Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 7,8 and 9

(Adult Content)

Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 1,2 and 3 | Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 4,5 and 6

Chapter 7: The Envelope

Sheetal had readied the house for the occasion. As Vishaal and Neha reached the apartment she opened the door immediately. Sheetal was looking beautiful too! She was clad in a red saree, had worn simple gold jewelry and she was looking beautiful. The evening was going to be entertaining! It always is, when two women tried to impress the same man. As they were chatting in the living room the housemaid prepared the dining table for dinner.

As Sheetal came and sat next to Vishaal Neha took out the presents and gave it to the couple. Neha’s gift to Sheetal was a beautiful diamond necklace and her gifts to Vishaal consisted of his favorite items: a wristwatch, a suit, diary and a pen. Along with that was an envelope. Vishaal kept the other things on the side and was about to open the envelope but then Sheetal insisted that they have their dinner first. Vishaal kept the envelope in his jeans pocket and they got up to have their dinner.

Sheetal had taken good care to impress Neha. The table was full of different cuisines. Sheetal and Vishaal sat next to each other and Neha sat opposite to them. Seeing them together Neha realized that the couple was very much in love. Perhaps that was how it was meant to be. Vishaal was never meant to be hers. As they had their dinner Sheetal’s friendly nature overflowed in abundance. She was a good host, was trying to be a good friend to Neha, and as it seemed from where Neha was, Sheetal was a perfect wife. By the time they finished dinner Neha had made a decision. Initially Neha had plans to make Vishaal realize what he had lost by leaving her but now when she saw what Vishaal had gained by being married to Sheetal she changed her mind and decided to be happy with how it was. Life taught her one more lesson. The chatting and laughing continued post dinner as the trio sat in the hall. Sheetal took the diamond necklace in her hand and stared at it for a long time and then told Neha that she was not sure whether she should keep it. Neha said that she should keep it as a token of their friendship. Sheetal’s maid eyed the necklace as Sheetal kept it in the box. Vishaal went to bring the glasses and Neha walked closer to Sheetal. She whispered sorry as she hugged Sheetal. Neha knew that Sheetal was aware of the reason why Neha had apologized to her. Everything was sorted out now. Neha felt light at heart. Vishaal returned with the glasses and then Neha opened the champagne bottle and they had a toast for Vishaal’s and Sheetal’s happily married life. As the couple stood arm in arm sipping the drink from their glasses, Neha looked at them and smiled but somewhere inside, something in her was breaking … perhaps it was her heart.

After the party was over and Neha was about to leave Sheetal suggested that she stayed back at their place. Neha preferred going back home because she wanted to be alone. Finally Sheetal agreed to let her go but requested Vishaal to drop her home. Vishaal was getting ready but Neha refused. Right now everything was perfect. Neha was a perfect guest; Vishaal and Sheetal were perfect hosts. Neha was a good friend to both and Vishaal and Sheetal were a wonderful couple, but Neha was sure that things would not be same once she was alone with Vishaal. She did not want to ruin the perfect picture. Also, she did not want to give any remote chance for the dream to come true.

Neha walked out of the house alone and she did not turn back to say goodbye. She was not sure whether she could face them because the tears that had refused to flow earlier were now flowing unbounded as if they were conspiring against her. She was feeling light at heart, everything was fine, and she had forgiven Vishaal for what he had done, so what if unknowingly! She had accepted that Vishaal was not meant for her and she had accepted Sheetal as Vishaal’s wife, then why were the tears rolling down on her cheeks? Perhaps they were meant to cleanse her soul. She did not bother to wipe them as she sat in the taxi to reach her house where no one was waiting for her.

The first thing Neha did after returning home was to empty the flower-vase. She threw the roses in the waste-paper basket because now those roses meant nothing to her. Neha’s initial approach to this event of her life was like that of an escapist – run away from the situation, ignore Vishaal and flee from the country. Later on it changed to more of the obsession kind – to seduce Vishaal and bring him back in her life or at the least make him realize what he had lost by choosing Sheetal over her. But today, at this moment she was thinking rationally, she was thinking like a composed person and had accepted what had happened. The hurt and feelings kept apart, she had accepted that Vishaal was not meant for her.

Meanwhile, Vishaal changed his clothes and lay on his bed. Sheetal was removing her jewelry. As she kept the jewelry on the dressing table, she continued to stare at Vishaal through the mirror and finally said,
“She loves you!”
Vishaal looked at her through the mirror and replied,
“I know”
“And you?” Sheetal questioned as she turned around to face him directly.
Vishaal stared at her for a while turned to the other side and slept.

Sheetal immediately realized that she had tread on dangerous grounds. She brushed her hair, sprayed a deodorant and got into the bed next to Vishaal. She ran her fingers through his hair and kissed him on the cheek. Vishaal did not move. Sheetal put her arms around him and moved closer. She felt that Vishaal would turn when he would feel her body against his, but he did not move. Finally Sheetal gave up and turned to the other side and slept.

