by Svatee Bedi
“Wow!!She is gorgeous”...Rohit thought looking towards Neha.
Rohit’s friends were standing with him,and he asked them “Isn't that girl beautiful? What’s her name?”
“She is Neha” Rohit’s friend,¬Saurav said .¬
“I would like to be her friend”
“No,don’t even think about it”, Akash said discouraging Rohit.
“And can someone tell me why can’t I be her friend?”
Rohit’s friends kept quiet.
“Is something wrong with her?”
“Well..nothing is wrong with her," said Akash.
“Then,I have decided I am going to be Neha’s friend.”
“Give it a try if you want”,Saurav challenged Rohit.
Rohit ran towards Neha and called out her name from behind.
Neha looked towards Rohit.
“Hi Neha”,Rohit smiled.
“Hi”, Neha looked a little confused.
“Hi Neha, Rohit. I am a new student in your college”.
“Yes, what can I do for you?” Neha asked.
“Can we become friends?”
Neha kept quiet .
Rohit looked at her eagerly,waiting for her reply.
“Sorry,I am not interested.”
“I just asked you to be my friend. What is wrong in that Neha?"
Neha didn’t reply and moved ahead.
“Neha please stop.”
Neha kept on moving forward without looking at Rohit.
Rohit went ahead and stopped Neha in her tracks.
“Excuse me. I am getting late for my class”.
Rohit gave a look of dismay and moved towards Akash and Saurav with a disappointed look.
“We told you so. Now, forget about her”.Akash patted Rohit’s back.
“I have decided I will be her friend.I am already in love with her.”
Saurav and Akash stared at each other.
Days went by and Rohit kept on pursuing Neha, he sometimes stopped her in the corridor, sometimes in the library, only to disappoint himself.
Rohit kept on thinking about Neha all the time.
“Why she keeps to herself?”
“Why she doesn’t want to become my friend?”
“Is there something wrong with me?”
He could never stop questioning himself.
One day,Rohit went up to his friends and asked them about Neha. “Tell me,everything about Neha.”
“We don’t know anything about her.” Akash and Saurav said looking away.
“Yes.You know Akash.”
Akash cleared his throat.
“Rohit, Neha will never say yes to you. It’s not about you,she is not going to say yes to any boy and she has stopped making any new friends.She just likes to keep to herself.”
“What’s the story, man?” Rohit was getting impatient.
“Can you believe something Rohit, that Neha was a very jubilant and a jolly person two years ago. She had many friends. And loved to enjoy life more than anyone else. She always kept on playing and dancing around. Teasing others. Everyone loved to be with her.”
“I don’t believe this.”
“I know it is unbelievable now.”
“Why has she become like this,then?” He persisted.
“Because, of her boyfriend.”
“Her boyfriend? ” Rohit was surprised.
“Tell me Akash. What’s wrong.”
“Neha had a boyfriend two years ago.His name was Aditya. They were madly in love with each other and had plans to get married.Even,their parents had agreed to the match.Then… ”
Rohit looked a little quizzically towards Akash.“Did they get married?”
“Did Aditya dump her?And if that’s the case then I am definitely going to kill that….”
“Stop it! will you?” Akash shouted at Rohit.
“Now,listen to me with a cool mind.And tell me,how can you go and kill a dead person.”
“Dead?You mean Aditya is dead?”
“Yes Rohit. Aditya is no more.He was my friend,and that’s why I know how much Neha and he loved each other. One day they went for a long drive in his car.Neha kept on asking him to increase the speed of the car.Aditya kept on increasing the speed without thinking. He was in a great mood. All of a sudden, a small child came in front of the car and in trying to save the child he went ahead and hit a truck.Their car overturned. Neha just got a few scratches but,Aditya …..”
Rohit closed his eyes for a moment.
“Neha was in shock for some time.”
“She has never recovered since then.” Saurav added.
Rohit didn’t say a word after listening to all this. He wanted to be with Neha and was not sure how will he make this possible.
Six months had passed since Rohit had heard Neha’s story. The final exams were only a month away,and Rohit hadn’t studied a single word for the exams. His mind was only on Neha.
“Hey!Dude,have you studied Eco..?” Saurav asked Rohit, one day.
“Nope.” Rohit had a blank look on his face.
“Is your mind still on Neha?”Akash asked.
“Oh!!C’mon,there are so many beautiful gals in our college.If you want I will introduce you to some of them.”Akash raised an eye brow.
“I am not interested. And I will start studying soon.”
Suddenly, they heard a scream in the distance.
The three of them went running towards the sound.
They saw Neha holding her left ankle, trying to get up.
“What happened, Neha?” Rohit looked worried.
“I fell from the stairs, and the pain in my ankle is really bad.” She had tears in her eyes.
Rohit and Akash helped Neha in getting up and took her to the nearest hospital, where they realized that she had fractured her ankle and was to take bed rest for the next 2 months.
“How will I give my exams.” She looked towards Rohit.
“Don’t worry,I will help you.”
And from then on,Rohit used to come down to Neha’s place daily; sometimes, bringing her notes, sometimes books and he even used to pick her from home and drop her to college.
Rohit felt it was his duty to take care of her,he just wanted her to get well soon and tried to be there with her whenever possible.
There were times when Neha used to look sad,at those times Rohit cracked silly jokes for her,to which Neha couldn’t help laughing. They started spending lots of time together.
The final exams began,and Rohit made it a point to take Neha for the exams.
Slowly and slowly Neha recovered from her fracture.
After the exams were over, Rohit asked Neha about Aditya.
“Do you still love him?”
Neha kept quiet, and at the same time didn’t run away from there.
“He has become a memory, Rohit. I can never forget Adi.” She said.
Rohit looked away.
“Can we become friends Neha?”
“Who said we are not friends??” Rohit looked surprised.
“Of course,we are friends dumbo.”
Rohit couldn’t believe his ears.
Akash and Saurav also joined them.
“Hey!!Guys,how have you been?The exams are finally over.Let’s party.” Neha was sounded really excited.
Akash and Saurav couldn’t believe their ears.
“Neha is back.” They shouted.
That night they had lots of fun at the party, the party went late into the night,and Neha enjoyed herself after a long time.
After the party was over,Rohit dropped Neha back home.
While,Neha was stepping out of the car,Rohit held her hand. Neha looked towards him.
Rohit looked into her eyes and said, “I love you Neha.”
And without even thinking for a second, Neha too said the three golden words to Rohit.