AR OS: The Porch Swing

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The Porch Swing

She knew she’d never forget that memory even if she tried to. It was burnt in her mind; the imprint, so strong that it’d never go away. She remembered watching them once, from her window, wondering why they weren’t speaking; her seven year old mind wondering if mommy and daddy had a fight. But then her fears were put to rest, she saw their hands intertwined while they sat on the porch swing; although they were still not speaking. She hadn’t thought of that memory until she was much, much older. Until she met him.

He was charming, made her laugh, bought her the odd little trinkets that had the most special memories attached to them, taught her how to love. And oh, she was madly in love with him. He was her first thought everyday, the one person whose mere presence made her smile giddily. If there was anything she was sure of, it was him. They’d make it. He was her everything. Riddhima had been wildly in love with Abhay. He’d given her all she had ever asked for and so much more. And that’s when it had come up. The porch swing. She hadn’t realized the full implication of what she’d seen. She wanted that. That peace, that tranquility, that absolute surety about the one you love. And all through her adult life she’d sworn that the day she’d find someone with whom she could sit on the swing while holding hands and not say anything for the better part of their time without feeling restless, he’d be the one. And she’d done that. With Abhay.

It was pouring, the rain cascading in rivulets everywhere. The garden was drenched and the sound of pouring rain slashed through her conscious as she tried to blink back the tears. Why wouldn’t he understand? It was all fine till now then why was he being so stubborn? His question hung in the air, shrouding the two of them. It was too much, too soon. Her chest constricted, the breaths coming in shallow gasps; no one had told her it’d be like this. No one had told her it could be so excruciatingly painful that she wouldn’t be able to breathe. She was supposed to be over him. Over Abhay, over every memory of his. And she was trying but it was too damn hard.

She looked sideways, his gaze had never left hers. Why was he doing this? She tried to tell him, she wasn’t ready, she wasn’t ready to do this just yet but he was unrelenting, his stare never wavered. She saw his conflict in his stormy gray eyes; she hated that they were gray, they were always blue when he smiled. She pleaded, one last time.

“Please…Armaan. Please.”

His turmoil came through when his voice cracked. “I can’t do this anymore Riddhima. I can’t compete with him anymore, it’s too much.”

She was hanging on to the last threads of her reserve and they weren’t strong enough. “You don’t have to compete, Armaan!”

His eyes flashed at her and her heart squeezed painfully. “Oh but I do, Riddhima! He’s there in every thought, every action of yours and everytime I do something I hope that someday, you’ll learn to love me like you loved him. I don’t want that anymore!”

“Armaan, I love you.”

She saw his eyes close briefly and for a moment she hoped he would let go of this topic but a second later he opened them and there was nothing but steely resolve. She took a deep breath, shuddering.

“I know you do, Riddhima-”

“Then why-”

“Let me finish. I know you do, but we can’t keep doing this, I can’t keep doing this. I don’t derserve this and neither do you.”

“Abhay was-”

She saw his control snap. “Abhay is dead Riddhima!”

His voice ricocheted all around her, breaking, tearing, snapping the threads of her reserve as she took in his words. Hot tears escaped her eyes, running ceaselessly down her cheeks as her temper flared. She stood up, wanting to burn this frustration out of her. The rain drenched her in no time and she ran a hand through her hair, anger dripping from her every bone. She looked at him on the swing, his posture rigid with barely suppressed irritation.

“You think I don’t know that?! You think I live in this false world where I pretend everything is alright? Well, I don’t, Armaan! I live with it everyday. I live with the fact every fucking day that he and I were in the same car and I out-lived him. So don’t tell me he’s dead, because I know it better than anyone!”

“Then let go, Riddhima! For fuck’s sake, you said you were ready to date again and here we are. I thought you’d moved on!”

She listened to his brazen words; they cut right through her, twisting her insides like someone had plunged a knife through them. She knew they were too far gone to steer clear of this topic now. It would either be resolved, or not.

“I’m trying, dammit! You think it’s easy getting over a dead fiancé? I can’t do it overnight!”

“It’s been seven years! Seven years since he died and three since we started dating! So don’t tell me that I’m being unfair!”

