Monday, 17 February 2020

Part 17 : I See You!

Shilpa sat infront of Rahul in his office and didn't understand a word he was saying he could have been speaking gibberish. In her mind all she could see ws Armaan and that girl hugging and smiling at one another. Unable to control herself she turned her head to see through the window only find the drapes pulled across Rahul's office windows. Shilpa frowned as she turned back to face Rahul while muskaan gave her a quizzical look.

Rahul also puzzled: Shilpa is something wrong?

Shilpa startled out of her thoughts: no! of course not! I was just thinking, you were saying(she tried to look attentive)

Rahul gave her a doubtful look but continued: well after tomorrow's interview, you are scheduled for a publicity tour. You'll be leaving day after tomorrow, the first stop would be Pune.

Shilpa surprised: day after tomorrow? Just like that


Rahul: well Armaan had chalked out the plan

Shilpa's temper sparked: if that isn't typical of Mr. Armaan Mallik. No need to ask shilpa if she has any plans or not just roll over her, arrogant jerk!!

Muskaan couldn't quite keep the laughter out of her voice: well I'll say yes to the arroagant but armaan is no jerk (just then Atul walked in) ask Atul. Hey Atul tell Shilpa whether armaan is a jerk or not, I agreed on the arrogant part though.

Atul frowned: Armaan is neither arrogant nor a jerk. He is one of the best human being that I have ever come across.

Muskaan: and you say that with complete objectivity(she said it cheekily)

Shilpa: maybe you are not one of the lucky few who have been exposed to his arrogant side.

Atul narrowed his eyes at shilpa: Armaan wanted to talk to you.

Shilpa glared at him: as I am busy now I'll talk to him when I can. (Atul turned and walked out of the room)

Rahul sat back in his chair: Armaan is my brother, shilpa so yes I know he is arrogant. But that arrogance is not because of being born a Mallik or the wealth. The arrogance in the question was not something that he was born with, it was cultivated as it was a need to survive.(when shilpa rolled her eyes Rahul couldn't help but smile) Armaam has always been interested in business, ever sinc I can remember all armaan had ever wanted to do was join Dad in the business. The besr part was that Armaan was actually very good at picking sound investment opportunities. He came up with ideas most of us wouldn't even ever think off and wouldn't even know how to implement but he would. He was 18 years old when he assisted dad in a project, he prepared the budgets, worked in the marketing side of it. You name it and he was involved in it and the project was a stupendous success. He kept working with dad on his projects alonwith the studies, each project was a success, maa use to worry about him. She use to say that the success and money would spoil him or put too much pressure on him.

As Rahul paused shilpa looked at him waiting for him to continue, without her realizing she was hooked.

Rahul glanced at her: Dad just laughed and said that all this was practice for Armaan. True to his words once Armaan had finished his studies he immediately joined Dad we all had thought even Dad with his experience it would be easy sailing. But we all were wrong, it wasn't that armaan didn't know which projects to choose or how to work it was the matter that most of the dad's colleaugues didn't want to take orders from a guy who was of their son's age. Armaan was respectful of their age and status but they refused to take him seriously

Muskaan: that must've been tough on him. How did he handle it?(Shilpa stayed quiet but was relieved that muskaan had the question that she had wanted to know)

Rahul smiled: you know Armaan! He'll never tell you his troubles, he'll just try and get through them and like always he found a way to work. He realized that those old cronies of dad were taking his respect and kindness and using it against him. So he changed himself, instead of asking them he told them what he wanted them to do. I still remember the incidence one of the guys just stuttered in shock when armaan announced what he planned to do in a particular project. That guy asked him what gave him the right to tell them what to do, Armaan looked him in the eye and told him because he was the only one in the room who actually knew what to do. Since then there has been no looking back, what ever armaan had touched has turned to gold. Not because of luck but coz armaan has made sure, he'll work every angle till he's sure that the result is going to be in his favor. So if that makes him arrogant I don't think anyone should grudge him, I think he deserves it.

