All the wrong things, for all the right reasons
- Soumma Roy Chowdhury
I couldn't take my eyes off him. No, I really couldn't. A part of me knew I should not be gaping at him, but the other part urged me to let myself go, for once in my life. While I was struggling with my feelings, he looked around and caught me staring at him. He was confused but only for a minute.
"Come join us," he offered. Us. He has said us, not me. I was more depressed than ever now. The truth was sinking in. He was taken. The object of my desire was taken.
Tahir laughed again, and beckoned me to go join them. I smiled politely back at him, and shook my head. It was Saturday afternoon. One of the rare afternoons I get off from work. And I'd somehow found myself invited to a party my college best friend, Ira, made me come to. Though why I should be there in the first place was beyond me, seeing the host of the party was Ira's childhood friend, Lily. To mock my misery, the whole circle comes back like this: Lily is Tahir's girlfriend.
Perhaps I'd accepted the invitation to come to Lily's house because I knew Tahir would be here. Perhaps I'd come because I'd nothing better to do on a Saturday. Or maybe, just maybe, I knew this was exactly how close I could ever get to Tahir. Always from a safe distance.
I'd never added the guy in my social networking circles, nor had I ever asked for his number. But when mutual friends (namely Ira) uploaded pictures, or tagged us both in statuses, that was the time we'd come into social contact. I barely knew the guy. And I felt sure I was in love with him. Which kind of is weird. Because as a twenty four year old, that's the dumbest thing I've ever done.
"Why aren't you playing cards with the rest of them?" Ira demanded, when she found me sitting alone on the sofa, feeling like fish out of water.
"Ira, do you mind if I called it a day?" I asked, apprehensively, "I really should get back home and -"
"Sulk?" Ira supplied, helpfully, tilting her head to one side, "I think not. Avoiding crushes never did help anyone. You've got to learn to face them."
I gaped at her. How had she even known that I'd developed a crush on Lily's boyfriend? It was wrong, on so many different levels. I looked miserably down at my feet.
"How did you know?" I asked her, quietly.
"Well, because I can see the sparks fly," she smiled at me, and then winked, "Keep faith. Who knows what tomorrow might bring."
I smiled, sort of shakily, back at her. Then I went to Lily's kitchen, in order to see if there's anything edible in the refrigerator. And that's when I stumbled on it. A glimmer of hope for my tomorrow. From the shadows, I heard a very miserable female voice.
"You think that I like pretending anymore? You think that I am okay with the way things are?"
I edged nearer to the voice. The female seemed to be having hysterics. Then I heard the words, which knocked the wind out of me.
"Do you really think that I am still in love with Tahir, you jackass?"
Lily. It was Lily's voice. I just overheard Lily telling someone, she wasn't in love with Tahir. Poor Tahir. But this, I realized suddenly, was my tomorrow. My heart was doing some kind of somersault. I wondered whether I should go break the news to Ira, and get her to tell Tahir, accidentally-on-purpose.
But it would be wrong. So horribly wrong of me, to contribute to someone's heartbreak. Because Tahir really did seem to love Lily. I wondered what I ought to do. Then I remembered something, someone had once told me. That you're allowed to do the wrong thing, when it's for the right reason. I braced myself, and walked into the living room, my eyes searching for Ira.