Cross Country Road Trip

Written in response to: Set your story in a snowed-in chalet.... view prompt

120 comments

Adventure Friendship

That was that, I had to give a newspaper ad so that people could join me on my cross country road trip. I was just not going on that bus, renovated might it be, alone. I called up the local neewspaper, and placed an ad for the next day.  

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"CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP"

People who wish to join me on my cross country road trip from New Delhi may contact on 123-456-789-0.

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The ad came in next Monday, because of my silly mistake. The ad was short and barely visible. I thought that no one would come up. Little did I know, I was going to be in for a surprise. It had hardly been an hour since the break of dawn on the day my ad showed up on the newspaper that the calls started coming in. I hadn't even expected A call, let alone so many CALLS. 

In the first hour itself, I had noted down the details of five people, not even counting the number of calls I had to surpass while I was busy on the line. The people were all willing to enter the bus right away, ready to leave that very day. I was not, I had to complete a few more tasks before leaving and I was surely not going to be ready by Friday, let alone today.

Then the calls just kept on coming. Before settling into bed that night, I had recorded the information about two hundred fifty people, my right hand was aching like anything. It felt weird, it was sleeping, yet a lot of pins and needles were poking me, all at ones. Don't even get me started on the way my elbow was.

All I wanted was to go on a road trip, with my new, well, scratch that, my old-new school bus. I wanted to go with people, but not these many. Then again, better with more people than alone, right?

The only problem was, by the weekend, I had received more than five hundred calls and I had to get going by Monday, else I would never be able to finish the trip by the end of my three month vacation that I had got from work. It wasn't a vacation per se, but since I was a blogger, I didn't really need to go anywhere for work, I got everything I needed within bluetooth distance of my phone and laptop!

I had to think fast. So I called the newspaper again, "Hello? This is Dhwani Jain. I had placed an advertisement in your newspaper for this past Monday." I waited a second, ADVERTISEMENT, really? Who said the whole mouthful if it was easier done with just two letters?

"Yeah...?" the person on the other end said, waiting for me to continue my statement. 

"I want to place another ad for tomorrow, is that possible?" 

"Let me just check. I am going to put you on hold."

Great, just great!

Everybody knew what being put on hold meant. I was about to hang up and retry when the person coninued, "I found a vacant spot with the ad department. But it is just a few centimeters of space. Will that do?"

"Yes!" I was desperate, I had to work with just the space she was going to give me. Quickly, I noted down the email id she gave me, reminding myself to send the screenshot of the payment this time on the first go only so that the newspaper would run my ad right away. Last time, it took me a week to realize that and that cut off two weeks from my three and a half month vacation. 

Sad.

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"CROSS COUNTRY ROAD TRIP {PART 2}"

All interested people must meet at the Jantar Mantar at 3 p.m. on Saturday. 

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I was ready for the interview round. I never thought my simple ad would lead to this. Nonetheless, I had my best friend, Anvisha, who had my back. 

"I will bring my mic and the huge speaker that you gifted me for my birthday."

"You do that, An. By the way, I never really know why I brought that speaker."

"At least it is coming handy."

"Yes it is. Did you confirm with the local police?"

"I did, actually, one of them is coming for the interview. So they gave the green light easily. Why do you plan to take this interview anyway? Can you just go on your own?"

"An, there are three reasons to this. One, I would be bored. Two, it will be very expensive and three, it would help me meet new people, since SOMEONE decided not to come."

"I have a job, remember? Not everyone can do their job like yours, from home."

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"Hello everyone! I am Dhwani Jain. I am willing to go on a road trip covering the whole of India with any three of you. Since so many of you decided to call up, I thought to take your interview and see who three I feel suitable for and comfortable with for this road trip." I said to the expecting crowd.  

Then the process began. Anvisha and I just sat there, on one of the benches, while the other people came one by one, some carrying a whole lot of their bags, and the others with their resumes as well. I started the series of questions for the first person. She was old but wanted to go on the trip anyway. She had family all over the country where I was planning to go and thought to meet them. 

A few more people came and went. Most of them had a full family, the others were just there, having no idea what I was doing. 

After what seemed like days, we were down to the last dozen or so people to be interviewed. No wonder a lot of people got fed up in the middle and started exploring the age-old Sundial and the 'modern clock-like features' of Jantar Mantar. There was a group of foreigners and a few Indians left. 

"So why do you want to join me on this trip?" I asked, intrigued by a pair of girls who were definitely not from India. 

"I want to see India the real way, and I have my kid sister with me too. This is Faith."

