Os Competition Submission

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Jun 14

Os Competition Submission (By Skyblu) (Thanked: 42 times)

                                                              The Classmates

He looks back at me while painful hot tears falls down my eyes and flows onto my burning cheeks. My face contorts as I stare into his deep dark fathomless black eyes cutting into the naked heart of mine. The starkness of my face looking back at me from into his eyes makes my breath stutter out. The grip of his warm hand tightens over the cold skin of my upper arm. I stand arrested in the prison of his intimidating presence for god knows how long. Reality starts to set in as seconds pass by. He starts to get into my space and my watery eyes widens in sudden thrill and shock. In one abrupt propel I move back wrenching my hand from his iron grip. Before I turn and get ready to run for my life I give him one last long look of bewildered confusion.

I run to the alleyway and hide myself in the dawning dark of the evening. My eyes fill up more. My body starts to shake with the effort to contain my emotions. I hear footstep sounds. Nobody should see me in such a state. This will be the last time I’m going to be breaking apart. I wipe off my tears with the back of my right hand and square my shoulders valiantly.

A loud bang propels me out of the dream. A part of my memory. The memory which is still vivid. So lucid. It’s been seven years.

“Are you listening to me, Khushi ? Ms. Gupta?” A voice, hard steel, cold and ruthless fall into my deaf ears.

Though it travels louder across at me a minute later. I jerk out of the memory while putting a full stop to my straying thoughts.

I blink back several times before I look up. I gulp hard. My boss is looking down at me with his face turning livid by the minute. I’m not aware of how long he had stood there near my desk enquiring about things that might have flown over my head.

I stumble off my seat and awkwardly stand before fumbling out a reply.

“y… ye… yes, boss?” I enquire back like a puny coward.

I cringe inwardly at the lack of courage my voice comes across as.

My boss let’s out a deep frustrated breath while giving me a look which brings a deep redness across my cheeks.

“Are you done daydreaming?” He asks me in a condescending tone.

I bit the inside of my cheek to not retaliate. He picks on me. Always. And, I always end up coming into the focus of his sharp scrutiny.

“I uh…”I try to force out polite words but he cuts me off with a hand slash.

“The Adverti****t Logo.” He demands rather than asks.

There is no place for argument in his tone. I nod and hurry to search around my desk sorting through the files. I grab the blue file. He immediately takes it from my hand.

He lowers his head while moving his eyes over my hard work. I did work hard all night to get the design right for the product. I get nervous. I’m afraid I might puke all over his shiny expensive shoes. I wait for his verdict and in suspense of both for his approval or harsh dismissal on my blood and sweat filled project.

His head lifts up and my eyes round with anticipation.

“Amazing that you did not mess this up.” He says, his voice all gravelly.

My breath catches up in my throat. Wow. No appreciation. But no rude rejection too. A flurry of movements start in my stomach with butterflies flying up following cue to my gladness.

I refuse to acknowledge the sudden exhilaration coursing into my blood. I just nod my head while his black eyes all shiny and cold grow a little less forbidding. Oh, wow. He looks impressed a little. I turn all pink with giddiness. His keen gaze focuses on my face and his eyes narrow more.

“What?” He asks me sharply.

I stare at him suddenly self conscious. I look for an escape route.

He looks at me as I’m an alien when I fumble with words.

“What are you blushing about?” He asks a little too irritated.

“I’m not… not blushing.” I whisper awkwardly.

He keeps standing there and looking at me. I try to think of numerous ways to get out of the situation.

His presence starts to make me anxious. I could feel the heat of his body coming off in waves across at me. I could smell the scent he has on. I keep blinking poker faced at his keen observation into my eyes.

“You’re smart.” He mutters leaning down on my desk.

He observes it very sharply. As if he knows what I’m trying to do. Hiding my emotions from my eyes.

I take a sharp breath in when I see an unseeing half smile curving across at his lips. I frown when it disappears as if it weren’t there at all. His eyes twinkle as he keeps the file down on my desk.

“There are a few mistakes still. Bring it to my cabin.” He orders again while completely changing into a different person.

He takes back a step and turns around. He walks away and I look at his physique which is very athlete like for an advertising company CEO. The grey coat stretches too wide around his biceps. He’s always perfect. I slid down my hands over the black skirt I’m wearing today in self consciousness. He isn’t too buff. He is little on the leaner side. How and when he works out during the tight schedule of the day it seems a wonder to everyone. The employees working here each one of them know that the boss works hard and very late in the night in the office. Still. He manages to serenade us every morning with an energy of a relentless bull.

I keep looking at his disappearing back. I wonder now how he doesn’t remember me. I know it has been seven years but still. He seems to really not know me from before. It’s as if I didn’t exist at that time. I try hard to avoid self resentment.

The day smoothly turns into a good one except there has been more gossip about the boss’s brother coming to the office in the evening. They say he is a charming man. More laid back than our uptight boss.

My boss, Arnav Singh Raizada, the only business tycoon to successfully bring about a small start up company to something bigger than a four walled cubicle advertising firm in Mumbai. Talk is around that he is running strong as a contender for the youngest entrepreneur to achieve rapid success in a very short period of time.