His words stunned her into silence and they both stood there, the rain pouring down on them, his words circling her mind. Seven years. Seven years had passed since he died. The fact astounded her, knocked the breath out of her lungs and defeated, she sat down on the wet grass her body wet and limp with exhaustion. Why had she held on for so long? Why was she still holding on? Her mind spun with the realization that he was right. They couldn’t do it anymore. She had to stop this because she was hurting him too. She tried to look for it, the missing piece that would compel her to move on. Because she wanted to; move on, that is. And she loved Armaan, she just needed a way to let go of Abhay. To stop that guilt from choking her, everytime she let herself be happy with Armaan. She hated the guilt; it always plagued her; like she never deserved to be happy. But she was done. Done fighting with him, fighting with herself.

She vaguely felt him lead her to the swing and he sat beside her. She could see how tired he was and it hurt her that she was the reason.

His voice was softer when he spoke again, the weariness seeping through it. “I’m not a heartless bastard Riddhima. I’m not telling you to forget him, I know you can’t. All I’m asking is that are you willing, Riddhima? Willing to try to let go? A try is all I’m asking for, if at the end of it, you can’t then I’ll leave.”

“You can’t leave.” She whispered her anguish coming through. Not again. She hugged her knees closer and heaved a deep breath. She wanted to cry, scream, beat someone up; she didn’t know what she was supposed to do. She looked at him, his eyes were closer to blue now but they were adamant. A shudder ripped through her as the wind blew on her wet form. The sudden silence was overwhelming, it wasn’t raining anymore. She saw slivers of sunlight peep through the clouds, making their way towards them, weak at first but shining brighter as they moved. She thought about all the time they’d spent together. Every memory no matter how insignificant passed through her mind and at the end of it she knew she couldn’t give him up. She loved him. In that moment something shifted in her, she finally understood. She couldn’t hold on to Abhay forever, he was her past. But Armaan was her present and her future too, if she let him in, and she wasn’t going to ruin it.

She saw him looking ahead and tapped him on the shoulder. He looked at her and she saw his eyes shine with hope and she smiled faintly. If he loved her so much, maybe letting go wasn’t that bad an idea. He’d help her with it.

“Armaan?”

His voice was hoarse when he replied. “Yes?”

“I promise to try and let go.”

The warmth in his eyes said everything and she locked her fingers with his as she looked ahead, wondering about the endless possibilities in store for them.

For the longest time they sat there the sunlight drying them. She never said a word; she could already feel herself let go of him, bit by bit. If she’d known before that letting go could feel so good, she’d have done it earlier. The hinges of the swing creaked as it rocked gently and she remembered her parents as his thumb drew circles on her palm.

–ooOoo–

ArHi OS: Redemption

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A/N: There is a lot of OOC-ness in this story. OOC = Out Of Character 😀

Redemption

He sighed deeply, his exhaustion evident in the sound. It was all a bit too much. So much to take care of, so many people to please. He didn’t know what he was doing half the time. There wasn’t a moment he’d had to himself since the last three months and he was tired. He sat on the empty (for once) football pitch and closed his eyes. His head felt heavy and he craved for a smoke. His hand reached his back pocket and he took out the half full pack of cigarettes, forgetting for one moment that he was supposed to be on the road to quitting. Smoking helped him relax. It helped him calm down. It helped him forget for those precious five minutes, the fucked up mess that was his life. He wished his parents would stop fighting. Or atleast stop dragging him in the middle. He lit the cigarette and held it in front of his face as the smoke billowed in circles. He watched the smoke dance in front of him and then disappear, drifting away into oblivion. His thoughts were cut short when he heard a soft, “Do you mind?” behind him. He turned around and shook his head, who was he to say no? He heard the grass crunch as she sat down beside him and looked ahead. He waited for the comment; it always came. “Smoking kills you.” “That stuff’s bad, you know.” Et al. Whatever happened to mind your own business? The silence lingered between them and a while later he saw her open a book and start reading. It was almost as if he didn’t exist, like she was in her own bubble. His curiosity got the better of him.

“What are you reading?”

She blushed prettily, embarrassed. He smiled softly, she was so shy. “Umm I’m reading, Chanakya’s Chant, by uh, Ashwin Sanghi. It’s about-”

“Politics, I know. I’ve read it.”

“You’ve read it?” the surprise wasn’t hidden in her tone and he smiled wolfishly. “Don’t think the football captain can read?”

