Alisha was feeling exasperated holding the card in her hand. She was so irked at their audacity that she threw the card across the living room with such force that it landed on the dining table with a thud.
“How dare he?” she screamed.
She started pacing in the living room and was continuously wriggling her fingers. She did the first sensible thing that came to her mind.
“Minnie…” On hearing Minnie’s voice, she burst into tears.
“What happened Alisha?” Minnie sounded very concerned on hearing her sobs. “Just drink some water and sit down. I’ll be there in ten minutes.” Minnie requested Alisha.
Alisha had a glass of water and she went and stood in her balcony. Somehow, the view of the ocean always had a calming effect on her, but today she was still feeling edgy.
As promised, Minnie rang the doorbell in ten minutes and as soon as Alisha spotted her, she engulfed her in a hug.
Minnie took Alisha to the balcony and opened the two folding chairs that were kept there. She made Alisha sit on one, and she sat across from her.
“What’s the matter dear?”
Alisha whispered, “He sent me his wedding invite.”
“What? Who?” Minnie couldn’t understand what Alisha was saying.
Alisha kept on repeating the same thing again and again.
“Alisha, look at me.” Minnie urged her to look up and wiped her tears.
“I’m not able to understand what you are saying. Who sent you a wedding invite?” Minnie asked.
Alisha took a few deep breaths and went out to grab some tissues and also the card that she had unceremoniously discarded. She handed the card to Minnie and said, “Him...”
Minnie’s eyes widened in surprise when she saw the card.
“Bloody asshole is having a destination wedding. And look at his gall! He’s sending me an invite! That bastard!”
“Whoa... Calm down…”
“How can I calm down?” Alisha screeched. “I had almost forgotten about him. Almost. I had such a lovely day today. And when I come home? This is what I see! How can I calm down?”
“And pray tell me, what will you get by screaming and shouting? You are hurting yourself more by doing that.”
On hearing that, Alisha went to the living room and sat on the sofa. She rubbed her palms together and then put them on her face. She took a few deep breaths said, “I guess you are right. I shouldn’t react like this. This is what he would have wanted me to do.”
Minnie smiled at that and said, “That’s like the Alisha I know.”
“Bastard’s getting married in Jaipur. A palatial wedding. He can’t even think original. That was my idea when I believed I was in love with him and would get married to him. Aargghhh…!”
“Stop it Alisha. You are starting again!” Now, it was Minnie’s turn to yell.
Alisha was feeling overwhelmed with all of this, so she said, “Minnie, let’s go for a walk outside. I need some fresh air.”
“Sure, let’s go.”
Both have them went for a walk at Marine Drive. Alisha was quiet throughout and Minnie kept looking at her. Sighing, she finally said, “Alisha, let’s sit down here.”
They sat on the promenade facing the sea. Alisha looked upwards and closed her eyes. She tried to concentrate on the sounds of the wind and the waves. She opened her eyes and saw Minnie staring at her.
“What ‘what’?” Minnie said.
“Why are you staring at me like that?”
“Are you alright? You seem to be in another world.” Minnie said.
Alisha looked ahead at the sea and began twirling her hair in her fingers before she said, “I really don’t know. Actually, I never got a proper closure from this relationship. I never knew what wrong I did to deserve the kind of treatment that I got. And then this invite. It just seems so surreal.”
“You should go then.” Minnie whispered.
“Go where?” Alisha questioned.
“You should attend their wedding,” replied Minnie.
“Oh my God! Are you out of mind? After being insulted and humiliated so much, you think I should still go there?”
“You will get the closure that you’ve always wanted. And I think, you should forgive them and move on.”
“Forgive them? After being through so much, you think I should forgive them?” Alisha said in exasperation.
“That is my opinion. You have been harboring so much negativity about them that it is interfering with your emotions. Once you let them go, I feel that you would be in a much better place emotionally.”
“I think I’ll just go home for now.” Alisha got up and started walking towards the direction of her house.
Minnie came jogging behind her and said, “You should still think about it.”
Alisha did not say anything else all the way back home.
She spent a restless night with barely an hour or two of sleep.
The next morning, she went to work. Tarun and Diya noticed her somber mood and tried to ask her about it. But Alisha chose to keep to herself.
Her colleagues did not know about her ex and she did not want to discuss anything about him too. So she just managed to say, “It’s nothing really. I’m just missing my parents. That’s all.”
