“Who kissed who?” I shouted in shock,while unable to process the gossip she was giving me over the phone.
It was the first party I have ever missed hosted by Abhir. And all the super thrilling events happen to have occurred at the only party which I missed out on.
“Raz, keep it low!” My best friend shouted from the other line.
“There is no one around me. Just chill Tia. So just blurt out now” I said checking whether I am alone.
“Sasha kissed Nityami,” She whispered over the phone.
"Holy crap” Tia chuckled over the phone.
“So they aren’t straight?” I asked as I slumped on my bed after a tiring section of buying groceries.
“Yes, First I thought Nityami was forcing herself on Sasha but later Sasha was full-on fire, ” she replied.
“What do you mean forced? Did they kiss in front of everyone?” I stared into the ceiling wondering over the scenario.
“Sasha was on the dance floor with Abhir. Suddenly Nityami grabbed her from Abhir and kissed her. After such an unexpected event Nityami and Sasha left the party. The actual party started after their kiss. I am so glad there weren’t any karaoke and dumsharads. Music and people were crazy on the dance floor. ”
“What do you mean people? What about you ?” I know Tia still can’t get over the fact that she got cheated. I was supposed to be there to be for her. Unfortunately, my problems built a mountain for me.
“Tia?” I called her when she went silent.
“You know right? I am feeling awful without both of you” She replied with sadness and disappointment lacing over her voice.
“Tia I am sorry but this is against my wish. I promise I will make it up to you. And you should stop counting on him. He cheated on you. He decided to leave. You should let him go. ” It felt like it was more for me than her.
“How? Like you running away from the feelings. ” She just hit the spot.
“We are different from you both. We have never been in a proper relationship. We were..just friends you know. ” Tia knew that wasn’t friendship with Abhir. My best friend knew I had feelings for him. And now I am just trying to run away from him because he moved on.
“Raz you know I miss you girl. You were my support system. ”
I missed her too.
We practically grew up together. I would say this is the first summer I am spending without her.
Only god knows when they are going to take me back to India.
“I don’t know Tia When I will be coming back? “
“Don’t worry babe at least you got to hit some hot Americans there." She chuckled.
“Oh please! I have been grounded. Above all, I was assigned to babysit my father’s friend’s daughter in their own house. Can you just imagine babysitting and me, that never works? Remember last time, that baby was admitted to the hospital. I hope this baby is cute and calm. ”
Remembering the last time when I was assigned to babysit one of my friend's nieces. She is a mess. Pulling my hair, peeing like every 30 minutes, crying for chocolate, throwing my phone every time she lost a game and crying if the phone didn’t work technically, I should be the one crying, playing the only game i.e., hide and seek and hiding in the same place for like gazillion times. The worst part is I have to behave like she is invisible while she is standing right in front of me or else she will get sullen and throw toys on my head.
Urgh! Kids these days!
“Babies are meant to be crazy Raz.”
Crazy! Are you kidding me? They are cute little annoying angels.
"It is easier to be said Tia” I sighed.
“Getting hit with toys isn’t easy, Tia. It hurts so badly. Nowadays I get the worst nightmares. Above all my brother Veer was repeatedly annoying me with all the kid’s movies” I paced the room scratching my head.
Thinking of all the worst things that can happen, getting beaten up by a cricket ball, watching animated movies, changing diapers above all feeding them.
Come on even mothers can’t be successful.
“ How am I gonna keep them entertained?”
“ Raz you are going to babysit a kid. So obviously they don’t wear diapers. ”
“Tia you know nothing about babies so just let go. ” I sighed.
“Listen, girl babies loves stories, especially prince and princess stories. Get them nice animated storybooks. Read it to them. A book for a week then,“She paused.
“After a week?” I questioned.
“They will just tear it down,” She laughed.
“Oh god! My life sucks.” I whined.
"Come on Raz, you cannot give up so soon. History wouldn’t appreciate it."she tried to give me a pep talk.
I appreciate the effort.
"You can girl".she tried again.
“You know what! Whatever a book for one week is fine for me. I can manage this one month.”
“Yay girl! Now come on get your ass off to the book store and buy it. Now I gotta go and call me when you get the privilege of making a call. I love you, babe. Make me proud.” She was about to end the call.
