banner credit goes to ashlesha CHAPTER-6~ A SCOOP OF FRIENDSHIP~
Time. Really a strange fellow. Isn't it? No one know what it will present in front of us the next moment. We say that we humans are the most unpredictable ones but in true sense time is way far more unpredictable than us. We call him to be the best healer. But don't we underestimate him by terming him only a healer when in reality, he is much more than that. We know that he tend our wounds with utmost care making them healed. But what we fail to notice is that he always makes way for new dreams, new hopes and new happiness while treating the bruises caused by painfully sharp pieces of our broken pasts.
Just like it did to Zoya. She came in India in search of an integral part of her past, her life but met a dead end. It could have stopped her there only but nothing like that happened and here time plays its card. When on one hand it closed the door for her find her old root, it opened a whole new window for her to bask in the soothing sunshine of a family's love. It had been only a week since she had been living with them but it is also true that time don't take too long when it comes to the matters of hearts , the matters of love. In this one week Zoya has found a family which has embraced her with open arms, with undying and unlimited love, a family whom she can call her own without any hesitation and a family which have fondly made her an essential part of it. She has found the brilliant combo of an amazing mother and a true friend in Dilshad. She may call her phoophi, but in her heart she has become more than a ammi who loved her like she had been her daughter only, all her life. Najma had filled the void of a younger sister in her life who trusted her the most and shared all her problems, all her secrets with just like best friends. Ayaan had been the crazy friend who never let her smile drop. He had become her perfect partner in all her mischievious and silly antics. And now at last but obviously not the least, Asad. Well these two has formed a bond which neither them nor anyone else can explain. And strangely enough they also didn't even try to understand it. They were feeling a strange sense of happiness which they never felt before with whatever strange dish was gradually cooking between them but again neither of them dared to accept it even to themselves, let alone to the other. It looked like their favorite dish was each other's head which they kept eating all day. By now the other three occupant of Khan Villa has come to a conclusion that if these two ever end up in a room, alone and locked up, then they will surely end up murdering each other. All their waking hours, the only things they seemed to do is fighting, bickering, and of course yelling at each other. But what everyone failed to notice is the silent conversation of their eyes, the eyes which seemed to sense the other's deepest of pain and slightest of smiles. One look from the other and their hearts find their peace in the most vulnerable and painful moments. In this one week they have learned to understand each other's silence and silently take care of the other. In the middle of all these bickering , when they became each other's pillar of strength , they also didn't know. They didn't tell anything but still found the other always by their side. They didn't know which demon of past the other was fighting but still the silent support and assurance told their heart that finally everything is going to be fine.
The clock stuck 1 informing the depth of the night but Asad was still unable to sleep. Today was a really hectic day for him and all he wanted to do after coming home was crashing to his bed and get a tight sleep as tomorrow was also going to be a busy day. But it looked like the sleep-fairy was angry with him for some strange reasons and refused to rest on his eyes . He badly wanted to sleep but wasn't able fulfill this wish of his. Frustrated, he sat up on his bed after attempting to sleep futilely for 2 hours. He looked towards the window to find it raining heavily outside. Pearly water droplets falling from heaven and then breaking in million pieces after clashing with the earth making a melody of rhythemic pitter-patter. The whether has suddenly become cold with this sudden but constant attack from heaven. It is raining almost all time since the past 2 days giving little breaks in between and causing people relief for being saved from the unbearable heat of summer and worry for the inconvenience caused by this sudden guest both at the same time.
Sighing, Asad came out of his bed made and made way to go out of his room to get some water but as soon as he came out , he stopped in his tracks in shock.
