Chapter-2( Continued Part)
“Your reputation is already tarnished, Cliffer.”Ruby murmured cynically.
Neil felt his blood boil. How many times is she going to call him that, he thought irritably.It’s starting to grate on his nerves.
“You…”He started to say, but his gaze froze on Radhika’s face.
She was looking forlornly over his shoulder. He turned in his seat and looked around at what her gaze stuck to and what made her look so hurt.
At the instant his blood simpered. His jaw ticked. He saw from the corner of his eyes, Ruby too look on coldly too like he was doing.
It was Radhika’s so called step brother and step sister who came into the canteen. The two moved and sat at the last corner table. Let’s say, he disliked the twovery much. Lots. They treated Radhika as if she was dirt.
“Look, who has…”Ruby started to say, but Radhika stopped her with a warning glance.
“They are my family, Ruby. So, please, no name calling.”
“Family?”Neil enquired incredulously. “That’s not how a family treats a family, Radhika. He leaves you all alone in the evening. Alone and afraid of thedark. To walk from the lane to all the way to your house. And I haven’t seen her giving you much credit. I don’t like it…”Neil fumed fiercely.
Radhika opened her mouth to explain but he cut her out with the jerk of his hand.
“Stop backing them. I can’t change my opinion. It’s pointless talking in their favour. Just let me give you a ride home in the evening. You always say that Viren takes you,but I know you lie each time.”He tried to convince her.
“Yes, Rads, I have a bike too. you don’t have to walk all the way.”Ruby said a little hesitantly.
But, she knew Radhika wouldn’t take their help. The girl had a backbone of steel. Her self respect of having her own independence was impressive but at times annoying.
Radhika didn’t like sympathy. She wasn’t an attention garner. She hated it. Her resolve hardened. She tilted her chin.
“You have a basketball practice at five and my work in the library ends at that time. I know you’re applying for international championship. If you miss a day’s practice, its gonna affect your focus. I don’t want that. I’m not selfish to lead you out of focus.”Her voice firmed.
She turned to Ruby.
“You have a piano and ballet practice in the evening. You have put all your savings for taking those classes. Guys, please, I’m not a little girl anymore. I don’t want all of you to let go of your careers for me. I can deal with little darkness and few miles of walking pretty well….so please, let me be.”She snapped and rose from her chair, she slid her bag on her shoulders and waked away.
Radhika felt already guilty for snapping at her dear friends like that, but she hated when people felt sorryfor her.
If only mom and dad were alive. Tears filled her eyes, thinking about them but she squaredher shoulders bravely and walked on.
Ruby felt really bad that they hurt Radhika. She was a closed clam. She wouldn’t take anyone’s help. Makes her feel about her parents, of how people thinking as herto be an orphan.
“This is all because of you.”She glared at Neil.
Neil in turn looked baffled.
“What did I do?”He asked bewildered.
“You shouldn’t have ranted on about her family.”
Neil’s forehead cleared and he looked a little sheepish.
“Yes, I shouldn’t have.”He agreed.
Silence fell upon them again, but that’s when Neil proved he was a total idiot.
“You still have your hand on mine.”He whispered softly, then he smiled boyishly. “Why is that, huh? All this talk about me being a pig is really turning you on, isn’t it.”He leaned back on the chair smiling.
Right at that moment, his smile vanished. He was flirting with her. That too quite heavily. He realized that now. And, damn, he was enjoying it immensely. He needs to get away from this girl right away. She was a danger he needs to avoid….like forever.
He looked at her. From head to toe. Her narrow waist in that jeans. Her milky white arms, that slender neck. He wanted to touch her skin. See if it’s actually soft and inviting as it looks….his blood heated to boil thinking about it…
That’s when she licked her lower lipand Neil went flying out of the chair, hetripped over, cursed heavily and walked away still muttering inaudible curses.
Radhika felt the financial accounting class dead boring. It was very much though. She hated debits, credits, and balance sheet problems. All sixty students were listening to the class with acute interest. Radhika only pretended to listen. She drew doodles on the paper. Drew pictures. Decorated her name everywhere on the page. Drew funny portraitof the round pot bellied professor. He was dead boring too. He kind of makes everyone present in the class sleepy. His voice was gentle. Like a lullaby.
Abruptly the class went silent when three students got in the class. It was Arjun’s girl friend who came in first. Radhika’s lazy back straightened. Then another of the ‘it’ crowd entered in. The bullies of the campus. Romi, he was a buff guy, looks quite intimidating. Karan, the super bratty one. He had sent Radhika to boy’s toilet once telling her that it was principal’s office. There was no board outside of it, she being the fool didn’t understand only that much. Next entered, Raj, the racer, he zoomed fast with his bullet on the streets, terrorising everyone with his speed. Poor people would die of heart attack if they ever sat on his bike.
The entry of the last student, made whispersgo crazyaround the class. Radhika’s heart stuttered. Deep coffee coloured sweater over a white shirt with beige trousers, complimenting the look was the Nike shoes and a silver gleaming Tommy Hilfiger watch on hisleftwrist, wearing all this expensive she saw Arjun walkintothe class.
