Arnav sat with Mariam cheny and Anna on either side of him. He could also see other influential people from the fashion industry seated on their row. He was very impressed with most of the dresses which were displayed but nothing had given that wow! factor. He kept glancing at his watch, willing time to go faster so that he could leave for his next meeting.
Suddenly he heard Anna squeal as a dark skinned model came on the ramp, the entire room fell in a hush before the room reverberated with thundering applause, arnav himself could not help but clap at the sheer ingenuity of the dress which the model wore.
The dress was exquisite, it was an ivory silk dress with intricate chikankari work on it, it had an inlay of antique brocade which then was worked into the fabric at the bottom of the skirt; the dress had a deep boat neck, while the fabric was woven expertly over one side of the skirt, bunching at the hips. It could make any celebrity proud to wear it for the Oscars. Arnav sat in awe as the model finally turned and left the ramp. It definitely was worth coming to this show.
"Don't you think that dress was beautiful monsieur" Mariam asked excitedly to arnav, he nodded his approval "yes it most definitely was. I'd love to meet the designer. I still have a few minutes till my next meeting and I can see a lot of potential here, this designer would be the right person for our internship program"
Mariam clapped her hands happily "Oh she will be soo thrilled! I was just telling her how this dress would go down in history. In fact I was wondering if you would like it since it has indian chikan work on it, you know she actually did the embroidery by hand? She has a flare for these things"
Arnav was impressed, he knew how difficult the art was; he was definitely looking forward to meeting this girl. He stood up and went to the green room with Mariam, there he could see the model quickly changing out of the same dress. He went forward and took the dress in his hands, he marveled at the beauty of it. The work on it was beyond compare.
He had been waiting for nearly 10 minutes now, but was annoyed by the audacity of the girl for making him wait, finally he saw Mariam glide elegantly towards with a worried expression "I am so sorry Mr raizada, but she left. She had a family emergency and had to leave right away. I can fix up a meeting with her if you'd like"
Arnav nodded his head, he could not wait any longer anyways "Ok, i'll ask my person to co-ordinate, maybe I could meet her tomorrow." saying that he took his leave, he asked the driver to drop him off at the Ritz and then take anna to hers, he was not in the mood for her tonight. As he got down from his car, he suddenly remembered the girl from the cafe, he could swear he smelled the same perfume on the dress, but the model looked African and very tall. He once again shook his head willing himself to stop thinking about that girl and went inside for his meeting. He really was going mad!
Khushi stood outside the main door of the ICU of St Mary's cardiology wing; it had been nearly an hour now. She was told that her aunt was fine and will be shifted to the general ward in some time. She looked up with teary eyes as the doctor walked towards her.
"Ms Gupta? I must say your aunt is very lucky to have survived this. Did you know that she has two blocked arteries? We need to operate on her as soon as possible to avoid any more such attacks" Khushi leaned against the wall for support as she heard the doctor speak.
"I had no idea doctor, please tell me what I need to do" The doctor saw her stricken face and consoled her "Don't worry child, she'll be fine. We need to do her By-pass surgery tomorrow morning itself. We cannot wait for later. Unfortunately..."
Khushi looked up suddenly "Unfortunately what doctor?" She sat down as the doctor continued and sat next to her "Unfortunately she is not a UK citizen, so the hospital charges will have to borne by her kin, who I suppose is you. You must understand that charges for such an operation will go in the range of 2000 pounds, plus adding the medicine costs and other factors together, it will go up to a total of 3000 pounds, can you afford all that?"
Khushi was left shocked, she tried remembering how much she had in her bank account, she calculated somewhere around 1500 to 1700 pounds only, she wouldn't even get a back loan since she was not on a permanent job; she looked on worriedly at the doctor "Don't worry you don't have to make all the payment right away. You can pay till a month from the surgery, but this is approximately how much you will need."
Khushi wondered where she could work and what she could do to make this much money! Her nursing job was just part-time and even with full-time she could not pay the surgery and medicine costs. She signed the consent forms which the doctor passed over to her and proceeded to make a 500 pound payment for deposit.
She then sat down dejectedly outside the ICU, she felt her whole life crashing down. She would never hesitate to pay for her buaji's health, but how and where will she find the money; she thought vaguely to ask La, but she remembered La telling her that her father was strict, so she let the idea go.
After nearly another hour of thinking, she could only hope that one of the fashion houses liked her dress tonight, at least one of them would offer her a job; she looked up as the ICU door opened up and her buaji was wheeled out "Buaji, how are you feeling?" Khushi sobbed
Madhu looked at her niece "Im fine bitiya, don't worry for me. I feel terrible that once again my responsibility has come on your head." Khushi shushed her aunt "please buaji stop saying that, trust me everything is fine. I've taken care of everything. Come you should rest now. I'll be staying with you only." with that assurance she walked with the resident to the allocated room, her mind in turmoil while her face enacted a serene calm just for her buaji's sake.
