We pick up this week’s The BlogAdda Weekly from where we last left Ameeta and Karan. They were trying to search for Saurabh, who has mysteriously disappeared a week ago. As if all that drama wasn’t enough, Karan and Ameeta find themselves in an unexpected predicament. Don’t worry, we won’t give away spoilers, but if you haven’t read the story yet, catch up with Part 1 and Part 2, before reading on.
It’s late when Karan drops me home. The ride was silent and awkward, punctuated by monosyllabic queries and replies from either side. What do you say in such a situation, after such a shift in perspective. As I walk up the stairs, I can’t help but keep playing the scene over and over again in my head. I almost kissed Karan!
What was I thinking? I’ve never thought of Karan in this way. He’s a gem of a person, and I get along well with him, but it was always Saurabh who had my eye and my heart. I naturally chose Saurabh when he all but threw Karan out of our lives because our friendship made him insecure. Should I have stood up for Karan? Did I actually have feelings for him? Did Saurabh sense this when he said I have more in common with Karan than him? No no no! I don’t even want to think about this, especially when Saurabh is missing and potentially in danger!
Saurabh, I sighed alone in the darkness of my room. My knight in shining armour who started wounding me with the very weapons he was supposed to protect me with. The last couple of years had been eye opening, with Saurabh turning his frustrations on me at the first sight of hardship. Are we still happy together? Was I? Ugh…Why is life so complicated?
I lay on the bed exhausted, but my brain refuses to stop thoughts from whirring about long enough for me to fall asleep. I rewind the last 5 years of my life, but this time, the protagonist is different. My mind rushes to the last day of college, the sorrow, the happiness and first taste of freedom, everything I experienced with Saurabh and Karan by my side.
We walked out of college after saying our goodbyes, eyes brimming over with tears, when I spotted my favourite Khurana ma’am across the street. I had forgotten to say goodbye to her!
Without thinking, I rushed to cross the road to meet her. My eyes and mind were both clouded by tears, making me oblivious to the rush of traffic around me. As I took a few hasty steps, two things happened simultaneously, a loud horn blared really close to me, and I felt a strong hand grip my arm and yank me back.
Whump! I crashed back into my saviour, and the stupidity of my rash act hit me. Saurabh has saved me again, I thought to myself, as I buried my head into his chest, shuddering at the thought of what might have happened. A feeling of wellbeing and safety washed over me like never before. After a long moment, I looked up and was startled to see Karan looking down at me, his eyes full of care and concern. “Are you alright?” I nodded my head weakly. “What dushmani do you have against that poor tempo driver, why do you want him to run you over and rot in jail?”, he asked. I laugh quietly, replying “Sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I just wanted to give our classmates something to remember the last day of college forever.” He chuckled at that.
I disentangled myself from Karan’s strong grasp, and looked for Saurabh. He was signing the T-shirt of one of his other friends, and had missed the whole thing. Thank God, or else I would’ve gotten a lecture on my carelessness.
I hadn’t given that incident that much thought, not at the moment when it occurred nor afterwards. But looking at that scene in hindsight, I realize how pale Karan had gotten with fear when I looked at his face after he pulled me back. How his heart had thudded with terror! Why had I missed all these signs all these years? Did I miss Karan’s presence more than I let myself believe?
All these thoughts circle around in my head, like a song stuck on repeat. After tossing and turning for more than 2 hours, I get up to look for a book to read. It must have been after 3, when all of a sudden my phone pings with a new message. Surprised, and not sure if I want it to be Saurabh, I check the message.
It’s Karan. “Hey. Couldn’t sleep. Reading Murakami and thought of you. You up?” I’m not sure if I should respond or not. I don’t think I’m ready to talk to him yet.
I ignore the message and try to go to sleep again. But I’m even more antsy than I was before. After another half an hour, I finally conclude that it’s futile; there is no way that I’m sleeping tonight. I get up and splash my face with some cold water, if nothing else I need to cool down my brain, it must be overheating after all those thought processes. I fiddle with my phone, unsure of what to say to Karan, if anything at all.
I finally text back a simple “Hey”, half hoping that he’s fallen asleep and won’t reply until morning. Almost immediately, he replies, “Hey! Did I disturb you?”
“No, I couldn’t sleep either.”
“How are you holding up, Ameeta?”
I’m almost annoyed by this question by now. Why does he care so much? I don’t want his concern, I don’t want to feel the way I feel when I see him care so much for me. “I’m FINE Karan! What do you always keep asking me that?”
“Because I know this must be a difficult time for you. I’m just making sure you know you’re not alone.”
The problem is that I do know, and that is what the issue is right now. He cares too much, he is too nice. He deserves better than me, better than Saurabh. He is a better person than both of us. I feel bad for almost snapping at him.
