Romantic Short Stories: Love Me Baby

Hey folks! It’s Monday and guess what. Today, I’m not posting a flash but an excerpt from my sweet romantic novelette – Love Me Baby. This short story is my favorite of all the romantic short stories or love flashes I’ve written till now.

Hope you like it!

An Excerpt From Love Me Baby

I reached the studio on time. As I noticed the black gleaming sedan standing in the parking alley, my eyes gleamed with joy.

“Oh… So he’s early today,” I murmured, and a tingle of blush washed over my cheeks. I located an empty spot and squeezed my Nissan in between two giant SUVs. Stepping out of the car, I made my way to the exit. My heart thumped harder against my chest. It raced at the greatest speed.

What’s this happening? Guys tried hard to seduce me but I flipped them off. I broke up several times, but I never cried on my failed relationships. Why I’m so nervy and euphoric? I quizzed myself.

Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t realize when I reached the main entrance of the Alan’s Photography studio. I raised my head and glanced at his name.

“Alan,” I whispered his name under my breath, and his vibrantly stunning image flashed in front of my eyes.

It’s just one night, but it seems as if it’s been centuries since I last met him.

My steps took me to Alan’s cabin, and what I saw through the slanting window blinds melted my brain and shook me, soul.

Romantic Short Stories: Love Me Baby, www.mariyamhasnain.comJealousy and disappointment ran through my nerves, and a tinge of melancholy swept over my soul. I turned around and dashed out through the main exit, gasping for breath. I fell apart seeing Pixie in Alan’s arms. I left the studio and drove myself off from North Hollywood to reach my home in Downtown LA.

I pulled up in the parking zone of my commune and rushed to my flat on the fourth floor wiping at my eyes. I opened the door with my keys and straightaway headed to the sleeping room. Dropping myself on the bed, I buried my face in the pillow. Michelle laid on the adjacent bed, listening to music on her iPod. She instantly got up and wobbled my shoulder.

“Hey. What happened?” she asked.

“He loves that blond. I’m going back to Phoenix, to my mom. I need her.” I raised my head from the pillow and pushed my drooping body to a sitting position.

“How do you know he doesn’t love you? Did he tell you that?” she quizzed me again.

“I saw them hugging,” I replied, tears rolling down my cheeks.

“It could be a friendly embrace… a platonic one as he met her after a long while. She was off to the Bahamas, wasn’t she?” Michele said placing a comforting hand on my shoulder.

“I don’t know. It could be, but I can’t imagine any other woman in his arms. What if he doesn’t love me and loves that blond? I don’t want to bear the pain of unrequited unfulfilled love. I’m going away from him… so I can forget him and move on with my life.” Michelle couldn’t utter a word on my stern determination of leaving LA and going back to Phoenix.

I logged into my laptop and booked the next immediate flight to Phoenix. Packing my stuff into the giant suitcase, I was ready for my journey to my homeland. As I pictured myself hugging my mom and crying out my inner weakness and emotional turmoil on her shoulder, I felt calm and composed. The triumph of seeing my mom after so many months overshadowed the pain of heartbreak. I hugged Michelle and kissed her slippery cheeks before wishing her goodbye and came out of my apartment to hop onto my waiting taxicab.

****End of the Excerpt

Want to read the full story, download Free sample chapters of Love Me Baby

~MH

Romantic Short Stories: Locked Memories

Howdy Friends! It’s Monday and I’m here with yet another love flash from my hidden treasure of romantic short stories.

This week’s flash is about Love and Forgiveness. Hope you like it.

Title: Locked Memories

The alarm went off at four in the morning, and the doorbell rang.

I groped for my mobile phone on the bedside table and swiped the screen to switch off the alarm.

The deafening sound of the doorbell again penetrated my ears.

“Who could it be?”

I rolled over the bed, put my sleepers, and rose to my feet.

The doorbell rang again.

“Who the hell is this?” I muttered. The hall was dimly lit. A thin beam of light strained out through the cream shade of the night lamp. I staggered to my feet and made my way to the front door of the house and peeked into the eye hole.

It was dark in the porch.

“Who’s this?” I asked. My voice wobbled. I struggled to fight the sudden fear creeping around me.

No answer.

Panic pooled into my gut as I debated with my mind whether to open the door or not.

Instead of fully releasing the door, I used the door chain and peeked out. A whiff of wet soil entered my nostrils. Raindrops pattered on the tin roofing of the dimly lit porch.

Romantic Short Stories: Locked Memories, www.mariyamhasnain.comNothing was visible in the dim light that came from the street lamp except a shadow. A man stood at the entrance, a cowboy hat on his head. He wore an overcoat.

“Who’s this?” I mustered the courage to ask again though couldn’t control the shakiness of my voice.

“It’s me.” A deep husky voice broke the stillness of the rainy morning.

It sounded familiar. I perhaps heard it somewhere, some place. I didn’t know. I couldn’t recall.

Irritation drank all my fear and anxiety. My voice hardened. Angrily, I asked, “Me who? Do you have a name?”

And the shadow walked in front of me. He stood across from me, behind the safety chain.

A bright white light enveloped the darkness as he lit the torch and pointed it towards his face.

“Shawn? Is it you?” Anger, apprehension, hatred all together cluttered my brain seizing my thinking power. My tongue couldn’t form a single word. I went mute, lifeless, a frozen mess of bone and flesh.

“Can you let me in?” His words hit my ears bringing me back to my senses.

