I clutched my stomach as the thought intensified. “I’m feeling sick Dhruv.” I reached out for his arm.
“Hey, what happened?” He grabbed my hand to support me.
“Just get me home please.” I was leaning on him now. Poor fellow, I don’t know how he managed, half dragging, half limping but somehow he got me home.
My mum came running as she saw us, “Naina! What happened, are you okay?” She put her arm around me. “What happened to her?” She turned towards Dhruv, when I didn’t reply.
He shook his head, “I don’t know, she suddenly said she felt nauseous. Maybe something she ate?”
My mom nodded, “You must be Dhruv, thank you for getting her back.”
“I’m okay,” I mumbled when I could. “Just feeling weird.” I started walking up to the house without saying goodbye to Dhruv.
I could hear my mum and Dhruv talking, but I didn’t care. I had to speak to Arpit. There had to be only one logical reason why Aprit and Sneha’s relationship was bothering me so much. I had to suck it up and face it. I dialed his number.
“Uh hello?” classic Arpit dialog.
“It’s me, I have to tell you something.” I was breathing hard, my heartbeat was so loud, I could feel the drumming my ears.
“Sure, you okay?” His voice was full of concern.
“No, I think I have feelings for you.” I made a disgusted face as I blurted that out.
“I know it sounds crazy, but I have this weird feeling and I don’t know what it is and I think this is the only logical thing. What else could it be right? it makes sense too, you’re my best friend and I don’t like your new girlfriend. Are you there?” I paused to take a deep breath.
“Ummm, Naina? Is this some kind of a joke?”
I hung up abruptly. Joke? He thought this was a joke?
“Naina?” My mum knocked on my door.
“I’m okay ma.” I yelled without bothering to open the door. I hoped, if I didn’t, she would go. I knew Arpit would call back. He always did.
She knocked once again and walked in. “You look okay now.” She commented.
“Ya, I don’t know what it was.” I did feel better actually. Maybe I had just needed to get it out of my system.
“I just had a very interesting conversation with Dhruv.” She said casually.
“Oh you did huh?” I tried to act cool too.
“Who is he?” She was looking at me carefully now.
“Just a friend.” I busied myself in unpacking my bag.
“Naina, he told me you met on a bus. Really?” her tone conveyed disapproval.
“It wasn’t like that ma. He’s okay, he dropped me home today, didn’t he?” I sat down on the floor, I knew I was in for a loooong lecture.
“But you didn’t know that right?” She was trying to reason with me. I didn’t say anything. I was far too distracted to pay any attention to Dhruv.
“But he seems like a nice guy and he tells me he’s from St. Peters. Maybe you could ask him for some tips for the entrance exam.” She came closer and ruffled my hair. “I just want you to stop being so naïve. Just because Dhruv turned out okay, doesn’t mean everyone will. Okay?”
I nodded. Anything to get her out of my room. Arpit was going to call me back any minute. I was sure of it.
I stayed up the entire night for his call, almost willing him to call me.