I nodded and gifted her faint smile. I guess she felt assured.
“Anuj, I want to know everything about you, her and her.”
“I will try to be as frank as possible. Swati, I want this to work.”
“I graduated from ABC College of Engineering. I had always had a wish to work in I.T field and that was the reason why I preferred Information Technology over Civil Engineering. My father was angry about my decision. I hadn’t consulted him. He owns a huge construction firm. The situation at home remained tensed for few months. He stopped talking to me altogether. My performance at the semester end examinations melted his stone-heart and he started talking to me again.” I gazed in to Swati’s eyes for a brief moment of time and continued.
“My mother always supported me but her support was only confined to the four walls of my bedroom. She did not speak a word in front of my father. Oh my God! Why am I talking to you about my parents?” I realized that I was talking something out of the topic. The look on her face revealed that she had noticed it right from the time I opened my mouth to talk. She wanted me to open up to her and I guess that was the reason why she was quiet.
“It’s okay, Anuj. You can continue.” She said.
“I enrolled myself at the hostel after my first semester exams. Travelling to and fro from college required a lot of time. I wanted to utilize every possible minute in studies. I wanted to prove to my father that I could become successful like him. I wanted to show him that my decision was correct and was the best turning point of my life.”
“Was it the best one?” She questioned.
“Yes. It was. And another one was waiting for me during our college fun week.”
She picked up the water bottle and had a sip. She looked at me with questioning eyes.
“Anuj, you need not stop. I am listening to you.”
“Her name was Rhea. She was the prettiest girl in my section. She was smart, confident and always left an impact at all the places she visited- be it canteen or someone’s heart. She was zero in studies and had managed to clear just 2 subjects during semester exams. Fun week was an opportunity for both of us to converse. I had a huge crush on her right from day one of our college. ‘Pretty her’ and ‘Nerd Me’ did not sound very good. So I maintained distance.”
“She was the one who approached first.” Swati declared.
“Yes! On pretext of designing posters. Rhea was so obsessed with the posters that she skipped her lunch that day. She forced me to skip mine too. Five hours with Photoshop and Coral Draw had finally given us the output Rhea wanted. As a token of gratefulness, Rhea kissed me on my cheek and left. I was shocked and surprised with her gesture. That was my first kiss. Yeah! The first one since I had attained puberty.” Swati seemed astonished about the kiss. Rhea’s kiss was indeed a big deal for me. Swati was way beyond my league to comprehend it.
“Okay! What happened next?” Swati was growing interested in my story.
“We started talking to each other. We exchanged our phone numbers. Texting, Facebook chats and phone calls became a routine. She asked me to help her with studies and I agreed. A sudden transformation had taken place in me. I was growing more concerned about my looks. I looked forward to meet Rhea. Those library study-sessions changed to class study-sessions. We sat together for all lectures. My crush was developing in to love. I was realizing it every passing day.”
“One fine day, you decided to confess your feelings to her. Isn’t it?” Swati asked.
“I really wanted to…” I said with a blank expression on my face.
“What do you mean by ‘you wanted to’?” She arched her brows.
(To be continued...)