“And if you can speak to Abhir he might need you.” She hung up.
I walked out to the nearby bookstore with the only one person in mind who I promised myself not to think about again, Abhir.
One of the main reasons I am here far away from those memories we made together.
You know this seems weird. You love someone with all you have and it turns out to be the same person you should be running away from.
Abhir is my first love. I don’t understand how he just keeps me stuck with him for so long. Jumping out of the pool with only boxers, water dripping all over his muscles and hair ,his face held a boyish smirk as he caught me checking him out was the first time I ever met him. What made me fall in love with him is that I cannot put it into words!
We have been friends since my 16th birthday which is also his 18th birthday. Nityami was the one who introduced us as she was Abhir's sister. Since then Nityami, Abhir, Tia, and I have been a pack. Including our families we four become ‘The fantastic four’ of our school. But what was between me and Abhir is quite different from others. But after my 18th birthday, I found him more appealing to me. Taking special care of me, just taking only me for ice cream alone at midnight, sharing all his secrets only to me, stealing glances while we are with our common friends, and intertwining our fingers whenever opportunity strikes did give me an opening.
Everything seemed stupid when I caught him kissing Sasha at a party. I stayed away from him thinking he hooked up with her and I am just a trial.
God! It hurts me so much that I should hate him for hurting me.
But he keeps saying to me that he needs me as a friend. So basically I am friend-zoned.
Watching them in hallways holding hands, kissing each other at the party, taking her to all-night bike rides I used to go with him hit me hard.
I was just waiting for an opportunity to just escape from him and this trip to the U.S. didn’t seem bad to me.
But all along he was the only thing in my mind so I volunteered this babysitting and this will be another stupid decision I made.
But now Sasha and Nityami make it difficult for every one of us. Abhir's love for Sasha was the last thing I knew when I left India.
Now Nityami and Sasha hooked up. Did Sasha ever cheat on him? She better not. Abhir is too alone to handle.
I bought the necessary books for my babysitting job and reached our farmhouse.
When I just touched the phone to call Abhir,
“Mom! Raz is calling her boyfriend, ” my brother Veer shouted standing in front of my room startling me. I just backed off when I realized what he just said and ran after him.
Peek a boo” my brother laughed at me imitating closing his face with his hands and re-opening it.
“Get a life Veer!” I yelled at him and stepped downstairs after a long hot relaxing shower wearing a peach-coloured crop top with skinny jeans throwing a jacket over myself.
There was my father reading the newspaper and my mother giving a final check of my things to my ‘babysitting service’.
“ Mom! Do I have to…” I was cut off by my father.
“Raz, I know you would rather spend your vacation at parties. I would be happy and proud of my daughter if she took this responsibility and did it. It means so much to me.”
Okay, First of all, how did he just guess that?
No! Don’t even ask if he will start speaking more of his movie dialogues.
Secondly! Now, how can I say no to him when he said with such a calm and pleasant voice instead of his usual stern and authoritative one!
“Listen, I owe her so much and she has been best friends with your late aunt. She needs this opportunity to get back into work. She will be having day and night shoots. She is shooting away from the U.S. so she needs someone to take care of her baby. She needs someone responsible and trustworthy and the most responsible trustworthy person I know is you. So you gotta do it.'' Well that was a good pep talk mom.
“Why can’t we just bring the baby here?”
“ This baby is never been away from the house not even once so to avoid home-sick problems let’s just settle with what we planned.”
“No more arguments. Got it. ” There he switched back to his usual mode.
“Got it, dad.”
I replied as I dragged my suitcase down the stairs and placed it inside my car’s trunk.
“Be careful and take care of yourself.” Mom hugged me and kissed my cheek, tears welling up in her eyes.
God! I am gonna miss her.
The very true reason I am doing this is only for her. She was a huge star back then. She had to quit everything to take care of me and my brother. Now, she got an opportunity to continue doing what she loved to do. She should take this to fulfil her dreams. I am going to do everything to help her pursue her dreams.
“Love you mom, All the best for the shoot” I hugged her back.
She waved her hands as I got into the car.
“Break a leg” my brother shouted as my car roared into life.