I stared at him blankly. I hadn’t expected him to be so direct.
He must have seen the dazed expression on my face because he smiled a little and said, “Oh don’t look so surprised. Your mom told me you might want to talk to me.”
My mum knew??? Wait a minute, knew what? There was nothing to know. Was there?
I kept my cool, I think..“Oh, she did huh?” I managed to stammer.
“Yes, don’t look so surprised Naina. You’re not the first one.” At that moment, I had no idea what he was talking about.
“Huh??” summed up what I had to say.
“St Peters? Your mom told me you and Arpit wanted to get in and that you might ask me for some pointers.” He looked around. “Where is he by the way?”
“Who?” St. Peters, sure. Yeah, that’s what I had in mind. I think.
Dhruv gave me a quizzled look, “Ummm, Aprit? I thought he also was interested. I have some time to spare. I can help point out some areas you guys can work on.”
“Ya, about that.. He’s not coming.” No sooner had the words left my mouth did Arpit make an appearance.
“Naina! What the ..” He stopped abruptly when he saw Dhruv. “Oh!”
“Arpit! There you are! We were looking for you! He agreed..” I faced Arpit, desperately signaling him to play along.
“Oh he did? That’s great?” Arpit played along. I’ll admit he wasn’t very convincing but Dhruv didn’t seem concerned.
“But I told him you can’t come along.”
“I can’t?” Arpit started, confused. On seeing my face, he changed tracks quickly, “Of course I can’t because of.. because of..” he stuttered.
“Sneha. You have to take her out right?” I completed his sentence quickly.
“Oh yeah.. Sneha.” Arpit looked at my quiet desperation and then at Dhruv. He smiled softly and leaned forward. “I don’t know what’s going on, but be careful okay? Some of his friends looked creepy.”
I nodded. “Thanks.” I whispered. “Let’s go?” I turned towards Dhruv.
“Sure, this way.” He adjusted his sling bag and pointed with his cane.
I gulped a little, maybe it was apprehension, maybe excitement. I couldn’t tell.