Joined: 29 March 2013
Warning - This is an extremely long OS. It could've easily been turned into a TS but I'm so bored of breaking my stories into parts. Hope you sit through it!
OS - Countdown to New Year's Eve
The museum hustled with the noise of excited tourists, students on field trips and science enthusiasts.
The automatic glass doors opened as he made his way into the Old Victorian Building . But he stopped as soon as he stepped in. He stood transfixed, as he took in the breathtaking view. No, it wasn't the flawless Dinosaur that caught his attention. It was the lady who stood in front of it.
He concluded that she was an enchantress, who had him wrapped up in her spell. Her carefree yellow dress hugged her curves perfectly, which was cleverly paired with a black overcoat, stockings and knee length boots. She wasn't being modest in hiding them, but thanks to the shivering chills, she hardly had any choice left.
The city was covered in a blanket of snow, looking serene as ever. But it wasn't superfluous. Infact, the weather was just perfect.
He saw her engrossed in nothing but a tiny pamphlet. Curiosity got better of him as he approached her in measured steps. On a close, but not so close observation, he realised that the piece of paper was actually a map - to the Museum Of Natural History, London.
Women and maps.
He shook his head, amused. Gathering up his guts, he approached her further till they stood side by side. On not gaining her attention, he spoke up. "Hey! I suppose you're having some trouble with it?" He said as he pointed towards the pamphlet.
"Oh, Hi! I din't see you coming! Yeah, maps have never been my cup of tea." The lady replied, startled by the sudden interruption. "Well, it might be your lucky day because I'm really good with them." He said while she chuckled.
"Great! So, shall we?" Handing him the map, they decided to start from The Central Hall.
A few hours passed and they were done. Extremely exhausted with all the endless walking, they settled themselves at an open caf, talking away their tiredness. The caf was was a likeable place, which invited almost everyone who visited the museum due to its stratergical location.
"So, Asad, enjoying the new Editorial thingy?" Sarah said as she took a sip from her Latte and kept it back on the table, raising her eyebrow as she did.
"As much as I would like to 'enjoy' it, saying that I'm overworked would be an understatement. The past week has been extremely hectic. I think this is my first day off this month!" Asad replied in a dramatic fashion, over exaggerating every little gesture.
"Wow! Dad sure knows how to keep his employees busy." She teased to which he chuckled. "What about you? You're working on the Health Column, right?" He asked.
"Yep. But it isn't as exhausting as yours. Its fun, actually. All I have to do is check out new food combinations that are healthy as well as savoury and probably visit every restaurant I come across!"
The enchantress was actually his collegue. They worked together in the Lifestyle Magazine, which was established my none other than Sarah's father itself, Mr. Morgan. He had been smitten by her ever since he joined his new workplace. He had tried talking to her a million times, but always ended up stuttering or embarrassing himself for reasons better left untold.
The stars were on his side today, he thought. Who could've even imagined that he'll run into her in a place like this - a museum. And even have a conversation which involved real talking and not any monosyllables or sounds.
"Sounds more like merry making to me! This is so unfair." Asad pretend whined and she smiled.
Sensing that she had almost finished her Latte and was about to bid her goodbyes, he quickly spoke, "Are you free next week Sarah? I thought we could hang out?" He sheepishly smiled.
"Erm, I don't think I'll be free next weekend. Anyway, see you at work. Bye!" She got up from her chair and strode away, without even waiting for his reply.
Defeated, he buried himself in his chair - if that was even possible.
Waah Asad Miyaah! That's how you make lemons from lemonade!
He scolded himself. In what Universe will he stop embarrassing himself?
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Joined: 29 March 2013
Slumped in his seat, he wandered off to his infamous day-dreaming when suddenly, his reverie was broken by soft giggles, the ones which come out no matter how hard you try to suppress them.
He looked left and right but saw all the other folks engrossed in themselves, minding their own business. Then who was this brat? The laughter grew louder, and before he could make out its source, he could hear the person rolling in fits.
Angrily, he stood up from his seat and took a 180 degree turn. That's when he saw a Food Van.
The Food Van won't laugh now, would it?
As he walked towards it, a girl sprang out of nowhere. She smiled widely as she continued to plate the order.
"Funny much?" Asad asked as he now stood at the Window cum Counter of 'Zaaika' and eyed the girl, annoyed.
The girl looked up and her smile faded.
He did an internal somersault on accomplishing his mission. Yes, when people are rude, you shut them up. But to his disappointment, she started laughing again and kept on with her work, as if he was invisible.
"Oh, yes! Infact, it was hilarious!" She replied and gave away the plate of Chicken Wrap with a heartwarming Thank You and Have a Nice Evening'. She then dusted her hands on her apron.
"And what exactly was funny, miss?" He interrogated as he stressed the word 'miss', hoping that she would get a hint of making amends for her rude behavior.
"It was all going well. The chick could've easily been yours. But thanks to your worldly ways, you screwed it up!" She chuckled as she looked him directly in the eye.
Asad was beyond embarrassed. So what he screwed up? He understood it just fine the first time. She didn't need to remind him again and again. Cleverly changing the topic, he asked.
"Aapke liye toh kuch bhi ban sakte hain. Aap farmaiye toh sahi!" She replied as she batted her eyelashes and started laughing at her own silly attempt of flattery. She didn't miss his dramatic eye-rolling and before she knew, he was laughing with her too.
"Would you like to order something, sir?" He looked at the elaborate menu card which contained almost all the mouth watering South Asian delicacies.
"You make ALL of them? Alone?" He enquired to which gave an of course' nod. Impressed, he decided to order something.
He placed an order for a Biryani because that's what he could afford at the moment. Not wanting to go back, he stood in front of the Food Van and tried to continue the conversation which was weird, because he had never felt so much at ease while talking to any girl before.
"I'm Asad. Asad Ahmed Khan. And you are?"
"Zoya Farooqui! And she was?"
"Ooh. Sarah's a nice name. Suits her."
"What do you mean suits her'?
"Well, she certainly seems like a Royal to me. And the name Sarah' is like, engraved in their Holy Books."
He paused for a while as deep thoughts busied him.
"Wow, you're actually right. I never gave that much thought to a name." He replied, quite impressed.
"I bet you've never given thought to names, or even colors for that matter."
He shook his head as she continued garnishing the Biryani with fresh coriander, mint and grated cheese and squeezed a juicy lemon to add to the flavours.
"Okay, how about Orange?" She asked.
"This one's easy - it reminds me of Tang! Nothin's better than Tang."
She smiled at his answer and replied, "Orange reminds me of a beautiful sunset, when the sky's painted with shades of red with a hint of purple? It's mesmerizing ."
