Hey folks. How are you? I hope you are having a great day. I am having a so-so day, but it’s alright. They are common in life.
Here’s what I’ve written in Chapter 11.
Chapter 11: Balu
I am waiting with Raghav in my parent’s living room.
They’ve called me as soon as my meeting with Shyamala and others was done. I felt hopeful about my chances of winning this crazy challenge after the way Shyamala had handled herself.
I hate to say this, but she was indeed good as Madhumitha said. But I couldn’t agree that to her, considering how Raghav and Radha had made assumptions about us and how I had pulled her into my mess. On the top of that, I had to give her money back once I get a chance.
But I will worry about that later.
I had to deal with my parents. They would call me rarely, since I would meet them every week at least once. But this was middle of the week and it seemed like my father had talked to my mother about my mess and she had called me to talk me out of it.
Well, I wouldn’t back down now. But it was nice to be at the living room of my parent’s house.
Light cream colored walls surrounded us with glass windows providing the beautiful view of trees and sunset or sunrise.
I was sitting on the sofa that was opposite to hearth. The sofa and decoration around hearth was of same color. Of green, brown and cream that remind me of hardbound books of olden days. The fire crackled in the heart provided nice warmth against the chill outside.
Raghav sat by my side with stiffening posture. Whenever it was possible, he tried to avoid my father. But my mother loved him and called him to be present.
The table in front of Raghav had an EyeBook, the shape of big goggles with big screen that covers our entire half of face.
I had time to kill before my father arrives and I picked it up and browsed the catalog.
There were several books by Brandon Sanderson, Rick Riordan and Durjoy Dutta. They were favorite authors of mother and father.
I chosen a book by Brandon Sanderson, one of his earlier works. The EyeBooks has sensors that picks up my thoughts through commands and I commanded it to open MistBorn.
I read for 10 minutes when I heard my father cleared his throat. I cursed and took out EyeBooks.
When I opened my eyes though, it was not my father who cleared the throat. It was Raghav.
“I don’t think I have energy to deal with you right now. Why don’t you allow me to enjoy the free time that for the day?” I asked.
“Stop talking nonsense. You know how I feel around your father. The longer I have to wait for him, the more unrest I will feel. Why don’t you cover for me so that I could escape?” he said.
I shook my head. The reason he was here was because my mother had asked him to. “I don’t think I would ever cover you. Especially after the way you messed up my meeting with Shyamala,” I said.
“I didn’t messed it up. I just voiced out my suspicions,” he said.
“That there was something going on between me and Shyamala behind your backs?”
I laughed. “Nothing. She is not my type and it would be helpful if you stop talking such nonsense,” I said.
“It’s just my observation,” he said.
“Not observations, but imaginations. Which you should be keeping to yourself,” I said.
“They are my observations, not imaginations. But I had kept quite about them till now. When Rahda had voiced the same, I couldn’t help myself.”
“Radha. She is a drama queen and you opened up because of her. How ironic?” I said.
He shrugged. “Ironic or not, I think even Lalitha and Madhumitha thought about the same. The fact that they hadn’t spoken their voices means that they are also analyzing it and coming to the same point,” he said.
I gritted my teeth. If even they also start believing that something was going on between me and Shyamala, then I didn’t know how to deal with that. But more important than that, I wanted him to keep his mouth shut before my parents. If they even get a whiff of what Raghav had spoken, they would make me marry Shyamala, which could be my worst nightmare come true.
“Whatever, don’t run your speculations near my parents ears. If they hear about it …” I stopped when my mother came into the living room.
She was lovely with a hint of gray hairs. She was beautiful as well and the creases around her mouth were the sign that she laughed often.
She smiled at me and the creases that formed around her mouth indicated that she smiled often. I smiled and stood up to hug her.
“How are you?” I asked.
“I am fine. But is it true?” she asked, worried.
I don’t know what she was referring to, but before I could reply, my father stepped inside the living room.
I let go of my mother and nodded at my father.
He didn’t acknowledge. But he focused on Raghav, who was stiff as hell.
“What do you think of his crazy challenge?” he asked.
“He was doomed to fail,” Raghav said.
I was relieved and annoyed at the same time. They are talking about my challenge with Madhav. But didn’t they know that I had pulled off many crazy deals before?
“No. I have pulled of such tasks before. I am bound to do the same this time,” I said.
“You had time during other times. But now, only one month for doing what I would do within 4 months,” my father said.
“It was because you are old that you will take more time. I am young, competent and energetic. I could do it in a month.”
“Foolish. I might be older. But I am wiser and had experience. If I were in your place, I couldn’t even let Madhav trap me,” he said.