She blushed a furious red, getting more nervous by the second. “Uh, no it’s not that. I just,” she saw his raised eyebrows and sighed in defeat. “Okay, it’s exactly that.” They shared a laugh. He thought she should laugh more often, she was so pretty.

“What’s your name?”

“Khushi.”

He smiled at her. “How come I haven’t seen you around?”

“I’m not in your department, I’m majoring in genetics.”

So she was smart too. They sat in silence for a while. He saw, from the corner of his eyes as she stole glances at him, debating whether or not to talk. She seemed to have come to a decision.

“What are you reading right now?” she asked him tentatively.

He faced her, glad that she’d decided to continue the conversation. He liked her. “The Rozabal Line, by-”

“Ashwin Sanghi. I know, I’ve read it.” She said, in the same tone as him, smiling. “It’s absolutely brilliant, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. It’s intense though!”

She nodded and they fell into comfortable silence again. He fingered his lit cigarette and thought of offering her one, although she hardly seemed like the type who’d smoke.

“Do you want one?”

“No, thanks. I don’t smoke.” She smiled a half smile at him.

“Why not?”

“Umm I uh, I’m asthamatic, I can’t really smoke.”

He didn’t know what to say to that so he just nodded. She asked him for the time and he told her. She smiled apologetically and said she had class, she had to go. He smiled and said, goodbye. She got up and gathered her stuff and walked towards the building.

“Khushi?”

She turned around, a questioning look on her face. “I’ll see you around, yeah?”

“Yeah.” She grinned; a full blown grin and he couldn’t help but return one.

–ooOoo–

The next morning Akash nearly choked on his glass of juice when he saw the half full pack of cigarettes in the trashcan. He looked at his sleeping roommate, and smiled.

–ooOoo–

A/N: Not making a mockery of asthma in any way…I have it 😐

And no offence intended against smokers either.

Read and review! ❤

ArHi OS: Fear

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A/N: Its based on Episode 97 aired on 13/10/11. The one where Arnav beats up those goons in Nainital 🙂

Fear

She tried to focus, but it only clouded her mind more. Her head was pounding and Khushi clutched it in pain. Just as the haze was about to overpower her she was startled. Through the blur, she watched him beat the man to a pulp. He punched him, over and over again. The man had started groaning in pain but Khushi had never seen an angrier Arnav. He had never been this angry. Not when she annoyed him, not when she did that drama so that he stays back, never. And the animalistic rage in his eyes scared her. Her heart pounded and she screamed at him to stop but he wouldn’t. And she was scared. Oh so scared. Scared that the same man who took care of her this morning could turn so feral in a matter of minutes. Her voice echoed but he didn’t cease his beating. This was not the Arnav she knew. She knew the man who said “What the-” at the drop of a hat. She knew the man whose eyes had softened when the little girl had kissed him. She knew the man who had apologized to her, and this wasn’t him.  She watched helplessly as he pummeled the man with his fist. The fury in his eyes scared her. It terrified her that he was ready to beat this man to death just because he pushed her. In a last attempt to stop him she clutched his shoulder and to her relief a moment later, his shoulders sagged and he got up.

Arnav got up, his heart pounding and his breathing labored. He felt her remove her hand from his shoulder and he stood there for a moment, letting the anger ebb away. He couldn’t help himself. It was alright when they beat him, he could handle it but something in him had snapped when he saw that asshole push her. And for a while there, he’d felt fear. Raw fear, when he saw her sway unsteadily. In that moment nothing but hot, pulsing bolts of anger, coursed through him. And he’d come close. So close in beating that bastard. If only she hadn’t stopped him. He looked at her. She was looking at him, her fear evident in her gaze. She was trying to figure him out, he knew it. He flinched mentally when he saw the unshed tears in her eyes. How did he always manage to do that?

They looked at each other, trying to calm themselves down. The fear had shaken them. Khushi tried not to cry, she would not do that. Arnav took deep breaths, he didn’t remember the last time he’d felt so terrified for someone. He jerked out of his thoughts and recoiled a little as he felt her grab him in a hug.

Khushi hugged him , forgetting that she was supposed to be angry at him. She was afraid, she needed this. A tired sigh escaped from his lips. He gave trying to make sense of what had just happened and clutched her tighter as the residues of his fear left him. She was safe, it’s all that mattered.

