Secret Crush – Part 4


Out from the work-ethics shackles, Aman was now free to follow his heart. He has the details etched in his memory forever, inadvertently his feet took him to her workplace. He knew she wasn’t in the country, but his agenda was to gather more intel.

The boutique was a replica of her persona, well lit with the milky mood lights, exquisite minimalist interiors with antique mirror work on stone walls, and pastel tapestry hung from window canvas. The choice of décor colours was a dazzling representation of Natasha’s wardrobe that he had witnessed so far. Cool, classy, and feminine. Her presence could be felt even in the absence, his anxious heart was at peace.

Aman asked for Ms. Sahni, but the attendant politely informed she was impassable at the moment, and would be back this coming week. He calculated the days he had in hand before leaving for Chicago, very few, He had to do something right now and fast.

He was going to try what he hated the most, desperate times, he thought to himself. Honing his boyish charm to the docile attendant, he created a sop-story of the dire urgency of a magnificent dress for his sister’s engagement party.

Beguile by the charm of the young lad, she felt at a loss and dialed her boss, abroad. Reaching her she explained the entire situation and patched Aman with Natasha on a call. Bingo!

He explained to her the need and asked for her permission to send some design ideas via email or over the phone. Hesitantly, Natasha instructed the assistant to share the required details. She advised Aman to meet her in the boutique by Monday on her return.

Ultimately, he was elated but also glum as his first step to reach her was a lie, a very expensive lie. He will have to buy an exclusive designer dress for his ‘non-existent sister’ on her ‘fake-engagement’. Not a smart businessman like father, he thought!

Remembering his phone call to his father a few days ago, his demeanor changed. ‘Dad, I am chosen for the Master’s program at the US University’, he was thrilled while sharing the news with his father.

‘Glad you don’t have to live in a shit-pit of a country and do that hogwash of a job anymore.’ His father was curt and to the point. Aman didn’t have a heart-to-heart with his dad, not since, his mother passed away alone suffering from cancer. He blamed his father for her health’s negligence, and their relationship soured even further when Aman refused to join his business.

‘I like it here Dad, there is nothing wrong in this country or people and the job’, he said holding the frustration back.

‘You like it because your bank has millions of dollars that you inherited being my son. Your witless job can’t even give you enough to stretch and sleep,’ Dad was as rutty as always. Their conversations typically end up on bitter notes, thankfully that day father was in a different mood.

Vikram had already left when Natasha returned from her morning walk, she was quipped since yesterday when the young lad spoke to her over the phone. His urgency was palpable for the designer dress for his sister. She wonders if the younger generation is that serious about commitments and relations.

Staff informed her about Vikram’s departure, she was used to these sudden hot-and-cold Vikram’s whereabouts. She has learned to keep to herself with time, he doesn’t like to be quizzed and she made peace with that.

She was pruning an overgrown jade plant when a staff member informed her about a package. A big beige box, the girl holding it was as inquisitive as a cat to peep at the contents inside. Natasha wiped her hands clean and pushed the lid open, a giant balloon freed itself from the box with ‘Happy Birthday’ shining back in pink and gold.

‘Happy Birthday, Madam’, the girl squeaked.

Startled she looked around and a streak of pink embarrassment flashed on her face. Yes, it was her birthday and she doesn’t celebrate it anymore, for goddammit.

Hurling the balloon back, she resumed her pruning. Everyone went back to their work –  ‘Who sent this ostentatious balloon?’ She was furious.

Join me tomorrow to know, what happens next in the story. To read the previous part, please click here.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023


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