After three days of the meeting with RV's associates Ishaani received a call that it was her appointment with RV today, 3 at noon. The lady emphasized on the fact that she would have to come on time as her boss doesn't like the time getting wasted.
"Alright, I'll be there on time," Ishaani told the lady.
It was supposed to be a normal day, a normal deal like any other she had been the part of and a normal soon-to-be business partner but nothing felt usual to her. Some odd feelings kept creeping in time by time. At times she felt confident but at times not at all. The continuation of this feeling began to bother her but she did not understand the reasons behind this.
"Perhaps it's such a big deal, that is why I'm having such weird feelings," she said to herself; and knew deep down that this was not the answer of her unasked questions.
The time passed as Ishaani prepared herself to go to the office that awaited her. Accompanied by her employees she arrived at the meeting venue. The office was situated in the north London, in a lone place. It was not isolated but there was not much hustle around as one could expect in London. It was a fair, peaceful place that one could hear even the sound of turning the pages there; and was well managed from outside. The look of it gave Ishaani a queer feeling. Without delay, she headed towards the gate entrance.
The sun was high in the sky and its presence seemed rather helpful to Ishaani. Even air blew with a strange test in it. Inside the office there were people working all around as was expected, but Ishaani started feeling peculiarly nervous. Her confidence seemed to sway away by a gentle blow of the name that was silently echoing here and there.
RV's associate and his manager welcomed her and asked to wait in the conference room.
"RV sir will be approaching soon, ma'am. Please wait for a while."
Ishaani followed like an obedient kid and made herself sit in a chair in the conference room. Meanwhile her employees, those who had come with her, sat on their suitable places. It was still not 3 pm. There were 4 minutes left for the perfect timing, and Ishaani waited, as if holding her breath to something that was about to change.
Suddenly there were the sounds of the footsteps, and the door opened: two men entered the room followed by someone who did not still show his face. One of the associates of RV said, "Here is Mr. RV."
All eyes turned to look at the man and Ishaani too looked at him as he came forwards. She gave silent gasp. A very familiar face entered the room and Ishaani still wore a look of utter shock. A myriad of memories soared before eyes. For the man she had the meeting with was none other than Ranveer, her childhood friend. She remembered him meeting for the first time as a kid, him teasing her, her telling him of all her dreams, fears, and happiness; and finally him confessing his feelings after being accused of molesting her sister. Each memory hit her with an unbearable intensity, and tears sprang out of her eyes making everything around her look blurry. She somehow composed herself and sat on the place. Ishaani had not realized everyone had stood up to welcome RV and now were looking at her.
Ishaani noticed RV was still looking at her. He did not look the same anymore: Ranveer did not wear those old shabby cloths that he used to or his hairs were not poorly managed as he used to keep while busy throughout the day. He looked majestic, rich, vague and sad. Ishaani was still nervous and in the surprised state as she had been. "Is everything alright, Ma'am?" asked one of her employees.
She nodded and looked away. It was perfectly 3 now.
"So, what are the alliances we are to discuss about today?" asked RV to his associates.
"Sir, Ms. Parekh is doubtful about the deal we offered her," replied one.
RV looked at Ishaani, "May I know why?"
Ishaani cleared her throat, "Well, you know," she stammered a bit and then said, "You know our company isn't good in business and it's one of the weakest factors for the business. People don't invest in our shares anymore, and that is what surprises me, Mr. RV, that why a person like you is wasting his time on this, unless…" and she paused for a moment.
"Unless?" asked RV.
"...unless you have a benefit of your own. How do I believe your deal isn't a way to take over my company?"
"RV knows the importance of the things that are closer to someone's heart, Ms. Parekh," said Ranveer, emphasizing on her name quite a lot, "and I for sure am not doing this business for a sole benefit of mine. And as my associates, Rishi and Puneet, have told you the reason of my offer, I wonder what makes you doubt my intentions. Even now."
Ishaani nodded. "Right. But I am not convinced, though I do have an idea. May I present this if you don't mind?"
After this for next one hour Ishani explained her ideas, thoughts and insecurities about the business deal which RV seemed to grasp and acknowledge sincerely; and in the end he said, "That's all right then, Ms Parekh. I get all your points and they are indeed fascinating. I'm glad to work with you since this business needs new and innovative minds. Be proud that you and your team are one of them."
The deal was confirmed and so was one more thing: two lives that were separated by fate had again crossed each others' paths by the same fate. Although neither Ishaani nor Ranveer knew the meaning of this new gesture, they both realized the change in their lives and destiny.
Ishaani left the place with a completely different feeling she had arrived with. Before leaving the office she had gotten a chance to talk to RV, but he did not appear very friendly to her.
"I never expected you to see…" Ishaani had said to him.
"That was what I could expect from you, Ms Parekh," Ranveer had said interrupting her in between, and smiling lightly had left.
He had changed, and it made her feel uncomfortable. She was still in the deep shock as if she had never expected what she going through right now.
All the old memories that she had concealed from even herself were coming upwards and giving her strange sensations.
Ishaani sat in her room. She did not wish to go to the office after the meeting. All the feelings again kept her haunting her and she found no way back.
Why Ranveer had to come back to her again? Why he didn't leave her alone once he had left her? Why did he even bother to arrange a business meeting with her whatever his reasons might be?
The innumerable questions having no instant answers dawned at her as she let out a painful scream.
She was shattered and wept for hours. In the evening her phone rang. It was Mr. Zaveri, her father's friend, who had supported her through the business and made capable of handling it in her father's absence.
"Hello, uncle," she said.
"Is everything alright, Ishaani?" he said.
"Yes, uncle. I'm good," Ishaani lied.
"Ishaani beta, I have organized a party and wanted to invite you. Please do come and your invitation will be arriving soon."
I'm sorry, uncle, but I won't be able to come. There's already such a mess. I'm really sorry."
"Ishaani, the party is in the honor of your father and your new deal. I'm really happy that you and RV are working together."
Ishaani could not deny the invitation since it was supposed to be in her father's honor, and said, "I'll come. Thank you, uncle."
It was supposed to be a celebration for her deal with RV too, this meant lots of biggies and RV too. Her stomach lurched as she found it harder to go in front him again. Why everything, everyone had to get her closer to RV even she didn't want to?
She was devastated, annoyed, broken by the things happening to her for many years and the present events seemed to be laughing at her, mocking her for being what she was.
The changed time, place, job could not change her. Ishaani had wished to drop out of these things but knew this was impossible now.