First Impression It was hate that I felt for him, initially. That’s how it happens right? The more you hate a person the more you think about them may be that’s the reason your feeling towards them changes eventually. It’s like you end up doing things you said you wouldn’t ever do. Like how I had sworn not to grow my hair long but I did it anyway. Like how I had thought I would never give up being a tom-boy and how I had changed gradually shocking myself and my family. Of course, they didn’t know the reason behind this change but were very curious though. May be I’ll never get a chance to tell them what had caused this change in me because they will anyways get to know tonight. Oh my God! I am so scared. What shall i do now? How shall I face them all? After knowing what I have done I don’t think my parents and most of all Siya would ever forgive me. It was just a prank that I had played which had gone too far, too deep now. I just hope he would’ve read the message I had sent him earlier, before going to the concert or was i too late? What’s the time now? 1:30 already? It was getting late enough to be worried. I once again stepped into the balcony and looked down there not a soul to be seen anywhere. Did I hear anyone walking downstairs? I rushed down to see who it was and saw Ma moving around. “Haven’t you slept, yet?”asked Ma “No..I..I..was just waiting for Siya to return.” Said I “She is not coming back tonight didn’t she message you?” “Nope” “May be she thought you might have slept by now. Anyway she had called me to tell that the concert had begun late so she would be staying in Jeevitha’s house and will be back tomorrow. Now you go sleep, don’t you have to go to class tomorrow?” “Okay” “Siri? Why didn’t you accompany her today? She was begging you to go with her.” Ma enquired suspiciously. I had no answer to that. At least now I could have confessed everything to ma but i didn’t have the nerve to do so, not yet. “I didn’t feel like.” saying this I ran back to my room. It had never happened that Siya would miss messaging me about anything no matter how late it was. But this time she hadn’t, that meant that she would’ve known everything by now. I messaged Siya but couldn’t dare message him. I was getting nervous about the whole thing. I switched off my phone and went back to sleep. When I opened my eyes it was 8 in the morning. I got up got ready and went down. I had to catch my bus at 8:45 to go to college but today I was in no mood to go so I called my friend Rima. She was the only one whom I could talk to as she knew everything. We agreed to meet in an hour at her house. I checked my phone again, still nothing from Siya or from him so I switched it off again. “Why don’t you call Siya and find out what has happened.” Said Rima “I can’t.” “That’s not the solution Siri. You knew you would be in this situation one day. I had warned you remember?” “But we both started it.” I protested “But I warned you when you were getting involved more than necessary. When he had sent you that gold earring that’s when I knew he was too serious about you sorry I mean Siya.” “By then even I was serious about him, Rima.” “Then at least you should have told him that the one who is communicating is you not Siya.” “I was afraid of losing him.” “Now what? You think he would forget Siya and will come running back to you? No, Siri that’s not going to happen.” I knew Rima was right. I also knew that I was in no mood to get lectured so I picked up my bag and walked out. Rima tried to stop me but I didn’t listen. Since I had no other place to go I went to library, the safest place where you could choose any world you want to be in except for reality. It was around 4 in the evening and it was time for me to go home and face the consequences. I knocked the door; Ma opened it with a stern face. Siya was sitting on the sofa as soon as I went in she stared at me, her eyes were swollen, she had been crying! “Where the hell were you? And how long this has been going on? How many people are you fooling around, Siri?” yelled Siya. “Don’t you have an inch of shame for what you have done? You almost ruined my reputation you...you...” She was sobbing. Now it was Ma’s turn. “Siri, answer her. How could you do this to her? Don’t act now. Wait until your dad comes I’ll tell him everything.” “Why can’t you open your mouth now, my ever talkative sister?” Siya asked sarcastically I had no answer what so ever to whatever they were asking so I kept my mouth shut and listened to all their scolding because I knew I deserved it. “Here take your stupid earring which has that arrogant idiot’s name on it, take it.”She threw it at me. At this point I couldn’t control myself, whatever had happened it was my mistake not his. Collecting the earring I said “Siya, please don’t talk rubbish about him. Scold me all you want.” “How dare you defend that person who ruined my reputation in front of everyone?” Siya