A beautiful journey of Friendship
We are at the Coffee Shop sitting opposite to each other, it is like any other day but still it is special, moreover it is different and a bit awkward. I and Ravi have been best friends since we were in fifth grade. We two never felt the need of anyone else, rather no one felt comfortable enough when we were together. We always had our secret jokes and we preferred to keep them secret. Because some jokes when explained loses its essence. It’s roughly been 8 years of our friendship and we realized that we always come back to each other even though we were dating others. Probably because I know that no one understands me better than Ravi, perhaps he feels the same.
After some brainstorming one day, we came to this ridiculous but luring decision, actually Ravi came up with it saying “Hey Anju, why don’t we try dating each other? We are so comfortable with each other, we don’t fight, and we know how to cheer each other up. We had slept together several times, I mean literally” with his pretentious grin. But I voted against saying “Firstly I literally slept beside you when we were 10, we don’t do that now, and also I don’t want to wreck out friendship. It really means a lot to me”
“Yeah to me too, but we can still give it a try”
“Look I always come to you when I have a break up, when I have fights with others, issues in my family, but if I break up with you, to whom would I go?”
“Yeah but we both aren’t like any other couple, we gel so good together, we know what hurts each other, so we can try it, right?”
“All right, just one date, okay?”
And we decided to go on a date the next day. And first time in my life was I concerned on how I look, how I dress up while I am going out with Ravi. And yes the funny part is I wore makeup, I dabbed my sister’s red lipstick, applied some mascara, blushed my cheeks in a pink shade. I was uneasy but that’s what dates are, present yourself in a way you are not. I wore my sister’s black short lace dress with 3/4 sleeves and wore my red pumps (yes I only wear them on parties and dates). When I reached, he was already there (he usually is late) and that was the first reminder, that we are on a date. He stood up to greet me, and I caught the surprise in his eyes. He was surprised to see me in a short dress and makeup, probably because I always wear jeans and no makeup. I smiled and sat down, yes I now realize I overdid things, it was just another day, but he too wore a leather jacket, which seems brand new. And I could feel the nervousness in his air, maybe a reflection of what I am feeling. We ordered our cappuccinos and two grilled chicken sandwiches, our favorite meal. I wonder if I have to eat with a fork, but I prefer eating a sandwich with my hands. We sat quiet, he was intently looking at me, observing me, I was absorbed in his gaze, and I felt hesitant. My shoulders shrunk, and I hoped that the ground would absorb me, I felt like a fool to dress up like a bimbo, hmph.
He finally said “You looking very pretty, how come I haven’t seen you like this before?”
“It’s Pari’s dress, and I am wearing a makeup” and it feels disgusting
“Yeah I can see that, and it looks lovely, you look like a glam girl”
“yeah right, would you stop teasing me? I know I look weird, I shouldn’t have tried this”
And he suddenly held my hand and said “You look lovely Anju, I feel like a douche to not have seen your beauty before, I have always loved you as a best friend, lately I felt much more than friendship, so I talked you into this date proposal, and I am flushed by your beauty, why do you hide it?”
“I don’t hide it, it’s just not me”
“It is you, the dress isn’t yours but can be yours, every girl wears makeup, so it is you, and there is no harm in glamorizing yourself”
“I feel spurious”
“You aren’t fake, you are the same girl I had always liked to be with”
And suddenly I went silent and recalled our conversation in my head, and boom! He confessed he is feeling more than friendship for me lately and the words blurt out of my mouth before I try holding them “You love me?”
“Yeah it seems so, I keep thinking about you, whenever I am with a girl, I compare her with you and you win, when I am with guys, I find you more fun, and I don’t know how I started feeling so, I tried avoiding our study meets at your place, also our lunch, I couldn’t behave normal and I wanted to hold you, play with your hair, be the reason for your laughs, and I felt jealous when Sahil tried charming you. I didn’t want to spoil our friendship but this new feeling is out of my hands and I can’t handle it” and his grip tightened, I could also see water in his eyes. Our order was done and Preetam Singh (the owner of the coffee shop) called Ravi to pick his order. He then left the grip and pulled his arm away from me, and went to get the order, I now have few moments of peace to process this new information, because somehow I wasn’t able to think while he was holding my hand. I was trying to recall of any change in his behavior lately, and yes on further thinking I realized he had been avoiding me several times, he had been avoiding even touching my arms. I could think of last 2 months and his behavior was different.
He comes back with our order and I ask him even before he sits “How long have you been feeling this for me?” and his expression went deadpan.
After like eternity he blushed, and I missed a heartbeat just looking at him blush. He then said “I don’t know the exact day I felt for you, but maybe each day I was falling for you, when Sahil made pass at you the first time half a year ago, when you were hospitalized for Malaria, when I was coaching you for the missed home works. Each day I looked in your eyes I fell a little more in their depth, each time you shoved an arm in me playfully, I felt deep for you. It took time for me to realize but I did when I and Rashmi had a fight”
“That was because of you, to break up with you after your team’s loss at the cricket tournament, she blamed everything on me, when I was never in the picture”
“You were, I mean I never told you why Rashmi and I broke up, it was because I started feeling for you, I always used to mentally compare her with you, and I couldn’t find her worthy. When we lost the tournament, I wanted to be with you, but you went with your girls, and I was with Rashmi”
“She always gave me a stink-eye, and I knew she needed time with you”
“I know that, but when she tried consoling me, I instead told her please I don’t want you, I want Anju, and she chose to make fun of you before breaking up with me”
“Hmmm.. so I am the reason of your breakup? This means her outburst was fair enough”
“Her outburst would have been fair if it was on me, not you, she was wrong”
“So how deep are you in love with me?” I chuckled while asking this question. And he now had a sweet childish smile on his face, and said “You enjoying this, aren’t you? You are such a devil”
“Yeah it feels good” and I had a stupid grin on my face, I couldn’t contain my excitement.
“So how about we discuss, how you feel about me?” and his expression again went blank.
“I haven’t put much thought to it, but I would consider” I know I sound rubbish, because I hated it when he had girlfriends.
“Ohh come onnn.. Do you really think I am that big a fool? Have you ever dressed so elegantly for any other date? And I know how much you hate borrowing your sister’s dress, and make up? And pumps? Come on, you wanted me to fall in love with you, which I already am”
I could only flush crimson, and I was short of words, what I instead did was hold his hand in confirmation to what he has just said. And he punched my left arm by his right arm hinting we still would be best friends apart from being lovers, and we laughed.
To have a best friend and a lover is great, but to have that one person as a best friend and a lover is amazing.
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