She concluded dreamily and gave him his ordered dish.
"Isn't that a bit too cliched?"
"No! " She screamed incredulously to which his eyed widened and a few heads turned. Apologetically looking at them, she took the money from him and started taking off her apron.
"Wrapping it up?" Asad asked.
"Yes. I usually work till 5 and thanks to you, I'm running half an hour late."
He scrunched his nose at the alleged blame.
She threw the vegetable peels, cellophane and other waste in the trashcan and dusted the place. She then locked the windows and came out, bolting the shutter.
Zoya approached Asad to bid adieu. "So, I'll see you tomorrow?" He asked.
"Only if you plan to order something. I mean business!" He shook her head and she chuckled.
She walked away and then turned again, only to wave a big frantic goodbye. He momentarily thought that she'd dislocate her arm.
She was weird. And probably had a Multiple Personality Disorder - rude one second, and flirtatious the next. Dreamy and short tempered. And then overly excited.
This was going to be fun. He looked forward for tomorrow.
Talking about tomorrow, he's be seeing Sarah too! The mere thought gave him goosebumps!
He entered the workplace and walked to his desk. Placing his brown overcoat on his chair, stretched his fingers and switched on his desktop. Before he could start, he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Sarah.
It was Sarah!
He slowly got up from his seat, acting as nonchalant as ever. She greeted him with a warm smile. That smile.
He reciprocated .
"I had an amazing time yesterday. Thanks for the wonderful tour and the coffee! I'm sorry I scurried away" She made a puppy dog face and his heart melted.
As she turned on her toes to walk away, she suddenly turned back again, surprising Asad
"...And.. I think I'll be free next weekend"
Saying so, she winked which left him dumbfounded. His eyes followed her till she left the area to her Dad's cabin.
He smiled unnecessarily wildly, refusing to believe what had just happened.
He sat back down and started working on the Editorial, wit minimal interest of course. He HAD to share it with someone but he knew it was a bad idea. He couldn't afford office gossip at the moment. Things had just started falling into place.
As the hours passed, he impatiently waited and the clock struck 4:00. Packing up, he donned his overcoat and dashed out. He knew exactly where he was headed.
Boarding a bus to Cormwell Road, he tried to contain his excitemet by busying himself with his phone. But even an infant could tell that it was useless, as his whole body vibrated.
He jumped out as soon as the doors opened and half slid half ran on the snow covered road to the Food Van, to Zaaika, to Zoya.
Abruptly stopping in front of the Van, he catched his breath and started panting. He looked up and saw Zoya staring at him wide-eyed, standing motionless .
He wanted to justify his actions and hence opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted.
"Breathe, Asad." He laughted an airy laugh and took a deep breath.
"You won't believe what happened with me today."
"Sarah asked you out, didn't she?"
"Wha..How did you know??" He was horrified that she knew. And here he was, running all the way like a maniac to break the news..
Thanks for ruining the moment Zoya.
"Let's just say that my 6th sense is strong."
She rolled her eyes and gestured him to wait. Giving away all the orders with a Thank You and Have a Nice Evening' as she always did, she signalled him to order something.
Not in a mood to eat anything, he disinterestedly ordered a plate of Chiken Tikka. Giving the Tikkas as soon as he placed the order shocked him even more.
"Don't hang your mouth open. I kinda knew you would buy these. So I kept them ready." Saying so, she handed him the sizzling, mouth watering dish and did her routine of taking the apron off and locking the Van.
They occupied an empty table at the Caf .
"Tell me everything, from the beginning." She said, munching away a tikka.
"Okay. So, I saw her for the first time when I joined the London Head Office of the Lifestyle Magazine."
"The Lifestyle Magazine? Ooh, you should check out the HD special edition photos! They're beyond amazing. And even the Editorials to an extent. But seriously, the Health and What's New!' columns suck. Like, we don't have money to waste on a Jacket cum Bag and how are we supposed to survive on bottlegourd juice. Why do they even invent such things?" She blabbered away as he tried to continue his story.
"Hey! No interruptions. And FYI, Sarah writes the Health column, so please. I will not hear a word against it!" he said and she laughed. He finished another tikka and added, "but I agree. It really does suck sometimes. No offence meant."
"Aur phir?" she intervened since they were going off the track.
"I observed her for a few days and tried to gather as much information as possible. That's when I came to know that she's Sarah Morgan, daughter of Mr. Morgan, our director. I lost all hopes with the news. It would be deadly to even think about approaching her."
"But we started off fine, exchanging polite smiles with Good Mornings and Good Evenings. We even talked, But it was limited to one word replies. Actually, the talk that we had yesterday was my first proper conversation with her."
"It's so movie like, you in love with your Boss's daughter, she's the princess and you're the son of a poor cobbler. You try to woo her, and she denies and then one day, BAM! She falls in your charms." Zoya concluded.
"I know, right?" He sighed dreamily. " She said that she's free next weekend. And next week's Christmas too. Should I but her something. Where should I take her? What if she demands for something which I can't afford?"
His tone changed from an excited one to one filled with nervousness. "The girl inside me tells that women like men who listen to them, not those who buy unnecessary presents. But, they do love cute little surprises and not elaborate ones, unless you are unrealistically rich." she said, finishing the last tikka on the plate.
"So, I should buy her a little present. And some flowers?"
"A flower. How about chocolates?"
"I've hardly seen her eating anything besides salads and beans. Chocolates won't do."
"Don't worry. We'll pick something tomorrow." She started getting up when he held her hand, pulling it slightly to force her to sit.
"I've done a lot of talking. I'd love to know something about you too, besides the fact that you manage a huge Food Van all on your own and cook snacks so delicious that I'm scared I might eat my fingers off."
"Oh really?I'm flattered! I actually am. Thanks. About me? Well, I always wanted to be a chef, but after struggling to make it big and failing miserably, I realised that it's stupid to waste more time. So I bought this Van in installments, which are still due. Its nice to know that customers enjoy the food. It's not as easy as it seems, you know?"
"It isn't." He shook his head with an earnest not-at-all expression. To be really truthful, he was quite impressed. She was a hard working woman and he liked it.
"That's all about me that I can share. I presume we're going shopping tomorrow? Be here at 5:00" She finally got up and threw the disposable plate and paper napkins in the public dustbin. She walked far enough and waved in her signature way.
Getting overly enthusiastic, Asad stood up, pushing back his chair as he did and responded with the same energy. Even though the pedestrians and onlookers stared, it hardly mattered. If she didn't care about them, why should he?
