General Fiction posted December 9, 2019 Chapters:  ...35 36 -37- 38... 


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Mishti lies to Vikram.

A chapter in the book Keep your standards high

Still want friends

by Anuradha Dev


Chapter 37

That weekend I was subdued. I didn't even feel like talking to Megha much. I just informed her about the new development. She was not surprised and was worried about me but I assured her that I was fine. I knew I would be fine because what had taken a beating here was my pride. I am glad I kept my pride. If this situation had gone on for a long time, the punch to my ego would have been greater and would have taken longer to heal. But I have missed him. The comfort and closeness I had felt with Saahil, I had never found with anyone else in my life. He was a nice guy. A guy who would think about you first before himself. Knowing Saahil rebuffed my assumption that guys like him do not exist. I hoped we would remain friends.

I went to school on Monday determined to act as if everything was fine. I still sat with Saahil although we were not talking much. We had never officially told anyone, except Vikram, we were dating so we were not obligated to tell anyone about our breakup. I didn't want to tell Vikram. I realized that keeping away from Vikram was not only about being loyal to Saahil. It was more self-preservation. This guy has got charm. He chooses to use it for his benefit but he still has that mean side, that I had witnessed, more than once. Staying away from me for last week was thoughtful of him or it could be just about his wounded pride. I could never be sure. Either way, I didn't want to change the situation drastically because I wanted him to move on. Vikram and I would never work, I was pretty sure. I would still want to be his friend because I enjoyed his company. Vikram and I gelled splendidly and it would be a shame if we didn't enjoy each other's company because of my misgivings.

At lunch that day, I sat with Saahil. Saahil left early to go to the library to search for notes. After he was gone Vikram came and sat beside me. I looked at him and genuinely smiled, happy to see him sitting with me.

He covered his face with his hands, "Whoa! Dim the light, I might get blinded."

I laughed, "Go away, flirt!"

"Ok, I am not going to flirt, but you need to look less happy to see me, for me to be able to do that," he said shrugging his shoulders.

"I am not happy to see you, you narcissist jerk. I am just generally feeling happy and free suddenly."

"Free, hmmm... so what's going on between you and Saahil?"

I was surprised he would ask that. I didn't want to lie but taken off-guard,I said, "What do you mean? We are fine."

"Are you sure? Because on Friday night you were trying to make sense of your relationship."

"Oh, we just fought. It will take some time but we will be fine."

He kept looking at me. I looked away.

I stood up, "Come on, the class would be starting in a while."

"Wait," he called out.

I stopped and looked at him. "Are you coming for the trip to Mahabaleshwar next month?" he enquired.

"Oh, I didn't know about it. Will have to ask my parents first. Are you going?"

"Maybe."

"Oh Vikram, give me a solid answer. I would love to go too but only if I have a friend going too."

"You would go if I go?" he asked.

"Yes, I like your company."

"Even if Saahil doesn't come?"

"Vikram, we are not joined at the hip. I can do things without him."

He stood up swiftly, "In that case, I am coming. Get your permission."

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