feel so lonely?

 

There were too many questions...

But no answers.

None.

 

Why did she say Arnav?

Why did she have the candle?

Why did he take that candle from her?

 

She closed her eyes and remembered that afternoon with the fortune-teller...

And her burned hand...

And that name...

 

She couldn't sleep the rest of the night...

Between being angry at him for not telling her about her job...

And that dream...

 

His face.

That name.

 

The fortuneteller.

The strange feeling.

 

She ran quickly to her cupboard and started raking it...

Clothes after clothes...

Books after books...

 

Then she found it...

That diary...

She opened it...

And found that piece of paper...

 

And saw the faded ink...

With his name on it...

 

Only she knew how long she had kept that piece of paper for...

She closed her eyes...

 

And thought about her past...

All of it.

Their first meeting...

And their last meeting...

 

Before she knew it, her alarm informed her it was time for her to get ready for work.

Work?

 

Why would she go to work?

She didn't want to go to work...

Not after what she found out. How could she work there? He was her boss.

 

He was Mr. India?

He was the hot boss?

She brought his coffee every day?

 

She used to tell him about him all this time?

The more she thought, the angrier she got.

At him. At herself.

 

Part E Continues...

 



Edited by karmachameleon - 28 January 2014 at 9:01am

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karmachameleon IF-Dazzler
karmachameleon
karmachameleon

Joined: 17 February 2012
Posts: 3208

Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:32am | IP Logged

Part E

 

She put her diary away carefully and decided to get ready. This would be her last day. She wanted to go to work and give her resignation. She couldn't work there anymore. She didn't want to work there anymore. No.

 

She walked in at her work. Looking cautiously everywhere...

She wasn't sure if he was there or not.

She looked around. Everything seemed exactly the same, except her.

 

Her excitement to work there was gone.

The excitement for the upcoming fashion was not there anymore...

The excitement of meeting the boss was obviously replaced by anger...

 

Anger?

No.

Betrayal?

 

Lies?

Pain?

Hurt?

 

Her mind wandered back to that bizarre dream...

Why did she see his face with Arnav's name?

 

Was there any connection?

Why couldn't she stop thinking about that?

 

Before she could walk to her cabin, the receptionist stopped her and informed her "Manny is waiting for you in the conference room. Urgently."

 

She hesitated to go in there. Not knowing who else would be there. She quickly asked "who else is in the conference room?" "I don't know" was the reply she got.

 

Twisting the hem of her dupatta, calming her pounding heart, controlling her trembling legs, she walked towards the conference room...

 

The door was already open. She walked in and scanned the room quickly. It was just Manny in the room. No one else. Not even him.

 

She knocked on the door to get Manny's attention. Or his permission. "Sit down Ms. Khushi." She heard him address her like that for the first time. She nervously sat on one of the chairs across him. She sat there silently and waited to find out the reason for this meeting.

 

He left the sketches he was working on the table and came to sit right across her. She noticed him scan her carefully before he said "we don't have a whole lot of time to finish the designs, I need all your available time to finish this on time." He paused. "With your bizarre schedule...I don't even know when to expect you, why don't you fix a certain schedule?"

 

She was there to give her resignation. She didn't know how to answer to that. She was lost in her thoughts when she heard him again "I am talking to you Ms. Khushi."

 

"I..." That's all she could mutter...

 

Before he could say anything else, there was a knock on the door. "Come in", he said without looking at the door.

 

"Sir, I am sorry I couldn't get his signature...he wasn't available..." Reported the employee.

 

"What do you mean he wasn't available?" Now he looked at the door in frustration.

 

"No one answered the door. I don't know if he was even home or not. I waited there for a while but there was no answer." He handed the file back to Manny after completing his explanation.

 

Manny took the file back from him and asked him to leave. "I can't do this first thing in the morning, I can't waste all my morning trying to get in touch with our boss who could clearly care less about this project." He flipped the file while saying that.

 

"What do you mean?" She asked.

 

"What do I mean? What I mean is that I have called him, emailed him, sent someone to his home but he is somehow unreachable. I need his signatures on these papers but he is obviously not available. He hasn't done that before. Even if he doesn't come to the office, he gets the work done via email. But today, he has almost disappeared."

 

She was lost in her own thoughts...

 

Between the revelation...

The dream...

And now his disappearance...

 

"I might as well just quit and go to another fashion house. This is just beyond my patience. Damn that branch manager who had to be transferred to manage that nonsense publication branch during this crucial event. And damn that new manager who is still under training. It was so much easier when I just had to deal with the manager and not ASR." He closed that drawing pad in frustration and threw the pencil.

