Amma made me take the next two days off work. "You're in no condition to work! In fact I think they're overworking you! You fainted in the middle of a party Nisha! That's not the kind of thing to be taken lightly." She said, worry evident in her eyes.
"It isn't as though anything happened though. I'm fine. I don't see why I can't go to work." I grumbled, irritated. At least if I was at work I could avoid the people I really did not want to see. If I was stuck at hospital I had no choice but to see whoever came to see me. This was fine, except for the fact that I didn't want to see one particular person who was bound to visit. The hospital. That's where they had taken me when I had fainted from a mere headache and fever. What was wrong with my family?
"If Druv hadn't been there to catch you when you fell who knows what might have happened?" Amma cried.
I winced when I heard his name, immediately reminded of my conversation with Cindy, "Amma can we please not talk about him?"
"You know Nisha I'm willing to admit my mistake in judging the boy wrongly. He came right out and told your father and me he had realized the error of his ways and had offered to marry you but that you had refused to marry him!"
"Why exactly did he tell you this?" I asked, frowning. Druv would never have brought up the topic on his own. My parents had probably provoked him to say what he had.
"Well he walked into the ballroom holding what looked like your corpse! Your father and I had to say something!" Amma said, defensively.
I groaned. This was getting worse and worse. She was undeterred and continued on, "What I don't understand though Nisha is why you don't just marry the boy! You're in love with him still aren't you? You aren't about to fall for any of the men your father and I find for you so why not just marry Druv Malhotra? He seems to be still quite taken by you if the worried expression on his face was anything to go by."
"Amma just drop it. I'm not going to marry him so leave me alone." I said, annoyed.
"Amma?" Parvati said, sticking her head into the room, "I'll take my turn here now. Why don't you go down and get a cup of coffee for yourself?"
"Oh I don't mind staying here dear. I'm sure that sweet Druv will come by soon, and I want to personally thank him again." She said, sounding like a lovesick teenager.
"I'll call you if he drops by Amma." Paru promised, stifling a giggle when she saw the gagging face I made behind my mother's back.
"Well, if you're sure." Amma reluctantly left the room.
"Oh my god Parvati! Tell me what on earth happened last night! I'm having nightmares after listening to my mother's version of it." I said, my eyes pleading with her to tell me my mother had been making up a lot of it.
She didn't do that. Instead she gave me a sheepish smile as she said, "Well what actually happened isn't much different."
I groaned, "So what happened?"
"You first tell me why you were so worked up yesterday. Then I'll tell you what exactly happened." Parvati said, winking.
So I told her, everything from how Priya had pulled me aside, to the conversation I had had with her, to Druv entering with his ex-girlfriend, to the nasty remarks his ex-girlfriend had made. "I had stood up to come back inside and then suddenly I felt really tired and I fell forward. I heard Druv call my name, but after that I don't remember anything." I said, frowning.
"Well let me start with it's a good thing you were unconscious. Druv, I guess, caught you before you hit the ground and he carried you back into the ballroom. He looked so worried Nish, he was absolutely pale and as soon as he entered he told his sister to call an ambulance."
"So it's his fault I'm in a hospital. Wait till I get my hands on him." I mumbled, annoyed.
Parvati chuckled before she continued, "Well his sister called the ambulance and he carried you out of the ballroom and up into what I think was the family drawing room. He laid you down on the divan and only then turned to give your parents and Praveen his attention. They accused him of hurting you, they said they had told you to stay clear of him and that they always knew he was good-for-nothing. Praveen almost went to hit him."
"No." I said softly, a little horrified.
Paru smiled, "Don't worry he didn't. Druv stopped them all in their tracks by simply saying, 'Hasn't she told you I asked her to marry me? Granted it was a little late, but I did! She was the one who said no so why don't you direct some of your anger at her?'"
"He didn't! When I was lying unconscious?" I cried, my annoyance growing, "I couldn't even defend myself!"
Paru giggled, "Nisha would you stop interrupting me! Well anyway after that your parents and Praveen all turned to me with accusing looks and after I assured them that I had no idea what he was talking about, they apologized to Druv. Then the ambulance came and whisked you away. He insisted on riding in the vehicle with you and me. He only left when the doctors had assured us that there was nothing the matter with you."
"They've said that already! Why on earth am I still here then?!" I asked, sitting up.
"Well, he was worried so he's paid for your stay here till tomorrow afternoon." Parvati said, her eyes on my face waiting for my reaction.
My face remained carefully blank, "Do you know when he is supposed to be coming here to visit me?" I asked in a steady voice.
The door opened just then and that gorgeous head popped inside. Those lovely brown eyes were full of worry but on seeing me sitting upright they brightened with joy, "You're up." Druv said, sounding relieved.
Parvati saw the calm leaving my face and anger replacing it and quickly stood up, "I'll leave you two alone." She said, hurrying out of the room.
Druv walked in, watching my face transform warily, "What did I do now?" he asked, sounding almost as worn out as I felt.
"What didn't you do would probably be a better question." I said, through gritted teeth, "You have me booked in here till tomorrow afternoon? For a bloody headache and fever? Which you were the root cause for?!"