"Where are your parents?" Anvisha said, sounding suspicious. I however, knew that these were the kind of people I wanted to go on the trip with. They seemed young, fun and ready to embark on an adventure. 

"They are on a vacation, a world tour. They wanted us to stay with our extended family, but we don't really want to stay in one house, we want to go exploring. We are here till December."

"Okay then, Alex," I said, nodding to the elder girl, "and Faith", it was the younger one's turn, "you are in. Get ready and meet me here on Monday at 8 a.m. sharp. I will be in a modified school bus. Give me your phone number. I will message you the other details and who else will be joining us. Also, please make sure that you carry as less luggage as you can."

The girls nodded and went away happily, probably to inform their family. I interviewed a few more people, not getting to know anyone I wanted. Finally, the last person, a foreigner again, came. 

She was tall, about 5'6" and had a kind vibe to her. She said her name was Raelynaia, something I knew I could never pronounce. She was a photographer and wanted to capture the essence of India for a photography contest which was going to be held in 2025. 2025!!!! This girl was a planner. Learn Dhwani, learn, I thought to myself. 

I had found my three people. None of them were Indian, but all of them were as interested as me to travel. It was going to be fun. Moreover, An had pushed her boss to give her a month's leave, and later she could work from home, or rather, bus as well. It took a lot o courage for her to do that. She was going with.

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The day of the trip arrived. I stood there, in front of the gigantic school bus I had brought after losing a challenge from a fellow blogger. 'Koko', as I had decided to call it, was standing there, as tall and blue as a school bus could be. The remodifiers had done a good job. The seats were modified into bunk beds, there was a mini kitchen, a washroom and the driving space. It was just like a caravan, but bigger. I have checked and rechecked that I had brought my license and all the other required permits. After all, I didn't want any problem while on the go. 

I glanced at the clock, 10 minutes to showtime. I went inside and made sure that the girls would get a good first impression of Koko, as it was going to be their home for the next few months. After making the arrangements, I climbed down the stairs and took in the situration. I looked to my right. Nothing. I turned to my left side, maybe some luck there? Yes!  

I saw the sisters, Alex and Faith, jogging up to me. Just after their bags were inside, I saw Raelynaia coming up. This was good, everyone was on time. Everyone except my best friend. Anvisha was still half asleep when I called her, saying that the place where we were was way too far for her to wake and come. I was going to have to go to her home to pick her up.

Just great!  

I started the bus and we were off!

The trip had started! 

January 19, 2022 16:28

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120 comments

Abi Bean
17:26 Apr 13, 2022

aw this is really cute, i like it

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Dhwani Jain
17:28 Apr 13, 2022

=D Thanks a ton for reading!

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Abi Bean
17:36 Apr 13, 2022

ofc :)

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Dhwani Jain
17:38 Apr 13, 2022

=)

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Philia S
14:44 Mar 31, 2022

Hey! How are you?

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Dhwani Jain
16:17 Mar 31, 2022

I am awesome! Being back to school has literally INSPIRED me. I have written a story already, and I have ideas for at least 2 more. XD I'll post it here soon. What about you? How have you been? Has your school started, offline?

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Philia S
16:47 Mar 31, 2022

It's great to know, you're well! I'll check out your story asap. :D My offline school will start on 4th, lol.

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Dhwani Jain
11:58 Apr 01, 2022

Thanks! Noice noice...

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Hey Dhwani, just read your blog post about reading! I like it. And I'm so glad that you are such an avid reader! When the warning about shutdowns came, we made a trip to the library to stock up on books. Our local library cards allow a total of 25 books each, and I'm pretty sure we completely filled them!

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Dhwani Jain
14:25 Mar 28, 2022

XD Thank you so much! Also, you remember I had to tell you about the story that was SoMeWhAt similar to St. Agnes' story you told me? Firstly, so sorry I forgot about it, I was lazy/ And secondly, I have a book review about the book that is a retelling of that story. It is on my blog. The book is called, 'THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS', Thank you for reading my post! Also, 25 books in 2 years or maybe a year seems a fair deal, good job on shelving up, but didn't you end up paying like, 25 times the late fees when you returned all of them?

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Firstly, no worries, we all get busy with LiFe OuTsIde Of ReEdSy, and secondly, cool, I will check your blog. Haha! About the library fines, since they were going to be closed for an indeterminate amount of time, they waived all fines until further notice, to be given on their social media pages. So we didn’t get fined. How are you?

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Dhwani Jain
09:01 Apr 03, 2022

Yeah....thanks. XD That's good that they did that, else idk you'd be under LiBrArY dEbT for like, the rest of your lives or something? I am doing great! What about you, what are you up to these days?

