Leena checked her watch. Time to go home. She got up and swiped her card. She took the elevator. 9 floors to go. The doors opened at the 6th floor but no one got in. Just when she thought the doors would close, she sees a hand waving towards her. She holds the door and he gets in.
” Thank you. I thought I had to wait for a few more minutes.” Abhinav said looking at her. Pretty girl he thought.
” No problem. Someone pressed the button at your floor actually. That’s why it stopped. ” She replied. Why is he looking at me as if I am some crazy woman.
“Oh ” he said and looked away. Why did I stare? She looks irritated.
Awkward silence followed. They both got off at the parking lot and drove away.
Abhinav was driving towards the convenience store. He had to get some stuff. He saw a grey sedan parked there.Its her. Its the same car. Maybe I should drive on and find some other store. I don’t want her to think I am stalker.
Few seconds later, he was walking towards the same store. He was wheeling his cart around the aisle 6 when he found her talking to an old lady.
” Haha. I know Mrs. Akthar. Kabir is great kid. Lot of fun. ” She was saying to her. A 5 year old kid came from behind the old lady and put something in her cart. ” Thank you Kabir” She beamed at him.
Then their eyes met. Leena looked at Abhinav with apprehension. Is he stalking me or something? She looked away. Abhinav was still looking at her. Her voice is really something. And what a great smile. He thought. I should walk away before she reports me or something. God! Why am I acting so stupid today?
Abhinav was searching for something. He was pushing his cart along. I feel good today. Over the moon. On cloud nine. I sound silly. I should really stop. I barely know her. I don’t even know her name.
He then ran into the ” Mrs. Akthar” she was talking to. ” Son, could you give me way please? ” she said. ” I am so sorry ma’am. I didn’t know I was in the way.” He smiled apologetically. Maybe I can ask what the girl’s name is? Or maybe I should just shut up and mind my own business.
He was about to turn around another aisle when he could feel someone clutching his arm tightly. He looked around and saw Mrs. Akthar having a seizure. Her face went pale and her palms were twisted. Her eyes looked lifeless. He immediately shouted for help and took her head into his lap. Leena came in an instant.
” Oh my God. Is she okay? ” She said shaking Mrs. Akthar.
” We need to get her to the hospital. Now.” Abhinav was shouting now. ” I will drive her there. Take the kid, will you? He looks freaked out. ” He said to Leena.
” But the ambulance is coming right? Should be here any minute. ” She said to Abhinav.
“We can’t wait that long. Lets go. Or you can stay. I am getting her out of here now. ” He said. Leena looked confused. ” I don’t know what your name is but trust me on this. I will get her safely. ” Abhinav said.
He works in my office. Should be fine.
” Lets go. Here let me help you. ” She said taking the other arm of the old lady. ” Kabir , please stay close. Its going to be fine. Grandma needs a doctor. ” She said patting the kid’s back.
An hour later
Leena and Kabir were sitting side by side. Leena was stroking his hair trying to calm him down. She saw Abhinav walk towards them. She sprang up and walked to him.
” Is she alright? ” Leena asked him.
” Healthy as a horse. You guys can go see her.” Abhinav smiled taking Kabir’s hand.
” Buddy, Grandma is a little tired. She is going to be alright though. No worries. ” He said bending down to Kabir’s height.
Kabir gave him a wide toothed grin.
Mrs. Akthar was thanking both Leena and Abhinav profusely. ” Anyone would’ve done the same. I am glad you are okay. ” He said holding her hand.
” I have to excuse myself. My mom will be waiting. Was good meeting you Mrs. Akthar. ” He said getting up to walk away.
” Son, please drop Leena on the way. Its getting dark. And she left her car near the store.” Mrs. Akthar was saying to him. Leena. Thats a great name.
” Um.. Mrs. Akthar, I want to stay. I will go later. I don’t want to leave you guys alone.” Leena said.
” He called my son. He will be here in 2 mins. Nothing to worry Leena. Go with him. ” She replied.
” You don’t mind right? ” Leena asked Abhinav. Mind? I would stay here and just look at you if I could.
” Not in the least. Please. ” He said smiling at him getting all poetic. Stay here and look at you Abhinav? Seriously? This woman is something. She is making me lose my mind.
