COMING OF AGE – IX

Finally, Aditi showed up as she walked up to where Tanya was sitting and pondering on what Rishi just told her before going out of the library.

Hi bestie, what’s up?” Aditi wished with a pleasant smile on her face.

I am fine babe, was unaware of the postponing of our class and landed here earlier.” Tanya replied explaining ahead about why she was early here.

I understand… I was actually thinking about you last night… Was really worried about the fix you are in…” Aditi showed her concern as she took her sit beside Tanya.

I… I saw…” Tanya wanted to share about what Rishi just told her few minutes ago but something stopped her to utter that piece of information… She remembered what Rishi told her and about that startling statement which her secret admirer had mentioned in his last letter that she read last night: “I can just tell you that your best friend can hurt you ten times more than your enemy.

What did you see?” asked Aditi curiously.

Nah… nothing I saw…” Tanya thought to be bit careful for some time and keep everything to herself.

Arrree… You wanted to tell me something… you saw something and why are you avoiding telling that?” Aditi got hyper as she insisted Tanya to blurt out whatever she wanted to.

I felt I saw Sameer in the corridor this morning when I came to college to attend the class… When I saw no one was there in the class I got scared and entered the library.” Tanya lied to Aditi for the first time as she wanted to observe everything and everyone around her basing on the last letter from her secret admirer.  Her eyes are fixed on Aditi’s to see her reactions.

Aditi was quiet for few seconds thinking something and then retorted, “Don’t think too much Tanya but simply avoid anyone that comes close to you… Anyone can be dangerous and can hurt you… Just keep updating me so that I will be your shadow and protecting my bestie at every step.

Tanya nodded to her and they walked out of the library and went towards the park in the middle of the college to hang out for sometime before the class starts. But something caught Tanya’s attention behind a bush and she pulled Aditi towards that asking her to keep her mouth shut…

They saw Rishi and Priya talking to each other intensely and Priya was in tears. “Why is Priya crying? Let’s see…” Aditi wanted to interfere between them but Tanya pulled her from behind clasping her fingers on Aditi’s mouth whispering, “Shhhhh…Shut up you dumb head… Just listen to them quietly first.

Tanya and Aditi heard Priya speaking, “Rishi… You know how much I love you… Please try to understand… annndd… for you I can do anything…”

I don’t deny that Priya… I understand your feelings… but try to understand me. I don’t love you as a lover… You are my best friend and you will remain one till I die but I can’t love you the way you want me to… I just can’t please understand.” Rishi requested Priya humbly and subtly as a loving and caring friend.

Priya wept and wept bitterly… Rishi took her both hands in his and clasped them and hugged her saying, “Priya, don’t be like this my lovely friend… Please understand me…

Priya pulled herself back from Rishi and wiped her tears and spoke feebly, “Okay… Okay Rishi… I do understand you… and respect you… And I promise I will support you everything that you do… I will never be against anything or anyone related to you… May be God wanted me to be your best friend forever, but not as a lover…” She forced a smile on her face….

Rishi felt sad as well as relieved listening to Priya and said, “Thanks Priya understanding… I definitely need your support in the matter of…

Hey, Rishi and Priya what’s going on?” Aditi suddenly released herself from Tanya interrupted before Rishi could speak something of utter importance… Tanya was frustrated and was annoyed on Aditi. She was feeling sad for Priya and was thinking she should be having little time alone to herself yet she had no choice but to show up as well from behind the bush after her bestie.

Rishi and Priya felt embarrassed at the intrusion of both Tanya and Aditi. Priya tried to hide her emotions by wiping her face with her hanky as Aditi went and wrapped her arms around her asking, “Arrre what happened to you Priya… did this naughty boy hurt you someway…?” Rishi was wise to interfere and replied, “Yes, Aditi… I hurt her but we have sorted that out between us…” He gave a pleasant smile at her while the bell rang for the class to begin fortunately and all of them walked towards their classroom.

Tanya was extremely surprised at Aditi’s rudeness yet she was quiet and was in deep thought. Even she was warned by the lecturer twice for not paying attention to his lecture.

After the first class itself Tanya went home without letting anyone know about it. She was extremely disturbed thinking about all the things that are happening around her. First the letters from an unknown person, then the interaction with Sameer, then Aditi’s reports about Rishi and Priya and finally Aditi’s strange behavior towards the two of their friends.

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

She knew Aditi for last 12 years since they were tiny kids. They went to school together, they went to dance class together, they giggled together, they made fun of others together, they went to college together and they never did anything alone. As far as her knowledge of Aditi is concerned, she is a very subtle girl and never used to hurt people… She is very sensible about every matter and who had always been a guide to Tanya herself. But today’s behaviour was unimaginable.  “Can she hurt me, her bestie?”she wondered. “I can just tell you that your best friend can hurt you ten times more than your enemy” she remembered this statement again. “What’s Rishi’s connection with all these? Why he tried to warn her as well?” “If Rishi doesn’t love Priya then does he love someone else?” “I and Rishi never got along well with each other because of competition then what made Rishi show that care for me today?” “Arrrgggghhhhh… I will go mad…” She screamed thinking all this clasping her head between her palms.

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