Ankahee Chapter 15

Posted by Shabia Walia on

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Ankahee

Episode 15

It wasn't until much later that Ruhi realised the irony of the situation she was in. Her boss was in love with her, her boss who was married, her boss who she adored in her own way, her boss who was dynamic, intelligent and a gem of a person but he was still her boss. A married one.

She wondered if Randeep was genuinely in love with her or was it just he fulfilling his fantasy of being with a younger woman. Was she another conquest for him? As she nursed her drink, politely smiling at whoever passed by, her mind searched for answers.

As much as she tried telling herself that she was just a passing fancy for Randeep, her heart refused to acknowledge it. She had known Randeep too well for that. He had a squeaky clean reputation almost impossible to believe, but true. Women adored him and felt safe with him, including her. He had great respect for his wife and she had never seen him bitch about her or use her as a sympathy card like other men who are fishing for younger girls.

Yes he was married but he was lonely too, as she had gathered about him in the past few days. Why? Didn't his wife love him? Or he didn't love her?

As her mind and heart fought with each other, she could see Raichand wave out a hand to her calling her towards him. She tried to calm herself before walking to him. Randeep was chatting with him and she didn't want to give away to Raichand or Randeep how much of a storm was brewing inside her.

Randeep on his part seemed very relaxed and cool as a cucumber. In fact he looked happy. Was she the reason or had Raichand offered him a promotion?, she wondered.

‘Come here Ruhi. Why are you hiding in a corner? You two I must say, make an awesome team. I was telling Randeep he should involve you in our upcoming channel too. I need another success story from you both.’, Raichand beamed

Ruhi felt flattered. After all, Raichand was one of the biggest business magnets in the country. To be acknowledged and acclaimed was a dream come true for anyone in their industry.

‘I second you Sir, Ruhi is one of the best we have got., I couldn't do a second without her’. Randeep said very genuinely as he looked at her. She felt her heart do a somersault. Did he really mean it? Did he love her as much as he had whispered a few hours back?

She would have to wait till after the party as he had said. There was no point losing her peace till then. She might as well enjoy what was left of the party.

She found Anupriya and Suhail and some of her other colleagues and joined them. Everyone seemed in good spirits. Ruhi finally let herself go and started relaxing and enjoying. Every now and then she would catch Randeep’s glance towards her. She could feel his presence, his eyes on her even from a mile away.

Her body had reacted to his kiss in such a way that it had shocked her. Every part of her body had felt alive with Randeep’s touch. It was a kiss she would always remember no matter what their fate would be. And to be honest, she hadn't wanted it to end.

She was again surprised at her own admission. Was it love or just chemistry between the two of them?

Suhail tried rendering her an apology as Anupriya moved away. Ruhi acknowledged it and told Suhail to forget what happened the other night. In fact it was because of suhail, she had known what Randeep was feeling. Had Randeep not bumped into Suhail that night, would he have ever told her what he felt, she wondered.

She had not eaten and felt a bit dizzy now. As she got up to go and get herself something to eat, she lost her balance and was about to fall when she felt someone hold her. It was Suhail. Ruhi regained her composure thanking Suhail for the timely help but looked straight into Randeep’s gaze staring at her. But no, he didn't seem angry, in fact He looked concerned. She saw him whisper something to Raichand and soon he was headed her way.

What now? She told herself. Was he going to admonish her again or reprimand Suhail instead? She was nervous now.

But Randeep did no such thing. ‘Are you feeling ok? Look I have asked Raichand to let me drop you home as you aren’t feeling well. So if you want to get away and eat somewhere quiet, we could go right now.’, he explained.

Ruhi felt relieved to hear what Randeep said. She actually wanted to get away and out of her heels. ‘Yes I would love that’, she said honestly.

Randeep was glad she said yes. They said their goodbyes and they left.

In the car, they both were silent as Randeep drove.

‘Where do you want to go to eat’? He asked.

‘The same place you took me last time, the beach restaurant’. She offered.

He smiled at the choice. She loved the sea, he knew that and so did he.

The night was quiet and there was hardly any traffic. The car stopped at a signal and as the car stopped, he turned to look at her. She appeared lost in thought.

‘A penny for your thoughts?’, he offered.

She looked at him wondering if all this was a dream.

‘You sure Randeep it's just not attraction, an attraction you feel for your colleague or a person you share a better part of your day with’?, she asked him.

He knew she was bothered by the sudden turn of events. Her past wouldn't have allowed her to trust someone so easily. On top of it, he was married. It was complicated and he knew it.

‘Shall we just get the food packed and head to the beach for some serious conversation? I don't want you getting sick with so much worry. Relax, I will handle it all, I told you.’ On an instinct he bent forward and pecked her cheek as if offering her solace. Just then the signal turned green and he got back to driving.

They reached the restaurant quickly and after getting their food packed, headed to the beach.

Randeep showed off the little mat the restaurant guy gave them to sit. She showed a thumbs up sign to him for the sweet gesture.

As Randeep lay the mat and put the food on it, Ruhi looked at him. She had this irresistible urge to hug him and lay her head on his chest. She felt weak and vulnerable and confused and lost but she also wanted to enjoy this moment. Could she just hug him once without any guilt? What could be wrong with just one hug? She had been able to do it the last time. But that was last time. Everything had changed with his confession. She sighed.

And as if he read her mind, he stepped forward and pulled her into his arms. ‘That's about as much time I could stay away from you’, he confessed.

She lay her head on his chest. She could hear his heart beat loudly. As he caressed her back and kissed her forehead, she pecked his cheek and asked, ‘My head says step back but my heart refuses to listen to it’, she complained like a child.

‘I have been living with this war between my head and heart for the past 7 months Ruhi. Up till now I managed but I know it's a losing battle from now on.’ He barely finished his sentence. Their lips were locked in a kiss. This time it was deeper and electrifying. It was as if time had stood still. He wanted to have her all to himself and she wanted to yield in without thinking or bothering about anything else.

As they separated, she felt dizzy again and he kept holding her guilty now that he hadn't let her eat back at the party.

‘Come eat first. No one should collapse after a kiss’, he joked with her.

They sat down and ate in silence. Randeep said, ‘You know Ruhi every time you touch me, you heal me. It's not just attraction or love, it's medicine.

Ruhi smiled and asked gently, ‘But you are married Randeep. Why is that you have been devoid of touch for so long?’

‘Since the time I am married, to be precise’, he said matter of factly shocking her with that statement.

‘You mean to say you never….’, Ruhi tried to say.

‘No Ruhi.. Nimmi and I never consummated our marriage.’

Ruhi looked completely shocked and her face just couldn't hide it anymore.

‘You see Ruhi, Nimmi has a problem with any intimate touch. She was sexually abused by her uncle when she was eight.’

Ruhi’s hands flew to her mouth in disbelief. What pasts people live with and what baggage each one of us carries, she thought. And sometimes, someone who has nothing to do with your past has to share your baggage too. Randeep was one such person.

She looked away at the horizon. She was too shaken for words.

……to be continued.

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