For the previous part: Part 2.
With another booming resounding thunder, the thunderstorm dragged on while the echoes of the sound resounded across our house which had some horrendous schematics.
With a bit of perturbed feeling and a solemn expression I sat in the verandah of our house and stared at the droplets of rain hitting the pavement.
Unknowingly, my thoughts went out towards him, Arjun. It had been over a week since the day we spent in the fair, which also happened to be the day when we first met.
Seriously, life was a freak-fest.
With a sigh, I recalled his profile from my memory. During the week I had done my best on preventing myself from thinking about him. I did so because whenever I thought about him, I became terrified.
I had completely trusted a stranger and spilled some of my deepest life secrets to him. And if that wasn’t enough, I had feelings for him. Heck, I knew only a bit about him, true it might be his most treasured secret and fear, but I didn’t even know where he lived.
When I came to terms with that, with a suppressed shock I had also remembered on how forward I had been and with the pen I got from the fair when Arjun was getting the tickets for the giant wheel, I had written my number on one of the pictures of his set.
Yes, at that moment it felt right but it also went against my character. I was supposed to be a strong yet timid girl after what had happened with Anamika- or that’s what my parents told me.
With another sigh, I stared at the sky, gazing at the dark and heavy clouds. I had no fear of being disturbed as it was midnight and my parents were sleeping.
I curled my Barbie pyjamas clad legs and with my hair flowing over the sofa, I stared up at the sky. I could feel some droplets hitting my face and for that I was grateful because it helped hide the tears which were flowing down via my cheeks albeit silently.
With a disgruntled snort, I imagined how he looked. How he behaved. All in all only a single memory kept resounding my mind, how he removed the candy floss from my lip with the pad of his thumb. Just that one memory had me blushing to the roots of my hair.
I kept imagining him, wondering how he was doing in life and going through the horror thoughts which were piped by my inner demon, which always said the same thing, ‘He is a Rockwell kid. He keeps his honour. What makes you think that he will break it for your pathetic little ass?‘
Dismissing that thought from my head, I let out the words with a sigh, “Arjun, come back to me.”
And with that, I drifted off to sleep.
With a thud I woke up. Of course, I had fallen from my bed yet again. This was how my day began every single day, a resounding crash in the vain hope of silencing the alarm so that I could drag in the last vestiges of sleep close to me and enjoy.
Alas, this was not what life had in store for me.
Untangling myself from the pullover, I got up from floor and dusted off the dirt from my white tee and checked boxers. Running my hand through my tussled up hair and unwinding the cowlicks which always formed on my head. My head was a real bird nest when it wanted to be.
With a swallowed sigh, I squinted at the clock and noted the time. Another day begins.
With a fake happy persona, I left the room, or what my dad considered as a sufficient room for me. He had given me the store room, a few metal boxes and a rolled up mattress for God’s sake. He had taken my previous room to create his ‘study’ which he used to gamble with his friends.
Fucked up household.
With a ‘sunshine’ smile, I left the room, greeted my dad and slipped off into the washroom.
It had become a daily routine for me over the years. I had learnt quick after my mom left that I should be a cheerful chap in front of my dad else I would be given a bite from his belt.
Quickly shutting the door, I glanced at the mirror and smiled grimly, the thought ‘Saved once again’ ringing out in my head.
Quickly doing all the necessary jobs, I stripped off my clothes and stepped into the shower. When the water hit my skin, I began thinking about her. About Kritika.
It had been over a week and I just couldn’t remove her thoughts from my head.
I felt guilty. She had given me her number. She had placed her trust in the guy she had just met that day.
With a released sigh, I wallowed in my guilt for a while, tears streaked down my face.
With this going on, I began fighting with my inner moral self.
‘I need to meet her, I will call her today.’
‘For that you’ll break your vow?’
‘If it comes to that, I will.’
‘Sigh. I have been doing this for a week now. You know that I am you, right? Go on. Do it. Even I like that girl.’
‘Shut up, I know that I am talking with myself, but hush.’
With that I switched off the water. A new goal in sight.
I switched off the water and with a towel wrapped around my waist, I stepped out, knowing for sure my dad had left the house, like he usually did.
I ran into my room and picked up my phone, water droplets dropping from my hair on the sheet.
With a deep breath, I gathered my thoughts and then the twenty seconds of courage which I required for this, I dialled her number from my memory.
A slight buzzing voice woke me up from my dreamless stupor, rubbing my eyes to see clearly on who the hell was calling me at this early hour of the morning. It was fucking six for God’s sake.
Bleary eyed I noticed that it was an unknown number, so without any hesitation I picked it up, ready to give the chap on the other side a hell that he must have never imagined.
“What do you want?” I snapped at the person on the other end of the line, because I knew that none of my friends had the audacity to call me in the wee hours of the morning.
“Um, am I speaking with Kritika? I am Arjun.” his voice quickly gushed out of the tinny speaker of the mobile.
