This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.
Madhu was happy with the fact that Abhinav wanted to come along – so there was hope. Now he only had to convince Arpit about it. He walked in the hall pacefully, thinking of a way to convince Arpit. He had asked Niket for help, but Niket had warned him about what he wanted to do. ‘Let us catch up and convince him there. Post that, we can ask Abhi to meet him when he comes to India and sort things out.’ But this didn’t seem right – the group was incomplete without Abhi and he couldn’t go for a trip leaving any members behind.
This is what he’s going to tell Arpit; directly, without any caveats – he decided and called him up in the afternoon. Arpit was watching the 2015 world cup opening match between the host New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka had won the toss and had elected to field. The match was about to begin. Arpit kept munching on pop corn, waiting for Madhu to speak up; Madhu seemed quite anxious from his tone. Madhu finally spoke, ‘I’m inviting Abhi to come along with us for the trek. Its been four years to that incident and I’m done waiting for you two to sort it out. I want the gang to reunite. If you are not willing to talk to Abhi, you can avoid him; don’t let your decision impact our ability to be around him.’
Arpit was listening calmly to what Madhu said. Madhu talked sense – he never wanted others to have strained relation with Abhi. What had happened was between them. But Abhi had severed ties with everyone out of guilt. After thinking it through, he replied back, ‘I don’t mind him coming along as long as he maintains distance from me.’
Arpit had kept an eye on Abhi’s whereabouts throughout these years. His parents were friends with Abhi’s parents and they often used to share information about their kids. He was sure Abhi also did the same. He was dying to meet Abhi and ask him how the hell was he doing. But emotions got stuck in the throat, no voice came out.
Finally, now that everyone was in for the trek, dates were to be finalised. After doing separate research with regards to the best time to do the trek, Madhu and Arpit both concluded it to be August. That’ll leave them close to four months to get fit (especially Niket). Everyone was fine with those dates. ‘Fantastico, Madhu!’ Abhi was glad Arpit agreed and couldn’t contain his excitement, this was the first time he had used college jargon in last four years – he loved the sound of it. He wondered how these four months will pass. Niket and Swami were pleasantly shocked by the development and excited to catch up with Abhi.
END OF PART ONE
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