I turned around dejected and made my way home. I had never felt more foolish and unimportant in my whole life. I started getting calls at night from the girls asking me how the date. I didn’t answer anyone’s call. I locked myself in my room and cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t believe Aditya could be so cruel and mean.
The next day, I didn’t want to go to college. I felt humiliated and angry. What was I to tell my friends? That I got stood up?
My mum didn’t believe me when I feigned illness and wanted to stay at home. She probably thought I wanted to skip a test or something.
I held my head high and walked into class that day, refusing to meet anyone’s eye. I settled down in my place and kept my eyes on my books. Ann came in immediately after me.
“Heyyyy.. You never replied to my message!” She placed her bag next to me. “So, tell me all about it!” She looked at me excitedly.
“He didn’t show up.” I smiled bravely.
“You’re kidding me right?” She put an arm around my shoulder. I shrugged it off. I didn’t need any sympathy. Especially while we were in class. Later, in private, my tears would be shed, where they didn’t become a spectacle for everyone to comment on.
“Who does he think he is!” Ann glared at Aditya’s friends. “Where the hell is he?” Aditya wasn’t in class. Probably didn’t have the guts to face me.
Sure enough, there was no sign of him throughout the day. I made my way over to the lab. Vikram followed at close distance.
“You don’t have to do this Vikram,” I rolled my eyes at him. “I’m perfectly fine.”
Just as I said that, I turned around a corner and walked straight into Aditya. Vikram stepped in beside me and glared at Aditya.
Aditya smiled awkwardly at me, his eyes moving warily from my face to Vikram’s.
“I’m so sorry about yesterday Anagha.” He apologized.
Some people stopped in their tracks. They could sense the friction between Aditya and me.
“It’s no big deal.” I said curtly. I wasn’t one to create a scene.
I walked away, aware of the crowd staring at me. I was glad to have Vikram around.
“Bunk lab today?” He said with a sympathetic smile on his face.
“Don’t do that.” I snapped.
“Do what?” Vikram looked confused.
“Smile at me like that. I don’t need your pity. And why should I bunk lab? He’s the one who should be running away, not me.”
“Hey, hey hey..” He put up his hands defensively. “I just thought you might want to watch this movie. It features Rahul Bose.” He winked at me, he knew I adored Rahul Bose. I laughed despite myself.
“Anagha,” Aditya had followed us out of the lab.
Vikram stood in front of me protectively. I smiled at his little gesture. I touched his arm gently.
“That’s okay Vikram.”
“You sure?” He asked.
I almost laughed. What was he going to do? Fight Aditya?
“Yes, I’m sure.”
Vikram shrugged and walked away.
“What’s up with him??” Aditya pointed at Vikram. I felt my temper rise.
“What do you want Aditya?”
“I wanted to say I’m sorry, something came up. I tried to call you, but I think I have the wrong number.”
I looked at him warily. It was plausible right? I mean, I had deleted his number. It was possible that he had the wrong number.
I smiled hesitantly, I wasn’t sure whether I was ready to forgive him. He saw me smiling and suddenly his face relaxed into a grin.
“I knew you’d understand. So we’ll meet today? I swear, I’ll be on time.”
I looked into his eyes and saw sincerity and I nodded. “Ok.. But its your last chance ok?” I was being serious, but I guess he thought I was kidding.
He laughed. “Yes, I’ll be on my best behavior.” He looked beyond me and nodded, “Now run along, your friend is waiting.”
I turned around to see Vikram standing at a distance shaking his head negatively. I ignored him. I could give Aditya a second chance without Vikram’s permission.