Arpit took one look at my discomfort and started to laugh his head off.
“Its not funny!” I said huffily.
“Okay..” He tried to say with sincerity but couldn’t suppress a snicker.
His contagious laughter got to me too and soon we were laughing uncontrollably sitting on his yellow scooter. I can only imagine what a sight we would have made.
“Okay, I’m going in. My mum must be wondering where I am!” I got off the scooter and picked up the books. “Bye!” I said cheerfully.
“Hey, will you do me a favor?” Arpit asked as he put on his helmet again and turned his scooter around.
“Sure, anything.” I said, mildly curious.
“I know Dhruv is trying to make your profile look good for St. Peters. Do you think he would mind helping Sneha too?” he asked.
I didn’t know what to say. I torn between wanting Dhruv’s time all for myself and hatred for Sneha and Arpit’s unwavering faith in me wanting to help out.
“I’ll ask him.” I, of course had no intentions of doing that, but I didn’t want to be the bad one here. Arpit didn’t know Dhruv much. For all Arpit knew, Dhruv didn’t want to waste his time on Sneha.
Yeah, I think I could convince Arpit with that.
“I’ll ask him as soon as I meet him.” I reassured Arpit. I didn’t feel good about my plan, but it was all about self preservation. Sneha had already proclaimed her right over Arpit, there was no way in hell I was letting her anywhere near Dhruv.
“Thanks Naina, you’re the best.” Arpit smiled broadly as he waved me goodbye.
I stood there waving, till he all but disappeared from view, wondering when exactly I had sunk so low. I bit my lip as I thought of my dastardly plan. Childish, immature, silly, I could attribute a zillion negative adjectives to it. I pushed all thoughts around it out of my head, I would face that moral bridge once I got to it.
I heaved the books inside.
My mom was ecstatic that I had finally become serious about my future. Though somehow I knew she suspected my real motives behind it. Mothers always know. She didn’t say anything about it though. I guess as long as I was studying it didn’t matter why.
Up in my room, I flipped through the books, hoping to find a glimpse into Dhruv’s personality. I liked the fact that he kept his books clean, without any scribbling and underlining. I hated that books had dog ears, but I could look past that. A couple of times, I came across I came across some small pieces of papers. I had been thrilled, till I found they were just a list of formulae.
I was just about wrap up for the night when I came across a little folded note. It was slightly tattered at the folds, as though it had been opened several times.
I opened it slowly and read it out.
I can’t believe that what we once shared is forever lost.
Because what we had was special, it was something which mattered the most.
With your every breath, your every smile, your every call.
I wish you’d forgive me, what I did was wrong.
If you could see me now, you’d know how much for your love, I long.
I tried, but I know I can’t write poetry like you do,
But you’ll never find someone to love you as much as you know I do.