“How could you? It’s been ten years.”

“I want you, Diana. I want my life back. I’ve repented a lot on my mistake.”

He kindled the feelings I once had for him. My hand roamed over the lock disengaging the safety chain and pushing the door wider for him.

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~MH

Romantic Short Stories: A Smile To Remember

Another Monday, another love short from my immense pool of short romantic stories.

This week’s short story is inspired from Nicholas Sparks’ famous novel which was also adapted into a movie – A Walk To Remember. Hope you like it.

Title: A Smile To Remember

Her love was like a rose—fragrant and soft.

She was a geek. No fashion sense, no girlie stuff. I sometimes hated her lack of social skills. Even though we studied together since kindergarten, I never cared for her. She tried to talk, but I never got involved even in the small talks she started during our bus rides to school.

It was during the Spring Festival when we came close. We were preparing for the festival, and me and Zoobie were in the same team. I had to visit her house often to prepare for the skit we had to do during the spring fest.

Together, we practiced for the drama. She always wore a green-colored cardigan, to school, at home, and  wherever she went. I and my friends often ridiculed her dressing sense.

As days gone by, I realized I was spending my time more on things that didn’t make any sense. Like making fun of nerdy students whenever they walked past us, doing crazy stuff like betting who could ride the bike with hands up, all kinds of adventure stuff you know.

As I slowly got along with Zoobie, I found out she was the one I always wanted to be with. Calm and composed. She had a positive outlook towards everything.
According to her, everything was possible. Be it getting good grades in
the exams or getting selected in a medical school.

We hung out together, and; I fell in love with her. I still remember the way she blushed when I expressed my love to her. Her  cheeks flushed red with the most vibrant color of pink when she said she loved me too.

We finished school, and I went abroad to study Medicine, leaving Zoobie alone. I never wanted to leave her but couldn’t  gather the courage to say no to my dad—who had Hitler’s genes in his DNA. Just kidding 🙂

I and Zoobie exchanged letters for one year, and  then her letters stopped coming. I called her, and she told me she wanted to go with the wind. She wanted to be free. Free from a long-distanced relationship. Free from me. She wanted to call it quits.

I couldn’t bear the pain of heartbreak and failed my final semester exams. As a result, my Dad summoned me an ultimatum that if I ever wanted to return home, I should have my medical degree with me. I pictured my mom’s helplessness, her dewy eyes when she wished me a goodbye on the airport. I devoted myself to studies.

Though I lost all charms of life after Zoobie dumped me, I loved my mother. I completed the program and returned home after five years with a degree. A piece of paper my father could show to his filthily rich friends.

***

Romantic Short Stories: A Smile To Remember, www.mariyamhasnain.comAs soon as I reached my town, old reminiscences flooded my mind.
Everything reminded me of her. The narrow trails, the vast fields, the
rain, the rainbow sneaking behind the sun.

I reached home. My mom was happy and so was I, but at some corner of my heart, I missed Zoobie.  I missed her fragrant smile, her touch, her lips. I just missed everything about her.

“How’s Zoobie Mom. Is she still here? I mean, has she married.” I stammered as I acted casual on the dinner table.

I saw tears forming in my mom’s eyes. My dad left the table, his food untouched. I couldn’t understand.

“What’s wrong with you guys? Is everything fine.” Apprehension, panic, anxiousness cluttered my brain.

I looked at my mom.

“What’s the matter, mom?”

“She left us.”

“Left us?”

“I’m sorry. We couldn’t tell you about this.”

“About what?”I ran out of my plush residence and sprinted in the direction of Zoobie’s house.

Her house looked the same as before, but there was an emptiness in the
surrounding. The vibrancy, the warmth I used to feel when I visited her house before was missing.

I knocked the door and impatiently waited for the response.

Her father opened the door.

“Oh, Mr. Ahmari. How can I help you?”

“Is Zoobie home?” I asked.

The same expression of grief on his face, but the dew of Mr. Shersi’s eyes was even more prominent than what I saw in my mom’s eyes. He left the door open, turned his back to me, and trudged inside the house.

I entered the house. My eyes darted around. I wanted to see her. See her
smiling at me. The smile that used to be my strength, smile I missed the
most during my stay in London.

“I’m really sorry Sir, but I really want to meet her. Is she there?” I impatiently requested him.

“I understand, but this isn’t her home any longer.”

“Oh. She’s got married. Can I get her number or address? I want to congratulate her. It’s quite a time.”

“Yeah, quite a time. Four years since she left us for her heavenly abode.”

“What?” Someone sucked all blood out of me. “How? I mean what happened to her?”

“She  died of cancer, a peculiar type that didn’t cause any symptoms only mild fevers on and off. I got to know about the disease when the blood investigations came positive for leukemia.”

My feet froze to the ground. Within a fraction of a second, my whole body wilted. I couldn’t stand and drop down on the foray chair.

“That’s why she broke my heart. Oh, God. I couldn’t understand her love.”

****

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Want to download some free romantic short stories – Click Here.

~MH

Romantic Short Stories, Week #6, The Road to Salvation

A big Hi! to all my awesome readers. I hope you had a blast over the weekend, and here comes another Monday. Jump start the week with this beautiful love story of lost mates from my immense pool of romantic short stories.

There’s a subtle touch of paranormal in this love short.

Remember Twilight?

This is the first time I’ve written something that’s beyond this world. I hope you like reading this as much as I liked writing.

