‘Love Respect Companionship’ is an unconventional love story that makes you see relationships in a different light. I had written this piece of fiction some time back and would like your feedback on it. This post is the first in a series of four posts.
“Out it!” someone shouted in a shrill voice.
Anya woke up with a jolt. For a moment she had no recollection of where she was or what was happening around her. She tried hard to open her eyes but the darkness in the room wasn’t making it easy. After some time as the fog of drowsiness slowly started lifting up, she glanced at the time on her cell phone lying nearby and realised that she had overslept. Her short afternoon nap had well entered into early evening.
Groggily, she got down from her bed and kept her naked feet on the floor. The coldness sent a chill inside her. She quickly lifted her feet up and pulled her flip-flops lying at some distance from the bed with her feet. Wearing them clumsily, she finally left the warm comfort of her quilt.
She could hear the television blaring some advertisement about a movie marathon to be aired in the coming week in the living room. Other than the illuminating brightness of the television dancing on the walls of the room, there was no other light. The centre table was strewn with newspapers and an empty cup of tea lay on them in a sleeping position, possibly in need of some dozing off itself.
Enveloped in the cocoon of a quilt pulled over his body in a vain attempt to salvage him from the cold wind coming in from the open door, there he was lying on the couch, deep in slumber. “I told him to close the door!” she thought irritably. He was covered till his neck, the light reflecting on his face making him look angelic and innocent. She looked at him for one long moment and couldn’t help running her fingers through his thick mop of hair. He shifted tetchily.
The earlier commotion had been that of the children in their colony playing their customary Sunday afternoon cricket match. She walked over to their balcony to find out that it was still on in full swing. Watching these kids play always filled her heart with joy. The gay abandon of their young age, their cute squabbles or their instant ganging up against others was similar to hers. Most importantly the forging of friendships that could last a lifetime, always took her on a nostalgic trip in her own childhood.
As she settled on a comfortable chair in her balcony, she wondered how her life turned out the way it did. Had she managed to prove herself worthy of any relation she had been part of? Could she feel good about herself now?
She had met Ved on her first day of kindergarten. She was wiping her nose after crying incessantly and trying to pull out her hair-band in rebellion for being sent there. Ved, ever the adorable one, offered her the toffee his mother had given him. She smiled and took it and, just like that, their friendship was sealed.
Their formative years were spent exclusively in each other’s company. They went to the same school and attended the same hobby classes. Both of them were brilliant students. They studied together but never saw each other as competition. Their friendship had boiled down to their families too. It was common for their mothers to pack their lunch-box with the other one’s favourite snack.
They never worried about what future held for them. Time though, takes its own course. When they were entering secondary school Ved’s father got transferred to another city. They knew better than to let it threaten to cut Anya and Ved’s bond. Despite being far away they kept in touch with each other through letters (they even corrected their mistakes, if any!) and calls. Then one day, while getting enrolled in junior college, Ved informed Anya that they were all coming back, bag and baggage.
The homecoming was delightful for both of them. However, there had been one paradigm shift in their feelings that they hadn’t accounted for till then. Adolescence and the closeness that came with the deep understanding they had of each other had changed them. Their friendship was blossoming into their first and, understandably, deep love. They never spoke about it but Anya couldn’t help blushing when her friends teased her.
One day, Anya was dropping off some pickle her mother had sent for Ved’s mother, she saw that Ved was sleeping in his room. Requesting his mother to make her a cup of tea, she quietly slipped into his room and without much thought placed her very first quick peck on his lips. To her horror, the next moment Ved woke up, visibly confused and surprised. Mortified, she made a hasty retreat with his mother calling out loudly behind her but didn’t turn back.
To be continued..