“What! You got a horror movie?” Nandini exclaimed, once she got to know Dhruv had gotten a horror movie for us to watch. I and Dhruv were now in Nandini’s house for the planned movie night. I mean movie evening. But whatever.
“Yeah, why? You don’t like horror movies?” Dhruv asked.
“No, she’s very scared of them!” I stated in a matter-of-fact manner. Dhruv instantly turned towards me and asked—
“How do you know?” Ouch. Guess I should’ve kept my mouth shut. Dhruv shouldn’t feel that I know Nandini better than him. Like of course, I knew her way better than him. We have been best friends for such a long time. I knew her inside out, completely. But I didn’t want Dhruv to feel insecure or anything. Before I could say anything in response, Nandini cut in—
“It’s not important. The point is, I’m not going to watch this movie!” Thanks for saving me Nandini.
“Hey, please don’t say that! I’m really sorry, I had no idea you didn’t like horror movies. I got it cause I, Manik and Soha always watch horror movies when we’re together… Besides, that’s I didn’t have any other DVDs with me other than horror movies!” Dhruv explained. That was actually true. We three always did watch horror movies. They were just so amazing!
“But… Nandini went on to say when Dhruv cut her,
“C’mon. We all will be there by your side. And plus, the ghost will not come out of the TV set to eat you! It’ll be fun, trust me!” Nandini and Dhruv went on arguing while I got back to texting Soha.
I had called Soha while coming from my house and she had said that she was already at Nandini’s, but when I reached here, she wasn’t there! It was another of her idiotic plans to bring me and Nandini closer. I don’t know why Soha is not trying to understand the situation. It’s already hard for me and she is making it still harder. The trail of my thoughts was broken when the door bell rang. It had to be Soha.
“I’ll get it,” I said and made a run for the door. No I did not literally ‘run’, but I was so impatient I could strangle Soha once I saw her.
“Ah! See who finally decided to show up!” I exclaimed on opening the door, sarcasm filling my voice. “I didn’t want to come. You were the one who forced me to come and now you are coming late?” I went on saying, all in one breath. Wow.
“Dude! I had a lot of difficulty in locating the house by the directions you gave me!” She said while I arched up my eyebrow. I knew she was just making up a stupid excuse because Nandini’s house wasn’t at all that difficult to find.
“Anyways, I hope you had a good time with Nandini. Now let’s go in or else your girlfriend will be suspicious,” Soha said, asking for entrance, as I was blocking her path.
I knew whom she was referring to as my ‘girlfriend’ but I still acted innocent and asked,
“What do you mean by girlfriend? I don’t have a girlfriend!”
“You know better,” Soha gave me a wicked smile, and pushed by me to get into the house. She stopped midway and turned back towards me and whispered to me,
“Dhruv’s here? Oh God! Why does he always come in between you and Nandini?”
“A, it was Dhruv’s plan to watch a movie and B, I’m the one coming in between them and not the other way round,” I said firmly, shut the door and walked towards the sofa hoping that no one had overheard our conversation. Nandini and Dhruv were already seated when I went there. Apparently, Nandini had agreed to watch the movie due to Dhruv’s persuasion. I could see Dhruv’s influence on her but I didn’t know if I should be happy or sad about this. I went and sat down on the right side of Nandinu, and Dhruv was on her left. The sofa was huge, large enough to accommodate all of us. And maybe even more people. The centre table in front of us was furnished with snacks and popcorn. Soon Soha took her seat on my right and then the movie started.
The first fifteen minutes were quite normal without any scary scenes. But as the movie proceeded, I couldn’t help but notice how Nandibu was almost trembling with fear. Her legs were drawn up onto the sofa, and she was hugging her legs close, her face showing that she was fighting the urge to scream out loud. Suddenly, at a scene, Nandini grabbed my arm, quite involuntarily I think, cause she didn’t even look at me when she did it. Little did she know the sparks that she ignited within me on holding me like that!
A part of me wanted to jerk off her hand, in case Dhruv didn’t like it. But another strong part of me wanted to hold her close to me and comfort her. And the second part of me took over the first, and I just let her hold me, turning my focus on the movie. As the scene became more and more frightening, I could feel Nandini’s tightening her grip on me. At the horrifying end of the scene, she gasped out loud, forced her eyes shut and immediately buried her head in the crook of my neck. By now she was literally shaking with fear. Her soft and silky hair brushed my arms. I wanted to give her a tight hug and reassure her that everything’s fine. But nowadays the things that I want are the things I won’t ever get.
At moment, Dhruv turned his head towards us and saw Nandini holding onto me and me staring at her. He didn’t react and went back to seeing the movie, but I could sense that he was kind of disturbed by the fact that Nandini held on to me for safety, and not to him. I suddenly felt that I was being a barrier between the two of them. First I spoilt Dhruv’s movie date with Nandinu and now also I was being the reason of his uneasiness. I know he wouldn’t think of me in that sense but still, I wanted things to work out between him and Nandini.
