All the disheartened students made their way out of the school with gloomy faces. Some girls were still crying over their fate while others had just accepted it. Sanchi, Isha and Pragya were walking hand in hand as though giving each other some silent support. They arrived at the arrival square from where they were to part their ways.
I: We are meeting today. I don’t want this news to ruin our get together.
She exclaimed as she flared her hands around frantically.
P: Let’s go for lunch then. At least we can forget this new change and be ourselves with each other!
Sanchi was way too tired to go somewhere. She just wanted some rest and especially after the ‘reunion’ she needed to be alone and get some peace of mind.
S: Guys, can we not meet at dinner? I am very much tired now and would love to rest. Moreover we would also require some means to escape when we tell our parents about this. So I think that dinner will be best. We can tell them before dinner and when they will kill us with their questions, we will just make an excuse of dinner.
Isha and Pragya contemplated Sanchi’s suggestion. They also knew that she was tired as she looked visibly exhausted. They nodded their heads in agreement and hugged each other goodbye.
Once home, Sanchi took a much awaited bath that lasted half an hour. She then changed into her comfy Mickey shorts and a baggy crop top. She lay down on her bed and dozed off immediately. The comfort and the warmth that her old bed provided her were just priceless. She was woken up after several hours with the loud sound of door bells. She groaned but got up and proceeded to open the door. There stood her mother looking very much exhausted. She still took tuitions which annoyed Sanchi to no extent.
S: Mumma, how many times do I have to tell you to stop exerting yourself? I told you that you must rest and stop working.
Jaya gave her a smile and pushed past her to get into the house. She sat on the sofa with a sigh and Sanchi brought a glass of water for her. Once Jaya had finished her glass she calmly replied Sanchi.
J: I know that you don’t like when I work but I like my job the way you do. Then you do not stay here with me so these tuitions are the only way to keep my mind occupied. You know a free mind is a home to the devil thoughts, right?
Sanchi sighed and sat down next to her mother. She had to tell her mother about the major change in her life. She was just single this morning and now she had a promise ring that she could not remove. The situation was so ironic that it made her laugh and cry at the same moment.
S: Mumma, I want to tell you something.
Jaya nodded in acknowledgement. Sanchi took a deep breath and continued to narrate the events of the reunion. She stopped in between to see her mother’s reaction but all she got was a blank face. She heaved a sigh after her narration was complete. She expected her mother to throw a fit but what she got in return just shocked her. Her mother enveloped her in a tight hug. She nearly knocked the breath out of Sanchi’s body. After few minutes of hugging her, Jaya finally let her free. Sanchi took deep breathes and stared at her mother as if she was insane.
S: You are not angry or upset?
J: No! Why would I be?
S: Why would you not be? Your daughter is being forced to marry a guy whom she does not know properly and you are happy?
J: Yes I am indeed happy.
Sanchi frowned in confusion and Jaya took that as a cue to explain her reasons to Sanchi.
J: I wanted you to be married at 24 and you always kept opposing. Now that the circumstances have compelled, you are getting married and I am just so very much happy. This is my first reason. The second is that you are at least marrying someone whom you have known as a child and a teen. When I married your father, I had just known him for a month! Third being that he is from a very well mannered family. I remember him as a child and his parents also. They surely raised their children with very good values and morals. I know the last one is a bit greedy but still, Kabir is rich. You will not have to face any financial crisis when you are with him. You will lead a very happy life than the one I have given you.
Sanchi sighed and hugged her mother. She had always seen her mother struggle to provide her a good life style. It was not because of her father’s incapability of providing them a good lifestyle; it was because of his own free will. Her father had never given them any sort of support. He had always favored his brothers and their family over his own. He was insane and not of this world! When he died a few years ago, Sanchi was the only one to shed tears for him. His so called ‘loving brothers’ and their family did not even look onto them. They just walked out of the house. Though Sanchi and Jaya had forgiven him for all his deeds even without him asking for forgiveness, the thought of marriage had Sanchi’s mind waver back to the unsuccessful marriage of her parents. Fear clawed deep down in her heart as she thought about Kabir turning out to be like her father. She would not be able to live and she had no chance of escaping this arrangement. Jaya, sensing the tremor in her daughter’s form hugged her tightly.
J: Not every person is like your father Sanchi.
She cooed her as Sanchi straightened up and broke the hug.
S: I know Mumma but something is not correct about him. He is not the same boy that I knew in the school. He has changed and I am not sure about him.
Jaya patted Sanchi’s hand and scooted close to her.
J: You must make an attempt to know him. Even if he is different, you can change him. Your father too changed towards the end of his life.
S: But that did no good to us.
J: Dear, sometimes it is very important if someone recognizes their mistakes. He did regret his deeds but he was not an expressive man. He just could not express his regret.
S: I understand but still I am not so sure. I don’t want to be rude Mumma, but I cannot live a life like you. I cannot see my husband go crazy over someone else and neglect me. I just cannot.
Jaya smiled and cupped her cheeks.
J: I know darling. That was the reason why I made you independent so you would not have to depend on your future husband for your basic needs, the way I did. You just need to take your mind off my marriage while thinking about yours. Just see this as a new starting and embrace it with open arms. Do not keep any negativities and doubts in your mind Sanchi that will only harm your relationship.
