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Surprised? Me too! Haha, I just figured this thread had become way too non-happening! And I was bored! So, eh, here's an installment!
Chapter 31: Uh-Oh!
"Munchkin?" I felt someone shaking me. Not someone. Armaan. Who else? "Munchkin, wake up!" He shook me again.
"Let me sleep you moron! I'm tired!" I held his hand tight and snuggled closer into the pillow, which I faintly knew was Armaan.
"Okay, sleep on, I'm sure there'll be plenty other magazines and papers you can work for!" He sighed. What magazines? What papers? And that's when it struck me-
"The interview"! I yelled and sat up at once. I heard Armaan guffaw behind me, rolling on the bed. I rolled my eyes and looked at the clock on the wall opposite my bed. "8.45! You IDIOT! I have to be there at sharp 10! You couldn't have woken me up a bit earlier!" I screamed at him, but it was hardly heard above his nonsensical laughter. "This isn't funny!" I fumed. He nodded, making lame attempts to hide his smirk.
"Its normally you who wakes me up! Its good I DID wake up! You would have surely missed it otherwise! I thought you always kept an alarm for these things!" He shrugged. I hit him with my pillow.
"I did! I don't know how it didn't ring!" I fumbled over for my phone and saw it had conked off. Of course. On these days, nothing went right. It was a rule. Just my luck. "I think I'm in for one of those unlucky days again. They always start like this!" I sighed and saw him lie down, snuggling under my comforter. "Get your ass up and get ready! You have to come too remember!" I got up and tried pulling his legs to get him off the bed, while he laughed at my lack of strength. "Armaan, please can you get the breakfast ready today? I just want some milk! Nothing heavy! Please" I called out while pulling my clothes off the rack which I had chosen the night before.
"Its your day!" Came his muffled reply followed by a small chuckle. And that triggered me off.
"I know it is! But please can you be a little considerate? Its my first job interview today, I'm late, I'm still not ready, I'm dying of apprehension, and I don't want to look like a complete nervous wreck there!" I yelled at him and saw him sit up and give me a look. "You know what, fine, forget it, I'll do it myself!" I stomped my foot and rushed into the washroom and shut the door before he could complete his 'Munchkin!' call! Of all days, he had to choose today to be a jerk. It was the first time I had fought with him over something like this, but then again, until today, we had never seen such a day! I sighed. This was definitely not going to be a day to remember.
I ran out of the washroom in my formal clothes. I looked at my reflection - a tight black skirt with a white tuck in shirt. I sighed, and wondered if it was right.
"You're looking fine!" I heard Armaan and saw him standing at the door.
"I hope so!" I said quietly. I quickly got into my black pumps. I looked at the time. It was 9.20. "Are you ready?" I asked Armaan anxiously and saw him nod.
"I will be in 5! Breakfast is ready, so just finish it, and we'll leave okay?" He muttered and turned to leave, finally walking out of the room.
I walked out and my eyes widened at all the breakfast Armaan had made. For how long was I in the washroom, I wondered, staring at the 3 slices of toasts and my favorite sunny-side-up along with hot chocolate. Impressed I smiled. He knew how to cool off my temper. But being in no mood of filling my nervous tummy, I just gulped down the hot chocolate in 3 quick sips.
Sighing, I wondered what the interview would be like. Never having been to one before, made this one extra special and important. I had to report to a certain Mr. Will Fern, the editor of Smart. I pictured him to be a big, surly man, probably in his mid-40s. My research had told me that he had been the sole member of the Smart team who had been there right from the beginning when Smart had started 8 years ago, and he was popular, as it seemed the magazine owed its success to him.
"You still aren't done with breakfast? Hurry, its already half past 9!" I heard Armaan and looked up to see his hair still dripping wet, dressed in causal jeans and a tee-shirt I'd given him.
"I'm done!" I sighed. He raised his eyebrows at all the untouched food. "Armaan, its too heavy, I can't have all of that! I just asked for some hot chocolate! Thanks for the extra whip cream by the way!" I gave him a small smile, but he looked at me sternly. "Armaan, this is very sweet of you, but I can't have this! I always get a tummy upset on these days, and I prefer keeping it empty lest it all comes out! I just feel too nauseous!" I said sheepishly. He smiled a little. "Let's leave now, or we'll be late!" I said restlessly and got up.
