Samir smiled. It was the wedding day after all. Nimi had just stepped out of the changing room, and looked wonderful. The golden hues in the saree went wonderfully with her brown hair and eyes, while the pink matched the blush on her cheeks. She had a big smile as she walked towards the mandap, and her eyes shone when they met his. He couldn’t help but think of the day two years ago.
Samir had come back to his home in Bombay for the weekend. The new project in Pune would keep him occupied for most of the working week, leaving him only the weekend to relax. He had planned to catch up on his reading during this weekend. He was idling away on the sofa when his phone gave a beep to signal that he had received an SMS.
“Where are you?”
“Home… Lazing around… Why?”
“Can you meet me? I am at the café. A friend of mine wants to give away some of his books.”
“Excellent! Will join you in some time.”
“Ok, will ask him to come as well.”
He had grown very close to Nimi. He felt that it was about time that he ask her out. He took a shower, and changed in to a fresh pair of jeans and shirt. The café wasn’t far away, and with his bike it would take him less than five minutes. After parking his bike, he stood back in the parking for some time thinking. After taking a deep breath, he opened the door to enter the café.
She was sitting in a corner, watching something intently on the laptop. Her back was to the door, so she couldn’t see him come in. He took a moment for the sight of her to sink in. Here she was in a green tee, and black shorts. Her hair fell back in long waves, while she played with a lock in her left hand. She had long hair that went below her waist. It always smiled nice. He walked towards her and gave her a tap on the shoulder. She smiled and got up to hug him.
“I am hungry.”
“Why didn’t you order something till now?”
“I wanted a paneer sandwich, but they’re out of that.”
“Let’s order something else before we sit down.”
“Will you share a pizza? I will half a pizza and some iced tea.”
“I thought you were hungry.”
“Just hungry, not hungry-hungry.”
He couldn’t help but laugh, as he joined her at the counter to place an order. He ordered for some cola for himself.
“Who’s this friend of yours?”
“Ravi’s from work, in a different department. He is moving to a new place and wants to get rid of his dad’s old books.”
“What do you mean get rid of?”
“He’s not into reading. I know that you love it, so I asked him to come by. We can go to his place together and you can have your pick from the lot.”
They spent the next hour talking and sharing a pizza. He told her of his ongoing project in Pune, and how it kept him away home. She told him about the new boss she had, and what a pain he was. They agreed that bosses in general make it a point to trouble people and that when they would be team leads, they would be different. She laughed so hard at that, that a woman had to come and ask them to tone it down a little. The rest of the conversation took place in stifled giggles and glances in the direction of the woman.
The urge to ask her was overwhelming but he felt it would be better to do so after the visit to Ravi’s house. He didn’t realize that they had spent over an hour and Ravi hadn’t turned up. Almost on cue, Nimi received a call.
“What do you mean you can’t make it? We’ve been waiting for so long over here. I even called Samir over yaar. I wanted the two of you to meet.” She carried on her conversation with him for another minute.
“Sorry yaar, he’s stuck with some work. He has had to rush to help his dad with some of the unloading at the new place.”
“That’s ok. Next weekend perhaps.”
“I know, but I wanted you to meet him today.”
“Why is that?”
“Umm… Ravi asked me out last night. He’s such a great guy. I told him yes! Since you’re such a good friend, I wanted you to the first one to meet him.”
She began to blush. She was so happy that she couldn’t notice the small reaction on his face. It took a great effort on his part to not give away what was going on his mind. Ravi has asked her last night. If only he had asked her some hours ago instead. He wondered what she would have told him then. Would she have told no, and told him of her feelings towards Ravi? Or had they just been good friends too, and Ravi’s asking her had been a natural progression, that wouldn’t have mattered had he asked her before?
“That is great news! Why didn’t you tell yesterday, idiot? This is your treat now!” He smiled as much as he could, and got up to hug her.
He continued smiling as the memories of that day came back to him. Over time he would become good friends with Ravi as well, and the three of them would hang out together at the café. He nudged Ravi in his sides. He was talking to his brother and hadn’t seen Nimi come. His face broke into a wide grin as he saw his wife to be.
Here stood his two friends, at the beginning of their happily ever after.