Ved’s parents were excited about his first day at his first job. But, he was not so excited. It was his dream company. He worked hard to secure a job in that company. He was looking forward for this day. But, on this day, something else troubled him. As always, he got ready an hour in advance and started browsing the Internet.
Unable to control himself any longer, he called up Keerthana on her phone. He decided to call her for one last time. Though she answered the call and said Hello, Ved did not say anything because of anxiety. After gathering some courage he said, “Hi Keerthana. How are you?
Ved’s silence made her anticipate something more than the usual banter. She waited for four long years to hear him say something. He never spoke anything about what she wanted to hear. She gave up the idea completely. On this day, when he called her early in the morning, she was pleasantly surprised and hoped to hear those precious words. But, she was disappointed when he asked how she was. She replied, “I’m doing good. How are you? Isn’t today your first day of your first job? Are you all set?”
Ved said, “I’m all set. I feel nervous about the first day. So, I thought I’ll call you.”
Keerthana, sarcastically said, “Isn’t it strange? You have been the most confident person in the entire college. I can’t imagine you being nervous.”
Ved realized that she gave him an opportunity. He said, “There are so many things that make me nervous. I stop thinking about them for some time and fake confidence, often.”
Keerthana could not believe. She was always inspired by his high levels of confidence and energy. She said, “Come on. Don’t tell me you are nervous about your new job. You are so good. The hiring managers should be nervous about taking you in their teams.”
Ved stopped himself from uttering something. He decided to word his feelings cleverly. He said, “I’m not at all nervous about this job. I’m nervous about my life from today.”
Keerthana wondered what he was saying. Her heart started pounding louder. She said, “What’s wrong with today? Is everything alright?”
Ved decided to jump into the topic. He said, “Aren’t you traveling out of the country later this evening? I know this might be surprising. But, I always wanted to be with you. I am not able to imagine my life without being able to see you at least once every day. It’s more than a teenage crush. I have controlled myself all these years. But, I have grown so fond of you. I always wanted you in my life. I could never gather the courage to say it out to you. If you have ever been in love, you would understand the pain I’m going through.”
Keerthana did not like the last few words. She disconnected the call. Ved hated himself for making this call. He never spoke to her all the four years in college because he knew that she had no feelings for her. He hated himself for not controlling himself for just another day. She would have left the country by the evening, he thought.
Ved took the newspaper and started reading it. He felt so lost. He hated his life. He thought he was slowly slipping into depression. He was considering thoughts of suicide. He wanted to cry. He wanted to shout at the world. He took his phone and started drawing sad things with his stylus. He wanted to throw his phone. He wanted to go around his house and break everything in the house. He wanted to cry louder. Tears started rolling down his eyes. He remained in his room to avoid his parents from knowing what he is going through.
Ved’s phone rang again. He did not want to accept any calls. But, he wanted to check it was Keerthana. And, yes, it was Keerthana who called him. Ved answered the call and did not have the courage to even greet her.
Keerthana said, “I’m waiting downstairs in the garden of your apartments. Come down immediately.”
Ved wondered if she brought her father and was about to shout at him and scold him. He hated himself and his life for having called her and expressed his love.
When Ved saw her in the garden, he felt glad that there was no one with her. He thought she must have come down to tell him that she never had any such feelings for him and that she always considered him as a good friend. Ved was ready to be friend zoned again.
As soon as he went near Keerthana, she looked angrily at him and slapped him tightly on his cheek. Ved was confused and frightened.
Keerthana said, “I have been waiting for those words for four years. And, you tell them to me, now, after four years. You are such a dumb idiot. Did you ever look into my eyes in the last four years?”
Ved thought that she hit him because she did not love him. He hardly heard her words. He said, “I’m sorry. I will not trouble you again.” He was slipping deeper into his depression and did not expect anything good to happen in his life at this time.
Keerthana got agitated. She said, “Are you listening? Look at me. I love you. Don’t you get it? I have been waiting to hear you for the last four years. I thought you never loved me.”
Ved was awe-struck. His feelings were going through a roller-coaster ride. He said, “Am I hallucinating? Those are my words. Is it some kind of prank?”
Keerthana was about to slap him once again. Ved held her hand this time and asked, “Now, tell me truth. Do you like me? If you like me, stop hitting me.”
Keerthana said, “I’ve always had feelings for you. But, I wondered if you had any feelings for me.”
Ved decided to stop this for once. He pulled Keerthana forward and hugged her. She did not say anything. She cried in his embrace and wanted to be in that state forever.
Ved said, “But, you are supposed to travel tonight to London.”
Keerthana asked, “How did you know that? I did not tell anyone at college. I told them all that I’m going to Bangalore.”
Ved said, “I always knew everything about you. But, it was difficult for me to get into your mind and know how you felt about me.”
Keerthana said, “My father did not want me to go anywhere. He wanted to fetch a job here and find someone and get married. He did not like the idea of me going abroad and studying further. But, I could not think of living here without seeing you everyday. So, I decided to go. Now, I have to talk to him. I know he will be angry.”
Ved said, “Don’t worry. I’ll talk to Uncle. It’s been my mistake to not tell you and I know this changes a lot of things. I will have to tell my parents that I have a girl friend. We have to be in a relationship with their knowledge. So, let us tell me before I go for my first day at work.”
To their utter shock and disbelief, Ved’s father and Keerthana’s father came from behind and congratulated them.
Ved’s father said, “I knew something was fishy between you people. But, did not get a chance to dig deeper. None of you would speak your heart out. Then, I met Keerthana’s father and he also felt the same about both of you. So, we wanted to wait until you guys speak it out. We did not want to sow seeds of love where there is nothing. Now, that we know you both love each other, we are glad about our judgment and prediction abilities.”
Keerthana’s father said, “I feel glad we understood our kids correctly. And, they have been good too. Go and enjoy your lives. We’ll plan for your future slowly and steadily. We would not want to rush you into things.”