As arnav got to Geoffery's , his favorite pub, akshay was waiting for him, they ordered their scotch on the rocks and sat at one of the tables "So bro, I got the jist from ur text earlier, but its gonna be really tricky finding the right girl" Arnav sipped his drink and looked at Akshay "Listen akshay, I really don't care who the girl is, I just need her to pose as my fianc for one month tops, then its hasta la vista baby"
Akshay thought for a while before replying "What I don't understand is why don't you just ask one of the girls youv'e dated? What about Anna? She's been pictured recently with you..it will be more convincing" Arnav chocked on his drink "Are you kidding me! Anna?? That girl will drive me nuts with her screechy voice plus all the girls I have dated or know might be a risk, because they may get emotionally involved. I don't want that"
Akshay quickly smiled "Ok buddy, I know this girl who will be perfect for the job only thing is she's not Indian, I don't know many Indian girls who will do this" arnav leaned forward "Like I said, I really don't care as long as she is a girl, moderately good looking and knows how to act"
Akshay smiled at his desperation "Fine, then in that case I can only recommend Katarina for this, she's a Spanish escort, very refined. She speaks impeccable English and is quite good looking. She should be the right girl for the job, but obviously your pay needs to be good" akshay grinned but then got serious "
Arnav winced "Really? an Escort? C'mon man…I have to introduce her to my family" Akshay got serious "Bro! She's not a damn prostitute; an escort is a very respectable job you know…sometimes…plus she only works for a certain league of society and she is a dear friend"
Arnav smirked "Ok man, chill..its fine she'll do and don't worry about the money or anything else, I'll offer her so much that she would not complain and I will never take advantage of her in that way. Just ask her to call Aman tomorrow and fix up a meeting with me. I'll talk on the monetary terms and all with her then" They finished their drinks and headed out.
Khushi left after her buaji' surgery was done successfully and her buaji had gained consciousness, she paid another 500 pounds towards bed and medicine charges as the doctor had suggested. She was still short of 2000 pounds; she reached her institute around 5pm in the evening and entered her class to find Ms Cheny sorting through yesterday's clothes "Katya! Where have you been my dear? Did you know your dress won the best design? And ASR wanted to meet you! He was very impressed by your work"
Khushi felt her shoulders relax "Really Madame? Did he like my design? That's wonderful…do you think he will offer me a job? I really desperately need one. My Aunt had an attack last night, so I need to pay for the medical expenses plus I need to find a flat within my budget" khushi blabbered on nervously
Madam cheny hugged her tight "Mon dieu! My poor girl, I had no idea. As far as I know they will offer you an internship for 6 months on no pay and then if things work out, maybe permanent with good pay. But I truly don't know. Anyways ASR wanted to meet you today. You should call the number he has given and fix an appointment, I'm sure once you explain your problems he may agree to a paid job; he certainly loved your design"
Khushi eagerly took the number Ms Cheny gave her; she dialed it and waited till it connected "Hello? Hi, this is Katya here..I was asked to call this number and fix an appointment with ASR?" She heard a male voice on the other end "Oh yes, I was expecting your call. I am Aman by the way. Can you meet ASR at 8pm tonight? He will be dining at La Chevex Maneu in South Kensington" Khushi took down the address and thanked the man . She hugged Ms Cheny and left for her halls.
Arnav was waiting patiently to meet this Katarina; he was not surprised that she agreed to this, who could say no to Arnav Singh Raizada he thought smiling wryly. He just hoped she was at least a little bit good looking since he had to spend an entire month with her, longest he had been with anyone! He definitely did not want anything physical with her since this was more of a business proposition, best to keep it professional he thought and he had promised akshay. He ordered some champagne and sat down at their table.
Khushi was running very late, first it took her ages to decide what she should wear, she kept saying that it wasn't for ASR's sake but the restaurant that he was dining at, it was one of the finest in London. She finally decided to wear a knee length black chiffon dress; it had a modest neckline but clung to her curves very seductively. She wore silver heels and left her hair open; which she decided later was not a good idea since the travel in the tube had her hair all tangled up.
She finally reached the restaurant and went straight to the restroom to compose herself, she redid her hair and applied her lip gloss, she was disappointed to not find her perfume in her purse, she just hopeed there was no BO; Finally she straightened her dress and walked out to the main restaurant area, she asked the maitre d' to point her towards Arnav singh raizada's table, the maitre d' could not seem to take his eyes off her but pointed to a table at the far end of the restaurant. Taking a deep breath, Khushi made her way there.
Arnav was just done with a call with a potential export partner; he looked and leaned in to see if the girl had arrived yet, she was already 10 minutes late. As his eyes went to the entrance, he felt a jolt, walking slowly into the restaurant was an enchantress; he had never seen such a rare beauty before. All the men in the restaurant had turned their heads towards her as she walked in elegantly.
Arnav felt his mouth go dry as he checked her out from top to bottom, his eyes travelled from her long slender legs encased in delicate silver sandals, the smooth milky skin looked so soft that he wanted to run his hands on them, her hips were swaying seductively while her tiny waist brought his attention to her ample bosom, though covered by the dress; that dress itself was like a second skin molding itself to her perfect body, when his eyes reached her face he sucked in a deep breath.
She had the most beautiful coloring; he could not call her English since she had a gorgeous fair olive skin, her luxuriant hair fell in dark brown waves which framed her perfect heart shaped face, her plump rosy lips just begged to be kissed, while her big hazel eyes held a kind of mystery. Arnav wondered who the lucky guy was who was sharing the evening with her. He was still staring at her as she surprisingly came and stood right in front of him; she extended her hand and said in sweet lyrical voice "Good evening mr Raizada, it is such an honor to meet you. I'm Katya"
When Khushi walked in she started moving straight towards the table which the maitre d' had pointed to, she was trying to locate the table where ASR was sitting, she finally saw him sitting at a corner table but felt very conscious as she saw him staring at her; khushi knew she was dressed differently to her usual jeans and casual tops, in fact she hardly dressed in this fashion, but she had to make an effort today.
She let her gaze linger on him as she took in his elegant suit, his broad shoulders. She drew a breath as her eyes locked onto his handsome face, God had been too kind to him she thought, his wavy jet black hair fell on his forehead, his eyes looked like they would consume her completely while his strong jaw with a faint stubble gave definition to his face, she mentally slapped herself to get back to reality.
She finally came and stood right in front of him and extended her hand introducing herself, he kept staring at her as if he was looking at some kind of a mirage but finally stood up and shook her outstretched hand, Khushi felt an electric shock run through her body, she quickly pulled her hand away as his eyes bore into hers.