Of Glorious Mornings and Revelations...
"Sir??..is there something wrong with your ear?" aman asked nervously...he was surprised to see that his boss, for the first time, had hardly paid any attention to the routine stock market updates that aman was giving him. Instead all he kept doing was looking somewhere far away in the distance and touching his left ear over and over again...aman wondered if he had some skin rash.
"What?" arnav asked as he came of of his self-induced purgatory...yes purgatory! cause all of last night and most of today morning went in to thinking about those few minutes of heaven with sabrina..he could not get the image of a thoroughly aroused Ms Gupta out of his mind...it thrilled him that she wanted him as much as he wanted her..the thought making him feel elated and very light hearted after a really long time.
"Did you say something aman?" he asked aman politely and with a slight smile to which aman just looked on shocked.. "N..no sir...I...I was just...I mean...do you have a rash on your ear? Because you keep touching it.." he asked, hoping that he had not annoyed his boss by asking such a question, but to his utter shock arnav burst out laughing and got up as he came towards aman "No Aman..i'm absolutely fine..in fact i'm more than fine.." he said smiling more broadly.
"You know what..its been ages since i've eaten out for lunch...why don't we go to that sushi place on Linking road? My treat" arnav said and winked before picking up his wallet and walking out his door, leaving aman to follow him, who by now would have definitely fainted if the huge mahogany desk wasn't there to support him...'Who did what to Arnav Raizada??'
"I know di...I really did not think about it...I mean I could hardly think straight!!" khushi moaned in her phone as he picked at her leftover pasta..she had confided in Shilpa about what had happened last night, simply because she was too confused about her strong feelings for Arnav..anaya's father! God..he was her student's parent..she blushed throughly as shilpa di reprimanded her for taking things that far ,when anaya was sleeping in the next room; though she also expressed her excitement about Khushi's new found feelings for arnav.
She listened as her friend told her to be more careful and cautious if she wanted to take things further with arnav since she had to consider anaya's feelings about all this...Khushi thought about, how in such a small time, she had come to love anaya...probably because saw a little of herself in the sweet girl. She knew for a fact that she will do whatever she can to make things right for her...but now the only thing bothering her was what arnav wanted from her.
Khushi was not a very traditional girl..and she was not looking for marriage and promises at the start of any relationship, but this thing was arnav was so..so combustible. It felt like her body went into overdrive as soon as he came in front of her, all her rational thoughts would backfire making her vulnerable to her desire for him. But she knew that she had to let things take its course..and if it was meant to be, then it would work out just right.
She smiled as she finished her lunch and pep talk with Shilpa di before walking out to go towards her next class. The lunch ending bell was ringing and Khushi had too much work to finish today...not that she was getting anything done as images of last night rendered her useless to focus on anything at present. She was just about to take the next turn around the corridor when she saw three girls cowering over someone..she walked swiftly towards them and was shocked at their one sided conversation and the girl who was being cowered over.
"How will you know what its like to have a mom? You only have a dad and that old maid! Your mother died after you were born..you are a witch..you killed your own mom! In fact my mother told me that your father is not even your real father..she said that your real father also died with your mom..." the taller of the girls spoke menacingly to anaya, who stood stuck to the wall, fat tears running down her chubby cheeks.
"Yeah! Its best to stay away from her...God only knows what she'll curse us with! Besides she said no to tripping ms Gupta during her morning class, so why should we be friends with her anymore" the other girl with pigtails spoke menacingly, while the third one jabbed a finger at anaya's shoulder "Witch! Witch!" she said as anaya burst out crying..Khushi could not take this anymore she walked straight to them and shouted in a very controlled but angry voice "Enough!"
All four suddenly looked at her with fright, they had never seen the docile Ms Gupta so angry "I want all three of you to report to the principals office after school. I'll make sure you get the strictest punishment for abusing a fellow student. This is absolutely intolerable and in-decent behavior which is not expected from girls of good families...if it were up to me, i would suspend all three of you right away" she said to the three girls who were too scared to say anything.
Khushi looked at anaya who was still leaning against the wall, her eyes closed with remaining tears making its way down her cheeks. She felt her heart tug at the sight but she had to be professional about this "Now go back to your classes and meet me outside the principals office, your parents will be notified about this. But before you go..apologize to anaya" khushi said in a dead calm voice to which the three girls quickly looked down in shame and fear as they said their sorry's to anaya and fled back to their class.
