Sorry for the long wait. Hope this makes up for it!
"Uh...Isha..?" Sahil nervously looked at the overenthusiastic girl who was dragging him to the library.
When she had first come to FITE, Isha Raichand had been shy, bespectacled and she had barely spoken, except to answer in class and to Vidushi.
And now, she was the exact opposite, thanks to Vidushi's makeover or so it seemed.
"Sahil come on!" Isha tugged at him harder and he relented, letting her drag him wherever she wanted. With a girl like Isha, it was easier to follow than try to lead, and even though she would never admit it, Isha was every bit her mother's daughter.
"Did you see Parth's face...he is so going to tell Vidushi!" Isha smirked, turning around to face a baffled Sahil.
"Tell her what?" Sahil asked, "To stay away from him? But she is not even talking to him these days"
"Silly Goose. Yes, she hasn't been talking to him and she's been..." Isha shook her head "avoiding him like the plague."
"So...what is he going to tell her? Thank you?" Sahil scoffed, feeling annoyed. Everyone seemed to keep secrets from him. All his friends. It was frustration.
"Arey Yaar...use your head Sahil...Parth has had time to evaluate what he feels for Vidushi because of the distance.." Isha curled a strand of hair around her finger.
Understanding slowly dawned upon the frustrated mind . "Ohhh" a huge grin appeared on Sahil's face " So he is going to go down and beg her to not ignore him, but focus only on him...Apka hi plan hoga Isha Ji!"
Isha only smirked in response.
"Wah! Playing Cupid. Looks like you have a lot of talents. Because Vidushi ko Parth se door rehne ke liye convince karna...Mangaye Boss! " Sahil made a fake bow to her.
"Thank you for your praise Sahil, now we have to work on our plan." Isha rubbed her hands in glee.
"Another Matchmaking operation?" Sahil grinned "Well..."
"Are nahi baba...we need to get a passing grade on this silly project. Look you are in the dream team, so you will have additional responsibilities. We need to work out a way in which we can do this project, our studies as well as not compromise on your dream team work silly!" Isha shook her head.
"Oh..haan. That too, But so does Parth. He has dream team tasks too and he is the captain." Sahil frowned "Vardhaan Sir is not going to let us slack off. Infact he will make us work harder."
"Don't worry about Parth. Vidushi is there for him, she will do whatever it takes to help him out. So we need to get everything sorted. That's why I dragged you here." Isha pulled out her planner and a bunch of pens. " Now give me that stupid booklet and your time table."
"Here you go." Sahil handed over the items and watched her hazel eyes focus on the booklet.
Silence regeined over them as she wrote down something in her planner, her brow creasing in concentration.
"Yes. Jiggy and Yoyo got Paired up." Parth smirked, enjoying the baffled look on Vidushi's face.
"This is hilarious." Vidushi broke into laughter, "First you get paired up with me, then Isha with Sahil and Sanyukta with Randhir...and now... Jiggy with Yoyo."
"Seems a lot... well planned doesn't it?" Parth winked at Vidushi.
"Oh. God. She didn't!" Vidushi shook her head.
Parth only nodded. "Well she did. She was actually going to have you with her, but I told her I wanted to be with you, so she just made her mom realise how she should learn to have more friends and how You and I should sort out our differences. "
"More Friends huh?" Vidushi smirked, "Boy she is smart, have to hand it to her."
"Smart? She is evil. She grilled me for an hour about my feelings for you and only agreed to let me partner with you on one condition." Parth took her hand into his and squeezed it gently.
"What condition?" Vidushi raised an eyebrow.
"I will let her break my bones if I ever break your heart. And she was serious." Parth shook his head "She scared me." He shuddered.
"Ishu. Yeah she can be a little scary." Vidushi cupped his cheek and placed a soft kiss on his jaw.
"She's a great friend." Vidushi whispered. "I am lucky. Now I have a great boyfriend too."
