Chapter 13

Posing in front of the full-length mirror mounted on the dressing table with her hands on her hips, she adored and idolized her reflection in awe. She couldn’t believe what her eyes showed her.

“I can look good! I mean this good!”

She grinned and pouted her natural pink lips that were of hot pink shade now.

She’s wearing a Z-black, knee-length (a couple of inches above the knee) sheath cut dress that’d a straight hem and accentuated her dainty curves vividly.

“Where to?”

Her mom’s voice startled her and Ashi looked over her shoulder as she entered the room with a coffee mug in her hand that’d, Ashi knew, tea in it.

“There’s a party happening at ‘sync’. I’m going with Rihaan”, Ashi partly lied, focusing on dabbing her lips with her right index finger.

Her mom settled at the edge of Ashi’s queen sized bed. “Rihaan…. Hmmm…. Okay. But be home early. Did you tell your Dad about this ‘Sync’?”

Ashi’s attention was diverted from the mirror (she’s dabbing her eyes now for a smoky effect) to her mom and back to the mirror.

“No. I’ve not. I tried calling him but he seems to be busy. So, you please let him know”, Ashi said, spreading the gloss.

Brushing her thick, soft and loose black curls – that touched her waist with her fingers, she debated between parting her wavy curls – left or right. Finally settling for a left partition after a prolonged self debate session, she scurried across her room to her wardrobe and sliding off the door, reached the bottom of it only to withdraw a pair of black, stiletto heel, ankle-length boots that perfectly matched her black, sheath cut dress.

Holding them in her left hand, she sat at the end of her bed and busied herself in zipping them up her ankle. Her mom eyed her with intense curiosity. Ashi threw some side glances in her mom’s direction before she said, “Mumma, will you please stop boring your eyes into me. You’re reminding me of Rihaan. He does this at times. And yes, you’re also making me conscious.”

“Well, I don’t know about Rihaan. I’m looking at my creation. And believe me, it’s just gorgeous! I can’t believe I created something worth admiring”, her mom answered still viewing her intently sipping her tea.

Ashi smirked as she walked towards her and said, “Well, in that case you’ve to thank my Dad as well. He’s an equal contribution in this ‘so called’ creation of yours.”

Both the women bursted into a hilarious laughter and Ashi headed to her dressing table to collect her silver clutch and to drop a final look at her reflection.

“Okay Mumma, I’ll leave now. It’s already half past eight and I’ve to reach the place by nine.”

Ashi clacked her stilettos across the floor and bending over, air-kissed the corner of her mom’s forehead, “Goodbye Mumma. See you.”

“How are you going there?” Her mom enquired.

“I’ve booked a cab. It’ll be reaching here in five minutes.” Ashi said, twiddling her bangs, scrolling down in her phone. Ashi exactly knew where this conversation was heading to, in which direction.

“Rihaan isn’t coming to pick you up?” Her mom hurriedly hurled the expected question at her.

“Nope. He’ll meet me there. He’s with me till late noon and as a result he wasn’t able to finish his work.” Ashi finished in a single breath without making any eye contact.

“What do you mean he’s with you?” Her mom raised her curved shape eyebrows at her with astonishment.

Ashi rolled her eyes, “Mumma, can we talk about this when I’m back home, or tomorrow?! I’ve to leave now; the cab is waiting at the gate. See you.”

Ashi opened the rear door and climbed into the cab. Taking a deep steadying breath she comforted her sub conscious, “Yes, he’ll be mad. But I so very want him to be mad.” She ended with a wicked curve that touched her lips.

Ashi had no idea that Rihaan had seen her exchanging waves and smiles with Kabir; Rihaan on the other hand had no idea that Ashi was going to join the same party and was invited for the same by Kabir. Both of them were thinking that they know everything about each other, each failing to understand that there’s a lot more to it than what they’d thought there was, just like there’s a lot interweaved between them and still they failed to comprehend it every time.

The cab dropped Ashi in front of a huge gate of a tower that looked like a commercial complex. Ashi strode the distance – from the gate to the entrance and entered the complex through the revolving doors, there’s a map on her left guiding the visitors about the location of the places in the complex. Ashi quickly scanned, registering, “Sync, 14th floor”, in her mind as she made her way to the elevator.

‘Sync’ – A typical exotic club, with flickering exorbitant looking neon lights that beamed blue and green, danced around the large floor and the limited crowd – sophisticated, party animals, scattered over the entire place in bits and pieces. It seemed like the place had just started filling up. Of course, it’s too early for a club to be seen rammed and jammed with people, struggling to tap their feet on the dance floor.

In contrary to the small entrance that led Ashi in, the club looked extensive and widespread and had several zones, each offering a different level of noise and energy. The light thumps that fell on Ashi’s eardrums sounded like old school – soul and rock combo. A profound view revealed that the club had seven zones with a lounge facility and a bar that stood to the extreme corner of the club. Ashi could see the barman serving flaming shots to a couple that gulped them readily and hungrily.