They said their goodbyes to Kabir and Mrs Akthar and got into his car.
After a few minute of awkward silence Abhinav spoke. ” So you know her well? ” He asked carefully not looking at her directly. I have scared her enough. Don’t want to be more creepy.
” Um.. we meet at Kabir’s school sometimes. My niece studies with him. ” She said softly looking at him. He has great eyes. Really honest eyes. Good, he’s not looking at me. I would’ve stared otherwise.
” Do you mind if I put some music on? I can’t drive otherwise. ” He asked politely. I don’t think I can ever drive without thinking of you. Music is to distract me from you.
“Its your car. ” She shrugged smiling at him. Abhinav laughed. That’s the heartiest laugh I’ve ever seen. She thought. I wonder why he isn’t looking at me at all? Did he know I thought he was stalking me. Was it that evident?
The music started playing and Leena looked up at him. She instantly recognized the familiar notes.
She’s looking at me? Why? Abhinav looked at her. ” Er.. should I change it? I mean I know its kind of weird. A lot of people don’t understand why I like it.” He said stretching his hand to stop the music.
” No no. I love Lindsey Stirling. She’s amazing. ” She said trying to wave her hand as if to stop him. And I never thought I’d find a soul who like her.
The tips of their fingers touched. He immediately apologized. ” I am sorry. I didn’t mean to.” What on earth is happening?
She blushed and looked away. God. Save me. I am getting drawn to this guy more than I like.
Damn, she is not talking again. Why did our fingers have to touch? This was going so great. I’ve made her uncomfortable.
” So what’s your favorite? ” He asked trying to make her talk.
” Crystallize. I like her collabs with the Piano guys too.” She replied still not looking at him.” What’s yours? ” She asked looking out at the traffic.
” Elements is my favorite. Crystallize isn’t that bad too. ” He said smilingly. ” She’s awesome anyway. Great talent. ” He said still looking at her to say something.
” I know. ” She replied. Why do I feel like looking at him? ” I wish she had a concert here. ” She said looking at him again. He’s tall.
” That’d be so cool. I’d be like ” Lindsey, TAKE ALL MY MONEY. ” ” He laughed.
She laughed too. ” I’d probably give her everything I own myself. ” She said.
He parked the car and looked at her. Don’t go please. I want to talk.
Get down Leena. You can’t stay here forever looking at him and laughing with him. What if I could? Don’t be silly. Get down.
” Thanks. Nice meeting you. ” She said while opening the door. Very nice indeed. You went from being a stalker to a sweetheart.
” No problem. Have a nice evening Leena. ” He said still looking at her as if she was the first of her kind. When can I see you again? I think I am going to spend my days outside the elevator. Does she work in my office? Or was she visiting someone? God, please make her come into my life again.
He didn’t drive away immediately. He was still smiling remembering every moment with Leena. Should have man uped and asked her number. But, that would be too weird. He heard a knock on the passenger door. His heart raced.
Abhinav opened the door and found her beautiful eyes looking at him. ” Leena. ” He almost shouted. Control yourself you idiot.
” Um… Hi. I just wanted to… I just… ” She was trying to get her words together. See your face again.
” Did you forget something? Do you need anything? ” He asked. Idiot. Maybe she just wanted to say thanks. Stop being creepy and desperate.
” Thanks for everything. What you did in there was great. ” She said. And I doubted your intentions at first. Idiot I am.
” No problem Leena. ” He laughed. ” Don’t be so formal. I thought we are friends now. ” Friends? Are we? Can we be? I’d really like that.
I love the way he calls my name. And did he just say we are friends? Sh*t. I don’t even know his name. Did Mrs. Akthar call him by his name? No, I would’ve remembered if she did. ” I didn’t get your name? I am sorry, I don’t know why I didn’t ask you before. ” She asked him.
Oh God, ask me anything in the world. Not just my name. Or talk anything you want. Just talk that’s all. ” Oh I am sorry. Its Abhinav. I work in the same office by the way. ” He said stretching his hand out to shake with hers.
” Nice to meet you Abhinav. I guess I’ll see you at the office then? ” She asked surprised at her own candidness. Since when do I say stuff like that?
” Sure. Hold that elevator for me.” He laughed. She laughed too.
That elevator did stop at sixth floor every time Leena got in. For a long long time to come.