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Joined: 29 March 2013
They met the next evening at the same place, same time, with Asad talking about his mini adventures with Sarah and Zoya talking about the most random things imaginable.
They changed buses and reached the Hyde Park corner when Zoya suggested that they should walk to the Trafalgar Square instead.
He saw her eye's light up when they crossed the Park.
"Seems like you love this place."
"I do. This place is really close to my heart. I love the feeling when the wind brushes against my face." She closed her eyes and let the winds hit her, just the way she liked.
" The park benches in front of the lake are very comforting too. I can spend my whole day on them, with my iPod and a Book. A perfect holiday, nahi?" She added dreamily.
Gosh she had a tendency to day dream more that he ever did!
"I've been meaning to ask you this for a while now. " He said as she raised her eyebrow in confusion.
"Do you have MPD - Multiple Personality Disorder by any chance?"
"Oh, I get that a lot! And the answer is, no. I'm just a girl with vast interests. Why do people have a problem with it?"
"I don't have a problem, it's just that it's weird sometimes."
"I like being weird. That's what makes me different."
Lost in their talks, they didn't realise that their destination had arrived. Looking at her wrist watch and panicking about running late, Zoya dragged Asad to the street shops around the corner. The place was busy and there were tourists everywhere carrying I <3 London' goodies and cameras. They blended themselves in, browsing through shops, looking for something so complete in itself, that one embraces it without thinking twice.
Zoya moved a shop ahead , enjoying her hyper self. Asad could see her getting distracted with every little thing - a scarf, a tee, random books about London and Trafalgar Square , you name it.
He noticed her eyes catch something as she froze. She gently picked up an object which looked like a pendant necklace. As she enquired about the price, smiled sadly and kept it back. Pulling herself together, she tried to focus on the mission at hand. He followed the movement of her hands and located her object of desire as she wandered off.
As she moved to the next shop in row, Asad followed suit and went to the shop where she previously stood. He looked at the pendant necklace. The pendant was aluminium, shaped in a simple spiral in the most delicate manner. Not too heavy and not too showy, it complimented her nature - reserved yet artistic.
Hurry up Asad! We don't have all night!" Zoya shrieked from the adjacent shop.
Ya Allah! She really needed to work on her pitch.
"Coming!" He rushed to accompany her and saw a black velvet box in her hand. On opening, it revealed an elegant Charm Bracelet studded with little hearts, stars and jingly little trinkets at reasonable intervals. He absolutely loved it as soon as he laid his eyes on it.
"You think she'll like it?" He asked, nervously.
"She's very princess like. I'm quite positive about this one. Besides, the art lies in the way you present it. Because no matter how hard we deny, we do judge a book by its cover".
Fully convinced, they bought the piece of jewellery. They hunted for beautiful bows and finalised a pink one. With each other's help, they managed to wrap it up in the most classy way possible. Satisfied with their huge accomplishment, they decided to head back to their respective dwellings when Asad suggested that he should accompany her as it was already getting late.
"Do I look like a 5 year old?"
"As a matter of fact, you do. Now stop arguing and tell me where you live."
"Beverly Way?! That's so far! And Miss Smarty Pants decided to come all the way to Trafalgar Square to shop?"
"I like it here."
Asad shook his head in defeat and they hired a Cab. Going straight to Beverly Way, he kept stuffing his hand in his pocket which made Zoya suspicious.
"It won't fall. Don't worry!"
"Well, it better not. Else the things can turn ugly."
"You'll avenge a Charm Bracelet?"
"Whose talking about the Charm Bracelet?"
Zoya tried to comprehend what he meant all throughout the jouney. They finally reached their destination. Asad stepped out to see her off. "Thank you so much for today Zoya. I seriously don't know what I would've done without you." His sincere words earned him one of her mesmerizing smiles.
"It's been a long day" She suddenly looked away, changing the topic. She didn't know why, but she wasn't really comfortable with him being so frank and close. It felt alien.
"It's been a long day" he resounded her statement and warmly smiled. Zoya unlocked her apartment as he approached the Cab.
"Hey! I almost forgot. Are you even planning me to give your number?" He strode back to her.
"You never asked."
"So you never gave.."
They exchanged their numbers and called it a night. Asad walked back to the Cab while Zoya entered her apartment.
"Zoya!" Startled, she turned to face him. There he was, waving her goodbye in her signature style.
She responded back with the same enthusiasm and smiled widely as she closed the door behind her and heard the Cab drive off. It might have been their simple customized' goodbye for him, but to her it meant more. It meant that he had accepted her the way she was, crazy or weird. And it certainly was heartwarming.
"Surprise!" Zoya looked up from the bowl in which she was churning some cream and saw Asad standing with a beautiful blonde. She was tall and perfect. Yes, that's the word. Just Perfect.
"So, Zoya, this is Sarah and Sarah, that's Zoya" he introduced the ladies to each other as they exchanged polite smiles.
"It's great to finally meet you Sarah. Asad talks a lot about you. And by a lot', I mean seriously, a lot." She laughed in a very lady like manner - not too shushed but not too loud as well.
In the mean time, Zoya gave Asad a secret thumbs up to which he smiled. Zoya had expected him to signal something back too. But she was left disappointed.
Well, Zoya. He can't just play along with when she's around. He has a reputation to maintain. Now stop crying and focus.
"Erm, would the Couple like something to eat? I'm paying!" Zoya smiled widely at them and Asad smiled back, but this time like he really meant it. She could see it in his eyes.
Asad was overwhelmed. She wasn't the kind who gave away complimentary meals. He knew that she needed money to pay her loans, and so hardly ever did such favors. But she actually did it forhim! Sorry, for him and Sarah.
But before he could reply, Sarah spoke " Aww, that was so nice of you, but we're really sorry. We had a lot during breaktime and if I tried to stuff more, my tummy would burst!" She kept her hand on her super flat abdomen and laughed to diffuse the tension.
Asad apologetically looked at Zoya, to which she assured him that she didn't mind at all.
"It was nice meeting you Zoya. I would love to catch up with you sometime. Till then, see ya." Sarah dragged him along with her and muttered something in his ears. At first Zoya thought that she was probably flirting, but then she saw Asad's shoulders stiffen. She made a mental note to ask him about it.
"Did you see that Asad? Her fingers were smudged with cream! And the place practically screamed fats! Knowing she served South Asian cuisine, I didn't even think twice before refusing. Those dishes use up a lot of oils." Sarah whispered as she locked her arm with his, taking him to a posh caf just around the corner.
Asad was angry at her. Really angry. But he was angrier with himself. How did he even let Sarah talk like that about Zoya and her passion? If she liked entertaining health, Zoya liked entertaining flavor.
