21. Chapter Closed

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I lay curled up on my bed in Australia, finally here after all the turmoil.

It was a deception. I hadn't brought Robin or my project team with me. I couldn't shake the thought of how everyone would react if they found out Robin was still in India. They would eventually find out, but my instincts resisted bringing anyone along.

The hardest part was convincing Ansh. He cried so much, refusing to let go of my hand. Eventually, he relented, but only after I promised to call him at least three times and to answer his calls anytime. For some reason, he was scared, afraid to let me go. I understood his fear; I felt the same way at his age. The only difference was that I was afraid to go anywhere myself. I didn't want him to experience any of that. He deserved nothing but happiness.

Aarushi was just as persistent. She begged me to take her along, excited at the prospect of a trip to Australia. How could I explain to her that Australia wasn't exactly the ideal vacation destination? At least not for me. Even the air here brings back old memories. But I'll have to overcome them.

Vihan seemed angry, or at least he appeared that way. He didn't appreciate the fact that I hadn't informed him, especially considering how close we usually are, despite our regular arguements. He's the only one who knows I'm going alone, maybe he does. That's why he didn't forget to add "Take care, half-brain" at the end.

I dialed Robin, and he picked up after just two rings. Good.

"Don't tell me you still have the audacity to show your face to my family."

"Why not? Now that you're not around, I can do as I please."

"Let me make it clear, Aaru isn't going anywhere with you. Remember, I can have you taken care of from here as well."

"You and your empty threats." I could almost hear him smirking on the other end.

"I called to warn you that if you value your life, you'll stay away from my family," I cautioned, but he just started laughing.

"Too late, I met your brother this afternoon," he replied casually.

Fuck! He might have got to know. Damn!

Another call flashed on the screen – it was Chachu's number, likely Ansh calling. I quickly ended the previous call and eagerly answered this one, not wanting to upset him.

"Aya!" he exclaimed, waving enthusiastically at the camera, and I waved back.

"Have you had dinner?" I inquired, and he nodded. "Is Vihan still acting grumpy?"

"Hmm... don't worry about it. He's always been a dumbass, remember?" Ansh remarked.

"Aww... I just want to pinch your cheeks when you say that. So, what's new at school?"

"I met a girl," he confessed, blushing slightly.

"Was she cute?" I teased, trying to hold back my laughter, but Ansh pouted in response. "You are laughing as well"

 " Don't get upset. I'm happy that you made a new friend. I would never laugh at you, never baccha."

"Do you remember our deal? You plomised to bling me chocolates from thele, right?"

(Do you remember our deal? You promised to bring me chocolates from there, right?)

"Of course, sir. I've already bought your chocolates. See, the first thing I did here was to get your chocolates," I assured him, tilting the camera to show the chocolates, and he jumped with joy.

"And when ale you coming back?" he asked, his voice tinged with longing.

(And when are you coming back?)

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