Diya gave her a hug and Tarun patted her head and asked her to take care as they left.
As if on cue, her mom called. For the first time on that day, Alisha smiled. “Hi mom. Hope you reached safely.” She tried to sound cheerful.
“Hi sweetheart. Yes. We reached safely. How are you?”
“I’m great Mom. Why do you ask that suddenly?”
“Because Minnie had called and I know everything.” Her mom said softly.
Alisha sighed and said, “I’m coping with it mom. I really want to vent all my feelings out and I don’t know whom to tell.”
“You can tell me dear.”
“No, mom. Minnie wants me to forgive him and move on. I really don’t know what to do.” She said exasperatedly.
“Yes, she told me about it. You should do it you know. No hurry. Take your time. Think about it.”
“Okay mom. I will think about it.”
Just then, she got a call for an emergency surgery.
“Mom, I have to go now. Will call you later.”
She hung up the call with that and proceeded to the operation theatre. She somehow felt better after talking to her mom.
Back home that night, she decided to meet Neil. She never got the opportunity to thank him for what he had done for her. The last twenty four hours had been a roller coaster ride of emotions for her.
She rang his doorbell and was pleased to see that he was home. Clad in denims and a fitted t-shirt, he looked ready for a photo shoot.
“Oh fantastic!” He said, “What a telepathy. I was just coming to meet you.”
Alisha was surprised at that, so she uttered, “Meet me? Why?”
“Well, to see how my girlfriend is doing. Haven’t seen her in twenty four hours.” He said wiggling his eyebrows.
Alisha started laughing at that and she felt like she was laughing after ages! She realized how much she missed being with Neil. He always managed to bring a smile on her face with his funny retorts.
“Hmm… boyfriend… I’m doing good… what about you?” She tried to say that in a sultry voice and batted her lashes as well.
Now, it was Neil’s turn to laugh. “That was awesome!” he said in between bouts of laughter.
“So…” Both of them said together.
Neil cleared his throat and said, “You go first.”
“Hmm… I just wanted to thank you… umm… for all that you said to my parents.”
“You don’t need to thank me for that. It was the least that I could do. You have become a very good friend of mine, a very important part of my life. And I always want to see you happy.” He smiled as he said that.
Alisha was overwhelmed on hearing this, but she blinked back tears and smiled instead. She did not want to cry anymore. She had such wonderful people in her life. And she had no reason to be upset over someone that was never hers, that person who never understood her.
That was the moment when she decided that she was done with Rohan. She was done crying over him. To forgive him or not was a decision she would take at a later stage. For now, she would enjoy her time.
She snapped out of her thoughts when Neil tapped her on her nose.
“Where did you go to? Alisha in Wonderland?”
Alisha giggled at that and said, “That sounded awesome. It rhymes too…!” She wiped the happy tears from her eyes and continued, “You were going to tell me something?”
“Ah yes. Actually, do you remember Arjun’s cousin’s destination wedding I had told you about?”
“Oh yes, I do. You were doing back to back shoots to accommodate for that, right?”
“Yes, exactly. So, the thing is, Arjun’s cousin is throwing a pre-wedding party after two days for her close friends and relatives. And we can invite our friends. Since all my friends will already be there, I want you to come with me.”
“Wow, you want me to accompany you? Don’t you think all other girls would be jealous?” She wiggled her eyebrows as she said that.
“That’s why I’m taking you. They would know I’m taken, so they won’t bother me.” He joked as well. “Besides, Mansi would be very happy that I have finally found someone for myself.”
“Wait, who’s Mansi?” Alisha questioned.
“The bride.” Neil answered.
Alisha paled on hearing that, but still prodded further, “Oh, and what’s the groom’s name and where are they getting married?”
“Rohan. And they are getting married in Jaipur. They have been dating since two years. And I must say, they make a lovely couple.”
Alisha had paled like she had seen a ghost, but was back to her senses when Neil said they made a lovely couple.
“I think they are dating since two and a half years and not two.” And he is my ex-boyfriend who cheated on me with my roommate, who happens to be your friend’s cousin as well. She wanted to add the last part, but stopped herself.
“Huh?” Neil said.
“Never mind that.” Alisha got up to leave.
“Wait. You did not answer me. Will you come for the party?”
Alisha thought for a moment, then turned around and said, “Yes Neil. I would love to come.”