They settled themselves in the caf but he refused to order anything. On being asked about the reason, he lied about feeling unwell.
Nothing was going as planned. This was their first official date and he wasn't enjoying at all. He only wished the day to somehow end. He needed some time, alone.
After finishing their Tea, the couple exited the place and aimlessly walked, talking to get to know more about each other. They concluded their date with a ride of the London Eye after which Asad accompanied Sarah to her house.
He was happy that the day was finally coming to an end, but do things ever go as planned?
""I had a great time today, Asad" she said, blushing.
As if brought back to reality, Asad quickly put his hand in his pocket, hunting for the surprise' he had in store for her.
"Close your eyes" he softly said to which she complied. He then took out the black velvet box, wrapped in the infamous pink ribbon. He kept staring at the box for a little more longer than necesaary, smiling an actual smile after hours as it brought back recent memories. The last time he truly smiled was when they were with Zoya, and this smile was because it reminded him of Zoya. Strange.
"What is it?" Sarah asked, curiosity lacing her voice.
"You can open them now" She saw a beautiful Bracelet jingling in front of her eyes. Gently taking it from his hand, she whispered "It's beautiful. Make me wear it?"
He warmly agreed and hooked it around her wrist. "I'm so glad you liked it. You know..."
His talk was cut short when a pair of long arms encircled his neck.
She clinged to him for eternity. Keeping her hands around him, she lifted up her head so that she faced him directly.
She closed her eyes and came closer till their noses touched.
No! No! No! This can't be happening. She's gonna kiss me!
But.. I don't want to be kissed?!
He stood there like a statue, not even making an attempt to reciprocate. Out of nowhere, an idea stuck his mind.
Gasping a few times, he took in one big breath and sneezed like he had never sneezed before.
And then followed another one, and an another one.
As he proceeded to take the 4th one as well, his inner voice kicked.
Stop it this instant Asad Ahmed Khan. You've over-acted already!
Do you enjoy bringing shame to me?
I know you're well acquitted with it but puh-lease, that doesn't mean that you'll put my reputation at stake!
Why are you making it so obvious?
And NO! You CAN'T cough.
Sarah pulled away abrupty. "Are you okay? What happened? You were fine a moment ago"
"I..I think it's the perfume. I think I'm allergic to your perfume. I'm so sorry I ruined our perfect mo..moment"
He said with a heavy throat.
"Aww. No, I'm sorry. My perfume's the culprit. I hope the allergy isn't bad." She looked genuinely concerned and gently cupped his face.
"Don't worry. I'll be fine."
"Um...ohkay." Both of them turned around to leave but she called out again. " Hey! Tomorrow's Christams Eve! And I would love to invite you to a little Christmas Party Dad's organizing. Will you be able to make it?"
"Of course I will, Sarah. Thanks for inviting. Good night!"
Seeing her off, he hired a Cab and went home. It had been quite a day!
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Christmas Eve, Finally!
It was their day off, and he decided to spend it the way he loved - in his pyjamas, eating every possible left over food of the week.
But to his surprise, his legs ached to walk. Let's put it more precisely, his legs ached to walk to Cormwell Street.
He changed into presentable clothes and locked up his apartment .
The streets were decorated with huge snowflakes, real and artificial. The trees were dressed up in bells and fairy lights and every face adored a smile, including his.
He reached Zaaika and found Zoya. He didn't know why, but meeting her gave him a sense of comfort, a sense of belonging. He didn't need an alias with her. He could just be his true self, with no care in the world.
"Oh, you're early! Merry Christmas, by the way." Zoya greeted him as she prepped up for the day, unwrapping the frozen chunks of meat.
"Merry Christmas to you too, milady" He bowed as he spoke, making her laugh. "Mind if I join you in the Van?"
She unbolted from inside and let him in. He entered and hung his coat on something that looked like a hook. He then replaced his leather gloves with plastic ones.
"So, where should I start from?"
"Chop them" She handed him a butcher knife which he gratefully took and did as instructed.
"I'm so sorry about yesterday"
"About what?" She said as she kept the pieces of marinated chicken in the refrigerator.
"Sarah. She shouldn't have done that" He said, playing with the butcher knife.
"Oh, let it go! I knew that she won't eat these. I offered for your sake. What kind of a friend would I be otherwise?" Asad sadly smiled. Sad because Sarah had refused a genuine offer and smiled because he now knew where he stood in her eyes.
He narrated his first date' to her, making occassional jokes on their awkward moments. He refrained himself from telling the almost kiss' incident as he knew that Zoya would burst with anger and will probably call him lame for screwing up again.
Rewarding themselves with little meals every now and then, Asad also informed Zoya about the Christmas Party at Sarah's house.
Time flew and the clock struck 5:00 . They wrapped up with their job and went for a stroll in the streets. London was a treat to watch during Christmas and New Year's Eve. He saw her eyes gleam as she adored the decorations and embraced the festive mood.
He kept looking at her, unaware of the fact that she had been facing him directly for a while now.
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
"I'm not looking at you like anything!" he defended. Zoya ignored and moved ahead like she always did.
They didn't have much to talk. They didn't need either. The silence was comforting and so was each other's presence.
"It's getting pretty late. You should be getting ready for your Girlfreind's Dad's Party"
"What about you? Aren't you going to any party tonight?"
"Nope. I like being home on holidays"
"Oh. Okay. I'll see you tomorrow then?"
"You sure will. Enjoy!"
The night arrived and the Party followed. There were collegues and non-collegues. Actually, it didn't matter who all they were. All Asad knew was that he was bored to death and Sarah was clinging to him like parasite, which was many a times annoying.
The party somehow concluded and he rushed out. Why was it getting hard for him to enjoy? A few days ago, if anyone would've asked him to party with Sarah, he would've practically jumped. What was wrong with him now?
"Good Morning!" His voice echoed in her room as she still lay buried in her covers.
"Morning. What's up with you? I thought the after-party jitters must have worn you out and here you are rising and shining at what, 4 a.m. in morning?" She said in a heavy voice and switched the phone to handset mode.
"It's 9 a.m. Zoya. Get up!"
"Okay, okay. Fine! Stop screaming, will you?"
"Sorry. Yeah, so, I called to tell you that I'm coming over to your place tonight. We'll have dinner together and it'll be my treat"
"Tonight? I'm not free tonight. There's a party and Jenna would be really upset if I refuse to go"
"Not a problem. I'll wait as long as it takes"
"If that's the case, then the spare keys are safely hidden in the plant pot. It's the only plant there, so I hope you won't find it hard to locate?"