"You bet." Parth smirked. "Now should we go and tell her highness that her masterplan of getting us to admit our feelings worked?"
"Isha's plans. I really feel bad for poor Sahil. She is going to plan his schedule." Vidushi giggled. "Her micromanaging will drive us all crazy, just you wait."
"Hmm...So, take a guess, where do you think her highness will be?" Parth smiled at his girlfriend.
"Why don't you take a guess?" Vidushi winked at him.
He crashed his lips over hers, his hands in her hair.
Her arms wrapped aroung his neck and she moaned into his mouth.
They broke apart and Parth took a deep breath.
"What...was that...for?" Vidushi panted.
"Because I can. Finally. After wanting to do this for such a bloody long time." he smirked.
"What held you back then" her hand grabbed a fistful of his hair.
" Stupidity." he winced at the small pain that he was feeling. "But I am not going to be stupid anymore. Hell I don't want to be!" he loosed her hold on his hair.
"Hmm...So.." her hands clutched his collar, bringing him down a little, she rubbed her nose against his.
"So, let's go to the library, drag Ishu and Sahil to the canteen and give them a nice treat?" Parth smirked
'Yes! You know me so well." her eyes sparkled with excitement "Chocolate cake is good for celebrating na?"
"Foodie. Come on, let's rescue poor Sahil" Parth took her hand in his and lead her to the library.
People looked at them in astonishment and Parth put his arm around her shoulder, glaring at one or two boys who dared to ogle at Vidushi.
"Overprotective." Vidushi teased, feeling his hand slide to her waist.
"But you love it." he smirked.
"Maybe I do.." she whispered.
"You are adorable." he squeezed her arm lightly
"I know." she giggled.
And he loved the sound of it.
"Done!" Isha looked up from her planner to see Sahil s head resting on his folded arms.
For a moment all the thoughts of grades, time management, adjusting schedules and hard wiring actions for success faded into background noise and a smile pulled at Isha's lips. 'Aww...so cute! ' she looked at Sahil's sleeping face and picked up her pen to poke him awake.
"Isha? Sahil?" Vidushi's excited squeal jolted Sahil awake and the librarian hushed the room.
"Good Morning sleepy head " Isha smirked at Sahil, who blushed and ran a hand through his hair, messing it up.
"Hi...Sorry I just.." Sahil's explaination was interrupted by Vidushi coming in between them with a huge grin on her face.
"Kya karke aie hai tu?" Isha raised a brow.
"That would be TMI Ishu." Vidushi winked at her friend and continued "Guess who is not on the single market anymore?"
"Finally. Thank god." Isha shook her head. "Now no more headaches for me. Where is Parth?"
"Canteen. Come on, you guys have to come too." Vidushi pulled Isha up from the chair, getting ready to tug her friend out if need be.
"Hey wait my stuff, it's important stuff" Isha pulled free and crammed all the things on the table into her bag.
"Waise, why are we going to the canteen Vidushi?" Sahil stiffled a yawn and smiled as the girls shook their heads at his sheepish face.
"Well, a little bit of chocolate cake never hurt anybody I think" Vidushi winked.
Sahil immediately got out of his chair and this made the girls smirk.
"What? I did not have any breakfast !" Sahil frowned.
"No way! How could you? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" Isha shook her head in frustration.
"Miss Raichand, Miss Kumar and Mr Kataria, Kindly take your discussion outside the library!" the librarian had a soft, dangerous voice that contrasted the furious look in her eyes.
Not wanting to test the notoriously infamous temper of the woman, the three of them ran outside as fast as they could.
"Come on, lets get to the canteen before Parth comes hunting for her ass" Isha elbowed Vidushi who just rolled her eyes and sighed.
They walked to the canteen in relative silence, smiles on their faces.
"There he is! Hi Jiju!" Isha waved enthusiastically to Parth.
The three of them joined Parth at the table.
Sahil looked at the empty table and frowned "I came for the cake, where is the cake?"