A few tears escaped from her eyes and the remnants of her dread left her as he rubbed her back. The one person who made her feel safe, was the person who had scared her in the first place. Arnav smiled wanly. It was she who calmed him and she who brought out the fear. Fear was a funny thing, they thought in unison.

–ooOoo–

ArHi OS: Middle Ground

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A/N: Based on the precap of Episode 98, aired 14/10/11. The one where Khushi’s father is hospitalized and she hugs Arnav spontaneously! 🙂

Middle Ground

He entered the hospital, hoping to find someone who could assist him. He needed to know where she was. He cursed himself for not listening to Jayprakash sooner. Had he known, he’d have been here much earlier. He walked ahead, trying to locate a doctor or atleast someone from her family.

He saw her, then. She was running towards him and for a while there, he thought he was hallucinating. His thoughts were put to rest when he felt her crash into his arms, taking him in a rib-crashing hug while crying like there was no tomorrow. Arnav stood there, too shocked to respond. Where had this come from? Just hours ago he left her by the road with some money, something he regretted now, and now she was hugging him of all people? His mind catapulted to the worst possible conclusion. That her father had passed away. Because only that could make Khushi Kumari Gupta so heartbroken. He’d seen her cry, but never like this. The sheer anguish that filled her voice was scaring him quickly.

Khushi sobbed ceaselessly for the longest time. Seeing her father on the ventilator with a voice that could barely speak had paralyzed her with fear. She was too scared to make sense of anything at the moment. She wasn’t going to figure out what she was doing in the laad governor’s arms or why she had run to him when, just hours ago he had left her on the road.

Arnav felt her fingers clutching his shirt desperately, her body shaking with each sob that cut through her. He decided not to figure this out right now. Nothing he did made sense when he was around her, anyway. So he wrapped his arms around her trying to still her, calm her down into saying something but that stage seemed far away because the moment he hugged her back a few more sobs racked through her body.

Warmth seeped into her body, bringing with it, awareness. The violent sobbing was over now, the tears streamed quietly down her face as she hiccupped, trying to draw in deep breaths, but failing. She didn’t want to pull away, not just yet. He’d hugged her back and for that, she was grateful. It was what she had needed and for once, he’d done it, sans any biting remarks. She pulled away slowly, wiping her tears with the back of her hand.

Arnav saw her wiping her tears and heaved a sigh of relief now that the crying was over. There was a huge wet spot on his shirt, from all that crying and he saw she was looking at it, apologetically.

“Dekhiye, woh hum-”

“It’s okay. Tumhe paani chahiye?”

Khushi blinked at him, shocked, but decided not to ruin the moment. She nodded. He walked towards her father’s room, the water cooler was right beside it.

“Ji, woh kya hum paani uss taraf waale cooler se le sakte hai? Amma, buaji aur Jiji abhi abhi soye hai, hum unhe uthana nahi chahte. Aur haan, Naaniji aur Anjali ji abhi kuch der pehle hi yahaan se nikle hai, unhe please dhanyavaad kehdijiyega. Unhone humari bahot madad ki hai.”

Arnav nodded, surprised. Just moments ago she was crying in his arms and now she was worrying about everyone else?

They walked towards the cooler in silence. Khushi stole glances at him when he wasn’t looking. She liked him when he was being nice. He wasn’t so much the raakshas then.

“Tum kyun nahi so rahi ho?”

She looked at him, debating whether to take a chance and tell him. She decided to tell him. What difference did it make? It’s not like he was going to tell someone.

“Woh hum, dar gaye the.”

Arnav looked at her, as she looked down, her fingers playing with her dupatta. He nodded in acknowledgement.

They reached the cooler and he brought her a glass of water. She sat down on the steps leading to the basement, leaning her back on the wall and closed her eyes as she drank water.

Arnav stood there for a moment but then sat opposite her. He wondered what he was doing, but then gave it up, what was the point? He saw her hold the glass of water with both her hands and drink it slowly. Glad that the color was back in her face, he asked the question that had been on the tip of his tongue ever since he saw her crying.

“Khushi, tum theek ho?”

“Hum theek hai.”