I’m about to close my computer and get off my chair to leave for lunch. I turn around to walk towards the lift when my way gets blocked by a pair of legs that I’m too sure and aware of who the owner might be of them. The familiar grey colored pants and ever shiny shoes.

I stand still and lift up my head. He is tall. About six feet. I’m not short but I look puny in front of him with my paltry 5’5 height. His face was poker. It’s hard to decipher his thoughts. It irks me. Why do I need to know his thoughts? I hate the curiosity he inspires in me.

His face is so familiar yet he looks down at me as if I’m a stranger. The same aristocratic nose. Thick dark eyebrows. Eagle eyes. Square mean jaw. Hard lines and planes of his cheekbones. So chiseled. He is the same. I go back down the memory lane. I hear her voice. Shanaya.

“You love him, don’t you?” She sneers at me and flips the pages of my diary.

The diary that I had written long time back. In high school. Now in college I don’t know why I kept it in my locker. Shanaya found it somehow. She broke into it. The bully.

Her friends give me snide smiles. I look at him leaning against the lockers completely disinterested with what’s happening.

“Please, give it back to me.” I ask her in a calm even tone.

“Oh, no I’m not giving it back to you.” She laughs.

She proceeds to read more.

“He is so handsome….” She turns a page.

Before she could go on I move forward and snatch my diary off her hand.

I look at him for help.

 But I see now. I have been blind enough to trust his facetious smiles. I look at his well groomed personality and at his girlfriend who looks ever polished and as lovely as a porcelain doll. My fascination of him vanishes when he too takes the mirth out of my situation. He glances at me. His shiny black eyes gives away a mocking smile. My self will shatters while his girlfriend reads the heart of my diary. I look at him one last time to be human and stop his girlfriend and friends making fun of me but he does not. I clutch the idiotic diary to my chest and turn around to run.

The past fades away and my eyes focus around in the present. I blink rapidly to look at him. My boss. He is looking at me with his eyes bland and narrowed.

“S.. S..Sorry, boss.” I stutter again in complete guilt… “You were saying?” I ask a little embarrassed.

“It’s alright.” Hid voice a deep burring drawl…. “I’m getting used to it.” He mutters contemptuously.

I open my mouth to take defense of my daydreaming but he cuts me off once again.

“Get ready in fifteen minutes. We need to catch a flight to London tonight. We have a meeting to attend there.” He orders.

I stare into his placid face for more than a second before letting out any words. My lower jaw would have hung open but I think about proprietary.

“We?” I barely squeak out.

His eyes narrow as they turn deep black gimlets.

“I have six more other assistants if you don’t want to accompany with me.” He says with his voice all gravelly.

My heart skips a lot of beats. Accompany. With him. Wow. I struggle hard to not take it in another way. Damn. Why do I feel so elated. I hate him. Don’t I? I’m feeling all kinds of new things suddenly. I’m not the one to fall for emotions.

If it is possible for me to feel those things. I turn red with embarrassment. I’m not falling for my boss.

“I…I… well…I mean to say…”I fumble with words.

He turns around abruptly and I stare in disbelief at his rude attitude.

“Fifteen minutes.” He orders again and saunters away.

My lips purse and I scowl at his back. Grisly bear.

On the flight I sit beside my boss who was busy working over his phone. Great. I roll my eyes. What a workaholic. I take a few magazines and start to flick the pages.

The plane suddenly gave a jerk. My heart skipped a beat. I start to sweat. I closed my eyes. It’s okay. It’s just a slight disturbance. I smile but then again there were four consecutive turbulence. I suddenly feel claustrophobic.

I hold on to the armrest of my chair.

A second later I hear a growl.

I open my eyes and glance to the side.

My boss. He was scowling heavily at me

“What the hell…”He grunts as if in pain and looks down at my fingers which were biting into the skin of his arm.

My eyes widen and I let go of his hand.

“I’m sorry.” I mumble apologetically.

His eyes flick all over my face and he freezes.

“Are you going to be sick?” He asks me flatly.

I feel grateful that he could understand me.

I nod my head vigorously. I’m afraid to open my mouth. I might puke all over his expensive shoes if I did.

“Excuse me.” He called the air hostess for me.

Thank goodness. He was a nice guy after all.

Fifteen minutes later I fume in silence. I glance around at the back and my lips purse up. I see him seated at the far end corner of the flight. He looks extremely comfortable. He had changed seats. He only called the airhostess to just ask the woman for him to move from beside me. And I thought he was helping me. What a gentlemen.

I mumble curses at him for the rest of my flight.

We arrive at Heathrow Airport and then travel to Holiday Inn- Brentford lock. We have been traveling for quite a long time now. We move into one of the business rooms of the hotel. I’m tired but I manage to pull myself together. And then we wait for God knows who. I look at our presentation over the projector and wonder what’s happening.

I move to the side and whisper.

“Sir, is there a problem?” I ask in concern.

He sighs.

“I’m waiting for my brother. He is late. As usual.” My boss replied in a derisive tone.

