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Just Promise Me This

Author: Krina Chauhan

Genre: Fiction, Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Independently published

Year: 2017

Format: Kindle, Paperback

Blurb: Neela Desai is tired of playing the trophy girlfriend to her boyfriend Dev, and an imaginary proposal just confirms it.

But she can work things out with him—right? Well, she has to because they’re about to move in together, and then once again Dev can become the guy she fell in love with.

But why is Neela also seeking relationship advice from Neal, a blunt, rugged, guy who happened to serve her coffee?

Is Dev really the guy for her? What secrets does Neal hold of his own? And has Neela’s answers been with her all along?



Of course, I’m happy/ thrilled/ excited to be sitting in this lavish restaurant, with this glamorous, over-the-top chandelier floating magically above our table. I mean, who doesn’t love crystal beads and pear-shaped droplets? And it perfectly matches the mood of the dining area as it’s filled with these faint sweet classical sounds coming from a grand piano outside in the foyer.

‘Sorry Sweetie, you know how David can get,’ says Dev with no hint of remorse as he unbuttons his jacket as he sits down. ‘Stunning place don’t you think? Glad I made the choice.’

‘Yes, it’s very … erm … Buckingham Palace-esq!’

So I have to confess—I’ve just been falsely enthusiastic about this place. What I want to tell Dev is that this place is pretentious, his mum would appreciate it more, it’s just like his usual choices, and I can’t wait to leave. Plus, I’m tired, work was hectic, and getting to Dev’s apartment, no I didn’t hover my finger over the restaurant's number to cancel our reservation, secretly hoping he would agree and opt for something more low-key.

Dev, a bottle of champagne and a deliciously unforgiving wood-burned triple-cheese pizza, with chillies. And preferably all three in bed, his bed to be exact; his large king-size bed. That’s how I really want to celebrate our three years together.

Dev turns his head, and gives a passing waiter an assertive, un-humorous stare, and I’m overcome with a wave of embarrassment (because who really does that?) and I hate how he demands people’s attention like that, but somehow he manages to do it so well.

‘Good evening sir, madam, welcome to The Joinery,’ says the waiter in a pleasant tone. He’s immaculately dressed in a charcoal tone three-piece suit with spotless cuffs. ‘Here are your menus. Can I get you something to drink?’

‘Yes, we will have a bottle of Dom Pérignon to start,’ says Dev as his eyes narrow with extreme certainty.

‘We have an excellent 2006 bottle,’ says the waiter, smiling in agreement.

‘No, let’s go with the 2004,’ Dev interjects with confidence, ‘I’m afraid my lovely lady and I have something to celebrate.’ Dev does his usual vigorous exaggerated laugh, but for some reason, the waiter laughs along with him. It’s like they know the same unspoken joke, and wait … somehow Dev’s now managed to turn the attention towards me because they’re both just staring at me doing this ridiculous laugh to this silent unsaid joke.

‘Ah ha—yes, we do…’ I try to radiate the same tone, croaking out a few laughs but somehow it’s turned into this bizarre tightened sound like a dolphin. I really need to work on my fake laugh.

‘Certainly,’ nods the waiter as he goes back to his usual demeanour, walking away amongst the bustling noise of the other diners.

‘Dev, please,’ I hiss, hoping no one spotted my unusual sound.

‘Please what?’ He says it like he’s puzzled, although I know what he’s doing. He loves people admiring us. ‘And I can’t help that you look stunning.’ Dev raises his eyebrows and signals down to my dress.

It’s a pale pink mid-length, strapless number, with this unforgiving neckline. It shows off my slim figure yet it also allows for my long wavy black hair with chocolate and caramel highlights to fall immaculately behind my shoulders. I also know full well it will get Dev in the mood to tear it off later (well that’s the plan).

Keeping eye contact, Dev secretly gives me a wink, but immediately his eager eyes go from mischievous, to irritated, and his hand rolls back into his jacket.

‘Great—its David again,’ he says, taking out his phone, and immediately getting up.

Argh Dev, if you’re just as annoyed then why are you answering it then? And you said that putting it on vibrate would lower the disturbance levels to our evening.

David is Dev’s loser colleague who has nothing better to do than call Dev up at all hours of the day with some talk on ‘spreading companies’, making changes to yet another presentation or just to bother him with something else equally irritating.

‘Please don’t leave,’ I say, increasing my voice as he leaves, while an elderly couple to my right look over sympathetically. (I swear they’ve both been secretly counting how many times he’s left the table since we’ve arrived.)

I politely smile back at them, fluttering my eyelids because of course I have to play the trophy girlfriend who’s fine with her boyfriend leaving her alone at the table yet again.

‘Scan the menu—I’ll only be five minutes,’ he says, dithering his hand as he looks away,

‘David, what is it now … No, I told you I spent two hours turning those comments…’

Picking up the menu, Dev makes his way towards the bar located at the back of the room, to get some privacy.

The thing is I can’t even say something smart to get across how pissed off I am with him because this is how all our dinners usually go, and right this very second, I believe food is my only boyfriend, but this is me so I like the idea of that.

Mmmm, running my finger over the various dishes, the Duo of West Country Chicken sounds delicious, but then again so does the grilled lobster, and it comes with thin chips.

Oh—but they have something called Aubergine Melts that sounds heavenly with goat’s cheese and onion … But it comes with a green salad. I wonder if I can substitute the salad with the lobster … and thin chips?

‘Madam, the 2004,’ says our waiter as he unearths our bottle of champagne quite magically from his arms and pours. ‘Will Sir be joining you soon?’ He gives Dev a short glance over his shoulder and regardless, pours him a glass too.

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