*The next day, Soha’s party*
“Hey and do you remember about that day when…” and Manik went on to narrate yet another of his childhood experiences. What am I doing in the middle of these childhood buddies? I asked myself for the nth time now. I was in this party thrown by Soha now, sitting at a table with Manik, Dhruv and Soha, with several other people (Soha’s friends) who were busy doing something or the other. I had to come because Soha forced me, backed by Manik. And now I’m stuck here in the middle of them feeling somehow like I don’t… belong.
Manik had promised he’d entertain me but seems like he has totally forgotten about it.
“Uhm, excuse me guys… I’d just go grab a drink,” I said, already getting up. I was walking towards the drinks counter when I suddenly heard someone call,
“Hey, Nandini, wait…” I instantly turned my head to see Dhruv approaching me.
“So I’m guessing you got bored with our gossip, right?” He asked and walked beside me as I started walking. Oh so he finally realized!
“Oh thank you for realizing this soooo soon!” I said, with an edge of sarcasm in my voice. He just chuckled and kept walking.
“A coke please,” I said as I reached the counter. “Do you want something?” I asked, turning towards Dhruv.
“Just water,” Dhruv said. After getting our drinks, we took a seat near the counter.
“Cute couple right?” Dhruv said, sipping some water.
“Huh?” I asked, totally puzzled.
“I mean Manik and Soha…” He replied with a faraway look in his eyes.
Cute couple? No, I don’t think so. But of course I won’t say that out loud.
“But they aren’t a couple na…” I said dreamily, looking at the table where Manik and Soha were seated. The two of them giggling and chattering away.
“Yeah, but they do have a history together… Besides, who knows how things may turn out between them?”
“What do you mean they have history together? It was just a rumour spread by the media right? Maddy told me they had never really dated?”
“Oh yeah, that’s correct. They never have dated, but Manik did have feelings for her.”
What! Now that’s a new discovery. Manik never told me he had had feelings for his best friend once upon a time. Wait—does he still have those feelings for her? Anyways, how’s it going to matter me? He can have feelings for anyone right?
“Really? Manik never told me… Well, so if Manik had feelings for her, then why aren’t they together now? Don’t tell me she rejected him!” I said, speaking out my thoughts.
“No…Manik never asked her out.”
“Oh. Why didn’t he?!”
“Cause he saw her turn down another guy saying that she wanted to focus on her career… So Manik didn’t want to take the chance as he assumed she’d turn him down too and that would also affect their life-long friendship which he said he didn’t want to lose.”
“Oh… So he still has feelings for her?”
“I don’t really know… He seems so happy and cheerful when he’s around her… I couldn’t really tell.”
“Hmm…” was all I managed to say as I looked back at Manik’s table, only to find his gaze fixed on me. It looked like he had been staring at me for quite some time. As soon as he saw me, he gave me a cute smile and looked down. Soon, he turned around to face Manik, who was apparently saying something to him.
I knew Dhruv was talking to me but I was distracted. I kept on looking at Manik, who was now busy talking with Soha. Did he still have feelings for Soha? I don’t know why, but I really wanted to get an answer to this question.
‘No, Manik can’t have feelings for Soha,’ I muttered to myself, but I guess I said that loud enough to catch Dhruv’s attention.
“Did you say something? I couldn’t catch it,” he said.
“Oh, no…Nothing. I was just saying—“
“Attention please, folks!” The young DJ’s voice boomed through the speaker, interrupting me. I acted as if I wanted to hear what the DJ was saying so that I won’t have to answer Dhruv.
“Now I’m gonna play some romantic numbers. So I want all couples and pairs on the floor. Here we go…!” His voice was accompanied by a slow Bollywood romantic song.
A number of couples soon moved on to the dance floor. I noticed a guy come up to Soha and ask her for a dance, who readily agreed. With Soha gone, Manik turned his head towards us so I immediately looked away, facing Dhruv.
“So, would you like to have a dance with me?” Dhruv suggested. In a normal situation, I would have gladly agreed for the dance as I loved dancing. But I don’t know why, after hearing about Manik and Soha I didn’t feel quite good. I know I shouldn’t be feeling this way but I couldn’t help it.