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I forgot last time, but they actually called us to let us know they would be closing, and invited us to come and fill up on the books - we are all avid readers in my house. What am I up to? 1. Attempting to read a 269-page non-fiction autobiographical book in two days 2. Writing a third story for my DCRL series 3. Making a mental checklist for an upcoming road trip 4. Outlining an alien character's moods, and their corresponding behaviors and interactions with other characters 5. Wondering about Wolf's long-term break from Reedsy What...

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Dhwani Jain
12:45 Apr 04, 2022

Oh....nice. 1. That's impossible, and boring. 2. Which series? Idts I've read it. 3. Have a great time! 4. Aliens! You got my attention now! ;) 5. Me too... :( I am : 1. going back to school 2. in the last year of my shcool life 3. happy about (1) 4. studying, doing home work 5. just managing to go by each day with a little more inspiration and a little more gateway out of the block that I'd faced for a few months

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Heyyy DJ :D TIME TO SPREAD POSITIVITY WHEN I SAY "I AM" YOU SAY "LOVED" THEN COPY/PASTE THIS TO SOMEONE ON REEDSY AND CONTINUE THE CHAIN LETS SPREAD SOME POSITIVITY READY??? I AM-

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Dhwani Jain
13:38 Mar 12, 2022

LOVED!!!!

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03:30 Mar 02, 2022

Dhwani girllllllllll How are you?

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Dhwani Jain
13:37 Mar 12, 2022

Nice nice Just got over with exams...

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18:30 Mar 12, 2022

That's gud!

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Dhwani Jain
07:07 Mar 13, 2022

=D

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03:22 Mar 21, 2022

:D

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06:47 Feb 23, 2022

Heyhey Dhwani :D

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Dhwani Jain
13:37 Mar 12, 2022

Hello

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06:30 Mar 13, 2022

Are you doing well? How were exams?

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Dhwani Jain
07:08 Mar 13, 2022

Doing good....just got a HUGE responsibility.....doing that with my friends

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03:23 Mar 21, 2022

Cool!! Also, take your time but when do you think you'll have time to do your collab part? Just curious :)

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Dhwani Jain
13:26 Mar 21, 2022

I'll get to it soon....so sorry to keep you waiting 😅

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06:30 Mar 13, 2022

Are you doing well? How were exams?

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12:37 Feb 02, 2022

What a fun read!! I'm not young but I love to travel and I'm in the process of organizing my life so I can travel full-time for approximately half the year in a smallish RV/caravan. I'm a 57 year old American. For these reasons I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS STORY!! I want to hear more about the journey. If you wanted to add a touch of suspense you could select a 3rd party who is perfect, only to have them either be a no show or back out. This could force you to make a last minute choice you're unsure of or perhaps start short a person and bump in...

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Dhwani Jain
13:43 Feb 02, 2022

Thank you so much for this amazing reviews and ideas for the future part(s)..... I'll surely look into them when(and if) I write them. <3 Also, thanks for wishing me, but how did you know it was my birthday a few days ago??

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17:58 Feb 02, 2022

There were many people wishing you a happy birthday in the comments section so I decided to do so as well. 😊 I hope that was okay.

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Dhwani Jain
04:12 Feb 03, 2022

Thanks!!! Yeah, that is okay. Who wouldn't want more wishes on their birthday? XD

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HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYY DJ :DD🥳🎉🥳🎉🥳🎉 (Sorry I'm a day late). I hope you had fun :D

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Dhwani Jain
03:11 Jan 31, 2022

Thank you so much!!! (it doesn't matter, at least you remembered!!!)

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:DDDD Did you have a fun day?

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Dhwani Jain
03:53 Jan 31, 2022

I did! We had a pary at home with 20-something relatives....and I got a lot of presents!! I finally got the charms braelet I was looking for the entire time I was there at the IITF. It has 4 charms so far. But the one that I already have is wayy too heavy for it. XD Look at me, rambling all about things that you won't understand a word of, without context....

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Sounds fun! Ooo noice. Lol it’s fine :)

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Dhwani Jain
04:25 Jan 31, 2022

What about your bday? I literally can't believe Jan is over...it's 31st here.....

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Philia S
04:27 Jan 27, 2022

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DHWANIIIIIIIIII! :DDDDD I hope you have a wonderful day! :DDD

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Dhwani Jain
06:56 Jan 27, 2022

Thank you so very much, Philia!!!! I will !

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Philia S
07:49 Jan 27, 2022

:DDDDD Wanna talk on the doc?

