As soon as Khanak saw Ankan, she tried to wipe her tears furiously. She didn’t want him to see her like this, wailing like a 5 years old kid over a fight with her best-friend. Somehow, she finally managed to control her tear ducts and now that her sight was not blurry because of tears, she could see that Ankan was standing, if you could call that standing, at least ten feet away from her, huffing like he has just run a marathon. His hands were on his knees and was bend down, trying to catch his breath.
Even in her sadness, she couldn’t help but feel slight amusement at his condition.
“What are you doing here?” She asked, her voice hoarse from all the crying. Ankan raised his hand and made the universal gesture of asking someone to wait by showing his open palm. Khanak let her friend catch his breath, he was looking like he really needed it.
As soon as his breathing was normal, he stood up to his full height and looked at her. His eyes filled with concern and affection for her. And as soon as she saw the look at his face, she knew that wiping her tears and trying to appear normal was in vain, he knew that something was wrong. Her eyes filled with tears once again and she shouted at herself to not let them fall again but Ankan saw them. He crossed the ten feet distance between them in few milliseconds and hugged her. Once in her best-friend’s arms she let herself fully cry without caring about how childish she must be looking or what her friend would be thinking of her or if some neighbor looked into her driveway what they’d think. Because the main door was open and anyone could see them if they even took one glance at her house. Without caring about anything she let herself fully break down in his firm hold, trusting him to handle everything else.
“Shh… it’s okay!” Ankan cooed at her. “come on, let’s get you inside” He said and took her, his arm supporting her by holding at her waist and her whole body leaning at him. Khanak didn’t know how did he manage to take her house keys out of the pot she and her mother keep them in without removing his arm from around her. And it was a good thing that he managed because she didn’t trust herself to be able to stand. He opened the inner door and took both of them in. He made her sit on sofa carefully as if she was a precious doll made of glass, something that would break at first sign of carelessness.
“Stay her, okay, I will get you some water. You must be dehydrated after all of that crying” Ankan assured her, and she smiled at him, telling him that she was okay.
By the time he returned, her eyes were closed. Crying really took a toll on her. Khanak was not the kind of person to cry over low marks, or any such thing. For her nothing else mattered but the people around her, the people she loved and cared for.
“Hey, Khanak… come on drink it” Ankan tried to wake her up but she just turned her face on the other side of the sofa and continued sleeping. “Come on. you need to stay hydrated. otherwise you will get sore throat” He coddled her, shaking her to wake her up.
“You should be studying medical not business” She mumbled and opened her eyes to glare at him. Ankan only smiled at her childish tantrum and pushed the glass filled with … juice near her.
“It’s not water..” She complained but took glass from him. Her throat was parched due to all that crying.
“There was no water in your fridge and I know how you don’t like to drink room temperature water so I got you this” Before she could praise his gentle nature and unlimited patience for her attitude in her mind, she cursed out loudly.
“I forgot to fill all the water bottles” She was so busy with practicing how to apologize she forgot to do any chores. It was not like Khanak’s mother would get angry if Khanak didn’t do them but Khanak still liked to help with household chores as much as she can. And now that she was old enough to do them, she liked to not trouble her mother on holidays. She drank the juice hastily and stood up to do the work but Khanak made her sit again by holding her hand.
“Calm down, world isn’t ending. You go to sleep; you really need it. And don’t worry about anything, okay?”
“But nothing! You go to sleep!” He ordered her, making her smile. He was really cute when he was trying to be bossy. Ankan didn’t have a single bossy bone in him. Yeah, he had leadership qualities but not those loud, superior one. He was calm and composed, always ready to listen to others.
“Okay!” Khanak stood up to go to her room, upstairs but couldn’t help herself and tease him.
“You were in really bad condition when I saw you today!” She teased.
“I was in bad condition?!” He asked incredulously.
“Of course, it took you five minutes to catch your breath. You should go to gym. You are in a bad shape” She teased and before Ankan could catch her, she ran to her room, chuckling.
But neither did Khanak ask nor did he offer, the reason of his condition. Khanak knew and Ankan knew that she knew that he has done it for her.
Khanak woke up at 5 in the evening, her head pounding and her throat sore. Well that told her why Ankan was doing business not medicine. Instead of feeling as if she has the worst flu in history of flu, she was feeling better than she felt before sleeping. She went downstairs hoping Ankan was still there. She needed to ask him few things and tell him many things.
And as she hoped, he was sitting on the sofa chair, reading something on his phone.
“Hey…” She greeted him softly, not wanting to startle him.
“Hey, you feeling good now?” He asked.
“No, but feeling better than before” She replied honestly. This guy has seen her at her worst, today. Khanak didn’t think there was any reason in lying to him.
“come on, sit, please. Make yourself at home” Ankan joked, pretending he was welcoming her into his house, making her smile.
“You are still here?” She has hoped but not expected him to be stay.
“Yeah, and I have done all the chores that I could see…. and do. You don’t have to worry about that. And I have also made some sandwiches, you want?” Ankan offered her one from the plate on coffee table, that she was noticing only now.
“Ankan, thanks for everything you did today. You didn’t need to do any of them” She said, sitting on the sofa. She was really thankful for him to be her. khanak knew that Ankan didn’t do chores at his home as they have servants for it but still, he did them today, for her.
“Obviously I didn’t need to but as I said you are my best-friend and you deserve special treatment” Ankan said, reminding both of them of the day he has said the same words.
“So… are you going to tell me what happened or should I guess?” Ankan teased.
“Guess… you only get one chance”
“You two fought?” Ankan guessed making her chuckle.
“Ok Captain obvious, you are quite bad at this” She teased and he smiled.
“I am not wrong though, am I?” Did she and Rishav fight? No, he was wrong. She and Rishav didn’t fight. She told him she liked him and he hurt her.
“You are actually. I told him I liked him” Khanak announced and for a second she could see Ankan contemplating what should he say to that announcement, finally he settled on an “oh…”.
“And then he told me that it would be good if we didn’t talk to each other for a while, as reply to my confession” She finished with a humorless snort. She waited for Ankan to say something but he just sat there like a statue.
“Well, I should leave. I was just waiting for you to wake up. I am going to go” Ankan stood up hastily and moved toward the exit door.
“Ankan…” Khanak called him softly, and he stood still without replying. “I am sorry” Khanak didn’t know what she was saying sorry for – for that day, for liking Rishav not Ankan, or for telling Ankan that she told Rishav that she liked him. Maybe for all of them or maybe for neither of them. Maybe she was just apologizing because he was her friend and she knew he was hurting right now and unintentionally she was the one who caused it.
“It’s not your fault Khanak. It is what it is” Ankan replied without turning back to look at her.
“How did you know?” Khanak knew she didn’t need to add context, Ankan knew what she was talking about.
“I just did..” He said and shrugged.
“I am glad. I am glad that you somehow knew and that you cared enough to run here” Khanak didn’t know how he knew but she really appreciated his support.
“Anytime Khanak, anytime. I hope you know that” With that he left her alone with her thoughts and some bad tasting sandwiches. She only hoped he was not as bad at doing everyday chores as he was at making sandwiches.
Ankan was right, it was what it was. She liked Rishav, Rishav didn’t like her or even wanted to stay friends with her. It was what it was. It was no one’s fault.