‘how did this transformation happen? ‘ Karthik asked.
‘ it’s my brother’s wedding! Of course it had to happen. ‘
‘ but now everybody’s gawking at you ‘ Karthik said looking sad.
‘ well nobody’s gonna look at me when keerti bhabhi is here. ‘
‘ oh I can already see five eyes ogling at you. ‘ Karthik said, slightly furious.
‘ jealous are you? ‘ Naira asked.
‘ of course! They are looking at what’s mine. ‘ Karthik said.
‘ yours? Since wh..’ but she was interrupted by Karthik’s hand on her waist, on her bare skin. He had done that on instinct, no bad thoughts in mind. But she couldn’t help but feel the warmth that was radiating from his hand. Butterflies were flying around in her stomach. Karthik withdrew his hand immediately.
‘I’m so sorry. ‘ Karthik said, trying to assess Naira’s mood.
‘ Yeah well. I’m looking so beautiful. Happens. ‘ Naira said trying to lighten the mood. If it were any other guy, Naira wouldn’t hesitate to bash him up for touching her like that. But it was Karthik, his touch meant something else.
‘ nothing like that ok? You always wear such baggy clothes. No part of your skin is exposed. And so out of instinct I was about to hold you by your arm and you’re standing in this weird position where your arms are clasped in front of you. You’re trying to look graceful and all that. It was an honest mistake. ‘ Karthik finally stopped for a breath.
‘ Karthik. It’s alright. I know it was a mistake. Calm down. You’ll never have to explain anything to me. ‘ she said as cupped her hand on his cheek.
As she turned she found a flabbergasted looking nandini staring at them. She had completely forgotten that her parents would have invited her.
They walked towards her. But she walked away from them. The engagement ceremony was now about to begin so they walked towards the stage and stood behind their respective siblings.
Everybody clapped as they exchanged rings. Naira was very worried about how nandini would be feeling after looking at Karthik and her like that. What would she do when she found out what exactly was going on between them?
Karthik saw her worrying and dragged her aside
‘what happened Naira? Why are you so worried? ‘ Karthik asked even though he knew the reason.
‘ nandini needs to know that we never went behind her back and did all of this Karthik. She’ll be heart broken when she knows. ‘ Naira said.
‘ do what Naira? Nothing is going on between the two of us. We tried our best to convince her didn’t we? She was not ready to budge.’
‘Karthik, I know what it feels like to feel left out. Maybe the way the two of us handled the situation were different but doesn’t she deserve another chance? ‘ Naira asked.
‘ okay, hold up. Whatever happened between you and kishen is very different from what happened between us. She chose to think something was going on when absolutely nothing was going on. But if you think she deserves another chance, so be it. I’ll give her the benefit of doubt, for your sake. ‘Karthik said.
Naira was making him face something that he had buried long ago, but she felt as though their friendship deserved another chance. Nandini deserved to know the truth, face to face.
They walked upto nandini and asked to her follow them to Karthik’s room. Naira looked around to see a neat room, definitely didn’t look like a boy’s room. There were posters of Karthik’s favorite bands on the walls. And then she saw it, the two photographs on the wall. She felt a wave of familiarity sweep through her. She was abruptly brought back to reality by nandini saying ‘what?’
‘ look nandu’ Naira said moving forward trying to hold her by the arm.
Nandini pushed aside Naira’s arm. Tears welled up in her eyes. Nandini was Naira’s best friend in high school. They were inseparable. And yet she had given up on her just because of a misunderstanding. What made it worse was she had given up on Karthik who was her childhood best friend. All because of a misunderstanding which she never bothered clearing up.
Karthik walked past nandini to stand by Naira’s side to show her his support. Nandini squared her shoulders and looked at them sharply.
‘look nandini. Just let her talk OK? Yell at us all you want if you think it’s our fault but listen to our story. ‘ Karthik said.
‘ Our part? So you guys are a “we” now? Of course, you are. I knew it, that once you guys move to bangalore it’ll move Too soon.’ nandini said.
‘move to bangalore? You thought something was up even before we left! ‘ Karthik said.
‘ because the seeds were there. Somehow, everything about her was more important than anything else in the world. You could only see her and her problems and never even listened to me. Our so called group was filled with the two of you chatting. And whenever I used to try talking to you, you guys had forms to fill. You think I used to buy your bull shit stories? ‘ nandini asked, fuming.
‘ okay Nandu. Calm down. You never really even gave us the chance to expl…’ Naira said, swallowing the lump that was now forming in her throat.
‘explain? Explain what? I’ll give you the explanation. All you’ve done your entire life is steal from me. When you joined my school, you stole all my friends. I should never have included you in our circle. Remember Kanan? Yes well I thought he liked me. But turns out he talked to me only because he was trying to get to you through me. And then you stole my best friend away from me. Wasn’t it Enough that you were better than me at everything else that you had to prove to me that you could steal him too? You’re such a b*t*h! ‘ she ranted.
‘ nandini!’Karthik yelled. He was fuming with anger. Tears flowed down Naira’s cheek. She had never realized so much had been building up inside nandini for so long.
‘you think she stole me away from you? YOU pushed me away damn it! You were my best friend. Nothing was cooking between the two of us, until you started to behave all crazy. You literally went nuts. And just left. You broke my heart, you know that? After being my friend for so long you still didn’t trust me enough. And at that time, you know who was by my side?? Naira. She was with me, whenever I needed her. Consoling me and trying to fix things between the two of us. And you.. ‘ Karthik said looking disgusted.
‘ your insecurities got the better of you. Maybe you never truly deserved my friendship. And I’m glad that you left me. You helped me fall in love with this amazing person. It’s your loss. You lost both of us. ‘ Karthik said as he pulled Naira out of the room leaving behind a shocked nandini.
Sorry for the humongous gap between two episodes. I’ve been really busy lately. So sorry. Hope you guys liked it. Let me know your thoughts.