From that moment on, we knew we were going to be together. Not one word was said, we just slipped into our roles easily and perfectly as though we had trained for it our entire lives.
One day, after our regular coffee and books, we walked around aimlessly talking about this and that when Vikram’s voice took a sudden serious tone.
“I have to tell you something.” He stopped in the middle of the footpath and turned to me.
“What, what is it?” I asked, dreading what was coming.
“I think I’ve decided what I want to do.” He said.
“That’s great! What is it?” Relief flooded through me. This had been a bone of contention between us. I could never ask him directly but his lack of interest in pursuing a career was something that bothered me a lot. As a friend I had been infinitely patient, but now that we were more than just friends, I wanted to make sure he didn’t lose any opportunities.
“Not now, I’ll know by tomorrow. Is it okay if I tell you tomorrow?” I wondered why he was being so secretive about it.
I clutch his hand tight and gave him my best smile. “You’ll be great at whatever you decide to do..” Probably before saying it, I had just wanted to say something that would make him feel good about himself, but now, as I said it, I realized that it was true, Vikram was the type of guy who gave his hundred percent each and every time. Anything he decided to put his mind to, he could do and do well.
“You think so?” He asked. I could tell he was apprehensive about his decision.
“Yes.” I said simply, squeezing his hand.
A smile lit his face and he whispered in my ear, “Thank you..”
“For what?” I asked, confused.
“For not pestering me to tell you what it is. I know how difficult that must be for you.” He gave me a quick hug and turned back to leave.
“Wait!” I struggled with myself. I really really really wanted to ask him what it was that he could tell me tomorrow and not today. I swallowed my impatience and gave him a peck, “All the best, for whatever it is you have to do tomorrow.”
He smiled, nodded gently and walked off. I spent the rest of the day wondering what Vikram was up to. I resisted the temptation to ask the others. Chances were, if I didn’t know, they didn’t either.
The next day, I got a very strange call from Vikram.
“I don’t think I can make it today. Okay if I take a raincheck?” He didn’t sound too good.
“What’s wrong Vikram?” I was immediately concerned.
“Nothing, just feeling under the weather, I’ll be okay tomorrow. I’ll see you then.” With that he hung up.
I stared at the phone for a couple of seconds and then made for the door. If he wasn’t going to come meet me, I was going to his place.
I was a favorite with his mum. She used to dote on me. She smiled as she opened the door.
“He’s in his room, very upset. Do you know why?” She asked me. I shook my head.
“But I’ll find out.” I said, as I knocked on Vikram’s door. When I didn’t get a response, I turned the door knob. It was unlocked. I peeped inside. He was sitting on front of his laptop, with his headphones on. I walked up to him and ran a hand through his hair.
He turned around, surprised at the gesture. His face relaxed into a smile when he saw me.
“Hey..” He said, pulling off his headphones. “What are you doing here?”
“What happened?” I asked.
“Nothing..” He tried to change the topic. “Do you want to try this game? It’s pretty good.” He pointed towards his laptop.
“Vikram!” I said sternly. He looked at me, surprised, “What’s going on. What did you want to tell me yesterday?” I asked.
Vikram sighed and handed me a CD.
“What is this?” I asked, examining the CD, nothing was written on it. “I told you, I don’t want to play that game.”
“Go home, listen to it and tell me what you think.” He instructed.
“But I..” I started to protest.
“Talk to me, after you have listened to it.” I waited for a moment and then when I realized he was serious, I rushed back home and put the CD on.
It was his music. I had no idea he was so talented. I was blown away. By the time the CD got over, I was already in love with all the tracks on it.
I called Vikram immediately, “That was mind blowing!! I never knew..!” I exclaimed.
“So is this what you want to do?”
“Yeah.. But I tried making some recording firms listen to it. They didn’t like it.”
“They didn’t?” I was shocked! How could anyone not like it!
“Yeah, so now I’m thinking of other areas to explore.” He sounded so dejected.
“Vikram, I thought it was brilliant. And if I thought it was brilliant there must be hundreds of people who will too. You just have to keep trying.” I was trying to pep him up.
“I don’t know. I was pretty crushed by their criticism.” He said half heartedly.
“Nobody’ going to hand you success on a plate Vikram, you have to rough it out sometimes.”
“Okay. I’ll think about it.” With that he abruptly hung up.
Vikram took up music full time after that conversation.
One year later, when he got his first album deal, he proposed and I accepted.