Thank you for your support and kindness. Here's Part 7
The next day, Kokila and
Hetal decided to go shopping later that evening and asked Gopi to join in, she
could not have created a better opportunity to stay away from him and jumped at
it. In the evening when she was heading to the kitchen, she saw Aham walk in,
she ignored him completely and walked past him as if he did not exist.
dumbfounded. His mom came down with Kaki, both of them having an animated
discussion and asked Gopi if she was ready to go? Go!! Go where?? thought Aham.
"Ji Maaji, will just be back in a minute" she said and ran upstairs to
her room. This was an opportunity Aham needed and he followed her saying he
would freshen up.
Gopi went to her room,
picked her clutch and about to step out when Aham bumped into her. Since he
wasn't moving, she moved aside for him to walk thru. He walked in and was about
to ask her, when his Mom came up and asked if he was available to take them
around for their shopping expedition.
Before he could reply, Gopi said "Maaji,
Ahamji maybe tired after his day at work, let us ask Devarji or call a cab."
Kokila was in a fix and before things went out of control, Aham replied,
ignoring what Gopi said completely, "Sure Mom, will be down in five".
The shopping trip was
uneventfully, eventful. Gopi tried to keep away from him, and he kept moving
close to her. She ignored all his recommendations for her and he kept bugging
her. Gopi was determined not to give in, and he was determined to make her give
in. When Maaji asked her to pick a saree Aham wanted her to have, she said very
simple, "Maaji, I need to change my wardrobe, I have too many things in that
color and they all look the same" she paused "and I am bored with it". she
added vey softly, for Aham's ears only. She got the desired result, a scorn and
For the party next
evening, Gopi got her hair done. Maaji
informed her that Aham was ready and meeting with his Kaka, so she headed to
the room to dress up. While at the dresser she noticed that Aham had left a box
on the bed and one on the dresser. She ignored them both and went out. Aham saw
her coming down; she looked like a vision in black and he said to himself that
this was better than what he had chosen for her. His eyes automatically moved to her wrist and
he rushed back upstairs to get something he forgot, he said.
When they were in the car,
both of them kept looking straight ahead. All of a sudden, Aham pulled up the car;
Gopi looked towards him and asked very innocently if everything was okay. "It's
all good" Aham replied with equal calm and pulled up the car, grabbed her arm,
pulled her wrist and clasped her bracelet on to it. Gopi was shocked at first
and then her eyes started to fill out but she did not want to cry, not in front
of him. She did not want to lose her composure or showa weakness.
The party was a disaster,
Aham ignored her royally, leaving her to fend for herself, while surrounding
himself with business associates and later focused all his attention on a
foreign delegate, whom he had met in Switzerland. She walked up to him and took
his hands into hers and said softly, "Darling", being fully aware that she had
his undivided attention, she moved very close to his ear and continued in a
very low whisper, "If you, do not wish to feel humiliated like I am feeling
right now, let us put a good show and leave be our issues until we are in
private." She smiled into his eyes but
Aham could not miss the pain in her eyes but he couldn't care less. She was the one who got things this far.
He raised his brow
challenging her, and she accepted gracefully. She moved to position herself
beside Aham, and waited with bated breath, calling silently to Kanaji. Her
positioning was strategic, she knew all of Aham's business associates would
come to meet him and that would give a better chance than her scouting the room
herself. Just as she anticipated, she saw a couple of associates heading
towards Aham; she glanced sideways to him as if telling him that she marked her
prey. Immediately after exchanging pleasantries, she made her move.
dumbfounded. All of it happened so fast. He saw her look at him sideways,
exchange pleasantries and then she excused herself as if to move towards
someone she just saw, tripped and fell into the arms of a young banker. The
banker though shocked, held her and asked if she was okay. When Gopi responded
in the negative, Aham offered to take her to the nearest chair. She looked at
him, fluttered her eyelashes and said," Oh no darling, I am sure Mr. Patel
wouldn't mind helping me to the chair. I would hate to break your soiree." And
when she was done, she looked towards the prey with her large doe eyes. The
banker was seen fussing over her until they made their exit.
All this disturbed Gopi. She
knew this time around she would be hurt more than ever. Gopi could not trust
herself around him and was not immune to his charms; she wanted to take matters
into her own hands to avoid being collateral damage in the whole process, but
she was helpless. She wanted to go back into her cocoon, to a safe and
protected life. Gopi was thankful that all this would end in a few weeks. She
did not have the neither the energy nor the will to keep going. She was drained
emotionally and physically.
There was dreadful silence
in the car when they returned. "I had a great time and am sure you did too!!" Gopi
exclaimed and walked straight to their room, threw the bracelet on the bed,
changed and went off to bed. Aham, who was watching her all the time, was
unable to decide if he was sorry for hurting her or was hurt to see her suffer.
He could barely sleep, he knew he had gone too far, and needed to return things
He just could not
understand what had gotten into him last night; he just couldn't handle Gopi
ignoring him. He liked doing things for her, he enjoyed going out with her, it
was the one time she was uninhibited. She could talk her mind and was not
required to conform. He liked the way she talked, the way she smiled and the
way her giggle led to a laugh, the way she blushed. He missed her in
Switzerland and he missed them being together. He could not understand when his
life turned Gopi-centric. He liked being around her and liked when she fussed
over him. He couldn't place a finger on when they became friends and when he
started to feel for her, not just as a friend. It was different emotion. He
fumed with rage when he saw her flirting with the silly banker, the more he
glared at her, the more she would flirt and in the end he had to give up
looking her way completely, until they were ready to leave.
******************** End of Part 7 **********************
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