The story up until now:
Chapter 2: The New Couple
Sid and Avi often join Sunaina and Neha in their canteen breaks. Also, the friendship is beneficial as seniors have notes and tips to help the juniors. Sunaina & Neha are adjusting to their new surroundings Sunaina has started secretly liking Sid while Sid has no clue about it. Avi has a slight hint of this; you know he is the expert in girls. Neha also knows it very well as when Sunaina and Neha are alone, all Sunaina can do is chatting about Sid. Neha, on the other hand is the silent one, always lost in her thoughts, trying to remember her past, trying to understand if any connection exists between her and Sid.
Avi – You know I think Sunaina likes you.
Sid – What! You are joking, right!
Avi – No, I am not kidding. And yes she likes you, given my expertise on this subject matter as you yourself say!
Sid – Oh! Really then let’s have a bet. I will give you a treat if you are proved right or vice versa.
Avi – Done!
Sid – Great! So we will find out the truth tomorrow.
Avi – What will you do tomorrow?
Sid – Check me out!
Avi – Ok!
Next day during lunch break, at their usual meeting time, Sid asks Avi to take Neha somewhere using some excuse so that he can chat with Sunaina alone.
Locating the table where Sunaina is sitting, Avi and Sid reach out to her.
Avi – Hey Sunaina, What’s up! Where is Neha?
Sunaina – Oh! She is not well so she didn’t come to college today.
Sid – Oh!
Sid and Avi both share a brief glance with a mischievous smile on their faces thinking that the road is all clear now.
Avi – Amm..Oh! I forgot my book in mechanical lab; will pick it up and come back.
Sid – Yup!
Sid sits down facing opposite Sunaina, planning to ask her out.
Sid – Hey, I was thinking something!
Sunaina – What?
Sid – It’s a Yes/No question. If you want time, I can wait for your answer. There is no hurry and no need to be shy. Do you like me?
Sunaina, after a silence of 10 minutes, being taken aback by Sid’s frankness and surprised by the question, finally says “Yes”.
Sid – Great! I have the same feelings as you do. You are very beautiful.
Sunaina – Thanks! I never thought you will like me too. This is so good. I just can’t tell you how much happy your revelation has made me.
Sid takes her hand and squeezes tightly when they are interrupted by Avi who in an ecstatic tone shouts ‘Ahh! The new couple in town. I had guessed about your feelings for him but I didn’t know about Sid and his fast-forwardness. I always thought Sid is shy and very serious in life.’
Sunaina on reaching back hostel room, filled with euphoria, cries out to Neha ‘Oh! I am so very very happy. You know what happened today. Sid asked me out. I am on top of the world. You know I used to like him but never thought he will reciprocate the same. He used to be very serious and detached. This is the best thing that happened to me since our admission. I just can’t tell you how I am feeling right now. It’s so great’.
Sunaina goes on filling Neha with all the details while Neha’s face had gone pale. Sunaina hardly noticed the change in her facial expressions or one could say she ever noticed anything about Neha. She was a self-centred person and everything in the world was about herself.
Meanwhile Neha congrats Sunaina and then she leaves the room on the pretext of getting some fresh air.
Neha while rambling in the college ground, talking to herself ‘What’s wrong with me? Why it was so hard to hear Sunaina? Why did I feel so bad? What was it that was affecting me? Oh! Why don’t I remember anything? This is so irritating and frustrating.’ Neha lost in her thoughts reaches the basketball court and finds Sid there. He seemed to be aggressively playing alone, fiercely and constantly throwing the ball in the basket; as if trying to take out his frustration and anger at the ball. Neha stands still watching him from behind. The ball hits the basket back and bounces towards Neha when she catches it and throws it towards the basket. Sid signals her to play with him and she nods her head. After an hour of a silent game, exhausted from the activity they decide to go to the canteen for some refreshments.
While the two are munching on their sandwich, Neha pops the question ‘Can I ask you something?’
Sid – Yes, sure!
Neha – While playing I felt you were angry and frustrated at something.
Sid – No, nothing like that.
Neha – Ok, then why were you playing alone?
Sid – It seems you are interviewing me. Nevertheless, I can ask you the same question. You also came alone to the court.
Neha – Na, I just came to get fresh air. Playing basketball is my favourite hobby. It gives me immense peace and happiness.
Sid gets lost in a reverie.
Neha – What happened? Did I say something wrong? Why are you staring at me and saying nothing?
Sid – No! You just reminded me of someone else. Amm, I think we should get back to the hostel.
Neha – Yup!
They part ways at the garden separating the girls and boys hostel. Neha on her way back is wondering what is wrong with Sid. What is he hiding? And why on earth he affects me so much.