I gritted my teeth. No matter how many times I hear Madhav’s name, my mind would be filled with rage. And on the top of that, I had been reminded how I let myself into trap set up by Madhav. I didn’t like that. “Who knows how you would react in similar situation? We are not here to discuss about that I hope, because, I need to work hard to win this challenge, which I am sure I would win. Because I am more competent than Madhav,” I said.
“You are ignorant of him. Besides, he didn’t need to do much to win this time. All of it depends on your failure, which was what would happen.”
“I will let you see for yourself what would happen within 31 days.”
“30 days only, since today is completed and there was no way you would be able to work with much going on your head,” he said.
I was frustrated that he was speaking the truth. I would not be able to accomplish much today. But that doesn’t mean I would let him know that.
“Why did you called me?” I asked.
“Subbu said that you are not going to become CEO,” my mother said.
Before I could answer, my father interjected. “Barghavi, why don’t you go inside so that I could talk to him?” he asked.
She ignored him and looked in my direction.
“I am going to become the CEO of EyeBooks. Just wait and see,” I said.
“I don’t have energy to argue with you. I’ll come to the point. Since you are doomed to fail…” when I tried to interrupt him, he glared at me. I felt so intimidated by his glare that I swallowed. He continued. “I thought why don’t I stop your manwhore days?”
I was so horrified by it that I sunk deeper into the couch.
He was planning to cut me off from my enjoyment. How can he do that to me? I am his one and only son and there should be nothing that could make him happy if I was happy. I was happy with changing girlfriends every week.
“He was not a manwhore,” Raghav said. I was gratified that he came to my rescue, but even I know it was a weak excuse.
“Coming to your friends rescue as always. I don’t know why Barghavi had asked your presence,” my father said.
“Because I love him as my own son and I wanted to hear the truth from him. Is it true that Balu was not going to become next CEO of EyeBooks once Subbu retires?” my mother asked Raghav.
He nodded. “He had set himself a crazy deadline, the likes of which even uncle couldn’t do it in such a short time, even in his prime days,” he said.
My father nodded. “As much as I liked to say no, he was telling the truth. What our foolish son had agreed to do was insane,” he said. “That’s why I called him here. I already talked with Vaishali’s parent’s. They are okay with Balu marrying Vaishali.”
I froze. There was no way I could stand in the same room as Vaishali. I made the mistake of dating her and she was the one why had given the interview about me mistreating her during our dates and discarding her like she was a thing.
“Like hell am I going to marry her. She was a slut and I don’t want to even see her for a second. Forget about living with her for the rest of my life,” I said.
My father shook his head. “If you had a girlfriend, I would’ve thought about that. But you keep on changing girlfriends like they are abundant and like to put it to a stop,” he said.
I was about to reply when Raghav interjected. “Uncle, like I said, there is someone Balu is seeing behind our backs and he is covering it up by saying he was a manwhore,” Raghav said.
I would’ve corrected him if it was another time. But I was desperate enough to use Raghav’s imaginations to my advantage.
“What is there to cover up?” my father asked.
“The woman he was seeing doesn’t like being in lime light. So she must’ve made him do that,” Ragahv said.
“She hated lime light so much that she let Balu had the reputation of manwhore?”
“Yes. She likes privacy and I know her.”
“Then what about the recent rumors I had heard about them?” he asked.
I was angry. How can they talk about me as if I was not there? “Enough. Both of you,” I said.
They ignore me.
“And what that might be. You have more eyes and ears than mine and Balu’s put together,” Raghav said.
My father sighed. “The fact that Balu’s supposed girlfriend had set up a date between her sister and him,” he asked.
“That was so that he could make her say what Madhav’s plans were,” Raghav said.
“Then why did he slept with her. Did his girlfriend know about that? Is it her plan in the first place and if that were the case, how can she be a genuine one. She might be a gold digger,” my father said.
It was too much to handle. I banged my hands on the table so hard that the glass cracked. That got their attention.
My father glared at me while Raghav was concerned. But my mother rushed to my side and scolded me.
“Are you hurt?” she asked.
I shook my head. My rage was helping me to deal with the pain for now, but when I was calmed down, my hand was going to hurt like hell.
“Stop being so manly,” she said, rushed past my father and out of the living room. Few minutes afterward, during which neither of us spoke, she came back with first aid kit.
She removed glass shards using forceps and cleaned my wound. Then she put put cotton and wrapped my hand by using white cloth. Once it was cleanly bound, she set put my injured hand in her lap.
“I don’t want to hear what nonsense they are talking about,” my father was about to interrupt her. She lifted her hand in warning and he backed out. “I want to hear it from you. The real story.” She said.
I took a deep breath. There was no way for me out, except using Raghav’s imaginations. That would create problems for sure, but I would worry about that later once I was out of my home.
“I am dating Shyamala and she was not the only one. I am on and off with her and during my off times, I used to date others. But always found my way back to her.
