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Chapter 7

  • *Prathap Pov*
  • "It's been a week already. Why is everyone still coming here just to meet me and ask about Anny?" I asked my manager while he passed the list our chef made for the next week.
  • "Because the articles are still passing around about this news and the restaurant is the main topic because they clicked the pictures of this place clearly along with both of you." He explained while I sighed rubbing my forehead.
  • "I didn't know she is this popular." I mumbled and he frowned hearing those words.
  • "The commercials she worked on are very popular and the new project she is going to join is not a small one. I am also a fan of hers and still feeling disappointed that she is no longer single along with others." He sighed while I rolled my eyes at his dramatic words.
  • "Deepak! I am not joking here. It is really a serious issue and you are worried whether she is still single or not." I pointed out and he ignored my words while taking out his phone and passed it to me.
  • "My friends are messaging me to ask about Anny. She is really popular among youngsters and you should expect this to continue." He stated before waving his hand to leave me alone.
  • However, when he opened the door to my cabin we both heard a commotion from the seating area even though there is a corridor separating the seating area and my cabin.
  • I stood up as he even passed a confused look before we both rushed through the corridor only to stop near the first table we reached after reaching the area.
  • "What is going on there?" I asked frowning when I found everyone standing as a crowd with their backs to us and to my shock they are my staff only and I can clearly hear my chef's tone among others.
  • They all slowly parted and the person they revealed is none other than the person about whose popularity I am just realizing slowly.
  • "What are... what are you guys doing?" I changed the question from asking her about what she is doing here to the others when she shook her head reminding me.
  • I heard she is supposed to leave India by this time but she is right now standing here and that too at my restaurant.
  • "Surprise!" she mumbled waving her hand awkwardly while looking at me with a pleading look.
  • "Wow! What a surprise! Let's go to my cabin." I mumbled ignoring the questions and she immediately rushed towards me with apologetic looks towards the others.
  • I gestured her to walk forward and calmly followed her behind without saying a word until we reached my cabin and I closed the door behind me.
  • "What are you doing here?" I asked the moment I locked the door.
  • "Let me sit for a bit. I didn't know that they all know me and will ask for autographs." She mumbled shifting to sit on my chair while I just stood there.
  • "And I am here because I was asked to come here by your friend." She added and I took out my phone to call Vikranth while she closed her eyes after leaning on the chair.
  • I waited for him to lift the call but he actually cut it making me frown. I called him again but he cut it again.
  • "What is he playing at? Why does Vikranth want to meet you here? He told me clearly that I will not meet you ever again." I said raising my voice and she slowly opened her eyes.
  • "Why are you throwing a tantrum now? It's not Mr. Vikranth who asked me to come here but your other friend." She replied while I glared at her choice of words.
  • However, I ignored that realizing she is talking about Shrishti and I opened her contact to call her but stopped myself.
  • After that day I didn't contact her again and even ignored her calls by messaging I am busy as I still can't forget her views about me.
  • "I need to be at the airport in the evening and I already informed her that. But she requested me to be here as she wants to talk to me. I heard even Mr. Vikranth and Kanika will be here." She continued when I didn't say anything.
  • "What does she want to talk to you about?" I asked and she shrugged before closing her eyes again.
  • She continued to stay in the position even after hearing a knock on the door and I opened it thinking it's either Vikranth or Shrishti but it turned out to be my chef who is supposed to be busy at the kitchen but he is here holding a glass of water in his hands and a tray in the other hand.
  • "What are you doing here?" why am I asking everyone that question today.
  • "Ms. Anny! Here are some appetizers before lunch. I am preparing special dishes I know which are your favorites." He ignored my question while passing me to reach the table and she sat straight.
  • "Thank you!" she mumbled smiling at him sweetly while I rolled my eyes.
  • They don't know how rough she can be with words and actions but here she is showing a completely different angle of hers as if she is the sweetest person as she continued to praise him about the decoration and even described how tasty the appetizers are.
  • "And please don't increase your work for my sake. I am fine with anything." She added when he stood up to leave.
  • "I am a huge fan of yours when I saw your commercial for the GH home appliances a few months back. We use the same ones that were showed in those commercials and I actually made everyone here to know you and they are also your fans as we even watched that web series together during weekends." He smiled and I stared at him.
  • "I give you free time during weekends to watch web series? And this is why you insisted on buying those things from GH but told me it's because I need to support my family as my father is the director in GH and as my employee you can't buy other companies?" I asked staring at him in shock.
  • "What is your name?" she asked taking a plain paper from my table after showing it to me.
  • "Bhargav!" he replied and she smiled before passing her autograph by adding the words 'Thank you!'
