'Avira' oh dear.. this name is echoing in my mind and I am looking at Ivaan, waiting for his cues for washroom direction..
Just imagining Avira and Aarav together again makes my stomach heave.. it's like gallons of saliva are secreted in my mouth.. so I, without any delay.. just quickly stumble over to the backside of that dhaba, covering my mouth.. and witness the process of forcefully expulsion of the content of my stomach.. the pain is so unbearable that I use both my hands to wrap around my stomach, leaning.
Within a minute Kia approaches me, she gently stroks my back, trying to make a futile attempt to soothe my pain...when I am all done. Kia helps me in getting up, All I can do is, just look at the sky, with tears in my eyes, and sweat all over my body.. still that disgusting taste in my mouth.
Thank god that Ivaan comes running and passes me water bottle.. I splash water on my face and gargle to wash my mouth..
Then Ivaan offers me peppermint candy...I put it in my mouth.. it really felt good as its tangy juice passes through my esophagus to my stomach. He asks me with smile, "so..feeling okay now?" I just nod wiping my face.
Then slowly slowly I walk to the cot and lay myself down on it. Kia suggests to Ivaan, "we should go home now.. " but I interrupt her, "no.. yaar.. it's okay.. I am fine.. you just take your dinner.." Ivaan refuses, "no.. Ra.. I am not feeling hungry anymore so let me just drive you home.. after all, you are, my responsibility now.." he winks at me with smile... I just smile back at him saying, "shut up..okay.. I can take care of myself."
I insisted them to eat but they both are as stubborn as me.. so we get in a car to go home. I am feeling somewhat okay. It looks like I don't have any capacity left to think and to grieve over the things which are not in my hands.
Of course my heart is hurting but I think I am adapting to the pain now.. I can't be that fragile anymore that anyone can make me cry or panic..
When I first time met with Aarav.. it was crystal clear in my mind that I'll never ever meet this person again. Cause somehow I knew that we are from different planets.. there is a vast difference in our lifestyle.
On the top of all that, I speculated that he has a girl in her life.. though I got attracted towards him. Then started falling for him.. so it is my fault from the first place.
I don't have any right to hate Avira. The pain I am feeling right now.. is cause of my deeds.. no one is responsible for the condition, today I am in.. but only me..!!!
So even if it kills me from inside or not but today I, Raavi Shukla.. promise to myself that I will never ever ever fall in love again.. never.
This was the first time and the last.. and I'll try my best to keep my feelings only to myself. Try to forget Aarav. The word 'forget' itself, is enough to make me wince with the pain.
I don't have any right to take Avira's place. I know it is not gonna be easy for me but it is enough for me.. I can't let myself suffer more than this. There is no point in running behind 'mirage' named Aarav.. well for me he is just an illusion...I can just feel him but can't be with him.. never..!!
It is just a love by the way.. and with that I close my eyes.. Kia and Ivaan, both are silent as a grave..
As we are approaching near my home..I start worrying that what will I explain to my parents when they will look me like this..?
So a thought struck inside my mind to go to Kia's place but I don't want to give her more trouble.. cause I know If I'll go with her.. we will end up talking about nothing but Aarav and Ivaan and then it will be more painful for me and for her too, so I leave that thought.
So only I can do is, to wish that please god when I get there, my parents are asleep.
After around half an hour.. Ivaan stops his car and wakes me up saying, "hey.. Ra.. please open your eyes.. we are at your home."
I, with a smile, get out of car wishing them good night.. Kia mouths, "call me" with phone hand gesture. I just smile back at her in answer, then move my legs towards my home and watch them leave..
As I open the gate.. I feel that tv is on.. but as I enter inside my hall.. I get relieved cause my parents are sound asleep on a couch.. oh god they must have been waiting for me. Anurag must be in his room...!
So after washing my face..I wake them up.. thank god they just move to their bedroom without any questions.. then I switch off the tv.. prepare tea for me and sup up a small portion of it.... sitting on a couch and pondering about so many things. Really confused what to do next..?
You know, what is the irony of our heart?.. it's the thing which we really want to forget... heart only keeps us reminding that thing.. in my case it is Aarav. The name itself is enough to make me cry again.. cause I can't forget him that easily and he likes Avira.. well that's what I assume.
The second biggest issue is.. I have to give a proper reason to Ivaan for not loving him back.. and knowing about his past.. I really wish that it won't have any bad effect on his condition..I am quite sure that sensitive person can't take rejection easily.. what will I do then? I really want to help him but to love him.. it's not possible, I can't cheat with his feelings..!!
