Sumeet was still not able to understand what had just happened. When he finally came out of his trance he started following Ayesha who had gone quite far away. Now, completely out of breath, Sumeet catches up to her and grabs her hand.
“What did you just say?” He was hardly able to talk.
“What?” Ayesha asks, completely shocked to see him.
“What did you say right before you started running?”
“I.. I said that please d.. don’t invite me to the wedding.” She stammered.
“Whose wedding are you talking about?” He sounded confused. “Who told you that I’m getting married? To whom?”
Now both understood that there had been confusion and a big one. Sumeet suggested they went to the nearby café and then talk. Some ten minutes later they both were sitting facing each other.
“Please tell me everything.”
“You are getting married to Ritu, right?” She said with caution.
Sumeet was so amazed, confused and amused at the same time that he just didn’t understand how to react.
“I saw you two together on the balcony of your flat. You were holding her hand and then you embraced her. She was smiling and crying at the same time. So I figured that…” She just left the sentence unfinished.
“That we were getting married!” He finished her sentence. “How can you assume things? Why didn’t you come to me and ask for clarification?” He continued, “and what were you doing near my house? Did you come to meet me?”
“Yes, I came to tell you that..” again she couldn’t finish her sentence.
“Tell me what?” he asked. Ayesha looked down. “There’s no point in telling you anything now. You are with Ritu even if you are not getting married to her.”
“Ayesha, we are not together and we are certainly not getting married. Am I loud and clear?”
Ayesha looked up in surprise and just stared at him.
No matter how much he asked her she did not answer his single question. Finally Sumeet got up to leave and at that moment Ayesha blurted out her feelings.
“I came to tell you that I love you.”
These words were like a spell for Sumeet. He stood still, just looking at her.
“Do you know what you are talking? You are getting confused again. Please don’t do this to me.”
“I’m not confused anymore Sumeet. I was always in love with you; it took me a little more time to realize that. When you left me, I got time and space to think. That is when I understood how much I love you and what you are to me.” She was now pouring out her heart.
“There was always gratitude that you were there for me when I needed someone badly. But I never understood when that feeling of gratitude turned into love. You were the best thing to happen to me.”
Sumeet was deep in thoughts. His head was spinning and his mind was blank.
“Sumeet, I can understand that it is very difficult to get together now. I will not mind if you turn me down. I am just happy that I finally told you that I love you and have always been in love with you.”
Sumeet held her hand. You need to know something.
He continued, “Ritu was in love with me but I just couldn’t look at her as a lover. For me she was always my friend. There was a time when I thought that I might start a life with her, but then that would have ruined everybody’s life because I didn’t love her. I still..” He didn’t finish off.
“Do you, really?” Ayesha asked with all her charm.
Sumeet nods his head and with a sigh he pulls her towards him. The embrace melts them in each others’ arms and they both feel as if it had been a lifetime that they had been so close to each other.
“Take me home Sumeet. I’m tired.” Her eyes were fixed on his eyes, mesmerizing him. Those big dark eyes!
Sumeet smiled at her and both started walking towards their house.
Few months later the couple got married.
Ayesha’s parents still did not approve of the match and decided to stay away. Ritu took up a job in a different city as it was very difficult for her to stay in Mumbai with Sumeet’s memories haunting her. Sumeet still remained her good friend, though.
And now in the love nest started a new life of these new lovers; yes, lovers. Yeh Zindagi…