Time changed or she did?-Part II
“Apri, u remember how Shobhit played those tricks on Subhash Sir??” mumbled Iksha instantly to change the topic. She was a bit worried he would name someone else, more worried that he would name her.
Iksha had very few friends and fewer among boys during school days. However, she was very contrasting in nature to the impression she portrayed. Although she kept on trying not to befriend and trust people, she ended up making very good friends and gave herself to being the best of friends to each one of her friends. She was always there for them and those who really knew her, never really complained about her behavior. By the third year, she had gained around 5 good friends in college, while the others still lived in the impression she created for herself. Aparikshit was one among the few she talked to in school. However, he was still outside the cocoon she was in. She had not let him inside her thoughts ever. He was a close friend, more so because of his efforts and constant visits of the Vermas to the Aggarwals. She could sense his strange behavior in the farewell and very tactically handled the situation. She made him understand that there was no place for a boy in her life, without saying a word. Aparikshit understood, respected her decision and never again tried to come back. But suddenly he was in a situation he knew only Iksha could help him with. What better occasion than her birthday could it be to start the conversation? He had never really stopped liking her, only that he was not sure if he loved her. He knew why she was deviating from the topic and he paid heed to it.
“Ya ya that was a hell wonderful trick! He was one jerk!! Ha ha!” exclaimed Aparikshit, remembering the instance of firing crackers in the wash room just to pay fine later and be the stud of the class!
“No that was a stupid trick. Subhash Sir deserved way more than what you people gave him credit for!” said an angry Iksha.
“Ikki I know how you feel but c’mon those were days to be enjoyed. You were boring and will always be”, said Aparikshit in a conclusive tone.
Iksha was now furious over the ‘boyish’ manner of his talk. She uttered “Boys will be boys” and hung up.
She was least expecting her phone to ring the next moment as she had known they both were egoists when it came to principles. They fought everyday in school and Mrs. Verma or Mrs. Aggrawal had to pitch in to calm them both.
“How come Mr. Aparikshit Verma calls me himself after a fight? Where did his ego go? What happened? Are you in your senses or you have fever Apri?” uttered Iksha in a winning tone.
“I have called to continue the fight Madam, don’t you dare disconnect my calls. Just face the fact, Miss Boring Aggrawal. Ha ha ha!” said Aparikshit in a mocking, yet friendly tone.
Iksha lost all anger at his stupidity and they both laughed it off.
“Ikki, you looked different and beautiful at your birthday party”, said Aparikshit softening his voice.
“Well you didn’t see me, so I don’t trust you”, said Iksha in a see-you-stupid-don’t-even-know-how-to-flatter tone. She avoided compliments for the mere reason that she didn’t actually know handling them as they were so infrequent in coming, partly because she tried hard not to look good and partly because the ones who could see the perfect beauty inside her were too afraid of her short temperedness.
“Well social networking is not as sinful as you think it is! I was following some of your friends there and got to see some photos. Stupid of you to stay aloof from these sites! You might finally have found a guy for yourself”, mocked Aparikshit again.
“When did guys become so lucky to have me Apri?” said Iksha in an I’m-too-unreachable-for-guys tone.
“Well ya, not everyone is unlucky! Ha ha!” said a laughter choked Aparikshit. “Ohk ok, I apologize, I am extremely sorry Ikki! Heyy I need you to help me with something. You have been the agony aunt for our circle and all that has been happening between me and Manvi can be sorted out by no one other than you”, Aparikshit blurted out in a single breath.
“Hmmm, ooooo!! Who is this Manvi? Ohho Mr. Aparikshit Verma is in louuuuuvvv?” teased Iksha in a relieved tone, stretching out every word in the sentence.
“Well I suppose I finally am. But see, the situation is bad, almost end of the relation.” said Aparikshit sadly.
“Why what’s wrong yaar? What can I do to help?” asked Iksha, wondering if she actually could be of any help in things like love advices.
“Simple story. We did the senior secondary schooling together. She was pretty and totally my type. The traditional type, you know. We started with chatting and texting each other. It went off from one stage to another. We were committed before we could register it. After 12th, we chose different colleges but the relation was all well until last month since her elder sister picked up my call. She has stopped taking my calls and doesn’t respond to even 100s of calls. I wonder if she ever loved me”, Aparikshit was almost sobbing.
“Heyy Apri! Listen to me, yaar I have never seen you so lost and helpless. You remember how I was all lost that day when you showed me light at the end of the tunnel?”
“You were in a tunnel?” Apri returned to his normal self, but still unable to hide his sadness.
“Apri! You jerk! You idiot!! Are you never going to be better? Be nice to me and you get a solution or you are dead meat!” screamed Iksha through the phone.
It was time enough for Aparikshit to reflect on the transformation he had helped Iksha with 5 years back.
…to be continued