Week #6

Title: The Road to Salvation

The forest reeked of wet grass and vegetation. Trees swayed in the gusty wind. Norma ran through the woods. She didn’t understand what made her run. All she could remember that she was asleep in her room. And then all of a sudden, someone carried her on his shoulder and laid her on the wet grass.

When she opened her eyes, she found herself gazing at the moonlit sky. She felt frail, each bone of her body asking refuge, pestering her to lie down. The coldness of the dewy grass made her shiver. The wind blew hard. She felt like as if her body was slowly transforming into rock ice, her feet freezing. She pushed herself to a sitting position. Her eyes darted around, early morning sun rays seeping in through the dense foliage.

She stood up and ran until she noticed a lake. The stream glistened under the golden sun. On the edge, there was a boy, with his back to her, teetering on the rough edge of the river like a pendulum swinging freely from a fixed point.

“Hey! Careful lest you’d fall.” A barely audible whisper escaped Norma’s throat.

The boy turned around. A frail smile swam on his dry lips. As Norma neared him, she noticed the boy’s pale skin sparkle with thousands of stars.

“Aren’t you afraid of falling into the freezing water and dying or that was your idea of having water fun?”

“Living without you is like death.”

“What?”

“You don’t remember anything, do you?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m not apart from you. We’re bound together.”

“Don’t trick me. I know there are bullies, on loose, tricking girls to fall prey, but I’m not going to give you a chance.”

She turned around and what’s that – the boy was standing in front of her. She turned around to face the river and again saw the same form.

She couldn’t work out whether it was a mere delusion or reality.

Vague images floated around her head. Voices, she often heard in her dreams, echoed in her ears. Her head ached with the most traumatic kind of pain. She felt herself transitioning back into the past.

Romantic Short Stories, Week #6, The Road to Salvation, www.mariyamhasnain.com“No matter how many bodies your soul inhabits, it will yearn for its mate. You’ll keep on reincarnating until you’re united with me. The path to salvation goes through several cycles of birth and rebirth until the soul achieves its pure self. You’ll never be free from the sufferings neither do I until our souls achieve their goals.”

Norma’s headache subsided. Faint memories flooded her mind, memories of her previous life.

“I can’t bear this pain anymore.” Her eyes glistened as she recalled the traumatic end of their relationship. They had to pay the price of being in love within the same clan. A sin, regarded as incest by the community.

The lightning struck the couple as they united. The whirlwind carried the twin souls to their ultimate abode, leading to the state of being free.

*****End*****

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~MH

Romantic Short Stories, Week #5, It’s Never Too Late

A big Hi to all romance lovers out there. It’s Monday again folks but keep the blues away. Feel romantic, feel inspired with yet another flash from a pool of short romantic stories.

Today’s flash is all about love, loss, and hope.

Week #5

Title: It’s Never Too Late

She would sit on the bench at the bus stop. The same stop from where I used to catch my bus to my workplace, a computer hardware repair shop.

Gracefully dressed in a flowery dress, with her burgundy-dyed hair tied in a neat bun, an umbrella in one hand and a book in other, was she waiting for the bus?

No. I could say that because I had observed her one whole day.

It was Sunday evening. I visited the bus stop out of curiosity, to see if she was there or not. And she was there.

People came and went, but she didn’t go anywhere, just kept on sitting there.

The sun played hide-and-seek with the clouds, and a few moments later it started raining heavily. I couldn’t see her umbrella. Perhaps she forgot to bring it that day, but luckily, I had mine.

Crossing the road, I reached the bench. She smiled at me.

“Hello, miss.” I sat next to her, covering both of us under my umbrella.

“Radha. You can call me by my name.”

I hesitated to call her by name.

“Oh. Don’t mind. This is the problem with this young generation. I have a niece of your age, and she calls me by my name.”

“Oh, okay, Radha. So, how are you?”

“I’m fine, young boy. Can’t you see—healthy like a horse.” A toothless grin wrinkled the corners of her eyes.

“Where do you live?” short romantic stories, www.mariyamhasnain.comI asked, looking at her while she drifted her stare from my face to the rain-swept road. Water droplets played pitter-patter on the flimsy tin roofing of the bus stop as the evening crowd thinned and people ran to shelters.

“Just a couple of blocks away, down the road.” She gestured towards the left side.

“Great. I see you here every day. You aren’t planning to go somewhere, are you? I probably can help you. I have a bus timetable handy, on my mobile phone. Do you mind sharing with me where you want to go, and I can tell you which number bus goes to which place.”

“Oh, son, I’m waiting for someone.”

“Waiting for someone? Who, and how long are you going to wait?” I asked, looking at the almost deserted road.

“Till the sun goes down. He promised me he’ll come with the moon.”

“Come with the moon?” I couldn’t understand, and shot another question. “Do you wait here every day?”

“Yeah.”

The comforting tone of her voice piqued my curiosity.

“How long have you been waiting?”

“For the past forty years.” She cleared her throat.

I couldn’t ask anything else. We sat there for a while in silence, gazing at the wet road.

The rain subsided. I requested for the old woman to keep my umbrella, and promised her that I would take it back the next day.

On my way home, inconspicuous thoughts about the old woman and the person she was waiting for clustered my mind.

“Excuse me.”

I heard a male voice, footsteps approaching. I turned around and noticed an old man walking in my direction. He stopped at a hand’s distance from me.

Head covered in a leather flat cap, wearing a raincoat, he smiled, looking at me.

