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Rima Parkar



Rima Parkar


Heart Under Construction - 3

Heart Under Construction - 3

7 mins 19.8K 7 mins 19.8K

The next week went by quickly. We started calling and texting each other from the same day itself. We would chat once a day, mostly during lunchtime. We would discuss about work and other related topics. On Sunday, we decided to meet at a Starbucks outlet at Fort area. I partially lied to my parents that I was going to meet a friend. I didn’t mention Aarav. It was too early to even think if there was something between us. I just decided to follow my heart and see what happens.

I did not apply any makeup this time and went for a casual look; a black t-shirt and blue jeans. We had decided to meet at the café at 6 pm and I was almost 15 minutes late. Surprisingly, Aarav was already present when I reached the café. He was wearing a red fitted t-shirt with black jeans. He smiled incessantly on seeing me. He had already ordered two Caramel Java Chip coffees along with a Chilli Cheese toast.

“I am sorry for coming late. I got stuck in traffic.” I said to him while sitting on the seat opposite to him.

“I’m really glad you came. I thought you were going to ditch me last minute. And I am sorry I ordered before you came. I wanted you to try this out. You can order something else if you like.”

“Honestly, I was thinking of ditching you at the last minute. What can I say? You know me really well.” I was in a chirpy mood and decided to be a little more friendly than the usual. He realized that I was up to no good and followed my lead.

“Why so? I don’t bite, Ashima.” He winked at me while stressing my name. I just loved the way it sounded.

“Who knows? You may be a vampire or a serial killer who may be thirsty for my blood.” He gave me a cold stare indicating that I was in trouble but he changed his mood the next minute.

“You know, you’ve got a weird sense of humor. No wonder I had a huge crush on you in college.”

I was quick to reply back. “ Had!!!!!! As in past tense, right?”

“No, Ashima. Have. As in present tense. I still have a huge crush on you.”

I wanted to tell him that I had a huge crush on him too. But I kept quiet.

“Mr. Aarav Saxena, are you trying to flirt with me?” I fluttered my eyelashes and waited for his response.

“Maybe I am. Flirting is good for health. A little bit of flirting won’t hurt anyone.”

“Wow! What’s up with you? You never even said a ‘hi’ to me in college. I would love to know what happened in the last 8 years.”

“Many things happened, Ashi. As far as saying ‘hi’ is concerned, you were too busy focusing on your books to even notice me looking at you.”

“I guess you are right. I didn’t want to involve myself in any sort of relationship that time.”

“So, are you in touch with any of our college friends?”

“Oh! I am in touch with almost all of them. Kuldeep, Sonia, Rajesh, Kritika, Vaibhav and Arun. Well, you can’t exactly blame me for not talking to you. I clearly remember. Whenever I sat with your group, you would go and sit on the last bench with your best friend Alok.”

“Do you still remember Alok?”

“Of Course. You guys were inseparable in college. Do you still meet often?”

“Yeah, we still do. We have been inseparable since birth. We have crossed the friendship stage. We’re more like brothers now.”

“May God bless this friendship of yours till eternity.”

“Thank You, Ashima. So, did you ever think why I never sat with my friends when you were around?” I tried to think for a minute and replied back wittily.

“I actually don’t know. Maybe I am too ugly that you actually had to run away from me.”

Aarav let out a small laugh and stared at me.

“You aren’t ugly. You are so beautiful that I was scared of losing myself into those big eyes of yours and never returning back.”

I couldn’t help but stare back into his eyes. His eyes told me that he wasn’t lying. I don’t know why, but my heart started beating rapidly at the minute he uttered those words. I felt like I was in seventh heaven.

We had promised to meet each other only once. But we broke our own promises. We ended up meeting each other again and again. We would make a plan almost every weekend. Whether it was a movie, shopping or a lunch date, it didn’t matter. I just loved to spend my time with him. We shared a healthy relationship with no secrets whatsoever. I believed that this was the best time of my life and my life was getting back on track. Even though I worked for a media firm, Aarav Saxena made my boring life challenging and exciting.

My parents still had no idea that I was seeing Aarav. But they didn’t stop suspecting either. One day, while having dinner, my dad suddenly popped up his question on me. “Ashi, Beta. Can I ask you something? I expect an honest answer from you. We don’t keep secrets from each other. Remember.” I simply nodded my head.

“Are you seeing someone? If you are, I’d like to meet the lucky guy.”

“No, dad. It is too early to say something right now. We are just trying to get to know each other.” I kept my head bowed down while answering my father.

“Well, I hope you’ll let me know when you do figure everything out. Right.”

“Yes, dad.”

After the little enquiry session from my parents, I did not meet Aarav for almost two weeks though we communicated everyday over the phone. Aarav had decided to have a reunion of all college friends at Alok’s house. Alok was now a successful chartered accountant who lived separately with his wife. Aarav told me that he had married a year ago. Initially, I was a little hesitant to meet him. You may call it my sixth sense, but I could feel that Alok didn’t like my proximity with his friend. Even then, I agreed to join the reunion at his place. For his sake.

The plan was to meet on a Sunday afternoon at around 1 pm. Aarav had texted me Alok’s address well in advance. I was not even halfway ready when I heard the doorbell ring. I went to open the door while brushing my hair but my dad had already opened it. I almost dropped my brush when I saw Aarav standing at my door with two bottles of champagne in both his hands.

“Good Afternoon, uncle. I’m sorry if I disturbed your Sunday. This is for you.” He handed a bottle of champagne to my father and looked at me. “What’s this, Ashi? You still aren’t ready. We’ll be late for the reunion party.” My parents were staring at me continuously and I felt like killing Aarav that very instant.

“Well, I didn’t know Ashima is attending the party with you. I hope you guys have a good time.” My dad turned towards me and smiled at me wickedly. “Beta, please get ready soon. It’s not right to make Aarav wait. Isn’t it?”

I left the hall immediately without saying a word. I was nervous to even do my makeup properly. I was sure that my parents would be ready with their long list of questions after returning home. While I was confused and scared, I saw Aarav chatting with my parents as if all three of them were best friends. It gave me a sense of confidence that I was on the right track. But I was annoyed at him for showing up at my door without any intimation.

To be continued...

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