What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can’t!
Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, ‘out of caste, and out of color’.
Elia soon realizes that Sheela’s marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela’s household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or ‘blue-eyed ogre’ as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor.
As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila’s refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward.
Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate?
Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in Varsha Dixit’s latest and humorous and steamy love story.
Varsha Dixit, the best selling author of four highly successful books, considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. A true ‘feel good’ junkie seeking quick fixes, Varsha loves a good laugh, good movie and a good book, in that order. A voracious reader of murder and grotesque mysteries, she did sit down to pen a book on serial killers but finding it impossible to maim or hurt anyone, even on paper, she penned a romantic story instead. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman. Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.
Read on for the FIRST chapter of Only Wheat Not White:
Chapter 1: Signs
A runway at the John F. Kennedy Airport 2:30 p.m., September 5, 2011
“Oof! C’mon, open the doors!”
“Ow! Watch your bag!”
Such exclamations are common during Thanksgiving sales in stores.
However, they were being thrown around inside a plane—Emirates flight E514, direct from New Delhi to New York. After fifteen hours of straight flying there isn’t much difference between rabid shoppers and restive passengers. Both want to be the first to grab their stuff and head home.
Amidst the foot stomping and scurrying to disembark, was a quiet, twenty-six-year-old girl, Eila Sood, waiting in front of her designated seat, 22B. Eila, wearing dark, skinny jeans and an olive green hoodie, stood as still as a Greek statue. She was hunched over a bit to avoid bumping her 5’9” frame against the overhead bins. Dispassionately, she watched the other passengers jostle each other. Some passengers were already on their phones, a few were saying goodbye to their fellow passengers, and others just waited quietly. Even so, the gleam in the eyes and excitement in the bodies of the quiet ones proclaimed their eagerness to get off.
That was not the case with Eila. Her dark, almond shaped eyes, fringed with thick long eyelashes, were blank. If I let this numbness go, she thought, panic will hit me like a sledgehammer to the heart!
Earlier Eila could not wait to get off the flight. However, now that she had arrived at her destination, all she wanted to do was take the first flight back home to Delhi, India.
Just then Eila noticed an obese Caucasian man, with a stained cream fedora and crumpled clothes, squeeze forward in the aisle across from her. There was nothing particularly interesting about the man except his navy blue carry-on bag with multiple pockets. Dang! It’s nearly as big as mine! Eila felt some satisfaction in the knowledge that she wasn’t the only one duping the airlines by hauling a carry-on that weighed more than her check-in luggage.
The man was having trouble passing through the narrow corridor because of his ample proportions and the luggage in his hand. He was holding up the restless herd behind him.
“Hold on, sir!” A stewardess with crimson lips and an irked expression made her way through the middle row of seats. Eila’s smooth forehead tightened on seeing her. She’s the witch who saw through my Oscar- worthy retching performance!
While boarding the plane in Delhi, Eila had claimed she was claustrophobic and begged the stewardess for an aisle seat. But the woman, with her perfect hair and perfect skin, had refused her request by saying, “The flight is full.”
Poor Eila had run out of fake gags.
Having helped the impatient man in the fedora, the subject of Eila’s ire glanced her way. The stewardess lobbed a fake smile at her. “Everyone has to get off!” Her tone was patronizing. The comment drew some titters from those around them. Eila finally moved out from behind the seats. Muttering something rude under her breath, she reluctantly gave up her hiding place.
Clutching the boarding pass that after so many checks and rechecks had been reduced from its original size of an envelope to a stamp, Eila squeezed into the narrow corridor. The exclamations and grunts chasing her from the rear forced her to hasten her pace.
“Welcome to New York. The temperature outside is 77 degrees.” The voice on the PA system intensified the urge amongst the passengers to crash through the oval windows just for a whiff of fresh air. Flights from India to the US took a toll on both wallets and sanity.
Stopping next to an overhead bin several rows ahead of her seat, Eila exerted all of her 600 odd muscles to pull out a carry-on and her laptop bag. “Ouch!” she yelped as the side of the bag smacked her in the face.
As Eila awkwardly rubbed her smarting nose and cheek, something jabbed the back of her head. Irritated, she turned around. Right behind her another passenger was retrieving his bag. Rather stupidly and sloppily if I may say so. Meeting Eila’s irritated eyes, he uttered a belligerent, “What?”
For an answer, Eila was tempted to press her shoe into his foot, but at the last minute she chickened out. Confrontations were not her forte.
“Nothing!” Eila vented her anger on the strap of her red carry-on. She could not wait to get out of this pigeonhole overflowing with pecking crows.
After ten minutes or so of cramped space-walk, Eila’s feet touched mother earth, wearing a worn blue carpet. JFK Terminal!
Her eyes swept around the area. She saw people, electronic signs, more people and a hot dog counter. Sudden saliva pooled in her mouth. Eating in planes is more of a chore and less of a meal. So much food in so much space and so much time!