"And I thought it would be under the doormat"
"That's so predictable!"
"Anyway, you really trust me that much? What if I steal something"
"The joke's on you. Because there's nothing worth stealing here except the dweller, of course"
"Stop flattering yourself and move that lazy bum of yours. I'm hanging up. Bye!"
She quickly finished up the routine chores and left for work. As much as she denied it, she knew she was excited to meet him and probably, he was too.
After the hectic day, she wrapped up and went straight home only to dress up and leave for the party.
In the midst of the celebration, her phone buzzed. It was Asad.
"I just called to inform that I'm home"
"Hello? I can't hear a thing. Wait" The music boomed which made it hard for her to listen. She sleathily went out, and then told him to repeat.
"What is it?"
"Nothing. I'm home. But enjoy the party and don't worry about me. Take your time"
"I will. Thanks" Both smiled and disconnected the call.
On the other end, Asad unlocked the apartment and suddenly felt homesick. There was something about the house that made him nostalgic. Shrugging away the thoughts, he turned up the thermostat and kept the dinner in the kitchen. He then comforted himself on the couch and watched T.V. till he dozed off.
Zoya made her way into the house and as soon as she unlocked the door, a heatwave hit her.
"Why is it summer in my house?"
"Hey, you're home!" A sleepy voice greeted her in.
Asad got up and welcomed her in as if he owned the place. As she followed him, he suddenly froze and turned around. He looked at her up and down and then finally at her face. She was pale due to the weather but was surprisingly glowing.
"You're wearing a dress. I've never seen you in a dress before" He said in a serious tone.
"That's because I never wear dresses to work."
"You look beautiful" Although her dress was hidden behind the super big coat, he could guess that it fitted her perfectly. Her jet black tresses complimented her and so did her eyes. They were big and expressive. They had always been. It's just that he never took out time to notice.
There was an awkward silence that followed. Zoya shuffled uncomfortably,. "Erm, thanks. Uh, why don't we start with the dinner?"
He nodded and they approached the kitchen.
"I bought Chinese!"
"Thank God for the change! I've been eating food from my Van since ages. And no matter how much people appreciate it, I'm thoroughly bored with it"
"I know my smartness has no bounds but it can be praised later. Let's heat them up" They microwaved the food and settled themselves on the couch. Zoya took off her boots and got up again. She walked to her room and came back with a laptop and cord in hand.
"We're watching The Conjuring tonight, that's if you're not a chicken" She declared and connected the cord to the T.V.
"Fine with me. No one's chickening out"
They unpacked the dinner and hit the play button.
The movie was far from horror, and they said it'll scare your wits out. After finishing their meal, Asad saw Zoya dozing off. She had told him o tell her everything about the party as well, but he was in no mood. The sudden ringing of his phone broke her slumber.
He disconnected the call but it was a little too late. Zoya had woken up.
"Who was it? It's quite late to call. Isn't it?"
"It was nothing. Just a work call" He dismissed the conversation as if trying to avoid talking about it. It caught Zoya's attention but she decided not to pry on his matters.
"Um, Zoya?" Asad said as he saw her cleaning up the mess. "I want to show you something. Come with me?" Bewildered, she nodded and quickly finished with her work after which she followed his steps. She reached her room and he was nowhere in sight. Suddenly, she felt a warm pair of hands around her eyes. The hands guided her around in her room to a place she couldn't make out. They then abruptly stopped.
"Don't you dare open them!" he warned as his hands still lingered on her eyes.
"Trust me, I won't". Did he have a surprise for her? She was genuinely happy and could not risk to open her eyes as yet.
"Take off your coat" he ordered.
"Wha..why?! I won't take my clothes off for you!" She screamed and he started laughing.
"And I don't want you to take them off either! Just the coat, it is" Unwillingly, she complied but kept her eyes closed.
Taking it from her, he threw it on the bed and carried on.
She then felt warm fingers brush against her neck. His hot breath and proximity was causing a havoc to her senses. Only Allah knew how she steadied herself from falling as her knees went numb. The fingers pushed away her hair to one side and then she felt them tying something around it. As soon as it ended, she quickly opened her eyes and grinned ear to ear, her dimples digging deep, as she touched the little piece of metal that hung around her neck.
"Ho..How did you know?" She stammered, overwhelmed at his little act . She looked at their reflection in the mirror. He stood behind her, smiling at her as she looked at him in the mirror. He shifted his gaze to their reflection as well. It looked so picturesque, surreal.
"You don't need to know that. Just think of it as a token of our freindship. You helped me and I helped you. Did you like it?" he answered, satisfaction evident in his voice,
"I love it. Thanks, Asad. It means a lot" The atmosphere turned heavy with emotions. They stood in the same position for a long time, till their bubble was bursted by yet other phonecall. He disconnected it again.
"I think it's something important. You shouldn't ignore the calls"
"I know it isn't. Even if it is, it can wait" He went back to the living room leaving Zoya alone with the mirror. She admired the gift for a while and then followed him. She saw him gathering his things, as if preparing to leave.
"You can stay here for the night. It's already pretty late. You might find it difficult to get a Cab. I suggest you leave in the morning" Zoya said as she helped him unpack. After the unpacking was done, they stood still, gazing at each other for no apparent reason.
"I'm sorry but I'm a little tired. I'm going to bed. You can have the couch" She said, breaking the eyelock as well as the silence and went to her bedroom. She then threw a pillow and a furry blanket at him. Zoya changed and they retired to their beds.
"Good night!" Asad waved the lazy version of their patent goodbye and closed the door.
"Good night" Zoya said in a barely audible voice.
Okay. She lied. So what? No, she wasn't tired at all but she had no choice. She had to sneak away from him somehow. Even though she denied acknowledging them, she was well aware of the feelings bubbling inside her. And he just doubled them up by being so nice and gentleman-ish. Why couldn't he be rude?! So that she could shout at him for misbehaving, or shove him away just like that. But surprise! He decides to be super good, so much that it breaks your heart to know that he can never be yours.That he is already taken. Heck, she isn't even his type. She doesn't dress up like his Sarah, nor does she know how to carry herself. Actually, she never cared about what others thought of her, about how they judged her appearance. But now she does, cares about what he thinks of her. Did he have to complicate the things even more by complimenting her ? Arrgh! What's wrong with everything today?
With a battling mind, her eyed drooped and sleep finally engulfed her.
Asad too wasn't sure about what he did today. He could've simply given the pendant to her, there was no need of going out of the way and tying it around her. He didn't know, but this strange desire filled him up, a desire to make her happy. To see her eyes twinkle and her dimples deepen. Oh, how he loves it when she gets annoyed, her little button nose scrunching up in slightest of disapproval. He had suddenly started feeling very posessive of her and the worst part was, he didn't know why.