  • "I hope I can do better works and doesn't lose you as my fan." She mumbled and he smiled brightly while they both just ignored my words.
  • "Go back to the kitchen." I ordered him while stepping closer to the table and he rolled his eyes at me before leaving the cabin.
  • "He is really sweet and his cooking is amazing." She mumbled taking the last bite and I sighed sitting on the chair opposite hers.
  • "What? Jealous that they like me and maybe more than you?" she asked leaning forward.
  • "They will forget about you when you leave this place while I am the one who gives them salaries." I pointed out and she chuckled nodding.
  • "You seem to enjoy food while eating." I mumbled and she paused hearing those words before glancing at me.
  • "I always eat like this. Someone told me that I need to enjoy the food without rushing at all as a respect towards the person who made it three years back and I am following that advice even now." She explained and I stared at her in surprise.
  • "That's a good habit. Even I do the same." I said smiling and she smiled back but we had to stop smiling when the door is suddenly opened.
  • We found Shrishti standing near the door while smiling at us before gesturing us to come out.
  • "Vikranth will be here soon. Let's have our lunch before going out." She said smiling and we calmly followed her.
  • "Why did you invite her to this place?" I asked sitting down as I chose the corner table which is away from others but the outsiders can see the people sitting here so that Vikranth can find us.
  • "I have so many reasons for that but let's wait for others." She mumbled checking the menu and we both sat silent.
  • We three stared out when we saw Vikranth's vehicle and found his wife stepping out of the car but waited there until he parked the car before entering the restaurant together.
  • "Why did you call me? I was driving at that time and cut the call." Vikranth said sitting down while his wife sat between Anitha and him.
  • "I thought you invited her but later found out it was Shrishti." I replied and he nodded before glancing at Shrishti who is sitting between us.
  • "So, I am sorry about my words that day towards you." She said looking at Anitha before looking at Vikranth's wife.
  • "I was thinking only as a friend and said some harsh words and I hope you can forget that." She added smiling at them.
  • "And I am sorry about the words I told you too." She said glancing at me and I nodded hearing that.
  • "I also chose this place so that you can do some business out of us. I heard from Deepak that the customers are still not increasing after last week's incident." She added and Vikranth stared at me with a surprised look.
  • "Many people are coming here just to talk about this incident and I had to ignore them. So, now even they are not coming along with regulars." I explained.
  • "Then when will you start the second floor part of the restaurant?" he asked frowning.
  • "When this floor gets filled again like before this incident." I mumbled and he slowly nodded.
  • "Don't worry! Just one or two days and it will get settled." He assured me while I felt someone patting my hand and turned to find Anitha looking at me.
  • "I think you should just talk about us normally if someone is here. After their curiosity is filled, they no longer think about this and with the dishes you serve would make them your customers regularly and the issue will get settled." She pointed out.
  • "How can I talk about us? They are asking when did we meet and what do I like about you and all those questions for which I don't have any answers." I explained and she frowned hearing those words.
  • "Just say whatever you want to and if asked about my preferences you can check them on the internet. After giving those answers, just send them to me so that I don't give different answers when asked about the same things. I will do the same." She said shrugging.
  • "How should we exchange those topics?" I asked and she realized we don't contact each other and we didn't even exchange our numbers.
  • "What is there in that? Just use messages. You both have each other contacts, right?" Shrishti asked and stared at us with wide eyes when we both shook our heads.
  • "Exchange the numbers right now. How will you guys manage if there is an emergency? One year is not a short amount of time that will pass if you blink." She added and didn't let us order until we exchanged the numbers.
  • We ordered lunch and Deepak continuously stared at Anitha with a huge smile and she returned it while ordering and turned to talk to her friend.
  • "Go right now!" I ordered him and he rolled his eyes before leaving.
  • "I can't believe these both are showing such an attitude towards me." I mumbled frowning while I found Vikranth lost in his thoughts.
  • "What happened?" I asked calling his name and he cleared his throat before shaking his head.
  • "You told me to clear my schedule until evening. Why is that?" he asked looking at Shrishti.
  • "We are going to watch a movie after this. I will be leaving next week for another city regarding a new event and as Anny will be leaving today itself, I thought of having this get together. Are you both fine with joining us for the movie watch?" she asked the last sentence to both Anitha and her friend.
  • "Sure!" Anitha replied for both of them and I sighed thinking why do we need to do this awkward thing.
  • "I am glad you both are really not a couple otherwise I would be third-wheeling for both couples." She smiled looking at me and I nodded but stepped on her leg finding the food is being brought here.
  • "Ah! Why did you both step on my legs?" she asked looking at Vikranth and me.