“Hello! Young man. Can I walk with you a couple of steps?”

“Oh yeah. Sure, of course.”

For a moment, I hesitated, but then started walking along with him.

After talking about inconsequential things like where I live, and what I do, he asked, “So, what did Radha tell you?”

“You know her?” A thousand volts of electric current hit me like a thunderbolt.

“Yeah. I used to love her. In fact, I still love her.”

“Oh, so she was waiting for you?”

“No.”

“Then?”

“She was waiting for my brother, whom she loved, but he cheated on her, and married another woman, rich and spoiled, who later cheated on him. They divorced after a few years of their marriage. He regretted cheating on Radha, and couldn’t muster the courage to face her. He couldn’t face the reality of life, and killed himself by overdosing on his antidepressants a couple of years after his divorce. The coward.”

“And you?” I smirked.

He inhaled a deep breath and blew out slowly. “A coward too. I could never express my feelings to her, just kept on seeing her from afar.”

“Cowards never confess their weaknesses to others. Perhaps you waited for the right time. Perhaps now is the time.”

“Yes, you’re right. It’s never too late.”

And with that, he turned back and left the street. I stood there, smiling, hearing his thumping steps of triumph.

~End~

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Don’t Break My Heart – Episode 19

I stepped aside, and he came in.

“What were you doing?” he asked staring at the opened notebook and uncapped ball pen on my study desk.

“I’ve got stuck in this statistical problem…trying to solve it for the past half an hour I believe.” Looking at the wall clock, I slid down in my chair.

“Let me have a look, I am pretty good at statistics…”

A subtle waft of his cologne made it hard for me to concentrate on the problem as he stood behind and leaned over me to look down, into my notebook.

“Hey…I think the problem is here…You’ve miscalculated in this step.” He quickly figured out the error.

“Oh…thanks…” A shaky voice escaped my throat as I tried to strike out the wrongly done step and made a correction.

He was still leaning over me. “God…what he is up to? Why is he not standing upright?” It was hard for me to breathe normally as his warm breath was constantly stroking my neck.

Seemingly, he was in no hurry of leaving me. I sat still trying to anticipate what would be his next move.

“I really like you Ruchi.” More to my breathlessness, he came even closer and whispered against my ear as his lips brushed my right earlobe.

A thousands volts of electric current ran through my blood hearing something that I longed for. The husk of his voice brought a surge of adrenaline, and I lost control on my body.

His lips roamed over my cheek planting a kiss there, and I turned my face to look at him.

“Rajeev,” I called his name, but it came out as a slow whisper as I enjoyed every bit of his touch.

His brown eyes looked straight into mine, and I felt like succumbing to his masculine wealth. He came nearer and pressed his lips against mine. Even though it was a lingering kiss, it couldn’t satiate my intense desires to sup more and more of him.

We pulled back after an electrifying smooch. I dropped my eyelids to face my lap. He knelt down and lifted up my chin. His hand slipped to the nape of my neck, and he pulled me close to possess my lips. His tongue explored my mouth, and I threw my arms around him to caress the fades at the back of his neck. Swinging in pool of desires, I couldn’t stop myself kissing him back.

We stood up, kissing each other passionately, and when we pulled back, a brief smile played on our lips. He took my hand and led me to the bed. Our fingers intertwined as we sat at the edge of the bed looking deep into each other’s eyes.

As he caressed my cheeks, tucking back those lose strands of hair behind my ears, panic pooled inside my gut. I realized he wanted more from me. Within a friction of second, something hit me inside, and I withdrew my hands. I stood up at once to reach the window. He came from behind and snaked his arms around my waist, resting his head on my shoulder. As he nestled his face into my hair, trying to pull me back into his arms, I abruptly pushed him away.

Freeing myself from his strong grip, I ran down the living room. I was standing in the center of the room when I felt his touch on my waist. He led me to the couch and entangled his hands in mine. I avoided his stare and preferred to look at my lap.

“What happened Ruchi?” he asked.

“I am sorry Rajeev.”

“Sorry for what? You haven’t done anything wrong baby.”

“I mean I can’t do this.”

He didn’t say anything and just stared at me for a few moments.

“It’s okay baby…You don’t need to push yourself for anything that you don’t want…We can wait until you’re ready. Happy now.” He tried to peek into my eyes.

I knew what I had to say…I pursed my lips as it was hard for me to see Rajeev going out of my life.

“I don’t think I would be ready any time in the near future.”

Confusion crawled over his face as he tried to explore my mental state.

“What’s the problem sweetie…Don’t you like me the way I do.”

“I do like you Rajeev. In fact, you’re the one who I always wanted to be with.”

“Then…what’s stopping you baby?” He looked concerned.

“I know it’s not such a big deal these days to sleep with anybody, but I really can’t do this as I have certain values and principles in my life. I really don’t want to mess with them. I want this to happen only when I feel for it. I want to wait till my wedding night.” I opened my heart in front of him. Though it was hard for me to see him walking out of my life, but I had to express that I still believed in the institution of marriage and that I couldn’t go beyond certain limits of physical intimacy.

To Be Continued…

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Don’t Break My Heart – Episode 18

I met Shikha the next day at Forum. She greeted me with a big hug, and we straightaway headed to the elevator. As we devoured the spicy Andhra meal sitting in the food court of the shopping mall, Shikha grabbed my attention.

“Jay really likes you dear…”

“What…I can’t believe this…I’ve met him only once,” I said.