Zoya was tossing and turning in her bed from a long time but wasn't able to sleep. She also had a hectic day at office and wanted to sleep ,just like Asad but her reason of not being not able to sleep was different than Asad. From the time Phoophi had brought that two tubs of chocolate chip ice-cream this morning and had told her to feel free to eat it anytime she wants, her mind and heart had stuck with those ice-creams. Understanding she won't get any sleep until she gets the ice-cream ,she won't get any sleep, Zoya came out of her room to the kitchen. The lights were off and the soft moon-light coming through the window made the whole area look like a piece of fairy-tale. She silently tip-toed towards the fridge, not wanting to disturb anyone with any sound or switching on the light and opened the fridge in search of her treasure. She finally found it and was about to bring it out when suddenly tapped her shoulder and whispered in her ear-
Asad was completely shocked to see the fridge open and someone searching something in it at this hour of night. Though the person was facing her back towards him but he knew for sure who it was. Every weird thing he come across now-a-days is somehow related to her only. He was confused thinking what she was searching. He thought to cal her but discarded this idea as some evil idea came to his mind. A wicked smile formed on his lips thinking about his plan and he gently tip-toed towards her. She was so engrossed in her search that she didn't even sense him when he came behind her. He tapped her shoulder and whispered in her ears-
Zoya was scared to death with this sudden action and sound and was about to scream with all her might when someone covered her mouth with his strong and big palms preventing her from screaming. Seeing her struggling in her grip, Asad whispered in her ears-
- It's me Ms. Farooqui. Don't scream .
Zoya visibly calmed down after realizing that it was him only and not any ghost or thief. Asad released her from his grip after seeing her calming down and thanked his starts that she hasn't woken up the whole community. But as soon as he saw her state, he felt like he was going to blast with laughter. While Asad was having a hard time controlling his laughter, Zoya turned towards him giving him murderous glares. She was already angry with this stunt of his and now seeing him laughing shamelessly like a lunatic at her state, enraged her more. Keeping her hands on her waist , she screamed at him-
-Allah Miyan! She stopped short in her sentence seeing him looking at everywhere with wide eyes and remembered the time. She lowered her tone and continued her yelling in a whisper-
- What's wrong with you Mr. Khan? You scared the hell out me. She said placing hand on her heart and breathing heavily.
- Well you should thank God that I only scared you and didn't beat you with a frying pan assuming you to be a thief. Asad said with a smirk.
- Which thief comes to steal food from the fridge? Zoya asked irritatedly.
- The same thief about whom you told me on your first night here. Thieves also get hungry' isn't it what you said? See I still remember. Asad replied in a teasing tone.
-Let's change the topic. You tell me why are you still awake ? Why are you not sleeping? You are working from early morning and tomorrow also have a early morning appointment. You need rest Mr. Khan. If you don't take it, you will fall ill. Though Zoya started her rant to change the topic as she was feeling embarrassed remembering her previous dare-devil act but when she ended her rant , her voice was laced with concern for him.
Asad smiled softly at her concern and replied-
- I wasn't able to sleep. Was feeling restless , so came here to have some water. But if you have noticed, I can ask you the same questions as yours. What are you still doing here Ms. Farooqui? Today you were with all the time and tomorrow also you have to go with me to the meetings. You should also take rest.
Seeing her concern for him mirroring in his eyes for her, Zoya answered him with a smile-
- Well Mr. Khan I am searching for a special thing. Without eating it I can't get any sleep.
- What special thing? Asad asked, confused.
Zoya turned towards the fridge and brought one ice-cream tub out and said with a victorious smile while holding it in front of him-
- Ms Farooqui !are you insane or simply love to fall ill? It is raining since two days, the weather is getting so cold and you are planning to eat ice-cream? I knew it the second I saw ammi bringing it home that it will create trouble. Asad spoke in complete shock and frustration.
- Chill Mr. Khan. Nothing will happen. I have done these many times. It is really fun. Please , you try this today. Zoya said coolly while closing the fridge-door.
- I have gladly tried this if I was crazy like you or if my aim in life was pneumonia. But sadly it is not. I mean, seriously Ms. Farooqui it is raining outside, the weather is getting colder and you are planning to eat ice-cream. Asad spoke, partially amused, partially sarcastic and partially annoyed.
- This is the real fun Mr. Khan. Just imagine, inside and outside, everywhere just cool , cool, cool. While Zoya spoke with excitement, Asad rolled his eyes.
- Sounds like north-pole. Asad said sarcastically while Zoya nodded her head , giggling like a five-year-old.
- But seriously Mr. Khan, you should really try this once. Have you any idea how amazing it is? Have you ever tried this?
