'Stars' is an original StarsAndFireflies_ creation. Any similarities of any scenes or chapters with any other stories is highly coincidental. Plagiarism is a crime. No Prologue. Some chapters of this story are private.
Happy Reading! Hope you like this story of mine just as much as all the others.
I walked inside slowly, my eyes wandering at everything in front of me. People rushed by me as fast as running horses, busy in their own work and time as I paused around taking in my surroundings. There were a few who sincerely studied running towards their classes while others with headphones in their ears. The food smell in the air caused a tingling vibe in my ear and Fab 5 concert posters everywhere that defined the college I was standing in. Space Academy of Music, Arts, and Science.
And there I was, checking my fitted white crop top and light blue torn jeans. Nandini Murthy. A mid year music student, all ready to live my dreams.
I had left Mumbai with my extended family when I was just five, after losing my parents in a car accident. And ever since, I craved for these Mumbai blues again, but no one allowed me to come back until now that I am eighteen. Almost eighteen.
Walking inside slowly, I checked my phone to find a lot of calls and messages as usual. I had an over protective family and set of friends back in Mangalore, my native place.
"Hello?" I chirped on the phone as soon as the call got picked before an unsettling lump in my throat. "Abhi, I already miss you and your voice. How am I going to even stay without you?" I think I could just cry. Life without best friends was so difficult.
Will I make such friends here too? Would I have someone here too whom I could call at three AM and ask for food? Would I get a bunch of idiots here too whom I can love more than myself?
"Hey? Kahan kho gyi?" He brought me out of my thoughts. "Stop acting like a fucking loner on drugs, girl. Koi war ladne nahi gayi hai tu. And also, you're not alone. Stop acting like a freak, and don't cry, okay? Now, I miss you too," was he scolding me for missing him? Like... what?
"Okay fine. Meine nahi miss karna tujhe!" I poured mentally. I was a South Indian, but being brought up with this Punjabi friend of mine has got me this typical Punjabi sentences that I love so much.
"And also, where are you staying? I have had a talk with Mukti, and no, you're not staying in your old house until it gets cleaned up and renovated. Don't you remember you have dust allergy?" He scolded with a bossy attitude and I could make up from his tone that he had reached his office. Abhimanyu was three years older to me, and already the heir of his father's industries. And also, my life support.
"Aww Abhi! You care about me kitna saara. Agar mein vahan hoti na, I would have pakka pulled your cheeks," I teased biting my lower lip. Teasing your best friend with something that they don't like has to be the most satisfying feeling in the world, honestly.
"Koi care vare nahi karta mein teri, samajh le. I care about myself. You will stay at your old house, you will catch a dust allergy, then you will keep sneezing all day and night, you will not sleep at peace aur meri bhi raat ki neend kharab kar degi, which will lead me to over sleep, jiske vajeh se I will not be able to meet my multiple girlfriends, toh voh sab bura maan jaayegi, and then I will have to go and manaofy all of them with that 'oh so cute' teddy bears and chocolates which is a lot of time and money and energy waste for me. So you know, I am a very selfish person. Toh tu chup karke Mukti ke ghar so jaiyo. No more discussions," Abhimanyu Thakkar and his logics.
"And yes, people at Mumbai are not as innocent as Mangalore people. Kidnap math ho jaana, hai bhi tu ittu si, kahan dhundunga mein tujhe phir. Yaan actually, acha hai. Please get kidnapped, kiddo. I will be free, atleast teri non stop baatein toh nahi sunni padengi. Please get kidnapped. Will you get kidnapped yourself, or should I myself send someone to kidnap you?" He self talked and I raised my eye brows at his exaggeration levels.
Kidnap? Let alone someone touch me, and he will burn the persons entire world. And he talks as if he can even go on for a day without me. Abhi is a very reserved person, and he talks so much only if there is something wrong or if he is beating some inner turmoil. And I know what his turmoil is, missing me.