He wanted to ask about her dad, but didn’t know how to broach the subject. Khushi saw him struggling with it and answered. “Babuji ab khatre se bahar hai.”

They sat in peaceful silence, lost in their own thoughts.

She broke the silence with her question that was half to him and half to herself. “Babuji theek ho jaayenge na?”

Arnav looked at her, but he couldn’t be sure she was asking him.

“Woh theek ho jaayenge. Iss hospital ke doctors bahot ache hai.”

She nodded noncommittally. “Agar woh theek nahi hue toh hum jee nahi paayenge. Hum ek baar humare amma-babuji ko kho chuke hai, agar phirse-”

“Khushi, woh theek ho jayenge.” He spoke firmly, she had to understand him. This subdued avatar of the otherwise annoying Khushi Kumari Gupta was scaring him. He remembered her acting like a drunkard, only to cheer up her sister. He remembered her playing with kids. He remembered her doing all that drama just so he would stay back. He had never seen her like this. She looked so…vulnerable was the word. He understood what she was saying though. Losing your parents once scarred you enough, but losing them a second time? That would shatter you.

Khushi looked at him, lost in his thoughts. She closed her eyes, glad that he was here. She was exhausted. Ever since she’d come, she had been pacifying Buaji, her mother and her sister. She’d been the strong one. And somewhere between all of that, she had managed to bottle up her fear. She knew that tomorrow they’d probably be back to arguing, but for now, he was here.

Arnav looked at her and to his surprise she was sleeping. He sat there, not moving, thinking about all that had happened. Amidst his thoughts, he felt a rush of pride with a hint of envy for her. After he’d known that she had, like him, lost her parents at a young age, he had begun to feel that they had this tiny thing in common and somewhere deep down, where neither of them would ever admit it, they were going through the same thing. Arnav smiled faintly. He was so wrong. Who was he kidding, she wasn’t like him. He was mostly insensitive, ruthless and there was so much pent up emotion in him that he had never been able to voice. And she was the polar opposite. She wore her heart on her sleeve. She was able to cry and then forget about it the next morning.

He stole a glance at her. She was still sleeping, her tear tracks shining under the light, but her face was peaceful. He envied her for being able to do that. For being able to let it all out. He had always prided himself on being strong, on being in control no matter what. But when you came down to it, he supposed she was the stronger one. It took courage, courage he didn’t have, to be able to spill your guts like that, without thinking what they might think of you, or whether they thought you were weak. He wished he could do that. Just then his phone rang, it was Di.

He looked at the time. He’d been there for four hours, no wonder Di was worried. Where had the time gone? “Haan Di, main aata hoon. Aap so jaiye, I’ll be there.”

He got up and was about to wake her up, when she opened her eyes drowsily. Getting up, she fixed her dupatta and looked at him. “Aap ja rahe ho?”

“Haan woh Di ka phone aaya tha.”

She nodded. He looked at her, he could still see she was afraid. “Tumhare babuji theek ho jayenge.”

“Aap ko kaise pata?”

“Woh tumhari Devi Maiyya hai na.”

Shock filled Khushi’s features. “Aap kabse Devi Maiyya mein vishwas karne lage?!”

He smiled a half-smile. “Main vishwas nahi karta. Par tum toh karti ho na. Bharosa rakho unpe.”

He almost laughed at the way her mouth hung open. He couldn’t believe he’d said it either.

“Thank You.” She said, smiling at him.

“Don’t mention it.”

He was about to leave when her mother came there. “Khushi? Beta tum yahaan kya kar rahi ho?”

“Woh amma, Arnav ji aaye the…” she turned towards him, but he was facing the other side, talking on the phone.

“Sab theek toh hai na?”

“Haan amma. Woh toh bas babuji ke baare mein poochhne aaye the.”

“Theek hai. Khushi humein tumhare unki bahot chinta ho rahi hai. Agar unhe kuch ho gaya toh?”

“Babuji theek ho jayenge. Vaise bhi, kisi ne humse kaha tha ki agar hum Devi Maiyya mein vishwas karte hai, toh unpe bharosa bhi rakhna chahiye.” She gave him a lingering glance, still somewhat surprised about the turn of events.

Arnav kept his phone in the pocket, smiling at what she’d said. He looked back and she was walking with her mother. Glad that things were back to normal, he exited the hospital.

