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Wish Upon A Star - ArSh FF (P16, pg 58) (Page 15)

DulceAmor IF-Rockerz
DulceAmor
DulceAmor

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Posted: 12 January 2012 at 1:04pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Laila.N


Try out "Blind date with the boss" of Barbara Hannay, if you hadn't yet :)
I'm sure you will love it ! Wink


Running over to amazon to order it right now. Tongue  Thanks hun! Hug

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Laila.N

DulceAmor IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 14 January 2012 at 10:34am | IP Logged
Hey all, okay, first of all, I am very sorry that this update is coming to you so late. I had hoped to get it up before now but last few days have been so hectic there was no time to write. Secondly, thanks to all who commented on the last part. You guys are simply awesome and I thank you for sticking with me and this ff. I love you all. Okay, well I'll quit my babble here and get on with the update. LOL


Chapter 5

Armaan turned his head in time to see three people marching towards him, or, to be more accurate, towards Dr Hughes. They moved in a triangular formation, almost as if their movements had been scripted. Out in front was a woman, small but overweight, with hamster-like cheeks, a snub nose and large, but mean-looking black eyes that glittered furiously. She didn't walk so much as waddle, but somehow she still managed to look intimidated. Her eyes were riveted on Dr Hughes, and Armaan really didn't envy him. He felt like that look could possibly turn someone to stone.

            Behind her came a middle-aged man, obviously her husband. He was of average height, and in stark contrast to his wife, he was reed-thin. He had a long, angular face, the cheekbones of which jutted out somewhat, giving his small, dark eyes a rather melancholy aspect. He was balding and what hair he did have was a peppery grey. Like his expression, it looked tired and lifeless. His eyes never left his wife's back and Armaan got the impression that she made all his decisions for him.

            To his right was a young woman, about Shilpa's age. She was tall and thin and had the air of a catwalk model about her. Though she was wearing a thick, black coat, her legs were clearly visible and they were bear, suggesting whatever she had on underneath the coat was cut way short. Insanely high heels were strapped to her feet, a dazzling gold shade that looked like they'd come from Gucci or Prada, and she was clutching a matching purse between her hands. Her fingernails were perfectly manicured, painted a bright scarlet that matched the shade of lipstick she wore. She had a pretty face, all dusky complexion and deep, dark eyes, heavily lined with kohl. But there was an air of arrogance about her that Armaan felt detracted from her beauty, and as she walked, she glanced around her as if the hospital were distasteful to her.

            Not one of them looked anxious or distraught, he realised with a strange, burning sensation in his heart.

            "Where is she?" Shilpa's aunt stopped in front of Dr Hughes, glaring up at him fiercely. The doctor, who Armaan was beginning to think was a saint, smiled patiently back at her, as if she hadn't just yelled at him.

            "Ah, Mrs Nanda, how nice to see you again," he said, sounding genuinely warm. "We have put Shilpa in a private room to recover from her surgery. I am afraid she has sustained several broken bones, but she should make a full recovery. She had just come round when I left her, but she is likely to be tired after her ordeal, so she may be asleep by the time you reach her room."

            "Then wake her up again!" Shilpa's aunt demanded. "She has a lot to answer for, let me tell you. How did she get into this state? What was she doing?"

            "I believe she was crossing the road and did not see the car coming," the doctor replied, glancing over at Armaan as if to say let us fudge the truth a little. "This young man witnessed the accident and luckily had the presence of mind to call the emergency services. It is he you have to thank for her still being alive."

            The woman didn't so much as turn to look at Armaan. She merely waved a hand in the air, dismissing this information as if it were merely a passing remark on the weather. Armaan stared at her in a mixture of horror and anger. How could she be so cold and unfeeling? Did she not care that her niece had nearly died? His muscles in his arms flexed and he had to bite down on the inside of his lip to stop himself from reaching out and spinning the woman to face him, so that he could demand why she was being so heartless.

            "She planned it, in other words," she said. "That is why she left that party. I knew something like this would happen sooner or later. I kept telling you all, but none of you would listen to me."

            "Mrs Nanda, this really isn't the time or place to discuss this matter," Dr Hughes said, keeping his voice low. Armaan couldn't be sure, but he thought he detected a hint of annoyance in the doctor's tone. "Let me take you to Shilpa's room and you can see for yourself how she is."

            Her aunt sniffed, but she didn't object, so Dr Hughes gestured with a sweep of the hand for the family to follow him. They set off in their weird triangular formation again and Armaan watched them, seething inside. He'd never encountered such mean-spirited, uncaring people before, but it wasn't even the shock of realising that such people do exist, more than the fact that he couldn't understand why they didn't care for Shilpa. She had been so sweet, so innocent, and so obviously full of pain. How could they not be moved by that, her own relatives, when his heart swelled with concern every time he remembered the forlorn look in her eyes?

