Chapter Fourteen


Hitesh walks opens the door and sneaks Khushi inside. Hitesh used to have a spare key these days since he used to come often. It was the spare keys that Parnika used to have. Even the keys used to remind Jay of her. Jay wanted to apologise but she was far away from him. There wasn’t a way to reach her. It felt as if she was out of his life forever. The mere thought of that used to make him feel uneasy. He didn’t know what it was but he knew it isn’t easy to just forget someone who used to be around you 24/7.

Jay was working on his resume so he could apply for some job. He was bored of being a freelancer and thought if he goes out, he’d be able to divert his mind from all these things. It’d keep him busy. He was sending an email when he felt soft hands on his eyes. For once he rejoiced thinking Parnika was back but these hands weren’t hers. He’d know her touch even if he’s in coma. “Guess who?” a sweet melodious voice chimes in the same way Parnika used to say it when she used to surprise him. “C’mon don’t tell me you already forgot me dumbass.” She complained as it was taking longer for Jay to guess. The second sentence made much more sense as he smiled, “Khushi? Is that you?” She moves her hands as he opens his eyes. “When did you arrive? Why didn’t you inform me? I could’ve received you at the airport.” Jay  was excited to see his little sister after so many years. She used to come during festivals like Diwali but since last two years when she was on job it was difficult. He embraced her and patted her back. “It’s so good to see you. I am so happy!” The smile on his face was back.

Hitesh was leaning on the door frame with his arms crossed watching the reunion of brother and sister. “Didn’t I tell you he is going to cry. He’s still a cry baby.” Khushi playfully smacks on his arm. “Hey, he is just emotional. Don’t be mean to your brother.” Hitesh comes and places and on Jay’s shoulder. “Now you’re changing the teams eh?” Khushi grins as she pulls both of them into a hug. “It’s been so long seeing both of you. I missed you two so much there in UK. When now I’m here you two team up against me. Not bad, I think I was better there.” Khushi tries to walk out of room showing fake anger. “Na mari dadi ma, tane kai kehvay. (No my granny, no one can win against you.)” Jay stops her from going.

“You two have some sibling time while I go out and get something to eat. I am hungry, you two must be satisfied seeing each other, but I am not. This baby needs some food.” Hitesh rubs his belly as he walks out. “Wait! I’ll come with you.” Khushi goes after him. Jay was smiling back after a long time now. He had totally forgotten about everything else for that moment. He notices Khushi and Hitesh riding his bike and he sits back on his chair. He gets done sending the resumes to all the companies he’s been interested in and now all he had to do is wait for their replies.

Khushi wraps her arms around Hitesh’s waist as they cruze on the highway. Chilled morning air flows through her hair set them flying. She tightens her grip on Hitesh as he leans the bike towards a hilly curve. “That’s a smart excuse to get me out for a ride hitu.” Khushi leans over and speaks into is ear. The wind was making it difficult to talk on a high speed. “Yes, it’s not like everyday I get everyday I get my girlfriend on my bike.” Hitesh takes a U-turn to get back into the city. “What do you think, should we tell bhai(Brother) now? I don’t feel it’s the right time to bring out our relationship where he’s sad about his own.” Khushi is worried thinking about his brother’s reaction. He was his only hope as she knows if Jay agrees to their relationship, it would be a piece of cake to convince their parents. “If he comes to find that out on his own, he’d be more sad. We don’t want him to think that we betrayed his trust. I don’t want to become a friend who was fucking his sister behind his back.” Khushi playfully slaps him on his shoulder as they both laugh. While coming back home they get some pizzas.

“It took you two quite long to get pizza from a store that’s just 15 mins on a walking distance from here.” Jay looks at them as they open the door to enter. “Uh, actually his bike was low on fuel so we had to go to the fuel station to fill up. There was huge queue in the nearby fuel station so we head off a bit ahead.” Khushi smiles coyly placing pizzas on the table. “By the way how did Hitesh knew that you’re going to be here this morning and not me?” Jay rubs his chin looking at Khushi. “Why are you behaving like mom now? I am old enough you know…. Also I wanted to surprise your silly ass. Hence you can’t tell the surprise to person you wanna surprise.” Khushi scorns him off and opens the pizza box lid.

The aroma of delicious melted cheese spreads in the room. Hitesh sits by Khushi as Jay begins to laugh. Both Khushi and Hitesh look at him as if he’s gone crazy. “You think I don’t know what’s going on between you two?” Both Khushi and Hitesh look down for a moment. “ What? You think only you can surprise? I know you both are seeing each other. Don’t act in front of me atleast. Mane kabab ma haddi banvano koi shok nathi.(I don’t wanna be the bone in meat.)” “You mean to say you already know about us? When did you find that out? How?” bepuzzled Khushi fires questions at Jay.

“Well when you two were talking on the video call a week earlier. I was there in the next room. He thought I was dead sleep but I was feeling thirsty so had to get up for water.” Jay smirks looking at Hitesh who was wondering what to do next. “Well I seriously had no intentions to hide it from you. But both of us were worried how’d you react.” Hitesh tries to say as Jay gets him quiet. “ I am not a psychopath. What did you think of me? Obviously for sometime I was a little bit mad but then I saw you two being so happy together. How can I steal someone’s happiness? But I am a bit mad that Hitesh broke the bro code. If he had a sister I would’ve made him feel the same I felt.” Jay jokes as Hitesh’s face goes pale for a while. “Chill he’s just joking. He won’t do anything else, he knows me.” Khushi makes a defensive position with fists looking at Jay. There was laughter in the house after a long time.

Bhai, I have a fashion exhibit here tomorrow. I want  you two to accompany me. Some designs that I’ve worked on are being showcase in tomorrow’s event.” Khushi takes a slice of pizza. “Wow! One more surprise eh? What else are you hiding lill sis?” Jay joins them in savoring pizza. “Oh when my firm knew I wanted to move to India, they helped me in getting my designs into this exhibit. Although everything was quite spontaneous so I didn’t have time to tell anyone anything. They didn’t want me to leave the job so they sent me here for a week then I’ll have to move to california division.” “What?!” Both Jay and Hitesh almost choked on their food. “Sadly, they love me so much that they didn’t want me to leave. They wanted me for their special show that they’ve been working on for a couple of months now and it was short of one designer. So they approved my designs for the show which is next month. So I am here for a few weeks and then I’d have to move to California for 3-4 months at least.” Hitesh pulls out his phone has the notification chimes in. “Guys, well I have something to share as well it seems.” Both Jay and Khushi look at him. “ I got a accepted in the company I’ve been trying for a long time and guess what? They want me to join their California division.” Hitesh grins while both squint their eyes at him. “What?! I am dead serious see, its their email. They sent me offer letter and joining letter if I accept and I am accepting it.” Hitesh grins as he shows them the email.

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