"Abhi!" I breathed. "Calm down, take a deep breath. Ssshhh!" I coaxed. "Don't worry Abhi, life without me isn't going to be easy, mein jaanti hu. But I will keep face timing you a lot, okay? Don't worry, i know you miss me okay. And yes, I love you too. And nahi, mein tujhse shaadi nahi karungi. Now can I go for my lectures?" I sighed walking into the crowded corridor walking past so many people.
"Jaa. Dafa ho-....," I realised Abhi's voice slowly faded in my ears and I was not on my feet anymore. I almost flied in the air after bumping myself into some kind of wall before my butt touched the ground and my phone fell away.
Oh, don't worry. This keeps happening with me. The ground loves me a whole lot, so it keeps calling me to itself to hug and kiss it every once a while. I haven't fallen, I'm just hugging the ground. It's okay.
Squeezing my eyes open, I realised there was no wall in front of me. Then what was that I bumped into?
And just then, I got enlighten to see a pair of black shoes tapping the ground hysterically with a brand name I was very familiar to. My eyes slowly started going up to look at the person but oh, he didn't have a face. He was so tall, that I had to keep looking up, and then finally, I saw his face. And he wasn't a human. He was a human wall.
Brushing my knees and butt, I got up to smash the boy right out of existence but I couldn't even speak a word. Amusement danced in his eyes but he had a grumpy frown on his face and the mole on his lips got more enlightened. He had the most perfect set of eyes I have ever seen and I would be lying if I say he wasn't hot. He was a fucking Geek God standing in front of me.
But that doesn't excuse the fact that I fell because of him. "You just destroyed my movie moment!" He grumped and his voice was just as husky as his face was hot. "Excuse me?" I raised an eyebrow.
"Kya? Bollywood nahi dekha? There's a beautiful heroine who comes and falls upon the hero and he saves her from falling. Mera voh wala moment tumne barbaad kar diya...," He sarcastically smiled and I just controlled the urge to roll my eyes at him.
"Toh tumne toh mujhe bachaya nahi, I rather saw you laughing," I argued almost forgetting that he was a stranger.
"Haa toh tum kaunsi koi heroine ho? And beautiful toh bilkul nahi!" He looked away rolling his eyes and anger crept on my nerves.
"Excuse me, Mr. six feet giant?" I almost shouted attracting a lot of attention from the people walking beside us, and then toned my volume to a whisper. "Are you blind?" I flipped my waist long hair behind my back, dazzling my eyes.
"No, I do have eyes. And why do you talk so loud, potato face?" He squeezed his face together making me even angrier. I regret every moment of finding him hot. He was just like every other boy, an idiot.
"Are you the only one here, or is the college entirely filled of idiots?," I gritted and he laughed.
"Are you trying to scare me? Me?" He moved a step closer and before I realised, I had already taken one behind, looking away. Jerk.
"Tumpe gussa suit nahi karta, potato face," he dry laughed patting my shoulder before walking past me, as I stomped ahead. "Aur tumpe apni smile suit nahi karti, giant!" I shouted back and just got laughs in return as we born stomped away our own directions.
Hot? Seriously, Nandini Murthy? Why do you always find such boys hot? I don't know about hot, but he was surely an idiot. First encounter in the college and that too with an idiot. Super nice, good going Nandini.
Walking in anger, I bumped into someone again. "Is it fucking bump day today?" I shouted without looking at the person.
"Bump Day?" I heard an extremely familiar voice followed by giggles and then laughter which was enough to calm my nerves. In a city full of strangers, nothing felt better than hearing the voice of a known, just like food to a deserted person.
"Mukti!" I whispered in an already tired voice as she took me in a big hug. Ah, finally. Something good happening to me atleast.
"Gosh, you're finally here. Kahan reh gayi thi tum? We're waiting for you since such a long time. And also, yeh bump day kya hai?" She put her arm across my shoulders, just like old times.