So I decide to concentrate on that issue first.. what to tell Ivaan..? as I know him.. he will call me tomorrow and ask me the same question.. so I must prepare myself.
As for Aarav, I must clear his misunderstanding about me and Ivaan.. if Kia's assumption is right, then it may be possible that Ivaan is wrong about Aarav and Avira.. well whatever it is, I'll make myself clear to him. Only if he is ready to talk to me.. what if he is not..? that thought wrecks my heart.
So I just trot up the stairs to go to my room.. directly dash to bathroom.. strip down to my inner wears and let the cold water running down my body. I, with closed eyes, think about the whole day.. oh gosh what a day it was!
How many things have happened, just in a single day..? I am really loosing my mind. I just lift my face to cold water, to get the feeling of rain.. it really has a soothing effect.
So after wasting lots of water, just to soothe myself, I shut off the shower, wring out my hairs and wrap myself in a bathrobe and come to my room, look at myself in the mirror.. again Aarav's words swirl inside my mind.. giving sting of tears in my eyes..and my heart declares its decision.. no matter what happens I will never ever ever forget Aarav.. he is like oxygen to me..
I close my eyes by heaving a sigh.. change to pajama..and jump on the bed.. today my wish is that, only if I can take my brain out of my skull, then I will put it under the running tap water to wash away all the thoughts..!!!
yeah I am being insane now..
Well I am behaving this way cause I'd never faced any type of hardship.. I always got whatever I wanted.. in studies I am always a topper and my friends too, handle me with love and care like a flower.. so this is first time I am going through all these.. and gladly thanks to Aarav for that.. cause it all has started with Aarav's entry in my life.. I wish I could turn back time, and go back to the moment, when these all, got started and change it.
I am switching sides on my bed.. this Aarav has just stolen my sleep. If I have had pondered these much about a stone then that dead stone must have fallen for me.. but Aarav... what is he made of? oh god I am being crazy now.. so I just close my eyes..
My eyelids snap open when my cellphone rings.. it's Kia.. mine was not enough that I've made her life miserable too. She must be as worried as me. I receive by getting up, "hey.. good morning.. " she says, "okay..so tell me.. what are you up to now?.. I mean are you going to tell Aarav about your feelings or not?"
I reply with deep sigh, "no.. it's not that easy Kia.. I have to think about Ivaan first.. you know he is very sensitive.. I don't want to hurt him more now.."
Kia replies, "actually I was thinking, you should confess to Aarav first.. umm" I interrupt, "what was that..'umm'.. for?"
She answers after a short pause, "well Ivaan told me that Avira will come this week."
My heart aches with that words.. but I reply to her, with calmness in my voice, "it's okay.. Kia.. if Aarav really has feelings for me then I don't have to worry about Avira and if he doesn't then it's not gonna work out either way.. so don't worry about me.. you just enjoy your golden period with Anurag okay.."
Kia answers with anger, "what's wrong with you..? Here your life is swaying like a roller coaster ride and you want me to enjoy my life.. sitting back and witnessing you suffer.."
To Her words, my lips get stretched into a sarcastic smile, "oh.. c'mon Kia.. I am fine really.."
Kia says annoyingly, "okay then.. but remember whenever you need me I am just one call away.. bye.." she hangs up and tears starts rolling down my cheeks.. which I've faught back until now. I bite my lower lip and say to my self.., "no more crying... I have to be strong now.."
I leave my bed and get ready to face my parents.. I can conceal my sadness from everybody except for my parents. They just know in a fraction of time.. that something is wrong with me and today everything is upside down.. so I wish if I can dig in the floor and crawl to somewhere like a mole.. than meet them.
My mom calls me so I, with heavy and slow steps, go downstairs.. as I take my place on a dining chair.. I feel that they both are observing me with piercing gaze without uttering a word.
I inhale and try to be normal and ask,without meeting their eyes, "umm.. Where is Anurag?" My mom informs, "he left for the office as he has lot of pending work to do.." I nod in reply. I swallow hard, being aware of the lump in my throat as I feel their steady gaze on me and utter, "what..?" My dad answers, "nothing.. why do I feel that your eyes are puffy..?" my mom nods in agreement. I clear my throat by coughing and answer, "umm.. yeah I am not feeling well.. you know common cold.. then again start coughing.."
My mom asks suspiciously, "are you sure..? cause we doubt there is something else.." I reply annoyingly, "no.. mom.. there is nothing else.. yesterday we went to Kia's farmhouse so dirt and weather've affected me.. and my head is aching really bad so I just want to drink a tea and take rest.."