“Umm, sorry Dhruv. I’m not really in a mood to dance now,” I said in an apologetic tone.
“C’mon yaar. Just one dance. You’ll enjoy it and—“ Dhruv was persuading me when Manik approached us.
“Hey guys! What’s the topic of discussion?” He said, talking a seat.
“Nothing. I was just asking Nandini for a dance but she refused,” Dhruv said in a dejected tone. As I looked at Virat, my mind again asked the same damn question; does he have feelings for Soha? What the hell was happening to me? What’s it to me if he has feelings for her? He is free to like anyone, right? Then why do I become insecure when he’s around Soha? Why? I felt so stressed out and awkward at that moment and my head started aching badly. I’ve got to get out of here.
“Guys, I think I must go home now. My head is hurting and I don’t feel quite well. So I’d better inform Soha and go…” I said, trying not to make eye contact with Manik.
“Are you fine?” Manik asked with genuine concern for me.
No I’m not fine, Manik. Something’s terribly wrong with me and I don’t know what. I’m thinking of ridiculous things and I can’t stop it. I wish I could tell him that, but I instead replied,
“Yeah I’m fine, Manik. I just need some rest, that’s it. See you guys some other time… Bye,” I said and left.
Thank God, that guy called Soha for a dance. From the time when mine and Nandin’s eyes met, I felt an urge to go and talk to her. I and Soha were talking about her only, but I wanted to talk to her and not about her. And if I’d have left Soha and went over to talk to Nandini, she would have teased me for a lifetime. I walked up to Nandini and Dhruv once Soha was gone.
“Hey guys! What’s the topic of discussion?” I said enthusiastically, talking a seat , facing Nandini.
“Nothing. I was just asking Nandini for a dance but she refused,” Dhruv answered my question. I looked at Nandini who was awkwardly staring at me. Wow, was I looking handsome? Or was I looking the opposite?
“Guys, I think I must go home now. My head is hurting and I don’t feel quite well. So I’d better inform Soha and go…” Nandini said. Why did she want to go as soon as I joined them? Did she hate me now? I looked at her, who was actually looking kind of pale.
“Are you fine?” I asked her, full of concern. I hoped she was fine, though she didn’t look like it at all.
“Yeah I’m fine, Manik. I just need some rest, that’s it. See you guys some other time… Bye,” She said and left in a jiffy.
Please stay for some more time, I wanted to say but couldn’t. My eyes followed her till she vanished from my vicinity. I was lost, admiring her, when Dhruv interrupted me—
“So you haven’t told Nandini about your feelings for Soha, right?”
Feelings from Soha? Oh, right. I had been in love with Soha once upon a time…only to realise it was just an infatuation later on.
“Huh… No. It’s not a big deal anyways. That feeling is long gone. So why to make it an issue?” I said.
“Seriously? I mean, you don’t have any feelings for her now?” Dhruv looked astonished.
“Yeah I’m serious. What kind of a best friend are you? You don’t even know this much about me?” I mocked him and continued, “Anyways, I forgive you. I’ve got to tell you some great new first.” I’d decided to tell Arnav about my feelings for Nandini. After all, he’s my best friend. And he has always been there with me, even when I was in love with Soha.
“Nooo wait. I’ve gotta tell you something first, which I’ve hidden from you for quite a few days.”
“Okay tell. But I can bet my news is greater than yours,” I said, and allowed Dhruv to speak first.
“Okay,” He said and rubbed his palms excitedly. A smile crossed his face and he said—
“It seems that…I’m in love.” Wow! What a coincidence? Both of the best buddies fell in love at the same time?
“Wow dude! Who is the lucky girl?” I asked eager to know about it.
“Umm… It’s, uh, Na…Nandini.”
WHAT! The name came like a thunder and clashed on me. Now this is a very bad coincidence. I somehow controlled myself and replied—
“Congo, dude! You both would make a fantastic couple!”