 

Now she heard him and replied without any hesitation...

 

"Quit? How can you quit Manny? You are the designer here?" She said that without thinking too much about it.

 

 "Oh, really? You do realize that? A designer who is dependent on you for that concept and an employee who can't reach the boss for something so urgent. It looks like I am the only one who gives a damn about this project. Not you, not him and obviously not the rest of the staff."

 

He stopped talking and paged his assistant on speaker "anything yet?" And they both heard the reply "no sir, he hasn't returned our calls or replied to our emails." He closed his eyes in irritation and spoke while rotating that odd silver skull ring on his thumb "keep trying, I need to get his signatures today." And he ended the call.

 

The phone paged again "Sir, your meeting will start in ten minutes for fabric sampling with the..." He interrupted the information "Heck! Fine, send them to the conference room when they get here..." And he pressed that rectangle button.

 

"Looks like I won't be able to do anything productive today...I will see you later Ms. Khushi...why don't you start working on jotting down ideas what exactly you have visualized it and then we can make the sketches later..."

 

She replied "Manny...I have to talk to you about something..."

"Not right now, neither I am in the mood, nor I have the time for any discussion...we will talk later..."

 

Part F continues...

 



Edited by karmachameleon - 28 January 2014 at 9:02am

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karmachameleon IF-Dazzler
karmachameleon
karmachameleon

Joined: 17 February 2012
Posts: 3208

Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:33am | IP Logged



Part F

 

He dialed his assistant to discuss something about sampling process before she closed the door and left.

 

She walked back to her cubicle and realized that she was yet to resign and now he is expecting to start working on the designs. She didn't know what to do.

 

Where was he?

 

Why couldn't the office locate him?

Where did he go?

Why was he doing that?

 

Nothing was making sense right now. Their conversation from last night.

 

His explanations.

Her anger.

His justifications.

 

Her random dream.

Her decision to resign.

 

And now this.

Him vanishing.

 

Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud noise coming from the conference room. She got up and walked towards the door, where there were already some by-standers trying to eavesdrop about the situation.

 

"I am done with this place. If it's going to continue like this, I may very well resign. I am sure this company can find another designer because clearly they have no interest in keeping me here long term."

 

And something broke.

A phone?

A glass?

 

She couldn't make out. All she could understand was Manny was furious in there for whatever reason and announcing her own resignation was not going to make things better.

 

She walked to the receptionist and asked "any news from the boss yet?" The receptionist replied "did you not hear Manny screaming in there. Everything is on hold due to some signature and I don't think this is going to get better until he gets those signatures..."

 

Once, she looked at her phone.

Contemplating between calling him or not.

 

NO.

She wasn't going to call. She decided.

She didn't want to talk to him.

 

After a strange night and even stranger morning, it was time for her to leave for college, and she did.

 

She remembered him saying yesterday he wouldn't be there. Then why some part of her wanted him to be there.

 

He really wasn't in college.

Just like he had said.

 

But she was hoping to see him there. Why?

Just because she could inform him that the office is a disaster right now? Yes. That must be it.

Then why wasn't she convinced that that was the only reason?

 

She was in college. And she looked around. Trying to find him.

Hoping to see him there.

Why?

She didn't know.

Was she planning on talking to him?

No. Of course not.

 

Then why was she waiting for him?

 

Her class started.

And then ended.

 

There was no sign of him.

It was already evening.

 

She went to the library. To study.

Or to distract herself.

 

It didn't work.

She couldn't stop thinking about him.

 

About his truth.

About the dream.

 

About his absence.

At work.

And in college.

 

She was staring at a hard cover book when she randomly thought about how he took her to the cruise. She had never imagined he would do something like that.

 

For her.

That was totally surprising.

And nice.

 

Nice? Yes, that's how he was with her.

Always nice.

 

Then why did he lie to her?

Just because he lied to me doesn't mean that he wasn't nice to me. She tried convincing herself.

 

Why was she taking his side?

Wasn't she supposed to be mad at him?

 

Part G continues...

 



Edited by karmachameleon - 28 January 2014 at 9:03am

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karmachameleon IF-Dazzler
karmachameleon
karmachameleon

Joined: 17 February 2012
Posts: 3208

Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:34am | IP Logged

Part G

 

She looked outside the window. The clouds. It looked like it was about to rain.