My dad nods, "hmm." And passes me teapot.. I pour tea into a cup and try to drink it as quickly as I can cause I am feeling their intense gaze on me and I really can't bear it..
After finishing my tea.. I clear my throat and explain, "umm.. I think I should go now.. okay..!" and jump from the chair and hasten away upstairs.. without looking back at them.
In my room, I directly jump on the couch, leaning my neck against it. My cellphone is continuously buzzing from the new messages I receive.. I am not in a mood to check those messages out.
I am still confused what to do first.. only reply I get from my inner self is, "call Aarav.." but again I am nervous, "what to tell him?" I get the answer, "just tell him whatever comes in your mind.. but first at least call him.."
So I lift my phone and about to unlock it that my mom enters in my room.. she smiles and asks, "so.. how is your headache now?" I smile back at her and say, "it's okay.." then she sits besides me and says, "okay.. come here, let me give you massage in your head..." I say, "no.. mom.. I am fine really.." she says, "oh c'mon dear.. just sit here okay.."
And she starts massaging my head with the warm oil she brought and I must admit that her massage is giving me a good relaxing effect...
She speaks hesitantly while applying more oil to my hairs, "look.. dear, If anything bothers you, then you know you can tell me.. right?" I nod with my eyes closed, enjoying her hand's magic.
Then it clicks in my mind and I utter, "hey.. mom... can I ask you a question but please answer me without involving me into that
okay.." My mom chuckles and agrees.. so I continue, "umm mom.. in life when you have two choices, the first, it's the person you love the most, and the second, it's the person who loves you the most.. whom should you choose?"
My mom pauses for a while and then asks, "is it related to you?" I say annoyingly, "no mon.. I told you.. I am just asking in general.." my mom shrugs.., "okay.. then I must say.. you should go with your second choice.. all you need, in this world, is someone to love you, to care for you...." I twitch my lips and heave a sigh, "okay.."
Then my mom asks, "hey.. by the way.. did you find your Mr.Right or not..?" I reply angrily, "no..mom.. I don't think I'll find anyone.. actually I don't want to.."
Then my mom continues like she was waiting for that answer, "you know Raavi.. I just met with someone at Anu's engagement.. "
I turn my face to look at her, she is like in her deep thoughts, somewhat excited.. she adds, "you know.. he likes you too.. he was not taking his eyes off of to you... he is my friend's son and the good news is that he wants to shift in mumbai..and his name is...." I interrupt her, "oh god mom.. please don't start again.. I am not interested okay.. whoever he is.."
My mom tries to explain, "see.. Raavi.. try to understand.. this type of marriage proposal doesn't come that easily.. you are lucky that big families come asking for you... the people I am talking about here...they are rich.. the boy.... he is educated, good looking, has his own business and above all, his family doesn't have any problem with your further study even after the engagement"
I furrow annoyingly to her, "oh my god.. you've discussed everything.." she shrugs, "well his mother came to me to ask.. but nothing is wrong.. I am telling you.. I've given you the chance and waited for it too.. but I don't think you are serious..
So tell me when are you going to meet him...?" I get up with a jolt and argue angrily, "I am not going to meet anyone.. okay.." and to that my mom firmly declares,"okay.. as you wish.. but listen to me carefully.. I will not let you go to Mumbai for your master's.. single... and you know, this time your dad is with me.."
I look at her and argue, "but mom.." my mom interrupts me, "you don't know the world Raavi.. and I must tell you... you are too innocent to live alone in that city and we've watched that type of incidents on tv.. okay, so I just want to make sure that someone should be in Mumbai to watch over you.. nothing else.."
I try to argue back annoyingly and furiously, "c'mon mom..I will stay in a hostel.. and look at the world.. I mean, girls are working in every field.. and here I am, can't move to another city to study... without getting engaged to someone.. no mom.. I don't need anyone to watch over me okay..." I stomp my feet stubbornly.. but she utters flatly without getting affected by my tantrums, "discussion is over Raavi.. just answer my question.. otherwise I'll fix the meeting according to my schedule.."
Looking at her face I get to know that she is not going to leave me this time and if I'll argue more then she'll fix the engagement directly, so I give up inhaling deeply, "okay.. I agree.. but please give me some time.. a week.. yeah.. I am ready to meet him at the weekend.. please mom try to understand, I have things to sort out..." my mom agrees to me with disappointment.
Oh god, were these much troubles not enough? that my mom has added one..!!
When my mom leaves, I dial to Aarav.. but it only rings.. I dial again three times but no answer.. message him saying, "hey.. please reply" but no read.. so I just give up.
Well of course checking my cellphone after every five minutes to see if he has read my message or not but he hasn't.. I decide to go to his place at the evening.