Now I knew I had to something to make Nandini let go of my arm, which she was still clutching tightly. I was thinking of something which would enable me to pull back my own arm without hurting Nandini’s feelings, but my mind couldn’t think of anything. And that’s when my phone rang, thankfully. Nandini realized that she’d have to move so that I can take the call and she reluctantly sat up straight. I took out my phone to see it was Maddy. God bless him!
I silenced my phone and searched for the DVD remote so as to pause the movie. I spotted it and bent forward to grab it, but it was way out of my reach. I stretched myself to the fullest to reach it and lost my balance, as a result of which I landed right on Nandini’s lap and made her scream with pain. I instantly looked at Nandini with an apologizing look which soon turned into her admiring look.
How could someone be so beautiful? Her face, every inch of it spelt perfection. It was totally flawless. And the way her hair was carelessly falling on her forehead made her look all the more beautiful. Her deep black eyes were looking at me and I was getting lost in them. Suddenly, her voice shook me out of my trance and brought me back to reality—
“Manik! Get up, you are too heavy!”
I made a mental note to never make eye contact with Nandini, as I couldn’t possibly do it without losing myself in her gorgeous eyes.
“Sorry,” I said, my voice barely above a whisper and got up from her lap, sitting up straight. By now, both Dhruv and Soha had diverted their attention towards me.
“Actually I wanted the remote,” I said, clarifying myself.
“Here,” Dhruv handed over the remote to me.
I at once paused the movie and said,
“I’m getting a call, will be right back.” And with that, I walked out of their vicinity. I went near the main door and called up Maddy as the call had been disconnected by now. After the call, an idea struck me and I texted Soha—
Me: Hey! Move to the place where I was sitting. I don’t want to sit near Nandini.
Soha: No ways!
Me: Yes ways… Plz!
Soha: Nopeee! 😛
Me: My promise, move!
Soha: Nah. That’s not gonna work. U know right that I don’t listen to, at least, your promise!
Me: Fine then… Maddy’s promise!
I always knew Soha had a secret crush on Maddy though she never had directly told me this. But being as clever as I am, I’d figured it out long ago. I hope Soha would agree to shift and Maddy’s promise would work out.
When I entered the living room, where we were watching the movie, I saw that Soha had not switched places. Was I wrong? Soha didn’t have a crush on Maddy? With thoughts as these, I slowly walked to the sofa. However, on seeing me, Soha reluctantly moved aside towards Nandinu, leaving her spot vacant for me to sit and gave me a deathly glare. Yes! It worked! She likes Maddt! I beamed, contented with my new discovery and sat down beside Soha like a king who has just won a great battle.
The movie started again and I saw Nansinu holding Dhruv’s hand this time. This was kind of stabbing me. Right in the heart. I tried my best to focus on the damn movie and ignore the two of them. This movie was no longer fun to watch. This is what you had wanted, right? The voice inside my head mocked me as I resisted the urge to turn off the damn TV.
The movie was over and we were all now seated at the dining table, enjoying the food and gossiping. After the movie, I had to check my hand for any fractures. Seriously, Nandini had held it with so much force that I feared some of my bones were broken. Don’t get me wrong though. I totally enjoyed the experience. And I wouldn’t mind breaking a bone or two just to be near Nandini. Yes, I loved her that freaking much.
“Hey guys, I need to tell you all something,” Manik’s said, trying to catch our attention.
“Yeah, go on. We are all ears to you,” Soha said, taking a sip of water.
“So,” He started, dragging the O. “As you all know, I had been busy practising for the upcoming concert the past week. The toyr starts in two days, and I’m leaving tomorrow. I’d be travelling all across India for some days now and I won’t be able to keep in touch with any of you.”
The second he ended his speech, Nandini choked on her food.
“What? You are going tomorrow and you are telling me now?” She said, surprised. All the three of us shot her a look simultaneously. She soon realized that she’d just said and hurriedly rectified it by saying,
“I mean, you are telling all of us now?”
“Umm yeah. I’d have old you guys before but I just forgot. Sorry for that. Actually I was very busy with all the practise and stuff, so…” Manik explained.
This was new news for me too. I didn’t really keep myself updated about the concert dates and all.
“It’s fine, we understand. So when will you be coming back?” Soha asked.
“I guess around 26th of December, I’d be back. The last match is in Mumbai, on 25th only. And I’d be boarding my flight on 26th morning.”
“What! You won’t be with us on Christmas! That’s not fair!” Soha shouted in a baby-like voice, pouting.
“I guess so. I can’t really help it though,” Manik said and turning towards me, added,
“Dhruv, can you come over to my house now please? I need your help in packing yaar.” Manik always called me for packing. Though he travelled a lot, one would think he was adept at packing suitcases and stuff. But trust me, he literally sucked at it. I wonder how he would do without me.
“Yeah sure! I was just thinking why you haven’t invited me yet,” I said, mocking Manik.
After dinner, we bade goodbye to Nandini’s and drove off to Manik’s house while Soha off to her aunt’s place.
I was in Manik’s house and we both were dancing to some really loud music, instead of packing. After what seemed like hours, we realized the time. It was already 11:15 pm! It was too late and I had to return home also. We hurriedly started packing. We always used to do this. Whenever Manik had to go somewhere, we would do crazy dancing and then pack everything at the last moment at lightning speed. Of course, for this, Manik had been in trouble a couple of times because he’d forget to take one thing or the other.