“I know…but he’s kind of shy to tell you that he wants to take you out, so he asked me to convey his message to you…”

“Oh…” my words trailed as I was stunned seeing Jay coming over and sitting just next to me. Shikha greeted him with a large smile.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that I’ve called Jay also…” she said.

I gulped a mouthful of chilled buttermilk to wash down the tangy mixture of sambhar rice into my stomach.

“Hello Ruchika…How are you doing?” asked Jay.

“Yeah…I am doing fine…how about you?” I asked.
“Great…” he said.

“Well Ruchika…I was wondering if you want to go out with me…”

Delighted by the way he asked me, I said, “Sure Jay.”

“That’s pretty awesome…How about this Friday?”

“Cool…” I said.

“Ok then…I will pick you up from your place in the evening.”

“Sure…”

“Fine…so I think I should push off now leaving you in the company of a talking machine,” he said looking at Shikha. A mischievous smile played on his face as he teased Shikha and compared her to some kind of a talking robot.

“Hey…you…” Shikha stood up to slap his arm just when he slipped away from his chair and jumped to reach the exit. He waved at us exiting the food court and soon vanished in the crowd of shoppers.

After lunch as we walked through the interconnecting walkways of the shopping arcade, Shikha asked me something that instantly made me blush.

“So…what’s going on with this Rajeev guy?” she asked.

Hearing his name I just couldn’t stop myself smiling.

“I really like him Shikha. He has dropped in at my place a couple of times just to do homework and to finish the pending assignments.”

“So, nothing serious between you two…” she inquired again.
“Unfortunately not…I think he likes Ankita, the red head tequila beauty in our microeconomic class.” I replied wiping the smile off my face that was just not ready to go after Shikha initiated the topic of Rajeev.

“It looks like you’ve developed feelings for him, aren’t you thinking about him day and night…are you?” she tried to peek into my eyes.

“I don’t know what you are talking about…” I said dropping my eyelids to gaze at the frills of tiny light bulbs hanging down the artificial palm trees that were planted in giant pots just at the center of the ground floor where a musical event was going, and a guy was beautifully playing a ballad of old and new Hindi songs on his guitar.

As I stood next to the railing of the third floor of the shopping center to enjoy the musical evening, Shikha tapped my shoulder.

“Jay is a wonderful person dear, and you two make an awesome pair,” she said.

“Wait a minute…why do you advocate the idea of me and Jay becoming a couple. I know he is a good guy, and I admit that he would make a caring and loving boyfriend, but I can see him only as a friend….”

“And Rajeev….” She looked straight into my eyes…

I couldn’t utter a word. In fact, I didn’t want to discuss the subject who was better than whom and who was winning the race of becoming my boyfriend – Jay who according to Shikha really liked me or Rajeev who I liked but didn’t know whether he also had the same feelings for me or I was mere one of those several girls who drooled over him.

“I really care about you and I don’t want you to fall for someone who doesn’t deserve you. Jay is really a great guy because I know him for a pretty long time, but I can’t say the same for Rajeev.” She justified her statements.

“Rajeev is a great guy too, and I don’t hesitate admitting that I’ve feelings for him.” I felt slight annoyed upon Shikha’s unreasonable words for Rajeev.

“It’s okay sweetie…Let’s forget about the guys and have some fun…There’s a sale going on at Westside, and I wanna buy some crop tops…” she grabbed my arm and shuffled me down the elevator.

“Crop Tops?”

“Yeah…the ones that end just above your navel flaunting a little of your back and midriff,” she explained with a smirk on her face.

“Oh…okay…” I said as we entered the giant showroom of the luxurious garment shop.

***

It was a sunny Thursday morning, and I was busy solving an equation in my statistics notebook just when I heard a knock on the door.

I ignored the gentle tap and kept myself focused on the problem. My reason for not bothering about to answer the door was that many a times in the past I’d answered the door for my roommates when they were away. It’s really irritating to greet the strangers and pass on the messages.

The knocking didn’t stop, but I was adamant of not becoming a messenger for my roommates, at least not at that moment when I wanted my entire concentration on solving the problem.

I felt relieved when the tapping stopped for a while but the next moment a jittery sensation shivered my whole body when a hard knock pounded my bedroom door.

Dia and Tina were away since morning, and there was no one home except me. Getting up from my chair, I walked up to the door with shaky steps. My legs were giving away because of sudden panic that whirled around me imagining the unexpected.

“What if it is a burglar or a rapist….what should I do? I tried to locate my cell phone to dial 100 just when a familiar voice brought me back to senses.

“Ruchi…Are you there? It’s me Rajeev?”

Relief, exhilaration, and annoyance rushed through me as I pressed down the door knob to unlock the door. The wooden door opened with a slight creek and I found him standing there, clad in khaki casual trousers and a polo neck navy blue T-shirt.

“You really scare me sometimes…How did you get in? Wasn’t the front door locked?” I asked so many questions in a single breath.

“Chill…babes…I came to visit you. The doorbell was not working, so I tapped the door but nobody answered. And, when I noticed that it was not locked, I came in hoping that you must be in your bedroom. Now, do I have a privilege to intrude into your privacy? Can you let me in?” He asked with a requesting glint in his brown eyes.

Don’t Break My Heart – Episode 17

The next day at school, I was hoping I would see him but he was nowhere around the campus, he didn’t call me either, and we didn’t have any classes together, so I just missed him whole day.

