Part Fifty Four (Read Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen | Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen | Part Nineteen | Part Twenty | Part Twenty One | Part Twenty Two | Part Twenty Three | Part Twenty Four | Part Twenty Five | Part Twenty Six | Part Twenty Seven | Part Twenty Eight | Part Twenty Nine | Part Thirty | Part Thirty One | Part Thirty Two | Part Thirty Three | Part Thirty Four | Part Thirty Five | Part Thirty Six | Part Thirty Seven | Part Thirty Eight | Part Thirty Nine | Part Forty |Part Forty One | Part Forty Two | Part Forty Three | Part Forty Four | Part Forty Five | Part Forty Six | Part Forty Seven | Part Forty Eight | Part Forty Nine | Part Fifty | Part Fifty One | Part Fifty Two and Fifty Three.)
When Manish stepped out of the apartment he half expected to see Mansi in the corridor. Manish had not mentioned to Pallavi but he had been bothered when she had walked out of his apartment without telling him. How could she risk being seen by Mansi?
Pallavi had told Mansi that she would be visiting her parents therefore it did not make sense that she would go and meet with Mansi now. What if she had? What if spending time with Manish had messed up her head and she had decided to talk to Mansi about it? He could not afford Mansi knowing that he had kept her best friend in his apartment and had used her for his sexual release.
‘Sexual release’ was it all that there was to the time he had spent with Pallavi? A little voice inside his head asked. If yes, why did it seem more than that. Why had he bathed with her and scrubbed her back? Why was he out buying groceries and planning to cook for her?
‘Because I am trying to get into her good books’ he told himself; it did not sound convincing.
He jumped out of his skin when Pallavi called out to him, “You are still here! What’s wrong?”
He looked around, he had involuntarily walked towards Pallavi’s apartment and was standing outside the door, deep in thoughts. He turned to look at Pallavi but before he could ask her about Mansi, Pallavi said, “She is not in the apartment. She has left for office.” And then she walked back inside.
Manish closed his eyes. After all the special treatment he had given to Pallavi he came back to square one when he had stood outside Pallavi’s apartment because Pallavi had assumed he wanted to talk to Mansi.
He was surprised that he did not want to meet with Mansi at this moment; he was kind of enjoying his time with Pallavi. He shook his head and walked back to his apartment.
Pallavi stood near the bedroom window, staring outside but not seeing anything in particular. She had not liked seeing Manish standing near her apartment door, was he planning to meet Mansi? Why? If all he wanted was to get close to Mansi why was he giving her the special treatment? Another thought bothered her – had Manish heard her conversation with Mansi? What difference would it make? She thought. Almost immediately she felt humiliated because of the hopes she had about spending more days with Manish. She was never his priority, she realized. What was she supposed to do? Be content with the attention she had received so far and move out of the house?
She was taken by surprise when Manish wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her neck. She did not respond but she liked the way his wet lips felt against her collarbone.
“I am sorry” Manish said. “I should have asked you directly”. Pallavi turned around to face Manish. She tried to read his face since she had absolutely no clue what he was talking about.
“When you walked out earlier, I thought you went to meet Mansi to tell her that you were staying with me.” Manish clarified.
“Why would I do that?” Pallavi asked “And what difference would it make to you if I had done that?” she continued.
“It would mean you had sorted things with her and would not be spending more days with me. I am kind of getting used to you, you know” Manish said as he kissed her jawbone.
“Me too” Pallavi said as she pulled him closer and kissed him on the lips.
“She was not in the apartment when I was in there, she's gone to the office. I do not plan to tell her about us, at least not for time being. I want you for myself.” Pallavi said as she ran her hand over his chest.
“You look beautiful and this shirt looks way better on you than on me.” Manish said as he mirrored her actions. “Is it okay if I get the groceries later?” he asked playing with the button of his shirt, the one Pallavi was wearing.
“I thought you’d never say that.” Pallavi said and smiled. Manish took the hint and picked her up and took her to bed.