Khushi sat there, beside her father, holding his hand. She knew that neither one of them would mention this night, but she couldn’t deny it. Things had changed between them.

–ooOoo–

I’m coming apart, I’m coming to you;

This game has pushed us so far, will you pull me through?

Maybe tonight…Maybe tonight…Maybe tonight we’ll find a place,

Between you and me.

– Maybe Tonight: William Tell

 

–ooOoo–

AR: Drabble Challenge

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A/N: My first attempt at Drabbles LOL 😀 I saw something like this on fanfiction.net and decided to try it out for myself!

The rules:
1. Pick a character/pairing/fandom you like.
2. Put your iPod on shuffle/random
3. Write a drabble/ficlet related to each song that plays. You only have the time frame of the song to write the drabble. You start when the song starts and finish when the song is over! No editing afterwords!!
4. Do 5 such songs, back to back.
Even though mine are sorta crappy, here you go:

On top of you [Duration: 3 minutes and 38 seconds]

Her hips swayed sensuously as she moved from one side to the other. His eyes feasted over her bare waist as she thrilled him with yet another tantalizing smile. Her raven hair swooshed with each practiced move she made and she knew exactly what she was doing to him. He got up suddenly, ignoring the wondering stares of everyone else at the bar. He made his way up to her, and she laughed. The sound almost stunned him into unconsciousness. It wrapped itself around him and her husky laugh filled with knowledge of knowing what she was doing was assaulting his senses in the worst way possible, rang in his ears. He covered the distance between them in 3 swift strides and her forest green eyes locked with his. They moved to a tempo of their own, stuck in al limbo in which only the two of them existed. His fingers kissed her waist her scent was an onslaught of feeling on his bedazzled mind. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he pulled her into a deep kiss. It was decided. She was coming home.

Just wanna be with you [Duration: 3 minutes and 41 seconds]

2 days 23 hours. She shivered as the cold wind whipped her face. She was tired of waiting, she missed him so much it was physically painful. 2 years, two whole years since she’d seen him last. 730 days of crying into her pillows at night. 730 days since she’d smiled fully. 730 days since he’d been deployed. And she was waiting, always waiting.

“I love you, Armaan.” She whispered, her voice cracking yet again as she ran her fingers over his picture. “I miss you, come back baby. Please.” And as the clock struck 12, it was day number 731.

Moves Like Jagger [Duration: 3 minutes and 21 seconds]

They moved together in perfect sync with each other, laughing, talking nad dancing on the loud music. She was enchanted. He was enraptured. He’d never met anyone as amazing her. She’d never met anyone who shared her obsession with History. It didn’t matter that they’d met for the first time today, at the club. He liked her already. She thought she might ask him out at the end of the night. Or maybe ask for his number. Her thoughts came to an end when he pulled her closer and she smiled into his eyes, everything else forgotten. They owned the night.

Rhythm Divine [Duration: 3 minutes and 34 seconds]

He spun her around his gaze languid, unlike his movements. She twirled with record speed, her heart thudding as she crashed into him, their rehearsed moves enticing the audience who watched the salsa. His hands held her tiny waist as he lifted her up and she faced the stars, her senses intoxicated with him. He brought her down and the music died down slowly. He brought her closer, closer and closer still until they almost touched. His breath fanned her cheeks for a moment before she felt his lips there. She grinned when he whispered a husky “I love you so much” in her ear.

Perfect [Duration: 3 minutes and 34 seconds]

She sat in the bathroom, the walls spinning around her. It was fucked up. It was all so so so fucked up. Her mothers shouting rang in her ears yet again and she shouted a loud SHUT THE FUCK UP at the walls. Her eyes caught the glint of the razor and she sobbed helpessly as she saw the bracelet on her hand. The bracelet. The razor. The bracelet that was the symbol of her staying away from cutting for a month now and the razor that called out to her. If she’d cut, it’d become better. Everything. She remembered his blue eyes, the way they’d shined when he’d called her beautiful. He loved her. The razor lost it’s shine. Her tired hands picked up the cell phone as she texted him: I need you, please.He would fix it. Like everytime.

