Sometimes life gives us choices. Sometimes life presents opportunities that if we do not latch onto form the basis for long term regret.
5:00 AM. The alarm clock rung it’s cacophony like every other day. A stifled yawn and a sleep, teary eyed Aryan woke up from his slumber. Years of getting up early and an Army upbringing had made him used to compromising with the most beautiful thing on this planet- A sound sleep.
‘Damn another day, another day with nothing new‘, thought Aryan as he got up from his bed. Life had come to make him realize the importance of a schedule but had also taken away his spontaneity. There was a time when Aryan was a bubbly and vibrant teenager who took things as they were. Being with the flow was his mantra. A trip to his washroom made Aryan realize that thick drops of sweat had formed on his forehead. ‘Sweat? In this weather?’, pondered Aryan as the memories of his nightmare shocked him back to reality. Another night, another nightmare.
These past few months Aryan had had the worst possible time for anyone. His heart ached, his arms felt weaker, his mind was drowned in constant stress.
As he took off her clothes and undressed her, she gasped Aviral….you know about Aryan. Doesn’t matter came the response. Are you sure? she asked. Yes.
As Aryan opened his eyes wide. 9 years, countless memories, countless thoughts and all was lost in 9 seconds. Aryan could never understand this. How good Urvashi have forgotten him so easily? What does love actually mean?
Shivani was probably weeping somewhere watching Aryan break but he had to be strong, weakness wasn’t his strong suite. Even when Shivani had left him he didn’t shed a tear. Pushing these thoughts out of his mind, he got ready to hit the gym- the only time where he could really hide his tears in his sweat and push himself to a point where the pain leaves his heart and moves to some other place of his body. The rest of the office was going to be a blur. Carpool, Office, Code, Coffee and Compromise. A compromise with the kind of life Aryan wanted and the kind of life he was leading.
On reaching office, there was nothing knew. He saw the same faces but there was something different. He saw her. Apoorva… Aryan sat back on his chair and quizzed himself- ‘Why do I feel a very strange yet undefinable feeling when I look at her, something about her makes me wonder’
But Aryan was far too busy to think about this and on top of that the past few months had made him really numb to any new feelings, a chasm had formed between his mind and heart. No feelings ever made it past that chasm and the mortal remains of those feelings lay at the bottom of the pit reminding Aryan what a life he was leading- Empty.
Busy in work, Aryan soon heard a voice. Someone was calling out to him. It was Rashmi and Rahul. Colleagues turned good friends. They were calling him for lunch. Once food had been Aryan’s priority but in the race for fitness and health, he had killed his want and desire. “Coming”, Aryan called out. As he met the two for lunch, there she was, Apoorva. As Aryan lay his gaze on her he noticed something about her, she was a bit aloof as if something was troubling but Aryan didn’t want to probe. He went about having his own food.
As always the lunch was a blaze and he was nearly done in 10 minutes. And then the post lunch ritual followed. He got up and headed towards the balcony, took out his cigarette and lit his pain away in the simmering ember and the puff of smoke that followed.
“Hey, bro?”, said Rahul
“Hey, man! ‘Sup?”, Aryan responded.
“Nothing, man. What are you doing?”
“Just the usual, me and my faithful”, Aryan grinned as he brandished in cig in plain air like a flag.
“Sahi hai, Nice! Let’s go for a drink tonight?”
“Just the of us?”
“Umm, no bro. We’ve got new people in our people. Let’s plan for team thing?”. Rahul replied after some thought.
“Cool, let me know?”
“Awesome, see you around 6:30?”, said Rahul as his voice trailed away from the balcony.
“Hey, Rashmi? You coming?”, as Aryan turned towards her.
“I might, depending on whether Apoorva comes or not”, replied Rashmi.
“Ah! Your new friend, eh?”, teased Aryan.
“Aisa nahi hai, she’s just a good friend.”
The conversation wasn’t really deep or anything to make Aryan ponder as he moved back to him place to continue working, struggling rather. The human mind is a funny thing, it knows what it wants but never has the courage to seek it.
Soon ,evening came and surprisingly most of the invitees had agreed. Apoorva, Rashmi and Rahul were ready. At that point Aryan thought, ‘Let’s give this a shot, why not?’
But as always there had to be snags, Rahul was getting late being stuck in some important task at work, Aryan was ready to leave and Rashmi and Apoorva were getting restless. Apoorva was basically threatening to go home as she had certain timings by which she needed to get home. Aryan was stuck in no-man’s land, go with them or wait for Rahul. Well. he took the leap of faith.
Funny these days numbers are available so easily. Aryan searched Apoorva’s number from the office directory and called her.
“Hello? This is Aryan. You guys left me. I am coming too”
“Cool see you downstairs, I am taking the car out”, replied Apoorva.
At this moment it struck Aryan, why did I call her and not Rashmi? Her voice seems really sweet over the phone.
Things were pretty much usual from then to the club, small talk and awkward silences. But one thing Aryan noticed. As he shot a look to Apoorva driving.
‘She looks really nice while driving, such focus and confidence. Wow…’ , the song blurring from the radio made Aryan forget his thoughts for a moment. Apoorva certainly had great taste in music.
On reaching the club, there was just Apoorva, Rashmi and Aryan. Orders for the drinks were placed.
“An L.I.I.T for me”, demanded Aryan.
“Good choice”, replied Apoorva with a smile on her face.
God her smile, thought Aryan but brought himself back to his senses. He had literally no interest at this point in time.
After several hours of talking and Rashmi having to cover for Aryan’s slippery abusive tongue, it was time to hit the floor. Dance, it had always enamored Aryan. The way the body moves to the beat and the way it releases it’s tension was an enigma for Aryan ever since Shivani. A state level dancer, Aryan had come to admire dance ever since he was a child. Ism’t that what attracted him to her and ofcourse, her speaking ability.
Would I ever feel the same way for someone? Will I ever be in a situation where I just wouldn’t want to keep my hands off her body, will I ever watch someone sleep as the night passed by?
The night passed as the alcohol flowed, the beats intensified and for the first time Aryan said something.
“You’re not leaving early, 11:15 se pehele nahi“
“I’ll try.”, Apoorva replied.
As the night moved on, it was time for Apoorva and Rashmi to leave. But for some odd reason, Aryan never wanted Apoorva to leave. He had just started knowing her. It was too early. And all of a sudden he volunteered to leave them till the card as a courtesy.
As the car raced away, Aryan stared for a moment as the puff of dark smoke engulfed his face and he coughed.
Why now God? What is happening? Something about her is making me think. Damn you intuition.