Sanchi gave Jaya a feeble smile which was returned with a bright one.
S: I have to go out for dinner with Isha and Pragya. I have promised them so I will go get ready.
Sanchi went to her room and picked a dress from her suitcase which was yet to be unpacked. She changed into a light green color skirt with a slit on the right side that went up to her knee. She paired it with a pink color balloon top and small rose earrings. She applied some compact and lip gloss. She wore white platform heels and bid her mother a goodbye before rushing out of the flat on realizing that she was running late.
She reached to see that Isha and Pragya were already waiting for her.
S: Sorry guys. I was just caught up.
I: We understand. It would have been difficult for you to explain to your mother about the situation. Well the same goes here.
Isha sighed as she swept her forehead tiredly.
P: Here too.
Pragya joined in. Sanchi saw their expressions and a hint of smile appeared on her face.
S: Actually my mother was pretty cool about this situation. She was indeed happy that I am getting married.
Isha and Pragya stared at her in disbelief. They thought that aunty would throw a fit just like Sanchi had thought but they were also surprised by aunty’s calm and collected reaction.
S: I think that the yoga classes are getting their best out of my Mumma.
I: I think that I should also make my mother join them. She really needs to have some peace of mind. She was constantly yelling at me as if I was the one who devised this curse. She did not even me a chance to explain!
P: Well my father was okay about it but my sister threw a tantrum. She was jealous of the fact that I am getting married to someone more famous and rich then her fiancé. I just can’t wait for her wedding; the time she will leave everyone and go will be the true moment of bliss.
Sanchi and Isha laughed a bit but soon they all received a message on their group- ‘unfathomable four’. It was from Rishub, formerly Sanchi’s best friend but now he was the bestie of all the three.
R: Baby, please come home now. I really need you now!
They burst into fits of laughter after this message.
S: I think that we do not need to know that you are horny right now Rishub.
I: Still messing up while Multitasking Rishub?
P: LOL Isha. He was a born Messer.
R: Sorry girls, the message was wrongly sent.
S: Must have killed the mood, right?
R: I got to go. Ttyl. Bye beautiful ladies.
He then sent an emoji of a blushing face which made them laugh again. They took deep breathes to calm themselves. Almost everyone in the restaurant was eyeing them suspiciously but they did not care. Rishub had once again managed to lift their mood. They missed him so much.
Sanchi felt bad for not telling him about their condition but she was still trying to wrap her mind around this situation that it was difficult for her to talk about this with anyone openly. She still remembered the time when he had trusted her with a big secret of his life.
Sanchi was pacing the living room of the small apartment her best friend had managed to buy with his internship money. She did not know the reason why he had called her so urgently and this had her worrying to no extent. She stopped when she found her best friend on the main door of the house. She ushered him inside and closed the door behind her. She was anxious and her curiosity was getting the best out of her. She sat down next to him and keenly wiggled her eyebrows to ask what he had to tell her. Rishub threw his head back on the couch and gave out a loud sigh as though preparing himself for something awful. This confused Sanchi further then she already was.
R: I cannot do this Sanchi.
He said while moving his hands through his hair and on his face several times, a habit that indicated that he was nervous.
S: Do what?
R: I cannot lie to you Sanchi. I am sorry.
S: Rishub do not speak to me in circles. I demand a simple and straightforward explanation of your sudden outburst.
Rishub saw the seriousness of her face and regained his posture, sitting to his full height.
R: I wanted to tell you that I have lied to you. I have kept a big secret from you when we vowed not to keep any. I just hope that you can forgive me Sanchi but the matter was such that I could not muster up the courage to talk to you. I slipped many times and lied to you about it. I just hope that this does not affect our friendship.
S: Cut the crap Rishub.
R: I AM GAY.
Sanchi sat stunned for a few minutes before she squealed and enveloped him in a tight hug. He sat there confused. This was supposed to angry her, not make her mad with happiness. He knew that such things were still not accepted openly in India and he did not expect Sanchi to welcome him with open arms.
S: I am so happy. I always wanted a gay friend and see here you are my best friend. How stupid of me to not notice this? I mean every guy has seen me in a different way from the time that I have been here but you were the only one to call me names and obviously we do not share a brother-sister bond! I would have known before.
She ranted on happily. He was proud to have a friend like her. He would never say this on her face though but still his heart swelled at that moment and her hugged Sanchi close to his heart, where she actually belonged. He then proceeded to introduce Sanchi to Mike who was the international student in their management studies. She came to know that they had been in a relationship since the last two months. She was a bit sad at first but then she understood his predicament and forgave him. Her mind was just too preoccupied to think about the benefits of having a gay best friend to delve over her dear friend’s mistake.
Sanchi gave out a sigh as she imagined of the time they would tell Rishub and his outburst was just too much for them to handle. He was now living with Mike in London and working in Goldman Sachs. She dialed his number but it went to his voice mail indicating that he was busy. She thought that she would just tell him when he will be free. She still thought that a face to face audience would be good enough but still she had to tell him as she could not wait for him to come back to India. The girls continued to enjoy their dinner and be themselves by cracking silly jokes and fooling around.
I am sorry for the late update but I had exams. I am currently free now due to Diwali vacations and I will try to post as many updates as possible. Please do comment and like and tell me about your feedbacks.
Thank you for reading.