Shilpa looked at Rahul who smiled at her: you might not like him at this very moment but he knows what he is doing so if that makes him arrogant so yes I agree with you he is arrogant.

Shilpa hadn't completely softened towards armaan but she had no intention of showing her feelings to Rahul, so she tilted her head and asked Rahul: are you trying to sell your brother to me?

Rahul couldn't help but laugh at the question: I don't need to! He's Armaan Malik! He sell himself, what do they say: naam hi kaafi hai!

Shilpa couldn't help but laugh at that: Muskaan better watch out for this one (she grinned at Rahul but in her heart she was more confused than ever)

Some of her disquiet was reflected in her eyes to which Muskaan responded: why don't we go out tonight? (sensing that shilpa was going to refuse) you dnt have to answer now, think about it and then let me know.

Shilpa left rahul's office in a state of turmoil she wanted to be mad at armaan but she was not and that only made her confused. She just didn't know what to feel anymore, she was lost in her own thoughts when she got in the elevator  as the elevator started moving downward did she realize that she was not alone. She looked up and saw armaan standing against the wall looking her way.

Armaan saw her look up at him and blink as if just realizing his presence: so you ready to talk?

Shilpa couldn't help herself all the anger came rushing back looking at his handsome face. She turned around and stood with her back towards him.

Armaan: how long are you going to try and avoid me? Wouldn't it be better to talk to me now and get it over with.

Shilpa hated it that he was being reasonable, he was right but she didn't want to listen to him. She didn't want to know why he left her, she didn't want to know why he was marrying Anjali.

Shilpa: stop embarrassing yourself armaan, don't you understand that I'm just not interested.

Armaan took her arm and turned her around so that she was looking at him: look me in the face and say that you are not interested. Say it and I wont bother you again!

Shilpa looked into his eyes and knew that the lie just won't comeout her mouth. Suddenly the door opened breaking the moment, shilpa tugged her arm free and walked out of the elevator. Armaan followed her and walked next to her: I can come over and we can talk

Shilpa felt an unreasonable fear seize her: No! I have plans (she dashed up to waiting taxi leaving a bewildered armaan)

From the taxi shilpa called muskaan: we're on for tonight! Just tell me where to meet.

Shilpa wove her way through the crowd of people in the club as she looked for muskaan and Rahul. The club was new to her and she had decided to come on her own  she muttered to herself: should have stayed home with doors locked but was too chicken that armaab would find out.

Just then she saw muskaan and walked to their table: hey!

Muskaan: I'm glad that you changed your mind and decided to come. (looking shilpa over) you look fantastic. You went shopping without me.

Shilpa smiled at her: gotta keep up with you.(just then Rahul came up on the table)

Rahul: hi shilpa! Would you mind if I steal muskaan for a dance?

Shilpa waved them away and sat brooding, when a man dropped in the chair next to her: hi!

Shilpa: excuse me!

Stranger: beautiful girl like you sitting by yourself!(giving her a smile intending to charm her) why don't you dance with me?

Shilpa: thanks! But I'm really not interested.

Stranger with a smile: ok! We'll just sit and have a chat then. So tell me about yourself.

Shilpa counted to ten in her head and then smiled: would love to but I need to go to the ladies room first. Excuse me!

Shilpa made her way to the back and stood in the hallway braced against the wall. She dropped her head in her hands and wondered what the hell she was doing there. She raised her head as if sensing his presence and saw him leaning against the wall looking at her.

Armaan: waiting for me

Shilpa couldn't hold back the groan: god! What are you following me?

Armaan raised a brow: I didn't even know you were going to be here!

Shilpa looked away from him to see that stranger lumbering down the corridor towards her end trying to avoid him shilpa pulled armaan infront of her nad angled her head so that the fall of her hair shielded her face.

