The Vixen - Chapter 1
The Vixen - Chapter 15 mins 1.0K 5 mins 1.0K
Nandini stared at herself in the life-size mirror. The peach top with white pearls studded around the neck brought out the hazel tone of her eyes, and the long beige skirt accentuated her slim waist. Her brown curls cascaded down her shoulders like a waterfall. She looked resplendent in her favorite dress that she had reserved for a special occasion. And today was a special day indeed!
Anupam Puri was coming back today, and she wanted to look her best for him.
Nandini and Anupam’s families had been friends since the time she remembered. And the friendship dated generations, as their grandparents had been colleagues and good friends. Nandini and Anupam had been inseparable as kids, and getting the two married to each other so that they wouldn’t destroy anybody else’s life, had been the common joke between the two families.
Then came the awkward teenage years, when Nandini began feeling inferior because of her pimples and her weight issues, while Anupam enjoyed all the limelight for being the most handsome and the most popular guy in the class. The guy that every girl had a secret crush on. But still, their friendship stayed thick as ever.
It was that time when Nandini first realized her feelings for Anupam. She felt safe with him around. She felt protected with him around. And none of the mean girls dared to tease or bully her, because she was Anupam’s best friend. But she never dared to say anything to him. Because she wasn’t sure he reciprocated the feelings. And if he didn’t, it would destroy their friendship, which she valued more than anything else. The other reason was, she was very conscious of her looks. And she somehow felt inferior to everyone else around her.
But time had changed her. She had metamorphosed from a pimply, plump teenager into a beautiful woman. And now, it had been five years since Anupam went abroad for his engineering degree. He had returned just once in those five years, but unfortunately, Nandini had been to their village as her grandfather had expired.
Of course, they had stayed in contact via social media. But neither Nandini nor Anupam were very active on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and whatever little contact they had had on WhatsApp was limited further by the different time zones.
So now, Nandini was looking forward to seeing Anupam in person. She wanted to see his expressions when he saw her after these many years. And she wanted to tell him that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.
No one else knew what she had in mind though, except Gargi, Anupam’s sister, whose marriage was just three weeks away, and the very reason that Anupam was visiting India.
“Oh my! Someone is going to be wounded today,” Gargi nudged Nandini with her elbow. Nandini blushed. She had been so lost in her own thoughts, she didn’t notice Gargi entering the room. Of course, it was Gargi’s room, and Nandini had come specially to the Puri house so she could join Puri uncle and Gargi who were going to the airport to receive Anupam.
“Come on girls, we will be late,” Puri uncle called from downstairs.
Gargi and Nandini began walking towards the door as Gargi’s cell phone rang.
Nandini rolled her eyes mischievously. Rishabh, Gargi’s would-be, kept finding reasons to call her all day.
“Hi, Rishabh….yes….what? when?” Gargi spoke as she and Nandini climbed down the spiral staircase.
Nandini looked at her, questioningly.
“Oh, ok, I will be there. No, no, that’s fine,” she said.
They had reached downstairs where Puri uncle stood waiting.
“Papa, Rishabh’s granny had a nasty fall and she has probably fractured her hip bone. They have taken her to Max hospital. Rishabh wants me to go with him to see her,” Gargi said, slightly disappointed. She had been equally excited to see her dear brother.
“It’s okay beta, duty first. Anupam will be here by the time you come back home. And I have Nandini with me, don’t worry,” Puri uncle said.
Gargi bade them goodbye and Nandini and uncle proceeded towards his Bolero. It would take them at least an hour to reach the airport in the Mumbai traffic, and Anupam’s flight was about to land in half an hour.
Puri uncle made small talk all the way to the airport but Nandini only half listened, giving appropriate responses at appropriate times. But her mind was far away. She felt butterflies in her stomach, and the anticipation of meeting Anupam after such a long time gave her goosebumps that wouldn’t go.
Finally, an hour and a quarter later, Puri uncle and Nandini stood waiting at the reception for the arrivals. The flight had landed twenty minutes back, and Anupam would be there any minute now.
“Nandu,” she heard his voice and turned her neck. There stood Anupam, flashing his million-dollar smile, waving at her, a jacket on his left shoulder, and a suitcase in his right hand. He looked more handsome and fit than ever. Had she noticed those muscles in his arms before?
He strode towards the two of them, and before long, Anupam had been wrapped in a bear hug by Puri uncle. Nandini waited for her turn.
Anupam released uncle, and then looked Nandini up and down.
“Nandu, you aren’t a fatso anymore. You actually look like a girl now,” he said, laughing his carefree laughter as Nandini playfully punched him on his arm.
She was about to hug him when she noticed a pale, slender wrist going around his arm.
And Nandini watched in shock, as a gorgeous girl materialized from behind Anupam. Anupam put his hand around her shoulder.
“Papa, meet Tanya, my girlfriend,” he said, as Nandini watched in horror.