Ria looked at them both, flashing them a nervous smile as she saw their dark silhouettes against the almost diminished sun. They’d asked her to meet them at ‘their spot’ – where they’d all first met.
The tiny terrace behind the cafeteria that looked over the amphitheater, was their safe haven, and on the eve of their graduation, it was also the place she knew she’d miss the most.
“Be there at 6, sharp. Don’t be late okay, we have something important we want to ask you.” It was Sanjay who had messaged her.
The same Sanjay, who had been her confidant from the third day of college. Had she met him on the first day, she would have had two more days of knowing one of her favorite people in the world. But, they had had different schedules, so, their worlds only managed to aligned on day three, in Mrs Ganesham’s morality class.
Now, standing on the terrace, his Hardy Boys features were lit by the flickering bulb on the exposed brink wall behind him. He was happy, she thought, observing the crooked smile he was giving Ravi.
She was 15 minutes late, in true Ria-style. “Sorry guys, after three years I still can’t time how long it takes to get here,” she rattled off to Sanjay, while giving Ravi a hug.
“Yes yes, we figured, so we gave you an earlier time,” Sanjay joked, and she rolled her eyes at him. “Hey, at least I learned one thing in college,” he said, putting his hands up in his defense.
“So, what’s this all about? What’s this big question you want to ask?” she inquired, raising an eyebrow.
Ravi’s broad muscular frame straightened, and he fidgeted with his bike keys. The superman keychain glinting in the lowlight. He caught her gaze and said, “Ria, you know how we feel about you. Sanjay and myself, we wouldn’t have made it through everything, and I do mean everything, without your support. You gave us the opportunity to be who we are by allowing us to stay in your parents’ apartment together. For treating us like two normal.”
“Are you’ll mad? If this is some thank you speech before graduation, then please stop. I really don’t need it. You’ll are like family to me and even if my parents were living in the country, I would have still allowed you to stay. Screw society man. But what is this really about? You’ll are freaking me out,” she said, a nervous feeling had started to clutch her gut.
Ravi let out a laugh, and looked at Sanjay, “See, I told you she wouldn’t let us ask her in this thoughtful, loving way, she’s too much of a badass. Only you, jaan, like these romantic speeches,” he said, a charming smile lit his face.
“Yeah, your so right, why are we even friends with this one?” said Sanjay.
Crossing her arms across her chest, she said, “okay you better get to the point, you’ll are legit freaking me out.”
“In unison then?” Sanjay looked at Ravi, who nodded.
“Will you be our officiant for the ceremony?”
“Whatttttt, no… Noooo, you proposed?” Ria squealed, playfully punching Ravi’s arm. “I cannot believe this, and here I am freak out, I thought one of you were going to ask me for a kidney or something,” she said, smiling back at them.
“So?” asked Sanjay.
“What? Ah- yes, a big fat YES. Of course, I will. I mean who else could possibly do a better job?” she shrieked, feeling the happy wings of butterflies dancing in her chest.
“Well, Mrs Ganesham was our first choice, but she turned us down,” said Sanjay, and for a split second, she almost believed him, had it not been for the giant smirk on his face.
Before she could punch his arm, he brought her in for a tight embrace. “Thank you, Ria, the world needs more of you.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, the world needs more of you two. It’s only time before they know it. I’m just one of the lucky ones.”
Written by Sue Castellino