yelled again and raised her hand to hit me only to be prevented by my mother. “Siya please control yourself and you, Siri go to your room, NOW.”Said Ma Sobbing I went to my room and closed the door. I could still hear Siya’s yelling. I knew how upset she was because of me. But I couldn’t understand what might have happened between them. How could a gentleman like him have ruined Siya’s reputation? I opened my mail just to check if there was any mail from him but none. I tried to call him but his phone was switched off, I tried to send a message but it wouldn’t go. There was no way I could find out anything. I spent my whole evening inside the room, I heard papa but I couldn’t dare to go down and face him so I was in my room the whole time, don’t know when sleep conquered me. Next day as usual I got up and went down for breakfast nobody talked to me not even Dad, I too didn’t initiate any conversation either. I informed Ma that I am going to college there was no response except for a sarcastic comment from Siya. Evening when I was back from college I saw a car near my house relieved that there might be some guests and it would be easy for me to face my family I went in only to find him inside. Dhushyant! He was sitting on the sofa and chatting with Siya they were engrossed in their talk as soon as I went in and saw him he didn’t even bother to acknowledge me, he just met my eyes and averted quite easily as if he didn’t know me. I was shocked, I stood still. Meanwhile, Ma came and told me to go to my room without causing any scene as if I intended to. I ran. I could not control my tears, how can anyone be so stone hearted I couldn’t understand. We had exchanged mails, messages, talked so many times over phone, shared so many things and today he sees me as a stranger? How could he? I cried my eyes out I had no one to share my feeling with, I tried to control and recover myself from this shock and began to ponder over the whole situation and after sometime I felt that he was right in doing so. Who was I for him after all? Those talks, messages and everything he thought he had done with Siya not Siri. In his mind he was always picturing her not me then how could I ask for his acknowledgment? The only person who was wrong, who had committed mistake was me so whatever I am going through right now is what I deserve. I had to make peace with that. I could hear someone at the gate so I went to the balcony, it was Dhushyant. Was he leaving now? This late? Siya had come out to see him off. He didn’t notice me as I hid my face amongst the branches. I wiped my face went down stood near the railing eavesdropping. I heard them discuss about Dhushyant. “Such a sweet boy isn’t he! He didn’t have to come all this way to apologise.” Ma said “Ma, You have no idea how he insulted me that day.” said Siya “I agree with your mom, Siya he didn’t have to apologise for a mistake he hadn’t committed. How can we complain when the initiation of the mistake was done by our own daughter, your sister?” asked Pa Dad had to say it out I knew he was upset about the whole thing but still hearing this made me cringe. “Anyway, he said after he went back home he read Siri’s letter where she had confessed everything so he felt bad about his behaviour towards me. Hmm... he looked quite familiar to me ah.. now I know where I had seen him before.” “At least she had done one good thing of confessing everything. So, where had you seen him before?” asked Ma “Sharmila’s marriage. Remember Siri, Rima and I had gone for two days. There I had sung a song and it was he who kept clapping and had asked me to sing once more, he even came to talk to me praising my singing and all meanwhile Siri barged in and dragged me with her while we were still conversing. He got annoyed. There was a cold war going between them during the marriage in the end he had locked her inside the room and she had to miss the whole wedding. Later he argued he hadn’t done any such thing but Siri was in no mood to buy it. Oh my God there was a big scene, it was funny.” Siya chuckled remembering everything. “Oh so to take revenge she did this whole thing? Didn’t she?” asked Ma “May be I don’t know.” mumbled Siya “That girl! When will she ever grow up?” Yes, revenge it was initially, but not anymore. I was in no mood to listen to them further so I went back to my room and slept sobbing. I didn’t talk to anybody the next day. Mum and dad did try to talk to me but I just refrained myself by answering them in a yes or no. I kept myself away from everything and indulged myself in some book. But I was sad within, very sad. That night I heard a soft knock on the door, it took me by surprise, Siya? This is her kind of knock and I didn’t expect her. I opened the door and it was her. “Hi” “Hi” “Umm... so he had come yesterday.” “I saw.” “He seems to be a good guy. Apologised and all.” she said smiling “He is.” I agreed “So, was this