The next day in school everyone were talking about how Abhinav behaved when they were drunk and also the way Nish spoke about Agastha… this came unexpectedly. She asked Nish about the previous night and he said he didn’t want to talk about it. His friend Rahul told Agastha that just because Nish danced with her, everyone was offended; after all he was a part of Abhinav’s group even though they hung out less.
‘Ridiculous thinking they all had and they addressed themselves as 12th graders’ Agastha thought. It was worse than having caste discrimination in the country! She wondered who to blame for this mind set of theirs.
A same incident had happened sometime back with Agastha. A few months before the farewell, somewhere around October, Elvis (her once upon a time crush) had proposed to Agastha. Knowing whatever was going wrong, and belonging to the Abhinav clan, Elvis decided he needed to tell Agastha about his feelings for her. As confusing as the situation was, Agastha didn’t believe him at first; after all, when in Grade 9, Abhinav had told Elvis that Agastha liked him, he had said, “even if she is the last girl on the earth, I wouldn’t date her”. Not sure why Elvis proposed, she made sure to remind him that she wasn’t the last girl on the earth as yet. Elvis persisted and continued his efforts to make Agastha say yes, and she seriously considered it. She spoke to Elvis about Abhinav and Elvis assured her that he would handle it. Agastha said yes. Elvis was elated. And Abhinav was pissed off!
Abhinav’s actions spoke for him and Agastha was confused. She was trying to draw a line between his discomfort for Elvis dating his ex-girlfriend or his cowardice that his friend is supporting the girl he thrashes. Abhinav furiously began charging his opinions like a wild bull towards Elvis and Agastha. So much so that he ended up making comments like, “after the uncle and me, she finally got Elvis; the suited desperado to enjoy her slutty-ness with. So I was a mere medium to get to where she actually is now”. How pathetic could he actually be, right? Agastha learnt this from some kids murmuring down the corridors of the school. She immediately addressed this situation by breaking up with Elvis. She didn’t want herself to be targeted anymore and nor did she want Elvis to go into Abhinav’s bad books. Somewhere she expected things to go bad again, but she didn’t know if this was conspired by Abhinav and Elvis together or if Elvis was genuinely in content with his feelings for her.
Elvis didn’t take the break-up well. He tried hard to convince Agastha to not give up on him for all these people but Agastha couldn’t help. She didn’t want any more drama. Elvis even fought with Abhinav to stop but he didn’t stop, Agastha never patched up with Elvis, and Elvis kept trying in vain.
She found Abhinav very immature at one point because he found pleasure in making a nuisance of her; whether directly or via someone. And fighting with his friends, only displayed their weakness.
So this explains why Nish withdrew himself before things went out of hand. No one forgot the Elvis story and now one dance had already made it worse for him. Agastha made peace with it because she knew it was best for Nish to stay at bay. She never really understood why Abhinav did what he did.
Finally it’s the eve of their 12th boards, and in this process, Agastha was actually thinking about talking to Abhinav. More like a mature talk rather than arguing. Through answering all her exams, she was thinking of Abhinav. How stupid was she? As the final paper finished, she texted him,
“Hey, things have been a mess and we need to sort out before we leave, since we’ll never see each other again.”
And to her surprise, “yes we surely need to sort out. Shall meet up soon” was his reply.
Again she was excited, but this time more scared. Two contradictory feelings because firstly she was glad he acknowledged and agreed to make peace but secondly at the back of my head was ‘what if it does get sorted and we argue again’ and lastly, everyone at school kept saying, “whatever Abhinav does with Agastha is mere revenge”. So maybe he was being nice but only to make it worse again.
She left the thought there and just tried to prepare about what they would discuss.
16 April 2008, Abhinav was at Agastha’s home.
It was very awkward to have him home that morning. She had butterflies in her tummy with feet turned cold. She fumbled for words even when saying ‘hi’. He made himself comfortable on the couch and they spoke over how things got into a mess and what lead to this plight. The confusion between them seemed sorted and the weirdness sort of disappeared. Soon they were walking all over the house discussing school and fights they had.
While sitting in Agastha’s room, he laid his head on her lap and talked about how he missed her. She had no words to describe what she felt because that feeling was simply out of the world. Perplexed as she could be, she liked that everything was getting okay but was not sure how long would it last. He took her hand in his and apologized for everything he had said in the past. She tried to stop smiling but she was happy they were at equilibrium for now. Gently he put his hand at the back of her head and drew closer. In the blink of an eye, their lips were sealed and it all came back like heaven again! She tried to refrain, but her inner self and maybe his passion, didn’t allow her to do so. He kissed her gently, sometimes kissing the lower lip and sometimes upper lip. She wanted to let loose and let go but at the same time she wanted more of him. She was immensely in love with him and she probably thought this was it. They would be together again and every bad omen would just go away.
He held her close as they knelt on the bed, closer with every kiss that got fonder. Her arms were around his neck and his were all over her back. His passion had command over her senses and she unbuttoned his shirt while he did hers. Wrapped in the blanket he kissed her from her back to her neck and then lips; His arms were around her bare body. Intense romance was filled in the air and it deepened with every kiss they shared.
As she lay in his arms, tears filled her eyes and he was taken aback to see her cry. He kissed her forehead and said,
“You’ll always be a part of me because I can’t let go”
And she just smiled through those tears and held him tight.
She knew she had to let go, because he belonged to someone else now. What they did was wrong and shouldn’t have happened. Weakness got the better of two worlds but it was wrong anyway. She took it as a sign of goodbye and knew she would never seem him again nor would she feel his touch ever again.