—–

Philophobia – The fear of falling in love or emotional attachment. The risk is usually when a person has confronted any emotional turmoil relating to love in the past but also can be chronic phobia.

—–

Lavanya dropped the file on her desk with a sigh. Resting her head against the back of her chair, she closed her eyes, hoping that it would provide her some relief from the headache that was promising to be a whopper. She knew she was overworked, and was in desperate need of a vacation. She also knew that she was fast approaching the levels of workaholism that would put her ex to shame, and therein lay the problem.

She still thought of her ex.

It wasn’t that she was still heartbroken over Arnav.

She had made her peace with the situation. She even spoke with Khushi on a fairly regular basis and even though her friend was mindful not to reveal too many details about her life with Arnav, Lavanya knew the basics and was even happy for them.

No, it wasn’t her unrequited love that was the issue.

“La?” she heard someone call as they knocked on her door, and was startled out of her thoughts.

“Come in,” she said, shuffling the papers on her desk, trying to look as if she hadn’t just been lost in her thoughts.

“Hey,” she heard Arjun, her co-worker and friend, say. “What are you still doing here?”

“I could ask you the same question,” she replied, smiling at him. This was a running joke between them. Arjun was just as much of a workaholic as her, and they had bonded over shared take out and later night working sessions.

“I had a meeting with our clients in China. What’s your excuse?” he asked, smirking.

“I didn’t realize I needed one,” she quipped back, which made him laugh.

Lavanya felt her own smile deepen at his laughter. She felt her heart skip a beat at how handsome he looked and wondered, for the thousandth time, if she had made a mistake.

When they had first started working together, Arjun had asked her out one night, over Chinese takeout and an argument about their favorite shows.

But she had declined.

She was hurt and insecure after what had transpired in her previous relationship, and was afraid of putting herself out there again.

He had let the matter drop, and went back to their easy banter as if nothing unusual had happened, but the conversation had lingered at the back of her mind.

She knew he was not seeing anyone, and even though she never admitted it to herself, she was secretly glad that he wasn’t.

“I am going to grab dinner before I head home. Wanna join me?” he asked, tilting his head in question.

She shook her head, “No, I think I am going to wrap up here and head home.”

She saw his smile dim a little, before he covered it up with his usual cheerful expression, “Loser. Fine. I will be in my office for another fifteen minutes or so, if you change your mind.”

She nodded in acknowledgement and watched him walk out the door.

Closing her eyes again, she threw her head back in frustration.

If Lavanya was being honest with herself, she would admit that that’s what was actually eating her up inside. The uncertainty and the hesitation, that were so unlike her.

Before she could dwell further in her thoughts, her attention was caught by a ping on her computer, indicating the arrival of a new email.

Gathering her bearings, she clicked on the email, without bothering to see who it was from and received the shock of her life.

—–

Dear Lavanya,

Surprised to hear from me? You aren’t the only one.

A couple of years ago, if someone had told me that I would email an ex, without being forced to at gunpoint, I would have admitted them to an insane asylum.

But that seems to be the theme of things these days. I am not the same person I was a few years ago. Khushi has changed me, for the better, in ways I never could have imagined.

And if it weren’t for you…if you hadn’t figured out what I felt even before I was ready to admit it to myself, I don’t know if I would be here today.

You know I am not a man of many words, so I will make this quick. I wanted to give you the long overdue apology and thank you for stopping me from fucking up three people’s lives.

I am sorry for everything I put you through, Lavanya.

I know you still keep in touch with Khushi, but I was hoping that if I hadn’t fucked things up to the point of no return, I would quite like to have my friend back as well. You were a friend and confidant to me, before anything else, and I miss that.

I hope you can one day find the same happiness you have gifted me, La.

Sincerely,

ASR

—–

She read and re-read the email ten times before she could fully believe what she was seeing. Arnav was right, she was surprised. If someone had told her her would be emailing her and apologizing for everything he did, she would have laughed her head off.

Even as she was shaking her head in disbelief, she felt something ease inside her chest. The anxiety and the doubts that had been a constant companion to her since she had walked out of Raizada Mansion that day, were quiet for the first time.

I hope you can one day find the same happiness you have gifted me, La.

Didn’t she want the same? Then what was holding her back?

Determined, she pushed herself away from the desk and walked out of her office.

Noticing that the lights in her adjacent office were still on, she knocked lightly before entering.

Arjun was busy packing his bag and did not look up when she stepped closer to his desk.

“Change your mind?” he asked, looking up once he was finally done with his task.

Taking a deep breath, she nodded, “On one condition though.”

She saw his eyebrows raise in surprise at her statement, before he nodded, indicating that she go on.

“I will have dinner with you…on the condition that we make it a date.”

He looked shell-shocked for a second before a brilliant smile took over his face.

“I thought you’d never ask, Ms. Kashyap,” he replied, making an answering smile appear on her own.

—–

AN: Just something that has been bouncing around in my head recently. If not for La, our boy ASR could have fucked things up completely. So I thought she deserved a thank you 😉

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15 thoughts on “IPKKND OS : Philophobia

  1. Ridz,

    Welcome back officially, seeing this one from you after a while now! The OS was superb. As if you need any validation at all, but regardless. Lavanya’s point of view and her moving on….ASR’s Mail serving as a catalyst to make her do just that and find happiness just like he had….much needed certainly a thank you to Lavanya. But for her decision, Arnav would probably have gone ahead with that wedding. Or would he? Something tells me he would simply have walked away and left them all hurting….be that as it may, this is a lovely piece. ASR’s Mail cryptic and succinct at the same time, just like the man himself and in as colorful a language as is his norm with friends like Lavanya. Take a bow, girl!

    Best,

    Anu

  2. Absolutely!! This is wonderful. Lavanya , though started off as a snooty girl , turned out to be a better person in the end and this ode to her is beautifully scripted!

    Old username(IF&WP): MischiefHues

  3. Very well deserved thanks that was.
    Asr would have literally f***ed up if not for Lavanya realising that his feelings were not for her but for Khushi. She stepped away and we got a beautiful love story of Arnav and Khushi.

    But Lavanya also deserves her “Happily ever After” and I think this apology got her a much needed closure and now she can move on.

    Very well written

    Lots Of Love… 🙂 🙂

  4. Glad to see lavanya finding her closure… I always felt she was kinda shortchanged in the serial… She was ignored and given a very brief goodbye when she was the one who gave that slight nudge to asr…

  5. Oh, Ridzy! I am glad ASR stepped up in your story to cover the wound he left Raw. Sure, it is a thing easier said than done, but the world is so small and life is so messy that we can do without pissing off more people than we already do. And when that piss off has the capability of changing someone’s life irrevocably, it is not our responsibility but something out of humanity, maybe? – that we apply the m-seal. 😄
    Beautiful take!

    Love ,
    Reveur.

  6. A beautiful One shot dedicated to a true friend…a true lover… A truly selfless soul. Lavanya was that one person whom I loved the most in the show!! 😘 The maturity with which she handled the situation in the show was exceptional!! 👏👏 thanks for the lovely shot!!

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