“Tell me na, why didn’t you come for the last three days?” asked Pari ? “Ma was not well, told ya na” Soumyo replied for the second time. “Is this the only reason? I don’t think so. You can’t be absent from college for 3 consecutive days because aunty is not well. Is it that serious? Or something else which you don’t want to disclose?” Pari’s inquiries were not ending. Soumyo was irritated. He said, “Okay, tell me what do u think?” “I think you are seeing someone and in order to hide that, just making up stories. Isn’t it?” Pari answered with a chuckle. “Yes, I’m ” replied Soumyo. “Are…are…are you, seriously? Who’s she?” Pari tried to conceal her shock “It’s just a few days, nothing official. Her name is Nikita- went to the zoo yesterday with her. OK, Ma is calling. Will see you in college tomorrow. Bye.” Soumyo hung up. A shocked, surprised Pari stood like a statue with the phone still in her ears. Is Soumyo really seeing someone or he is just pulling Pari’s leg? But he didn’t sound a bit like he was joking. Why was she feeling so broken? Soumyo and Pari are the best of pals right from the second year in college. Both of them felt secure and happy in each others company. They could share anything and everything with each other on earth. Then why did Soumyo hid this big secret from her? Although he said that it’s just the beginning but still. Why didn’t he even bother to inform Pari the reason for his absenting college for three days when he knew Pari would miss him? With the constant conflicts running in her mind, Pari consoled herself. If it is true, she is happy. She is happy for her friend who got the love of his life. She went to the loo, took a bath, ate her lunch but deep down inside she was feeling a turmoil. She was feeling broken, cheated, ashamed, lonely, jealous- so many feelings were pounding her heart at the same time. But she was strong enough not to acknowledge them. She knew that she was not feeling any of those, she told herself again. Why would she feel bad? Does she have a single reason for feeling bad? No. She waited for the next day to confront Soumyo in college. She reached college the next day and sat with her friends looking at the door waiting for Soumyo to enter. The professor of the first class entered, door was closed, but Soumyo was not to be seen. Her eyes could not believe, Soumyo was absent for the fourth day. She could not concentrate in the class and was waiting for the class to end soon. She could suddenly feel that her cheeks were turning wet. She was feeling angry on herself, if she could slap her heart for being so stupid, for making her look so insane in the middle of the class. She tried to reprimand herself, but no, her emotions were continually waging a fight with her. She somehow, managed to rub her cheeks and tried to be normal. In the practical class, she told her close friend Sree about the incident. Sree said, be it real or fake, you should not pardon him. Why would he behave like this with his best friend? Couldn’t he just ring you up himself and let u know the full thing? Nothing was registering Pari any longer. She was missing their chit chats, their insane fights, their sharing of tiffins, their late night sms-chats about stupidest things on earth, his pranks, his laughter.She was missing him in every possible way. She reached home with a heavy heart and decided not to call Soumyo again. Pari’s father was going to have an ultrasonography of his abdomen due to a recurring pain for few days. After reaching home, she found that her father has left for the USG. Pari was always over-emotional, over-stressed for everything. She had a weird belief that during a moment of tension and crisis, if she panicked with all her energy, she could control any negative thing to happen. Pari locked her room and started screaming. She prayed to God so that her father didn’t have anything bad in his report. She was feeling broken, devastated, tired. She wanted to hold Soumyo tightly and ask him “Please, tell na, nothing will happen to him?” Like she always did. But, there was no Soumyo. He was gone from her life. She consoled herself. Pari’s father returned after sometime and told that the doctor who was conducting the USG told that there’s nothing to worry. It’s just bloating and gas. Pari was relieved. She took her dinner early and went to sleep. She stared at the ceiling of her room with lost eyes waiting for Soumyo’s message. But he didn’t call. She could not sleep. She dialed his number and disconnected 10 times. She was tired of explaining her inner self. She wanted an explanation. She dialed his number and this time didn’t disconnect. Soumyo answered with the first ring. For the first 10 seconds none of them uttered a single word. Then Pari bursted out at him. “What the hell do you think of yourself. Did you know my father was not well? Did you even bother to ask? No contact for the past 4 days? What is wrong with you? So busy with your girlfriend?Soumyo realized that Pari was crying. “I told you repeatedly, my mother was sick. She had that nervous breakdown again, for which I couldn’t go to college for the past 3 days. There were guests at home, my cousin with his wife and kids are here and yesterday I took his 6 year old daughter Nikita and 1 year old son Neel to the zoo. I was not well today that’s why didn’t go to college today” Soumyo opened up. Pari felt like a weight of 100 kg has shifted from her heart, she felt light, she felt free, she felt happy.
“Nikita is your 6 year old niece?” Pari felt ashamed. “I knew you were crazy, insane but did not know you are so stupid. How could you even imagine in your wildest dream that I can have someone in my life? Your Soumyo can have someone? This is your faith in me? Really I feel bad about myself that I thought you to be my best friend.When I wanted you beside me, you were busy making up stories. And when I answered in affirmative, you could not digest that. Why? Tell me why? You never acknowledge the fact that their is something beyond friendship in our relationship. Then why were you feeling so bad about the whole thing? I was tired of making you realize your true feelings. But you always wanted to give only one name to our relationship which is friendship. Do u still think it is only that? Answer me Pari, please don’t be quiet today at least.” “You are coming tomorrow right?” asked Pari with a trembling voice. “This is not the answer to my question.” Soumyo was furious. “Shall we go together tomorrow? Let certain answers unfold on their own. Lets not put any burden on each other. Let time unfold every mystery, every query”. “Okay, lets meet at 9:30 a.m. sharp tomorrow where we meet regularly. Bye.” Soumyo disconnected, but he knew, this time his angel, his Pari would be able to fly on her own and take a concrete decision about them. Soumyo was confident. Pari looked at the ceiling again with a smile on her lips and a strange happiness which she never experienced before. Both of them could not wait for the night to elapse and the morning to emerge. Little did they know that when cupid attacks, its better not to resist, else the arrow would tear their hearts apart and the wound of love would only grow deeper.