Fiction Friendship Romance


Rita and Ajay had met each other at a common friend's party . They were both in their teens . As the DJ played the song , ' Just the way you are', Ajay asked Rita to dance with him . Being very shy and an introvert since childhood , she felt embarrassed . Seeing her predicament, her friend , Shalini dragged her to the dance floor . " Rita , this is Ajay , my brother's best friend . He is almost like a family member," introduced Shalini to Rita . She felt her blood rushing up her cheeks . " May we dance , " he said extending his hands to her . She was now in Ajay's arms and enjoying every moment of it too . 

   They began to hang out together . The more time Ajay spent with Rita , the closer he felt to her. There are quite a few people in their friends group but their's was some sort of a special bond . Usually Rita  hated it when people hugged her . But Ajay's always felt warm and comforting. He always made her feel special. She felt attracted towards him by his endearing habits , pulling a chair for her at a restaurant , opening the car door for her or even carrying her heavy bags when they went for shopping . For someone who had grown up on films and Barbara Cartland romance, Ajay gave her a hope for the future. 

      Time passed and soon they were busy in their own lives . They were now well settled in their jobs. They were married by the blessings of their parents . They both shared the love of traveling , eating out watching films and listening to music. They both loved dancing and did not care even if they were the only couple on the dance floor at a party or hotel . Even after so many years  , they both were deeply in love with each other, like a newly wedded couple . Ajay would shower her with gifts and unlike other men , he never forgot her birthday or their anniversary . Their friends joked about this but also admired this quality of his . Rita on her part would whip up his favourite dishes . She managed her personal and professional life really well . Their married life was sailing smoothly. It was no less than a fairy tale .

     Just like other couples, Ajay and Rita too had their share of tiffs and arguments. Usually it was Ajay who kept calm as Rita howled her lungs out and then cooled down after sometime. She was always the first to start talking again after the brawl. Then again it was back to normal again . 

    One day , her son , Vikas had gone out with his friends . Ajay too was in office . Rita had returned home from her college where she was a lecturer. Rita was alone at home. After having her lunch alone , she settled down on the bed , knitting a sweater . Her pet dog , Brownie was sitting on her lap . As she surfed the channel of the TV to check out on the movies , she heard a knock on the door . She looked at the clock on the wall. It was just 4pm. It was way too early for Ajay to return from office or anyone to visit. Vikas too had just called up to inform her that he would be late. Reluctantly ,she crawled out of her snug bed and snuggled across the house to the large wooden main door. 

   " Who could it be at this time?", she thought to herself , unable to bring up anything into her sleepy mind.

     The door bell rang again . This time it sounded as if the visitor was impatient . " "Coming , hold on " , shouted back Rita as she hoped down two steps at a time to reach the door . She peeped through the magic eye, but there was no one. Brownie too scampered behind her. Rita's heart was so loud that she could hear it. She was sweating profusely . She tried to call up Ajay but it kept ringing . " May be he is in meeting ." 

      It was now quite late enough to be worried. She went to the window and looked out. Except for a street dog outside her gate , there was not a single soul in sight . She thought it was a prank of the neighborhood children . They must have rung the bell and run away.. She went back to the living room and sank down on the sofa . Again there was a tapping on the door. This time it was loud and clear . Brownie got up and ran towards the door . Rita was now determined to find out who was disturbing her . She opened the door and stepped out to catch the pranksters red handedly. 

        She nearly tripped and fell over something . In the light of the street light she saw that it was a box . It was wrapped up in beautiful shiny red packing paper . She bent down to pick it up . There was no name written on the package. "Someone must have stopped by here and left it by mistake ," she said to herself. She was wondering whether to complain to the police . 

   Curiosity got better of her .She ripped open the satin ribbon and the paper .There was a box bound by packing tape .She tore open the tape and put her hands in the box and pulled out the contents .It was another smaller box packed in the same way as the bigger box . Rita took it out and tore open the box . There was a jewellery box inside the box. She opened the box with shaking hands . 

      Just then out of nowhere jumped out Ajay with Vikas following him , giggling and clapping his hands 

  " Happy Valentine's Day to my loving wife." 

 " You will never change. You are still the same you were when we first met ."

     All close relatives and friends were meeting after a year at the Valentine's Day party hosted by Ajay and Vikas . They were all dancing to ' Just the way you are' , as if there was no tomorrow. They were in each other's arms just like the way they had first met. Nothing seemed to have changed .

February 13, 2021 14:50

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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