Manik panicked hearing Nandini’s name from Dhruv. He hadn’t expected something like that to happen.
Manik : “What? Why? How? I mean….?”
Dhruv : “What happened to you? Why are you reacting like this?”
Manik : “You told about it all of a sudden and surprised me.”
Manik was distressed thinking about the implications. On one side, he had Nandini, and he had made up his mind not to let go of her. He was thinking of how to convince her because he felt that she might reply in negative. On the other side, he had his friend Dhruv whom he didn’t want to lose.
Manik was in a fix whether to tell Dhruv what he felt for Nandini or back off and let Dhruv go ahead. His inner turmoil was reflected on his face and Manik’s face had paled. His breathing wasn’t normal and he was sweating in the air conditioned room.
Seeing Manik’s condition, Dhruv realized he had gone overboard. Dhruv tried to calm down Manik immediately and he gave Manik water to drink.
Dhruv : “Calm down, there isn’t anything like how I told you. I was waiting for you to spill the beans on your own, but you didn’t, and I lost my patience. I thought a little shock treatment will work, and you will blurt out everything.”
Dhruv : “I didn’t expect that it would have such a drastic effect on you. Your reaction scared me. I do have an idea that Nandini is special to you, so I would not see her in that way.”
Manik was relieved after hearing that and started getting back to normal.
Manik : “Oh! It wasn’t a little shock. It felt as though you were snatching away my life. I was scared that I will end up losing one of you. But how did you know that Nandini is special to me?”
Dhruv : “I know you for a few years, so it wasn’t difficult figuring it out. I haven’t seen you looking at any other girl like you were looking at Nandini during the wedding, not even Alya. I remember you mentioning about Nandini when I caught you lost a few times in the past. Your specific instructions, to take care of her during the journey and drop her safely, showed how concerned you were for her.”
Manik : “It looks like everyone around me knows how I feel for Nandini, except her.”
Manik hadn’t told anyone what Nandini meant to him, but his gestures did, even before he himself realized.
Dhruv : “You haven’t told her yet? When did you come to know that you have feelings for her?”
Manik : “I realized only a few days back.”
Dhruv : “When are you planning to tell her?”
Manik : “I haven’t thought yet. I have to sort out a few things before that.”
Dhruv : “Are you referring to Alya? Are you yet to breakup with her?”
Manik : “Yes.”
Dhruv : “Are you thinking of how to talk to her?”
Manik : “I was earlier, but not anymore. She already has an idea of what is coming.”
Dhruv : “How?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Manik told Dhruv about what Alya told him in brief on their way back home.
Alya : “When I met you first, your nature impressed me. You weren’t like other guys who find reasons to get close to girls. I wanted to be that special girl in your life, the only one who you would love and care for. After we got into a relationship, you weren’t ready to get intimate with me though I was ready. I thought you were reserved, but now I feel that wasn’t the only reason.”