They were still lying in bed, Pallavi resting her head on his chest and Manish running his hand over her bare back when Manish spoke all of a sudden, “I did not ring the doorbell by the way. I merely considered talking to her to read her expressions, to figure out whether you had met her because it was, no, it is important for me to know that you want to spend more days with me the way I want to.” And then he kissed her hair.
Pallavi raised her head to look at him but did not say anything. She did not want to say anything that would ruin the moment. She enjoyed the time she spent with Manish but she did not want to expect anything from this relationship. This was much more than she had ever wanted in her life. If she got to spend a few more days with Manish it would be sufficient enough for her to live her life alone. Alone, because, in no way was she going to allow another man to touch her after Manish. She belonged to him now and she knew she would always be available to him at his beck and call.
Even though she could convince herself that her relationship with Manish was not meant to be, she was not sure whether she would be able to tolerate Mansi’s presence in his life.
‘What does Mansi mean to you?’ She wanted to ask Manish but instead she reached for his manhood and kissed him on the lips. She waited for him to want her and when he was ready she moved back to lie on her back and closed her eyes waiting for Manish to enter her but he did not. She opened her eyes and looked at him disappointingly.
“You go this time.” Manish said and she smiled. She had not done this before. None of the men she had slept with, earlier, had allowed her to participate actively. It had always been about their release; she was merely a vessel to empty into.
Manish had, yet again, made her feel special. She did not want to cry and ruin the moment but tears did gather in her eyes. She turned her face away from Manish and pressed the bridge of her nose.
Manish almost rolled his eyes and cursed. He had not expected Pallavi to be the sentimental kind; at least not so sentiment as to cry before sex. He was losing it – both his erection and his patience. Even though he had given her the option to take charge, he was now tempted to pin her down under his body and go at it. He had almost turned to climb her when he felt the movement next to him. Pallavi was getting ready to straddle him. He smiled.
They both came at the same time and as Pallavi fell back in bed she confessed that she had never done it before. Manish said he did not believe her and then added that he should let her do this more often. That made her smile. It meant he wanted more of her, more time with her. It meant a lot to her. She would do it again for him, maybe read about it and do better than this time because now, nothing seemed more important than pleasing him.
For some men, way to their heart was through their stomach and for some men it was through sex. She wanted to win over his heart. She wanted him to stay forever. She wanted him.
She kept checking her mobile for his message. She dialled her mobile number from the office phone just to check whether her phone was reachable.
It was just the beginning of her office day but it seemed as if she had been working for hours. The headache was killing her. There was so much on her mind.
Manish was not in touch and Pallavi wanted her to move out of her apartment. She dreaded going back to the chawl. She rubbed her forehead, for a moment she was tempted to bang her head on the desk. At least the physical pain would be able to minimize her uneasiness, she thought.
She knew her friend well. She knew that Pallavi was lying about her folks visiting her. Why, she did not know and was not sure whether she wanted to find out.
Whatever it was, Pallavi wanted Mansi out of the apartment and she did not have the right to complain. Even though there was still time for Pallavi to return home; Mansi packed her duffle-bag and carried it to the office. She had walked to the gate using the walking stick Manish had given her and got into a cab.
She had mentally prepared herself for the questions that would be directed towards her by her father. And, just as she had expected, he had called her in to his cabin the moment she had dropped the duffle-bag next to her chair. She had limped towards the cabin and walked in without knocking. it had taken her a while to explain to her father what had happened. She did not tell him the real reason for moving out of the chawl but had said that she wanted to spend some time with Pallavi. And, when explaining why she was carrying the duffle-bag to office she had told what Pallavi had told her. Her father – ‘Uncle’ had asked her what she was doing in the office in first place. She should be resting he told her. When she told him that she was tired sitting back doing nothing, he understood. She knew he would relate to it. Everyone knew why he worked in the office. She also told him that she missed him. Even though it was not the main reason for coming to the office, it was not a lie either.