Eila commenced walking in the direction of “Baggage Claim.” Burdened by her carry-on and laptop, she tottered onto a moving walkway.
JFK could be an airport of any country! She spotted Whites, Indians, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and many other nationalities. It looked like a human world map had come alive under one roof and over a worn blue carpet. New flutters besieged Eila’s heart when she thought of the reception committee waiting outside for her.
It would definitely consist of Eila’s older sister, Sheela, accompanied by someone else. Someone I have zero desire to meet! Sheela’s husband of seven years, Steve Jacobs. Steve was the reason Sheela’s immediate family, including Eila, had snapped all ties with her seven years ago. Eila knew that her decision then had been more coerced than self- arrived, yet the realization did nothing to make her feel in any way friendly toward the man.
However, here I am. Eila had suffered a tortuously long flight, taken a consulting job in New York at a much lower rate than what she might get elsewhere, just to mend fences with her estranged sister.
Stepping off the last of several moving walkways, Eila shuffled a few steps ahead. The space opened to a large hall lit up with bright lights. People stood in lines cordoned off on each side by blue tape. Immigration! Yay! Rolling her eyes, Eila began walking, trying to find the line for H1 visa.
“Shit!” All her required paperwork sat snug in a folder in the carry- on. Abruptly Eila dropped her carry-on. She mindlessly bent down to unzip the bag’s front pocket. Just then a push from behind nearly sent her flying to the floor. In the nick of the time someone caught Eila at the waist and brought her back to her feet. Her face just missed kissing the mosaic floor.
The grip was firm and steadfast. Eila felt the stranger’s fingers through the layers of her clothes.
“Hey!” Peeved, Eila pushed herself up. Simultaneously she grabbed the fingers around her waist trying to extricate herself. Still clutching her laptop and luggage she toppled further back, onto a hard lean body much taller than hers. “Let me go!” Eila snapped, struggling against the stranger’s lean length. Thoroughly vexed, she swiveled glowering over her shoulder.
Eila found herself staring into a pair of rapier blue eyes – the blue so deep, so intense and so mesmerizing that for an instant she was speechless. She momentarily recalled a picture she had seen of the Blue Grotto near the coastal Island of Capri. The angry sheen in the stranger’s eyes brought Eila back to reality. She realized that he no longer was holding her. Hurriedly, Eila moved away, although not as gracefully as she would have wanted to. She pivoted to face him.
“This is a place to stop?” His arrogant tone stung.
Eila matched her tone to his. “I don’t see a sign that says otherwise.” The Caucasian man in his late twenties, was tall, well over six feet. Eila hated that in her sensible traveling pumps she had to look up at him.
“Common sense!” he barked.
“I had stopped for a purpose. And. You.” Eila raised an accusing finger. “Pushed, me.” Eila’s eyes boldly viewed the horrible man with his sharp straight nose, high cheekbones and a mouth pulled in grim lines. What an utter waste of good looks! A red ball on that beak, a multi colored wig on that uncouth head and a red and white polka dot jumpsuit would do wonders for his personality. Eila tried to avoid the completely unexpected grin at that sudden thought. Obviously my head is still stuck in the skies.
At Eila’s impudent smile, his eyebrows came together as his chin lowered challengingly. He gave a disparaging glance to her heart-shaped face, with its dark almond shaped eyes and long thick eyelashes, cheeks plump around the middle and high at the end and mouth that was small but perfectly bow-shaped with a fleshy lower lip.
“Did I miss the joke?” the stranger growled.
“Whatever.” Eila waved her hand dismissively. “Fine, it was an accident.” The devil in her could not resist from adding, “And mostly your fault.”
For a second the man’s azure eyes took on a look of incredulity. He tugged his laptop up higher against his mildly creased navy-blue jacket. “My fault? You don’t just stop in the middle! If you have to stop, you stop on the side. Either this side or that!” He gestured with his right arm for added emphasis.
As he swung his arm, Eila noticed the stub of a boarding passing in his hand. It proclaimed First Class. Eila lost all of her already frayed patience.
Unlike the other approximately six billion people in the world, the angrier Eila got, the calmer she appeared. Sounding like a saint with a serene smile and neutral voice, she said, “I would step to one side, ‘here or there’,” Eila gestured with a tilt of her head, “if I knew where I had to go. Also I had my back to you. You have two eyes stuck to the front of your face. Why don’t you use them? You should have seen me.”
The ogre’s eyes narrowed to two sparking, azure chips of ice in his chiseled face. He opened his mouth to say something even harsher but he never got a chance. Jerking forward, he nearly tumbled on top of Eila. Alarmed, eyes wide, Eila jerked back. Reflexively she stretched out a hand to help, but the man caught himself in time and straightened. Before turning around to see what or who had bumped into him, he gave Eila’s still outstretched palm an acidic look.