Khanak felt depressed for the whole week and she couldn’t help but notice the irony. She has spent last week planning all kind of things she was going to do with her two best-friends and now she was the one to spend whole week moping around, ignoring both of them. Well it was not like any of them have even been trying to contact her. And last week she thought that they would be inseparable once Rishav came from hostel but now it seemed like none of them could wait to be separate from each other and somehow she felt like it was all her mistake. True, that Rishav started all this by intentionally hurting her but wasn’t Khanak the one, who over-reacted? After all, what did he do so bad?! So yes, he told her that he was busy and then went on the same night to enjoy with his other friends but was it something that bad that she reacted like that. It took her six days and a heart to heart talk with her mother to realize that she was just scared. She was so scared of having a change in her life that at the first sign of change, she reacted as if her world is collapsing. Last time the major change happened in her life she was 10, and there was a series of changes- change in city, change in school, friends, major changes at home. Her father has just died and she didn’t accept it at that time. For one and a half year she lived in denial. She didn’t want to accept that her father has left her mother and her and ever since then she has dreaded changes. For her changes have always symbolized something terrible things, something as painful as losing a parent. Due to her fear, she caused all this mess. She should have tried to made herself understand that she was not a 10 year old anymore no one was dying. But she let her fear overtake her senses. Yes, their friendship was changing but wasn’t it inevitable?! All of them were in college now, of course, they were going to make new friends. And no matter how much Khanak wanted to do everything together with Rishav and Ankan but it wasn’t just possible anymore. For starters they all have different schedules now so managing to get a time where all of them were free was obviously very difficult. And even if someone managed to find a day where all of they were free, one couldn’t imagine that other two didn’t have any other plans. Khanak knew that this change was going to hurt but it was what it was and the sooner she accepted it the better. Khanak smiled at her thought. Her mother has said exactly the same line when she has found Khanak brawling her eyes out. Her mother has made her realize that even if Rishav hurt her, Khanak should have been the bigger person and forgiven him the moment he called Ankan and asked them to wait for him. Because for a guy like Rishav, that was a apology! Khanak’s mother made her see that not every person was same. Just because khanak was quick to apologize didn’t mean everyone out there was. And sometimes just because a person wasn’t saying the exact word you wanted to hear, it didn’t mean that, that person wasn’t saying it, and in those situation you should be sensible and smart enough to read between the lines. Also, that if one friend was always there and always forgiving that didn’t mean that other friend should take person for granted like he did with Ankan that day. After talking to her mother, her guilt only increased but at least her mind was sorted out. She was going to apologize to both of her best-friends. To Ankan for hurting him and for making him feel like her friendship with him didn’t matter without Rishav, because she knew that was exactly how he felt after she asked him to take her to her home and to Rishav for not forgiving him. One should not hold grudges when it came to friendship and one should never ever let ego come between a friendship and that’s exactly what she did that day. Initially she was going to make a plan for how should she apologize as she has never made this big a mess but then she thought to learn from her last lesson and just go with the flow. She made one plan though – to first apologize to Rishav as he was the more difficult one and his house is closer so it’s convenient too. ********* “Hello Aunty!” Khanak greeted Rishav’s mother, Anjana, who was angrily talking to her phone in her hand. “hello Khanak! Come on, Come inside!” Rishav’s mother was sweet, always opening the door with a warm welcoming smile. If Khanak had to describe her in one word, Khanak would say ‘motherly’. In Khanak’s opinion that word suited Rishav’s mother best. Khanak has no idea how Rishav turned out to be so broody and grumpy. Sometimes Khanak thought that Rishav was more like his step-father who is also his uncle than his own mother. “Is something wrong with your phone, aunty?” “Yeah…” Rishav’s mother admitted, defeated, as if she had been trying to win this war with her