9. I gave her protection
“Give my phone back to me”, I offered my hand sternly. I could hear the continuous pings on my phone and I cringed inside. The conclusions they were going to jump into. It was embarrassing just thinking about it.
“No”, he answered and went back to staring at his file. I don’t even think he was reading, my constantly beeping phone wouldn’t let him, he just wanted to aggravate me.
“I said give my phone back to me”, I repeated, trying and failing to add authority in my voice. How did he do it so easily? Must come with being a CEO.
“No”, he said and that single word in itself held all the authority I was trying to put in my words, and he did it even when he was at the wrong. This really isn’t fair.
Seeing an opportunity, I pulled the file straight out of his hand and holding it in my left hand, held it across the blast of wind that blew the moment I rolled the window down.
“Give my phone back, or I am going to throw your file out”, I threatened, while my poor heart beat erratically at my still beeping phone.
He stared at me for a moment and as if he taking pity, he sighed and said, “Let’s come to an agreement. Keep your phone on silent, your giggles on the minimum and we can barter this deal”
“No conditions. Give me my phone and you will get your file”, I shook the yellow file again.
“I told you once, I will tell you again, I don’t offer the same deal twice. I have three copies of this file and it isn’t really urgent; your phone though…”, he ended on an unsure note but I could hear what he was thinking.
Replying to my messages was important and urgent, his file wasn’t. He had back up too and I didn’t. Sue him for having a business mind.
Gulping my pride down, I said, “Fine”, and hesitantly offered him his file while I reached out for my phone with my other hand.
The moment the almost warm surface of my phone touched my palm, I panicked and quickly checked my inbox.
138 messages. Are you kidding me?
Without bothering to read all of them, I texted, NO! A BIG FAT NO!
You are NOT a fucking virgin anymore? – Krish
What the bloody fucking hell! Tell me, you used protection at least – Liam
You better mean NO as in NO FUCKING SEX - Manoj
I gave her protection *proud smile* - Shanaya
Are you dumb? Why would you push her to sleep with someone she just met? – Liam
Hold your horses, how did the conversation go from my wedding night sex to my forever sex drought.
I’m coming to the airport and punching his fucking guts out – Manoj
NO! NO! NO! I DID NOT HAVE SEX - I texted back immediately, I didn’t even want to imagine Manoj and Aarav in a brawl. Manoj was a very messy fighter, seen it too many times to ever want to watch it again, especially when he was angry.
Thank goodness – Krish
You didn’t do anything else, did you? – Manoj
Stop acting like her dad – Liam
No, I didn’t do anything else. He slept on the sofa – I giggled internally, didn’t want Mr-snatch-your-things tp take my phone again.
Good – Krish
Look, we don’t really have a problem with you sleeping with someone, it’s just we don’t want you to lose it with a stranger – Liam
Talk for yourself. She is my baby sister and she is never having sex. Boys have cooties – Manoj
Told you? Liam was the only reasonable one.
I know, Li and Manoj, you better believe you’ll get a detailed description in your ears when I lose it.
Gtg, reached the airport. Ttyl - I sent the last message as I saw the looming figure of an airport getting bigger and shut off my phone.
“Oh wow”, I said as I looked at the tall landscaper. It had floors and floors and floors, the most I had seen in my town was 5 and this building was stacked with at least 50.
It was tall, as you might have guessed, but contrastingly it was welcoming too. Trees and shrubs were strategically placed, and a small park was just beside it with kids running around and throwing sand.
As the car rolled inside, I saw the glass and white getting replaced into dark, cement colours and we moved underground. How fitting. From happy and dandy to bland and sad.
We moved towards the elevator, that is to say, Singhaniya sahab (Sir in Hindi) walked like a freight train and I followed. Our reflections greeted us and after a long internal debate, I had to admit with Shanaya’s words, he really was handsome.
Not in the way Dev was - warm, sunshine and home (menacing to strangers) - but in a cold, granite way. His features were impeccable. Confidence and authority oozed out of him in gamma waves. It was like watching success.
Dev felt like chocolate melting in your mouth, and Aarav felt like ice. A beautiful cube of ice in ice cold water in the burning desert.
“23”, the electronic voice announced as the elevator stopped and we stepped out.
“How many rooms do you have? Can I have one for myself?”, I asked as he led the way. I wasn’t going to share a room with him, no way in hell. But before making a demand, I decided I would be a kind, well-bred lady and ask sweetly.
“We have three, you can use one”, he slid the card and unlocked the door. He took a step forward when I piped, “Wait!”
“What about all the rituals that take place when a bride enters her husband’s house for the first time?”, I asked, curious and a little flabbergasted. He was old-school and religious, right?
“There is no need”, he shrugged.
“Huh?. What about your parents? Shouldn’t they welcome me, us, whatever?”
“I lost them in an accident years ago”
“Oh, I’m so sorry”, I stuttered in embarrassment because I didn’t know what else to say. How do you react to someone randomly mentioning that their parents were dead? How do you console them? Do you even console them?
I was a hopeless case. Why couldn’t I research beforehand? But before I could belittle me anymore, he started rattling words – they sounded more like orders – on top of my head.
“This is my room”, he pointed to his right, “Besides it, is yours. And the last one is a guest bedroom. A maid, Kamala, stays in 24/7, she cooks and cleans. You can tell her your preferences, if you have any.
I don’t have any rules here, just don’t disturb me, especially when I’m working in my study room”, he pointed at a door to his left, and handed me a card, “If you have any expenses, you can use my card. Any questions?”
“Can I get a tour?”, I asked, as I looked around at the white and brown expanse of modern, minimal and spacious house.
“It’s not a large house, you can help yourself”, he replied and retired to his… study room?
Was he going to work right off the bat? When he just landed? Boring! I rolled my eyes.
I picked up my phone and video called all of my friends.
“Hellllllo!”, I sang as everyone connected.
“Hey” cooed Shanaya, smiled Liam, cheered Manoj, and said, Krish.
“Good flight?”, asked Liam.
“Yes”, I panned the video over my body, “Safe and Sound. We reached his home and now I’m going to give y’all and myself a tour of this apartment”