"Oh no Munchkin! You're eating a toast and this sunny-side up! Or we're not going!" He said authoritatively.
"What? Armaan this is my interview! And I'm already looking like a nervous wreck an-"
"Riddhima!" He held me by the shoulders, cutting across my rambling. "Its going to go fine! We'll be there in 10 minutes, there's no need to be so restless! Just relax!" He said calmly. He cupped my face, and before I knew it, I felt his lips on mine. Driving my hands up to his hair, I pulled him closer, and felt the butterflies in my stomach fly away. "You're going to get through this okay?" He murmured, pulling out. I nodded slowly. "If not you, then who else right?" He said softly. I smiled finally, and saw him smile at a reflex. "Feeling better now?" He winked. I laughed and nodded. "Then c'mon, at least have a toast if nothing else okay?" He said a little sternly, and I nodded meekly. "Oh, and you look extremely hot!" He whispered huskily in my ear, his strong after shave playing with my olfactory senses. I rolled my eyes, probably to hide the sudden surge of arousal and sat back down, quickly munching down a toast.
I waited at the reception impatiently, with my folder of essays, certificates and degrees clasped tight in my hand. Armaan had dropped me off at sharp 9.55, and here I was, still waiting 10 minutes later. There were just 2 other people beside me who had applied, one of them being interviewed at that precise moment. I felt the butterflies return and contemplated, yet again, about how it would all go. I shut my eyes tight and sent a silent prayer to God, first saying sorry for not praying to him enough, lest he was angry, and second praying for this to go well!
When the prayers failed to calm my nerves, I thought about the one thing, the one person who could always bring a smile on my face. His eyes, his smile, his dimples. I smiled softly at the kiss we had shared right before I had stepped out of his car a few minutes ago. I had reminded him of his rules, but he had said it was just a 'goodluck gesture' for his precious girlfriend. I had just rolled my eyes at his cheeky grin and had told him to drive around whilst I was here, saying I would call him when I had to be picked up again.
"Ms. Reedheema Guptta?" I heard the receptionist call and sighed for the millionth time over the way my name had been pronounced.
"Umm, its Riddhima." I smiled at her and saw her give me an apologetic smile.
"Mr. Fern will see you now!" She said chirpily and I nodded and took a deep breath before entering the room which would decide my fate.
I stepped in and saw clips of photographs, write-ups, all from the magazine put up on the wall. There was an entire stack of papers on the table, and then I saw a young, tall, fair person sitting behind the desk, his head bent over something. He was good-looking, probably one of those guys who had girls brooding over him everywhere. I knocked once on the door, to catch his attention.
"Umm, I'm here to see Mr. Fern'" I said anxiously, looking around for the supposed Mr. Fern, while the person, probably his assistant looked at me.
"Well good for you, because you're looking at him right now!" The tall, fair guy - supposed Mr. Fern chuckled.
"YOU'RE Mr. Fern?" The words left my mouth before I could stop myself.
"Were you expecting someone else? Or did you expect to see a big, fat man who would barely fit in this chair?" He chuckled, his expressions amused.
"No, I just didn't imagine Smart would have such a young and hot editor?" I murmured, still in my surprised mode. I then realized what I'd said and looked up at him horror. I felt my cheeks burn and shut my eyes, killing myself mentally. Classic move Riddhima, I thought. I looked up when I heard him laugh. "I mean-I've heard..You're the person who made Smart reach where it is today and all, so-" I muttered anxiously. So much for a good interview
"You can relax!" He said sweetly. I nodded hesitantly and gave him a small smile. "And yeah. When Smart started, I was just 18. My Dad was the editor, so I got the job of an intern very easily that time. I carried on with my academia, but I worked here as an intern as well. And then, when my Dad passed away, I was in charge. And they say that I'm responsible for Smart's success, but there are a lot of people involved." He said modestly. I smiled and nodded. "Sparing the modesty, yes, I am the heart and soul of this place!" He winked at me whilst I laughed. "So I take you're here for the interview huh?" He said, his tone suddenly professional. "Ms. Rid-Rid-" He muttered, looking down at his file.
"Riddhima Gupta." I smiled slightly and saw him nod.
"Riddhima Gupta? Bangladeshi? Indian?" He asked curiously.
