Love stories are generally of two kinds.Either the guy gets the gal or he does not.This one belongs to the third.
Rohit and Riya were walking barefoot in the sand.Amidst a soothing night breeze and the sound of waves crashing on the shore,Rohit knew there couldn't be a better time and place to do what he had in mind.He suddenly stopped walking to Riya's surprise.It was quite dark and the moon shone from behind the clouds quiet faintly.Rohit could barely make out Riya's expressions as he heard her chuckle,"Stopping in a lonely dark beach where no one is watching?I hope you don't want to rape me."
"What if I do?" Rohit joked back."The idea does seem inviting.Judging by the way you made yourself look tonight."
Rohit was earnest about the latter half of his statement.He could keep smelling the sweet scent of her jasmine perfume all night.The stirring which he felt each time when her bare arm grazed against his was indescribable.The shine the moonlight made when it bounced off your smooth shoulders was something he could never get enough of.
"A deluded dude," Riya began merrily,"who thinks throwing some rehearsed lines at a chic is gonna impress her......a forgetful doofus..... who has forgotten I have a Black Belt in karate.....all potential ingredients of a guy who is gonna get beaten up very badly today at my hands,I should say!!!"
"Well that might actually happen today!" Rohit grinned."But not for the reasons you mentioned."
"He he.Why?" Riya's eyes shone mirthfully."You got something more sinister planned in that big skull of yours?"
Rohit brought out his cell and pressed the 'Unlock' key.His cell had a strong back-light which shone quite brightly.Riya's face gleamed eerily in its whitish glow.Rohit felt his heart skip a beat.Maybe two.He couldn't be sure.
"Here,"he handed his still lit up cell-phone to her."Take a look around."
Riya took his phone with an amused quizzical expression on her face and shone its light around.She yelped in amazement at what she saw.
There all around them was a huge heart shape drawn in the sand.On one arc of the heart,the name Rohit was scrawled.On the other,there was Riya.
"My gawd!!!" Riya shrieked in delight."This thing is as big as your living room!"
"Oh well,I've a big heart!" Rohit smirked."And you are standing in it right now!"
"Hmmm," Riya put her hands on her hip with a mischievous look on her face."What if I trample on it?You sure you have a spare heart in your car for the heart-broken ride home?"
"I don't want to sound corny,but...if I did I would have given that to you as well," saying this,Rohit brushed his hand through his hair in a way which Riya always found cute and endearing.
"What??"Riya guffawed."So that I can break that too?"
"Would you do that?" Rohit locked his eyes with Riya's in an earnest gaze.
"Umm..."Riya shifted uncomfortably,dragging her foot in the sand a bit."You mean you are serious about all this?"
Serious?Serious would be an understatement.For the last two months,ever since they had met,Riya was all he had thought of.He didn't recollect anyone he had been more comfortable with.She was the kind of gal with whom he could discuss anything about.Being prude was simply not in her behavior's lexicon.While talking with her,Rohit often forgot that he was talking to a girl.Her inhibitions regarding talking on certain topics were surprisingly low for a chic.There had been multiple instances where they had even rated together gals on the scale of attractiveness.Typical guy stuff.But Riya was surprisingly easy to talk to regarding all these things.She could easily make guys feel at ease.You didn't have to worry about ruining your impression using loose guy-talk when she was around.
Rohit had come to this beach alone earlier in the evening and had drawn the heart in the sand using a bucket as a shovel.He had then finger-written their names in the sand.Never too proud of his own handwriting,he had washed and rewashed the writing away a dozen odd times before he was finally satisfied.
"Ohh.." Rohit suddenly became tongue-tied."I guess you always saw me as Just Friends material,huh?" was all he could mumble.
"Rohit,I'm sorry,"Riya looked guilty."I'm sorry if I've led you on.I know we gelled very well in the last couple of months.....I really like your company..But..."