All of the four of the guys walked in. Looking at them all, Radhika decided that theycould give GQ models a run for their money.
She knew they were going to sit at the back of the class. Wondering in her mind, she thought after all the days of absence how comethey camein today.
The four of them always did not sit together but dispersed in different directions of the class. That was usual. Arjun would sit near the right chair, closer to the window. She wondered again why he didn’t sit with hisgirl friend.
The class again went back into the routine. Radhika again pretended to listen.
The three guys and the girl moved into the last row, and Radhika waited for Arjun to move on.
Arjun looked hot as hell.Can the guy get anymore handsome than that. The coffee coloured sweater looked s*xy on his body.
The dreamy thought broke like shattering of glass, when Arjun took a detour in his lazy walk.
With wild beat of heart and rapid blinking of eyes, Radhika saw him walk towards a row. A row in which she was sat present.Radhika sat there like an owl, staring at him wide eyed. He sauntered well past the filled chairs.
Next thing of what he did, seeing it Radhika’s heart went into overdrive. He moved around and slid down on the chair beside to hers. Right beside next to hers.
Oh my got, oh my god, oh my god, is the only thing her mind could whisper.
The unreachable territory in her life is sitting right beside to her. Within touching range. She could feel him bodily. His movements on the chair. She finally slid her gaze over hishands. They were rough, manly, long fingers. Those were on her wiast only days ago.
She remembered that tightening of those fingers on her waist. Sheblinked and shook her head.
He did not utter a word just stared up front from his lean back lazy posture on the chair. He actually portrayed a look of marble statue. Radhika saw he didn’t note down anything but his class notes were open. The pen lay over the white uncreased papers.
Radhika’s heart was beatingfaster. Why did he change his seat?Ofall the semesters, his place was reserved near the farcorner, near to the window. Thinking of it, goosebumps rose over her skin. Of all the empty chairs around, why did he come and sit on the chair beside to hers?
He wasn’t speaking to her. Though his presence beside to her was making her feel things. A deep essence of cologne hit her senses, she took a deep breath in.
Radhika leaned back on the chair feeling a secure blanket surround her.A heavy sense of safety hit her senses pulling her towards beside. It both calmedand disturbed her. She was feeling weird. She felt herself fall in a protective shield, a shield one absorbs when livingblissfullyamong family. It was that she felt. A multiple beacon of feelingsrushed into every fibre of her being. A wave of nostalgia blinked millions of images and memories that shook her up at the moment. Of her mom and dad. She clenched her hand on her thigh, controlling the thought to not throw herself on his chest and cry her heart out. With just sittingbeside to her, he made her realize how important he was becoming to her.
Was it just a crazy fluke on her part, of thinking otherwise, that he realized her presence suddenly and wanted to come to her or was he just unawarethat she was the girl who kissed him the other day.
She was thinking lots of things, crazy things. Why will he, the super hot guy, notice her, the wallflower. She wasn’t that beautiful and interesting to be get noticed by him.
But, he just became more than a ‘guy she stared at’. Hewas to her now something new.
The warmth of his, she could feel. Did he notice her? At all?
Radhik’s mind became serene. Peaceful. She didn’t not feel any worries. No anxiousness and pain. About her step siblings rudeness. About her scholarship and tuition fee. About extra additional work in library. About presentations. About life. She felt a back to support her. That she could not sit stiffly but leanback.That all those uneasiness felt draining out of her body.
The class went on. Arjun sat silently listening to the lecture. Radhika went on feeling and absorbing his presence. Finally, very sadly the bell tringed, telling that the dismiss of financial accounting class arrived.
The students rose, the professor left. Everyone was leaving. Sadly, Arjun too was leaving. When he got up something feel from Hisbook.
Radhikabent down to retrieve it. She looked up and saw Arjun already getting out of the class. Her eyes went down to the floor. She frowned, it was a piece of a paper. Of rectangular cut.
She lifted it and squinted at it. One side had something written on it! The other side was blank.
Radhika sat back on the chair.
The writing was written with a blue ball point pen. Neat. Even. Slanted. Cursive.
She smiled. First time she was seeing this. A boy’s handwriting this good and beautiful.
But the smile wiped out and she froze while read out the words. Her eyes sliding all over.
Sad not cry,
Let it dry,
A teary my,
Shadow it’s not,
Fear whisper lot,
Dark it’s me,
Night it’s see,
Follow your might,
I will guide you to light…
Radhika stared at the paper, her gaze held the last line…..”I will guide you to light..
Her eyes and nose stung. Emotions welled deep within her and brimmed up into her eyes.The tears streamed a line and fell over her heated cheeks and her heart warmed whole. She was all alone in the class with his paper in hand crying silently. Her chest constricted.
He wants her to conquer the dark with courage. That’s why he was following her at night. He was the guiding light. He was assuring her thatshe couldtrust him, right?
That’s what the sweet poem said. Radhikawiped the still streaming tears on her cheeks with the back of herhand……
Song dedication—– Dil pe rakhde tu hath zara, from the movie Uh oh…wat was the movie?!? I forgot ? which movie is it guys??
Credit to: kfar