Armaan was clearly surprised when shilpa pulled him forward he put his hands next to her head on the wall. He looked down at her face questioningly to which she mumbled: just let him go I don't want an uncomfortable scene!(armaan followed her gaze and recognized the man but did not say anything)

Once he had moved away shilpa straightened and tried moving away but armaan refused to move making her frown.

Armaan: we've gotto talk

Shilpa: I don't want to talk to you, how many times do I have to say that.

Armaan: what are you afraid of? You said your bit atleast have the courtesy of letting me explain.

Shilpa glared up at him: afraid? The only thing I'm afraid of is that you are wasting my time.

Armaan crowded her: I'm wasting your time! How long you are going to waste both our time by avoiding me.

His words stung making shilpa lash out: I don't waste my time with liars and cheaters!

Armaan was shocked so when shilpa pushed him he let her go.

Shilpa walked out in the crowded club and decided to leave she made her way to the table and saw Muskaan on the dance floor with Rahul. Instead of talking to them she decided to leave without creating a scene when she she was pulled by the arm. She turned and came face to face with the same guy who was bothering her earlier. To her dismay he was drunk shilpa tried pushing his hand away from her arm but his hand only tightened.

Stranger: wanna a dance?

Shilpa tried pushing away from him: no! let me go

Stranger: comeon baby! We'll have some fun (he tried pulling shilpa further and put his other hand on shilpa's hip)

Before shilpa could do anything armaan stood behind the guy looking like a very angry avenging angel. Armaan's eyes made contact with shilpa and then dropped to the hand which was on shilpa's hip as shilpa squirmed and tried to get away. Armaan tapped the guy on the shoulder making him sturn a little.

Armaan: hey Rajiv! Long time come lets have a drink together.

Rajiv: Armaan Mallik! Busy right now with this beauty!(he tried leaning towards shilpa only to be brought up short as armaan put a restraining hand on his shoulder)

Armaan: let her go Rajiv and we'll have a  drink!(Rajiv shrugged his hand away and turned back to shilpa)

Armaan grabbed his hand from shilpa's hip and gave it a hard squeeze making bone crunch against boen making Rajiv yell: Let go of her arm, Rajiv!(when he resisted armaan gave him another twist making him yowl in pain) let her go!

Rajiv tried taking a swing at armaan only to go sprawling across the room and crash into a table as armaan punched him in the face.

Rajiv stood up and took couple of steps towards him and shouted: You son of a bitch! I saw her first! Go f**k someone else!

Shilpa stood still as a statue scared of the expression on armaan's face as Rajiv uttered those words. The next moment she saw armaan grab him by the collar and plough his fist in his face. He did that repeatedly and meticulously not letting up, some of the guys nearby tried pulling him away but armaan pushed them away.

Shilpa saw rajiv's head roll back as armaan continued to puch him, scare that he might actually kill him, shilpa tried stop him: Stop it! Its enough! (but armaan was like a man possessed)

Shilpa was really scared she put her arms around armaan and tried pulling him away: Ammy stop! Stop it Ammy you'll kill him!(she shouted in his ear)

Armaan stopped and looked up at shilpa seeing her scared face, armaan stopped and let go of rajiv who went down like a sack of potatoes.

Rahul and muskaan pushed their way towards them, Rahul: what the hell happened?

Muskaan to shilpa: are you alright?

Shilpa looked at armaan's bloodied knuckles and felt like crying: what good was that armaan? He was just a stupid drunk jerk! You almost killed him!

Armaan was still seeing red: he put his hands on you, I'm going to break him into two.

Shilpa scared of the look of murder in his eyes: stop it! You have embarrassed yourself and me enough. I suggest you go back home and calm down.

Shilpa was concerned as to what would the media do to armaan if the news of night events came out. She looked at Rahul: take your brother home!

She turned and left with muskaan and missed the look of disappointment that flashed in armaan's eyes.

Amani

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