Arpit made me spend the lunch hour with Sneha. He thought it would be nice if we all could get along. We stood around the corridor eating and smiling politely.
“Well, you basically need to get your profile to look good, you know, with stuff like co curriculum activities and stuff.” I parroted the gyaan Dhruv had given me.
Sneha nodded, hanging on to my every word.
“I have read online forums and stuff,” she said, “but it’s so much better getting an individual perspective.”
I nodded, “My thoughts exactly.”
“So can I meet him?” she asked eagerly.
I turned away slightly from her and looked at Arpit, “I’m sure he’ll meet you. Just have to figure out when. He’s a busy guy.” I said half-heartedly.
Arpit was positively beaming that the two girls in life were getting along famously.
“I won’t take much of his time, I promise.” She said as the bell rang. And shocker of shockers! She leaned in a little and gave me a slight hug. “Thanks!” she whispered before she walked away.
If I thought I was caught off guard, you should have seen the look on Arpit’s face! His jaw was practically mopping the floor!
“What was that?!?” he asked, once we were out of earshot.
“How should I know? She’s your girlfriend.” I commented.
I shook my head. I had to admit, Sneha did have a certain something about her. She left me so shaken up, I can only imagine what effect she had on Arpit. I placed a sympathetic hand on Arpit’s shoulder. “I think I just got a slight heart attack. From passive hatred to a hug. In a blink of an eye! Some talent she has.”
He smiled a little, his eyes following Sneha as she walked away. “She’s genuine. Does what she feels is right. But you’ll never see that.”
“Oh don’t go all soppy on me now! Come on, class time.” I walked inside.
Arpit walked in after me, stopping to chat with a couple of other people. Popularity wise, Arpit was skyrocketing upwards. He stumbled a little as he came towards his desk, dropping all his books on the floor. But deep down, he was the same. Maybe Sneha hadn’t changed who he was. Maybe she had just polished off some of the dust which had gathered.
He caught me staring at me, “What? Is there something on my face?” he asked wiping his mouth vigourously.
“Yes, confidence.” I smiled warmly at him and turned towards the teacher who had just walked in.
I took a peek at Arpit during class, he had this goofy smile on his face that he just couldn’t get rid of. I knew he was pleased with what I had said. His happiness made me smile too and that’s how we sat throughout the second half, grinning like idiots.
Of course, the teachers spotted it too. Some of them smiled back at us and some of them threw us out of class because they thought we were laughing at them.
All in all, a good day I’d say. Felt like old times.
I met Dhruv in the bus as usual.
“Hey,” he said as he got on, “How was practice?”
“Oh, the usual. Coach is losing his initial excitement.” I looked around in my bag for the letter. I could feel my heart starting to race and breath shortening. I just hoped it wasn’t too obvious.
“You okay?” Dhruv placed his hand on my shoulder.
“Yeah,” I turned around and smiled at him. He was concerned about me. Yay! “I found this in one of your books.” I handed him the envelope bristling with excitement.
“What is…?” Dhruv’s eyes showed confusion as he took the envelope from me. He opened it slowly and pulled out the letter. His eyes widened. In surprise or shock I couldn’t tell.
A smile touched his face as he touched the letter almost reverently. He had recognized it without opening it. Without any explanation he put it inside, “Thanks, so what do you want to study today?”
I didn’t want to pry, but I was dying to know what the letter was about. I sighed, I wasn’t the kind of person who invaded someone’s privacy.
“Sneha wants to meet you. She’s wants to know about St. Peters too.” I said, looking outside, trying to hide the disappointment on my face.
Dhruv misunderstood my reaction and laughed, “Look at you all sad! If you don’t want me to meet her, I won’t.” he said.
I half smiled at him, “I guess one meeting won’t kill you.”
He started talking about the volunteering act he thought I should do. I couldn’t pay attention. I was distracted by the letter which now resided safely in his jacket pocket.
Eventually, my stop came. I got off, incredibly pissed off that Dhruv didn’t think it was important enough.
“Hey what’s wrong with you?” Dhruv asked as I brushed past him.
I got off the bus and looked up at him, “Just tell me the story behind damned letter!”