"Indian!" I smiled at him.
"Are all Indian girls as pretty as yourself?" He said flirtatiously. I fumbled for words, taken aback at the sudden development. "Just kidding!" He laughed again. I looked at him shocked this time. "No, you are pretty! I was just-uh-" He said immediately. I smiled at him.
"Its okay!" I mumbled.
"So, King's University?" He said, as he scanned through my file. "Why journalism?" He asked suddenly after a few minutes. I looked up at him and saw him staring at me curiously.
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"Why journalism? Do you have a passion of words or something like that? Because I must say these anecdotes, these blurbs and all of it is pretty creative. An author seems like a better job prospect for you!"
"No, I don't have a passion of words as such..." I mumbled nervously. He raised his eyebrows questioningly. "Its more of..Passion of thoughts...Most of the times I just have random thoughts circling my head and I find words the best way to convey them..." I replied a little more confidently. He seemed happy with the answer as he gave me a wide smile.
"That's a nice answer!" He grinned at me. My gaze wandered towards his light stubble and his dimples. Dimples. What am I thinking. I almost smiled as I realized I had a cute, dimpled guy all to myself. "So, I see you're a worthy applicant!" He smiled at me and I smiled back. "Just leave your details with Casey, and we'll let you know!" He handed me my file again. I frowned. That was it?
"That's it?" I asked astonished.
"Yeah. It's a writer's job, not some big company! We don't need those kinds of interviews!" He winked at me. I nodded slowly and gave him a small smile.
"Thanks! Mr. Fern!" I shook his hand and got up. He didn't let go.
"Call me Will!" He smiled.
"Will!" I muttered, wondering why he was still holding my hand. "Uh'"
"Um, work aside, would you mind having coffee with me some time?" He asked, smiling, his dimples showing.
"No!" I said immediately. "Uh-I mean-I can't! I have a boyfriend!" I gave him a small smile. He finally let go of my hand.
"I guess I'll wait then!" He joked. I however didn't smile.
"Its kind of permanent. I love him. A lot." I smiled as I said that, thinking about him. Will smiled and nodded.
"Must be a very lucky guy, You're a very talented woman." He said and smiled at me. "So, I guess we'll call you! Thank you for coming!" He nodded and I nodded back.
"Thanks for your time." I replied back and bade him a good bye. Walking out of his cabin and out of the place, I wondered what I would have done if Armaan hadn't been there. Will wasn't the kind I would have chosen to date anyway. He was way too open while flirting. And that was surely a put off. But why was I even thinking about this? I had just blown up my first interview. Now, I couldn't even keep a hope of getting that job. Not because the interview went bad. But because I turned my potential boss down when he asked me out.
I fumbled for my phone to call Armaan and have him pick me up when I turned the corner to get to the main gate and saw his Porsche parked in front, with him leaning against it, looking at his phone.
"You were here all this time?" I asked, walking to him. He smiled, leaning in to give me a small peck.
"I was jobless, and I had nowhere to go. So I thought what better way to pass my time other than waiting for you!" He winked at me, pulling me into his arms. Not knowing what that nagging feeling in my stomach was, I leaned in and kissed him back, not letting him go. He, surprised at first, didn't respond, but then pulled me closer to himself.
"What was that for?" He frowned, as we pulled out for breath.
"I love you!" I murmured across his lips. "I love you, a lot!" I hugged him tight. And I felt home. That's why I would never go out with anyone else. Because Armaan was the one. I smiled widely at the thought.
"Uh, not that I mind, but I am curious." I heard Armaan say and rolled my eyes.
"You should technically say 'I love you too' but ah well!" I shrugged happily and opened the car door, sitting down. Armaan walked to his side, and got in as well.
"Someone's in an amazing job!" He said inquisitively. "I figure the interview went nice then!" He smiled.
"It did. But I'm not going to get it!" I shrugged. Armaan frowned.
"Why do you think that?" He asked me, curiously, his eyes fixed on the road.
"The boss asked me out." I said nonchalantly. I jerked forward as the car stopped suddenly.
"He WHAT?" Armaan exclaimed loudly.
"Armaan can you relax? He just asked me out. Didn't kiss me or anything!" I muttered angrily. Armaan gave me a sheepish smile.