Isha shook her head "See, you are so hungry that you sound like a grumpy cat. Don't skip breakfast"
"You would too if you were broke like me" Sahil mummbled under his breath and then immediatly regreted it.
Isha had frozen in her seat, rendered speechless for the first time in a very long time, her face going pale, her hands clenched into tight fists, knuckles going white.
"Here's the cake" Vidushi yelled, hoping that that coud break the tension.
Four huge pieces of cake and four cold coffees sat on the table, and Parth was the first one to speak "I believe you guys actually need to pick up your spoons and eat this cake, it isn't goint to get into your mouth like this" he dug his spoon into Vidushi's cake
"Hey that's..." Vidushi's words were cut out by a piece of cake in her mouth.
She glared at Parth and chewed.
"Aww...isn't she adorable? My baby" Parth cooed, blowing Vidushi a kiss.
Vidushi had finally swallowed and she had an evil smirk on her face " Your baby huh?" she picked up Parth's cake and gave him a mischievous wink.
"Baby don't do that..." Parth pouted.
"Don't call me baby, I'm not tiny, nor do I cry 24X7" Vidushi frowned.
"Ok, ok, I won't call you baby. Now can you out that deadly weapon down?" Parth pleaded.
"Better" Vidushi put the cake down "Otherwise that would be down your shirt and it would be the end of that hideous thing"
"Hey, did you just call Parth's shirt hideous? " Isha laughed
"To be honest it it kind of ugly" Sahil added softly, chuckling to himseld
"Ok, if you think so" Parth unbuttoned his shirt and took it off, leaving him only in his black vest.
"Oh god, do you have to be Salman Khan all the time, jab dekho you take your shirt off" Sahil laughed, picking up spoon and taking a small bite of his cake.
Isha shot Parth a thankful look for lightening the mood and took a sip of her cold coffee.
" Waise, I don't mind it if you keep that shirt off Parthu" Vidushi winked at him and he chuckled "Naughty girl"
She smirked and continued to attack her cake.
The others shook their heads at her eagerness and the table erupted into laughter
"Hey, excuse me if I love cake ok?" Vidushi rolled her eyes.
"I love cake too, but you don't see me shoving it down my throat like a hungry piggy" Isha smirked
"Did just you call me a piggy?" Vidushi narrowed her eyes.
"Maybe I did. Stop acting like one and I won't." Isha glared back
"Excuse me, I have a serious doubt here" Sahil interrupted "Are you two really best friends or enemies?"
"Good doubt, please clarify girls" Parth shook his head.
"Both" the girls said at the same time and started laughing.
"Confusing creatures." Parth sighed.
"And you are dating one Parth, good luck" Sahil whispered back
"Thanks. You might need that luck too. One day. Unless you are gay" Parth replied.
"Gay?" Isha's eyes widened.
"I'm not! " Sahil yelled in shock and desperation.
"Okay Okay, geez don't yell!" Isha covered her ears.
"Sorry" Sahil blushed and lowered his eyes.
"Aw, it's okay" Isha grinned and this made Parth and Vidushi laugh.
"Acha, now that all fun and games are over, when do you have that appointment with the counselor?" Isha asked.
"Counselor? What counselor?" Parth frowned.
"Oh god. You did not read that booklet did you?" Isha glared at Vidushi in frustration
"Not completely, we got distracted." Vidushi blushed.
"Ugh..okay. So as usual I have to fill in the details for you all. Okay so, there is a counselor you need to see before you got to the orphanage. She will assign you the "job" you are supposed to do to earn that money so you can maintain your household, get it?" Isha took in a deep breath.
"Somewhat yeah" Parth nodded.
"Don't worry, I'm lost too" Sahil whispered.
"Read the book people." Isha shook her head.
"Ok..ok, ok. So, what job are you going to take Isha?" Vidushi asked.
"I'm not telling you anything till you read the damn booklet."