His brother? We are waiting for his brother? I’m not aware of it. Why is his brother into this project again? Why is that I’m not aware of it? Oh. Okay. I’m not important enough to be informed about it. At least though. I should have been given a heads up.

I have a lot of questions and I open my mouth to ask a few but he beats me to it.

“He’s my partner in the project. He works from the US. We work in associate in London here. Now, stop thinking aloud. It’s bothering me.” He very cholericly shuts me up.

My face heats up in embarrassment. Have I been thinking aloud? I so haven’t. I inwardly scowl heavily. I appreciate his insightful intelligence about my thoughts though. But he couldn’t know about how I curse him each day. I smile a secret one.

The door to the left of the business room opens and I straighten. Four men. Well suited. . Businessmen of the newest opened cosmetic company situated in Brentford rock walk forward in all formal grey wear.

I frown in confusion and curiosity both to look at the person coming front from behind the executives.

“Gentlemen. My brother. Vivian Singh Raizada. My associate partner in the project.” Boss introduces his brother to the delegates.

I move back from beside my boss and make way for his brother to take the seat.

My boss looks back at me keenly and I freeze suddenly at his silent order of me remaining stay put beside him.

The presentation starts and everything goes smoothly without any hitch.

I stand near the coffee machine outside of the business room. I finish the coffee and turn around. I stumble back looking up with round startled eyes.

I’m a little in shock as he towers over looking down at me. I stand frozen. I gulp really hard.

“What are you doing here?” He asks, his black eyes and voice very harsh.

My stutter reaches to it’s extreme.

“I.. I…”

He moves back a little and chuckles.

“This is unbelievable.” He says between laughs.

I look around and my body heats up rapidly. My eyes starts to see black. Oh no. I’m not going to get an anxiety attack.

I see my boss coming out of the business room and into the corridor. He spots me and his eyes narrow looking at his brother.

He saunters into the refreshment room and I look at the door. I need to escape. Really fast.

“What are you doing here?” My boss asks his brother.

My eyes water.

He looks at me and then at Vivian and his face hardens.

“What’s going on?” He asks me.

I shrivel inside.

Vivian, boss’s brother smiles at him.

“Oh, I think you don’t know your staff very well.” He jeers.

My boss gives my pale face a once over.

“What do you mean?”

I bit the inside of my lower lip hard enough to bring out blood.

“This girl. Don’t you check before hiring her” He asks mockingly.

“Sir…”I try talking to my boss but to no avail.

His brother is relentless.

“Don’t you know her from college?” Vivian gives me a disgusted look.

Anger rises up my throat.

He laughs again in disbelief as if a thought comes across his mind.

“Alright. I get it now. She is stalking. Again.” He smiles patronizingly both at me and boss.

I look at my boss desperately.

“I’m not…” I anxiously begin but boss stops me with his hand.

Vivian laughs. His eyes sparkle in smug satisfaction. He looks back at me smilingly.

“What? Do you have a diary hidden somewhere? Are you going to profess your love for him?” He jeers.

My right hand turns into a fist.

His right eyebrow raises as I glare at him.

“It seems, brother.” He drawls with his eyes focused on mine… “I apparently hadn’t been enough for her then that she’s after you now. You know right, Shanaya put a restraining order against her? She stalked me all through college. She knows that you are my brother.” He finishes.

He looks down at my hand and chuckles.

‘What? Are you going to hit me….” He tries to bully me.

But before he could utter another word A fist so fast and hard lays smack over his right jaw. He howls in pain and in the next second he is on the floor. It happens so fast. It’s almost in a blink of an eye movement. I stare down wide eyed at him. And then I look up slowly at my boss.

He glances down at his brother. His face all hard and brittle etched in a scowl.

“Grow up, ****.” He mutters down at his brother.

His brother mewls and whimpers holding his jaw in his hand.

“but… bu..but she is a stalker.” He stutters.

“She is not a stalker. Your wife is insecure.” My boss retorts in annoyance.

Wife? Oh, wow. He married Shanaya. All luck for him. Poor guy. How pathetic. I felt like a loser for ever having a crush on him in college. He had been the good guy. In my eyes then he was. But appearances do make a façade. I was afraid of my boss’s demeanor back then. He had been that kid. The one who vandalized the college. Looking at him now I really believe that one should know a person before judging them as a individual. If only I had the courage long ago to talk to him then things would have been different now.

I finally sigh a deep breath of relief. I look up at my boss and my stupid emotional eyes water a little. His black eyes stare into mine and I see the cold melting for me. His large warm hand covers the side of my face. His thumb slides across under my left eye. His features suddenly turn angry and he looks down. He looks back at me and his hand slips down. He walks away a second later. I know him too well since years now. The recluse of whom I had been afraid of in school and college. That loner. My childhood classmate. He had been the one who held my arm and saw the pain in my eyes then when Shanaya and her minions humiliated me back then. A feeling of exhalation course into my blood stream. It’s a wonder. He remembers me. I start smiling and a blush covers my face. It wasn’t the end. It was a new beginning of us….

********



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