With his thoughts clouded with nothing but her, he too slipped into his slumber.
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Joined: 29 March 2013
Asad woke up early that morning. Rubbing his eyes, he got off the couch and stretched his body. He checked his phone, which greeted him with 7 missed calls.
It was 6 in the morning. He slowly opened her bedroom door, careful to not wake her up. It was dark, but he could make out her serene face, engrossed in deep sleep. Switching on the little table lamp, he bent himself to her level and simply gazed at her. Her features were perfect. Especially her eyes. And her smile, which would cut those pretty cheeks with deep dimples.
As if on instinct, he leaned an sofly kissed her cheek and let his lips linger on for a little while. satisfied, he went back to the living room and hunted for a paper and pen.
Thanks for letting me stay for the night.
Keeping the paper safely beside the bed, he switched off the lamp and carefully closed the door back. He then gathered his belongings and left.
Zoya woke up as soon as she heard the door shut. She could still feel his soft lips. The kiss was so gentle, so tender, so honest. She sat up, and picked up the piece of paper he had left. She carressed it with her fingers as she read it. Her hand automatically went up to the locket, to which she held on for a while.
Suddenly, her feelings of bittersweet love were overpowered by anger. Did he just kiss her?
No, this wasn't right. He liked Sarah and Sarah liked him. End of story.
What was he doing kissing her then? Is he playing with Sarah?
How could he stoop so low?
Fuming, she headed for the washroom. Completing her daily chores, she left for work.
"Hello!" A voice interrupted Zoya as she busied herself with cooking. No matter how hard she tried, her thoughts kept drifting back to him, which resurfaced her anger all over again.
She looked up only to find Sarah in front of Zaaika, dressed in a grey fur coat, her blonde hair let loose.
"Oh, hi Sarah! What's up? Would you like to order something?"
"Erm, no. Actually I'm in a hurry. I just wanted to ask, if you, be any chance, know where Asad was last night? I called him so many times but he didn't pick up. He didn't even turn up for work today. Is he okay?"
She asked, genuinely concerned.
Zoya could not believe the nerve of this man. So it was Sarah calling her all night. And he didn't pick up? Who does that to their girflriend?
"I'm sorry Sarah. I have no idea. I don't know where he was last night or how he is. Why don't you check out his home?" She answered. She couldn't tell her where he was last night. The last thing a girlfriend wants to know is her boyfriend staying at his female friend's house and not picking up her calls.
"Oh. I just thought that you must be knowing, considering the fact that you know everything about him"
She paused and then said, "Overstepping boundaries, are we?"
Zoya raised her brows in disbelief. Sarah continued, her tone turning more bitter with every word.
"And did you know he's allergic to peppermint? He started sneezing when I tried to kiss him. Strange, isn't it? You've got peppermint all over you. You practically smell of it. Yet he doesn't sneeze when you're around"
She took in a deep breath, as if to calm herself down. She then spoke in a dangerously low voice,
" Why are you doing this to him? Stay away from us."
She haughtily turned on her heels and walked away, leaving Zoya broken.
She was in the dark. Asad never told her aboout the kiss part. Seriously, was this man out of his mind?
And here she was, not even aware of the dynamics of his and Sarah's relantionship but was still being accused of being a slayer. Where did she go wrong?
Tears welled up in her eyes. Without giving them the needed attention, she resumed her work sobbing softly.
Sarah reached his home and ringed the bell. Asad, who was sprawled all over his couch, peeped through the keyhole. He panicked as he saw her standing, annoyed. He quickly wrapped himself up in a blanket, put on a monkey cap and sneezed a few times to add extra effects.
He dragged his feet and opened the door. Sarah entered, banging he door behind her.
"Where were you?" she enquired.
"I was home" he replied with a fake blocked-nose vioce.
"And you didn't find it necessary to inform me? I called you 9 times! 9 TIMES! It's not a joke Asad. Why didn't you pick up my calls?"
"Because I'm unwell and asleep". He exhaggeratingly rubbed his nose.
"Stop lying to me Asad! I know what's going on!" She screamed on the top of her lungs as she stepped closer to him.
"Why are you getting all worked up Sarah? And what's going on?"
"Her. That half wit friend of yours is what's going on. Just look at you! Look what she's made you!" She yelled.
"Hey! Don't drag her into this. I'm unwell and she's responsible? Get your facts right before you accuse Miss Sarah Morgan" Asad snapped back.
"Stop defending her! She's nothing but a witch, who has you wrapped around the greasy finger of hers!"
"Enough, Sarah. I won't entertain a word against her. She's neither a witch nor a half wit. She's a responsible, young woman who strives everyday to make her living. Unlike some, whose Daddies own companies in which they enjoy merry making" he mocked bitterly, the act of illness long forgotten.
Sarah stared at him, shocked at what he had just said. She grit her teeth. "It's over Asad. This cannot work. We cannot work". He nodded in agreement and he led her out. As she stepped out, she gave him one last look, a bitter one and went.
Asad closed the door and slumped back against his couch. He just broke up with the girl of his dreams. But why?
Because she bad mouthed Zoya, silly.
The little voice inside him interjected. His day off gave him the needed time to sort things out, to sort out what he felt for Zoya. But the question was, did she feel the same?
He suddenly felt free, unchained as if released from bounds. He quickly dressed up to meet her, finally deciding to confront her about their relationship, about them.
She was packing up when he reached.
Silently, he joined her as well, helping in cleaning and pulling the shutters down. But she didn't even acknowledge his presence. Something told him that things weren't right. He needed to talk to her.
As she walked on the snow filled roads, he started walking beside her.
"What's up?" he took the initiative.
"You really don't know, do you?" Her voice was dry and devoid of emotions. She looked angry.
"How am I to know anything unless you tell me" He pointed out.
"You're allergic to peppermint?" she asked out of nowhere. Realization dawned upon him as his eyes widened. Did Sarah..did she...?
"No" he replied, his head hung low and voice barely audible.
"And you got work calls last night, if I'm not wrong" she simply stated.
"No" he replied honestly, his head still bowed.
"Why did you kiss me Asad?" she asked, looking him straight in the eye.
"..How did you know?" he counter asked in utter disbelief. She was supposed to be asleep!
"Its not that I die when I'm asleep. My brain works and so do my senses". She retorted and stared at him till she was ensured that her gaze burned holes.
"What do you want Asad? Who are you playing?" her voice started trembling.