Rain. She thought.

And thought about their dance in the rain.

 

He was so comforting.

Always!

 

Then why this? Why such deceive?

No matter how much she tried, she couldn't concentrate on that open book...

 

She looked at her phone...

There was one message...

 

Her heart thumped.

Why?

She didn't know.

 

Why was she so eager to check her message? Was she waiting for his message? Or his call?

No. Absolutely not. Then why was she so excited to see a new message?

 

She opened her text - I called you but I am getting your voicemail, call me when you get this text.

 

She was disappointed, it wasn't the message she was hoping to see. Rather the sender.

It was Priya. Not him.

Why was she disappointed? Why was she hoping to see his call? She couldn't figure it out.

 

Until now, she was upset.

Now, she felt lonely.

All alone.

 

Why?

She did have other friends.

Then why did she miss his presence in her life so much...

That too within few hours...

 

She couldn't stop her tears...

Her thoughts brought her memories back of her dad...

How she used to be so close to him...

And how she lost him...

 

Am I going to lose him too?

Is this all my fault?

Is he going to leave me too?

Just like everyone else?

 

What were the resemblances?

She didn't know.

But the feeling was same.

Of fear.

Same fear she felt when she lost her father...

Her only family.

 

And then without thinking too much she picked it up and dialed it...

 

Tring

Tring

Tring

 

"Hello?" She heard the hello and she didn't know what to say...

What to reply... 

How to ask whatever she wanted to ask...

 

She finally spoke "Hey...this is Khushi...I just wanted to know...if Manny was able to contact...A.S...I mean...our boss?"

 

"No, not yet. Manny has lost it today. I even heard that he might just leave this fashion house. I don't know what will happen to this upcoming fashion show. This place is so chaotic today, I have never seen Manny like this before..."

 

She couldn't take it anymore. She pressed end.

 

Was all this happening because of her?

No. Of course not. She told herself.

 

It's not my fault. I didn't do anything. He is the one who started this. How is it my fault?

 

He is the one who is not answering to Manny. But why is he doing that?

Because of me?

 

But why? How can he avoid his office like this?

What is he doing?

Where is he right now?

 

All those thoughts drove her crazy...

She couldn't sit in that library any longer...

 

She closed her book and left.

It was getting dark outside.

The wind was getting chilly.

Gray clouds tinted the blue sky...

 

She decided to go home.

She didn't know what else to do.

What if Manny quits? Was it her fault? Did he not come to the office because of her?

 

Before she knew it, she reached her destination...

She looked around.

Totally taken aback from where she was.

Why did she come here? How did she get here? She was going home...

 

But this wasn't her home...

 

Part H Continues...



Edited by karmachameleon - 28 January 2014 at 9:04am

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karmachameleon IF-Dazzler
karmachameleon
karmachameleon

Joined: 17 February 2012
Posts: 3208

Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:35am | IP Logged

Part H

 

Why was she here?

WHY?

HOW?

 

If only she knew any answers to these questions...

And the previous questions...

 

And that dream...

And that name...

And his face...

 

She continued walking...

 

Lost in her thoughts...

She looked around. Not knowing what to do.

 

Now what?

Should I call him? Should I check on him? Why am I so worried about him?

 

I am not worried about him. I am worried about the office.

Yes, the office. And Manny. And the fashion show. And...

 

And him?

 

No, absolutely not.

 

There is nothing wrong with him anyway...

He just didn't come to work...

Or college...

 

She stared at the starless sky...

Trying to find something...

Figure things out...

 

About all this.

 

Her job.

His help.

His lie.

That dream.

 

But nothing made sense. How could it not make any sense?

 

She couldn't hear anything...

She couldn't see anything...

Everything was a blur...

 

Just like her life...

And that dream...

 

 

After the sleepless night and the restless day...

His tired-self decided to get some fresh air...

 

He heard the thunderstorm...

It reminded him of her...

 

Just like everything else.

 

He opened the window...

And looked at the dark cloudy sky...

 

Just like his day...

Or his life.

 

His eyes moved around and what he saw was unbelievable...

 

 

He was shocked.

He was happy?

 

Or simply confused?

 

No, he must have been hallucinating...

He didn't know. He wanted to know. He wanted to be sure.

He wanted it to be real...

 

He started walking.

 

Down the stairs.

Out the door.

On the grass.

Towards the hallucination...

 

What am I doing here?

What is wrong with me?

Why did I even come here?

 

Her mind was racing with her own thoughts when she heard the most unexpected voice...

