“Just agree Gauri!” Anika said frustrated, “You love him! There’s no other explanation!”
Anika was tired of her ranting on about things that made no sense to her brain. Gauri was being too philosophical that she seemed to ignore the obvious. That she liked him!
“I don’t…” Gauri started but stopped immediately as she looked at Anika who was glaring at her.
“You do Gauri. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it.” Anika said in a matter of fact tone, trying to calm herself as people were now looking at them.
What a place to discuss such things. I can’t even express myself in this cafe! Anika thought.
“I don’t and we’re poles apart.” Gauri defended herself.
“It may not work in the long run.”
“I’m still in love with Shivaay and so is he. We’re poles apart and we’ve been in love for five years and married since one year.” Anika shrugged.
“That’s different.” Gauri replied uncomfortably
“How so?” Anika asked frowning.
“Well…you were sure about him..” Gauri hesitated as she tried to come up with better explanations.
“Well unlike you, I didn’t overlook my feelings.”
Gauri frowned at her, “I’m not overlooking, I know I don’t feel like that. My feelings are not constant!” She got up from her seat and then turning to Anika, she continued, “I’ll be back. I need to go to the washroom.”
Anika just nodded and looked at her friend’s retreating figure.
Her friend. Gauri. Her best friend. One of the people she cared the most about. She had always been someone who firmly believed that relationships were sacred and not something to be playing around with. Even when most of their friends got into relationships because they liked eachother, she would always say that she would get into a relationship only when she was sure that it was love. That is, as long as she was not sure that she could love the other person for her whole life, she wouldn’t be in one.
Sometimes, she was too innocent for this cruel world. Anika sighed.
This thing about Gauri, about being sure of love was what was chasing her away from the one man who loved her whole heartedly.
Anika was definitely shocked and a little angry at Omkara when he had first confessed his feelings to her. Angry because of the emotional turmoil he had put Gauri in. She knew it wasn’t his fault but Gauri thought it was her fault for giving away signs when she didn’t mean to.
Anyway, now she was sure Omkara was the man for Gauri as his wait for all these years clearly stated his true love for her. She had checked up his friends and collegues, did a little research on him, and well to her utmost relief she was right, he had never in his life been in any relationship. Not that it mattered, but it made her feel good to know that he meant what he said – that he could never feel for anyone except Gauri.
He was loyal to Gauri despite the fact that she rejected him.
And Gauri well…it was obvious he mattered to her, the way he affected her, they way he was always in her thoughts, the way she would unknowingly bring him up in conversations. Omkara and Gauri weren’t in contact for 11 years and yet, she hadn’t forgotten him or thought less about him.
Why would she not accept her love for him then?
Anika stood up from her seat and walked up towards the restroom and saw a tall muscular figure with long hair talking on the phone. Curious to see a man with long hair, she kept looking at him until he turned around a little, still unaware of her gaze on him. Looking at his face, Anika stood frozen on her spot.
There he was! What on earth is he doing here?
She looked around but didn’t find her anywhere.
She must still be in the restroom then. Anika realised.
But before Anika could phone her or message her about the presence of her long haired admirer/ possible future husband, Gauri had come out.
Closing the door behind her and adjusting her bag, she walked ahead without noticing the man infront of her. Omkara, who was still unaware of her presence, ended his call and kept the phone in his pocket.
Look ahead you idiot! You’ll hit him now!!! Oh god, Anika do something! Do something! Anika’s brain screamed.
But she was too shocked to react. In the next moment Gauri dashed past Omkara and both almost lost their balance by the sudden movement. But he caught her by the wrist as if by some reflex action.
“Phail gaiya raita!” Anika whispered to herself.
“I’m so sorry” both of them said and stood shocked seeing eachother there.
“Now what…?” Anika wondered to herself. She could see Gauri’ breath getting hitched.
Both Omkara and Gauri exclaimed at the same time while Anika looked on curiously. Gauri looked at her wrist which Omkara held and looking at her gaze, he let go of his hold. But before he realised it, she lost her balance again and he held her by the waist to save her from falling.
Whether they realised their intimacy or not, Anika had. And she could see how it affected Gauri, never had a guy affected her like he did, even when he wasn’t present. Just his thoughts were enough to affect her.
Does he realise his effect on her? Anika wondered.
Gauri could feel electric sparks on the places he touched her, like the day before when he had caught her by the waist too. Her heart slammed against her chest and she was now breathing rapidly. The whole feel was so new to her, she could feel butterflies in her stomach as she looked into his dreamy eyes.
She’s lost in him, and yet she claims she has no feelings for him. What a lie? Anika thought as she mentally shook her head.
Omkara quickly made her stand properly and asked, “Are you okay, Gauri?”
Gauri just nodded her head unable to speak for she feared her voice would crack if she spoke.