It was weekend, and except his enamoring thoughts in my brain, I couldn’t hear anything from him, neither had he showed up at school nor visited my apartment throughout the whole week. By now, my mind started convincing me that he was just a player, and I had better works to do rather than just thinking about him all the time, so I glued myself to my books and assignments and by Monday I was all set to delve back into my studies.

It was the day of our microeconomics lecture and when I entered the class I saw Rajeev sitting in one of the middle rows busy with his notebook when his glamorous girlfriend sunk into a chair next to his.

Though I knew he was not my boyfriend, I felt possessive and struggled hard to hide the jealousy that engulfed me upon seeing him with the girl.

Ignoring their presence, I located an empty spot in the back row and settled down there. My eyes roamed through the class to find Shikha, but she was not there. I needed her at this moment to confide the sudden turbulence that had disturbed the calmness of my mind.

When my eyes struck at the couple, I mean, Rajeev and his sexy female friend, I found him glancing at me and when our gaze met, he gave me a friendly smile.

His golden smile brought me back to senses, and I felt a bit better. Exchanging the gesture, I got myself busy in pulling out my notebook and listening to the lecture.

Ms. Thimmaih’s lecture sounded as if several bees were humming in the classroom. As she kept on droning, my mind started weaving threads of the story of Rajeev and his girlfriend. They must have spent the entire weekend together, in each other arms, kissing and laughing. When I pictured them together, my thoughts suddenly shifted from their love story to mine.

Rajeev didn’t call me once. How could he do this to me? Why did he kiss me that night? Was it just his usual gesture whenever he would drop any girl home after a date or did he mean anything by kissing me so passionately in the darkening night. He might have kissed several women and even slept with them. It’s not a big deal for him to kiss me and say good night. It’s me, a small-town middle class girl who didn’t know the etiquette of modern-age society.

“Why did I allow him to even touch me?” I struggled with a huge cluster of contradictory thoughts one after another just when the clamor of the crowd marked that the teacher had gone and the class was over. I instantly stuffed my things into the backpack and hurried out of the classroom without even facing him.

**
Shikha called me in the evening.

“Hey…How are you? I asked.

“I’m fine now…got some sore throat so couldn’t attend the morning lecture today.” She said and continued…

“Sweetie I was just wondering if we can meet up at Forum Mall tomorrow…will have some lunch, then some shopping, and then some girlie gossip…I need to tell you something that I can’t tell you on phone…and yes don’t forget to bring the Econ notes that I missed today…I would get them Xeroxed,” she giggled on the phone, and the carefree sound of her laughter eased up my anxiousness that was intermittently biting me since I’d made up my mind that I would give up on Rajeev and would push him out of my head.

I readily accepted Shikha’s proposal as it was always fun to be with her. Bursting with laughter, she was a bundle of positive energy. I really admired her for her laid back carefree attitude, not bothering much about things that were not under her control and accepting life as it came.

“Sure dear…I would love to…My morning classes get over by 12, would buzz you once I reach there.” I said.

“That’s great…see you then tomorrow,” she said, and disconnected the call.

Tina and Diya were out, so the house was comparatively quieter and seemed perfect for a long study session. Putting my cell phone on silent, I picked up my marketing textbook and started revising the chapters.

I was almost done with the first chapter when a subtle knock on the main door of the house broke the quietness of the evening.

I ignored it and gazed outside the window, sitting on my study chair. The sun was about to set and the fragrant drizzly breeze was straining in through the nylon nets of the window. I gazed at the golden lining in the sky and the widespread reflection of slowly constricting sun rays beaming on the high rises of the residential layout.

I felt happy that I’d got a chance to study in one of the most beautiful cities of India. City of Bangalore had so much to offer to its visitors, pleasant weather, overwhelming crowd, buzzing streets, and full of life city center. While the downtown best suited to social animals, the uptown was for people like me, who wished to enjoy their solitude exploring the beauties of nature.

Again, the tap on the door, this time pretty hard, compelled me to rise from the chair. Still fascinated by the beauties of the Southern uptown, I descended down the staircase and headed to the main door.

And when I opened the door, I was jolted upon seeing Rajeev at the doorway.

“Hey Ruchi…” he greeted me with the same killing smile, but this time I was just not ready to dissolve in his charms.

“What are you doing here?” I asked him with my mouth open and my eyes wide.

“I thought you’d be happy seeing me here….” His smile vanished observing a perplexed look on my face.

“I really don’t understand this…” I said.

“What Ruchi…” he asked, a coy look on his face

“Should I ask him how he got the courage to face me after kissing me that night and then flirting with Ankita, his mascara-eyed girlfriend or should I tell him what I feel for him and what happened within me when he pressed his lips against mine.” I asked to my inner self.

“I think I should let it go and treat him as a friend, after all we get to study in the same class, not all the time, but I have to face him at least twice a week during our microeconomics class on Mondays and Fridays.” My inner voice guided me and I somehow managed to plaster a faint smile on my face.

“Nothing…,” I said.

“Fine then…Have you finished your assignments?” he asked.

“Not yet…” I said.

“Great then…. Would you like to do it with me?”

“I think I can let him in, not as a boyfriend but as a friend and help him doing the assignments.” I felt apprehensive and listened to my inner voice.

“Yeah…sure…you can come in…” I said.

He landed on the couch and started taking out his notebooks from his backpack…

“I’ll just get my notebook.” I said and rushed to my bedroom.