Neha stared blankly out of the window, watching the trees sway on the soft breeze. She was thinking … did he see what the envelope contained? Would he accept her offer? She had offered Vishaal a partnership in a business. This was when she wanted to win him over but now she wanted it otherwise. She hoped that Vishaal would reject her offer.

Chapter 8: The Offer

The next morning Vishaal opened the envelope and read the contents. He kept the envelope on his desk and went to bath. As he came out of the bathroom Sheetal asked him, “Are you going to accept the offer?”
Vishaal was still in a towel when the question was shot at him. He walked towards the wardrobe to take out his clothes when Sheetal repeated the question,
“Are you accepting the offer?”
“Yes I am”, Vishaal answered.
Sheetal moved a few steps towards him and said,
“Don’t you understand her intentions? Last night she apologized to me and I knew why she did so. I could clearly make out that she was trying to impress you but when she apologized I thought that she’s realized her mistake and thus changed her mind. But this offer … it explains everything!”

Vishaal took her in his arms and tried to calm her,
“Why do you worry so much?”
“Because I know under what circumstances you…”
Before Sheetal could complete her sentence Vishaal covered her mouth with his. Sheetal gave in too. Feeling Vishaal’s body close to hers was all that mattered for the moment. Vishaal picked her up in his arms and walked towards the bed. As he laid her on the bed Sheetal reached for his towel and took it off. Vishaal smiled at her and began to untie her nightgown lace. After they made love they had a shower together and Vishaal succeeded in convincing Sheetal that he belonged to no one but her.

In spite of the delay at home Vishaal managed to reach Neha’s house on time. Neha was waiting for him but was expecting a negative response. When she opened the door for Vishaal she stared at him for a while. He was looking so handsome. Either the act back home shone on his face or he had prepared himself for his meeting with Neha. She was waiting for Vishaal to say something in refusal but instead he asked as to when they would go to see their new office. Neha merely smiled at him and picked up her car keys. Both got into her car and Neha took the drivers seat. As they reached the office premises she looked over at Vishaal and he smiled.

Neha’s father was expecting Neha to call him and inform about the time of her flight back home hence he was surprised when she called up to ask him for a favor. She insisted that she wanted to stay back in India and wanted him to finance her business. He was totally shocked when Neha told him that she intended to do business with Vishaal. He knew that his daughter was definitely up to something unusual. Nevertheless, he arranged for the money, using which Neha bought an office premises in a posh locality and registered their company.

When they entered the office, Vishaal was more than excited. Finally his dream to start his own business had taken shape with the help of Neha. He knew that Neha loved him and she did this not for him but for herself. As he walked and sat on his chair, a smug smile crossed his face, which Neha failed to see. She was thinking on how to set up the business. They needed proper back up to set themselves in the market. Finance was one thing and reputation was another. They needed to work hard on the other half. She had made enquiries with the company that would supply them the raw material and had even arranged for the machinery. Now all they needed was a good fashion designer who would work for them and a showroom where they would sell their designer outfits. Neha had done the finance part and she put the rest of the responsibility on Vishaal. Vishaal was determined to do his part to earn profit because that is how he was going to repay Neha for what she had done for him. The clause in the deed stated that, at the moment, Vishaal need not invest anything in the business and he can pay in installments from the profit that comes in his share. In case he failed to payback Neha was free to do what she felt like. Neha had no interest in the business. Initially she had opted for this particular business because she wanted it to go in loss so that she could win over Vishaal when he would fail to payback the investment share. But now, things were different. Neha was even ready to give her part of the profit share to him and get out of the partnership as soon as possible.

The accounting staff and other working staff were appointed after Neha and Vishaal conducted the interviews together. As they spent more time together Neha began to feel relaxed in his presence, just as she had learned to be calm after realizing that she was in love with Vishaal. So much had changed since then. Neha’s life had taken a full 360-degree turn. She was where she was. Vishaal had moved ahead in life. She had tried to pull him back but now she wanted to let him go but unfortunately Vishaal had accepted her offer. She decided that she would hand over the business to him and return back home. But setting up the business was going to take time. Every minute of that time she had to spend with Vishaal. How long would she be able to control her feelings? This question bothered her throughout the day and at night the dream haunted her. Whenever Vishaal walked too close to her or by mistake brushed against her body she felt aroused. In spite of all the rational things, her heart conspired against her.

Days went by; Neha had appointed a fashion designer and Vishaal took care of the marketing aspect. All in all, their business had started and was steady. Vishaal was glad that his dream had started to take shape, also he felt happy in Neha’s presence. He was loyal to Sheetal but there were times when he felt attracted towards Neha. Whenever they were working together he noticed the way Neha presented herself. She was beautiful no doubt, but she was also taking good care to look attractive. Vishaal could smell Neha’s perfume whenever they sat next to each another to work on documents. He felt as if that perfume was meant for him.