"Gloomy?"

 

Part I continues...

 



Edited by karmachameleon - 28 January 2014 at 9:05am

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karmachameleon IF-Dazzler
karmachameleon
karmachameleon

Joined: 17 February 2012
Posts: 3208

Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:36am | IP Logged

Part I

 

Her mind stopped thinking.

And stopped racing.

 

Her body froze.

And relaxed simultaneously.

 

How was that possible? She was supposedly mad at him.

REALLY ANGRY.

How did his voice calm her mind so much?

 

How did his voice soothe her confused thoughts?

How was that possible?

 

Suddenly everything seemed alright.

 

No more anger.

No more complaints.

No more accusations.

 

Just by his voice?

No. It wasn't his voice. It was that name.

 

Gloomy.

Not Khushi today...

 

She finally looked up and saw him standing on her right.

He was looking at her...

 

And then it hit her. She was actually there.

At his house.

Physically there.

 

After saying so much to him the previous night.

After getting so mad at him...

After avoiding him all day yesterday...

After refusing to discuss anything...

 

How was she going to explain her presence...?

At his house?

 

What was she thinking?

Why did she go there?

 

What was she going to say to him?

 

And there it was; embarrassment.

Evident all over her face.

He was still looking at her.

In confusion.

 

She had to say something...

 

She spoke "I...I don't know...why I...I...came here...I mean...I was...going..."

"I didn't ask you anything" was his humble reply.

 

And there it was.

He made her comfortable. Yet again. Just like that.

 

They continued looking at each other...

Without blinking.

For their own reasons...

 

He was utterly surprised that she was there.

She was just amazed that her anger was nowhere to be found.

 

He walked closer to her and sat on the same bench.

Leaving generous space between them.

 

They both remained quiet. Not knowing where to begin, what to say, how to proceed...

 

"Where were you all day?" She finally broke the silence...

"Here" was his one word reply.

 

Khushi: You didn't come to work today.

ASR: I know.

Khushi: I mean...why?

ASR: I didn't want to...

Khushi: Manny was trying to reach you all day.

ASR: Oh!

Khushi: Oh? Don't talk like you don't know.

ASR: I don't know.

Khushi: He has been trying to call you since morning and you don't know?

ASR: My phone is off. Or the battery is dead. I don't know.

Khushi: Someone from the office came here...to get your signature...you don't know?

ASR: No.

Khushi: You were home today? Right?

ASR: Yes.

Khushi: What kind of staff do you have? It was so urgent and they didn't even inform you?

ASR: No one is home.

Khushi: What? What do you mean? Where is your staff?

ASR: Off.

Khushi: Off? Why?

ASR: I just wanted to be alone...

Khushi: You fired them all?

ASR: What? No. I gave them off.

Khushi: All of them? Even Aunty?

ASR: Who? Oh...yes, her too.

Khushi: You don't want to be disturbed and Manny is about to resign. Do you have any idea how angry he was?!

 

Part J continues...

 

 



Edited by karmachameleon - 28 January 2014 at 9:06am

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karmachameleon IF-Dazzler
karmachameleon
karmachameleon

Joined: 17 February 2012
Posts: 3208

Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:37am | IP Logged

Part J

 

She didn't get any reply. Now she turned to see his face...

 

Khushi: Did you hear me? Manny might leave your fashion house...

ASR: I heard you.

Khushi: You don't care?

ASR: I can't stop him.

Khushi: He is planning on leaving because of you. He is frustrated because of you. He is mad at you.

ASR: I didn't do anything...wrong...to him...or...

 

And she noticed him looking down while staring at the dark green grass.

 

Khushi: You shouldn't avoid your work because of me. I...am...

ASR: You are?

Khushi: I am going to resign...

ASR: No.

Khushi: What? What do you mean no?

ASR: I mean you are not going to resign.

Khushi: You can't decide that. You are not my boss.

 

And she looked at him.

Her reply contradicting the truth.

 

She saw the concern on his face...

In his eyes...

After that statement...

 

But her anger had vanished long ago right when he said Gloomy...

And there it was...

The missing laughter in their conversation...

 

Her laugh.

She turned to see his distressed face. And just laughed.

Out loud.

 

And continued laughing...

 

Making him feel more at ease...

And he continued admiring her laughter...

In silence...

 

Her eyes twinkled again...

Her face glowed again...

And her old self was back.

The cheerful Gloomy...

 

No. Khushi. No. Gloomy.

 

Her.

