Dedicated to that special friend, who will always hold a special place in my heart, though I may not voice out my thoughts except through my writing…
I sat down, devastated, with a flop on the chair as I read that wedding invitation embedded with tiny red hearts and the photo of a couple.
‘We, Karthik and Reshma
Cordially invite you
To grace this auspicious occasion
As we tie the knot…’
I could read no more.
“Sam,” my friend called out to me in dismay as I didn’t respond to her frequent calls.
No, just because she called me ‘Sam’, don’t jump to a conclusion Reshma is my ex-lover and blah, blah, blah.
Sam.. Short for Samyuktha…
“Hey, wt doin????” – my mobile vibrated to the whatsapp message.
All smiles and tantrums playing hide-and-seek now and then, I replied,
“Nothn much.. Hbu???”
That read, I got the same reply of ‘no-job-as-of-right-now’.
Yea, this is so much me and Karthik…
Ours was a strong bond, but what confused me more was, if this bond was love or friendship..
Karthik and me turning friends is a long story, but I’ll tell you this. I got to know him through a friend.
My confusion hit me strong on my head one day, when he shared his most hushed-up secret with me. It was otherwise known to none.
“So, dis s hw unlucky im… :(“ – ended that message.
My heart broke that day. I wanted to console him and say ‘Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end…’
I knew he had found some comfort, only in me that forced him to spill out the beans. But that comfort kept bothering me. I thought, if I empathized it might lead to ‘Love’..
‘Duffer!’ – I wanna say that to myself now.
So, instead of comforting him that day and helping him linger onto hope in life, I simply said in a flat tone,
“Oh! Is it??? Cha, don’t wry yaar.. Lyf gets better soon.. So, wassup??? Had dinner???”
But, he never knew how hard it was for me to swallow my tears and type that text to him…
Months later, nothing seemed better between me and Karthik. We kept fighting all the while. No, I don’t take the blame all on myself this time. He triggered my anger and he got punished.
C’mon! I was trying hard to play fair too!
The gap between us grew wider everyday. He tried bridging it. However, I wasn’t ready.
‘What if it lead to a relationship?’ – was all I could think.
I soon realised he began confiding in Shruthi, my friend.
I was half-broken and half-glad.
Broken because I made him lose trust on me. Glad because Shruthi would help him out much better than me.
Now, now, she’s my friend. Don’t I know her better? Huh?
No! I wasn’t jealous in the least.
Shruthi was there for him all the while, whenever needed. Good!
Our chats now grew less. Maybe, once in a week, we ping each other with a formal ‘hello‘ and ‘hru??‘
Though his love for me never faded. I hurt him many times and he himself has pointed out those to me. But, I’d curtly reply and only hurt him more. He loved me enough to let go off me soon..
But, now as I read his wedding invitation, my mind swirls.
‘How close we were! And he didn’t even bother to tell me right at the beginning when the scout for the bride began!!!’
My eyes welled with tears and soaked the invitation.
‘Sam..’ Shruthi called out to me.
My eyes glistened and I showed her the invitation.
‘Yeah, I knew right before the marriage date was fixed,’ she said, hugging me, “He kept me posted.”
I smiled vaguely, wiping away the tears, “Ah! Glad to hear that at least he informed you.”
“Sam, nothing of that sort. Now, tell me, honestly, did you ever love him?”
“I dunno,” came my strong reply.
“That’s the reason he didn’t mean to confuse you by informing that his parents have begun searching for a bride.”
“But he considers you close even now. He says that often to me.”
“Yeah, I know. I’ll be alright soon,” I said and went for the restroom.
The invitation was still in my hand and as I looked at Karthik’s printed face, I remembered those times when he was there all the while I needed but I never reciprocated that love to him anytime.
I understood ours was a tale of love in friendship.
He loved me as a friend. But not as a lover as I had suspected.
I may not be his favourite anymore like he used to quote once, but he’ll remain special to me forever.
Now, I don’t even have the guts to say a sorry to him, leave alone I too love you as a friend.
Shruthi was there for him to comfort whenever needed.
But, only these untold words are there for me to comfort my guilty soul…