The next day at school, I was hoping I would see him but he was nowhere around the campus, he didn’t call me either, and we didn’t have any classes together, so I just missed him whole day.
It was weekend, and except his enamoring thoughts in my brain, I couldn’t hear anything from him, neither had he showed up at school nor visited my apartment throughout the whole week. By now, my mind started convincing me that he was just a player, and I had better works to do rather than just thinking about him all the time, so I glued myself to my books and assignments and by Monday I was all set to delve back into my studies.
It was the day of our microeconomics lecture and when I entered the class I saw Rajeev sitting in one of the middle rows busy with his notebook when his glamorous girlfriend sunk into a chair next to his.
Though I knew he was not my boyfriend, I felt possessive and struggled hard to hide the jealousy that engulfed me upon seeing him with the girl.
Ignoring their presence, I located an empty spot in the back row and settled down there. My eyes roamed through the class to find Shikha, but she was not there. I needed her at this moment to confide the sudden turbulence that had disturbed the calmness of my mind.
When my eyes struck at the couple, I mean, Rajeev and his sexy female friend, I found him glancing at me and when our gaze met, he gave me a friendly smile.
His golden smile brought me back to senses, and I felt a bit better. Exchanging the gesture, I got myself busy in pulling out my notebook and listening to the lecture.
Ms. Thimmaih’s lecture sounded as if several bees were humming in the classroom. As she kept on droning, my mind started weaving threads of the story of Rajeev and his girlfriend. They must have spent the entire weekend together, in each other arms, kissing and laughing. When I pictured them together, my thoughts suddenly shifted from their love story to mine.
Rajeev didn’t call me once. How could he do this to me? Why did he kiss me that night? Was it just his usual gesture whenever he would drop any girl home after a date or did he mean anything by kissing me so passionately in the darkening night. He might have kissed several women and even slept with them. It’s not a big deal for him to kiss me and say good night. It’s me, a small-town middle class girl who didn’t know the etiquette of modern-age society.
“Why did I allow him to even touch me?” I struggled with a huge cluster of contradictory thoughts one after another just when the clamor of the crowd marked that the teacher had gone and the class was over. I instantly stuffed my things into the backpack and hurried out of the classroom without even facing him.
Shikha called me in the evening.
“Hey…How are you? I asked.
“I’m fine now…got some sore throat so couldn’t attend the morning lecture today.” She said and continued…
“Sweetie I was just wondering if we can meet up at Forum Mall tomorrow…will have some lunch, then some shopping, and then some girlie gossip…I need to tell you something that I can’t tell you on phone…and yes don’t forget to bring the Econ notes that I missed today…I would get them Xeroxed,” she giggled on the phone, and the carefree sound of her laughter eased up my anxiousness that was intermittently biting me since I’d made up my mind that I would give up on Rajeev and would push him out of my head.
I readily accepted Shikha’s proposal as it was always fun to be with her. Bursting with laughter, she was a bundle of positive energy. I really admired her for her laid back carefree attitude, not bothering much about things that were not under her control and accepting life as it came.
“Sure dear…I would love to…My morning classes get over by 12, would buzz you once I reach there.” I said.
“That’s great…see you then tomorrow,” she said, and disconnected the call.
Tina and Diya were out, so the house was comparatively quieter and seemed perfect for a long study session. Putting my cell phone on silent, I picked up my marketing textbook and started revising the chapters.
I was almost done with the first chapter when a subtle knock on the main door of the house broke the quietness of the evening.
I ignored it and gazed outside the window, sitting on my study chair. The sun was about to set and the fragrant drizzly breeze was straining in through the nylon nets of the window. I gazed at the golden lining in the sky and the widespread reflection of slowly constricting sun rays beaming on the high rises of the residential layout.
I felt happy that I’d got a chance to study in one of the most beautiful cities of India. City of Bangalore had so much to offer to its visitors, pleasant weather, overwhelming crowd, buzzing streets, and full of life city center. While the downtown best suited to social animals, the uptown was for people like me, who wished to enjoy their solitude exploring the beauties of nature.
Again, the tap on the door, this time pretty hard, compelled me to rise from the chair. Still fascinated by the beauties of the Southern uptown, I descended down the staircase and headed to the main door.
And when I opened the door, I was jolted upon seeing Rajeev at the doorway.
“Hey Ruchi…” he greeted me with the same killing smile, but this time I was just not ready to dissolve in his charms.
“What are you doing here?” I asked him with my mouth open and my eyes wide.
“I thought you’d be happy seeing me here….” His smile vanished observing a perplexed look on my face.
“I really don’t understand this…” I said.
“What Ruchi…” he asked, a coy look on his face
“Should I ask him how he got the courage to face me after kissing me that night and then flirting with Ankita, his mascara-eyed girlfriend or should I tell him what I feel for him and what happened within me when he pressed his lips against mine.” I asked to my inner self.
“I think I should let it go and treat him as a friend, after all we get to study in the same class, not all the time, but I have to face him at least twice a week during our microeconomics class on Mondays and Fridays.” My inner voice guided me and I somehow managed to plaster a faint smile on my face.
“Nothing…,” I said.
“Fine then…Have you finished your assignments?” he asked.
“Not yet…” I said.
“Great then…. Would you like to do it with me?”
“I think I can let him in, not as a boyfriend but as a friend and help him doing the assignments.” I felt apprehensive and listened to my inner voice.
“Yeah…sure…you can come in…” I said.
He landed on the couch and started taking out his notebooks from his backpack…
“I’ll just get my notebook.” I said and rushed to my bedroom.
When I was gathering my study material, Rajeev voice streamed up into my bedroom. He might have got a call. Thinking it could be Ankita, I again felt jealous but followed my brain’s directions of shrugging off any thoughts of possessiveness that lanced through me at that very moment.
Holding everything in my hands, I steadily walked down to the living room thinking that he might be busy talking on the phone.
Happiness spread across my face when he stepped up the stairs and took everything from my hands into his.
“So thoughtful of him…” I murmured under breath.
He then turned back and unloaded the study material on the coffee table. I followed him to the couch and sat beside him.
We started fixing up the problems after going through the chapters and the notes just when his cell phone blinked. He got an SMS.
Reading the message, his face turned pale and stiff…
“I need to go Ruchi…There’s something came up very urgent,” he looked at me.
“It’s okay…” Though disappointed, I tried to hide the sadness that loomed out of the euphoria that had engulfed me as I sat next to him.
Grabbing all of his things, he rushed to the main door. I hoped that he might try to kiss me but to my utter dismay, he didn’t look back, not even once, and hurried down.
To Be Continued…
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