Oh fuck. It had to come down to this right?
With a deep breath, I calmed myself and with a heavy sleepy drawl I continued, “Hey Arjun, good morning, you caught me napping literally. How are you, remembered me, eh?”
All the while I was saying this, my heart started beating faster while the warm tingly feeling rushed over my body and the inner me was cheering out loud.
I heard him take a breath and I could feel that he was gathering his courage for what was to come next. With his sexy deep baritone he said slowly, “Um, yeah. You got me mind numbingly terrified right there. So… I..uh.. Don’t know how to say this. So, I will say this directly, can we meet today? I know that I have been a miserable slob for the past one week and should have contacted you soon. Damn. I was being silly. So, .. Uh what do you say?”
I could literally hear the waves of nervousness rolling across the invisible line we were sharing at the moment.
Suppressing a giggle, I replied with a cold tone which would have frozen ice all over again, “So, Mr. Malhotra, you think that you can leave off for trash for a week and then come meet you God knows where just because you asked me to? I don’t even know you. I am wary, if you ask me.”
It stretched on.
Fear lapped up like fear around my legs and started dragging me down within it. I had just played a prank with a lad I didn’t even know completely.
With a heavy foreboding feeling overcoming my body, I quickly drew in a breath and spoke out loud, “I am so sorry Arjun.”
And to my surprise I found that he had spoken the same words only with my name in it instead of his.
I giggled and said, “Why are you apologizing? I made the grave error by playing a prank on you, just to get back to you for messing up my prized sleep. So, I apologize for my illogical behaviour.”
He grunted in surprise at what had left my mouth and with a jovial enough tone, he said, “So you are still up for meeting me today? God. You had me spooked there for a moment. I really thought that I was going to get skewered. So, will you meet me today? The Westside Mall at four?”
I looked down at my state of dress and then thought that it was only six in the morning. With a snore, I said yes and while I was cutting the call, I could hear the peals of laughter from his end of the line as my head dropped on the pillow.
My heart was still beating fast on what had just conspired between us.
I was still considering that fact whether it was a dream or not.
I bit the inner part of my cheek and realized that I was awake.
With a sheepish look, I glanced at myself and noticed that I was still standing in a towel.
With full blown laughter echoing off the walls, I got dressed into some pyjamas and a tee.
I could feel the sleep catching up to me, as the adrenalin rush of the call was quickly fading.
So, taking a leaf out of Kritika’s book, I dropped onto the mattress and within no time, I was asleep.
I woke up bleary eyed at the door banging shut and with a surprised shout I rushed off to lock the room, so that my dad didn’t catch me napping. It had some serous consequences in our household.
I glanced at the clock and realized it was two in the afternoon. Damn, I had slept for 8 hours straight.
Was that the Kritika Bansal effect?
Chuckling at the thought, I began to get dressed. Knowing that I was only in my school uniform last time and I had to hide my best that my dad treated me unfairly in the first case, I dressed up in the finest set of linens available to me.
It wasn’t much, just a pair of blue denim jeans which wrapped around my legs and a navy blue collared tee, something which my brother used to wear.
I then quickly wore some beat-down converse sneakers which had definitely seen some better days among it’s tenure within our family.
Then I ran my hand through my hair, knowing that it would end up being messed by my own hand, I just ran my hand through them until it settled into a decent position.
After that I donned a worn down sports watch which had belonged to my brother. I glanced up to look at myself in the mirror. I found myself to be presentable, so with a smile at my reflection- I glared into my eyes and smirked at the golden flecks which were in my brown hued eyes. The only feature I liked about myself.
With that look, I stepped out of the house, catching the bus and left for the mall.
As the journey came to an end after 30 minutes, I had made good time and reached the mall at 3:40.
I stepped into the cold air-cooled mall and with a homing sense stronger than a bee, I stepped into the coffee house it had, and to my surprise saw Kritika sitting there, rubbing her fingers above her right eyebrow while the other was holding a steaming mug of coffee.
It was only then I realized how she looked and… Oh. Fuck. I should have died before seeing this sight.
She had her hair open and falling down and her shoulders. Her ears had pure sliver studs in them and even from here I could see the warm caramel colour of her face.
She was wearing a white shirt which was tucked loosely into her black jeans which led down across her long legs which led to a a sexy black set of heels which has wires intertwined across the length of her foot. I also noticed the black bet with the silver buckle which made her look like a diva.
I sure had a crush on her.
With a callous walkover, I dropped in the seat which was across her and spoke in a slow drawl, “Here early and drinking coffee on top of that. What, sleep couldn’t be completed?” I couldn’t help it and a cheeky grin escaped my casual demeanor.
And before she could say anything I continued, “Hi there. Looking hot today. Don’t kill me, I don’t deny when I see something nice. And as for why I didn’t do it last time? Strangers. Depression. Good enough, right?”