all just a prank? Or are you serious about him.” How could I answer that? If I say ‘yes’ the situation might go out of control and if I say ‘no’ I would be lying. Anyway I choose the latter. Its better I cover this whole thing up as just a prank so that everyone can be at peace. “No, not at all. It was just a prank.” “Oh thank God! I am relieved now. He has asked me out but I wasn’t sure what to do about it but now I will consider it.” “Of course, you should.” Next day neither I asked Siya anything about the meeting with Dhushyant nor did she tell me, which had never happened before. No matter what, she used to share every little thing with me but how can I complain when I myself hid things from her? *** It was Monday evening I was all alone, so for a change I was sitting in the hall watching TV. There was knock on the door. Who might that be? I wondered. Anyway I opened the door and...and...couldn’t believe my eyes. I never thought I would be in this situation and had avoided as much as I could to not to come in front of this person of all in these past few days. It was Dhushyant, standing right opposite to me I could see a slight shock on his face. Was it my short hair and my tom-boyish attire that had shocked him? Yes, I had gone back to my old self at least outwardly. But why would he care? “You do invite your guests inside. Don’t you?” I made way for him to get in. He came in and I stood still. There was an awkward silence between us, the air felt so heavy I could hardly breathe. “So you don’t have anything to talk to me now?”He asked facing me. I shook my head. “You talked so much over phone for hours. All those messages, letters, sms that you sent, that was your talking right? Now what happened?” he interrogated me looking straight into my eyes I couldn’t reply him; Words wouldn’t come out of my mouth! “You talked when you shouldn’t have and now when I am here you wouldn’t open your mouth.” He paused and then continued. “Well, then listen to me now. Whatever you did in the name of prank was bad. Really really bad you know. You’ve hurt not only me but even your family especially your sister who is very dear to you I believe. I felt miserable after reading your goddamn confession mail because of the way I had behaved with your sister, who was innocent.” Tears brimmed, it was too hard for me to control. “Listen to me once and for all now. I may not speak to you like this in the future. But get this into your head. It wasn’t ME who locked YOU inside the room that day. I just happened to be there and opened the locked door that’s it. Do you get that?” He said with firmness in his voice. I was shell shocked, why is he telling me all this now? “S..S...Sorry. I...I...I believe you.” I finally managed to say this with my lips quivering “You what? You believe me? I wish you had believed this long ago.” Saying this he stormed out of the house. That night I cried my eyes out, again. What else could I’ve done? I couldn’t even sleep properly he confronting me is what I had dreaded these past few days and finally that had happened today. Good that it happened, he was right I had hurt everyone and the miserable situation that I am in now is what I deserve. I heard a beep on my laptop. I opened it to find a mail from... DHUSHYANT? What now? My dear Siri, (YES, SIRI ) I am sorry that I made you cry today. I tried to talk to you many times but you always tried to avoid me. Today when I got to know you were alone at home I came to confront you, to let you know whatever you did was a grave mistake. And now I am relieved not because I confronted you but because after this I will be able to tell you what my true feelings are. Listen to me loud and clear I love you and only you no one else. It’s you whom I felt connected to emotionally not your sister. Initially, I was upset with you I wanted to hurt you badly but then when I went through our past conversations I knew you were not the same person whom I had met a year ago. You had changed. When I had come to your home the very first day I had a long chat with your sister but somewhere I didn’t feel the connection that I felt towards you that’s when I knew she can never understand me like you do. That’s when her picture in my mind started fading and in that place it was you whom I started picturing. Cut your hair however short you want, dress however you like but please don’t cut off your feeling towards me. If you still share the same feeling towards me pleas reply I’ll be waiting. Yours, Dhushyant I heard someone opening the door I turned back to see Siya. I didn’t know what to say to her she peeped into my laptop I wasn’t sure if she could see anything. She turned towards me and asked. “Got the mail from Dhushyant?” My mouth opened in surprise “What?” “You think you are the only prankster here?”she said this and laughed out loud. ***** (P.S. This story is inspired by one of my favorite movie.) Happy Reading!