The phone rang. It was Anju’s phone.
“Hello. I didn’t think that you’d call now. Can’t we text?” Sandhya had no clue that Anju was speaking to Vivek.
“No. Listen Anjali, call me when you reach the station. I’m waiting at the book stall outside. I’ll pick you from the railway station. Let me know five minutes before you arrive.” Vivek’s words surprised Anju.
“Why? Why would you come? The head photographer would send his friend to pick me. I’ll go with him. I can’t come with you. I’m sorry. But wait, you’re in Kolkata?” Anju was extremely happy.
“Your head photographer Aadithya is my friend” Vivek whispered.
“I should have guessed. So it was you who recommended me for the internship and included my name in the shortlist.” A surprised Anju guessed it about Vivek.
“No. It’s not me. I saw your name after you were selected. Aadithya is my best friend. Actually, ours was a trio. Me, Aadi and Sandhya, good old days. We had a single notebook during graduation. Write with the same pen, sometimes even submitted the same assignment. Naidu sir always referred to us as the three musketeers!” Vivek still had the spark in his small, brown eyes, and they were so bright when he spoke about their friendship, that it seemed to reflect in Anju’s big, black eyes.
“I spoke to Sandhya. We have bonded really well. I don’t know why you called me again, but I’m extremely happy for that. I mean it. Meanwhile, I didn’t ask Sandhya the real issue between you both. But, as far as I’ve known you both, I think you both must reconcile. An open conversation would break the ice. You were childhood friends, and you know each other very well. Just give it a try, things should be fine.” Anju hid a deep pain behind her smile, only to be found by Vivek.
“It won’t Anju. Leave him. Don’t force Vivek into anything. He’s not the one who would listen to anyone. Am I right, sir?” Sandhya picked a chair from the nearby table at the café shop. She was speaking to Vivek after two long months, which seemed like two centuries for both.
“See, I called you several times. I messaged you. You were the one who never responded. I know, I agree and I apologize for my mistake of not being a good partner. I know I’ve never spent good time the way you wanted me to. But I was trying to make our life, not just mine. You never understood that. Yet I adjusted. You never tried to understand me or my struggle. You always wanted me to be like the one in our childhood. Sandhya, you are a matured woman. We can’t be the same always. With responsibilities, we need to grow up. Sarcasm won’t help now.”
Anju knew that it was better to leave the two alone. She woke up to leave, but then Sandhya held her, with tears in her eyes, “don’t go Anju. I need you. Because I’m the one who has all the mistakes. Please don’t leave me. And yeah, just try to convey this fact to your idol. That of he had said althese to me when we were together, things would’ve never been this worse. If he had opened his mouth and told me where to correct and how he wanted me, I was ready to make the efforts. But no. He adjusted, compromised, and never spoke. And me, experimenting everything as to save the relationship, ended up being depressed. Had Aadi not supported me when I was on the verge of depression, you wouldn’t have seen me alive now” and broke into tears.
There was a sense of guilt in Vivek’s bright eyes. They turned pale after seeing Sandhya’s eyes wet. He hugged her. “You have no clue how much I felt sad and guilty, each time I had disappointed you. For every pain that I’ve given you, I apologize. You were my best friend. You still are. And yeah, my weird habits that I enjoyed only with you, aren’t done since the day you left me. Even the coffee tastes bitter without your company. Please don’t cry. Please.” Anju left them alone. She joined Aadithya, who had pushed Sandhya to speak to Vivek. He was two tables away from them and was watching them from a distance.
“Do you think things would work for them? Everything would be fine right?” Anju asked as she saw Sandhya laughing to some joke by Vivek.
“Yes. They know each other the best. They’ve spent the highest time together. And yeah, Sandhya is a gem. She is a brave girl, she faced everything alone, faced all odds and oppositions and is the winner. She tried a lot to save their relationship, but alas, things just did t work back then. I’ve seen her efforts to make Vivek happy. I hope she would definitely get their relationship back and be happy always.” Aadithya said as he continued staring Sandhya.
“You love her a lot, don’t you?” Anju sounded curious.
Aadi looked into Anju’s eyes and had a fake laugh.
“If I could give my life to see a smile on her face, I’d consider myself lucky. I’m proud to be in love , with her.”