At the afternoon,three things happen at a time.. which cheer my mood up.. and make me leave the idea of visiting Aarav.
First Kartik calls me to share a good news that he got selected to work in new Zealand..
Second Tina calls me that she decided to move to Delhi with her boyfriend Damik, who works as an editor in chief for a Well known national news channel.
And at last I receive a message from my college that my result will be declared tomorrow and that is the big distraction for me. Now I can't think anything properly but about my result..
And I am really thankful to god for that cause all I needed, was distraction...!!!
On next day, I get ready to go to my college after around one and a half month. Of course I am nervous like a hell with butterflies erupting in my stomach, but in the end, it turns out that, it was all worth it, when I get to know that I got a first rank in my college.
I share a good news on phone with my parents and friends except.. of course Aarav.
And I celebrate my result with my college friends in the canteen and it took almost half of the day...
I am really on the cloud nine.. thinking that I may not be lucky in love but at least I am damn good in studies.. and I am proud of myself for that!!!
At noon.. I come back to home.. my parents are satisfied with my result and my dad promises to buy me a new car.. I am really overwhelmed with joy.. As for Anurag, I haven't been able to meet him until now, but he has promised me to come early.. so I am eagerly waiting for him.
I have just taken my lunch, of course I was not hungry a bit but my mom made my favourite dish so I didn't want to disappoint her..
Then I talk to Kia, Anisha and Ved to arrange a farewell party for Kartik and Tina, with my result party. They agree but only if I am ready to do all the arrangements by myself.. cause Anisha is busy in her photoshoot, Ved is in his office and Kia..well I can't expect her to help.. Ivaan will help, but then my mind will get diverted so I don't want to call him.
So I am on my own now.. but for friends I can do anything so I start with the venue, of course I want a private party.. so I make some calls to book a small cafeteria, but then I change it to Anurag's house, with his permission of course.
Then comes my favourite part.. to decorate, to order food and beverages and much more..!!! so I get myself busy in all that.
Kia takes responsibility to invite all..thank god for that. I get a butterfly in my stomach with the thought that I will see Aarav today.
At the same time I am nervous too cause I decide that today I'll confront Ivaan to tell him the truth about my feelings. I don't know how but I'll try.. that thing is eating me from inside. That nervousness suppresses my all the excitement and joy of my result.
I slowly slowly get ready... as I have to go early for preparation. So I, absent minded rush to Anurag's place after shopping.
After around two hours, all my friends gather at the place, except for Kia, Ivaan and Aarav. Well two of them, I really don't want to meet today, to spoil my already spoiled mood. One is already angry at me and the other is going to be angry. Oh god I wish, I can just disappear from this planet.
I welcome them.. they all greet me for my result.. Anurag has brought a celebration pack just for me...!!! then we take our sit on couch. They get busy talking with Kartik, Tina and Damik, yeah he has came too. I get lost in my thoughts, actually I am really on pins and needles, waiting for Aarav and Ivaan to come, what will happen..when I'll meet them?
Ved taps hardly on my shoulder to wake me up from my deep insane thoughts. He asks, "hey are you alright.. I am afraid you've chewed your fingertips.." then I come to my senses that I am biting my finger nails.
Then the darkest moment arrives.. as I hear Kartik's loud cheer.., "hey Aarav.. Ivaan.. what took you so long?"
Well my heart leaps with joy as I hear the name Aarav.. but again his enraged look of yesterday, haunts my mind..so I just lower my eyes and glance down at the floor avoiding them..!!
But Ivaan is just impossible, he directly comes to me.. drapes his hand around my shoulder and greets me cheerfully, "hey.. Ra.. many many Congratulations.. you are really a genius..I am so proud of you..!!" I plaster a big smile on my lips and speaks hesitantly, "thank you so much Ivaan.." oh god how on earth, would I break his heart?.. please kill me, I don't want to deal with this complicated feeling called love..!!!
And my eyes directly moves towards Aarav, who is standing with Ved.. I know he was staring at me but as I looked at him, he just looked away.. oh so he doesn't want to even congratulate me. He doesn't care for my result.. it is really disappointing..!!
Thank god then Kia enters.. and she just sprints to me to hug me and greet me.
Then as we sit around the dining table, Kartik gets up and announces his big news and informs all of us that it will take a week for all the formalities to get completed, then he will leave India and us.
Then Tina informs that she is moving to Delhi for her carrier and introduces her boyfriend Damik..
Finally out of my astonishment, Anisha announces my name to give a farewell speech.
