This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.
Ruhi receives a warm welcome at the campsite. As she sits down with everyone else in the centre of the campsite, everything starts blurring around – as she adjusts the aperture of her eyes to just focus on Arpit. He approaches her, asking if she is comfortable. She thinks of all possible things she wants to tell him; her heart is racing and she opens her mouth to answer. All that comes out is a low toned thank you. She is shocked at what just happened – she is always able to convey what she feels.
Arpit proceeds to put his backpack in the tent. Music starts playing in her heart as she recaps the entire day – getting her leg twist has acted like a blessing in disguise. Ruhi cannot help but smile in her pain as the last rays of sun warm her body. Madhu settles beside her bringing her back to reality.
Ruhi goes through the various things she wants to know about Arpit and decides to ask Madhu the most important one – ‘Why is Arpit ignoring me, or as a matter of fact, all the girls on the trek? What exactly happened in the past that changed his behaviour?’ Madhu tries to convince her everything is perfectly alright, Arpit is busy trying to sort his own world, that is the only possible reason why he must be ignoring people unconsciously.
‘Does Arpit have a girlfriend?’ ‘No he doesn’t have a girlfriend.’ ‘Has he ever been in a relationship?’ ‘Why are you asking this?’ ‘I want to understand Arpit and help him out,’ it was partially true, she had started having feelings for him was the other part ‘He was in a relationship but they had a breakup in college.’ ‘What was the reason for it?’ Madhu runs back in time, recollecting Arpit and Latika’s fight which was the first crack in their relationship.
It was October 2010. Latika had come to meet Arpit at their PG. The gang was playing video games as she walked in. She was carrying a diamond studded clutch which matched with her backless golden anarkali dress. She looked radiant with the right makeup. She got a whistle from her gourmet companion Niket and it made her blush. Her dress always drew attention. She was going to some relative’s success party along with her parents.
‘Baby, what’s the necessity of wearing such a dress for a social event? Won’t it look a bit different than what others will be wearing?’ Arpit asked her without taking his eyes off the game. There was pin drop silence; as Niket, Abhinav and Swami awaited the apocalypse. ‘I’m an independent girl and decide what to wear on my own. What’s the matter with you?Even my parents are fine with the dress.’ ‘I just don’t want any unneccessary attention on you. I don’t want someone else to come and woo you – I cannot think of a life without you.’ ‘I feel you are being way too possessive. Or is it that you don’t trust me?’
This began a huge fight for next thirty minutes and resulted in Latika storming out of the PG, slamming the door behind in full speed. Arpit got back to the game as if nothing had happened. That was their first huge fight before they eventually broke up on 31st December 2010.
‘There was no particular reason for breakup; things just didn’t happen the way they ought to have,’ replied Madhu as he carefully chose words to answer Ruhi.
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