Sorry for being absent for such long stretches…my exams are on!
This is a piece of fiction. No pun intended.
In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Rishaan’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa.
When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny…his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher.
Trying to shrug off the feeling, he turned to the girls, who were talking nineteen to the dozen, with a forced smile, “The cab’s waiting girls!”
“Kia…you may share the backseat with Rishaan…” Diya said in a soft tone.
“Don’t be stupid! The trip is an hour long…nearly 30 kilometers before we reach Colva. You better go to the back seat,” Rishaan said, eyeing her adoringly.
Diya nodded, climbing up beside Kiara. Rolling down the window, she let the cool air hit her face as the taxi sped on. The presence of Kiara, her best friend, who had so kindly agreed to accompany her to Goa for the fashion fest she had to attend, bugged her somehow. She was guilty of the fact that sooner or later Kiara would realize what a ditcher Rishaan was. She was surprised Kiara hadn’t yet noticed that Rishaan was not THE guy! She counted the days before she could leave this place.
She had tried her best not to include Rishaan, but since Kiara was the only companion she had – and no way Kiara would say no to Rishaan – Diya had no choice left but to go with duo. The duo that was soon to split – evidently.
Beside her, Kiara was lost in her own thoughts – too preoccupied to notice the taxi coming to a halt in the drive way of a beautiful resort. The signboard read Baywatch Beach Resort.
“Er-Kiara?” Rishaan turned to them rather awkwardly, “I’ve got some arrangements to see to …so I was wondering if you girls could pass the time somewhere…on the beach maybe? It’d just take me a couple of hours! I mean, yeah…I know you must be tired after the journey…”
“Ahan, no problem at all darling! See you at 4 then!” Kiara replied, her eyes shining brighter than the summer sun.
After arranging with the manager to get the two rooms they had booked previously decorated as per his directions, he took seat in one of the plush chairs placed in the lobby.
He ran a troubled hand through his already messy black bush of hair. He was doing it finally! He was going to propose Diya today…finally! Just the thought of her petite figure in his arms made adrenaline rush through his blood. The wait was going to get over!
But before that, he had a task much more difficult and heart wrenching in hand. He had to break up with Kiara. No matter how much he had waited for this day, now that he was facing it he realized how difficult it was going to be. In the end, Kiara and Rishaan were best friends and he couldn’t hurt her. But involuntarily, he will have to!
He couldn’t decide weather to rejoice for getting the love of his life, or to grieve on losing one of the best girlfriends aka friends he had.
And then there was this gut feeling that something was going to turn out wrong – terribly wrong.
A couple of hours later, the room with the lighter décor found Rishaan and Kiara sitting opposite each other, on an inverted chair and the bed respectively. Both had an uncomfortable look on their face. Kiara’s gloom was what mystified him. Did she get a hint of what was to come?
“Kiara, you know you’re more like a best friend to me. In every…” he started but was cut short by her.
“Rishaan. I need to talk to you.”
“To me?” Rishaan stuttered.
“Yes, who else?” her tone was not soft. For the first time, her bubbly chirpiness seemed to leave her. He could see she was sweating profusely and the heat had nothing to do with it.
“Rishaan,” she began, “You know we’ve shared some of the best times ever together. I know how much you love me honey, and trust me, each and every moment I’ve spent with you has been a memory cherished! But…”
“But?” he prompted.
“I think…I think I’ve fallen for somebody else…”
That came as a sharp blow to his unsuspecting mind.
“Rishaan, that person…I can’t describe you what it is! There’s a wide difference between liking and loving, and now this difference is crystal clear to me,” she continued, “I think I’ve got my soul mate. A single touch of that person makes my heart yelp in joy and…and a single word of appreciation by that person is like all honorary words I can imagine! Whenever I look at my love…I fight this terrible dilemma to go and get wrapped in a tight hug or stay put! It’s terribly beautiful Rishaan! It’s like I can literally hear my heart thudding in my chest when I am with that person…like I can feel the bells in my head ring loudly and then there’s this blinding lighting where the whole world vanishes and it’s just me and my love…” she was on her feet now, her words jumbling up and her cheeks pink.
“Kiara!” he said softly, “It’s ok! I understand.” He did a short war dance of victory in his mind and said, “You never felt this way with me?”
She shook her head.
“You want to go to that person…I mean you want to leave me?”