"What'd you say?" He started the car again.
"I said yes. As you can see, I'm drinking coffee with him right now!" I said sarcastically and saw him glare at me. "What'd you think I said you dope!" I muttered.
"Did you mention that you have a boyfriend, that you love so much?" He replied back sardonically.
"Yes, as a matter of fact!" I smiled at the scowl on his face. Leaning forward, I kissed his cheek and then pulled it.
"Ow! Riddhima!" He glared at me; I just giggled.
"Armaan, why are you so hyped about this? He asked me out, I turned him down, and I'm not even going to get the job now! Its not like you have to feel threatened or anything!" I said softly, holding his free hand in mine. He nodded, his face still contorted in a troubled expression. "I'm yours! For life! There's no one else I would ever think about! Nothing else I'll ever ask for!" I placed his hand on my heart and kissed it once. I saw him give me a small smile. "I love you!" I kissed his hand again and gave him a cheeky grin.
"Me too!" He grinned at me, pulling over at Leo's, our favorite lunch-place.
"Armaan, its just 11.30! We're not having lunch so quick are we?" I asked him surprised.
"No, but we can definitely buy a nice bookcase for those bloody books of yours from that shop over there!" He grimaced.
"Armaan, shut up!" I said sternly and got off the car. "And why now?" I asked.
"Because its too early for lunch! And I want to take you out on a date to Leo's!" He winked at me, and I smiled. This was exactly what I liked. Armaan had a knack of making the simplest days special. And I realized, it was for moments like these that I had fallen for him. Only him.
"Riddhima, for the last time, we haven't forgotten anything okay?" Armaan groaned as I carefully concentrated on every single detail. We were going to make a road trip to Vegas that night, where we would be meeting Nikki and Abhi who were to come from Delhi. It was Armaan's suggestion - apparently, we shouldn't be spending on flight tickets, or else he wouldn't let me do anything in Vegas. I had reluctantly chosen Vegas rather than the flight trip to the said destination.
"Are you sure? I don't like the idea of this road trip, Armaan! It'll take long, we have to have everything ready! What if we run out of food? Or water? What if we have to pee? Armaan I get terribly car sick as well!" I groaned worriedly.
"First, can you relax? There's got to be a million hotels on our way, so just in case something does go wrong, we do have that option!" Armaan held my shoulders, looking right into my eyes. "And we've hired a nice jeep, I'm sure its going to be a comfortable ride!" He said earnestly.
"Yeah, you could book the jeep, but you had to make a fuss over a flight!" I muttered angrily.
"Oh yeah, stupid me, royalty like us can definitely afford 2 flight tickets! I mean, obviously, if we hired a jeep, we could have definitely afforded a flight!" Armaan said sarcastically. I glared at him in response, and stuck my tongue out. "Riddhima, we're going to be okay! Besides, think about it, a road trip with your boyfriend. It ought to be, a nice…" He leaned in towards me, while I rolled my eyes. "….romantic ride, right?" He whispered huskily. I stared back at him unfazed, although his idea did start appealing to me now.
"We'll see!" I held my index finger to his forehead and pushed him back. He grinned at me cheekily. I got up to continue with my packing, while his hands kept busy by holding me from the back.
"Isn't that dress too short?" He murmured in my ear, while I neatly folded a black cocktail dress and placed it in the bag. I frowned. It was a normal knee-length dress.
"Uh, maybe for a nun." I said sarcastically.
"Funny." He replied in the same tone. "Your skirt this morning was longer." He argued.
"Uh, so?" I asked baffled. I turned around in his hold to see a huge scowl adorning his face.
"Well, so. You know. I don't want another Will Ferm asking you out in Vegas. That dress could draw attention. Unwanted, if I say so myself." He said cutely. I grinned at his troubled face. There were times when Armaan Mallik could be less of a pain and more of a sweetheart.
"First, its Fern. Not Ferm. Fern." He gave me a 'Like-I-Care' expression. "And Armaan would you let that go? Its not even like I'm ever going to see him again. I'm not going to get that job." I said, trying to be fine with it. But only I knew how much I wanted it. And it annoyed me I was going to get it even when I would be perfect for it!