“I’ve to stay off that corner. Self control Ashi, self control”, she murmured as usual.

The flooring to her surprise was far normal than what she’d expected looking at the interior that depicted and screamed the word – exquisite in her conscious.

All the walls were highlighted by a “sync” sign – inscribed on the walls, glowing in red that matched the theme – blue and green neon. The interior and furnishings were not that conspicuous. The light scheme made it difficult for her eyes to adjust themselves to see anything distinctly.

Ashi’s black heels as usual landed in a way that made a manifest clatter and invited glances from almost everyone present there. Clacking away to a corner, Ashi scanned the place to locate any known faces – precisely Rihaan’s.

“Hello Hotness, welcome.” With the words came a gentle tap on her shoulder.

Ashi turned and saw Kabir grinning at her with a full-length ravishing smile that didn’t have any effect on her, unlike first time. Except his looks he’d nothing to be felt drawn to. That one sole thing too, was negated by the way he talked and made a person feel.

“Charmless Creature.”

Ashi gave a tight-lipped smile in exchange.

“What’s up then?” Kabir asked continuing the conversation.

“Nothing much. So, where are your friends?” Ashi quickly replied with the main question that was lingering in her mind since she’d entered.

Ashi’s mind kept on making mental notes on every sentence he bragged about.

“Rihaan and Taniya are on their way…”

Mental Note – “Oh yes, that leech who clings herself to Rihaan.”

“A few of them are already here. By the way, this is my private party. I own this place tonight…”

Mental Note – “The reason this place looks deserted.”

“Feel free to communicate or interact with anyone. Everyone knows me here.”

His normal sentences too had a tone that depicted – how blessed is this planet earth to have someone like him. Like, he’s the Greek God, a fallen angel that women on this earth were bestowed upon.

He continued without Ashi asking him anything, “I’ve thrown this party because I sealed a contract day before that I was trying to get since months and…”, Ashi rolled her eyes virtually.

“Kabir….” A female voice from a distant corner called out to him.

“I’ll be back in a while, till then you make yourself comfortable. Okay?” Kabir said, literally being on his toes for a ‘yes’ as a quick acceptance from Ashi before leaving.

“Yes. Yes. Sure.” Ashi gave a huge smile flashing her whites not to him but to a chiseled silhouette entering the club with a skinny silhouette pinned to his side.

“Great!”

Ashi mentally exclaimed and visibly grinned with a sigh of relief.

By the time Rihaan entered with Taniya the place was pretty crowded than earlier and the music had raised its bar. Standing in the same corner as before, Ashi’s eyes followed Rihaan. It seemed like he knew almost everyone present there. He sauntered with a grace like it’s very normal for him to be a part of such bunfights, meeting everyone, smiling at everyone. He’s wearing the same black jeans and the blue shirt, paired with formal shoes; the only addition was a pinstripe jacket that he’d donned, over his blue shirt. He looked like a delight to the eyes. Mesmerizing. His each and every movement fluttered Ashi’s heartbeats like never before.

“How can he look so ordinarily perfect?! Was he always the same? Or is his intoxicating poison growing on my conscious slowly and steadily.”

Ashi followed his every move with centered concentration.

“Dear Ashi, stop boring your eyes into him. If you do that for even a second more, he’ll straight away head in this corner and you know the consequences that’ll follow.” Her sub conscious rose from her comfy chair with a book in her hand and warned Ashi, peering through her glasses.

Ashi immediately looked away and with a slight, distinct clatter directly headed towards the bar.

Ashi thought of confronting him, making it look like a casual bumping, but dropped the idea later as she didn’t want to make it deliberate. Also, the leech that clang to his side didn’t allow her to. She’d herself all over him. Standing near the bar, next to a vacant, swiveling bar stool, Ashi back-tracked her memories a few minutes.

“Bloody, blood-sucking, stage five clingy leech. How can girls be like her?! I wonder if she even has any strength left in her limbs. More than half of the time she’s leaned over Rihaan or holds him for support. But it looks like Rihaan likes it. He never infuriates her for anything. He never gets mad at her. Instead, he smiles all the time. Maybe he loves it. Maybe he loves her.”

The moment Ashi thought about her last thought she dreaded it in toto. Her thoughts gyrated rifely. For a brief moment she completely forgot that she’s in an exquisite club named ‘Sync’, in the middle of a jamboree, dumbfoundedly staring at the wine bottles displayed at the bar. Ashi sighed heavily and closed her eyes as she clinched her rampaging thoughts with an acceptance.

“Congratulations, myself. You’ve finally fallen head over heels with this ‘so called’ Rihaan whom you acted to hate during your first encounter.”

Next….

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