THANKS to my dearest friends Phavizha and Boondhalir for helping me out in this story mwah :*
Author’s note: Can’t believe I’m finally posting this story. Thanks for all the love and support guys. Hope you enjoy reading it.
I woke up to the sound of confetti and shouts of ‘Happy Birthday Dhriti! ’ from the two human beings who actually remembered my birthday without the help of Facebook birthday reminders. Yep, it’s none other than my Dad and … well if you are thinking the other person is my Mom you are wrong, because my Mom passed away when I was six. The other person is Athush, my best friend.
So, Hi! I’m Dhriti, an automobile engineering graduate from Coimbatore celebrating my 23rd birthday. I blew the candles, cut the cake and looked at my dad like an excited puppy dog. He laughed and handed over the key to me. I rushed out of the house to see Mr Handsome waiting for me, the Harley Davidson Street Bob 1585 cc standing there radiating his hotness. Without wasting time I turned on the engine and let the beast roar. And OH MY GOD! It was so cool. After all the excitement I went to my Dad and hugged him tight for keeping up his promise. Then I turned to Athush and stared at him like ‘Where’s my gift dumbass?’ He grinned sheepishly and took a teeny tiny present from his pocket. I snatched it from him and made fun of him by comparing the size of the bike to his present. Anyways I opened it and found a minion keychain, the size of my little finger. It was so cute. I hugged him and attached it to my bike key. I wanted to go for a long drive so I got ready quickly and asked Athush to come along. He said he wanted to drive, but uh uh I’m not going to let him drive my baby on my birthday. So, he sulked and sat behind me.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
“I’m taking you to my secret spot. It’s where I go whenever I want to be completely alone.”
“You have a place like that? Why didn’t you ever tell me anything about it before?”
“Only my Dad knows about that place so far and you are going to know it now, so be happy that I at least decided to show you now”, I said and smirked at him.
We felt the fresh air against our faces as we entered the outskirts of the city. I recollected the day I met Athush four years ago. It was a week after the college started. I was working on an assignment in the cafeteria when someone tapped the edge of my table. I looked up to find a super tall guy who was nervously looking at me. He said he wanted to say something to me. I asked him to go on with a puzzled look on my face. And he said, “I love you”. I was still for a moment. I had no idea how to react. I took a minute to analyse what was going on, got up from my chair, asked him to wait there for a minute, then walked towards the counter and got him a plate of Biriyani. It was now his turn to be puzzled.
“You like Biriyani right?” I asked.
“Yes, yes I do. But why did you get me a Biriyani? Does this mean you accept my proposal?” he asked, still puzzled.
I laughed and told him, “Most guys don’t choose to propose to a girl directly. They either do it through texts or through their friends so I thought I would get Biriyani for the guy who proposed me directly. That’s it .I’m not interested in a relationship right now. So we can be friends if you want.”
He stared at me for a moment and laughed, then said,” yeah sure. Let’s be friends.”
We shook hands and introduced ourselves,
And that’s how it started.
As the days went on we started spending more time together. We figured that both of us had a lot of similar interests. Our wavelengths clicked so well and soon we became best friends. I would go over to his place and he would come over to mine. We would always hangout together in college. We did all the stupid crazy things together. We started watching Vampire Diaries and then we started writing our own diaries, a thing that everyone who watches that series would do. We bunked classes and hung out. Then we studied together in the last minute and somehow cleared all the exams. When exams were over we would be so bored and had nothing to talk about unlike the time when we had exam the next day, and we’d find amazing topics to discuss about, out of nowhere, instead of studying. During one such conversation I asked him if automobile engineering was his passion or if he had taken the course for some other reason.
“I took up automobile engineering because I love cars and bikes. Moreover it ends with ‘Engineering’, so yeah, my parents were happy about it too,” he said and asked the same question to me.
“At first I had no idea about my career and all that. My Dad suggested me to take up dentistry but I realised that my interest was not in biology. I had a good engineering cut off. I loved cars and bikes too. That’s how I ended up in automobile.”
“So, if not automobile what course would you have chosen?”
“I would have chosen writing as my career. I always had a thing for it.”
“You are weird.”
I was brought back to the present by a sudden whoosh sound which happened to be an Audi R3 that drove past us with a bunch of idiots passing comments like, “You little girl! Learn to drive a cycle first” followed by laughter. I immediately geared up the machine and chased the car. I overtook them in one clean swift move and raised my middle finger up in the air towards them. Then, I sped off towards my secret spot after taking a sharp right turn leaving those idiots dumbfounded. My secret spot was an awesome cave, well-hidden behind a cascading waterfall amidst curvy mountain roads. I stopped at the side of the road from where the waterfall could be spotted. I killed the engine and got down excitedly. I did a little bit of stretching and took a few steps towards the waterfall asking him to hurry up.