“You think so? I really hope she…” Dhruv went on to say something but I wasn’t really listening. I was completely shocked and disturbed, though, of course, I won’t let it show on my face. I felt my head reeling and casually took the glass of water in front of me and gulped down the whole of it.
This couldn’t be happening. No, this is just a bad dream which will end now, I tried to convince myself, running away from reality. Dhruv loves Nandinu. The very thought was tearing me apart.
“Well, what about your great news?” Dhruv asked. Of course I couldn’t have told him my ‘great’ news, so I just said—
“Oh, it’s nothing. I just wanted to change the topic. Anyways, don’t tell Nandini about me and Soha. She needn’t know it, really.”
“But I’ve already told her!” He said.
Shit. Can my day be possibly any worse? God knows what Nandini must be thinking about me now.
*After 2 hours*
I was sitting under a tree in my garden because I hoped that some fresh air would definitely help me to calm myself. The book of my memories opened onto the page when I had decided to ask Soha out.
I was sitting in a coffee shop, waiting for Soha. I was too nervous as I was going to tell Soha about my feelings for her. I saw her walk through the door, talking on her phone. I unknowingly stood up. Soha took a seat, raising an eyebrow, obviously surprised by my gentlemanly behaviour. I immediately sat down, completely embarrassed by my act.
“I’m really sorry Ankit, but I’m not gonna my mind……..Why don’t you understand………I really care for you, Ankit. You are a good friend of mine, but please let’s not break this friendship………….Please Ankit, try to understand………….Look I have to go now, I’ll talk to you later………..Bye.” Soha finally hung up. Who was this Ankit guy she was talking to? Was he the same guy who lived next door to her? Showing genuine curiousness, I asked her—
“Ankit happened. He, uh, proposed me today…” She said.
“So, what did you say?”
“I rejected it, of course!”
“You know na Manik… I have to concentrate on my career now. I can’t afford to be distracted by being in a relationship with anyone now.”
And this, was it. I knew what her answer would be if I proposed her. She didn’t want to be in a relationship, with anyone. My bad. I could never get her.I decided not to tell her, as I wanted our friendship to remain intact. Even thought she didn’t know about my feelings, she would still be my best friend and I would always have her by my side, I consoled myself.
“Well, anyways… I have to give you some awesome news!” She said.
“What is it?”
“I GOT A JOB IN CALIFORNIA!” She screamed, ecstatic. This came as a complete shock to me. I was going to lose my best friend forever, I realized. I felt like I was falling into the bottom of a bottomless pit, never to come out again. My world had been shattered.
In the fear of losing my most close and childhood friend, I had never proposed Soha. I had accepted the situation and with time, the feeling for Soha died out. She was now only my bestie. Almost the same situation has been repeated in my life. Nandinu considered me as her best friend only. If I propose her, maybe she won’t be having such feelings for me, and I didn’t want to lose at least her friendship. And I also didn’t want to lose my lifelong friendship with Dhruv. I could not afford losing two of my besties at a time. I guess, it’s in my fate that I could not achieve my true love. And Nandini also doesn’t like my popular status and my being famous. Dhruv, I guess, is perfect for her. It’s better to give them some space. It’s after all about my two best friends. Love, which is not in my fate, is not important than friendship. So, I decided to bury my feelings in myself and take it to my grave with me. I took in a deep breath. I made the decision to immensely mix with my blood stream like oxygen so that I won’t ever forget it. My head ached and I rested my head against the tree trunk. I closed my eyes and started accepting my luck. Unknowingly, some drops of tears found their way through my eyes and rolled down…as I wondered “Kaisi yeh yaariyan. . .”
Nisha : Hey guys. I am extremely sorry for being so selfish. I swear I will continue this no matter what. Its just that I want to make sure Manan lover are liking this. And from today onwards its just not me who’s working on this Fanfic but also my lovely little sister Naina.
Naina : So we have decided to continue this for you all! Just keep supporting and we will try to update daily but my sister is in her 12th so she’s a little busy so I am also going to help her.
PS – I am not so good writer like her.
Credit to: Naisha