            "They are always like that." Sapna's voice called him out his thoughts. He glanced round at her to find her watching the family depart too, a strange, almost rueful expression on her face. "They don't make things easy for Shilpa."

            "How did she come to be with them?" Armaan asked her.

            "I don't know much about it. She hardly ever talks about her past," Sapna answered. "I only know that her parents died when she was a child and she's lived with her aunt and uncle ever since." She sighed and turned to him with a soft smile. "I better get back to work. It was nice to meet you."

            "And you." He returned her smile and for once he didn't have to force his lips into an upward arc, they moved of their own accord.

            "And, thank you, for bringing Shilpa in," Sapna added. "You saved her life."

            She patted his arm and then walked off across the reception area. Armaan watched her go, musing how kind and caring she seemed. At least he knew that one person in Shilpa's life cared about her welfare.

            Glancing back at the double doors he was suddenly seized with a desire to go find Shilpa's room. He couldn't explain it; all he knew was that he had this sense that she might need him. And he wanted to see her, he realised with a small jerk of his heart. He wanted to see those sea green eyes again and see life in them. He felt that if he did he might truly believe that she was all right.

            I'll just stop by for a minute, he told himself, just to see for myself that she's alive, then I can go home and sleep. With that in mind, he started for the double doors.

 

She was dreaming. She had to be.

            She was in the back seat of a car, of her parents' car, and she was feeling petulant because her father wasn't driving fast enough. Even though she was small, she could see his reflection in the rear view mirror, his warm brown eyes smiling kindly at her from behind his glasses. It didn't matter how bad her tantrums got, her father always had a smile for her.

            He was tapping his fingers on the steering wheel and whistling along to some filmi song on the radio. He usually sang along, putting on funny voices to amuse her, but he wasn't doing that today. She didn't want him to, either; she wanted him to drive faster so she could go see...

            What was it she wanted to see? She frowned, wrestling with the sudden fogginess in her mind, trying to recall what it was that had been so important only a minute before. There had been something, she remembered that much. Something really big and exciting that all the kids were talking about at school. Something that had made her badger her parents until they gave in and agreed to take her... To take her someplace. It annoyed her that she couldn't remember and that added to her bad mood.

            "Shona, don't scowl. If the wind changes your face will stay that way." Her mother's soft, soothing voice was like a breath of fresh air and she instantly felt calmed by it. She glanced in her direction and saw her leaning over the seat, her deep green eyes glowing tenderly. They always glowed; it's what she loved most about her mother. Her father called them jewel eyes because he said they reminded him of aquamarines, and that always made her mother blush.

            "We're almost there, sweetie," her mother added, brushing a strand of her gloriously long, silky ebony hair behind her ear.

            "But we're not moving!" Shilpa cried, only her voice was different ' high-pitched and whiney and childlike. "We're stuck here and we're going to miss it!"

            Her mother glanced anxiously over at her father. "Is there any opening we could squeeze through?"

            Shilpa watched his reflection look up at the rear view mirror and meet her eyes. His face softened and he flashed her a bright smile.

            "Don't worry, Princess Shona, Papa will get you there in time," he told her.

            There was a small gap in the line of traffic up ahead. Her father managed to manoeuvre the car into it and crawl slowly along the road. At the head of the queue was a traffic light and it was stuck on red. Angry drivers were furiously pressing their horns in objection to how long it was taking for it to change. Shilpa's father glanced about, an uncharacteristically worried expression on his face.

            "We're not going to make it," Shilpa began to sob, and as she said it she felt despair crushing her insides.

            "Yes we will, Princess," her father assured her. He started to pull out into the middle of the road.

            "Rohit, no, it's not safe!" her mother cried, placing a hand urgently on her arm.

            "We have to get Shona to-"

            She didn't hear her father's next words. Suddenly everything went hazy and indistinct. Shapes became elongated parodies of what they actually were, rising out of the mist at her, striking terror to her very heart. She felt her lungs growing tight and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get any air into them. Something large and black and moving at an impossible speed emerged through the haziness, coming right towards her. Her mother's voice rang out, filled with terror. She saw her turn round to face her and her aquamarine eyes had bled white, the little veins in them vividly visible. Like blood, Shilpa thought, randomly, and then her heart thudded in her chest.

            A man shouted her name, but it wasn't her father's voice. She couldn't see him anymore, couldn't see her mother either, there was nothing but blackness and icy fear, spreading through every part of her, numbing her. She threw a hand out, searching desperately for her mother's hand, but she couldn't feel a thing. Tears stung her eyes, blurred her vision and she knew with a cold, terrible certainty that she was going to suffocate. She opened her mouth and struggled to find air enough to scream.