“Finally” A girl called out.
Frowning, Anika turned to the source of the voice and saw a girl with long curly hair and big grey eyes walking towards Omkara. “Finally, I found you!”
Who’s she? Anika frowned Om confusion.
All of a sudden, she hugged him and he hugged her back. Anika immediately looked at Gauri and saw her eyes widen in shock.
“Kaisi ho meri pyaari Bhavya? How was the journey?” Omkara asked the girl and Anika mentally noted her name.
Meri? Meri pyaari?! Who is she?? Anika wondered.
“I’m good! Am the journey was good.” She replied excited “How are you?”
“I’m good too.”
Anika could see Gauri frowning at the girl for being a little too touchy. She couldn’t help but chuckle a little at her friend’s expressions.
“By the way Om bhaiya, Rudra is calling you. He was asking if your call wasn’t over yet. He asked me to send you back since I was going to the restroom.” She finished and then noticed Gauri standing there. She looked at her for a few seconds and then turned to Omkara expectedly.
Meanwhile both Anika and Gauri stood confused as to why Bhavya referred to him as ‘bhaiya.’ As far as they knew, Priyanka was the only sister he had.
“Ya Bhavya, the call is done. Did you both decide where you both will be going for the honeymoon?” Omkara asked.
“Yeah somewhat.” Bhavya replied, turning her attention back to Om.
Then, looking at Gauri she actioned him to introduce her. Omkara turned to look at Gauri and saw she was looking confused.
“Gauri, this is Bhavya, Rudy’s wife. And Bhavya-” but before Om could complete the introduction, Bhavya interrupted him.
“So this is Gauri! I knew it! I knew it when I saw her! My doubt was so right! I’ve heard so much about you, finally I got to meet you! Nice to meet you!” She forwarded her hand and Gauri shook it awkwardly.
“You remember Rudra right?” Omkara asked turning to Gauri.
Gauri nodded her head again.
Rudra was Omkara’s first cousin when it came to relations but he always considered him as his own brother. And well, they did live together after all.
Before anyone else could speak now, Gauri’s phone rang and looking at the caller id she said, “Sorry but I have to leave now, Bye”
It was her mom and Gauri thought this was the perfect opportunity for flight, she had to escape from here.
Without waiting for a reply, she flees away not even noticing Anika.
Bhavya shrugged and walked towards the restroom while Omkara smiled looking at Gauri’s retreating figure.
Anika stood there fighting with herself whether or not to talk to Omkara. Then taking a deep breath, she decided to get her answer. She had talked to him in the past, so it wasn’t anything new. She walked towards him with full confidence.
“Omkara” Anika called out.
Omkara who was still looking towards the direction Gauri had just went through, looks at her frowning. Then immediately he realised, “Anika?” He asked surprised.
“Yeah, well I’m surprised you remember me.” Anika said with a small chuckle.
“How could I not?” Om replies with a grin.
“So how’s everything? How are you?” Anika asked.
After filling a little on eachother’s lives, Anika decided it was about time to get some answers.
“Well, Gauri told me you went to her home with a proposal.” Anika tried to sound as cool as possible.
“Uh yeah. Well not intentionally”
“I bet you were planning for it since years!” Anika joked.
“I’ve fantasized, if that counts” Omkara shrugged. “But honestly I never thought it would happen like this.”
“What if she says no?” Anika asked, keenly observing him.
“Well. It’s nothing new, I suppose.” Omkara tried to sound as chill as possible but the hurt in his voice was crystal clear.
“Why did you wait so long if you didn’t expect her to say yes?”
Omkara looked down and after a second said, “I did try moving on. I mean you know, whenever mom would come with proposals, I rejected all initially but then she got so adamant that I had to see a few girls, had to talk to some of them when the pressure became too much but they never striked me like she did.” Omkara stated “I could never look at any girl the way I look at her and neither can I picture anyone in my life other than her….I dont know…But it felt like a crime…to even look at another girl…. So I guess, I’m gonna die a bachelor after all.”
Oh man… Anika sighed.
“Why do you love her so much?” Anika asked, more to herself but he replied to it anyway.
“Love doesn’t happen because there’s a reason. It just happens.” Omkara said dreamily, “I don’t know why I love her so much, but what I know is, in these 11 years, my love for her hasn’t decreased one bit.”
Anika smiled a little hearing that.
As if realising something, Omkara quickly checks his watch and says, “I should go now, or Rudy will kill me.”
“He must be angry now, go go.” Anika smiled as she watched him make his way towards the other end of the cafe.
To be continued….
Hey guys!! How have you all been? This was just a light hearted chapter that I thought would show more of Anika-Gauri’s friendship than anything else. Did you all like it?
Thanks for reading!
Stay safe, he happy!