Humiliation and Defeat
A large crowd gathered around to witness what the comotion in the middle of MG Road. "Andhi ho kya? Diktai nai tereko?" Arhaan scorned angrily. Zoeya who was completely humiliated at this point stood silent. "Arhaan! It's not her fault. We shouldn't have been riding so fast." Zaki shouted in Zoeya's defence. "Why are you getting so worked up?" Arhaan spat at Zaki. "I'm talking to HER!" Pointing his finger at Zoeya. Zaki shook his head and tugged at Arhaan's arm pulling him away, "C'mon, leave it man, it's okay". Arhaan pushed Zaki out of his way and walked over to Zoeya, who was picking up her fallen groceries, dropped, as a result of all most being run over by the pair. "It's all your fault! We were in the middle of a race! Stupid girl!" He shouted angrily, throwing his hands up in the air. "You must be so blind not to see us coming. Besides I honked, didn't you hear that? Are you deaf AND blind?" He scoffed.

Zoeya was mortified.  She gave Arhaan the devils stare, stood right up to his chin and shouted, "THAT'S ENOUGH! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Tera baap ka sadak hai yeh? This is a busy street, you should know better than to race in such an area! YOU almost ran me over and instead of apologizing you are standing there yelling at me like an a**hole?!? I don't think so!". Zaki's jaw dropped as he watched Zoeya howl at Arhaan. This girl has some guts! He thought. He decided to stay out of the quarell and picked up the left over groceries instead. "HEY! Don't talk about my father!" Arhaan said angrily. "What kind of man talks down to a woman?" asked a deep slender voice hidden in the crowd. The threesome turned to look as a man wearing a dark ensemble peeled from the crowd and slowly limped toward them. The man rested his arm on Arhaan's shoulder and took a puff from his cigar. Arhaan stood silently, petrified at the stranger. Zoeya noticed the unknown man's smile, she had seen this smile before. But where? Then she remembered, the cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland ....

"I am not going to apologize. What for? Maine kya kiya?" said Arhaan throwing his hands up in the air. "You know what? Forget it! He's a jerk. Mai apni time barbad naheen karna chathi hoon. I have better things to do. And what did I expect from a low life like him?". Zoeya shouted as gathered her belongings. "Hey. Hey. Hey. Look, I'm sorry." Zaki tried put his hand out as he tried to block Zoeya's path. "Let me apologize on his behalf - for his attitude, for almost running you over, for -". But Zoeya didn't let him finish. "I don't need your BS. Just know that the people you surround yourself with, are a mirror image of yourself. Remember that, okay?". She turned and stomped off.

Zoeya was furious. How dare he? Especially when he was at fault? So disrespectful! She thought shaking her head. By now the sun had set and it was dark, Zoeya waved for a rickshaw and got in and while waiting at an intersection: VVVVRRROOOOMM! A charcoal black motorcycle rode up to the side of the rickshaw, Zoeya looked over and saw Zaki. Oh great. She thought, rolled her eyes and slumped as far back into her seat as she could. "Thank god, I found you!" said Zaki. "What do you want?" Zoeya said sternly. "I want to apologize...properly. I really am sorry and I want to make it up to you. Can I atleast give you a ride home?" said Zaki sheepishly. Zoeya could tell his apology was sincere but she was in no mood to be merciful. She was late and she knew her mother was waiting for her. She turned to Zaki and said softly, "Look, just forget about it...okay?" She motioned at the rickshaw driver, "Chalo saab". "Wait!" Zaki grabbed onto the side railing of the rickshaw. And then it started to rain. Hard. How Bollywood. Thought Zoeya. "I'm not leaving until you forgive me". Zaki said stubbornly. The rain started to pour even harder and Zaki just stood there soaked. Zoeya rolled her eyes and thought: should I break out into song and dance? Why won't he leave? "Please leave me alone. I said it's fine. I forgive you, okay?! You and your friend have done more than enough for me to day, thank you very much" she snarled sarcastically. Zoeya patted the rickshaw driver on the shoulder and with that she rode away leaving a defeated Zaki behind.

>> To read the entire series, click HERE.


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