phone for quite a long time but didn’t succeed. “I have to to tell Dinesh to bring some groceries while coming home but he has asked me to not disturb him as he will be in meetings whole day so I though that i will text him but this idiot phone! I keep trying to r, and it keeps showing ‘p’ repeatedly!” Khanak had to bite her lip to stop herself from chuckling. Rishav’s mother sounded so tired from her phone’s ‘idiocy’. “Why didn’t you ask anyone to help you, aunty?” Khanak wondered out loud. “Everyone was busy. Anish is out with his friends, Shaili is sleeping as she does whole day and Rishav is busy being angry young man somewhere” This time Khanak had to laugh. Khanak had to say, Anjana really knew her kids’ favorite things to do. “Okay, let me help you. Give me the list and I will type it on phone for you” Khanak offers and Rishav’s mother looked as if god, itself has come to save her. “Will you? Thank you so much dear” Rishav’s mother got a lengthy list of things from the dinning table, which took Khanak almost half an hour to type it on the small phone with only 17 buttons. “Oh, god! you must have come to see Rishav and here I am – monopolizing your time. Go ahead, he is in his room. And thanks a lot Khanak” “you are welcome!” Khanak smiled at Rishav’s mother and moved toward the room of the guy who was busy being angry. Khanak found Rishav studying a boring book about management at his study table. Door of his room was half open so she was able to look at him without him knowing that she was standing there. A scowl was fixed on his face as if someone was forcing him to study. His mother was right he was busy being angry. “Hey…” She greeted him while entering the room. Rishav turned his head slightly to look at her then turned back to his book and scowling. “What are you doing here?” “I came to apologize…” before she could complete her sentence, Rishav interrupted her. “Why?” “If you had let me finish I’d have told you” Khanak glared at him, irritated with his attitude but then she remembered that she had to be bigger person and continued with an apologetic smile. “I came to apologize for how that day turned out.” “Oh, did it turn out bad?” Rishav finally closed his book and turned to her completely. His lips curled into a fake confused frown. “I thought it turned out very nicely. I didn’t want to go so I didn’t have to go. You didn’t want me there interfering in your shopping spree and I wasn’t there! Win – win for everyone” Rishav was using her own words against her. “I didn’t mean those things. I was upset” She tried to explain but the blank expression on his face let her know that he wasn’t getting it. So she tried another tactic. ” Did you mean to behave as hurting to me as you did that day? Didn’t you regret it after? No, right. Just like that I didn’t mean what I said! I was upset!” “I did” Rishav said so lightly that she didn’t hear it clearly or maybe she didn’t want to hear. “What?” She asked. “I did mean to behave how I behaved that day. I am sorry that you got upset but I just said truth. And why would I regret it afterwards?!” As Rishav continued to speak she felt like 100 needles was getting injected into her. Oh, he was so smart. Acting as if his actions were not loud enough that day. It’s true that he only stated truth that day but he couldn’t deny now that in the way he did it, it was meant to hurt he. Not wanting to lose hope and their friendship, Khanak asked “then why did you call later?”. “Because I realized that you were upset because of something so I thought that maybe me going to India Gate will cheer you up” RIshav answered as if couldn’t care more about why she was upset. “So it was pity?” Rishav just shrugged in reply. And that infuriated her. “You know what, I was upset because the guy I liked was behaving like a jerk that day. He hurt me with his actions and didn’t even think it important to apologize. But I am done liking that person. I am done liking you!” For a nano-second he looked at her as if she was someone important but then before she could confirm what look it was, he averted his eyes. “I think it’d be good if we don’t talk to each other for a while” And that ladies and gentlemen was his reply to her confession. Well he could keep his opinion to himself. In her opinion it’d be good if they never talked to each other. She turned toward the door and bolted from there before he could hurt her anymore. Read between the lines?! Khanak didn’t need to! She was right the first time. This was not her old friend, this was some strange creature and she didn’t need him in her life. Her mother was a good person but she surely hasn’t updated her philosophy to suit today’s world. She just hoped her mother’s philosophy wasn’t wrong about Ankan because Khanak wasn’t ready to lose both of her best-friends in one day.