Apartment No : 107

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Chapter Twenty

The next morning I woke up to the loud ringing of my phone and groaned in frustration. It was the weekend and I had no class or work today. I tried to ignore it but it continued to ring so loudly and I cursed myself for not putting it on silent yesterday. I let out a loud sigh and tried to reach out for it but I was unable to get it from my bedside table as I was trapped between a set of strong arms. I blinked a few times before turning around swiftly to find Ray sleeping with a peaceful look on his face and memories of last night came flashing to my mind.

Every part of me craves you.

Heck, I liked you since the second I set my eyes on you.

I was so fucking jealous.

I'm selfish like that.

Wow! It wasn't a dream after all and a small smile crept on my face.

He likes me.

And I was in with love him.

All of him.

My phone continued to ring and I rolled my eyes before stretching out myself further and tried to reach for my stupid phone.

Who could possibly be calling me at this hour?

When I was finally able to grab it from my table, I looked at the unknown caller id and also at the time which was 6 AM.

"Hello?" I asked in my sleepy voice as soon as I attended the call.

"Is this Ridhi D'Souza?" I heard a middle-aged male voice from the other end which made my eyebrows scrunch in confusion.

"This is she. Who is this?"

"I have a parcel for you, Ma'am. I'm waiting outside the door. Could you please come and collect it?"

Parcel for me? It must be from India but...

No one except Eshika knows this address.

Weird.

"Yeah, I'm coming. Thank you." I cut the call and slowly released myself from his strong grip. He groaned in his sleep but thankfully didn't wake up and turned to the other side, pulling the duvet over his naked torso.

I need to deal with this guy and his 'so called issues' later because there is no way in hell I am letting go of him.

I wore my robe and rushed towards the door to get the parcel from the delivery man. Once I received it, I closed the door, examining the huge package which was indeed from India and I almost screamed when I saw my grandma's name on the package.

Oh my God!

How did she know?

As if she read my mind, I got a call from her immediately and I started to panic.

Okay! Just admit the whole truth and apologize.

Maybe even cry a little bit if she starts to scold.


"Hey grandma!" I tried to sound excited, hoping that she wouldn't find the nervousness in my voice.

"Ridhi beta, did you get the parcel? Eshika said it was supposed to arrive today."

I let out a huge sigh of relief and mentally made a note to thank my girl. She must have sent the package to this address.

Man, She was a life saver.

"Yeah, grandma. What's the ocassion?" I started to relax and walked towards the couch with my package.

"Arey yaar! I think you have turned into a full American. It's diwali, beta." She laughed, making my eyes go wide in shock.

What?!

I quickly checked the calendar on Ray's laptop which was sitting on the coffee table.

October 21st.

It was indeed diwali. The festival of lights and I had completely forgotten about it.

"I'm so bad with dates grandma. I totally forgot about it." I pouted, feeling so bad that I had failed to wish them. It must be evening over there which means it was diwali for me today, here in US.

I couldn't believe I had almost missed it and I hated myself for it.

"No worries,beta. I have sent you all the sweets we usually cook for diwali. Eat well and share it with your friends too."

"Sure and Happy diwali, grandma. I miss you guys so much and I'm really so sorry for forgetting it." I replied with a small frown, mentally thinking about her warm embrace and I let out a soft sigh.

"Happy Diwali to you too, beta and there is nothing to be sorry about. You are lucky that it's just diwali and not my birthday." She laughed, making me chuckle in response and continued, "Please go to some temple after your work and offer your prayers." She added and I nodded even though I knew she wouldn't be able to see me.

I wanted to tell her the truth. I didn't want to lie to her anymore and I took a deep breath.

"Umm...there is something I want to tell you grandma." I started, biting my lips. She would understand if I explain it to her.

"Tell me, Ridhi. What is it? Do you need more money?"

"No, grandma. It's just that...uhh.. I am not actually staying at the college dorm. I rented a place nearby the university and I'm staying here with a... friend." I finished, closing my eyes and praying to every God possible that she shouldn't get mad.

"And I suppose this is a male friend." She said as if she wanted me to agree with her statement and my heart was beating so fast.

"Yes, grandma. I swear I am safe and sound here. This is actually way more comfortable and affordable than the college dorm rooms and I even cook and eat myself. I feel more independent and free--"

"Ridhi, It was about time you told me because I had already guessed it, beta." She interrupted me when she sensed the panic in my voice, "This explains the male voice I sometimes hear when I call you."

Crap!

She had heard him all this time.

"I didn't mean to lie, grandma. I just wanted to live independently and I'm having a great experience here. I'm so sorry if I hurt you."

"I get it and I'm really glad you finally told me. As long as you are happy over there and safe of course, I'm happy too."

I was shocked by her response. I expected a full on Indian soap opera but this was not what I expected.

"That's it? No drama?" I asked with a small chuckle.

"I'm getting old, beta. Drama's are so boring. Just promise me you will be safe and oh, I still need to talk to your male roommate." She replied sternly and I could already imagine how that would go.

"Is he a good boy?"

"Yeah, grandma. You can talk to him soon and you can even ask Eshika. She knows all about him." I blurted out in panic and face palmed myself.

Fuck!

She was going to kill me for sure
.

"I knew she would be in this too. I'm going to pretend that I'm mad at her and see how she reacts." My grandma stated with a small laugh.

"Damn, you are so evil." I grinned widely, feeling light and at home after talking with her. It felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders and I felt happy that she didn't get furious about it. She understood and trusted me and my choices.

"Alright, it's getting late. Take a nice oil bath and wear a saree or a lehanga when you go to the temple."

Saree?

I hated wearing a saree and lehanga was the worst.

"No way, Grandma. I'm not wearing a saree or a lehanga." I whined through the phone, shaking my head stubbornly.

"I am trying to meet you halfway and the least you can do it wear a traditional dress for me but it's okay, beta. Children are so modern these days and forget all about family traditions. I can understand." She replied sadly and I smirked, clearly understanding her plan.

"And here I thought I missed all the drama. Fine, I'll wear a lehanga. I don't think I packed a saree." I pouted and I almost heard her squeal in excitement.

"That's my child. Don't forget to send me a picture. Love you, beta."

"Love you too, grandma." I smiled, shaking my head and cut the call before letting out a huge sigh.

That went more than well. I started to open my package and found a lot of my favourite Indian sweets piled up in small containers.

Ray is going to love them so much.

I smiled and took it inside the kitchen to store them away for eating it later. I quickly sent Eshika a text before heading over to take a nice long bath.

'Happy Diwali, girl. I hope you don't kill me for not wishing you earlier and also for telling my grandma that you know about Ray but I can make up for it. I have so much to tell you. Call me when you see this.' - Eshika.



Synonyms:

Arey yaar! - Indian Slang similar to 'Oh God!'
Saree/ Lehanga - Traditional Indian attire that are worn on festivals.
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