–ooOoo–

A/N: Cutting is a serious thing, I do not in any way mean to make fun of it by writing a story 🙂

And I have no idea how there were so many Enrique songs, I put my entire music collection on shuffle and its massive! Oh well 😀

Dear Guy

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Dear Guy,

Eighth Grade. You were the new guy. I was the popular girl. You were in division A and I was in B. We didn’t speak for the whole of first term. You didn’t even exist for me. Well, it was natural. Our friend circles never crossed. The only thing I heard about you was that you were the most reserved person anyone had ever met. It didn’t get my attention. I was the most un-reserved person. We were virtually opposites. Obviously there was no point in talking. Was there? Shark Tale. It’s probably one of the most childish movies I’ve seen in ages but it’s the one movie I’ll remember forever. I sat beside you in that movie, remember? Talked to you for the first time. We talked music. You said you liked Ozzy Osbourne [although I know he isn’t your favorite] and I thought you were crazy. I was still in my Taylor Swift phase, you see. I never saw any part of that movie except that part where the fish clean the bigger fish’s teeth [because the teacher told us to stop talking.] We laughed like crazy at that. I still don’t remember what was so amazing about that scene. Come to think of it, it probably wasn’t the scene. It was you.

We got on like a house on fire after that, didn’t we? We were always together. Lunch Break, Second Break. Always. You’d come to my class and we’d sit on one of those huge window sills and talk. Talk about anything. Everything. Music. Movies. I tried talking about books, but you despised them with a passion didn’t you? Haha I loved teasing you about that. Anyone who saw me talking to you would ask me, “What the hell do you guys talk about? I’ve never seen him talk that much before!” And I’d just smile. They’d never get it anyway. Eighth Grade was tough for me. Eesha wouldn’t let me be friends with anyone outside our group and I considered Anjali one of my closest friends. Since she wasn’t in the group Eesha gave me a choice. I thought it was the silliest thing I’d ever heard. I wasn’t her puppet. Obviously I left the group. Looking back, I can’t see why I was ever friends with her. But the “walking away” still hurt. After all I knew those girls since forever! There were memories. You told me it’d be alright. That I’d stop feeling hurt. Remember how we bunked that wood workshop class? You hugged and told me, that I was the most important person in your life. I remember being shocked. Not that you weren’t important for me, but “most important” was something different. You told me about your relationship with your parents. I remember us hugging each other, drawing comfort. For the first time, I felt like things were going to be okay. Turned out, I was right. Two months later, things were alright with Eesha. There was no “group” now. It was just people being with people. Pure and simple, friendship.

And then you got a girlfriend. Aliya. She was really nice! She was in my bus but we’d never said anything but “Hi!” to each other before. Now we’re pretty good friends. Because of you. I remember being the mediator in your relationship. Boy, did I solve fights! I hated it when you guys broke up. You made a nice pair 🙂 Remember Mt. Abu? We went on a class trip for three days. You removed my fear of rappelling and I took care of you when you became sick after eating the horrible food. You always had a weak stomach. I remember how we stored your medicine [the one that had to be mixed with water] in my water bottle. My bottle smelled for days after that. I had to buy a new one. But I still kept the old one. Memories’ sake.

Ninth grade. It was horrible at first. All my friends were in the other class, except you. And people kept teasing us. Like, that didn’t make talking to you a little awkward. I saw a different you in ninth grade. You were possessive, jealous and moody. It terrified me. I knew the happy, trusting guy. Not this one. Dhwani later told me that you were always like this, it was because we’d been in different divisions last year so I didn’t know it. Though she did admit that even last year you were different with me, than you were with others. I had nothing to say to that. They told me Tirath was your sworn enemy. But Tirath was my childhood friend. Not that we were that close, but he had been in my class since Nursery. We talked occasionally. You hated that. You confronted me. I said I wouldn’t stop talking to him just because you wanted me to. Although obviously, you were more important. But I being the stubborn person I am, refused to compromise on what I believed. And we stopped talking. I hated that. It hurt like hell. But I was the silent sufferer types. No one ever came to know just how much it hurt. I cried everyday, wondering if I should have just compromised just this once then things would’ve been fine between us. But I never told you how much it hurt. You purposely talked to others in front of me, taunting me. I don’t know how I stopped myself from crying. Like I said, I was the silent sufferer types.