It really happened so suddenly that I got blank that what to speak..? but my name was announced so there is no escape.. so I get up slowly.. clear my throat and state,
"hello everyone.. well I am not good at farewell speeches, but today as we all know that two of our friends are moving away from us, for their carrier. So I am happy for both of them.. wishing them all the success in the world and very bright future..!!
But part of me is sad..sad because we will not meet them that easily. You know from our school days.. which I want to say our phase one.. we used to spend most of our time together in school and in garden and anywhere we went..
Then we entered in phase two, in which the time of our closeness got shortened though we tried to get together at the weekend...
but now I think we are going to enter in phase three where it won't be possible to meet face to face.." I feel lump in my throat as I speak those words.
I continue, clearing my throat, "but thanks to technology that we will still be able to meet through video calls and chats... well atleast I am looking forward for it. so no matter where do we go but we will keep in touch..!! And we know that we will always be here to help each other out so let's just promise to ourselves that whenever any trouble will bother us, we will laugh to that saying don't worry I know some bunch of jerks who will solve this for me..!!! My friends chuckle in response.
so last but not least let's cheers to togetherness" and with moist eyes I complete my speech..
There is a pin drop silent as everyone of us is being sentimental... finally Ivaan states, "well said Ra.." and raises his glass and says, "cheers to our friendship.." then everyone does the same..!
Kartik approaches me and says, "it was great.. I am touched.." I say twitching my lips, "but really I'll miss you.. yaar.." He replies, "I know Raavi.. it's tough for me too but you know it is my dream.." I smile at him.
It is first time.. I see that he is not interested in food. I know he is nervous and sad. As for Tina she has been always practical.. so she is just busy in talking to Anisha. Kia and Anurag are busy with Ved and Damik.
Ivaan is doing something in his mobile...or just pretending, cause after each second he raises his eyes to look at me and smile at me..!
he is making it hard for me.. oh god I can't do that. No..no..no.. I won't do that. I can't hurt him.. that poor fellow had already suffered a lot.. I can't add to his suffering.
But Aarav.. sometimes I just hate my heart. Yeah always poking its nose whenever I try to be practical.. and ruins everything.
Aarav is busy talking to Kartik.. I observe.. he didn't even look at me once.. and here I am dying for his one stare. My mom's words echo in my mind.. what if Kia is wrong about Aarav..what if he didn't have feelings for me.. but still I have feelings for him.. again my heart argues..
Then Anurag turns on the music, to cheer our mood up and to cherish our last get together with kartik and Tina.
Most of us start moving their bodies with the beat, except for me and Aarav, being spectators. Aarav is busy in his mobile..as usual !
This is the right time for me I think.. so I call Ivaan who is dancing crazily.
Ivaan comes to me and asks me with wicked chuckle, "so do you wanna dance with me.." I am not in any mood to joke with him so I directly say, rolling my eyes in exasperation, "can you please come outside with me.." He says naughtily, covering his mouth with with hand, "hey.. Ra.. are you drunk.. I mean you don't wanna do.. anything unholy with me right..?" And laugh loudly.
I just look at him with annoyed face. He apologizes, "oh.. dear..sorry.. I am just kidding.." I again say, "please can we go outside..please?" and before he speaks anything to boil my blood.. I just grab his hand and drag him outside of that place.. he is pleading, all the way through the lobby, "hey..Ra slow down okay.." I trail him to the garden.
There I leave his hand and stand right in front of him.. oh god it's going to be harder than I thought but I only want to be honest with him. Can't keep him day dreaming about me.
So I close my eyes, inhale deeply and address him, "Ivaan...I want to tell you something really important.." Ivaan's expressions get changed. Suddenly his face changed to serious from funny. His innocent smile disappears and his lips get stretched into a sarcastic smile. Like he had have the idea about what is coming.. but to my surprise he utters by grabbing my arms, "you know Ra.. I think you should listen to me first..!!"
I try to explain, "but Ivaan.." he shushes me with his forefinger to the lips and utters with somewhat vexation in his voice, "you know Ra... I really really hate myself for telling you this.. but.." and the next words he spoke became echo to my ears. I didn't expect that from him.
His words were, "YOU SHOULD CONFESS YOUR FEELINGS TO THAT JERK... AARAV..!!!"
I was like..wait... WHAT.....???
Hey..so how are you all? so sorry for the late update. 🙏
Well as you can see..end of our story is approaching.. the way story is going on in my mind right now.. I can tell you that 2 main chapters are left.. well then I am thinking to write a bonus chapter but only if possible..!! I hope you've enjoyed this chapter..🤞🤞
Okay.. Stay safe..😊😊