Ankahee Chapter 22

Posted by Shabia Walia on

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Ankahee

Episode 22

True to his word, Randeep became unreachable for Ruhi. Either he stayed away from this office or even when he came for a few hours, he just kept himself immersed in his work.

He had told everyone in office that the head office needed him more now that they were launching a new channel and everyone believed that it was true, except of course Ruhi who knew why Randeep wasn’t seen so much.

She missed him like hell, missed working with him, their easy camaraderie, their friendship, his caring nature, his smiling face in office, she missed everything about him. But what could she do? She had asked for this and he had given her just that.

The office seemed cold without him and she herself seemed like she had lost her spark. Anupriya and Suhail both pointed this out to her.

‘You look pale nowadays Ruhi, you sure all ok with you?’, Suhail had genuinely asked her.

Ruhi had mumbled a ‘I am fine’. Suhail was a sweet guy and she really liked him. He even offered to take her out just to cheer her up but the thought of going out with anyone seemed like such a task. She however secretly thanked Suhail in her heart. Suhail was the reason Randeep had confessed his feelings to her. How much had changed since then!

Ruhi kept more and more to herself lest she give away what she was going through. It had been a week since she had seen Randeep, leave alone talking to him.

The lights went out in the cubicles one by one as people left for home.It was Friday and she rested her head against her chair. Anupriya and the gang were going for a movie and they all urged her to join them but Ruhi feigned a headache. Rather it was heartache, she told herself.

She was lost in her thoughts when she saw Randeep’s cabin lights coming on. She saw him looking tired and weary as he plonked himself in his chair. He looked dull and it was clear he hadn’t shaven or slept well. Was it work?

She debated with herself if she should just go and ask about his well being. But decided against it. If he was trying so hard to stay away from her, she might as well not make it more difficult for him.

She packed her bag and slowly walked towards the lift. Barely had she entered when she saw Randeep entering the lift too. The lift guard was off duty and it was just the two of them within the four walls of the lift.

Ruhi could feel her breath stop. Randeep showed no such emotion. He just looked ahead as if the elevator door was a work of Picasso.

It felt like eternity as the lift dragged down. Finally they hit the ground floor and Randeep was off without so much as a glance towards her.

Ruhi’s eyes tingled with fresh tears. She couldn’t bear his coldness. Atleast they could be friends. They could say a hi and exchange pleasantries, she thought.

She could barely see through her tears and walked out of the building, trying to wipe her face with the cuff of her shirt. As she got into a taxi and drove off, Randeep looked at her from the sidelines, his own heart pierced with pain. He couldn’t bear to see her cry. It had taken him a lot of resolve to not take her into his arms in the lift. His hand reminded him of the pain in his heart. It had started giving him trouble again. Funny, how all these days when he was with Ruhi, he had barely remembered the pain.

Janisha had already pointed out to Ruhi that she had been an absolute bitch to let Randeep go. Why did she care if he was married? He was answerable to his wife, not she.

Ruhi somehow managed to reach home without breaking down.

Once home, she didn’t know what to do with herself. She had no appetite for food and sleep evaded her.

She sat on her bed staring into space.

As she remembered Randeep sitting next to her on her bed hugging her a few days back, her phone rang.

Without thinking she picked up her phone and was surprised to hear Jaya’s voice. She was Randeep’s secretary.

Jaya informed Ruhi that she had forgotten to mention to her about the offsite Sunday onwards. They were all travelling to Mussourie for an offsite and apologised for not having told her earlier.

Ruhi tried to ask indirectly if she could skip it but she knew she couldn’t. It would make things too obvious and before she could ask, Jaya mentioned that the chairman would be there but she wasn’t so sure if Randeep would make it.

Ruhi casually said, ‘Oh Randeep must be busy’.

Jaya replied, ‘No no… He is taking his wife for a holiday to Maldives. I am so glad. He rarely ever takes a holiday, you know. Mrs. Kapadia is thrilled.’

And as she hung up the phone, Ruhi for the first time was jealous of Nimmi. Had Randeep gotten over her so fast or had her refusal actually forced him to work on his own marriage?

In both the scenarios, Ruhi realised that the loss was hers. And she was responsible for it. The tears flowing down her cheeks too seemed to agree with her.

At home Nimmi wondered why Randeep was so off colour these days. She waited in her bed sleepless, waiting for Randeep to come home.

Far away, Randeep sat alone on the beach. He had cooked up a story to avoid going to the offsite. He had promised he would stay away from Ruhi and he would do anything not to break that promise.

………..to be continued

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