“I just miss him! I don’t have a reason for it because …”
Arnav hugged her and she could not speak anymore. She closed her eyes as he ran his fingers through her hair. Arnav’s heartbeat grew as his eyes filled to the rim. He could never tell her he loves her; she would never forget Shravan. But Aarav was happy in this moment. He was happy that he was there to share her pain.
Niya pulled herself back and walked away from Aarav. Aarav stood with his arms still open for her. This was his life now. Every time she sought to comfort him and then left without realizing his discomfort.
“Sometimes I wonder”, Niya started again “is there anyone in the world who can love me wholeheartedly?”
Aarav didn’t know what to say. He never did.
“I mean god is plainly unfair to me. I loved Shravan so much but..”, she sat down all broken. Aarav kneeled in front of her and said, “you will find your man one day.”
Oh, how he wished it was him. Niya again stood up restlessly and said, “I don’t think I believe in love anymore.”
She walked out of the room without knowing what love actually was while Aarav still on his knees wondered what would make her feel better.
She came back to Aarav’s house in the evening. Aarav was arranging his books. He immediately smiled on seeing her. She looked better than she was in the afternoon. It made Aarav happy. She took out a rose from her bag and looked at Aarav nervously. She fixed her bag and stepped towards Aarav.
“Aarav, all the noon I was thinking about you. When I left I thought Shravan was everything to me but..”
Aarav breathed heavily as she offered him the rose.
“I guess you complete me! “
Aarav’s world stopped. He could not have imagined this happening. He was so happy. He hugged her.
“I love you. I really really love you Shravan.”
Aarav took a step back. His world was devastated. Niya choked on realizing her mistake. She tried to make it up to him but he by now he knew it could never be the way he wants it. He was tired of being the runner-up.
This time he walked out but his pain was no lesser. She sat back crying still not sure what she wanted.
“This can’t be the end.”, she shouted looking at him.
“I wish!” he didn’t turn back.