She nodded, “Rishaan you’ll always be my best friend trust me!”
He nodded back, “It’s ok. You may go Kiara. Your happiness is my first preference. But who’s he…?”
Her long lashes touched her bright red cheeks as she fixed her gaze on his shoes. An involuntary smile lifted her lips as she said, “Diya. She’s the one!”
His eyes grew bigger than saucers as he jumped up to his feet, “Can- can you repeat your words!”
“Diya,” she said, looking up to meet his gaze, “Rishaan, please don’t tell her anything. I don’t want to spoil our friendship!”
“Kiara Dhawan! Are you out of your mind? Did you…did you just say you love a GIRL!” he couldn’t digest it. No – never in a millions years would he be able to face it. He had kissed a lesbian! He had shared his drinks, his food and clothes with a lesbian. Was this a nightmare?
With the shock of his life yet to seep in completely, he took slow steps towards the lobby. He’d left Kiara alone in the room. And she had made no attempts to stop him. This was not what he had anticipated – not in the least! Kiara was not straight. His girlfriend wasn’t really his GIRL friend.
His phone rang breaking through the thousand questions swirling in his mind.
Mechanically, he picked it up.
“Rishaan?” a voice spoke form the other end, the sound was like chocolate to his ears, “Where are you?”
He’d completely forgotten about Diya. He had left her waiting in the other room.
With his mind going crazy with Kiara’s confession, he walked to the other room – the richly decorated one.
Taking one unstable step inside, he saw that Diya was seated on the bed with red silk covers. Her hands lay calmly on her lap and her perfectly straight hair was pulled back into a loose bun. Her serene form gave him the break he needed.
“Diya?” he whispered, walking up to her and resting his fickle minded self beside her.
“Where had you vanished?”
“I…well…I have been betrayed traumatically!” he said.
“How?” Diya asked, cautiously.
He reached out to hold her hand, which she allowed him to do. He moved closer and whispered in a husky voice, “You are looking gorgeous in this outfit.”
Her spine straightened as he inched closer.
“Do you know what love’s like?” he whispered. Now his thighs touched hers, his hand went around her waist to pull her closer. She gave the first signs of resistance by pulling herself away from him.
“Rishaan!” she exclaimed as he held her firmly by the wrist.
The dim lightings hid the tears in his eyes. They were tears of …what? Rishaan never knew. Maybe rejection from Kiara. Or was it just because of the fact that his girlfriend was a lesbian? “Ex-girlfriend,” he corrected himself.
“Sorry?” Diya said.
“Diya, a single touch of yours make my heart yelp in joy and a single word of appreciation by you is like all honorary words I can imagine!” he said, repeating Kiara’s words, “Whenever I look at you…I fight this terrible dilemma to go and get wrapped in a tight hug or stay put! It’s terribly beautiful Diya…love is terribly beautiful!”
“Rishaan,” she cried, jumping up to her feet. “Are you nuts?”
“In your love!”
“Stop it! I don’t love you Rishaan and I never will!”
“But why? Answer me Diya! I’ve seen it! You’re more comfortable with me than your childhood friend Kiara! You prefer sitting beside me than with Kiara. Isn’t that enough proof that you love me? Listen to your heart Diya!”
“I am! I am listening to my heart! And it says it’s already somebody else’s!”
“Whose?” he asked, on his feet now.
With the sudden intensity of an overinflated balloon, she burst, “Kiara’s! I love her. HER not you, you self centered brat! And you want to know why I avoid her? Because every time she’s near me I feel like tangling my arms around hers. She’s like a deprived piece of heaven to me. I just can’t tell her about my true feelings …because she’s …ah Rishaan just leave me alone! You’ve heard enough already. And for heaven’s sake…don’t open your busted mouth in front of her.”
He let go of her hand and took a step back, as if she was a contagious disease.
He slumped down on the red sheets. His face was emotionless at this point. His eyes were a window to his dilapidated soul. Was this real? Was she really saying this?
He couldn’t believe for a moment that this wasn’t a fairy tale. Was this some kind of a gross joke planned by Diya and Kiara as a revenge of what they had suspected he had been doing!?
He sat helpless as she left the room. He was strangled in Goa with a couple of girls who weren’t really girls. He had come here, looking for passion, love and a promising future. But he was going to leave with a broken heart, a shocked mind and a non- trusting soul.