“Wait up Dhriti. Let me drink some water,” he said.
I turned and watched him take the water bottle out of the backpack as I tried to calm myself down, thinking of a way to tell him that I had ‘more than a best friend kind of feeling’ towards him, without freaking him out. I had always liked Athush. He was different from other guys. He really cared about me. He made me smile when I found it impossible to breathe. Many have walked in and out of my life. But he stayed.
And that’s when it happened, disrupting my chain of thoughts. When I thought my heartbeat was finally becoming normal, my heart stopped all of a sudden while my brain recollected what had just happened.
Athush was drinking water. The water bottle slipped out of his hand and rolled down to the middle of the road. He rushed to grab it when he got hit by a truck that emerged from round the corner of the road with full force. He was thrown in the air and landed about ten feet away.
As tears puddled up in my eyes I rushed towards him crying out his name only to find a lifeless body covered in blood. I knelt beside him looking at his face that was no longer smiling. I kept wiping the tears that blurred out the sight before me unable to accept that he was no longer alive.
Two months later
I was sitting on the couch looking blankly at the rain, through the glass wall. I had no more tears left inside of me, just an unexplainable pain of being torn apart between moving on and holding back. The worst part was that I never got to know the answer to whether he loved me or not. The coffee that I made had turned cold hours ago. I was too tired to think about anything. I heard the doorbell ring for the third time before I could come out of my delusional state. I opened the door to find Athush’s mom with a diary in her hand. I called her in but she said she’d come another time. She gave me his diary and told me that she didn’t have the courage to read it nor put it away. Then she gave me a weak hug and left with tears in her eyes. I came back to the couch, took a deep breath and opened his diary and found the first word to be my name. I felt my heart pounding which hadn’t happened in a while. I somehow felt better to hear his voice through those pages. I reached the last page, the day before my birthday.
Tomorrow is Dhrithi’s birthday duuuddee! I’m excited and also nervous. I’m gonna propose her tomorrow night when she gets exhausted and thinks I actually didn’t plan anything for her. I bought an infinity ring and I’m gonna hide it inside a minion keychain. Its head can be twisted and opened. So the ring will be there. I hope she doesn’t figure that out when I give it to her in the morning. OMG diary! My heart is racing now. She is an amazing person. I just want her in my life so badly. God! I love her sooooo much. I hope everything goes well tomorrow. Goodnight diary. Will tell you what happened tomorrow. Byeee.
I dropped the diary and ran to my bedroom with a blurred out vision, catching the walls for support as my legs found it difficult to move. All I could hear was the loud thuds of my heart at a slow pace. I felt like I would faint any minute as all the pain that had slowly subsided in the last two months hit me at once like a gunshot right through my chest. I reached out my hand and grabbed the minion that was on my bedside table and twisted its head. As I saw the infinity ring I knelt down and all the tears which were fighting for a way out so long, started flowing down my cheeks. I held the ring close to my chest and cried loudly and cursed the selfish universe for taking him away from me.
-A short story by Dhriti Athush
I heard Athush calling out my name from the dining room.
“I’m in the bedroom”, I shouted back.
He was surprised to find me with a notepad and pen.
“What are you writing so seriously, Dhriti?” he asked as he came close to see.
“I told you right; if not automobile engineering I would have taken up writing? So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m writing my first short story. And guess what! It’s our story! Here, read it,” I said and passed the notepad to him.
After a while of reading, he exclaimed in shock, “What the f**k! You killed me in the story! Oh my god! Why would you do that to me?”
I laughed and said, “If I had written the boring way you had proposed me, nobody would read this story. C’mon Athush, you got to admit that killing you in the story rather than keeping you alive has made it so much cooler.”
“Fine mam. Whatever you do is cool. Okay?” he said and gave in.
“Alright Mr Athush Dhriti, where is my birthday present?” I asked him.
“Oh yeah! Come to the dining room. I got your favourite,” he said excitedly.
I walked into the dining room to find a plate full of biriyani with a tag that read ‘Happy birthday my baby! You’re 25 now! Mwah’. I never wanted big gifts, just the little things that made feel special, and Athush always knew that. I gave Athush one big tight hug and and whispered “thank you” inside his ears.
He wrapped his arms around my waist and whispered back, “You’re welcome my love. But I need to tell you a fact that you had missed to write in your story. Remember my proposal to you on one of the first few days of college? That was actually a dare given to me by my friends.”
”What the f**k! You a**hole! You never told this to me for so long! Omg, You idiot” I shouted and tried hitting him. But he tightened his grip around me, “But you really did impress me the moment you got me a biriyani” he said and shut me up with a deep passionate kiss.