She smiled a bit and said forlornly, “It is all your fault, you calling-me-early-waking-me-up guy. My mum didn’t let me sleep because she found me awake. Because of you, you dumb head, I had only a six hour sleep. You deserve to be burned in the darkest corner of hell seventeen times.”
With a faint smile, I replied, “My, that’s a beautiful imagination you have here. Is that a way to greet friends?”
She chuckled and replied in a jovial voice, “Sorry there Arjun. Damn, you look hot there, are all boys of Rockwell this hot? Okay. I am high. Wanna eat a burger?”
I flashed her a quick smile and nodded. We both got up and got a burger for her and a meal with coffee for me.
We both rounded up to the table and I noticed that she was a bit more open, as if she had escaped the shell she was in when I had first arrived here.
We both sat across each other and I just sat there, discreetly staring at her taking her first bite. She looked so cute that my jaw was about to hit the floor.
Stumbling out of my reverie, I smiled and took the first sip of my cup.
Before I could say anything, she looked up with a mischievous glint In her eyes.
She spoke in an exited and hurried manner, “Arjuuunn, let’s play truth and dare. I don’t wanna talk. I wanna enjoy and learn juicy things about each other.”
I grinned in reply and before she could say anything, I said, “That was a new way to say my name Kritika. So, truth or dare?”
Her mouth drop in shock as I had caught her with her pants down.
She looked petulant and complied, “Low blow Arjun, low blow. But, you got me. Truth for now.”
I smiled and asked my query, “Simple to begin with, What is your favourite food and colour?”
She giggled and said, “That’s two questions for me right there. Well, they are simple enough. Burgers and coke. White. Truth or dare?”
I smiled at how quick her question came. Taking a quirky way, I said. “Oh, variety for me. Dare.”
She smiled wickedly and glared at me, as if she was going to take revenge at me for today morning. She pointed at herself and said, “You woke me up early today. I am tired. Massage my shoulders for two minutes beginning now.”
I stared at her and spoke hesitantly, “In front of everyone?”
She smiled at me innocently and nodded her assent.
I put on my game face and waved my hand for the timer to be switched on. She complied and I started to massaged her shoulders. I could feel myself drawing the stares of every single person in the room.
I steeled myself and continued to work on her shoulders, staring at how she reacted. I could see that she was was stretching in a manner which looked extremely lewd.
I grinned because I somehow knew that she was doing it intentionally. Well, I was going to do this her way and continued on the dare I had.
He obliged. Sheesh. Who did that in today’s world?
Well, I was enjoying it for the time I was getting cared for by his ministrations. I grinned like the cat who got the canary.
Before I knew it, the timer ringed and I made a fake frown expression. Of course, I enjoyed it way to much.
He was stewing as he sat down and grilled evilly, “Miss Bansal, that was uncalled for. Truth or dare.” The last few words came out with a growl.
I giggled at his frustration, and said, “Truth.” with a wave of my hand.
He smiled and said, “Oh you have my attention. The most embarrassing moment of your life.”
Oh. He was playing it hard now.
I smiled timidly, my inner self cursing at me for it knew the revenge was coming.
I took a deep haggard breath and said, “Well, okay. My most embarrassing moment was when I came upon my parents having sex and they didn’t even notice me because mum was having an orgasm.”
There. I had said it. And by the look on his face, it sure was a bomb for him. Before he could continue I intervened, “Curious?”
He nodded. I smiled and told him the reason, “I stumbled in there because no kid wants to see that sight ever. And yes, I quickly slipped away before they caught me. Now. Truth or dare!” I spoke out the last words with a ferocity he hadn’t seen.
I could see that he thought we had entered the deep waters, oh well, the game was just beginning.
“T-Truth.” Came his stammering reply.
I smiled devilishly and asked, “How often do you masturbate?”
Oh yes. It was private. It was none of my business. I shouldn’t have asked that, but I was pissed off at how easily he had found a come back for my massage.
He smiled and said, “Once.”
That left so many endings for me that I wasn’t satisfied. I growled and asked, “What once, once a day? Once a week? What?!”
He grinned and replied, “Once in my life. Never again.”
“Why did you stop doing it?” The words left my mouth even before I even comprehended what I was speaking.
He put up a finger and waggled it in front of me. “Nuh-uh. One question per round. Truth or dare?”
I went for the relatively safer path this time round.
“Dare.” Was my curt reply.
“A movie with me today.”
I accepted quickly because this game was heading into the dangerous territory. Well, I got enough of a delay for the moment.
We quickly got up and left for the movie.
Well, this game was going to continue after the movie.
So we got up and got the tickets for the first movie we came across, and it was P.S. I love you.
Well, I shrugged, anything to prolong the next set of questions.
With that thought in my head, I entered the hall.
End of part three.
Author’s Note: Nope. The game has still not ended, it will continue in the next part.
The next chapter will wrap up the set of questions left and will even gain a new insight on what is happening.
Till then, hope you liked it.
The next chapter will be up soon.