“You can’t give me what I want.” Her voice changes as she says this.
That was actually a wrong statement that a girl should speak before me. I can give the girl what she wants. Except things which require monetary transactions of course. In other cases, there is nothing that I can’t provide a girl with. Happiness being the primary element of my provision. Being the second largest demand on a girl’s wish list, it is something difficult to attain through monetary means. That is where I come in. I am a benefactor of this word, which most women yearn for. And I know it is my forte. They can go on a long drive with their respective male preys. But moments of tenderness are something that only my shop sells. And I am sure Shriya has one such demand. All I have to do is to make her voice it out. And that doesn’t seem like a difficult task.
“Tell me…there is nothing that I can’t give” I say it playfully. I do recognize the vulnerability of the situation. But revealing this would be loosing the chance to make her speak.
“No Anay…you can’t!” she looks away gulping down the lump in her throat.
Now I have a fair idea of what she would say. The magic word is hidden behind a closed door.
“Hey…what happened?” I say taking her chin in my hand and turning her face towards me gently. My voice softens involuntarily as I look touch her chin.
She just nods her head.
“Come on…tell me na...” Persuasion is the answer to persistence.
“Nothing re….can we sit somewhere?...some quiet and peaceful place?”
Ahoy there! The act is about to begin.
I take her to the garden near the temple. No garden near any temple is open at this time of the night. But every garden does have some secret routes to enter it. There is a broken fence at the rear of the garden. The legend says there was an accident which had broken it once. It hadn’t been mended since then. Who cares to mend the fence of a municipal garden?
I show her the way in. Even in that moment of distress, she can’t resist smiling.
The entire garden is open for us. The people in this place aren’t as enthusiastic to creep into the garden late at night.
“Where do you want to sit?” Ask an emotioned woman to make a decision. And you get your question rephrased as an indefinite statement.
“Wherever” she says maintaining her moroseness.
“Come here” I take her to the seat in the farthermost corner of the garden.
“Now tell me…what happened?” Coming back to the point is extremely important.
“Are you sure?” I say a bit strongly.
She bends down hiding her face in her palms and begins sobbing. I gently put my hand around her shoulder bring her closer. She rests her head on my shoulder. I stroke her arm softly.
“I want Dilip Ani…” She says.
I always knew it. I knew that the answer was behind a closed door. I also knew I could give her Dilip. But I usually don’t help women to get a man.
“Calm down Shriya…Dilip belongs to Priyanka.”
She cries further. I stroke her back to comfort her.
From the day the chemistries formed in the classroom, the strongest one was seen forming between Dilip and Shriya. It was almost clear that they were a potential pair. Of course Dilip also had a bond with Priyanka. But it wasn’t as visible as the linking between Dilip and Shriya. But one evening, Priyanka took Dilip to buy curriculum books to the city and that day onwards entire set up changed drastically. Dilip was seen more with Priyanka. Shriya was purely sidelined. And the world wondered what Priyanka did that evening to drastically divert Dilip from Shriya. It always remained a mystery. She proposed him and nailed the relationship. Shriya stood aside watching the celebration.
Being a close friend of Priyanka, this move had shattered Shriya. This had significantly distanced both of them along with distancing Shriya and Dilip from each other.
“Why?” she says crying more. I stroke her more. I feel no obstacles on it. I wild thought runs through my mind.
“Because not everything that we desire…is what we get!” my own line leaves me abruptly restless. I remember all that I had desired of when I was in love. I suddenly connect with her and a lump forms in my throat. Moisture gathers in my eyes. I pull up the mucous rolling down my nose.
She hugs me tight and cries. My arm curls up around her tighter.
“Don’t cry Shriya…that’s way of life…don’t cry for someone who doesn’t shed a tear for you…” I appreciate my own line. Feeding your brain on romantic Hindi films through childhood, helps you cook such lines instantaneously.
She controls her tears. She had found it sensible. Sadness comes with a stark sense of humour. Upholding a sharp urge, I wipe her tears.
The tear strains on my cheeks surprise her. She wipes them for me. She kisses my cheek. Her breath draws a line of desire on my cheek. My hand on her back enrages the wild thoughts in me. I kiss her on her cheek in return. She looks at me bewildered. A mix of emotions gathered in her eyes.
I moved closer to her. She stayed unmoved. The burning desire in me takes me her to her lips. I touch them gently with mine.