Before I could say something, Manik came and stood in front of me.
“Do you have any manners? You can’t talk to anybody like this.” He literally lashed out at that man making him flinch at his place.
“I’m not talking to you.” The man said curtly, glaring at him.
Then the manager of the cafe also came there. Everybody eyes were on us, I was so embarrassed.
I really didn’t want to gain this unwanted attention. Because of my introverted nature, it was already very difficult for me to work and now this shit happened.
I was surprised, the way Manik took my stand.
Why he’s supporting me? Why he’s involving himself in this shit?
My thoughts were interrupted by the voice of the cafe’s manager.
“What happened, sir?” Manager asked them. I was standing behind Manik, my eyes were down on the floor and I’m playing with my fingers nervously.
“Your employee dropped the glass of water on me.” The man said greeting his teeth at me making me scared.
“It happened by mistake and he has already insulted her. And now he gonna apologize from her.” Manik shouted and I moved my eyes at him.
“Are you out of your mind, why I will say sorry to her, it was her mistake?” The man growled.
“I won’t let you go until you apologise from her.” Manik grabbed the collar of the person. His eyes were spitting fire. From the time I met him, I never saw him this much angry. Nobody was stopping him, I was shocked. The manager was standing there silently.
Why aren’t they stopping him?
“Apologize from her now.” He yelled, I flinched.
He made him stood in front of me and roared, “apologise to her.”
I don’t know what got into me that I placed my hand over Manik’s shoulder and said, “It’s okay. It was my mistake. Please, leave him.”
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before leaving his collars. The man immediately left from there after glaring at us.
“I’m sorry for creating the scene, it just that I can’t see something wrong happening in front of my eyes.” He spoke to me so softly that I couldn’t believe he was the same guy who was giving that deadly glares to that man a few minutes back.
What are you Manik?
“Don’t be sorry, you haven’t done anything wrong. He created the scene. Anyway, thank you for supporting me.” I passed him a small smile and went back to my work.
After coming back from the work, all I could think about was Manik. I was acting like a lovesick puppy. I couldn’t believe he took the stand for me. I know I was only attracted to him and nothing more than that. But why would he be interested in someone like me? I was not that pretty.
To think of it, I haven’t seen him with any girl on the campus. And the way he supported me today, I can’t believe it’s real. He’s just so different around me.
I was so confused. I couldn’t ask him anything directly and that’s when an idea popped into my mind.
“Hey Aryaman,” I spoke after he picked up my call.
“Hey, Nandini, what’s up?”
“I need you to come over immediately.” He understood the tone of my voice.
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.” I heard a click sound and waited for him to arrive. I was pacing across the living room back and forth. I couldn’t tell anything to Anny because she was already suggesting that I jump his bones. Aryaman must know something about him. He finally arrived and I tried to talk random stuff with him. He understood right away.
“Cut the crape and tell me, what is it?” He asked and I grinned sheepishly, telling him everything from top to bottom and his jaw was hanging on the floor.
“Do you mean Manik as in Manik Malhotra?” I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion at his question.
“Yeah I guess so, I don’t know his last name.” And that’s when it struck me, I don’t even know his last name. He took out his phone and showed me a pic of Manik.
“That’s him,” I shouted in shock and surprise. Wow, he looked so hot in a suit.
“You don’t know him?” He asked, I shook my head at Aryaman.
“Oh my god, I cannot believe you don’t know who he is. He is the son of Raj Malhotra. He owns more than hundred restaurants all over the world. He is quite famous, Nandini. And apart from all this Manik Malhotra is a heartthrob of our college. I cannot believe you don’t know that.” He laughed nervously. I was in total shock. I obviously didn’t know.
I mean he told me that his father is a businessman but still I didn’t know he’s that famous. Isn’t it weird? Why will I search who owns most of the hotels? Or the son of the person who owns most of the hotels.
He’s famous because of his father, right? So is it that big thing not to know about him?
“I have never seen him with any girl apart from his group. He only talks to his friends. They all are quite famous and very rich. All the girls on campus throw themselves at him, but he never paid any attention to them.” He stated and gave me a small smile.
“It is no wonder that he is interested in you, Nandini. You are beautiful and smart and must be lucky,” he sounded genuinely happy for me and squeezed my hands.
“I don’t know, Aryaman, I’m not interested.” I lied through my teeth, not meeting his eyes.
I mean he makes me feel different, but still why a guy like him is interested in me?
He’s so rich!
“The hell you aren’t! Is that why you called me to ask about him?” He smirked.
“Umm… I w-was .. umm,” fuck! I wasn’t able to form any words and he smirked more.
“There is no harm in knowing a person right? And he himself is taking effort. Just try to once.” He stated.
“I’ll think about it.” I said, passing a small smile to him.
“Tell me Everything though, I’m gonna head out. I’m having dinner with Tanya, ” He said in a rush and stood up to leave.
“When did she come from India?” I sounded surprised and turned my head as he reached for the light.
“Face-time dinner with Tanya.” He corrected himself immediately and gave a nervous laugh.
I laughed and waved him goodbye.
The next day went pretty much boring in college as compared to other days. I didn’t meet Manik. Thank god. After coming back from college, I got ready and went back to my work. But the incident of yesterday was making it a little difficult for me to face my co-workers in the cafe. It’s quite embarrassing. And the most important part, I really don’t want to face Manik again. I don’t know why, but I just can’t face him.
Since it was a weekday, it wasn’t crowded yet and I had time to figure out what to do and how to ignore that unwanted attention. Taking a deep breath, I started working.
“Nandini, dear,” I stopped serving and turned around at the voice of the Manager.
Dear? I know he’s sweet but when did he become that much sweet to me?
“Your phone has been ringing for a while. Why don’t you take a break? It’s not even crowded.” He said and my jaw dropped down.
What is happening? Why he’s behaving so sweet? I thought he might be angry with me after yesterday’s blunder but here he’s behaving totally opposite.
Am I dreaming?
Or I’m getting this extra attention because of Mr brown eyes?
But he’s not here.. Won’t he come today?
“O-okay,” I gave him a nervous smile and took a break.
My heart fluttered on seeing the name on the phone. It was Manik, Mr brown eyes. But I’m not going to pick up the call, I made up my mind. I convinced myself that this was for good and put my phone on silent. The rest of the day went pretty much quickly. He didn’t come to the cafe. I don’t know why I’m sad, I should be happy right? I mean that’s what I wanted but when I started walking from work to home I got a text from him.
I tried my best to shut him out of my mind and didn’t reply to his text.
Once I reached home, I made myself dinner as Anny wasn’t there. She must be with her boyfriend. I ate my noodles with Manchurian with my thoughts bugging me.
Why would Manik want to talk to me? Why he took stand for me? Why he’s giving me so much attention? Why?
Ughh! I hated myself for being attracted to him. I didn’t want to take chance with my heart again because I had enough of that shit. I sighed and went to bed, hoping not to run into him again.
The next day, after my second class, I had some free time and decided to check out the library. It was huge and one could easily get lost through the maze of rows. I always wanted to have a bookshelf of my own.
I really love reading!
I was going through the books in awe and I was literally lost in my pretty world.
“Done avoiding me.” I literally jumped hitting my back against the shelf of books.
“Oh god, you scared me, Manik,” I said putting my hand against my heart.
What is he doing here?