"Bump Day? Don't ask me. There was this idiot that I just bumped across, and mera saara mood usne bhigaad diya. You always spoke so highly about Space College, is it full of such idiots or was that giant the only one?" I knitted my eyebrows looking away and she giggled.
"Well, you need to decide that for yourself. But first, let me introduce you to my friends... and my family.", she beamed, turning behind and revealing four people standing.
"Oh my God Mukti, you never told us that your 'special friend' is a beautiful girl!" A boy with a sharp jaw line winked and I gave a shy smile. I don't know why that giant called me a potato, huh. People still do find me beautiful.
"Shut up Arya! Nandini, meet the first member of Fab 5, the drummer, Cabir Dhawan!" She pointed at a guy and I gave him a friendly smile, forwarding my hand for a shake but instead, he got up and took me into a bear hug. "There's no formality here, we're a family!" He smiled and I knew, I instantly liked him. We were going to get along really well.
"And she is his girlfriend, a walking-talking specimen of Bollywood, Navya Naveli" she pointed to a girl standing beside him. She was so beautiful, I noticed as she came ahead and took me into a side hug. "Nandini, you're much more beautiful then Mukti had told us. Yaha kisi ki nazar na lage tumhe!" She removed a little bit of kajal from her eyes and placed it behind my ear earning giggles from some and an 'aww' from others.
The last someone did this to me was my mother when I was five. Pursuing my lips together, I took her into a big hug, taking her by shock before she wrapped her arms around me as well. Mukti knew what this meant to me so she just pressed her eyes to me.
"He is the rock guitarist of our group, and the flirt, Aryamman Khurrana!" She pointed towards the jaw lined guy and he winked at me again before shaking hands from where he was sitting.
"And she is the barbie doll, the pianist, Aliya Saxena," she pointed at Aliya who gave me a side hug from where she was and I was just left wondering, how are girls so beautiful.
"And the last, but not the least, the lead singer, the hot hunk, Manik Malhotra," she waved her hands in the air and I turned behind to see an invisible man. "Manik- Manik kahan gaya?" Mukti corrected her statement and then shrugged it off.
"Okay, so-.....," Mukti's voice faded when another louder voice took her place. "Sorry sorry sorry!" A scream made its way to our ears in a very familiar voice before a familiar face ran inside the room, making my face go red.
He looked up n down for once, panting before buttoning his tuxedo as his eyes revolved to everyone before stopping at mine. Amusement danced in his eyes again before he raised the corner of his lips into some kind of mischievous smirk and scanned me from head to toe.
"Hi, potato! Tum toh mera peecha hi kar rhi ho?" He dry smiled taking a step towards me, making me flush in embarrassment.
"You giant! You must be following me. Mujhe joi shauk nahi jo tumhaara peecha karungi!" I pointed at him in frustration before looking away.
"Oh, oh, oh!" Mukti came between us, separating us two. "Mein ek formal introduction de deti hu, giant and potato!" She mockingly smiled before warning a glare from me and I think he glared at her too. No, I wasn't looking at him, he just floated in the corner of my eyes.
"She's Nandini Murthy, my best best best friend, soul sister, everything!" She placed an arm around me.
"Mujhe humesha se pata tha ke tu lesbian hai Mukti. But don't worry, ab yeh sab India mein bhi official ho gaya hai. Tu darna math, okay. We will all support you, sab theek ho jayega." Cabir blathered earning glares and raised eyebrows from everyone.
"And Nandini, he's Manik Malhotra. The lead of Fab5 and he's just like my elder brother too," she smiled before he took her in a side hug.
But his eyes still remained stuck at mine and mine at him, burning anger and dislike towards each other. Hate is surely a strong word to use for a person you just met a few hours ago, but one thing I knew was for sure, that I am going to always dislike him.
And also, I and Manik Malhotra are never going to get along well together.
• Someday, the least expected people do become perfect for you. Sometimes, even fights lead to a happily ever after. And somewhere, even the smallest love stories are fairy tales. •