Chapter 9: When Love Still Burns

One day as they were having coffee together, Neha walked to the window and was sipping her coffee when she felt that Vishaal was standing behind her. She turned around and unknowingly dropped her coffee on his shirt and a few drops spilled on her shirt too. Vishaal moved back and walked to the washroom to clean his shirt. Neha kept the cup on the table and walked to the washroom to clean her shirt. As she entered she could not take her eyes off Vishaal. He had removed his shirt and was washing it with the tap water. As Vishaal saw Neha entering the washroom he walked to her. Neha was surprised when Vishaal tried to clean the marks on her shirt. She moved back but Vishaal moved closer to her. She was now pressed against the wall and Vishaal was standing really close to her. He put his right hand around her waist and his left hand on her neck.

Before Neha could react Vishaal’s lips were pressed against her lips and he was kissing her passionately waiting for her to respond. Neha gave in too and reciprocated the kiss. As they continued to kiss Vishaal’s right hand moved upwards along the sideline of Neha’s body and then moved on to the front and when Neha felt his hand on her breast she pushed him away. Before she could say anything Vishaal said,
“I… I am sorry Neha. I did not mean to do it. It just happened.”
Neha turned around and walked out of the washroom. Vishaal put on his shirt and walked out of the washroom.
Neha was trying to concentrate in her work when Vishaal came and sat across from her. Neha did not look up.
“I know what happened was wrong. I promise it won’t happen again.” Vishaal apologized.
Neha looked up from the papers and said,
“Let us forget about it.” But she was not going to forget it ever. She was going to savor the moment for her lifetime.

That night Neha found it difficult to sleep. That move from Vishaal was unexpected and not understandable! He was a married man and behaving like this with her meant either one of the two things. He loved Neha or was trying to get close to her for professional benefit. Neha shrugged away that thought and stared blankly towards the sky.
Back home, Vishaal thought as to what had happened to him in the office. Why had he done what he did? What would Neha think about me? This thought troubled Vishaal. Sheetal came to him and when she saw the look on Vishaal’s face she was worried. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Nothing” was Vishaal’s quick reply. He got up from the couch and went in to change his clothes. As he removed his shirt Sheetal took it from him and saw the improperly washed coffee stain. She did not say anything but merely kept the shirt in the washing bag. As Vishaal finished changing his clothes she walked to him and kissed him on the cheek. She was about to leave the room when Vishaal grabbed her hand and pulled her back and kissed her on the lips. Sheetal did not stop him. After they made love Vishaal slept and Sheetal got up and walked to the kitchen to ready the dinner.

The outfits were ready and so was the showroom. On the opening ceremony day Neha and Vishaal cut the ribbon together and Sheetal silently watched them. The showroom buzzed with people, designer outfits were sold and accounts showed increase in profit. Vishaal was working really hard. Sometimes Neha glanced at him as he was buried deep in his work. They worked overtime and one night they had to stay back in office due to workload. Neha maintained distance and even Vishaal did not try to come close though Neha’s perfume tickled his senses.

The next day when Vishaal came to the office in the evening to sign some papers, Neha was already in office finishing her part of the work. Neha looked at him and immediately she could make out that something was wrong. When she asked him, Vishaal told her that Sheetal was not happy. She did not like that Neha and Vishaal spent so much time together in the office. The overnight thing had really upset her. This could have been a good news for Neha had she still been pursuing her obsession, but today she felt guilty for being the reason of misunderstanding between Sheetal and Vishaal. Neha offered to talk to Sheetal but Vishaal refused. He said that he would make her understand. A candlelight dinner, lovemaking and a shower were his idea of convincing her. As if reading his mind Neha said,
“Can we get back to work now?”
Even that day they worked till late and when Vishaal reached home Sheetal was asleep. Vishaal changed his clothes and slept next to her.

Neha tried hard to sleep but she visualized Sheetal and Vishaal making love every time she closed her eyes. Finally she got up and walked to the washroom. She splashed some water on her face and returned to her room. She switched on her Laptop and wrote something in Microsoft word document. As she finished it she took printouts and then signed the papers after reading them. She intended to give these papers to her Lawyer the next morning so that he could ready the legal papers stating that she was giving her share of the profit to Vishaal. Neha decided it was time for her to leave the country. But she did not know that life had something else in store for her.

She lay down on her bed and tried to sleep. She never knew when she slept. She had to get up from her sleep once again but what she saw was different than what she had visualized few hours back. It was about to change her life … forever!

Autumn - The Last Leaf: Chapter 10,11 and 12


Return to Main Page

Books by Arti Honrao

Depression is REAL

Scroll through and click on image to read