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Dhwani Jain
03:27 Jan 28, 2022

Sorry for the late reply....I was WAAAAAAAAAAAY too busy yesterday!

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Philia S
05:54 Jan 28, 2022

XD It's fineee. I understand. :D I hope you had a really nice day yesterday! :D

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Dhwani Jain
06:41 Jan 28, 2022

I did! I had tons of fun with a party at home... We played games and ate cake, the usual party stuff. by the way, I just realized: HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHILIA THE QUESADILLA. THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH A NICE FRIEND TO ME.

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Akshara P
15:35 Jan 22, 2022

hey! you asked me to remind you after a few days... to give a review on my latest. :)

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Dhwani Jain
06:37 Jan 23, 2022

Doing that right away...after studying :(

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Akshara P
07:24 Jan 23, 2022

okay...? :)

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Dhwani Jain
08:48 Jan 23, 2022

YOu did the challenge?

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Akshara P
08:54 Jan 23, 2022

i'm still writing it. :)

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Dhwani Jain
03:52 Jan 24, 2022

Gotchya

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very nice start to the story! it's cool that Philia and I are sisters lol. I feel like there's a whole lot of potential you can do with this. Keep it up :)

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Dhwani Jain
04:40 Jan 22, 2022

Thanks!

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Dhwani Jain
04:49 Jan 22, 2022

Yeah, it is really coolio that you and Philia are sisters!!! There is, it is actually based off of a Reedsy comedy prompt

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yeah lol. niceeeee

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00:32 Jan 21, 2022

Also 💥

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Dhwani Jain
04:23 Jan 21, 2022

Ok, Write a story which revolves around colours. (read my story, THE TRIAL for more information.) You have 4 weeks, from 21 January,2022.

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19:01 Jan 21, 2022

Thanks!

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00:29 Jan 21, 2022

*Claps loudly*

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Dhwani Jain
04:21 Jan 21, 2022

*takes a bow!* Merci beaucoup mon amie!!! Je suis tres contente que tu es contente avec mon histoire.

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18:58 Jan 21, 2022

De rien, mon amie! Tu es un bonne I' écrivaine! Tu loquerisne Latinae?

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Dhwani Jain
04:38 Jan 22, 2022

=D I don't know what that means

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13:06 Jan 22, 2022

(=|)}= Oops I kinda mixed French with Latin, I was trying to compliment you and ask you if you knew Latin

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Dhwani Jain
13:54 Jan 22, 2022

XD No, I don't know Latin, although I thought tha you were asking if I knew Italian.... XD

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19:42 Jan 19, 2022

💥

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Dhwani Jain
05:11 Jan 20, 2022

Write a story which revolves around people from different backgrounds. It should be a story not set in this universe though. You have a month's time from 20th January, 2022.

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12:01 Jan 20, 2022

Ooh, interesting! Thanks! Am I allowed to credit you in my story for giving me the challenge?

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Dhwani Jain
13:36 Jan 20, 2022

Welcome! You can, if you want. Also, can I ask you to check my blog, I have just uploaded a book review and would love to get some comments there...link is in my bio,

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14:03 Jan 20, 2022

I checked out your review! It's really good, but I haven't read the book. Sorry, but I don't really feel like I'm the right person to comment on it.

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Dhwani Jain
16:46 Jan 20, 2022

Ok, I understand!

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Dhwani Jain
16:46 Jan 20, 2022

Ok, I understand!

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Philia S
18:53 Jan 19, 2022

GEE IM WOLFIE'S SISTER. THAS NICE- I loved this! There's gonna be a second part, I assume?

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Dhwani Jain
04:32 Jan 20, 2022

Yeah you are! Thanks! I hope so!?

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Dhwani Jain
16:30 Jan 19, 2022

This is a ReedsyCast. The characters are as follows: 1. Anvisha ~ by Nayonikaa 2. Alex ~ by Wolf Warrior 3. Faith ~ by Quesadilla 4. Raelynaia ~ by Missa Thank you all for giving me the characters ! (you will see more of them soon ;P )

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Palak Shah
14:11 Mar 19, 2022

Heyyy Dhwani, How are you doing? How was your cross-country trip? I loved reading the story. Well done :)) Could you please read my latest story if possible? :)) Thanks :))

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Missa .
17:56 Jan 19, 2022

I love it!!

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Dhwani Jain
04:29 Jan 20, 2022

You do?

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Missa .
00:48 Jan 21, 2022

Yes!

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Dhwani Jain
04:21 Jan 21, 2022

Thanks!!!

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Missa .
12:09 Jan 21, 2022

:)

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