When I was gathering my study material, Rajeev voice streamed up into my bedroom. He might have got a call. Thinking it could be Ankita, I again felt jealous but followed my brain’s directions of shrugging off any thoughts of possessiveness that lanced through me at that very moment.

Holding everything in my hands, I steadily walked down to the living room thinking that he might be busy talking on the phone.

Happiness spread across my face when he stepped up the stairs and took everything from my hands into his.

“So thoughtful of him…” I murmured under breath.

He then turned back and unloaded the study material on the coffee table. I followed him to the couch and sat beside him.

We started fixing up the problems after going through the chapters and the notes just when his cell phone blinked. He got an SMS.

Reading the message, his face turned pale and stiff…

“I need to go Ruchi…There’s something came up very urgent,” he looked at me.

“It’s okay…” Though disappointed, I tried to hide the sadness that loomed out of the euphoria that had engulfed me as I sat next to him.

Grabbing all of his things, he rushed to the main door. I hoped that he might try to kiss me but to my utter dismay, he didn’t look back, not even once, and hurried down.

To Be Continued…

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Don’t Break My Heart – Episode 16

“Tell me something about yourself Ruchi…” He focused his attention back to me after asking the waiter to bring him some wine.

“There is nothing interesting about me…”
“Tell me that is uninteresting,” he again questioned me about my whereabouts.

“Well…I am from Raebareilly in UP…My mom died when I was too young and was raised up by my father, and after his death, I am all alone living in a city where everyone is friendly yet a stranger to me…”

“You don’t have any siblings or uncle or aunt…” he asked.

A gush of loneliness swept through me, and I had to struggle hard to swallow the sudden knot formed in my throat.

“No…as far as I remember I don’t have anyone…” I wiped the corners of my eyes to restrict the flow of tears.

“That’s really something I’ve never seen in a woman. You are all on your own. It’s really hard these days to get yourself educated keeping up with your expenses. How do you manage? I mean are you working somewhere, part time.”

A feeling of pride allured my senses when he praised me on my achievements. I felt more confident in front of him and didn’t mind opening up a bit more.

“My Dad left his life insurance policy for me…I’ve that money to get myself educated until I can stand on my own feet – get a job and become independent.”

“Oh…that’ pretty awesome…All the best Ruchi for your future endeavors.” He smiled pouring the wine down the pitcher into the glasses. He offered me a toast.

“No thanks…”

“Oh…don’t you drink?”

“No…”

“May I know the reason…,” he asked

“My mother was killed by a drunken driver. My Dad quit drinking after that, and I’ve inherited that habit from my Dad as a legacy.”

“My apologies…So Ruchi don’t you’ve bad vibes about people who drink…” he asked me with a concerned look in his eyes.

“Well…I’ve never thought about it, but I think it’s okay if someone drinks in moderation. I really get upset when someone consumes beyond limits and loses control.”

The waiter spread the steaming dinner on the white clothed table and served the food. We began indulging on the famous delicacies of Coconut Grove. He looked like a child, who was given his favorite food, as he devoured the meal, and I noticed he hardly touched his wine.

“So…what do you do…you said you work somewhere?” I hesitantly asked the question that was bothering me for quite a few days.

“I work in an old cars shop…I work there as an auto mechanic. It’s just a part-time job, and I don’t look it as a career option,” he said.

When we’re done with the dinner, Rajeev led me to the nearby ice cream joint, and we enjoyed a cone full of strawberries and pineapple slices mixed with dollops of frozen whipped cream.

“I really had a nice time today,” I said as we walked up to the parking area. The streets were getting empty as the wet monsoons started to sizzle the endearing night.

We ran to our parked car and hopped onto our seats. He pulled the car away from the parking area and it zoomed back on the wet roads of the city.

We hardly talked during the drive back home. The only thing that was constantly trying to break the silence of the night was the noise of the glass wipers moving up and down on the front window wiping the tiny drizzles of rain with the faint sound of Aashiqui 2 song track playing in the background.

The drive from Brigade Road to BTM was a quick ride, and I reached my apartment much before I expected.

It was quite dark as the street light next to the apartment might get damaged due to heavy spells of rain last night. He walked with me till the main gate of the commune.

I looked at him to say that I’d really enjoyed the evening and so on, but couldn’t utter a word and just stared at him standing there still.

“I really loved spending time with you Ruchi…I hope we’d make some more plans like this in the future.”

“Thank you…I also enjoyed.” I wasn’t sure what rule of dating should I follow, so I just waited for him to take the charge of the situation.

He stepped closer and stood just in front of me. His black creased linen shirt touched the fabric of my cotton kurta, and I felt his warm breath on my face. His eyes looked straight into mine and I leaned towards him. He burrowed his fingers in my hair and caged my face in his hands. My head tilted to one side, and I snaked my arms around his waist. As my hands roamed over his back, he softly pulled me to him. Sparks flew as our lips met. A whirlpool of feelings hit me deep inside; feelings that I’d never known that were strange yet beautiful.

Our lips played together and after too little time he pulled away, his hands still in my hair, and my gaze on him. He smiled before freeing me up. “I think I should leave now.”

I wanted him to stay with me the night.

“See you at school Ruchi…Take care…” he waved.

“Bye…Rajeev.”

Still fascinated by the brief sensual encounter I had with him, I saw him walk up to his car. He pulled the vehicle against the curb and took the last turn at the dark end of the solitary street.

