Nandita Kochar



Nandita Kochar


Ghosts Of Her Past - Part 3

Ghosts Of Her Past - Part 3

6 mins

Ashna glanced at the clock hung on the wall opposite to her dresser. It was already 6 p.m. She has to reach the hotel where Veer was throwing a surprise party for some friend of his by 8. She was in a hurry as there will be a rush on the roads during the weekend apart from a drive of more than 45 minutes from her place. She did a final touch up and looked at herself in the mirror. She used to limit her make up to a minimum while attending her Boss's party as she didn't wish herself to be counted as one among those crazy girls who drooled over Veer and were craving to rope him into their kitty. Ashna used to feel pity for such girls whose painstakingly done embellishments and flimsy attire told her how desperate they were.

She got up and threw a satisfied glance at the gaunt – pink, floor-length gown she was wearing. She smiled as the mirror told her that in spite of her sincere efforts to look plain, she looked stunning. She picked up her clutch and the keys of her car and the apartment and walked out of her bedroom. She has dropped her mother at her cousin Kavita’s place for the night as she knew she won’t be able to return any time before midnight. And it was not wise to leave a person as frail as her alone for the entire night. Kavita was a social worker and has settled down in Delhi with her family after her marriage. She was a sibling, guardian, best friend and confidant – all in one package. She was the one whom Ashna looked up to while going through the trials and tribulations of life.

Ashna locked the apartment and stepped into the lift. She caught the watchman down in the parking lot caressing her curves with his lecherous eyes as he pulled out the cigarette hanging on his lips and smirked. She decided to teach him a lesson and walked straight up to him. He instantly glued his eyes to the floor as he saw her marching towards him. She leaned against the pillar where he was seated and flashed a flirtatious smile at him. He jumped to his feet at once as his thirsty eyes became riveted to her smoky eyes.

“Can I have a smoke?” she asked him with a wink.

He promptly held out his cigarette to her. She caressed his hand before taking the cigarette from him.

“You look hot, Madam.” He said as his mouth watered for her delectable flesh.

“How hot?” She asked in a smoky voice as she blew air on the burning cigarette and it glowed with a bright red colour.

“Very hot!” He said as blood gushed down his body and pooled between his thighs.

“This hot?” She said as she pressed the burning cigarette on his hand and he screamed out of pain.

With one contemptuous glare at him, she turned towards her car. She turned on the engine and drove off as she saw him blowing vigorously on his burning wound.

* * * *

Ashna was baffled to see the luxurious party hall of the Grand Ian empty. She gazed surprisingly at her watch and found that it was only 8.10 p.m.

‘Is the party over? 'Ashna thought as she searched all around for human faces, ‘Has his guests left within 10 minutes?’

By the far end of the party hall, she saw a man sitting by a table with his back turned to her. She was somewhat relieved to spot someone from her own species.

“Excuse me,” she said as she approached him.

As the man turned to her, her face lit up with a surprised smile.

“Oh! It’s you,” Ashna said smiling as she saw Veer, “Where are your guests?”

"There are no guests except one." He said as she signalled her to sit down on a chair opposite to him with a wave of the hand.

“And where is that one?” Ashna looked around for his friend for whom he was throwing the surprise party.

“She’s is here.” Veer said pointing a finger at her.

“What!” Ashna was knocked down by a feather.

“Yes, that’s true.”

“But why? I mean, what is the occasion?” Ashna strained her memory for any red-lettered day that she may have forgotten, “Are you giving me a promotion or something?”

“Yes, kind of”

“Kind of?” Ashna’s dazed eyes scanned him curiously, “What do you mean?”

“Well,” He said as she bent forward while keeping his eyes locked with hers, “I wish to take our relationship to the next level.”

“What?” Ashna was still confused, “right now I am your employee. Do you want me to be a partner in your business? I don’t have that kind of money lying around to invest in your business.”

Ashna flashed a perplexed smile while trying to peep into his mind through his eyes.

"Not business partner," Veer said as he stuffed his right hand in the pocket of his coat, "but a life partner."

“What!” Ashna has lost count of how many times she has uttered that particular word during that evening.

Veer pulled out a small box covered with red velvet out of his pocket and placed it on the table near her.

“Will you marry me?” he said as he opened it and picked up a beautiful diamond ring from it.

Ashna kept staring at the ring in utter bewilderment with a widely gaped mouth.

“Ashna,” Veer called out as he saw her sitting as still as a statute.

“Yes!” Ashna regained her senses with a vigorous gasp.

“So what do you say?” Veer looked expectantly at her.

“About what?” Ashna could still not organize her thoughts as she struggled to get out of the sudden shock.

“What else other than your reply to my proposal, yaar!” Veer was amused by the astonished look on her stunning face.

“Oh yes that,” Ashna nodded as she gulped down heavily. "Well….err…." she rummaged for words to put it as mildly as possible as she didn't want to break his heart, "I didn't have even the slightest idea about what was going on in your mind. It was totally out of the blue …."

Ashna fell silent as her brain worked hard to create a sensible reply while Veer waited anxiously for words to come of her.

“I need some time to think.” Ashna finally said as she looked straight into his eyes.

“Well,” Veer shrugged as he was not sure whether it was an absolute ‘no’ and decided to try his luck again, “I am going to my hometown Rajgadh tomorrow. It’s my Mom’s birthday day after tomorrow and I have planned a midnight birthday bash for her. If you wish to accept me as your man, please be there at the railway station by 9 am tomorrow. Otherwise…..” Veer’s voice trailed off.

Ashna’s eyes pierced through his as she checked him for any signs of grudge against her.

“We will still be friends.” Veer crushed his pain and flashed a bright smile.

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