Back then, all I had wanted was Aditya’s attention. Aditya on his part, seemed content with talking to me just on Mondays. His behavior bewildered me. I had never quite met anyone like him. In the lab, he would lavish me attention, outside of it, he would ignore my existence. I didn’t know what to make of his indifference. It puzzled and hurt me. But every Monday, he would come by and make me forget about the one week that he had ignored me.
With exams nearing, I pushed Aditya out of my head. I wasn’t studious but I liked to keep my grades high.
We all sat in the corridor of our college, studying diligently. Suchitra sat next to me. Vikram, Meghna and Ann were studying . A classmate of ours Darshan, approached Suchitra for some help.
For the moment, I was alone in a crowd. I glanced across the corridor to where Aditya sat with his bunch of boisterous group of friends. He looked up, straight at me and winked. I felt the blood rising to my cheeks and quickly glanced down at my books pretending to study. Slowly, I raised my eyes and looked around to see if anyone had noticed his cheekiness.
Everyone seemed to be engrossed in their books studying some theorems, which suddenly didn’t seem so important anymore. A smile touched my face. I glanced back at Aditya who was laughing at my discomfort. I made a face at him and tried to focus on my books.
“What are you doing?” Suchitra was staring at me.
“Studying.. What else?” I shrugged my shoulders.
“That was not nothing.. Were you smiling at Aditya by any chance?” I thought for a moment. Why should I keep secrets from my best friend, I nodded.
She laughed a little. “You and Aditya.. Who would have thought?”
I smiled. “It’s not like that. We’re just friends. Actually, not even that. We’re lab partners.”
She snorted, “Yeah, we’ll see.” And then after a pause. “Look, there he comes.”
I looked up, there he was, walking towards me. I held my breath and felt my pulse quicken. I looked down, to avoid eye contact and saw him walk right past me without a pause.
“Just lab partners huh?” Suchitra smiled at me.
“Hey Anagha?” I turned around to face Aditya.
“Huh?” That was the most intelligent thing I could think of saying.
“Give me your number na. I mean so that I can tell you when I’m not attending lab or maybe you can let me know when you are planning to bunk..” I was very conscious of the stares of all the people in the corridor.
Hesitantly, I rattled off my number to him but not before I got it wrong twice.
“Thanks.” He took off before I could react.
Needless to say, I screwed up my exam that day. I waited next to my phone the entire day, refusing to leave it even for a moment, but no message came.
I wanted him to text, and I didn’t want him to text. I sighed.
I didn’t know what I wanted then either.