Arnav Singh Raizada leaned back heavily in the chair taking the file along him. This new merger was going to give him and his team some sleepless nights ahead in the nearby future. It happens every tme he sets his eyes on another company that has the capability of giving him fruitful profits for many more years to come. They say its risky, but he found himself thriving on those risks. It gives him the adrenaline rush like none other. It provides him with a sense of power and control that had him urging for more and so he take his chances based on his instincts. Instincts that weren’t always accurate but thats just makes him human, right? Some worked, some didn’t but the failures he have occasionally met across the path never dimmed the ever lightening spirit inside him.
But as much as he tried concentrating on the file in hand, his mind knew something was off. His attention diverting yet again after a couple paragraphs every time he starts from scratch and this was not something Raizada was familiar with. This paved way for the mild irritation lingering beneath him and somewhere down the line he knew the cause of this.
His mind diverted back to the incident that happened with khushi this morning and he couldn’t help but jumped on the train of thought to visit it again.
“Arnav ji..ye kya matlab hai. Aap kyu nahi aaenge pooja me?”
She had stared at him like he was about to commit the most heinous crime by not attending the pooja. It wasn’t the first time though. Anjali di organized these poojas in shantivan at regular intervals. Sometimes its havan, else its navgraha shanti path. Though he couldn’t quite differ one from another but that doesn’t matter as he had never attend ed a single one in the first place. To say he doesn’t believe in the supreme power wont be wrong. The way life has treated him since the start,Arnav absolutely loathed this fictitious idea of someone higher sitting above, directing the lives of those he created. For him, He was the sole creator of his destiny, not some invisible god that really doesn’t exist to begin with. Still people with blind faith do whatever possible in their limits to please the so called god to get the continuous blessings just so their lives can move smoothly without any hiccups. He has nothing against them but he really don’t want to entertain this idea. Anjali Di had tried hard to change his thinking but to no avail. Di was someone Arnav loved more than his life but even that love couldn’t quite change his stand as far as this matter was concerned. Over the years Di had also realized this fact and hence she stopped pestering him, much to his relief. So, this was a well settled topic no one questions him about and he was damn pleased with the way things were on this front.
Hence,Raizada was surprisingly taken aback when he got to face the same set of questions from a clearly adamant khushi this morning. Surprised but not in a good way and He felt this sudden urge to defend himself without exactly sounding rude clawing up at him. Irony was,Raizada who could easily impress an entire elite crowd by his immaculate speech delivery was never good with words in the first place.Specially not in delicate matters like this. He could effectively charms the pants off of everybody by his too good to be true conversational skills but then talk about how he was feeling and he would go point blank. That was the case..and so just like that, here again Raizada chose the easier way out.
“Khushi I have work, you know that”
He adjusted the tie firmly looking keeping his gaze into the mirror. The red tie giving a pop of color to his black suit. A sudden distraction that he appreciated rather than focusing on the woman behind him along with the argument he could sense forming on her lips.
“Aap ek din kaam nahi karenge toh koi aafat nahi aa jaegi”
She moved ahead not believing the fact that how someone can give priority to work over pooja. Definitely not from the same world they were.
His eyes flashed with the sudden anger which was gone next second but it surely left a bitter taste in his mouth. He was so not used to defend himself and his actions since so long. So long, to be exact. He really appreciate the growing openness between him and khushi but this certainly was a no go area. He didn’t want to explain her the ugliness he had faced in his life that has somewhere molded him this way down the line. That was a closed chapter and revisiting that would only scratch some old wounds if nothing more. He had a hard time healing those wounds in the first place and facing it again would somehow push him back to that phase he never wanted to visit again.
He tried to infuse softness in his response but failed to do that.Clearly so. Hoping that she would take the hint going by not so friendly tone of his voice and would stop pestering him. He couldn’t quite control the bile rising up in his throat and felt a fine streak of anger coursing through him.He somewhere realized its the wrong person he might be directing to if in case it gets out of control and the need to leave the suddenly suffocated room rocketed sky high.
He grabbed his laptop and his suit carefully placed on the bed and was about to made his way out of the room when she hit back,
“Aapko Di ki koi parwah nahi hai..kitni khush hongi vo..kaise bhai ho aap”
And that did it.
He stopped dead in his tracks and turned around to face her. The expression on his face sending a chill down her very bones as if she had stirred something deep and khushi felt silent that very moment.Her intuition that she might have overstepped some carefully drawn invisible lines in their delicate relationship bugged her from all direction. The way he was staring down at her with those unmaskable deadly expressions were unlike anything she had ever seen with him. She knew Arnavji was slowly opening around her as they are getting to know each other more but right at this moment it felt like she might have been staring at a complete stranger. His jaw clenched completely like he was holding his control by a very fine thread. The way he fisted that suit in his palm she couldn’t miss those white knuckles depicting just what was coursing through his mind. Though she wasn’t sure what triggered him suddenly to behave this way but whatever it was, it was her fault and a sunken feeling sat in the pit of her stomach as a apology rose to her lips quickly.
He lifted one hand to silence her and she obliged. Lest it could trigger something other she wasn’t exactly sure of. But the bottom of all, she felt pathetic. Pathetic for being the reason behind it. He, however glanced down at her for a moment too long and khushi felt overburdened under his gaze. It wasn’t her favorite moment and the apology was on the tip of her tongue to amend the damage she has involuntarily done. But before she could rattle off anything, Raizada took one more indifferent glance at her before storming off the room.
He jumped off from his train of thoughts when the shrill ringtone of his phone caught his attention and leaning ahead Arnav picked up the phone from the desk. The name that popped on screen was someone Raizada was not expecting.khushi it was. Or May be it was expected. He knew what she was calling for. He got couple texts from her citing the apology but Raizada didn’t feel the need to reply. He wasn’t completely okay himself to be true. Few things he was not good at handling and this was one such stuff. His thumb however hover over the green button as he contemplated his decision but got interrupted by the his secretary.
“Sir, Your 2 pm appointment is here”
He glanced at his rolex to check it was indeed three minutes past 2.
“Send him in”
He silenced the phone before placing it in his drawer and pulling up the presentation needed for this meeting.
Her apology can surely wait.