Though Zoya had said all this to encourage him to try her idea, but as soon as these words reached Asad's ears, his mind drifted back to those best years of his life.Asad woke up at the middle of the night hearing the loud sound of thunder. He looked outside of the window to find it was a thunder-storm going on outside. He sat up on his make-shift bed on the floor of the huge living room. His brows frowned in confusion seeing the lights in the kitchen on. He clearly remembered turning them off before going to sleep. Mr. and Mrs. Siddiqui were out on a business trip. So Asad wondered who could be there in the kitchen at this hour. Silently , he made his way towards the kitchen and gasped in shock seeing the scene in front of him. There was Zoya, sitting on the floor with a huge tub of chocolate ice-cream in hands. She was gulping spoon after spoon of ice-cream messing her whole face with it in the process without a care of the world. She was so engrossed in her little snack that she didn't even notice Asad standing there. It was only when he called her name, she stopped eating looked up at him with mouth full of ice-cream. She had the identical expression of a thief caught while stealing the Cohinur. She gave him a nervous smile and responded-
- Hey Asad! You are awake?
- I should ask you the question. Why are still awake? What are you doing here at this hour with this ice-cream? You will fall ill if you eat ice-cream in this weather Sunshine. Asad bombard her with question while making his way towards her after taking few tissues from the kitchen-counter. Zoya gave him a sheepish smile when he sat beside her on the floor and gently wiped the ice-cream off her face with the tissue. Zoya finally sighed and started telling the reason behind this little adventure of hers in a small voice keeping her eyes on the floor seeing his questioning stare-
- I woke up hearing the thunder. I am scared of thunderstorm. I am most of the time stay alone here as ammi and abbu are always busy. I get very lonely. So whenever there is a thunderstorm I come here to eat ice-cream to divert my mind from my fear.
Asad's heart went out for the girl sitting in front of him who happened to be his best friend . He gently asked her-
- But now you have me right? Why didn't you wake me up Sunshine?
- I came to you only at first. But you were sleeping. I thought not to disturb you. Zoya replied softly, still looking at the floor.
Asad felt a deep pain for her in his heart for her. It was one main reason why he felt so connected with her. She was just like him. All alone, in spite of having a family and this feeling Asad knew better than anyone as he had to leave his only family and live here alone. But well God was merciful towards him as he gave him the best friend anyone could ever ask for in return.
While he was deeply engrossed in his thoughts , Zoya observed him keenly. Suddenly her eyes lit up at an idea. She extended the tub towards him and asked him-
- Will you have ice-cream with me? Please...
Asad wanted to deny but couldn't do it looking in her hopeful eyes. He nodded his head in a yes with a small smile . Zoya clapped her hands in glee making Asad chuckle.
- You are crazy, you know!? Asad said while shaking his head .
- Yup. I know. Zoya replied cheekily.
Both of them enjoyed their ice-cream.
- You know Asad. Ice-cream can make everything alright. When I will grow up, I will marry the owner of the biggest ice-cream factory and will eat ice-cream everyday. Zoya said excitedly in her animated way making Asad laugh heartily.
It had become a ritual for them to eat ice-cream whenever it rained. It was their special secret. It was a memory which he refused to relive after getting separated from her. But destiny has again landed in a similar situation, offering him to relive those magical moments again and strangely enough, with a Zoya again.
Asad came out of his thoughts when snapped her fingers in front of him. He was embarrassed for zoning out in the middle of a conversion like that.
- Thank god! You came back to earth finally . Otherwise I thought I have to send a space-ship to bring you back here. Where did you zoned out? Zoya exclaimed dramatically keeping her hands on her hips.
Asad rolled his eyes at her comment. He cleared his throat and said-
- No where. What were you saying?
- I was asking you that have you ever tried eating ice-cream in rain? I am sure you you have never tried that. Zoya spoke confidently.
- Actually I have also done this many times. Asad admitted sheepishly ,not meeting her eyes directly.
- You have done WHAT!!?? I can't believe you have tried this and that too many times. You know how much amazing this is, you yourself has experienced it and still you are scolding me for doing the same? You know what? You just need a chance to shout at me, no matter what! Zoya spoke accusingly. Her tone laced with shock and disbelief.
