My So-Called Bollywood Life(84)By: Nisha Sharma
Dev scooted his chair closer to hers until they were almost hip to hip. He placed his cup on the floor next to his feet, draped an arm along the back of her seat, and pressed a kiss against her temple.
“I’m sorry,” he said, dropping another kiss on her shoulder. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t want to screw up my one chance when you finally noticed me, and that’s exactly what I did.”
She rested her head in the crook of his shoulder and let him pull her closer. She felt good for the first time since they’d fought at Dosa Hut.
“I’m sorry, too,” she said finally. “I should’ve taken a stand—”
“You did. This is…amazing, Winnie. And I know you were the reason Raj said something, too. Thank you.”
Dev leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers.
“So why did you do this flash festival?”
“For you. Well, it’s for your movie but also for me. I wanted to make things right, but in my own way. You know that priest who gave my horoscope prediction? It was his suggestion.”
Dev laughed. “Of course it was. Winnie, I love you.”
“I love you, too, Ramdev Khanna.” Their lips touched again just as the theater burst into applause.
For a second she thought everyone had heard her conversation with Dev. Her cheeks burned as she peered down into the audience and noticed that the first short had ended.
“Shit,” she said, and passed her cup over to Dev. She moved to the control panel and selected the second movie, switching to the next clip as Mr. Reece made the announcement.
“You’re next,” Winnie said over her shoulder. “After this, you have to go down for the Q&A session.”
“What would you have done if I hadn’t shown up?”
“I would have told everyone that you weren’t able to make it.”
“Wow, then I had pretty perfect timing all around,” Dev replied. “Did you watch my movie?”
He motioned to the screen. “Because I made it for you.”
The lights dimmed again, and she pressed Play. The theater darkened, and Winnie leaned forward to read the title screen.
The title frame faded, and the dedication came into focus. The words read: For Vaneeta Mehta. Circumstance brought us together, people drove us apart, but destiny helped heal all wounds.
“Dev,” she whispered. “That’s…beautiful.”
He ran a hand down the length of her back. “You’re not going to beat yourself up over whether or not we’re together for the right reasons, right?”
“No,” she said. “No, I’m going to follow my heart on this one. I still can’t believe I didn’t know your name.”
“I wish I could change it. Seriously. Ramdev? It’s so archaic, but it’s my grandfather’s name on my mother’s side.”
He handed her the ice cream cup. “Looks like you have a surprise on the bottom,” he said.
She really wanted to watch his movie, but because he had that sparkle in his eyes, mixed in with a bit of uncertainty, she took the cup.
She started tapping the object at the bottom with a spoon and realized that it was cylindrical. Her heart pounded.
“Dev,” she said, her voice shaky. She spooned up the silver bracelet, the same one that his mother had picked up at the store.
“Yeah,” he said, looking down at it. “I should have planned that better. You know how some movies have, like, jewelry hidden in food? This was supposed to be like that, but I think you might have to, like, scrub it clean or something.”
She gave a watery laugh. “It’s so gross,” she said. “You bought me the perfect bracelet.”
He took the cup from her before lifting her to sit on his lap.
“This is perfect,” she said.
“Even more perfect than your favorite cheesy romance scenes?”
She kissed him. “Way more perfect than that.”
Winnie jerked up in Dev’s lap when she heard someone on-screen say, “It’s my destiny to be with a man who gives me a cowbell.”
“Did I hear what I think I heard?”
“Yup.” Dev grinned. “Your story has been an inspiration—ouch!”