1 week later
Riddhima managed to drag her luggage while cursing under her breath for packing too much for two weeks expedition.
Four best candidates were selected from their University for the tour to Manhattan based on their projects and were invited to work as a team for the company.
She was more than delighted to see her name on the list. After three days of impatient await and dreadful thoughts, she had recieved the letter of invitation accompanied with a flight ticket.
She looked at her companions, William Brown and Benjamin Jones who were already at ten feet distance, hurriedly following Mr. Lawrence.
She glanced behind to look at her best friend struggling with her three suitcases; dragging them with annoyance yet trying to look confident.
“This is ridiculous.” Ishani huffed catching up and glared at the back of the men strutting their way out to the limo.
“They didn’t even offer to help us.” She complained.
“Um they did ask you Ish.” Riddhima chuckled. “But somebody was too proud to take help I guess.”
Ishani scoffed helplessly. “They should have insisted.”
The men waited for them to get inside the limo and followed suit.
“We will reach hotel Prime Residence in about half an hour.” Cole informed before getting into his own seat.
The company was definitely no joke. Sending a luxurious limo for them who were still students and taking responsibility of all their expenditures within these two weeks stay. Only a company who was doing very will not fear from spending money like water.
The company logo was marked on the interior of the sedan. The plain S in golden was encircled by Silver outline.
Riddhima relaxed immediately on the plush seat and groaned internally in satisfaction.
She had never been in such posh cars. Her part-time job hardly covered her daily expenses. Her mother used to send her money for a year before her dad found out and the help was cut off.
“We have reached Prime Residence, Sir.” The driver informed to Cole.
The multi storeyed building stood tall in the most populous area of the city.
“A five star hotel?” William whispered to himself in awe.
Riddhima felt a little comfort knowing she was not alone who was baffled in the land of the rich.
Once inside, the glorious decoration made her jaw drop. It was magnificent.
“I hope your stay here is comfortable ma’am. Thank you for choosing Prime Residence.” The receptionist handed them their respective swipe cards and their luggage was already taken by the staff.
“Get yourself comfortable. Tomorrow you will be picked up by eight-thirty in the morning to discuss on your assignments.” Cole said before leaving.
Riddhima felt captivated when she looked at the sky rocketing property. The reflective glasses enhancing the glory of the establishment. The company insignia demanding attention from the onlookers.
“Where is Mr. Lawrence? How are we supposed to get an entry here?” Benjamin muttered.
“Shall we wait?” William asked innocently.
“No.” Benjamin denied. “Let’s just go in.”
A black, S- Class Mercedes drove in and stopped by the gate gaining a lot of attention from the passer-by, including the four of them.
“Is it Mr. Lawrence?” William whispered to Riddhima.
She shook her head as they waited for the person to step out, hoping it to be Cole.
But once the car door opened and the long legs covered in black suit pants and dress shoes stepped out, Riddhima felt her heartbeat fasten for an unknown reason. She didn’t know what she was expecting but her eyes semeed pleading for something.
The man was tall and well-built. His hair was gelled back, a 5 o’clock shadow accentuating his facial features. His eyes hid behind the rimmed sunglass and the tailored suit fitted well on his structure. Wide shoulders swayed as he walked like he owned everything.
His 6’3 built body turned towards the four strangers standing in front of the entrance blocking his path. Once his eyes landed on something or rather someone, his steps halted all of a sudden.
Riddhima felt a wave of emotion course through her when she realised it was him. The suppressed emotions since three years jolted and raptured her heart in content. She finally found him. Or rather he found her. She didn’t know who found whom. But she was happy. She was happy to finally be able to see him. She missed him so much.
It was her long time crush. Her best friend. Vansh Rai Singhania.
The adam apple on his throat bobbed when he realised it was real. His fingers formed a fist, clenching and unclenching with unease. Behind him, Cole walked quickly to match his steps but before he could form a word, Vansh stared at her for the longest time and walked away.
“Boss is not in a good mood today.” Cole said to them in a low tone as if he was saying it more to himself.
Riddhima felt her footsteps getting heavy as she tried to join her friends. The amount of affection she had stored for Vansh went haywire and troubled her mind and heart.
Did he not remember her?
But it was him who told her he could never forget her.
His words played through her mind incessantly giving her a headache.
‘You are very precious to me. I can never forget you Riddhima.’
She swallowed trying to ease her heart. Her eyes tried to contain the tear bubbling in. She had forced herself to believe that it might not be Vansh but how could she deny the emotions that swarmed through her veins.
“What’s wrong Ridz?” Ishani asked in concern once she noticed her friend had stopped walking.
“I am not feeling good.” Riddhima mumbled.
“Mr Cole?” Ishani called out a little loud immediately to grab his attention.
He turned around to see her holding Riddhima in support and hurried towards them.
“My friend is not feeling well. Is there a restroom here?” Ishani asked.
Vansh, who was about to get in the elevator stopped for a few seconds. His muscles tensed but he didn’t glance behind. Before the doors closed, he chose to step in and ignore the chaos.
Cole called one of the staff and asked her to take the girls to the said place.
“How can I help you Ridz?” Ishani offered feeling worried.
“I am feeling better now Ish. You should go and see what they are teaching.” Riddhima requested.
“Don’t think about that. You should worry about yourself first.”
“Come on, you know how important it is to me baby.” Riddhima tried persuading her. “Please go and fill me up with the details. I will rest here meanwhile.”
“Only if you promise.” Ishani bargained, although she didn’t want to leave her friend alone.
For an hour, Riddhima laid there in a trance of memories. The flashback of every moment they had shared reflected upon her eyes.
How could Vansh ignore her?
She didn’t remember anything that could possibly make him so angry.
She had once cried to him like a baby after her dad had scolded her for leaving color marks on his table. She was fifteen and he was eighteen. Vansh was so angry that he even broke the mirror shattering it to pieces. It made her afraid of him. It was the most angry she had seen him. But he had apologized profusely minutes later.
It was the thing about him that made her feel protected. She knew he would never harm her. He only got angry when somebody hurt her. He was her safe place.
The door of her room jerked open suddenly and the lights were turned on blinding her for a moment.
Her breath hitched and eyes turned wide when she saw Vansh standing at a distance. He took long strides towards her and grabbed her slim arm in a tight hold lifting her up to face his raging eyes.
“What the f**k are you doing here in Manhattan?” He demanded, his eyes wild, sheltering a storm within.
She was shocked to see him like this. Completely opposite of what she had known him as.
“Why are you talking to me like that Vansh?” His name felt unknown to her tongue. Her voice came out timid and unsure.
His jaw tensed and ticked when she said his name. Blinking away, he jerked his hand that held her and released her making her fall on the bed.
He looked away turning around. “You heard me. What the hell are you doing here?”
Riddhima gulped trying to understand him but failed miserably. “I was selected for…”
Before she could continue, he glared at her stopping her mid sentence. “You think I’d believe that?”
“Someone so weak will not be selected by our company if not for another purpose.” He said with disgust as he looked at her miserable body clutching on the bed.
He took few steps away and pulled the door open.
“I don’t understand what turned you so pathetic.” He hissed, his tone harsh before walking out.
The door banged harshly making her shiver at his ruthlessness. Finally she let go of the emotions and cried out within the walls of the room hoping that she was alone and nobody heard her.
Thank you so much for all the love and support.
So I spend almost four hours to write this chapter as a reward to you guys.
Please comment your thoughts.
Even if only a word so that I know who is reading and whether if the story is going to the right direction.
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