“Hi guys,” waved Manav.
“I am sorry to tell you this on such a short notice but you three have to come positively. After all, you are the only friends I have and I will be glad if you grace my big day with your presence.”
Confused by these crazy sounding words, Misha asked, “What are you talking about? What big day?”
“Since, grandma is not well and she wants me to get married before she dies, so, I am getting married to Mahira tomorrow and I have called you on such a short notice to invite you.”
“Wow!! What about Erica, Manav?? Have you forgotten about her or what you had with her?? Why are you not trying to find her??” inquired Misha.
“Bye guys, I hope to see you tomorrow. Please, be on time at my place.” With this, Manav left.
“What the hell is wrong with him? Why is he doing this?” Frustrated Misha asked Adi and Joy, who, so far, were the silent characters in the unfolding drama.
“What she did, was wrong..” stated Adi to break the awkward silence.
Adi’s words fueled Misha’s anger and she became more determined to defend her best friend Erica.
“Really?? Because I think he was the one who was responsible for every wrong thing in their relationship. He was the one who is acting like a coward and not doing anything. News Flash, Adi, it is that crazy Manav, who has just announced that the idiot is getting married and Erica, well, she is no where in the picture.”
For the fifth time in a day, they started this blame game again.
Frustrated with silly blame storming, Joy interrupted to clear the air.
“Guys, stop it. Why are you at each other’s throats? Just remember, it takes two to tango. You cannot just blame a person for this.”
The words made a perfect sense…
“Joy, you know something, right?” Countered Misha.
Joy tried to dodge the situation like the previous four times but this time, he failed, miserably.
“JUST SPILL THE BEANS, JOY.” demanded Adi.
“Guys, please, spare me, it’s not my place to tell,” pleaded Joy.
“I don’t care if it’s your place or not. I just want to know the truth. Adi and I don’t want to be behind the closed doors. It’s better you take the lid off, now.”
Misha was going ballistic. The fact that she was kept in dark by her very own best friend, was fuming her anger.
Scared by infuriated Misha, Joy decided to take the cat out of the bag.
A month after Erica’s and Manav’s third anniversary, they went to see Manav’s grandmother in the hospital.
“Hi Grandma!” Greeted Erica.
“Hello dear Erica! How are you?”
“Good grandma. How’s your health?”
“I am absolutely fine. I don’t know why they are still keeping me here,” joked Grandma, “By the way, Erica, meet Mahira,” grandma introduced a girl sitting beside her bed. Erica smiled and greeted her.
Grandma continued, “Mahira’s grandparents and Manav’s grandfather decided to get Manav and Mahira married when they were kids.”
The words struck like a thunderstorm. Erica was in love with Manav since forever. She wanted to get old with him. Her body became still as stone, she felt numb, she could see her dreams shattering into thousand pieces like broken glass. She wanted to shout and tell the old grandma that it was not possible but, she couldn’t. The poor grandma was counting her last breathe. The grandma who was always there for Erica, especially, when her parents died in a car accident. Erica didn’t have a heart to tell Grandma about her feelings for Manav . Both had tried hard to keep their relationship under wraps, she cannot just give the game away.
Approving Grandma’s choice, Erica left the hospital. Unaware about the situation, Manav tried to find Erica but she was nowhere to be found. He then, went to her parents’ grave and there she was sitting like ghost, completely numb and pale. But why? It had to be something serious. After her parents’ funeral, Erica never came here. She was happily living with Grandma and Manav. They were her family members. Grandma was not only her mother and guardian but was also her companion, guide and friend.
“What are you doing here?” Manav enquired but Erica didn’t reply.
He asked the same question innumerable times but receive silence as answer. Exhausted Manav knew how stubborn she was, so, he dumped himself on the ground beside her, saying nothing.
“Marry Mahira.” Ordered Erica after a long pause..
“What? Are you insane? What are you saying? Most importantly, why are you saying this? What happened??”
Still no answer. Manav didn’t know what to do, what to say. He was feeling lost and exhausted. His fears were coming true. After his parents death, Grandma and Erica were his support system but now, he was losing both. Erica’s words brought a wave of shock, he had imagined his future with her. From marriage to the names of kids, everything was planned in his mind.
“Listen Erica, please stop this game of yours. This is not funny, believe me, this is not at all funny!! I am already under stress because of grandma’s health. Please baby, just tell me, what happened? Why are you saying this? Why are you here? Please…” Manav was now pleading.
“Mahira… Mahira… She..,” words seemed to stuck in her mouth, she wanted to just let them out. She couldn’t betray Grandma like this.
“Manav, Mahira is a good match. Grandma is happy with her. Just marry her, please.. ,” she was in tears but she had to do this.
Heartbroken Manav left without saying anything.
“So, this is it.” Said Joy
“I guess that’s just part of loving people: You have to give things up. Sometimes you even have to give them up.” – Lauren Oliver