Ankahee Chapter 3

Posted by Shabia Walia on

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Ankahee

Chapter 3

As the silence around them grew thicker, He remembered the first time he had met her. She had walked in to introduce herself to him, on her first day in office. In olive green pants and a sunny yellow top she had filled his office with happiness. The dull grey walls had never looked so appealing before. Not that he had noticed it then, her effect on everything she touched had dawned on him much later.

Hi Sir. I am Ruhi. I just…

'Joined in today', He cut her. She was smiling warmly… He returned the smile. There was something about her which made you smile.

He offered her a seat. She sat down. He joined her.

He asked her about her past work. She answered with a cheerful disposition. He noticed very rarely do people speak so happily about their work. As she spoke she fiddled with her earring occasionally. Bright sparkling diamond earrings. He hadn't noticed them then. But in due course he would. In fact, he would never forget them ever.

‘Well I am happy to have you in my team Ruhi. Hope we do some great work together’.

She nodded, again fiddling with her earring.

She got up to leave. ‘I will get going then. Lots to read and catch up on’

He smiled. As she moved, her earring escaped her ear & rolled away deep under his desk.

‘Oh no… I guess I should stop fiddling with them.. This is the nth time they have fallen’

She stooped down to find them saying sorry to him.

He bent down saying, ‘Let me get them for you’

‘Oh no.. She said… Embarrassed now to make her boss look for her earrings, 'what could be a better first day in office?' She thought.

He noticed her discomfort. It was strangely attractive.

‘It's ok.. Don't be embarrassed. I know my desk better. Let me get them for you’ Soon an Armani clad Randeep was on his knees next to her.

It was very awkward, to say the least. She observed him as he ran his hands under the desk to see where the elusive earring could be. He felt strong, even handsome. He must be 40-45 and really fit for his age. The corners of his eyes wrinkled when he smiled. He looked powerful, commanding even when he was on his knees. Before she could analyse him any further, he had slid back and held out the offensive ornament to her.

The diamond stud gleamed in his palm. She almost felt guilty of making him do this yet she liked him for what he had just done.

She reached out to take them from his palm. And then got up to leave hurriedly.

‘Wear them’, he said..

She was surprised to hear that.

‘Wear them before you drop them again’, he smiled. He was surprised at himself. He was smiling too much today. It belied his character.

She smiled now. And at his behest, wore them. She even turned away her hair from her ear to show him what she had achieved.

‘There Boss. Done it.’ She teased, trying to lighten the awkwardness of the situation.

‘No boss, Randeep,' he said.

Randeep then, thanks for err… she paused, then naughtily said, ‘Redeeming my ears’.

He smiled, ‘You brought me on my knees on your first day. I better watch out’.

She didn't know if he was being sarcastic or humorous but when she looked at him, it didn't seem like sarcasm. He had a genuine smile on his face.

‘Not many can boast of that, can they?’ she asked challengingly.

‘Not one, lady…. Not one. You sure have a bright future’.

'Well, to my bright future then Randeep,' She smiled warmly.

‘And more of searching for the elusive diamonds’, he suggested.

‘That too’, she laughed embarrassed again.. He remembered how cold the room felt once she left, how dreary the walls looked, how uninteresting his cabin seemed, one which was lit only a few minutes ago by her light.

It had taken him a few minutes to come out of the spell she left behind.

He had never felt this way… He struggled to find the word. Alive… He had never felt so alive.

‘Alive’, he said aloud as she wondered what he was talking about.

What? She asked transporting him back to the conference room where they waited for the others to join.

‘Nothing’, he said, wondering if he had given away anything. She appeared non chalant and walked away, then she turned back, looked at him and said, ‘You seem far away, almost pe-occupied. You sure you don't want to postpone the meeting? I could schedule it a bit later, you know.’

He liked it when she showed concern. He felt good that she cared. She was the only one who could almost always sense what he was feeling.

He rubbed his tired eyes, almost leaning his head back on his chair… ‘No, it's alright… Let's get it over with’. She hesitated, almost wanted to say something but then moved away.

He sighed. How he wished he could tell her about his aching heart. He was tired of hiding his feelings, of pretending to be correct and righteous all the time. He was tired of behaving unaffected when all that she did to him was leaving him feeling lonelier than ever, each time she went away from him.

On a signal, she came back with the others. He drew in all his energies to focus on the meeting ahead. Think she is not here, he chided himself. But all he could sense and see was her. The others just didn't matter.

......to be continued


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