“She loves me enough to ignore my manwhore ways, but it reached a point when I slept with her sister yesterday. I lost control with her sister.
“She knows that I’ve slept with her sister and was angry at me. But she still loves me and I am sure she would accept me when I go back to her. But I know I couldn’t keep on hurting her and had given her an easy way out.
“She loves her job and given her a task which was impossible. I thought she would back down if her job was in line. But she was so angry that she accepted that.
“Now that the chances of me becoming CEO are slimming down, she decided to help me even now.
“I don’t know what I would do without her. I realized that she was meant more to me than anything in my life today evening.
“She loves her privacy as much as she loves me. But it seems like it was time for me to make our love public. I hope she accepts it like she had accepted me and my mistakes,” I said.
Every one were silent for few moments.
My mother with her eyes watering, my father with his eyes calculating while Raghav with his mouth wide open.
Raghav was the one to respond. “I knew something was going on between you and Shyamala. I don’t know what was there to hide that from me,” he said.
“But I don’t know how she accepted you even after you cheating on her with others and her sister. She must really love you,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said. “But she was angry for sleeping with her sister. When she known how I put my chances of CEO for EyeBooks on line, she almost broke up with me.”
“But she didn’t,” Raghav finished for me.
“Yeah,” I said. “Before you could ask, I would answer your next question. No. Nobody knows that we were in relationship and this started when she first joined EyeBooks. She had a crush on me and I met her in one birthday party.”
“The one where you teased her for her glasses and office clothing?”
“Yeah, the same one. Since then, one thing led to another. Before I know it, we were dating.”
“I would like to see how much of it is truth and fiction. I heard before calling you that Radha and Raghav had voiced their suspicions about you dating her. I hope you are not fabricating this story based on that,” my father said.
I swaollowed. My father hadn’t built EyeBooks without nothing from start. He had the best instinct and that might be how he decided to listen to Madhav. But I am not going back out now. It was the only way that I could avoid marrying Vaishali.
“It’s genuine. When you meet with her, you would come to same conclusion as me,” I said.
He nodded and after chatting for few more minutes, we had our dinner.
Raghav excused himself saying he had important matter to attend to while I went to my bedroom.
As I changed my clothes and went to bed, I was angry at myself.
I was so angry that I banged my head on the pillow repeatedly. Instead of helping me, it increased my anger. It reminded me of Raghav and how I had to use his imagination.
I became so frustrated that I wanted to rip the pillow to shreds. But it was brought to me by my mother and I couldnt’ bring myself to damage it.
By the time my frustration left me, I was reminded of how hopeless the situation was.
Everyone believes that I cannot become CEO. I am the competent one and in the moment of anger, I had accepted an impossible challenge.
Not only had I made mess for myself, I had dragged Shyamala into it.
How did I let this happen?
Madhav. Every problem around me arose because of him. He provoked me so much today morning that I had let myself fell into his trap completely.
I had agreed to make a deal with magazine heads and release our next update within a month. Both of which would at least take 6 months if we work our asses.
To make matters worse, Raghav was using his limited knowledge in relationships and assumed that I was having a relationship with Shyamala. Radha hadn’t helped it either. She made matters worse.
Or it might be that they are working together with an ulterior motive, which they might not know they are being played by Madhav.
If I wanted to make EyeBooks dominate the market and make readers more addicting to it, then I had to deal with them.
Radha cared about Shyamala. Raghav cared about me. They wanted us to have a great life. Madhav must’ve played them together in such a way that led to what had happened today.
Combine it with the fact that my father had lost hope on me, was about to make me marry Vaishali.
To save myself out of this mess, I had used Raghav’s and Radha’s over imagination and said that I am dating Shyamala and she was great soul that loves me and forgives me even when I cheated on her with others and her sister.
Great. Just great.
I created a greater mess, just to get out of another one.
How am I going to get out of this mess?
I couldn’t count on Radha’s help. She was a drama queen and would make matters worse.
I couldn’t count on Raghav’s help either. His imaginations, combining with my father’s decision had made me walk into another trap.
That left me with me asking Shyamala for help. But she was already angry at me for putting her job and competence in danger. If she knows about this,t hen she would explode.
Ask me for a way out of her challenge and still have her job.
But what choice did I have?
One way or another, she had to agree to act as my selfless and accepting girlfriend.
If I have to threat her, I would do it. My dreams would depend on her decision.
I don’t think I had to resort to such harsh actions. Madhumitha and Lalitha were her friends and they would do anything to keep her safe.
I could reason with them and they would help me and her.
Yes, I could ask for their help.
I called them and when they didn’t picked up, I realized that it was already midnight.
I smacked my head with my phone and messaged them to meet with me tomorrow morning.
I hope they would understand my reasoning.
Thanks for Reading folks.
Until next time,
Nagendra Kumar Yadav T.