  • None of us said a word until the waiter left the table before Vikranth said, "Never talk about that in public or anywhere else. Just think of them as a real couple and forget the whole planning otherwise we will get caught and it will be a huge scandal."
  • "I am sorry! I will keep that in my mind." She mumbled while looking down and I sighed again.
  • The problem is each of us kind of spoiled her from the time she was a kid as she is a girl, she is everyone's favorite. She just does what she wants to and says without thinking a bit.
  • For now, everyone is still accommodating her but I hope she realizes what is she doing with her words so that she need not apologize like this later. At least she apologizes when she realizes the mistake but it is better to do it ahead.
  • ****
  • "Why are we here? Don't you feel bad for Vikranth for making him come to the place where he thinks about work? Look at him already checking up on the shops." I pointed out Vikranth as at present we are roaming in one of the malls that belong to GH.
  • "Why should we make money for others?" Shrishti asked frowning at me and I turned to find Anitha using shades while trying to not make eye contact with anyone and is holding her friend's hand.
  • Looks like they both are really close than I thought them to be and I found them talking but couldn't even hear what they are talking about.
  • I turned back towards the front but found Vikranth looking at the screens and the snacks place with a serious look I already know about.
  • "Don't tell me you are thinking of getting involved with GH's theatre." I mumbled when Shrishti left to buy tickets.
  • "I am still thinking. It's been a few years and I can see the development. I even read the reports about the success they are giving." He explained and I sighed.
  • "Vikranth! At first, GH was supposed to be just home appliances and Hotel business and then you made your Dad enter this malls business five years back and then cosmetics three years back. Now, just a year back you started the entertainment too by making your work to increase at such a huge level. Why are you working so hard and giving chances for the board to attack you every time? If something goes wrong then they will make you leave without a second thought." I pointed out.
  • "And let's not forget his investment in my business along with yours." Shrishti commented reaching our side.
  • "That's my personal money which I invested and GH is no way involved in that." Vikranth mumbled and we both rolled our eyes.
  • "And I am expecting good returns. Don't think I will take it lightly just because you both are my friends." He added and mainly looked at me.
  • "Let's go! But don't think about business when we are inside. I am excited to finally watch a movie with you guys after so many years in a theatre." She said smiling before passing her hands through ours and we stepped towards the screen we need to go.
  • "Why are we even here?" I can hear Anitha's voice.
  • "Because you accepted her invitation." Kanika replied.
  • "Then how can you leave him alone with her?" Anitha asked back and I immediately turned around to stare at them in shock while Vikranth and Shrishti are talking about her event she is going to help conducting soon.
  • They know? I thought staring at them and Anitha stared back at me before looking away and I turned to walk properly still feeling shock that they knew about Shrishti liking Vikranth.
  • When Anitha sat beside me, I turned to stare at her again but she completely ignored me. I cleared my throat and she finally turned to glance at me.
  • "You..." how should I ask such question? I shook my head not knowing how to say those words.
  • "Yes! We know! I thought she didn't but even she knew." She said as if understanding my question.
  • "Do you like watching movies?" she asked changing the topic before I can say anything.
  • "No! You?" I asked back forgetting her profession for a second.
  • "I want everyone to like watching them." She replied smiling and I smiled back realizing my mistake.
  • We both stopped smiling at a time feeling awkward before turning to look at the screen and stayed silent even during the interval.
  • ****
  • "It is a good thing she asked her manager to get her stuff here directly otherwise she would have missed her flight." Shrishti commented as we both are standing at one side while those two are near her luggage waiting for the announcement.
  • "I will give this to her." I mumbled gesturing the earphones she bought earlier at the mall but passed them to me when a few people approached the counter as she needs to cover her face properly.
  • When I approached them calmly, I paused after listening to their words. Should I just approach them or wait for some time?
  • "I will call you after reaching and if everything finishes soon, I will return within a month. We will be able to meet regularly then." Anitha said smiling.
  • "Anitha! I don't want you to keep any hopes over this fake engagement. He is not for you and you deserve so much better. I don't want you to get hurt." I opened my mouth feeling unfair after hearing those words from Vikranth's wife but felt more shocked after hearing Anitha's reply.
  • "I know! I will never become another woman in someone's life. Don't worry about it." She assured her.
  • "And I wish you can tell me everything so that I need not worry about such matters in your life too." She added to Vikranth's wife and didn't get any response for those words.
  • Another woman? Are they both serious now? I thought before clearing my throat and they both turned to look at me but didn't even show any guilty expression as I just heard their conversation.
  • "Thank you!" Anitha mumbled taking the box from my hands with a smile.
  • Is she really smiling right now just after talking about me like that? What another woman? When did she become that? Is it just because I like someone else? Both of them definitely have a weird way of thinking.