‘Can I buy you a drink?‘ Asked the guy, sitting on the bar stool right beside me.
‘No, thank you.’ I retorted, although I must admit that for fraction of a second I wished I’d said yes.
He didn’t move away, instead kept looking for a way to keep the conversation going.
‘You wanna say something?‘ I asked, a smug expression on my face.
‘Have we met before?‘ said the guy hesitantly.
‘That’s one cheesy line to start a conversation with a girl.’ I laughed lightly.
‘I’m serious!‘ He sounded offended.
I smirked and took a long sip from the bottle in my hand.
‘Are you by any chance Naina?’ He added.
‘Naina?’ I put the empty bottle down on the bar and turned to him, my heart skipped a beat.
‘Yeah…Naina Chopra…2005 batch, MKV High School?‘ His eyes glinted.
I looked him up and down, pondered for a while and asked, ‘who are you?‘
‘Rishabh, remember? I recognized you as soon as I saw you from across the bar.’ He looked excited.
Rishabh? I know this name, I muttered under my breath, my stare blankly hovering over his face.
‘Why didn’t you call me after leaving town, Naina? You promised to keep in touch.’ He paused, then forcing a laugh continued, ‘not that I still hold a grudge against you, but back then I was completely crushed, you know!…you could’ve told me straight out that you wanted to break off.‘ He stopped for breath.
Now I remember everything, I swallowed hard. ‘Rishabh, you must know something. I’m not Naina.’
He furrowed his brow, his eyes fixed on mine; before he could ask anything else, I added, ‘After moving to the new city, she along with her parents and sister went to her Uncle’s place in Canada on vacation. But she never returned. Her parents and she died in a car accident. I’m her younger sister Neha. I look quite similar to her…‘
He was shocked, I could tell that; he was struggling to digest my words. After a minute or two, he turned to leave.
‘Rishabh!‘ I called out.
He looked back. I added, ‘She wrote about you in her diary. She wrote about how much she’d missed you after leaving town. I don’t know if it matters now, but she genuinely loved you.’
Written by chirasree, a dreamer.