‘Welcome everyone…’ Anjali greeted everyone warmly.
Mr. Mehra, his wife and Akanksha, entered Chauhan Mansion, late in the evening. Mr. Chauhan was sitting on the couch, waiting for them. He had a whisky glass in one hand and a newspaper in the other hand. The television showed current situation of share market.
‘We business people can never live a normal life, can we?’ Mr. Mehra said.
‘Why so, Mr. Mehra?’ Mr. Chauhan asked.
‘Because majorly our lives revolve around newspaper and television, and nowadays, internet is like a cherry on the top…’ Mr. Mehra laughed.
They both hugged, and Mr. Chauhan greeted Mrs. Mehra with folded hands. He also blessed Akanksha, who was still quiet and nervous.
‘Akanksha, daughter, can you call Shrey from his room? It’s been two hours that he’s locked, up there.’
‘Ugh…aunty…actually…’ Akanksha was nervous.
‘Third door on the left, go from these stairs…’ Anjali said and got busy in conversation with Mrs. Mehra.
Akanksha had no choice left. She couldn’t refuse Anjali’s request and so she started climbing up the stairs. One by one. With a million thoughts running in her mind, Akanksha almost started trembling. She heard loud footsteps approaching her from the top. It was Shrey.
He was dressed in black shirt and blue jeans, with his hair styled up and a shining iphone-5 in his hand, he was climbing down the stairs two at once. Akanksha held the railing tightly, seeing him coming at such a fast speed.
‘What are you doing here?’ Shrey asked, adjusting his collar.
‘I haven’t got whole evening to stand here, miss. Be a little quick!’ Shrey saw the time, it was 09:30pm. He was getting late for his friend’s birthday.
‘Aunty sent me to get you, from your room…’
‘And, I was coming…’
‘At this speed? Seriously?’ Shrey said and walked towards the door, leaving Akanksha in the middle of the staircase and ignoring the people sitting in the lobby.
‘Shrey!’ Mr. Chauhan called up loudly.
‘Fuck fuck fuck!’ Shrey whispered to himself. He wanted to disappear under everyone’s nose but Akanksha ruined his plan.
‘Where are you going, son?’
‘Dad, I didn’t notice you guys! Hello uncle, hey aunty, you look younger!’ Shrey greeted everyone, ‘Dad, don’t you remember? It’s 23rd today?’
‘So? What’s on 23rd of August?’
‘Oh, dad! 21st is my birthday and 23rd is Karan’s!’
‘Oh! Yes, yes, why not! Karan Singh Rajput, that smart army boy!’
‘Yeah…thank god you remember!’
*Now please let me leave* Shrey was talking to himself.
‘You said something?’
‘Yeah, I was leaving for his party. It was about to start at 9. And it’s already 09:40 now…’
‘You didn’t tell me about the party, Shrey. Otherwise we would have scheduled the dinner for some other day?’ Mrs. Chauhan spoke up.
‘Actually, I myself got the invitation just an hour back. And I couldn’t refuse him, mom. You know we’re friends since 20 years!’
‘I understand, son…but…’
‘Mom, I’ll try to be back soon…’
‘Son, do one thing. Take Akanksha along with you. She’ll get bored here, at home.’ Anjali requested Shrey and gave him a broad smile. Shrey was hating his mom for tricking him into their plans and ideas. But in front of his and her parents, he couldn’t say anything, but agreed reluctantly.
Shrey took out his shining silver Audi-A4. Akanksha was standing on the front gate. She wore a simple top with a skirt and looked elegant. Her hair were open, flowing into the air, and she carried a huge red handbag with her.
Akanksha kept staring at him for a moment. Shrey lowered down the window of Akanksha’s side.
‘What now? Do you expect me to open a door and make you sit in the car? Well, this is all I can do…’ Shrey pushed the door from inside with a violent thud and the door almost tore apart into the air. Akanksha barely escaped the push and saved her from getting hit.
‘Hey, I don’t want to force this upon you. I don’t want to go if you’re not comfortable in taking me along…’ Akanksha was scared to even enter his car now.
‘You think too much, lady! Come on, hop in…’ Shrey held her arm and made her sit inside. He raced off the car from the front door of his palatial home, to city streets.
‘Listen, don’t tell this at home…’ Shrey stopped the car near a footpath.
‘That I lied. Actually, there’s no party. Karan’s birthday is on 23rd, but of December, not August! I had no other way to escape the boring dinner, so I had to do it. But now, I guess I’m doomed again…Uh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that…I meant that my plan flopped in a way. I wanted to go out just for a drive, that’s it.’
‘It’s okay, I won’t tell anyone. My lips are locked!’ Akanksha sealed her lips with her fingers. Shrey smiled.
‘So, you’re ready for a bumpy ride?’
Shrey drove off speeding his car to over 120kmph. Akanksha was scared to death, but still, she managed to smile…