Whoever she was.

 

But...

Yet again...

 

Tears.

In her eyes.

Because of him.

 

And she stopped laughing...

Her eyelids closed...

And wet her face...

 

He wanted to console her...

Or himself?

 

She quickly wiped her tears and said...

 

Khushi: You should have told me...

ASR: I know...

 

Khushi: I am SO mad at you.

ASR: I am sorry.

 

They both remained quiet.

 

ASR: I have already explained you yesterday my intentions...

Khushi: I know...I remember...but you should have at least told me...

 

ASR: Just tell me how to fix this...

Khushi: I already know how to fix all this. I will resign.

ASR: No. That's not possible. That's not forgiving me. That's punishing me.

Khushi: No, it's not.

ASR: You got that job because you deserved it. And your leaving means you are punishing me.

Khushi: No, that just means I can't work there. I won't work there.

ASR: That's not an option Gloomy. It's just not an option.

 

He was quiet now. So was she. She turned to see him again but his sight concerned her...

 

His face was exhausted.

His eyes were pale.

His forefingers pushing into his forehead skin.

 

She noticed him, she spoke in clear concern.

 

Khushi: What's wrong? You look so...so...tired.

ASR: Nothing is wrong.

Khushi: Tell me...what's wrong? Are you having a headache?

ASR: Yes.

Khushi: Do you want medicine?

ASR: No.

 

 

Part K continues...



Edited by karmachameleon - 28 January 2014 at 9:06am

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karmachameleon IF-Dazzler
karmachameleon
karmachameleon

Joined: 17 February 2012
Posts: 3208

Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:38am | IP Logged

Part K

 

Khushi: You should take medicine. You don't look well.

ASR: I am fine.

Khushi: No you are not.

ASR: I am. Don't worry about me.

Khushi: You look tired. Your eyes are red. You are clearly not looking so well. Why don't you take some medicine for your headache?

ASR: I am fine.

Khushi: What is your problem?

ASR: My problem? My problem is you. I haven't been able to think straight since yesterday. It's been killing me that I hid the truth from you. I explained you why I did all that. I apologized. But you are still mad at me. That's my problem.

 

He continued staring at that dark green grass.

His hands were fidgeting...

He kicked something in that dense grass...

 

My problem is you.

She could hear that over and over again in her mind. Or her ears. Or her heart?

 

She knew he gave her the job.

She knew he was only trying to help her.

She knew he could have told her.

She knew he didn't.

She knew he hid the truth, little too long.

She knew it was his fault.

 

But by just looking at his face, she knew little more than all that.

 

He could never hurt her.

Never.

 

Not for this. Not for anything.

 

She knew he was genuinely trying to help her with the job offer.

She knew he felt guilty about hiding the truth.

 

She knew.

All of it.

 

She knew she was rude to him yesterday.

She knew she was hurt but she also knew she shouldn't have talked to him like that.

 

She didn't like all that.

 

His words echoed in her ears, over and over again. She was his problem.

 

 

And she finally realized she may have been little out of line with him last night.

She made him this upset.

She created that entire ruckus at work.

She was the cause of his headache.

 

She was his problem.

 

He was still looking down, lost.

With obvious strain on his face.

She spoke.

 

Khushi: I am sorry.

 

Surprised to see, or rather hear, her sorry.

He looked up to see her.

And saw her apologetic face.

 

She was looking directly at him. With those eyes of hers.

Contrite.

 

Except he did not want to see her like that. He did not want her to feel sorry. He did not want her to feel bad.

At all.

For anything.

 

He spoke...

 

ASR: Why are you saying sorry?

Khushi: Because of all the problems. Manny, work, you, just everything.

ASR: Gloomy, it's not your fault.

Khushi: It is. Let me see if I have something for headache in my bag...

 

She started shuffling in her bag, avoiding looking into his eyes.

She started talking, while raking her bag, to him, no, more to herself.

 

Khushi: Why can't I find anything when I need it? Where is the medicine? Why do I have all these things in my bag?

 ASR: I don't want any medicine.

Khushi: It's here, I will find it. Give me a second. When did you eat last? It's best to take it after food.

ASR: Don't worry about it, I will take it later.

Khushi: No, right now.

ASR: I will. Later.

Khushi: Why are you saying later? What's wrong?

ASR: Nothing. I will. Later.

 

She could tell there was something wrong.

She asked again...

 

Part L continues...

 



Edited by karmachameleon - 28 January 2014 at 9:08am

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