The Lost Emerald
Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven | Chapter Eight | Chapter Nine
Arjun tried to drive as calmly as he could but even the brightest thoughts weren’t helping. In record twenty minutes he reached the place Raghvi had shared. He quickly parked the vehicle outside the café ignoring the café’s valet. Heading towards the café he noticed Mayank’s car parked at some distance. He made a mental note of talking to him about Raghvi. May be she had shared something with Mayank that he was still oblivious about.
He entered the café and walked down the ally and ignored the restaurant placard at the entrance. He saw Raghvi dressed in a beautiful floral dress talking to a gentleman in grey suit. Getting closer to her, he recognized the man to be Mayank.
“Hey”, Arjun spoke, trying to hide the panic and his racing heartbeat.
“Hey love”, Raghvi walked forward and hugged him whispering Happy Birthday in his ears. He could see her eyes shining but a little nervousness in them too. He then noticed her wearing the emerald earrings.
“I see you found the lost earring”, he whispered.
“Oh yeah”, she said and looked briefly towards Mayank who was silently watching the couple. Both men then shared gentle pleasantries.
“So, how do you like it?” asked Mayank.
Arjun felt confused.
“The surprise”, said Raghvi.
With his nerves calmed down, he now observed the surroundings. The placard behind Raghvi now caught his attention. It showcased a book cover with the same emerald earrings and ‘The Lost Emerald’ written in bold equal-spaced letters and below it was the name Raghvi Malhotra. He turned around to see that every table had smaller versions of these placards and similar emerald green and black book kept beside it.
He looked back at Raghvi, who was observing him taking in the sights around him.
“Oh my God! Is this? When did?”
“Let’s have a chat”, she gestured him to walk towards the corner seat. There was still an hour to the book launch, enough for her to confess all things to Arjun. There will be no more secrets today.
“Arjun, this is what I had been hiding from all these months”, spoke Raghvi as they sat down and she slid the green book towards him.
Arjun looked at her clueless.
“’The Lost Emerald’ is a book about my mom,” her tone was somber and Arjun noticed the emotions rising inside her. He remembered her mother had passed away when they had just started seeing each other. It had involved a tragedy about which Raghvi never spoke.
Gaining strength, Raghvi spoke again, in a much calmer voice, “You might remember how she and masi were born after long wait to my grandparents. Both daughters were more precious than diamonds to my grandfather. So, he named them Panna (emerald) and Neelam (Sapphire). Later when they came of age, he gifted them jewellery resembling their names. So of course, my mom got the Emerald set. But when she died last year, all was lost. My grandpa’s emerald was gone forever. That’s what has always made me treasure emeralds more than anything else. They hold a different significance in my life.”
Raghvi took a deep breath and spoke again, “I didn’t tell you earlier because I wanted this to be your birthday surprise. Mayank helped a lot since his father owns the publishing company.”
Arjun held her hand and the emotions took over in silence.
About an hour later, when guests have taken their seats, Raghvi held the book, standing in front of her guests. Arjun stood beside her. Mayank took seat at the first table.
“The Lost Emerald’ is an ode to my mother, Mrs. Panna Singh, who was..”, she started to speak.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023