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Joined: 22 December 2014
Part 7: Aftermath - Part A
The weekend following the party at Raizada Mansion was a mix bag for most. While most spent Saturday battling a terrible hangover, a few of them, the workaholics went right back the studio to finish up last minute work on the display line. Sheena and Co., who thought they had everything going for them were in for a shocker when they woke up to find themselves missing from the spotlight on the entertainment page. Instead they found themselves in a common group photo with the likes of Chamkeli, not that it made them feel any better. On the contrary, it most certainly made them feel insulted. This was never going to go down well with them, and as if to add insult to injury one of them thought they saw Chamkeli leave Raizada Mansion last night in a big-bright-sparkling-white-car with the one person everyone secretly harbored to be good friends with but professed to frown upon openly.
For Khushi, Saturday proved to be a day of quiet reflection. She spent half of the day cleaning the house, then her room, followed by their closet but no matter how she arranged their clothes, the red sari stuck out. If the sari had a voice, it most certainly was laughing at her desperate attempts to keep it out of sight. The other half of the day was spent making jalebis and getting distracted in between. In the light of the day, some of the things that happened last night seemed unreal to Khushi, and made her question if they really happened, for instance did she really fail to recognize her boss? It made her feel nervous and jittery every time she thought about it and how she had shamelessly stared at him, not once but a lot many times. Without even realizing that he was in fact, the chick magnet, ASR everyone at work were constantly bitching about. It didn't make her feel any good that she had fallen to the same trap, may be they weren't wrong in their assessment of the man, after all hadn't she been drawn to him as well? There was that, and then there was that as well, all that between them, what the heck was that? Was it what people talked about, attraction and all? It had been troubling and a little bit exciting at the same time. It was new and she already feared getting swept away by the tide.
And then there was Preeto and her questions. Khushi had been observing Preeto for the last few days but never were the changes been more apparent than now. She definitely wanted to find out the cause of this transformation, but unfortunately for her, a confident Preeto apparently also meant an ever inquisitive one. With the state of flux in her own mind, a curious Preeto was not something she wanted to deal with at this point. So Khushi choose to not pry into the Preeto affair at this point of the day. That didn't mean, Preeto wouldn't ask about the Khushi affair though.
"So how was the party?" Preeto's enthusiasm spilled through her voice, general body language and that thing she did with her eyes sort of like lifting both the brows up at at once as she spoke; it annoyed Khushi no ends. So she chose to ignore her and her questions, given how their enthusiasm were at opposite ends of the spectrum at this point. Hoping the silent dismissal would put her off but Preeto had other ideas. She subtly changed the topi of discussion, and asked about something else, something that would have been quite rude to simply ignore, "Do you have an order for this?" she asked staring at the mountain of Jalebis stacked on the counter over the stainless steel plate. Then back at Khushi when she didn't respond only to see her face, all scrunched up in uber concentration.
"Khushi..." Preeto gently tapped her shoulders finally managing to draw her attention. When she looked up Khushi found a pair of curious eyes starring back at her, "Sorry..." she smiled, "I heard the party was a hot and happening affair" said Preeto surprising Khushi with the description, this did not sound like Preeto, "Don't stress yourself, look at this" then held up the morning's paper, there was a picture of Akash and the entire team,"And this is the pride of Laxmi Nagar" she said pointing to Khushi, who was standing at the edge looking very disinterested.
"Pride of Laxmi Nagar?" Khushi looked amused, "You are the first person from Laxmi Nagar to ever have their photo published in a paper" Preeto's line told Khushi more than she needed to know, there was pride in that announcement but it also meant, everyone in the neighborhood would be talking about it today. Khushi felt a little embarrassed, it wasn't like she had won the nobel peace prize or something! She scanned the paper cursorily from afar, her eyes widening at the sight of him, an inset image of Arnav, she couldn't read the text below that but the title was loud and clear.
"Rocking Raizada Mansion kicks up a storm..." Preeto read the main title out loud effectively distracting Khushi from the inset image.
"It's all a PR exercise Preeto" Khushi said, "Don't fall for it, it wasn't exactly kicking up a storm last night..." her voice a little distracted as thoughts of yesterday again clouded over her mind. If she could hear herself right now, she'd know how unconvincing she sounded.
"So..." Preeto put the paper down on the other side of the burner on the counter, "Did you see a lot of cute looking guys there?"
"Kyaaa?" Khushi looked a little scandalized at the direct question, "No" she replied emphatically, as if to make a point.
"Really?" Preeto wasn't convinced, "So..." she paused debating where to prod this or not before deciding it was fine, "who was the guy who dropped you home last night then?" Khushi dropped the jalebi batter at this question spilling the contents on the floor, "Hai Devi Maiyaa..." it was Preeto who mimicked Khushi enjoying this new found discomfort of her friend, "It was...umm..." Khushi looked back at the eager face of Preeto, she knew she needed to play this down, "Akashji's driver..." she lied and hoped that Preeto would buy it. It took a lot more nonchalance to prove her point than Khushi had the stomach for, but she did finally manage to shoo her friend her with that lie.
When Preeto was gone, Khushi picked up the paper and went through the page again. At the top end, there he was, the man who had driven her home last night, the owner of the design firm she worked as, whom she failed to recognize. It was titled, AR Designs' blue eye boy returns? Monday was sure as hell going to be interesting, that is if she still had a job by then.
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