Please do read my short story. Feedback most (I repeat- Most) Welcome!
‘Who?’ Shwetha asked, trying hard to swallow a mouthful of Salad.
‘Damayanthi, I told you, remember?’ Viyan asked excitedly.
‘Oh yeah, she was your neighbour right?’
‘Schoolmate’ Viyan said gruffly.
‘Hmmm… What about her?’ Shwetha asked.
‘She’s coming down to Chennai for some work, so she wants to meet me’ Viyan said, his eyes lighting up.
‘Is that why you are jumping around like a stray puppy?’ she snickered.
‘Hey C’mon, I told you how we left things between us back in school, right?’
‘How?’ she asked.
‘It all started in the 7th grade…’ said Viyan, putting down his cup of Tea.
‘Dude, you’re in India. Can’t you just say 7th standard?’ she scowled.
‘Damayanthi joined my school from another school’ he continued.
‘Can you cut the crap and come straight to the point where she confronted you for ogling at her’ she said, rolling her eyes.
‘It did not exactly happen that way but yes, we did not start off very well’ he replied.
‘Surprise Surprise!’ she said, holding her cheeks with her hands.
‘Why would you think she caught me ogling at her?’ he asked curiously.
‘Because you just can’t ogle at a girl discreetly without staring at her directly’ she chuckled.
‘That’s not true’ said Viyan indignantly.
‘God should have put a squint in your eyes. At least that would have saved many girls from your Owl stares’ she said and laughed.
‘Let’s talk about something else’ Viyan said abruptly, his tone displaying a flash of irritation.
Shwetha could always tell when Viyan was upset for real. She stopped laughing and fell silent, surprised that small banter like this were to upset Viyan.
‘So you like her?’ Shwetha asked, trying to judge his feelings.
‘I really used to like her back in school’ he replied after a long pause.
‘How long has it been since you last saw her?’
‘A decade’ he sighed.
‘So you dated her in school?’ she asked
‘Not exactly’ he hesitated, ‘But we liked each other a lot and spent a lot of time together’ he added.
‘And?’ she prodded
‘Well, we did kiss a couple of times towards the end of school when she had to move away with her family’ he said, squirming in his seat.
‘And you never saw here again?’ Shwetha asked.
‘We spoke for a year or so. Then we completely lost touch’ he said, looking away at a distance. ‘We had something very special’ he sighed.
‘Good for you. When is the date?’ Shwetha asked.
‘Dinner tomorrow, at the Pub’ he beamed.
‘All the best and I hope you get some action’ she teased.
‘What should I wear’ Viyan asked.
‘Why don’t you wear your School uniform?’ Shwetha Chuckled.
It really shouldn’t have bothered her that much.
Shwetha and Viyan had been to college together and were best friends since. She still remembered how she did not care much for the gruff looking, indecently Ogling and rudely speaking Mechanical Engineer initially. She pursued Computer science Engineering and only spoke to Viyan for the first time on a college trip. She quickly realized he was not all slum as she had earlier imagined. Their mutual love for Food, Music, Travel and the city of Chennai and its culture forged a strong bond of friendship over the years.
Friends referred to them as the ‘odd couple’ since Viyan was 6 ft tall while Shwetha was just 5’3. While Viyan was lean and well built with a dark complexion so common for a Tamilian, Shwetha was short yet slim, with the attractive features of a classical dancer and going by Viyan’s own words once over one beer too many, ‘She had the best rear he’d ever seen.’
Viyan had many other girl friends and Shwetha had never felt uneasy when he spoke or went out with them. She always knew that they both shared something very special which allowed them to be brutally frank, alarmingly weak and reassuringly confident with each other both during happy and difficult times.