"Well of course you aren't, thank God!" He muttered. I stared at him shocked, and crossed my arms. He realized what he'd said and looked at me sheepishly. "Well, I mean, there are better magazines. What do they say, uh, things need to fall apart for better things to fall together." He added, trying to cover up. I nodded, my eyes narrowed.
"Try harder. Jerk." I swivelled out of his hold and ran about trying to remember if I'd missed anything. "Armaan, could you get your Red Bulls from the freezer? I think that's the only thing left." I murmured, mentally calculating and cross-checking my list of needs.
"Uh, yeah, umm, they're over." I looked at him shocked.
"How? I bought a 12-pack 2 days ago!" I asked confused.
"I finished it." He added, with a cheeky grin.
"Armaan your addiction has to stop!" I said exasperated. He looked down, with his hands clasped together in front of him. "Seriously! I thought you got over that!"
"Ha! Mum made me!" He said sardonically. I looked at him with a cocked eyebrow.
"You really are still a baby aren't you? And no more Red Bull for you!" I reprimanded him. He pouted cutely. "You're just proving me right by doing that. And making me reconsider. Am I in love with a 5-year-old here?" I said smartly and that instantly wiped that pout out.
"Fine!" He muttered with a sour face. I grinned and shook my head. Living together was definitely bringing out new sides to him. "But only if you promise to help me when I'm thirsty." He held me again.
"Yeah we do have soda and all." I replied back.
"I meant this." He made me turn around and kissed me, full on the mouth. Shocked at first, I smiled and kissed him back.
"If you ever pass that cheesy line again, I'm never kissing you!" I whispered as we pulled out. "It wasn't even cheesy. It was gross!" I sighed, and shut my eyes, bumping my forehead with his.
"You just bring out the best in me baby!" He replied, his grin evident in his voice. I giggled, and opened my eyes, in time to see him leaning in for another one.
"Uh-huh, Mr." I pulled my face back. He scowled. Pecking his lips once, before handing him a list of groceries. "Go and pick these things up from the grocery downstairs please!" He groaned but didn't refuse. Kissing my cheek he turned and left.
I got busy again, when I felt my phone buzz in my pocket.
"What Armaan?" I sighed.
"Whatever happened to greeting to be polite?" He asked. I rolled my eyes.
"What'd you want?" I asked.
"They don't have Rangers' Tortilla chips. They have Mamma Mia's Tortillas. Should I buy those or is there a difference?"
I could so picture his cute confused frown on his face. Smiling I replied back. "Just buy it. Daft." I grinned and heard him give me a kiss over the phone. "Okay, that was lame, but eh!" Saying so, I blew him a kiss over the phone too. "And to think we've been apart for what, 5 minutes?" I grinned. He chuckled and hung up. Before I could get back to my last minute chores, the phone rang again.
"Armaan, seriously stop calling and come up!" I muttered into the phone.
"Oh no, this is Casey, calling from Smart Magazine." A female voice rung in my ears. Cursing my stupidity, I mumbled a sorry. "I would just like to inform you on Mr. Fern's behalf, that you've got the job of an assistance under Mr. Fern and that we would like to see you Monday." She replied in her usual cheery tone.
"What, really?" I exclaimed. I heard her give a light chuckle. "Oh, umm…" I added sheepishly. "Thanks!" I said uncertainly. With a small 'bye', I hung up.
I couldn't believe I'd gotten it. But with a feeling of happiness and satisfaction came apprehension.
"Hey baby, I'm home!" I heard him whisper in my ear as he held me tight. And that was exactly the reason. I smiled uncertainly. What would I say to him? Had I even done the right thing by accepting the job? Not that I'd gotten an option to back out, but still. I was sure Armaan wouldn't be okay with it.
"What's wrong?" He whispered, rubbing my arms with his hand. I turned around, and saw a huge smile adorning his face, along with a small frown. He didn't need to know right now. I could tell him after we got back. I could let him enjoy these 3 days of weekend in peace.
"Nothing!" I smiled. He didn't look convinced. "I just uh….Missed you?" I said lamely, and I could tell he was not buying it. But before he could retaliate, I smacked his lips with mine. He was taken aback, but he happily obliged. And no questions were asked.
Don't kill me!
Part is now complete! Sorry for the LONG wait, but get used to it anyway! And also, COMMENT quickly! Please! x
Vegas part is up next! Stay tuned! =)
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