Shraddha tried not to chuckle as the man buying an engagement ring was trying to go for the cheapest option while also appearing to be more loving than anyone else. She'd been working in the jewelry store, Swarnabhushan, for the summer after exam of college was over due to financial problem away from home. Over that period of few months she'd seen so many couples coming in and arguing over the kind of ring they deserved. The cost of the rings in store was too expensive. She'd never be able to afford an item even though she worked here. The pay was okay, better than a lot of places, but not perfect.
She bent down and rubbed at the glass. The only problem with customers was they touched the glass. They didn't need to touch the glass to see items, yet they all did.
Someone cleared his throat right behind her. Standing up, she turned to see a male customer staring at her. His eyes were dark brown, almost black. Frowning, she glanced over his shoulder to see Gajra was busy.
"Can I help you?" she asked.
He kept staring at her. Keeping her gaze on his, she waited for him to start speaking. Holding the bottle of Collin in one hand and a cloth in the other, she didn't have any other option other than to stare back at him. Still, he didn't say anything.
Frowning, she wondered what the hell to do.
"Can I help you?" She repeated the question in case he didn't hear her the first time.
"Yes, you can. I'm looking for a piece of jewelry for a woman."
"Okay." She stepped around him, placing the cleaning products on the nearest counter. Rubbing her hands down her uniform she turned back toward him, plastering a smile on her face. "The lady you're buying for, is she a fiance, sister, daughter?"
"None of the above."
"Erm, what are you hoping to get from the piece?" she asked. It was easier to know the intention of the gift so she could help him pick.
"I want a parting gift that's expensive enough that she won't cause me problems."
Wow, okay, she'd never heard anything like this.
"We've got necklaces, earrings, bracelets." She stepped forward toward the window. Putting on her professional face, she pointed out different designs. He kept nodded at her talk and stood far too close to her.
More often than not she bumped into him and had to apologize. The couple who were inside had long gone. Gajra kept glancing her way. They were getting close to packing away for the night. The night shift was always the hardest. There was a higher chance of being robbed at night than during the day. Shraddha was always scared that someone who attack.
Can I see that one in the back?" he asked pointing towards arm band.
"Sure." Moving away from him, she went to Gajra for an excuse to be away from his closeness.
"What are you doing?" Gajra asked.
"Can I have your keys? I don't want to be too close to him." He unnerved her with his lack of talking and closeness.
"You've got a set attached to your hip", said Gajra.
"I know, but I needed to come away."
"Do you want me to finish serving him?" Gajra asked.
Shraddha nodded. "If you wouldn't mind"
"I don't mind."
Gajra went to the man while Shraddha finished signing up the till. She went through the charts, and seconds later Gajra walked back. "You've got to go and serve Thakur Sahab. He doesn't want any other woman but you to serve him. Unless you don't want the sale then you're out of luck."
Shraddha looked at Gajra as if asking through her eyes, 'you know him?'
Gritting her teeth, she walked back toward him. She grabbed the keys from her hip and opened up the door. Retrieving the case with the gold arm band on, she showed it to him.
"Do you have a problem with me?" he asked.
"Then why did you send her over?"
"Gajra is better when it comes to the discussion of the pieces. I'm not particularly good." She didn't look into his eyes. "This is a really good piece. Stroudy but intricate." She placed the case on the far counter and offered him up the jewelry.
He glanced over it. His large hands turned the item this way and that. She noticed his knuckles looked a little bruised.
With the business suit she didn't imagine him having anything wrong or out of place. The bruised knuckles were out of place.
"Yes, I like this one. I'll take it."
Taking the piece from his hands she touched his skin and glanced up. His gaze was on hers. He seemed to see more than what was there.
"Do you have a boyfriend or husband?" he asked.
"That's none of your business, sir." Putting the case away, she stepped away from him, shocked by his penetrating gaze. She wasn't a beauty, not by a long stretch. When men came into the shop they were all over Gajra, not her.
Moving behind the desk, she glanced back at him. "Do you want it gift wrapped?" she asked.
"Yes." He placed his hand on the counter, and she couldn't help but look at his hands. The bruises looked painful.
"Do you want to go out with me?" he asked.
Jerking her gaze back up to his, she saw he hadn't taken his eyes off her.
"No," she said, shaking her head.
"No, I don't want to go out with you."
She finished packing up his product and ran the amount into the till. He shocked her by paying with cash. The man counted every single note onto the counter.
Watching the money pile up, she took it from the shelf and placed it in the till, handing him a receipt.
"Do you work here often?" he asked.
"Yes. Do you want to know when my manager gets in?"
Was he going to complain about her? He was acting way too creepy to be nice to.
"No. I was wondering when you were here. I'll be seeing you, Shraddha."
His gaze caressed over her name tag over her breast. There was something strange about him. The bell went letting her know he was gone.
"Was it me, or was Thakur Sahab acting a little strange?" Gajra asked, coming up behind her.
"Yeah, he was creepy. Scary, creepy guy. But what I don't understand is how do know him?" Shraddha's hands were shaking from the interaction. What was his problem?
Gajra just said that he is the biggest land owner of the area and her family has taken loan from them.
She worked with Gajra, and they both locked up the store, securing the safety guards in place on their way out.
"Do you want a lift to your apartment?" Gajra asked starting her snooty.
"Nah, I'll walk. It's out of your way anyway."
"I'd hate to be walking the city streets this late at night."
"It's no problem for me. I'll see you tomorrow."
"You certainly will. The bills are not going to pay themselves." Gajra waved to her, and she watched the other woman leave before going into direction of her home in hurry. She wrapped her sweater around tightly started the short walk to her apartment block. The walk wasn't the problem. What she hated the most was the dark alleys she had to pass that hid men from her sight.
Her thoughts returned to the strange customer. What had he been hoping to achieve? She never got personal with a customer. Gajra a few months back had gotten a lot of stick from a customer, a married man who thought there was more between them than a simple customer relationship.
Shraddha no intention of being hurt by a guy she didn't know.
The moment she was outside of her apartment block, she ran up the stairs. The block wasn't too bad, but she didn't trust the shadows. Women could be attacked anywhere from not being cautious. Taking her keys out of her bag, she slid the key into the lock and entered her apartment. Flicking the light on, she was greeted by Khushi, her parrot. She'd found Khushi hurt on the road and brought her to home and nurtured her back to healtg. She couldn't allow anything bad to happen to the poor bird, and she'd taken her inside.
"Hey, Khushi, did you miss me?" She bent down to stroke her head. "Yeah, I missed you, too."
Picking up her parrot and setting her on the shoulder, she dropped her bag to the floor then walked into the kitchen. Her parrot said Shraddha again and again as she started to buzz around the kitchen.
"I met a strange man today. Yes, I did."
She always talked to her parrot even when she had nothing to talk about. Making herself a cup of tea, she put more green chilly in Khushi's bowl and sat down.
Putting her head in her hands, she watched her pet and thought about the mystery man. He freaked her out, and yet she couldn't deny the sudden jolt through her body their touches had created
Let me know what you guys think
Edited by MeetPremeer - 11 May 2015 at 11:05am