“Yes Karan, I know. I know. But why? You don’t owe me anything. Why are you so nice to me. Why do you care about me at all?”
No response for a few moments. Then, “Meet me for coffee.”
“Meet me for coffee! I need to talk you. Face to Face.”
“I don’t know if that is a good idea, Karan.”
“I’ve never asked you for anything Ameeta. I’m asking now. Meet me for coffee. Please.”
How could I say no to that? It was true, in all the years I’ve known Karan, he’s always given. I couldn’t recall a single instance where he had asked anything of me or Saurabh. Perhaps, it was for the best anyway. What happened isn’t such a big deal and the earlier it gets cleared up, the faster we can go back to how things were.
Sighing, I message back. “What time?”
Because my empty house is starting to get on my nerves, I leave early. The cafe is relatively empty, and I sit down with my coffee and my trusty book. I order a coffee, and run my fingers over the book, with no intention of reading it. Murakami. Another thing Karan and me have in common.
It seems like it was only yesterday that I was sitting here waiting for Saurabh on that fateful day. But in reality it was nearly 10 days ago since I heard from Saurabh. I couldn’t think of anywhere else to look for Saurabh, and felt like I had failed him and myself.
Lost in my own thoughts, I almost don’t notice Karan walk in, after all it’s only 9:45 am, and I didn’t expect him until 10. He starts looking around for an empty table. I wave to him. Surprised, he walks to my table.
“You’re early,” he comments, sitting down.
“So are you.”
Not sure of what to say, we sit in silence for a few minutes. Each one avoiding looking at the other. I get busy adjusting my book and coffee mug on the small table, and immediately put the book down as I see Karan staring at it. He takes out his phone, unlocks it, stares at the screen, locks it again, and puts it on the table. He looks up at me through his eyelashes, and finds me looking at him. Caught off guard, he says “I’m going to go order a coffee.” It’s a stalling technique, we both know it, and I can’t blame him for it. In fact, I’m sort of glad, it gives me a few more moments to gather my thoughts, which had scattered all over the place, as soon as he had walked into the room.
Karan’s phone buzzes all of a sudden with 2-3 sharp pings. I pick it up to catch Karan’s attention, but he’s busy at the counter. I glance at the screen.
4 messages from Saurabh.
The phone almost slips from my trembling fingers. Saurabh! With trepidation, I click on the messages.
“Hey. Thailand was a blast! Thanks for everything!”
“Also, my flight is landing tomorrow morning. Can you pick me up from the airport?”
“How are you holding the fort back home?”
“Does Ameeta know anything?”
Stunned, I reread the messages. There must be a mistake. I must be reading this wrong. Saurabh was in Thailand all this time? Having a blast? While I’m over here, worrying myself to death?! And Karan knew? It sinks in, Karan knew! He knew and he let me worry. He saw the state I was in, and he continued to let me work myself up. I can’t believe I thought so much about him in these few days! And to think I almost kissed him yesterday! Did he plan that? Did he try to take advantage of the fact that Saurabh wasn’t here? All my nervousness and angst goes out the window. I’m just pure rage right now.
In the meanwhile, Karan comes back and sits down again. He fails to notice his phone in my hand. He clears his throat and starts speaking, “Ameeta, I…”
I slam the phone on the table, startling him. He looks at the phone and then back at me, waiting nervously for my next reaction.
“Saurabh messaged,” I say with pure spite dripping from my voice. I don’t care about his feelings right, I only care about mine. “Apparently, he had a blast in Bangkok. He wants you to pick him up at the airport tomorrow.”
Karan’s face melts into a mask of pain for a moment, and then he gathers himself. “Ameeta, I’m sorr…”
I cut him off. “He wants to ensure that I don’t know anything. Make sure you tell your best friend, that you didn’t tell me anything. You were a good friend, even when I was agonizing myself over Saurabh’s whereabouts. Tell him you held the fort perfectly, even if it meant my life crumbling around me. But then, you were always the perfect friend, right?”
Karan winces. He doesn’t even make an attempt to explain, he just stares at his phone blankly. I get up from the table, almost violently, afraid that the tears I’m holding back will burst forth, and I won’t let him see me cry. I won’t let them know how much they hurt me.
“Ameeta…” Karan says weakly.
I don’t stop. I walk away from the table, from Karan, without looking back, afraid that if I do look back I will no longer be able to keep the tears from flowing down my face. I walk out of the cafe into the outside world, no longer sure what’s real and what’s not.
So, here’s the third part of Ameeta’s story. Did you like it? What do you think Ameeta should do? Are you exited for the finale, as much as we are? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.