Rann of Kutch. It was going to be the worst camp ever. They were taking us to a camp in the middle of Navratri! It was horrible for a garba-fanatic like me! You were cool with it though. You hated any form of dancing. Though you DID do garba with me back in eighth grade when we celebrated Navratri in school. You told me you did it only for me. I liked that.

The camp turned out to be the best after all. Because we made up. It was the best 3 days I’d spent with you. I’ll always remember them.

The rest of ninth grade wasn’t peaceful though. You kept fighting with me. I kept making up. You apologized and I gave in. Everytime. I hung on to that thread of friendship which was now full of knots. Because it kept breaking and then getting fixed too many times. At the end of ninth grade, you told me you didn’t trust me anymore. I was shattered after that. You broke our friendship. I had no idea why. You broke me. I picked myself up though. I wasn’t going to show you how much it hurt. But I wanted our friendship back. Like it was in 8th grade. I even tried being nice to you. You never gave me the time of the day. That pained me more than ever. I decided I’d had enough of you. I stopped being nice. I pretended like you were never there in my life. I’d forgotten that you were my life.

It took me almost a year, before I could look at you and not tear up. We were in 10th grade now. But it still hurt. There were times when I wanted to hit you. Kick you. Punch you. Hurt you like you hurt me. Not that I could ever bring myself to. I told myself that it was never meant to be. But you were my best friend. I couldn’t just erase you like that. Just when I was learning to acknowledge your existence with a smile, you came and apologized. Apologized for everything. In that moment, I didn’t want anything but our friendship. I wanted “us” back. And so I forgave you. Once again. No questions asked. Things were amazing from then on. You were back. We  were back. I loved talking to you. You updated me on your life. Turns out, you were as hurt as me. But then why did you do it in the first place? You said you didn’t know. I brushed it aside. You were back. Nothing else mattered.

But then you did it again. You asked me how could I possibly bitch about you behind your back. I told you I didn’t. You didn’t believe me. And I was left broken again. I wondered why I let you do that to me. Let you hurt me like that. I guess the lure of our friendship returning to its former glory enticed me into forgiving you everytime you hurt me. Looking back, I wonder whether going through months of pain was worth having a week of friendship. I wonder why you were so important to me. Was it because when things were fine, they weren’t fine but perfect? Or was it because I enjoyed being with you so much that I sort of forgot to think rationally. I’ve never found an answer to any of these.

Sometimes I still muse, the problem was with you. You were the one who had trust issues. You were the one who hurt me. I was the one who tried to make it better. Sure I made mistakes. Hell, I’m not perfect. But I’d talk to you. You, you’d just shut me out. Leave me in the dark. Not once did I know what actually went wrong. But I’d forgive you. Every f*****g time. I still wonder why. I always will.

That last time you told me you didn’t trust me, I decided that I was done. Done with being the one who was left hurt. Done with doubting myself and somewhere blaming myself too, for the demise of our friendship. We talked after that but it was more like we were acquaintances. Not like we were best friends. It’s been about 3 months since we’ve been cordial. Do you wonder like me? Do you wonder where our friendship went wrong? Do you still smile when you see photos of us on facebook? I do. Because whatever said and done, our friendship had become the most important thing to me. Ever. Its taken time, but I’m at a better place now. A more stable place. But I still miss “us”.

I’ve never told you any of this. Everytime I tried, you’d say- “It’s all water under the bridge now.” And I’d stop what I was saying. No point ruining the friendship, I’d think. Slowly, I lost the courage to admit how I felt. I just went along. Somewhere, I’d become someone else.

Now that I see it, I wonder how I didn’t suffocate. Probably because everytime our friendship was renewed, I was resuscitated. Keeping all that inside me was probably the toughest thing I’ve done.

There. I finally wrote it all. It’s taken me months to become that same girl you knew. The same girl I knew. But I did it 🙂

We may never meet each other again. But I’ll always remember you. Because you taught me the most important lesson of life: Sometimes, it’s just easier to let go.

And I hope one day I get the courage to tell you all this.

Yours,

Girl

–ooOoo–

A/N: This is the OS closest to my heart. It may not be the best thing I’ve ever written but its made of things that have actually happened to me. If anyone’s interested, the guy in question is still an asshole LOL 😀 And no, he wasn’t my boyfriend 😐