Coming back to my flat, I slowly walked up to my bedroom and closed the door from inside. I touched my lips and relived the moments when he tangled his hands into my hair and pulled me close to suck my lips.

Even though I instinctively assumed that he was playing with me, I couldn’t stop myself falling for him.

To Be Continued…

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Dont’ Break My Heart – Episode 14

Restraining myself from looking at him with a pool of desires in my eyes, I asked, “What have you done so far?”

“Nothing,” he laughed, “I was thinking if you can help me out explaining the chapters first.”

“Have you even read the chapters or are you thinking I will do the questions for you,” I asked as we sat on the sagged leather couch of the living room, courtesy our landlord.

Though I behaved strongly in front of him but at some corner of my heart jealousy played stronger than the euphoria I felt upon seeing him at my door. I was a bit annoyed that he ignored me during the class and now seeking my help to finish the pending class work.

“What do you think about me?” he smiled, “I thought we can have a nice time together while studying.”

I felt on top of the world realizing that he wanted to spend time with me. Delighted by his unpredictable attention, I couldn’t figure out how to behave or what to say. I was new to the territory of flirting and didn’t want to behave like a naïve in front of him.

“I’ll just come.” Rising up from the couch, I rushed to my bedroom. I closed the door of my bedroom and almost jumped to look at myself in the mirror, skipping several step between the door and the in-built mirror of the wall closet.

Glancing at my reflection in the mirror, I took a deep breath as the comb ran through the waves of my brown-colored long hair.

“He’s interested in you Ruchika…Just try to be calm and relaxed.” I murmured to myself.

Looking at me one final time, I came out of my bedroom and walked downstairs.

“Is everything fine?” he asked. I could notice his opened notebook on the coffee table with a sheet of questions lying next to it, and he was ready with a pen in his right hand.

“Yeah…and I think you’re ready to study.”

He smiled smugly, “Yes Ms. Sharma, your student is all set to work.”

I actually liked the way he teased me but preferred to just smile instead of responding idiotically as I always would whenever he was around.

“So…what have you read…I mean have you started reading any of the chapters?” I asked as I opened up my Econ textbook.

“Actually…I haven’t started reading any of the chapters. I thought of finding the answers of the questions as I need them.” He read the first question on the question sheet and then looked at the textbook to find out the corresponding answer. “See it’s here.”

“Fine…” I said and watched him write down the answer in his notebook.

“So…what are you specializing in?” he lifted his eyes from his notebook and looked at me.

“Sales and Marketing…If everything goes right with respect to grades and assessments, I hope I would get my degree in the next 2 years.” I said.

“That’s great…How old are you?” he asked.

“Twenty four and half,” I said, “I’d been working for a while after my graduation so it took some time to join the course.”

“Well…hats off to you that you have the courage to resume your studies after a gap of…..” his words trailed as he bent down to look again in the question sheet.

“2 years…My Dad was ill, so I had to discontinue my studies and job to look after him. He passed last winter.” I completed his sentence.

A brief moment of pause seemed like a lingering silence and took me down the memory lane, my father’s image glimpsed in my eyes and a drop of tear hovering over my eyelid rolled down my cheek.

He took my hands into his. The warmth of his hands on mine soothed my wounded soul, and I felt like crying out my inner weakness in front of him, but the next moment his buzzing cell phone broke the stillness of the rainy afternoon.

He avoided the call and put the mobile on silent.

“I can understand what you’re going through. Loss of a loved one is unforgettable though the pain slowly subsides with time.” He said looking in my eyes, his hands still on mine.

“It’s okay…I’m fine now…coping up with my studies, trying to keep my pain and sufferings away.” I said, slowly sliding my right hand out to tuck a stray hair behind my ear.

He withdrew his other hand and straightened his back against the couch. “Aren’t you doing your homework?”

“I’ve already done it.” I said trying to force a smile. I realized he was trying to pilot the conversation away from my Dad’s demise to something that was lighthearted and funny.

“Oh…aren’t you the most organized one. I really admire that in a woman.”

His brown eyes bore into mine. The brightness of his eyes was sharp making my heart flutter. It started beating faster and faster. Happiness started to replace the sadness with each passing second, and slowly all grief was gone and what left was pure bliss. I helped him finish his assignments and didn’t even realize when an hour passed by. He closed his notebooks and stuffed his things in his backpack.

“Do you want to have something…its lunch time almost?” He looked at his broad-dialed silver bracelet wristwatch.

I thought about his offer. I’d really loved spending the afternoon with him, and the truth was that I’d never wanted him to leave but I’d other things to do, I’d some homework in other subjects and didn’t want to get distracted by his attention. Not only this, I also didn’t want to appear so eager to be with him that I would accept his spur of the moment invitation.

“Thanks for inviting me, but I’m a bit occupied today.” I said.

“Not a problem,” he said, “see you then…”

I saw him till the main gate of the commune and waved at him as he kick started his bike. Rain started to pour over his white shirt and I felt regretful of not asking him to stay longer. I wanted him to stay with me by my side but then my inner voice took charge and guided me to do what my mind felt was right at that moment.

A prick of regret lanced through me as I saw him taking the last turn and vanishing from my sight. Suddenly, I felt so lonely.

“Is this because of him that I am feeling so aloof and alone?” I questioned myself and found that I was deeply attracted to a man with penetrating brown eyes. His eyes were hiding a lot of secrets and I was eager to know all of them.

To Be Continued…

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