            "Mama!"

            Her eyes flew open as her body jerked her awake. Her heart was hammering in her chest and she still felt like she couldn't breathe. Everything was too bright and loud and disorientating. Somewhere close by there was a strange beeping noise and she could hear footsteps hurrying across a linoleum floor. But she couldn't see a thing for the garish yellow light that was shining directly in her eyes.

            And then she heard the voice.

            "Your mother is dead, as well you know. When are you going to stop this nonsense and accept that she's gone?"

            A violent surge of nausea rose up the back of her throat and she had to close her eyes to fight it back. She lay there for a few seconds, breathing deeply, holding back the tears that were pricking her eyes. Fleetingly she wished she could just lie there and pretend to be asleep, like she had done so many nights as a child. But they'd seen her eyes open, had heard her shout, so she didn't have that luxury. She was going to have to be brave and face them.

            Resignedly, she opened her eyes again and moved her head so she could see them. Her aunt was seated at the side of the hospital bed, her hands folded in her lap, shoulders rigid, an equally stony expression on her weathered face. Those dark brown eyes bored into her and she had to struggle not to wince under their scrutiny. She always felt uncomfortable when her aunt looked at her. There was always so much judgement in her eyes, she felt as if her every look were a condemnation of some sort.

            "Massi," she said weakly, struggling to push herself up into a sitting position. Agony seared through every part of her body, making her wince loudly, but no one came to help her.

            "What were you thinking Shilpa?" She glanced to her left at the harsh sound of Anjali's voice. She was standing over by the window, phone in one hand, eyes focused on it instead of her. "How dare you leave me at that party? If you had wanted to go, all you had to do was say."

            And you would have refused to go, she thought bitterly. She didn't bother to voice this. Anjali would only contradict her and she knew who her aunt was likely to believe. She'd learnt long ago that it was easier to stay silent.

            "You did this deliberately, didn't you?" her aunt chimed in, her voice as sharp as nails. She gestured with a hand to Shilpa's leg which was encased in plaster cast. For a moment she just stared at it, trying to remember how she'd broken it, but her mind was a muddle of mist and blackness and strange voices, none of which she could pick apart. "You wanted to hurt us, yet again!"

            "Mami, I-" she started to say, but her aunt cut her off.

            "Why, Shilpa?" she demanded. "Why do you insist on causing us so much pain? Are you not grateful for all that we have done for you? Did we not take you in when no one else would have you? Did we not feed you and educate you and give you all the benefits of a life in this city? Did we not care for you? Love you?"

            No, actually, you didn't love me, she felt like saying. But she wasn't brave enough, and she wouldn't have gotten a chance anyway. Once her aunt started on a rant there was no stopping her, another thing she had learnt long before.

            "And this is how you repay us? By being self-centred and wallowing in your own misery like a selfish, spoilt creature? You weren't the only one who lost someone, Shilpa. I lost my sister!"

            She'd heard this particular speech before and right on cue her aunt pressed her hands into her bosom, in a gesture that was meant to indicate the heartache she'd undergone. The first time Shilpa had witnessed it, her own heart had twisted with remorse and she'd been overcome with guilt because, no, back then she hadn't stopped to consider that her aunt had lost a sister. She'd been too young and too confused, so that, really, she hadn't understood anything other than the stark fact that her parents were gone. But in the years later she'd come to think of it and come to realise that her aunt's grief was 70% manufactured.

            "But you are just like your father," the spiteful woman continued, hissing out the words like a snake. "He was self-involved and arrogant too. I warned my sister not to have anything to do with him, but would she listen to me? He carried her off on her engagement night like the ruffian he was. I knew then that my sister was doomed. And you, you caused her nothing but trouble from the second you were born!"

            "Vasu!" Shilpa's uncle interjected, widening his eyes at his wife. Shilpa glanced over at him with a small, thankful smile and she saw something tender flicker in his face. He was a quiet man and because of that he was dominated by his wife, but there were times when he made feeble attempts to stand up for his niece. Out of them all, Shilpa felt that perhaps he did care for her, and she did appreciate his occasional defence of her. But she knew it was useless.

            Her aunt proved that a second later.

            "Don't interrupt, Mohan!" she snapped. "She needs to hear these things. I've had enough of her selfishness. I'm not going to put up with it any longer! I keep saying it and you all keep rubbishing it, but I mean it this time ' she needs to be locked up."

            Shilpa's blood ran cold at her aunt's words. It was a threat she had made several times in the past, but somehow her uncle had always managed to dissuade her from following it through. This time, she had a horrible feeling that nothing would change her mind. And she knew she would do it. She would walk her into the mental clinic herself, would force her to sign herself in, one way or another. She didn't doubt it for a minute.

