The night was dark, yet serene. It was the sixth night of June, 2013, when cutting through the cool breeze of Nariman point, Aryaman and Karishma entered The Trident. It was a date with the perfect setting comprising of romantic music in the background, the sea on the left and a caressing ambiance all around.
‘So how are you feeling?’ she asked.
‘Always better with you!’ he replied with a grin. ‘I really…’ and his speech halted when a blast from the past hit the doors and entered the venue. It had been three years now, but the wounds were still fresh. The couple assembled opposite to him and that’s when Sanjana felt the same tremors. They both simply stared at each other as their partners were busy flipping through the menu.
All of it still seemed as if it were yesterday. Three years felt like a small duration. George Michael’s song Careless Whisper didn’t reach their ears. All they heard was each other’s voice. Their eyes did move occasionally. However, the attention was headstrong.
‘Hi, I’m Aryaman, second year, comps!’
‘So, are we friends!’
‘Well, let’s start with that!’
‘I don’t know how to say this, but I’m really starting to like you!’
‘I…have already started, hero!’
‘Hey, what happened? You seem lost!’ Karishma asked her fiancé.
‘No, nothing. I’m fine,’ he replied and stared at the man who was kissing his ex’s hand. It was bothering Aryaman as he remembered the time he had proposed to her on rose day.
‘I love you, Sanjana. Will you be mine from now until forever?’
‘Yes, I will!’
‘Sir, your soup!’ the waiter paused the reverie.
‘May I have a lemon?’ Karishma asked. Food was served on Sanjana’s table as well.
‘Sanju? Are you all right?’ Rajiv asked her.
‘Yeah!’ she said, flaunting a fake smile.
They started eating and their eyes met again, bringing back the memory of that unpleasant day.
‘I saw you hugging her and kissing her! Who was she?’
‘Just a friend, Sanjana. Relax!’
‘You don’t kiss a friend, Aryaman. Come on spit out the truth! Are you cheating on me?’
‘Sanjana, listen to me! She…’
‘Say it god damn it. Do you love her?’
‘It’s no use talking if you want to deal with me like this!’
‘Deal? You god damn kiss someone in broad daylight and expect me to deal nicely with you? My ass!’
‘Fine! Yes, I love her and I’m sick of your possessiveness and constant interventions. Life has turned into hell. You act as if…’
And then she never returned, only to meet him again on this cold night.
The dinner was consumed and the cheque was paid. Aryaman wished to leave soon without making things more uneasy. The couple rose and were about to leave when their counterparts also got up to exit. Both Aryaman and Sanjana tried their best not to face each other, until their future spouses blocked their way. The second set of exes were now face to face. A rush of shock and embarrassment ran through them.
‘You unfaithful bitch!’ Rajiv said to himself.
‘You over-possessive prick!’ Karishma said within.
All four stood numbed staring at each other and none of them knew if they would reveal their past.
‘Excuse me!’ the waiter finally came to the rescue to pass between them and the gap gave them their cues.
‘Let’s go!’ Aryaman said. Karishma agreed.
‘Let’s go!’ Sanjana said. Rajiv agreed.
The moment of exes had finally…passed!