"Well you didn't see yourself last night Nish. You looked like you were dead." He said, his eyes clouding with concern as he remembered what I had been like the previous night. He then picked up on something I had said, "Wait what do you mean I was the root cause for? How on earth did I make you get a fever and headache?!" He asked, his voice velvety smooth as usual, his mouth pulled into a frown.
"You're so confusing Druv." I said, frowning as I studied his handsome face. The face that even now made my heartbeat pick up speed which was made annoyingly obvious by the machine I was plugged up to. It had been beeping at a slow and steady rate but as I studied is face it started beeping faster and with more frequency. He seemed to understand the reason for the increased beeping when he looked around and he tried hiding the amused smile that had formed on his face.
"I'm confusing?" he asked innocently.
"Yes you are." I said, watching those eyes of his as they moved over my body and stopped at my face. He looked wary, as though a little afraid of something. Then it dawned on me. He was afraid of losing me.
"Why am I confusing?" he asked, approaching the bed slowly.
"Well, for one you told me you never wanted to get married seven months ago and now suddenly you asked me to marry you!" I said, watching him make his way to me.
"There was nothing sudden about it. It took me ages to realize the mistake I had made. I knew though after I had realized it that I had to make amends. I had to make you mine again." He said, finally stopping at the edge of my bed and sliding on to it so that he was sitting beside my knees.
"After that I hear that you've been seeing someone for the past three months." I said, watching his face as it unerringly moved closer and closer to mine.
He looked amused by what I had said, "Seeing someone? Really?"
"You went to lunch with a woman three months ago? And you took someone to a business party?" I offered, jogging his memory.
He chuckled, "I went to lunch with my client's wife to talk to her about some specifications she had on the house I'm designing for her and her husband. And the invitation told me to bring a date so I brought one of my friends along. That's it."
"Then your sister tells me that you're still in love with me and that you really want to marry me and that you've changed. You wouldn't break my heart this time around." I said, now barely whispering with his face less than an inch away.
"All of that is true." He murmured against my lips.
"A-And then you walked in with your ex-girlfriend and she follows me out of the ballroom in order to gloat about the fact that you left me and were now going out with her." I said quickly before he drew me into a kiss.
Just as I had expected it to, my last statement made him pull away a bit. Just enough so as to see my face and the expression on it. I was quite sure I looked hurt, and a little betrayed. I was not going to hide anything. Not now. Not anymore.
"That is utter bullshit." He said finally his eyebrows drawn together.
"I saw you enter with her." I said, the corners of my mouth pulled down in a frown.
"Well I ran into her at the liquor store and we talked for a bit. When she heard about the party she begged me to bring her along because she was very bored and she had just received a call that she was going to be working on Christmas so she was also slightly depressed. I couldn't just leave her there." He said, his eyes searching mine to see if I believed him or not.
I felt as though a rock that had been pressing down on my chest had just been shattered to bits. My hand went to his face and gently outlined his eyebrows, his nose, his lips, "And you fell for it?"
Those lips I was tracing with my fingers frowned, "Fell for it?"
"Oh come on Druv. Surely you know she was making it all up." I said, an amused smile on my face as I saw how clueless he looked.
"She was?" He said, but he didn't sound very interested in the conversation anymore. His eyes had moved down to my lips which were getting closer and closer to his. He ran his hands down the sides of my neck to my shoulders and stopped me just before my lips touched his.
"What are you doing?" I murmured, looking into the dark chocolate brown depths of his eyes.
"We're going to get married Nisha." He said, no longer was it a question. Merely a statement.
"Are we?" I asked, amused.
"Yes we are. We'll get married on New Year's Eve. It could be at a judge's office for all I care, but you are going to be my wife before next year." He said, his eyes daring me to challenge him.
"Why?" I asked simply, enjoying myself.
"Because I love you, and I don't think I'll ever stop loving you. I want forever Nisha, and I want it with you. Will you marry me?" His voice was husky as he proposed.
I finally let out a soft chuckle, "I will." I said, "Not because I need you but because I want you. I want you more than I've wanted anything before. I love you Druv."
He looked taken aback, "What?"
I giggled, "I love—" I didn't get a chance to finish what I was saying as his lips came down on mine and silenced me, but I didn't mind. I reveled in the heat and electricity pumping through my body, overjoyed by the fact that it definitely was not my last kiss with him. I wrapped my hands around his neck, pulling him closer to me just as the door to my room creaked open. The two of us were oblivious to the sound, in our own world. It was only when we heard the loud "Ahem" that we pulled away from one another, embarrassed.
My parents, Praveen, Parvati, Druv's mother, and Priya were all at the door looking in with huge grins on their faces. Druv let out a low chuckle as he turned to face them, an arm still around my waist, "Are you guys up for a wedding on New Year's Eve?" he asked, a single eyebrow lifted questioningly. Seeing that signature look of his made my heart leap with joy. I was finally getting my happily ever after.
And it's done.
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COPYRIGHT SANJANA BALARAMAN.