Not knowing what to reply, Asad stayed silent looking at the floor , massaging his forehead with his fingers. He looked up after some moment when he found a ice-cream tub stretched in front of him. He looked up to see Zoya holding the tub and extending it towards him with a bright smile. Her deep, dark chocolate-brown eyes filled with hope, a look which he knew too well.Sensing his questions in his eyes, she spoke dramatically bowing her head in a royal manner-
- Mr. Asad Ahmad Khan , can I have the pleasure of having this ice-cream with you? She ended her line rising her brows playfully. Getting no response from him, she pleaded again making her best puppy face-
- Please Mr. Khan. I am not asking you to jump from Eifel Tower. Just a ice-cream. Please. Atleast for my puppy face. Asad rolled his eyes at her drama but finally smiled showing his dimples and nodded making Zoya smile broadly in glee. Asad was going to sit on the floor but Zoya stopped him. She sat on the floor and patted the spot next to her , indicating him to sit there. Seeing Asad hesitating to sit there and still standing there with a doubtful look, she rolled her eyes and said tiredly-
- This is clean here Mr. Khan. If you don't trust me, at least trust your OCD to have everything clear in this house. In fact I doubt even a microscope also can't find dirt here.
Asad ignored her remark but sat there nonetheless. Both sat there beside each other, resting their backs on the closed fridge door. The whole room glowed in the tender moon-light, soft cold breeze blew around them and the gentle sound of the pitter -patter created a magic. They both started eating the desert with spoons ,closing their eyes in delight, taking in the heavenly taste. After some minutes of blissful silence, Zoya broke it with her exclamation-
- You know what Mr. Khan, ice-cream can make everything alright.
Zoya's comment brought back many old memories in front of Asad, shocking him. He looked at her face intently but unaware of his intense stare Zoya continued in a low, quiet and dazed tone, as if remembering some old but very precious, very dear memories.
- It is not just a cold desert for me Mr. Khan. To me, it is a scoop of support, a scoop of trust and a scoop of friendship.
The last part of her statement came in a mare whisper, making Asad's heart missing a beat and then beating wildly. Some alien feelings, some strange emotions consumed his whole being, giving him goose-bumps. He quickly averted his gaze and cleared his throat. He decided to tease her to change the changed intense atmosphere of the room-
- I thought your love of life was pizza but looks like you love ice-cream more. A slight teasing smirk made its appearance on his face.
- It's nothing like that. I love pizza. Never doubt that but ice-cream is my first love. It is special. I can't really forget my first love, now can I ? Zoya said dramatically, glad that he changed the topic. The sudden change in air was also affecting her.
Asad nodded his head in mock seriousness while Zoya giggled. The moon light fell on those two happy souls who were enjoying the ice-cream as well as each other's company, radiating their inner happiness. After finishing the tub which they both were sharing , they looked at each other smiling hesitantly, debating with themselves to whether to tell the other to bring the other tub. Being the impatient soul she was, Zoya finally sighed and brought the other tub after disposing the empty one in the dustbin and sat in her previous position, making Asad relieved as he didn't had to tell her to bring that making himself embarassed. Asad gave her a sheepish smile when Zoya glared at him. She spoke in annoyance-
- You are such a drama king!
- What did I do ? Asad spoke innocently, faking confusion.
- Oh please! Don't give that innocent look. Do you think I didn't notice the longing look you were giving the ice-cream tub when it finished. Zoya rolled her eyes while Asad chuckled.
Asad and Zoya were enjoying the second tub also when Zoya saw some ice-cream on his lips. She signaled him towards his lips mouthing 'ice-cream'. Asad was about to get up to bring a tissue to wipe it clean when Zoya stopped him saying-
- Offo, Mr. Khan. You are bringing tissue for this small issue. Just lick it off na. See, like this. Saying so, Zoya started licking her own lips trying to give him a demonstration. Asad rolled her eyes at this and spoke irritetedly-
- I know how to lick. While Asad licked his lips in an attempt to clean the ice-cream, Zoya giggled looking at him. Asad frowned at her seeing this in confusion and asked-
- What's so funny?
- Nothing. It's just that you were looking so cute like that. Zoya spoke still giggling. Asad's cheeks brightened and he looked away feeling embarrassed but it looked like Zoya wanted to pull his legs more. So she continued-
- Aww Mr. Khan. You are blushing? You are looking even cuter. I didn't know that you can also look this cute. I wish I had my phone with me . I have definitely taken your picture now. But you don't worry. I will do it the next time.
- You will NOT do anything like that. If you do then I am not talking to you from next time. Asad spoke with fake anger to mask his embarrassed.
