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Moonlight and Chocolates: Chapter 1

After an exhausting day at work, Kiara skipped cooking and instead treated herself to a glass of wine while taking in the breathtaking view of the full moon. The soft, white moonlight filtered through the transparent windows, casting an enchanting glow that beckoned her to settle near one of them. In the background, her favorite song, "Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai," played on the radio, adding to her relaxation as she soaked in the moonlight and the soothing music.

Aman, frustrated and angry about the events that had unfolded at his workplace, entered his apartment. Tossing his bag aside, he loosened his tie knot in annoyance, his hunger intensifying his impatience. He decided to stroll down the street to clear his mind and hoped to find something to eat. Surveying the surroundings, he noticed only one shop open at that late hour. Without hesitation, he grabbed a bottle of cold drink and a pack of chips before finding solace on a bench outside the shop. The deserted road stretched ahead, and as he took a sip from the bottle and a bite of the chips, his gaze landed on the radiant full moon. Its serene presence seemed to calm his anger, enveloping him in its gentle light. He found a sense of relaxation, whether it was the cold drink, the chips, or the moonlight. He returned to his apartment and drifted off to sleep, still wearing his office clothes.

As Kiara prepared for the day the next day, her neighbor, Mrs. Kapoor, stood at her door, inquiring, "Kiara, does this chair belong to you?" Pointing at an unclaimed chair in the passage, Mrs. Kapoor sought her confirmation. Kiara examined the chair closely—a captivating orange with a yellow-painted seat and a slightly damaged right handle. Despite its appeal, it wasn't hers. Mrs. Kapoor moved on, knocking on another door.

Feeling exhausted from last night’s workload and needing a break, Aman requested a day off. He sought solace in his favorite mood-changing activities: watching the "Star Wars" series and indulging in a meal from Domino's. The events of the previous night no longer plagued him.

As his phone rang, he answered to hear his mother's voice on the other end, inquiring about his well-being. Surprised by his prompt response during office hours, she expressed her desire to know how he was doing.

"Maa, I'm coming home. Can Papa take some time off too? We'll go somewhere and hang out. I need a break from the routine," replied Aman. Understanding the sadness in his voice, his mother agreed and made the necessary arrangements to ensure his stay would be memorable.

Aman packed his bag, informed his workplace of another holiday, and began looking for bus schedules. The boarding point was two blocks away from his place, and after some quick calculations, he left within the next 30 minutes. The destination he was headed to wasn't far from his current residence. Although he worked at a dream company, he regretted not being able to live with his parents.

Upon arriving home, Aman was greeted by his father, mother, and younger brother. Growing up in a family of four, including himself, he felt immense joy seeing everyone together. Needing some rest after a six-hours journey, he savored the comforting feeling of being at home. When he woke up, the evening had already descended. The tantalizing aroma of hot pakodas —his favorite dish wafted from the kitchen. Excitedly, he dashed into the kitchen, expressing how much he missed this home-cooked delight. He devoured almost all of the pakodas. He decided to spend an additional day there, choosing to relish more quality time in the place where he had matured into a young man.

Aman indulged in his favorite dishes and, most importantly, the homemade chocolates his mother had prepared. These chocolates possessed a power over him that was difficult to resist. He had visited home frequently and always returned to his place with pocketfuls of chocolates, and this time wasn't any exception. After two days, he resumed his routine with renewed enthusiasm and vigor.

Kiara was visiting her aunt in a building when she noticed an unclaimed envelope. She noted the apartment number and knocked on the person’s door, calling, "Mr. Kumar?" He nodded, confirming his identity.

"I found your mail lying on the stairs and thought to return it to you," she kindly explained. Grateful for her thoughtfulness, he expressed his gratitude. "It's my pleasure!" she responded with a smile.

As she turned to leave, she saw a beautiful parrot in a finely decorated cage held by a man. A smile spread across her face.

"Yes, I'll take care of the parrot. Don't worry. Enjoy your vacation.", said Aman, while climbing down the stairs, to his friend over the phone.

Little did they know that this would be the last time they crossed paths without noticing each other, for soon, their lives would intertwine surprisingly, leading them on a journey they could never have imagined.

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