"You can't do this to me, to Sarah. Who am I to you? A pleasure seeking machine?" she screamed in her shaky voice as the pedestrians looked.
"Hey, look at me, I'm Asad Ahmed Khan and I'm so cool! I got tired of the blonde chick so I tried the sexy brown one" She immitated a manly voice which made Asad chuckle instead.
"Stop laughing!" Zoya half-laughed-half-cried. "I'm angry at you, okay?! Don't make me laugh!" Composing herself, she continued, "You have made a mess of your life Mister, and you'll have to clean it up"
" And what's up with all the kissing? Why did you kiss me? It can jeopradize your relationship Asad, why don't you get it? And let me tell you, if you're trying to hit on me, then you're mistaken because I don't date men who are already taken, or even worse, who are players. And look at the irony, YOU'RE BOTH"
She stomped off leaving Asad behind. He cursed himself a million times for being so stupid and impulsive as he walked alone through the street after a long time. He had to think of something, fast.
A day off had taken a heavy toll on work for Asad, so he decided to wind it up today. Things were very awkward at the office. He had to face Sarah and the rumors that surrounded them. But he had made up his mind to set things rights, one step at a time - starting off with Sarah.
He went to her cabin and knocked. To his surprise, she remained expressionless as ever and typed away furiosly.
"Can we talk?" He interjected, carefully placing his words.
"Do you still think you can talk me out?" She snapped back.
"I can try" She replied calmly. She signalled him to take a seat.
"I'm sorry. I really am. I'm sorry that it didn't work out, we didn't work out" He rubbed his face with his hands and continued.
"It's my fault. I was the one who ignored you, who caused you pain. I don't know what's wrong with me. It's just that.. lets put it this way. You are a beautiful young woman. I can never live up to your standards Sarah, I don't really wear brands, because I can hardly afford them. I can't buy you expensive gifts or take you to posh parties. I don't know how and when to behave. That's who I am - an average guy. And I bet you could never be happy with me. I know you'll find someone worth you, much much better than me. We can't be together because we're just not meant to be... Am I even making sense to you?"
She nodded and they kept looking at each other. He finally got up and approached he cabin door but before stepping out, he turned to face her again.
"Zoya's not a half-wit" He closed the glass door behind him and walked away, leaving Sarah annoyed. She knew it! Him not being able to reach her standards was just an excuse. Everything had always been about Zoya, why couldn't he just admit that?
After Asad left his office, he dialed Zoya's number. The phone kept ringing only to be left unanswered. He tried a dozen times before deciding to go to Cormwell Street.
On the other side, Zoya purposely ignored his phonecalls, or anything that reminded her of him. But she couldn't give away the piece of jewellery he had gifted. She just couldn't.
He stood across the street, admiring her. He had been standing there for a while now. He knew that she was angry and wouldn't talk to him even if he tried. He would have to wait. He saw as she over-engrossed herself with work and felt guilty. After all, it was because of him that she was upset.
Sighing, he waited for her to pack up and quietly traced her footsteps as she walked towards the Underground. She kept turning back occassionally as she could feel someone's gaze on her. But brushing away the thoughts, she carried on and he followed suit.
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Joined: 29 March 2013
She and Asad had not talked for over a day - the longest ever. But she was not the one who would give in easily, who would comply to the wishes of her heart. She remained stiif as a poker.
She checked her phone and saw his innumerable missed calls, voice mails and text messages, all of them pleading her to talk to him just once. She felt pity. She could've at least listened to his side of story. It wasn't too late, she thought.
Zoya opened her Food Van and prepped the essentials for the day. Time flew and it was 5 pm already. As she concluded her work, she heard the same familiar voice calling her out.
"Hey" the voice said. Without lifting her head up, she acknowledged his presence with a nod.
"Talk to me Zoya, please" it said in a manner so helpless, that her heart melted a little. She cleaned up the place and closed the Van.
"Lets walk" She suggested and he obeyed. He could've done anything to hear that voice. It had only been 24 hours and he missed it already.
Asad didn't know how to begin with. He took a deep breath as he crossed his fingers, silently praying to Allah to give him strength. "Look at me" He said but regretted as soon the words escaped him. Seeing those beautiful doe shaped eyes full of pain was the last thing that could strike him with another pang of guilt.
Zoya looked at him and she knew she won't be able to hold her tears back. Without uttering a single word she strode away. She could hear his voice calling her out, pleading her to stop. But she didn't.
Zoya knew her anger wasn't directed to him alone. She was angry with herself.
How could she be so weak? She didn't need anyone, she reminded herself. She was well off without anyone's pity or love. But all she needed was a friend, which she found in Asad. If it wasn't for her stupid fantasies about him and her, things would've never turned so complicated. She was over reacting and she knew it.
It felt as if his life was a stuck videotape, which kept repeating the same horror again and again. He was desperate to meet her but was helpless. As any other day, he stood in front of the Van and admired her - the only thing that kept him going.
It was funny, how a girl he met just a week ago meant so much to him. The worst part of their story was that she wasn't ready to accept him when he wanted to welcome her with open arms. She considered him to be nothing but a cheat, a player.
He went back home, defeated. As he laid down on his bed, his inner voice kicked in. Perfect.
Poor little baby, sulking away for the love of his life.
Will you just shut up!
Hey! Watch your tone young man!
Sorry. I'm just a bit tired. Why don't we talk tomorrow?
Right. Talk to you AFTER you die?
What do you mean?
Just look at yourself. You look such a waste! That stubble doesn't even suit you.
I like the stubble! It tells me that I'm grieving.
Ya Allah! Asad! Your lady love is slipping away from you and all you care about is your stupid stubble?! Hopeless!
I'm trying, okay! What should I do if she isn't even ready to listen?
When will you learn? She won't stick around you so that you can pacify her. You will have to approach her silly.
Please help me inner Asad!
Fine. But first admit that you're just looks and no brains.
Well, of course I am. You are the brain, so am I not supposed be the looks?
Don't try showing off your over smartness. Just repeat it! We both know your brain is pea sized.
You mean you are pea sized?
Aarghh! Enough! Do you need my help or not?
Okay. Then listen to me very carefully.
It's New Year's Eve Zoya! Wake up!
New year, new beginnings. Her heart cringed at the mere thought of it. Shoving them aside, she got ready for the day and left.
The city was covered in a blanket of snow. The atmosphere was filled with laughter of people skating and shopping. Every street looked as beautiful as ever. She didn't know why, but a sudden feeling of warmth engulfed her out of nowhere. Was it a good omen?
Cormwell Street was buzzing with excitement, which meant good business.
She took out the shutter keys to unlock the Van, but to her surprise, it was already open!
