Chapter 14

581 31 36

                           When Mehek came back from her morning walk, Manju was busy cleaning the master bedroom. She informed that one of the owners will be staying with them briefly to check the arrangements. Mehek got tensed by the sudden visitor as she had promised  to delivery her special cupcakes for the orphanage and need to start baking at the earliest. Manju assured her  that she will take care of everything while she can bake in peace. Soon Mehek got busy and once she placed last set of cupcakes in oven, she heard arrival of her employer. She quickly pulled out her apron, cleaned and made herself presentable. She walked to the porch and stood beside Manju to welcome the new owner but her smiled turned to frown as soon as she saw him. It was Shaurya. 

"How are you, Mehek?", he inquired. "Fine...Fine Sir", she stressed on the word 'Sir'. While Shankar Cacha, the driver carried his luggage, Shaurya tilted his nose catching whiff of cupcakes, "That's smells delicious". Manju giggled but Mehek remained tight lipped, "I am really tired and would like to rest in my room. Can you send some tea and some snacks to go with it?", he asked Mehek and she nodded timidly.

He waited in his room impatiently but was disappointed when the maid brought tea and cakes. "Can you send Mehek Sharma?", his words perplexed Manju. To cover up , he added, "Ask her to bring the expense files. I want to check it". Manju nodded and left. In few minutes, Mehek came with account books. She opened it and explained expenses to him. He stirred his cup of tea and pretended to listen but he wasn't. He was studying her; her glow, her confidence and last but not the least, her indifference to him. He felt a strange emotion while his eyes fell on her swollen belly. "I hope you have no questions, Sir", she closed her book and he was woken from his preoccupation. "Hmmm. Good. I see that you are managing quite well", he appreciated her but she simply gave a curt nod in response. "How are you doing, Mehek?", he asked as she was about to leave. "I already told you, Sir that I am fine", she was irked. "I mean... how is your health...and .... pregnancy", he fought for words. "Thank you for your concern, Sir. If you are worried that being pregnant makes me incompetent for housekeeper post, then you can fire me without beating around the bush", she snapped at him and walked out.

Mehek carefully placed all cakes in boxes and then loaded them into her big carry bags. "Mehekji, I will ask Shankar Chacha to bring the car for you", Manju told her. "No need, Manju. It was not provided for my personal use so I shouldn't take it. Besides, Mr Khanna is here and may need it. I will get a rickshaw in few meters", she took the bags. "Then let me carry it for you till you find your ride", Manju was not ready to give up. "It's okay, Manju. Mr. Khanna may get annoyed if both of us went missing. Don't worry, I will manage", Mehek started to walk away. But before she could leave the house, Shaurya's voice boomed, "Where are you going, Ms Sharma?". She bit hard to suppress her irritation, "Somewhere close by. I will be back soon, Sir", she tried to keep it professional. "I will drop you. I am also going to town", he offered. When she was going to refuse again, Manju interrupted, "If Mr. Khanna is going that side then it's better to take lift, Mehekji". Reluctantly she sat in the passenger seat, expecting Shankar Chacha to drive. But to her surprise, Shaurya took keys from him. "So where are you going?", he asked her as he climbed onto the driver's seat. "Just drop me at the nearest bus stop or a place where I could get a rickshaw. I will manage from there", she was quick to dismiss him. Manju heard their conversation while she was keeping the carry bags inside the car. "Sir, there is an orphanage nearby. Mehekji has baked cakes for the children staying there", she informed. Shaurya smiled expressing his gratitude and nodded his head to Manju before starting the engine.

"So those yummy treats were for the children and not for me", he humoured her. Mehek quickly became defensive, "I am sorry, Sir . When I was employed by Khuranas, I was allowed use kitchen for running my catering business. I shouldn't have assumed the same and used the kitchen without your permission. You can cut it from my salary". He shook his head in dismay, "Mehek, you very well know , that's not what I meant. And stop calling me Sir when we are alone". "I am nothing but just your employee, Sir", she told firmly.

 Before he could debate, she spoke suddenly, "Please stop". "The orphanage is just few meters from here. I can drop you at the gate", he offered her. "Thanks but it's not needed", she turned to open the door. "I just want to help you", he told earnestly. "You have done more than enough", she told meaningfully and climbed down. She grabbed her carry bags and walked to his side,"I will come back quickly. I will ensure nothing is left unattended at the bungalow". "You are being childish. Nothing bad will happen if I drop you there. We have gone there together before", he blamed her. "May be. But then things were different and now I have my reasons. Those nuns and children mean a lot to me. Despite my condition, they were never judgmental. I don't want them to misjudge that I am using my boss for my benefits. Thank you Sir, for the lift", she dismissed him and walked briskly to her destination.

It was late evening by when Mehek left the orphanage. Kids didn't leave her for a while and later they insisted her to eat supper with them. She took deep breaths as she walked back home. Her tummy was full and discomforted her to walk. After few minutes she took rest beneath a tree and sighed, "Mummy feels too full, my Angel. Perhaps I over ate". "A light stroll will help you", Shaurya's voice startled her. She tried to move away but stumbled on a small rock. "Be careful", he gave her support to balance herself. But she chided him, "Why are you lurking around, Shaurya? Do you intend to harm me and my child?". He was furious, "if I wanted to hurt you, I wouldn't have helped you that night and taken to Dr. Kaur". She was aghast. She realised that it was indeed him and not her imagination. She slowly sat on the stone bench and sighed. 

"Thanks", she spoked after few moments of silence but quickly asked, "Why didn't you stay until I gained conscious?". He shrugged his shoulder unable to answer her. Ofcourse he needed to be back to his life and his woman, her mind reminded her. "I am sorry I asked. It is indeed rude of me to question my boss", her indifferent attitude came back, "Thanks again for helping me and saving MY child. I am really grateful". Shaurya noticed that she always mentioned it as her child and no longer as their child. She managed to draw his blood without using any sword. She slowly stood up and started to walk away. "I didn't stay because I was scared", she stood still when he spoke again.

"I knew that it was my sudden appearance that pushed you over the edge and harmed your health and our baby. I wasn't sure how you will react if you saw me again next day. So I decided it was better to stay away for a while", he explained. She sighed as she too understood his reasons. "Why are you here, Shaurya?", finally she managed to ask. "I just...just wanted to make sure that you are okay". "I am fine", she kept her palm over her swollen belly, "Me and my Angel, we both are doing well. You need not worry about us anymore. I have learned to be brave and live alone". She smiled at him and it warmed his heart. He was joyful that finally she decided to bestow her sweet smile on him. Keeping her smile intact, she told him clearly, "I am quitting the housekeeper job. I will put my papers tomorrow and move out in few days". He was shocked by her declaration. "Why?", he asked anxiously. "Why???"she softly laughed, "I think it will be improper to stay in a house which is supposed to be a gift for your wife". He was taken aback again. "Don't be shocked, Shaurya. I know from agency that this is a wedding gift for a your lady love", she tried to sound unaffected. "It's a gift for Nehal", he spoke calmly yet firm. Although pleased, Mehek maintained her stoic attitude, "Still I feel it's better that I leave". She slowly started to move away. When he walked beside her, she didn't complain. They walked home together in silence, none uttering a word but still strangely happy

Broken yet not LostRead this story for FREE!