Khushi went and kneeled in front of anaya, who still had her eyes closed. She ran her thumb across her rosy cheeks and wiped the tears that were stuck on her eyelashes "Anaya..do you want to talk about it?" she asked in a soft voice to which anaya shook her head vehemently, she sniffed as she opened her now reddened eyes and looked sadly at khushi "No..i don't want to talk about it..what they are saying is true anyways..so why should it matter?" she whispered in a hurt voice
Khushi pulled her closer and hugged her tightly as anaya slowly laid her head on khushi's shoulder and held on. Khushi ran her fingers over her soft hair as she spoke in a voice hoarse with unshed tears "Please don't say that anaya...don't listen to what those girls were saying..how can you ever think like that?" khushi said as she soothed her down, her own heart breaking at the injustice of what had just happened.
"I only wanted to make friends Ms Gupta...and..and those girls told me that if i do whatever they say, they'll be friends with me...but..but today they told me to trip you purposely..." she started sobbing again as khushi held her close "I have no friends because Natasha told everyone that i'm a witch and that i killed my mom...and now they make me do those pranks and hurt others...so that...so that i can call them my friends and they will eat with me..and play with me" she cried as khushi's blood boiled with outrage at what those girls were putting her through.
She pulled back from the hug and held anaya by her shoulders, she looked into her watery eyes and told her in a strict voice "Anaya..listen to me...you are one of the sweetest and kindest girls i have ever met and if anyone does not want to be your friend, then its their loss...not yours! If they can listen to some girl who is talking rubbish about you instead of defending you then they are not worthy of being friends with. I know that you will make very good and deep friends with the right people..but you need to stand up for yourself. You cannot let these girls rule over you" khushi spoke as anaya looked on
"I'm glad i now know the reason behind your behavior...and trust me when I say, that i will make sure those girls get the punishment they deserve for this. Also I will make sure that no one..and I mean no one will ever speak anything bad regarding you. But are you ready to stand up and face such people head-on?" khushi held her chin up as anaya nodded "yes Ms Gupta..i won't let them bully me anymore..I have pa and maggie and now I also have you...i'm not scared anymore" anaya said as a small smile lit her cherubic face, the twin of it reflected on khushi's lips.
'Do it...don't do it...do it...don't do it...arrrgh!' Khushi thought as she twiddled with her phone...after she dropped anaya to her class, she had a talk with mrs D'souza about the three girls from anaya's class and her final conclusion on anaya's rash behavior...everything seemed to be solved...Mrs D'souza had asked the parents of the girls to come to school to discuss the matter as it was pretty serious and she had told khushi to speak to Mr Raizada and fill him in...so since the past hour or so, instead of doing something valuable she had wasted in thinking about her impending call to him.
Arnav had finally gotten himself busy with some important work and was trying to focus on the ongoing meeting when his phone started to buzz, he was about to ignore the call when he saw khushi's name flashing on it'he was surprised and mildly excited to get her call. He quickly excused himself and took her call outside the room, he answered the call in a slow 'Hi'
Khushi felt her insides melt as she heard his husky deep 'hi', she was left speechless for a few seconds before she found her voice, she cleared her throat before speaking a meek voice "Uh..hello'Ar..I mean Mr Raizada" she said as he heard a deep breath from the other end "Back to being formal ms Gupta?" he asked as she noticed a quick flare of annoyance in his voice.
"No..its juts that I'm calling from the school..its regarding Anaya" she said softly as he quickly spoke "What about anaya? Is everything ok? Where is she?" he asked, his voice laced with concern for his daughter. Khushi took a deep breath as she tried to reassure him "She is fine, I just wanted to tell you that we have found out why she was behaving the way she was'" she started as she explained everything to him that had happened since morning.
Arnav listened to everything calmly as he went through many emotions from remorse to anger at the kind of things Anaya had to go through, only when khushi assured him that the girls will be dealt with strictly, did he take a deep breath before closing his eyes and saying in a calm voice "Khushi please come over to the house with Anaya today'we need to talk" he said before abruptly ending the call, leaving a shocked khushi staring at the phone 'Bloody freddy!'