"Hey,it's cool," he tried to put up bravely."You were just being friendly.I guess I misunderstood....I should be the one saying sorry..I..."
"I said,don't.You've nothing to be sorry for.I kinda knew...."
"Yeah..this has happened before.I get close to some guy.And he starts thinking I'm into him."
"Happens to a lot of women,I guess,"Rohit looked uncomfortably down at his feet."I'm sorry you had to face this again."
"It happens a lot with women,yes.And believe me...It happens A LOT with me," Riya looked steadily at his face now."I guess I must be doing something wrong."
"Look I'm saying it again.I'm sorry...let's forget this ever happened,ok?" Rohit looked up and said clumsily.
"Will you forget this ever happened?" Riya's gaze into his eyes bore deeper."That easy,is it?"
"What's the option?" Rohit now matched her gaze."You don't .....you don't feel anything for me..No point thinking over it,is there?"
"Who said I don't feel anything for you?" The timbre of her voice suddenly shifted.
"Yep.You're not like other guys.It's very easy to talk to you."
"That's got nothing to do with me.Guys feel it is easy to talk to YOU!"
"Do they?" Riya smirked mischievously.
"Yeah.Cross my heart." Rohit smiled.
"Even then,you are much nicer to talk to than most other folks," Riya's voice grew warmer."You don't come with a baggage of preconceived notions of what is right and what is wrong.You're very accepting of a lot of things.I like that.A lot."
Rohit didn't reply.He just brushed his hand through his hair in that cute way which made Riya want to hug him.
"Rohit?" She said suddenly.
"How serious are you about me?I mean if I say yes and things don't work out that well between us,will you be ok?"
"Umm..I think I can take a heart-break," his smile poured goofiness."Guess things ain't that serious." Even as the words left his mouth,something occurred to Rohit and he immediately added,"Wait..was that a trick question?Was the correct answer supposed to be something else?"
Riya's tight lipped smile grew wide."Gotcha!!"
"Gotcha,what?" Rohit burst out confused."Yes?No?What is it?"
"He he," Riya chuckled tantalizingly.
"Are you up for a probation?" Riya's eyes gleamed as she cocked her head to one side teasingly.
"Let's stay together and see how things work out between us,ok?" Riya's tone became serious now."I am not saying yes right now."
"And you're not saying No either," Rohit's hopes sore.
"No,I'm not," she smiled again.
"And when does this probationary period end?"Rohit grinned.
"It's not even started and you're already aching for the end?" Riya tittered and then cooed,"No no no!!!You can't fast forward to the ending so fast."
"Ok,I'll take what I can get,"saying this,Rohit took her hands into his.
Riya looked at the happy glow in her friend's face and couldn't help feeling sorry for him.He was a gem of a person.Not perfect.Very much flawed.But he seemed to understand her like very few others did.Despite everything,the truth was-she didn't love him.And she never could.No matter how much Rohit tried.Or even,she tried.One day,she would have to tell Rohit that.And that would hurt him.She knew.She didn't need to tell him the whole truth.She decided she would try everything in her power to ease things for him.
But,if everything had gone according to Riya's plans this would have just been another ordinary tale.Of a guy spurned by a gal he cared for.The extraordinary part arrived when he did find out the whole truth.And she didn't even need to tell him.Three months later.
It was when Riya's best friend from school,Annesha visited their town.They went to a pub and catching up on good ol' times somehow led to both Riya and Annesha having too much to drink.Rohit had felt highly uncomfortable during their entire outing.Riya and her bosom buddy almost seemed to have forgotten that he existed.They were so busy catching up with each other,that Rohit felt that he was only chauffeuring them around. The pub which they went to had sheltered private booths.As he returned to their booth after paying the bill, the most unexpected sight greeted his eyes.Riya and her friend were in a passionate lip-lock!
Riya was a homosexual.And realizing it...was just about to make Rohit's life a lot lesordinary.
To be continued...
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