- OK fine. I won't do it. Do you know how mean you are? Zoya pouted in mock anger , crossing her arms in front of her chest. She could see the small smile fighting to make its appearance on his lips and she knew he wasn't saying this seriously. But still the thought that he won't talk to her pinched her heart.
- I know. Asad spoke with a smug look making Zoya roll her eyes heavenwards but also smile a little.
Asad and Zoya finished the second tub also. But as soon as they finished the tub, they heard foot steps approaching them. Both looked at each other, their eyes wide in horror .
- Ms. Farooqui we have to hide. If anyone see me eating ice-cream like this, I will be teased for my whole life. Asad whisper-yelled in panic. Before Zoya could say anything, he pulled her with him and both hid under the dining table while she still had the tub in her hand. The dining table was the safest and closest option he could think of in that short time. They watched holding their breath that a person was going towards the fridge. They peeked through the space between the chairs and though it was dark, they could easily understand that it was Najma , cause of the moon light. They moved from there and went further under the table, in case she sees them.
- What is she doing here now? Asad wondered in whisper. Before Zoya could say anything they heard Najma exclaim to herself, answering his question in this process-
- Where did the ice-cream tubs go? I saw ammi keeping them here only. I thought to have them today as my mid-night snacks. Najma spoke confusedly making Zoya's mouth form a o' and Asad rolling his eyes and massage his temples. But suddenly her face changed from surprise to horror. Looking at her frozen state, Asad followed her gaze to find her object of attention , a cockroach. Asad looked at Zoya in horror who was at the verge of screaming her lungs out. Asad quickly covered her mouth with his hand. While his pleaded to not shout, her eyes showed panic to drive away the cockroach. On the other hand, the cockroach looked at two people who were looking at him utmost panic which he has ever seen on anyone's face him. He completely ignored the angry glare of the man and his pleading whisper-chant of 'go' seemed completely alien to him. When it looked like he was going to stay there forever, he finally took some mercy on those poor souls and decided to leave the place. Asad removed his hand from her mouth and both of them sighed in relief. It was then, when they heard Najma say-
- I guess Ayaan bhaijaan has eaten the ice-cream. Well I guess I have to manage with this chocolate bar only.
After some time they heard the footsteps fade away and after some more time they finally came out sighing in relief. But their relief was short-lived. The moment they turned around , they came face to face with Dilshad, who was looking at them questioningly. They quickly hid the tub behind them and turned towards each other gulping nervously. They gave her a nervous smile making her furrow her brows.
- What are you both doing here at this hour? Dilshad asked suspiciously.
- W..we... were feeling th..thirsty . So came here to drink s..ome water. Asad stuttered.
- Both of you? She asked in suspicion while both of them nodded their heads vigorously. Dilshad eyed them, not quite believing their story. Suddenly he spotted some ice-cream on her lips. Panic rose in him. To prevent her from noticing this, Asad quickly told Dilshad-
- Ammi look what is there behind you?
- Where? She spoke in confusion, turning around and searching for something. Asad used this opportunity and signaled Zoya to her lips and mouthed ice-cream. Zoya's eyes widened in realization and she quickly licked it off her face just before Dilshad turned around. They gave her again a nervous smile while she asked in confusion-
- What was there? I didn't saw anything.
- I guess I have seen wrong. Asad said, not meeting her eyes. He never wanted to lie to her but he didn't had any other option. Zoya felt bad realizing his guilt as he has landed in this situation because of her request. So to save themselves from telling more lies, she blabbered-
- Phoophi why are you still standing here? You should go to your room and sleep? You were having a bad headache right? If you stay awake till this late, it will worsen. Real concern for Dilshad made its place in her voice.
Dilshad placed her hand on her head and spoke with a smile-
- I was sleeping only Zoya. But I heard some noises coming from the kitchen. So thought to check.
- Ammi you know how clumsy Ms. Farooqui is. She must have made some sound while getting the water in the darkness. You don't worry. Everything is fine here. You just go to your room and rest. Asad spoke quickly earning a death glare from Zoya but he ignored it and ushered a still mildly confused Dilshad towards her room. As soon as she exited the area, both heaved a sigh of relief. Zoya quickly dumped the ice-cream tub in the dustbin and came back to Asad.
- This was the craziest experience I have ever had. Asad spoke while massaging his temple.
- Same here. But you can't deny that it was too much fun. Zoya beamed at him with a bright smile.
