PROLOGUE

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The stars today twinkled a little brighter than the usual or perhaps its the sparkle in my eyes of a new tomorrow that's making everything shine a little brighter....A girl in her mid twenties clad in a loose tee shirt and shorts thought to herself as she lay down on the greenery of the garden of her house.Tomorrow will be her first day as Book Editor in the renowned publishing house "THE FALLEN LEAF PUBLICATIONS" .Her love for books and stories had finally paid off.Her persistent hardwork had got her to this position.

'' I couldn't be more proud !! I know how hard you have worked to get there'' her mother spoke sitting besides her caressing her long black strands.

'' But are you sure you can manage everything on your own there ?? In a new city? Where will you stay? How will you manage to find a accommodation so soon?'' the worry in her mind transpired through her words.

'' Don't worry Maa.I'll be fine.I have talked to my school friend Meera who lives there.She has said she has already found me a place ''

'' Do you need any help? You know I can arrange better housing for you. If only you would let me help'' her mother made a annoyed face.

'' Maa I know.But I want to do it all by myself this one time.Please let me.If I face problem...i know whom to call''

'' You promise to call immediately if any such situation arises? Don't even think twice''

'' I promise '' she smiled having convinced her mother and finally putting a semicolon if not a full stop to her worries.

'' And what about that..'' her mother started again.

'' No.Absolutely not.Maa let me make my career first.Baki sab baad mein please''

'' Okay okay.Now lets get you to sleep.You have an early flight tomorrow bacha''

''What will I do without you Maa'' she hugged her mother sitting up.

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In unlikely silence of the busy city , a guy sat on his recliner with his pyjama clad long legs extended and a closed laptop resting on top of it.Tomorrow was a going to be another milestone in his career ; the second one to be precise ,the first one being the establishment of his own law firm.He owed it all to his father who had supported him in his decision to pursue law leaving their successfully running family business.He still remembered how The famous industrialist Mr Prakash Khanna ; his father stood there beaming with pride when his son had opened his small law firm 2 years back.How he wished his father could be present at the merger tomorrow.Though his family stayed in the same city, he had chosen to stay away in the apartment bought by his own earnings.It was the perfect place to stay focused on his career without having to bear with his mom's constant bugging about his marriage ; atleast he didn't have to see the picture of a new girl every other day and hear her praises in his mother's filmy style.Marriage was the last thing on his mind right now, first he had to achieve the success that he dreamt of .The thoughts slowly blurred into dreams and the heavy eyelids now closed shut.

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NEXT DAY
10:30 am

He was getting impatient for his meeting.He paced the room to allay his anxiousness.He checked his watch with every passing minute.' Where was she?' he kept muttering to himself.The look stare towards the closed door was broken by the ringing of his phone; mom displayed the screen of his cellphone.

" Yes Mom " he answered picking it up

" Neil, you have to meet this girl.She is beautiful,educated,smart.."

" Mom let me stop your train of praises there only.I'm not interested "

" But... What's the harm in meeting her once.Ek baar mil toh le " Shweta insisted.

The doorbell rang and he hurriedly opened the door to welcome two girls ; one was an acquaintance and the other , a stranger.He gestured them to sit and pointed to the file sitting on his coffee table , all the while listening to his mom's incessant talks of marriage and its necessity.

" Tillu ,are even listening to what I'm saying ? " asked his suspicious mother.He never liked his nickname 'Tillu' but he couldn't stop her from using it.

" Yes mom and my answer remains the same....not interested " he replied in a low voice keeping the presence of guests in his mind.He moved a little away from the two girls so that his conversation with his mom was not audible to them.

" Meera , its too expensive .The rent is just too much and I don't even have a roommate.Its a new job .And I don't want to ask Maa for money "

Meera nodded in agreement that her friend was right.She looked at Neil who was still talking over the phone.

" But why don't you want to meet girls Tillu ? Is there any other girl? You have to tell me today.If there is someone else ,I would love to meet her, if not, then be ready to meet the girl tomorrow"

" Mom you can't do that" he replied with irritation resonating in his voice.He walked towards the girls sensing some problem.

" Of course I can" Shweta replied

" The rent is too much, she can't afford it right now " Meera spoke in a calm tone.

" That's harassment" Neil replied to his mom

" Oh being your mom, I do have the rights"

" Mom!!!! "

" So what's your answer now "

Neil looked tensed and confused.He looked over at the ladies who were waiting for his answer , without moving his phone from his ears.

" Neil ,I need an answer " Shweta said sternly . " Why can't you meet the girl?''

Neil desperately searched for an answer and replied the very first thing that came to his mind.

" Because I have a girlfriend"

" You do?? " Shweta screamed in bewilderment.

" Mr Khanna , should we leave? See I can't pay so much rent .I have to be somewhere by 12 , so can you please respond? " Meera's friend asked standing up.

" Whose the girl? I want to meet .Tell me her name ." Shweta demanded over the phone to a conflicted Neil.

" Mom later "

" Now.Else you will find me with the girl tomorrow at your place"

He just wanted to end this discussion with his mother.Suddenly something lit up in the lawyer brain of his.

" What's your name ? " he asked to the stranger standing infront of him , covering his phone's mouthpiece with his hands.

" Avni .....Avni Mehta" she replied baffled by his weird response.

" Avni ...Avni Mehta " Neil repeated over the phone to his over excited mother.

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