            "But Vasu, she has just had an accident-" her uncle started to say.

            "Accident my foot!" Vasu butted in. "She did it on purpose. She wanted to get knocked down by that car. It's all part of her wallowing!"

            "Actually, it's not."

            Their heads all snapped up and swivelled in the direction of the new voice. There was something about it that made Shilpa's heart leap into her throat and the blood start to rush in her ears. She'd heard that voice somewhere before, she knew it; she could sense its familiarity, like hearing a favourite song from your childhood years later. All the nerve ends in her body quivered unexpectedly as she lifted her eyes to the face of the newcomer. And then she remembered ' it was his voice she'd heard calling her name in her dream.

            Four sets of eyes stared back at him, expressions ranging from baffled (Anjali), to appreciative (Shilpa's uncle), to indignant (Shilpa's aunt), and finally, on Shilpa's face, astonishment. Ignoring the others, he focused on those sea green eyes, so deep and dark and filled with the shadows of so much pain. Her expression caused the sparks of anger he'd experienced as he stood listening outside the door to suddenly ignite into a full-blown, raging fire, and he promised himself there and then that, come what may, he wouldn't let them cause her any more suffering.

            And then, without waiting for an invitation, Armaan Malik walked into the room.



Okay, I know there was less ArSh in this part, but next part will deal with their second meeting, so I hope you can wait till then. As always, do please like/comment/criticise. Your feedback helps me to improve. Embarrassed




Edited by DulceAmor - 14 January 2012 at 12:44pm

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m4manju IF-Dazzler
m4manju
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Posted: 14 January 2012 at 12:21pm | IP Logged
wow me first Star gr8 part... cant believe ppl can be so insensitive... how cld her aunt think, shilpa did it on purpose Ouch...did she think everyone is senseless like her? Angryand i thought anjali was understanding sister, bt god, she's no less than her mother Ouch
m glad armaan heard it all and barged in to shilpa's rescue... hope he gives a nice piece of mind to her aunt... btw love the way u use metaphors anu ...it makes ur writing even more enjoying to read... wil be waiting for next part and arsh convo Embarrassed


Edited by m4manju - 14 January 2012 at 12:21pm

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DulceAmor

DulceAmor IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 14 January 2012 at 12:54pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by m4manju

wow me first Star gr8 part... cant believe ppl can be so insensitive... how cld her aunt think, shilpa did it on purpose Ouch...did she think everyone is senseless like her? Angryand i thought anjali was understanding sister, bt god, she's no less than her mother Ouch
m glad armaan heard it all and barged in to shilpa's rescue... hope he gives a nice piece of mind to her aunt... btw love the way u use metaphors anu ...it makes ur writing even more enjoying to read... wil be waiting for next part and arsh convo Embarrassed


Aww, thank you hun, I'm glad you think they're good. I love being all creative when it comes to metaphors. EmbarrassedLOL  Shilpa's aunt is one of those ppl who thinks everyone should bow down to her, but really, her attitude towards Shilpa stems from her dislike of her father. She didn't want Shilpa's mother to marry him and Shilpa being his daughter, that is like a huge black mark against her in her aunt's eyes. You know, I love Anjali in DMG, but I decided to make her a real hard-nosed, career-driven type here to show just how isolated Shilpa has become in NYC. When they were kids they got on a lot better, but since Anjali started her job at the magazine, she has changed completely. Shilpa is aware of that fact, but her aunt, of course, cannot see it. I really hope you'll enjoy Armaan's interaction with Shilpa's aunt. I'll try to bring the next part soon. Embarrassed

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m4manju

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Posted: 14 January 2012 at 12:54pm | IP Logged
How rude is this aunty. Hmph

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DulceAmor

DulceAmor IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 14 January 2012 at 1:04pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by teenorchid

How rude is this aunty. Hmph


She's the aunty from hell. But she might find that her bubble will burst one of these days...LOL
fri42911 IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 14 January 2012 at 4:51pm | IP Logged
superb part!!!!!!!
can't believe her own maasi can do/say such cruel things to shilpa.
she is such a mean lady.
liked her uncle's character.
please continue soon.
 

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DulceAmor

nightstar IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 14 January 2012 at 7:40pm | IP Logged
Hey brilliant part...though aunty was such an irritation...but honestly speaking, i feel the story should go a lil dynamic...like past three parts have involved mainly the accident...so i feel a lil development of arsh bonds is called for at this rate...its just my honest feeling on the story..lz feel free to ignore...i just felt thsi is a kind of story which needs a lil thrust, cz it involved a lot oh underlying and buried emotions(if u understand what i mean)...so they need to be uncoiled , else they get too entangled to each other...so i just feel the story needs  a lil thrust...

once again..i am sorry if i have offended u

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DulceAmor

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