- Well I still can't believe that I am saying this but strangely enough, I have to agree with you in this case. This is the first time in years that I had this much fun. Thanks Zoya. Though Asad started playfully but his statement ended with utmost sincerity and a small smile, making Zoya smile even bigger with an understanding look. Asad was about to turn to go to his room when Zoya called him-
- Mr. Khan..
Asad stopped and asked her what's the matter with his eyes.
- Um.. Actually...I was thinking that can you bring a tub of chocolate ice-cream for Najma tomorrow. I was feeling very guilty that she couldn't have that because of me. Zoya spoke in a small voice while looking at the floor, her voice laced with guilt. Asad's heart warmed seeing the care she had for his little tamatar'. He looked at her expression and thought fondly- She is such a kid'. He shook his head in amusement and spoke with a soft smile on his lips-
- I will get it for her but don't you think she will again break her diet if she sees that.
- She doesn't need to lose weight sacrificing her happiness. She perfect just the way she is. Zoya spoke protectively.
- I know that already and I always tell her this. But she is the one who is hell bent on losing weight. She always whines the all day about her diet chart and at night breaks it by eating all the junk food and deserts stored here. And then again whines about not losing any weight. Asad spoke while shaking his head, the amused smile never leaving his face.
- I know. Zoya spoke giggling at his statement and Asad also joined her soon, chuckling at his baby sister's crazy antics. After sometimes, when finally they composed themselves, Zoya spoke merrily-
-Good night Mr. Khan.
- Good night to you too Ms. Farooqui. Dream about your'loves'. Asad playfully teased her making Zoya smile again.
Both of them retired to their respective rooms. This time the sleep-fairy easily blessed them by resting on their eyes and they drifted into a deep and peaceful sleep, filled with sweet dreams, with a content smile on their lips.
Next day Zoya woke up with a flowing red nose, cough and headache. Everyone including Asad, told her not to go to office that day but she stubbornly refused to take a leave as she knew today was an important meeting in office where Asad will need her because she was his main assistant in that project. Zoya came back to her cubicle after having some light food in the canteen as she wasn't feeling like eating. She frowned in confusion noticing something new in her working desk. She picked up the strap of tablets which were for cold and headache. She also found a note attached to it. Curious, she opened the note to find some lines written in a neat hand-writing- Next time at least think about this headache before pulling that little super-hero stunt of yours to eat ice-cream in a cold weather.
Zoya fondly caressed the note and then smiling gently , gulped down the tablets . She could easily sense the care and concern behind those words. She had always avoided eating ice-cream in rain after getting separated from him. She never felt like doing it alone again as it was always a their' thing for her. She herself was shocked when yesterday she felt like eating ice-cream after knowing it was raining as she never felt like that in many years. But she was more shocked when she found herself offering him it to share with him. She thought she just wanted to have it as she hadn't eaten it from a long time and had just acted on impulse. But now she knew why she felt like that. She fondly looked at man who was deeply engrossed in his work in the cabin in front of her, oblivious to her stare. She sighed softly. Ice-cream is truly a scoop of friendship.
Hey guys. I am really sorry for being this late in updating. I hope you guys still remember the story
My school has re-opened , so I am having really small time to write. But I am writing the updates full of asya. So I hope I will be forgiven
Please hit the like button guys. I am not asking for comments but please atleast hit the like button if you like it. I am really working hard for this story and your likes and comments are the only thing which keep me going
Also tell me if I have bored you all
And one more thing I thought to clear. This story is not an adaption. I have said earlier that that I have got this idea while reading Leela's Friend' but this is not an adaption. That story was about the friendship between a little girl and a boy whom I assumed to be little elder than her. That story ended in their childhood with their separation and after reading that I kept wondering what could have happened if they had met again and from that thought this story was born. I have only taken the very first flashback of this story, the reason behind their separation and the babysitting thing from that story. All the other incidents from their childhood is my imagination. I have changed many things and have included many things in the childhood part to fit this story as that story was of 4-5 pages only. So basically this story starts from where that story ends but at the same time this story also have its own back-story.
I thought to clear this after reading swapno's comment. I felt that this might create confusion for everyone. I just wanted to clear the story behind this story. I hope I didn't hurt anyone, specially swapno. If anyone is hurt, please forgive me