But today, the feeling of uneasiness she felt was overwhelming. ‘I am not jealous’ she kept telling herself. Why should she be jealous? Viyan was her best friend and she was more than happy for him. She convinced herself that it was just a case of insecurity arising from an unfamiliar foe. Damayanthi was an unknown entity who could potentially affect her relation with Viyan. She however convinced herself that it won’t be that way. After all, she had been a special girl to Viyan much before Damayanthi came trotting back into his life.
Her phone rang at twelve in the night. It was Viyan.
She put it on silent and switched off the lights.
‘Go talk to your special girl’ Shwetha mumbled as she pulled up the blanket over her head.
The Pub was filling up fast. The place usually sprung to life after nine on a weekend. Viyan was wearing a smart grey shirt with his favourite Levis Jeans. His hair was gelled to sport a picture perfect spike and had carefully nurtured stubble over the last three days. Damayanthi was yet to come. He wondered where Shwetha was. She hadn’t picked his calls since last night. He was chatting up with a few regulars across the bar counter when his phone rang.
‘Hi Damayanthi. Where are you?’ he asked, his heart racing
‘I just stepped into the pub. Where are you?’
‘Hold on, let me come to you’ he said as he weaved his way to the entrance.
Viyan couldn’t believe how tall she had grown over the years. Gosh, she looked pretty. She was wearing a flowing black dress that exposed a curvy body. Her hair was curly as it always had been and her cheeks sported that same dimple that had made his knees go weak back in school.
‘My God! Viyan, you have changed so much. I could hardly recognize you’ Damayanthi gasped.
‘So have you. You look…’ he stopped
‘Pretty?’ she giggled
‘Of course’ Viyan admitted sheepishly.
‘God, how long has it been?’ she asked, playing with her hair as Viyan pulled up a chair.
‘It’s been way too long’ he replied as they both burst out laughing.
Damayanthi preferred wine and so, reluctantly Viyan ordered a bottle of bubbly as she kept staring at him intensely.
‘What are you looking at?’ he asked, aware of her sharp eyes on him.
‘You look as cute as you were back in school’ she giggled ‘only, now you look like a cute bad boy’ she added.
‘Thanks. So, where do we start?’ Viyan asked, raising his glass.
‘Where we left off’ she smiled mischievously, holding out her glass as she leaned forward.
Shwetha stepped in cautiously. The music was getting louder as she went straight to the bar counter, avoiding the tables. She never thought of sneaking in on Viyan’s date but something inside her drove her to the pub. She knew Viyan would have booked his favourite table for the occasion. She sat on one of the bar stools from where she had a direct view of the corner table. Viyan had his back towards her and she could directly see Damayanthi.
‘Wow, she is hot’ she told herself as she settled down.
Shwetha had been extra careful not to dress up in her usual style. She had put on a tight, frilled white skirt and a brown sleeveless top. She also let her hair loose to make sure she wasn’t recognised from afar by Viyan.
She ordered herself a Lime cooler as she quickly analyzed the table. She noticed that both of them were having wine.
‘That deceitful prick!’ she cursed under her breath.’ So much for hating wine!’ she growled.
It was an hour since she had stepped in and the two were halfway through their dinner. Viyan had stopped drinking a long while back, she noticed while Damayanthi was tipsy enough to laugh hysterically at anything Viyan had to say.
He had always had the art of humour by his side, Shwetha thought. She almost wanted to hear what he was saying that this girl found so funny.
Shwetha cringed every time Damayanthi touched Viyan’s hands and looked at the watch wondering how long these two would take to wrap it up.
A foot ball match was going on as she glanced at the giant screen.
‘Poor Viyan’ she thought ‘His favourite team is winning once in a blue moon and he can’t watch it’ she snickered. She reminded herself to tell him as many details of the match as possible as she looked at the watch again. She was hungry.
Finally, at 10:30, the two hugged each other and seemed to call it a night. Damayanthi seemed to be saying her goodbyes. Shwetha assumed Viyan would drop her in his car wherever she stayed but that did not happen as Viyan waved goodbye and headed straight to the bar where she was sitting!