“Compensate?” She asked with her brows knitted, eyes holding a quizzical look and lips sporting a naughty grin. Her cheeks were already strawberry red with an evident blush.
“Only, if you want.” His husky voice challenged her.
“I will!” She smiled taking up the challenge and she really wanted to make up to him, for making him wait for one and a half hour, “Tell me, what I can do to compensate and make you feel good about it.”
He appeared to think, rolled his eyes, twitched his lips, and shrugged again, “Leave it. You won’t be able to do it.”
Saying this, he walked away to turn around the car and sit at the driver’s seat. She opened the passenger side gate and sat beside him too. She was a little irritated, “What do you mean, I won’t be able to do it? I can do anything, I want. Don’t you know Nandini Murthy? Just try me.”
“No, Nandu. Just let it be.” He replied in a leisurely manner and switched the ignition on. He started driving.
“Come on, Manik. You can’t underestimate me. If I said that I will do it, then I WILL!! And already I am feeling very bad at making you wait for so long. Don’t make me feel worse.”
He smirked at the way she innocently fell in his trap.
“Don’t smile. Tell me now… what do you want me to do?”
“For one and a half hour, that you made me wait, I want you to spend one and a half day with me. Just me!! You and me.”
“But Manik, what will I tell my parents? We have just come back from holiday.”
He laughed, “I like that. You really impress me, Nandu. You didn’t say you won’t do it, or you can’t do it. You are simply worried about what you’re gonna tell your parents. Good! I really, really like it!”
She whacked on his arm, “Jerk. Stop pulling my leg.”
“I’m sure you will figure out what you will tell your parents.”
“Hold on. This is such a dumb request. My parents won’t allow me to go anywhere if Tina or Lauren are not going. And you want us to be together? Just the two of us? Alone? How is it possible??”
“It is for you to make it possible.” He reminded her that a few moments back she had made some tall claims about her mighty personality, “You only said, ‘don’t underestimate me, Manik’…’I can do anything to compensate’… ‘I’m sorry to make you wait’…’Just try me’.. what else?”
“Just shut up.” She spoke irritated at the way he was teasing her and whacked him again. She was used to doing this, since always.
“Ouchhh. It hurt.” He made a face.
“Good. It was supposed to hurt.”
They had been driving on the countryside street through a secluded stretch towards the beach. The long drive turned out to be a mesmerizing trip when she rolled down the windows and let the cool sea breeze enter inside and touch them. He threw a momentary glance at her and found her lost in her own world, looking outside through the window. He always knew that she loved the ocean and the water.
“What are you thinking?” He asked. She always had some theories for such experiences and he had always loved to hear them.
She chirped in excitement, “This is so beautiful. So surreal. It appears as if the sounds of waves from the ocean, hitting the shores are whispering sweet nothings to the sand, leaving it wet and asking for more.”
He chuckled at that. He parked the car on one side and sat still on his seat, unabashedly ogling at her, amazed and captivated. He opened his mouth in admiration but shut it when he didn’t get proper words.
“What ?” She shrugged.
“Like, how? How do you find such words to describe simple, basic, routine things? Ocean talking to sand? Like really??? What was that?” He teased her.
She giggled like a baby, “Forget that I said something.”
He laughed loudly too, making a face to tease her. She frowned, “You jerk!! You just know how to laugh and make things difficult for others.”
He stepped down from the car, walked around to reach her side, opened the door, and stretched his hand before her. “Let’s go for a walk. Beachside.”
She loved the gesture, “Chivalry?!! Always gains points with girls.”
He spoke in a husky baritone, making her go weak in the knees, “I don’t know about other girls, but I want to make it the best time for the girl with me, right now.”
“Loving already!!” She took his hand and stepped out as he locked the car doors.
“It’s not for free. It’s a payback gesture.”
“Yepp. Payback in advance for what you are going to do for me. See, I waited for you for one and a half hours, and now I am going to make this time beautiful for you. Two favours in one day.”
“And all this for???”
“For that one and a half day that you are going to spend with me.”