She stepped in and a strong aroma of spices greeted her. There he was, cooking with a brand new apron and a chef's hat on his head.
"How did you get in?!"
"I have my ways" He smilrked and winked at her. Inspite of being angry with him, she blushed prettily.
Asad mentally high fived the inner Asad.
Plan A successful!
"I don't need your help. Go away! I don't want my customers choking to death on their food" It was pretty obvious that she was showing mock anger.
"FYI, Miss Farooqui. I cook well. I just never had a chance to showcase my talents" He retorted.
"That's because you don't have any. So please, back off!" Oh how they missed the bickering!
Zoya pushed him and took over. He tumbled back and steadied himself by holding onto the sink. He then stood behind her, and the memories of that night resurfaced.
"What's cooking?" He asked, pun intended.
"Nothing you're not aware of" She answered double meaningly.
He slid his hands around her waist and heard her breath hitch. Bingo!
He then pulled her towards him till their bodies pressed.
"Wh..what are you doing?" She asked in a shaky voice.
"Nothing you don't like" he immitated her. She smiled softly but hit him with her elbow but he didn't budge an inch.
"You're working on New Year's Eve?" His one hand played with her hair while the other still held her securely.
"New Year means business. Why do you ask?" she tried sounding indifferent but failed miserably as his fingers made contact with her skin.
"I want to talk" He felt her stiffen under his touch as he spoke. But it was now or never.
He slowly turned her around and lift her chin up with his finger. She complied easily and waited for him to begin,
He tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and cupped her cheek. Her eyes closed momentarilly.
"Not here" he breathed.
"Well I'm sorry then, because I'm not availaible during work hours. It will have to wait" she replied as she opened them.
"It will wait" Saying so, he spun her around again and his hands left contact with her. He started helping her out, chopping vegetables and marinating chicken wings.
The couple continued working and it was 5 p.m. Without Zoya's orders, Asad quickly winded up with everything in light speed. Zoya stood at a corner. Unknowingly, her mouth left a soft chuckle which didn't go unheard by him.
"You find it funny?"
"Of course I do. It's not everyday you see Asad working like a maniac"
"It's your lucky day that I'm in a good mood. I wouldn't have spared you otherwise"
She shook her head amusedly and helped him out after which, they quickly hailed a Cab.
"Where are we going?" She asked, perplexed.
"Wait and watch"
The car halted and they stepped out. There they were, at Hyde Park. Although it was packed with people enjoying the Eve, Asad dragged Zoya to a lone bench at a corner, undisturbed from the world.
"You like it here, don't you?" She smiled in response.
They both sat on the bench as he took her hand in his. They silently stared at the lake and then at their hands. No one spoke for a long time.
"I don't regret it" he took the initiative.
"Kissing you. I don't regret it at all. I know I hurt you, but I won't lie to you, ever. So I never apologised for it." She looked at him wide eyed. Here she was, having sleepless nights about it and he didn't regret it at all!
"Do you know why?" She innocently shook her head.
"Because even if I couldn't bring myself to admit it, I had started liking you" She looked at the waters for some time before she spoke.
"Does it have something to do with the dress that I was wearing that day?" She enquired.
"What? No! I mean, of course you looked stunning, which you always do by the way" Zoya rolled her eyes and laughed. Flirt!
"It had nothing to do with it. You are different Zoya, different from other girls who only care about dressing up. You are beautiful, independent and strong and that's what pulled me to you" She looked at him affectionately and he returned the same.
"But this can't happen Asad. I..I can't put my hands over someone who isn't even mine. What about Sarah? She likes you so much and.."
"Don't talk about Sarah, Zoya" His voice turned a bit harsh.
"Why? Is everything okay?" she asked, concerned.
"We broke up"
"What?! When?!" Zoya was shocked. Wasn't he the same guy she met a week ago who would go to any lengths to woo the princess?
"The same day we fought. I couldn't bear her bad mouthing you. So I shouted at her and she shouted back."
She wasn't surprised that Sarah had said ill things about her. If the girl could say it on her face, talk about back bitching.
"I bet she'll find someone who can suit her standards. I'm just.. not her type." Zoya squeezed Asad's hand , to tell him that she was sorry. She didn't mean to be rude and did not have the slightest idea that he and Sarah had broken up.
"I'm sorry Asad. I over reacted" her tone was apologetic and sincere.
"Oh you sure did. Do you have any idea how miserable I was?"
"I wasn't any good either. It's just that, I wasn't ready to jeopradize our friendship by taking it to a next level, you know? What if we didn't work out? What will I do without you, without our friendship? So I started distancing myself from you, because I knew I was hoping against hope. You could never be mine, you had Sarah. But I didn't have many. I think you're well aware of the fact that I'm the weird one in the crowd."
He slid his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him as she laid her head on his shoulder.
"You're weird. That's what makes you different. Don't you ever feel low about yourself Zoya. You're too good to be true, so it's difficult for you to fit in. But you have me and I promise I won't leave your side, ever. I love you Zoya Farooqui."
He loved her! He said he LOVED her!
The atmosphere turned heavy and earnest, which she wasn't really fond of.
"You mean to say that you'll always accompany me everywhere?"
"That's what I meant" He nodded solemnly.
"What if I need to take a bath?"
"Oh, it'll be my pleasure!" he winked and she smacked him playfully. But man she smacked hard!
"Hey!" he complained.
"That's for being a fool and not confessing earlier" She scolded as he frowned. She then leaned in and kissed him on his cheek, just where his dimples fromed.
"And that's because the feelings are mutual. I love you too Asad! ..And because I always return favours"
He smiled widely after ages. The one which would reach his eyes.
They sat there for a long time after which they finally decided to head back. They walked together, their hands interwined.
The excitement had multiplied as the clock ticked away. A large crowd had gathered around Big Ben, everyone squealing with every passing second. And then the countdown began. Asad and Zoya looked at each other affectionately. Their eyes reflected the love they held for each other. Tightening their grip on each other's hands, they joined the countdown as well.
"3..2...1..0!" Zoya's hands went around Asad's neck as his hands wrapped around her waist. He pulled her closer and then they did it, sealed their love with a passionate kiss as the crowd hooted and cheered, for the innumerable couples and for the New Year.
Finally breaking away, Zoya asked in a ragged breath, "does that mean we'll be kissing throughout the year?"
Asad chuckled as he caressed her face, "I don't know. You tell me!"
She laughed and took the initiative, taking his lips into hers for the second time.
And that's how their New Year began!
A/N - Phew!
This is awkward.
It is SO LONG!
If you have read it, by chance, I would love to have your feedbacks!
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