We first piled up all the things which Manik had to take with him on the floor. He had made a list of all the things he was gonna carry with him, and that made the task easier. He called out the things one by one, and I packed them into the suitcase.
“Phew, what a long list yaar! Next my sunglasses, and my…” Manik went on with the never-ending list. Suddenly, his phone rang.
“—and my diary,” He said.
“Now let me see who this is now, this late,” He thought out loud, picking up his phone. “Dhruv, I’ve got to attend this call and it may take some time. You please carry on with the packing, pleaseeeee,” He begged and walked out of the room. I wanted to get back home on time, so I continued with the packing. Just as I was about to put Manik’s diary in the suitcase, I had a sudden urge to read it. I knew it is a bad habit to read other’s personal diaries but I anyhow opened it to read it. Besides, I didn’t think Manik would mind it much. He did not have, or at least I thought he didn’t have, any secrets which I didn’t know.
I flipped through the pages of his diary. Half of them were blank and half of them were filled with stuff about music. What else would you expect in the diary of one of the best rockstars? I was about to shut the diary when my eyes landed on a page. The starting line of the page said—
The things we lose in life always have their own way of coming back to us in the end, but it happens in the most unexpected way.
These lines caught my attention and amused me. I read the page further as my curiosity got the better of me—
Yeah. I have also got a thing which I had lost many years back and I never expected it to return back to me in this way. Many years back, I couldn’t get my first love—Soha. I really had thought I was not meant for love. But seems now that love has come knocking on my door once again.
The day I first met her, I had no idea she would be ‘the one’. But yes, she is. Her innocent black eyes, always shining, her slick hair falling perfectly on her face, her lips, which are always smiling, her most infectious smile, which just takes my breath away. Everything about her is just…perfect. Her very thought sends those tingles down my spine. Everything about her makes me just love her more and more. Yes, I’m totally in love. Truly, madly, deeply, foolishly and completely in love. And this very special girl, who made me dare to fall in love again, who taught me to laugh and be happy always, who has completely captured every inch of my heart, is none other than… NANDINI. Yes, I am in love with my best friend.
I read the name and was completely stunned. I staggered and fell on the bed with a thud. Manik loves Nandinu? And the whole time, he kept on trying to bring me and Nandinu closer. What should I do now? I can’t stop loving Nandini, ever. How can this be possible? Manik and Nandini, both, reject everyone’s accusation when they are paired up together. I can’t agree with this. No, I shouldn’t be reading this. And with that, I shut close the diary and just sat there dumbstruck, with a storm of questions and conclusions in my mind. After a lot of thinking, I decided to read the diary further. If Manik still loved Nandini then I would think of something.
As I opened the diary again, I prayed that I should find out that Manik didn’t love her anymore. But at the same time, I heard Manik coming and quickly put the diary inside the suitcase and acted as if I was packing.
“So did you pack anything or were you just waiting for me?” Manik asked, throwing his phone on the bed and sitting down.
“Umm, not much. I was stuck with something. Umm… Manik, do it fast please. I’m not feeling quite well and I want to go home soon,” I said and started putting random things lying on the floor inside the suitcase.
“If you’re not feeling well then leave it for me. Only a bit is left. I’ll manage. You go home and take some rest,” Manik said, concerned.
“Are you sure you’ll be able to do it by yourself?”
“Of course I’m sure. I’m not that careless that I can’t pack this much things. You go!” Manik said, already beginning to pack.
“Okay,” I said. I was about to exit the room when something urged me to stop. I rushed back and hugged Manik tight. Yes, it was sure an awkward sight, me hugging him like that. But I didn’t care. I could feel that he was shocked by my sudden act, but I thanked him mentally for whatever he has done for me.
“Hey, you okay?” He asked, patting my back. I started feeling kind of awkward now so I pulled out of the hug.
“Yeah. I just came back to say have a safe Journey and make us proud,” I said quickly, and made a quick exit before Manik could say anything.
While I drove back home, my mind was still thinking about what was written in Manik’s diary and I suddenly figured out something. Manik would have surely told Soha about his feelings, even if he hadn’t told me. And Soha knew about my feelings. If Manik really loved Nandini, then Siha would have surely told me. I could trust her with this much. She never hid things from me. She would have never kept her mouth shut. This could mean only one thing: Manik was over his feeling, he doesn’t love Nandini anymore! With this, relief swept over me. Thank God! I have no idea if I was being selfish by covering up Manik’s feelings with my own conclusions. But when people are in love, they do quite the most unexpected things. I pushed out memories of Manik’s diary from my mind and took a deep breath. This whole thing had given me such a headache. Well… Now I’m a bit relaxed.
This was the longest chapter ever!
Dhruv now knows about Manik’s feelings…! I’m sure that came as a shocker to you all. Comment what you think is going to happen now. Will Dhruv really forget that his best friend loves the girl he is in love with? Or will he try to make things work out between them?
Oh, and don’t forget to comment 😉
Have a great day/night 😀
Credit to: Naisha