Heart Under Construction 2
Heart Under Construction 26 mins 10.4K 6 mins 10.4K
I tried forgetting about Aarav as I didn’t want my old feelings to resurface again. But the truth was that I actually couldn’t get him off my mind. Not to mention, Sunaina’s engagement was the current hot topic at home. I tried to keep myself busy with work and other stuff. Almost two weeks later, on a Friday evening, I was helping my mother in the kitchen. That’s when she I was actually caught off-guard.
“Do you have a new dress on Sunday, Ashima?” She asked me in the middle of nowhere, while I was busy cutting tomatoes. I looked at her, surprised.
“Well, I have the blue dress you gifted me on my birthday. Who’s coming on Sunday, mom?” “ We have been invited at Sunaina’s in-law’s place for lunch on Sunday. Rahul’s mother had called yesterday. They have purchased a 3 BHK flat at Nepean Sea Road and have invited all of Sunaina’s relatives, us included. The blue dress will look good on you. You can wear that dress.”
Uh-oh! Why did this invitation have to come? I didn’t feel like going. I wouldn’t have a problem if I hadn’t met Aarav. After our small interaction at the engagement, I wanted to avoid him as much as possible.
“What will I do at Sunaina’s new home? You and dad can go on Sunday. I’ll stay at home. Anyways, I’ll get bored over there.” I made up a random excuse. My mother looked at me immediately with suspicion.
“Don’t you want to see your sister’s home? What problem do you have? It is just a matter of a few hours. We all will be there. You can be by Sunaina’s side. Anushka won’t be coming. So I have to make sure that atleast one daughter of mine accompanies me. She belongs to another family now. So I can’t force her. You are coming with us on Sunday and that’s final, Ashi. I don’t want any excuses. Plus, your friend Aarav will also be there. I’ve heard his parents want him to settle down as well. This is your chance. You should try to win him over.” I gave my mother a disgusted look.
“Mom, he is not my friend. We were just classmates in college. I’ve already told you. Remember.”
“So what? You guys were looking cute together. He is smart, handsome and well-settled in his father’s business. There is no harm in trying. I actually think he is interested in you.” My mother spoke with extreme confidence. Crap! Is it so obvious that I like him? But I still tried to defend myself.
“How do you know he is interested in me? Did he tell you?”
“Why would he tell me? The way he was looking at you makes me feel likewise. Anyways, make sure that you are well dressed on Sunday. We need to create a good impression.”
I simply nodded my head like an idiot. What can you do if you are forced to do something which you have been escaping from?
On Sunday, I dressed up as I wanted to and not as my mother wanted me to. I tied my hair in a ponytail and opted for a minimal make-up look as I didn’t want to show that I was trying too hard to get noticed. Sunaina’s new home was a plush three bedroom furnished apartment, fit for a king’s mansion. These guys were actually quite rich than what I had imagined. The party was even better than the home. Rahul and Aarav’s parents turned out to be quite jovial and down-to-earth. My mother was right. All my relatives’ from my mother’s side were present. So I did not get bored even for a single minute. On top of that, the Saxena’s served great food.
There were almost 20 non-vegetarian dishes on the table, that too for a house party. As far as Aarav was concerned, I met him when we reached his home and we just said a casual ‘hi’ to each other. The more I stay away from him, the better. I thought to myself. After having lunch, I made myself comfortable with Sunaina and Rahul while the elders occupied the other rooms. Aarav also joined us much later. We joked around for a while until the couple got engaged in each other’s company. I continued enjoying their camaraderie for some time while Aarav came and sat next to me. He looked smart in a crisp white shirt and blue jeans.
“They look good together. Don’t they?” He turned towards my face to observe my reaction. I did not look at him but answered his question while staring at the couple.
“I think they are perfect for each other. You should see the glow on Sunaina’s face when she talks about Rahul. I was the first person she expressed her feelings to. I just advised her to go with the flow and have a look at the results. I am really happy for her now.” I turned towards him giving me a sly expression.
“I didn’t know that you are an expert at relationship advice. Had I known, I would have applied for your services much before.” I made up a face to show him that I was annoyed.
“Very funny, Aarav. I don’t think there’s any harm in trying to be Cupid at times. But why am I telling you all this?”
“That’s for you to think and for me to find out. By the way, Cupid, are you giving relationship advice out of experience or just out of thin air?” Now, I was actually irritated.
“What do you mean?”
“Are you single?” I was shocked for a second and stayed silent.
“Why should I tell you if I am single or not? Since we were never even friends, to begin with.”
“Because I would like to take you out for a cup of coffee sometime next week. You know, for the good old times.”
I felt like saying yes immediately but controlled myself somehow. I tried to play hard to get.
“I don’t drink coffee. So sorry, not interested.”
“We can have tea as well. Or maybe juice or soft drinks or beer. Whatever you like. Just to catch up on the last eight years. I know we were never friends, but still. I would love to hang out with you. What do you say?” He folded his hands as if he was pleading me.
“Fine. But only once. Okay.”
“Sure. Only once. I promise.” We exchanged our numbers and parted our ways.