"Spoil sport. Parthu gimme the stupid thing. Let's read it right now so Miss Mysterious will open her mouth" Vidushi sighed.
"Okay" Parth pulled out the booklet and opened it.
You have been given the opportunity to take this revolutionary course on Marriage Education and Family management programme. This programme has been specially devised by experts in the field to reduce divorce, dysfunctional families and also inculcate values of familial love, responsibilty in the youth who are going to be the future of this country. Whatever your career choices are, this course will help you in numerous ways, teaching you resource management, team skills as well as enhance your people skills. To get the best out of this programme kindly follow the following rules given below.*
"Great, so now they have made it seem like they are doing us a favour instead of wasting our time" Vidushi hissed under her breath.
* 1. Pairs.
Marriage is essentially a union of two souls, working together in love and harmony as one. You have been assigned a partner for the duration of the programme. Please note that union does not mean you will take the words seriously*
Parth chuckled "But I take it very seriously"
Vidushi blushed and elbowed him.
*Partners cannot be changed. You must learn to co-operate and compromise for the other person in order to get the most out of the programme. Not only will you learn the skills to sustain a real life marriage, but also learn the skills of working in a team*
"Co-operate huh? Hear that? That means that you have to listen to me Parth" Vidushi whispered.
"Compromise as well. " the chuckle made her blush.
*2. Jobs and income
For the duration of the project, the pair will be doing a shared activity. And this is where the first compromise has to be made. One person selects the job for one semester and the other does the same for the next semester. This will teach you to adjust to choices. The activity must be a part time job of some kind, to be taken in the college or in the canteen itself. A list of the jobs available will be provided when the pair visits the counselor. Real cash will be earned from the activity. The more cash you earn, the more you have to spend.*
"Hey this means we get to make some real cash. Cool." Vidushi grinned.
"Don't be so happy, read on" Isha sighed.
* As you earn the money yourself, you do have the right to spend it as you wish, however, the pair must turn in balanced budget sheets every month.*
"Damn. I hate budgeting. Parthu you are in charge of this" Vidushi frowned.
*The pair can also spend the money on updating the living conditions or save it. Any money at the end of the programme shall be divided equally divided between the pair. The college or the programme does not make any profit from your hard earned cash! This shall prepare you for the responsiblities of a job, budgetting and managing a house.*
"They better not." Parth smiled. Extra money was always a great thing.
The programme also focuses on family management. Every college is assigned an orphange. The pair will be assigned a child to take care of on weekends. It is imperative to make sure not to get to attached to the children or give them hope that you will adopt them, but at the same time interact with them with love and interest. Further in detail information will be available at the counselor's office.*
"Don't worry, I'm there to help you out." Parth squeezed her arm.
Each of you will have to write an assessment of your partner, your interactions, any arguements or problems you may face, along with suggestions for the improvement of the programme.*
"This is too much work" Vidushi groaned, resting her head on Parth's shoulder.
"Marriage is work Vids" Isha smirked.
"Parthu?" Vidushi gave him a puppy eyed pout.
"What now Vidu?" Parth asked warily.
"I am so glad I'm with you" she smiled warmly, kissing his cheek.
"Awww...aren't you cute? Can you please reduce the PDA?" Sahil made a gagging sound.
Vidushi went deep red and scooted away from Parth.
"Okay Sahil, I guess I'll just take my cute little girl and go" Parth laughed, grabbing Vidushi by her wrist and pulling her along with him behind a pillar.
"It is so hilarious. 6 months ago he was avoiding her like the plague. Then you came along and she avoided him like the plague. And now they can't keep their hands off each other" Sahil chuckled and took a last sip of his coffee. He looked up to see her smile sweetly at him.
"You have a foam mustache" she reached over with a tissue and wiped the white foam off.
"Thanks Ish." Sahil could feel himself get hot under the collar as embarresment flooded his cheeks.
"Anytime" her sweet smile made him smile back.
She was infectious.