“Earth to Houston…1 2 3”
Tina was feeling relieved and angry at the same time, because she thought she was late for her date with her best friend and here she was being ignored like she wasn’t even there.
Nisha suddenly looked up at her friend, feeling surprised at herself for being lost in thoughts.
“Oh you are here already; I thought you would be late, sorry I was thinking about something.”
“Yeah honey, I am late, and I have been here talking to you since last few minutes.”
“Wow, really? Didn’t notice you.”
Tina was starting get worried about her friend this was not like her at all, lately she had been acting like an alien. She tried to subtly talk about it.
“Is everything alright Nisha?”
“Yeah…all is great. I was just lost in thoughts.”
Tina knew Nisha would tell her whatever it was by herself so she didn’t press further. She tried something more cheerful.
“My office colleague, Aditya was asking about you.”
Nisha found this suspicious, as she didn’t even know the guy. She replied, “Uhhuh…he doesn’t know me to be asking about me? What are you up to this time?”
Tina donned an innocent expression and replied, “I am up to nothing and he on the other hand might be interested in you. He knows you by the way; he has even met you once.”
Nisha replied “Doesn’t ring a bell, I don’t remember any Aditya.”
Tina answered, “You met him at my home at New year party few months ago, he saw your picture in my wattsapp display picture and asked about you.”
Nisha knew Tina was not going to let it go so she entertained her, “What did he asked?”
Enthusiastically Tina answered, “Oh you know, if you were single and I could introduce you to him.”
Nisha couldn’t help but laugh. She replied, “I hope you turned it down, as you know I am not ready for that right now.”
Tina sheepishly revealed, “Actually I invited him for clubbing this Saturday.”
“That’s news, because I am reading a book at home this Saturday.”
“Well now you are going clubbing with me.”
Nisha sighed. She has been avoiding socialising lately. She didn’t like to go out and meet people. She had enough problems of her own. She liked staying at home, doing her things. Lately she has found new love for things she did at home. If it was not meeting Tina, she wouldn’t even have stepped out today. Lately if it was not warranted by her work, she preferred staying indoors and Tina knew that, so she wondered what is it her friend was up to and she had a feeling it was no good. She stopped all pretenses and asked Tina, “What is all this really about?”
Tina realised honesty might be useful just now she replied, “well I know you have been holed up indoors lately, you need to get out, and it wouldn’t hurt to hang out with Aditya.”
“You know I don’t feel like meeting people lately, more so new people.”
Tina would not give up so easily she was hell bent on recovering her friend from this depressed, secluded phase just like Nisha had done for her so many times in past. “Come on just meet the guy once, he is actually quite nice.”
Nisha was stubborn herself, “You know I don’t want to date right now, I am happy this way.”
“You don’t have to date, just come with us on Saturday.”
Nisha wondered if this was a good idea. She had left behind her clubbing, dating days. She used to be very happy and used to be always up for heading out to places. In fact it used to be Nisha making plans and making Tina tag along. Then few months ago one by one things started going south in her life, at first it was a breakup, then it was some wrong decisions in her professional life, which kind of backfired. It was like the universe was hell bent on showing her that she was no good at decisions so best to stay home. She was starting to feel like she had lost a part of herself, unfortunately for Tina it was the fun part which enjoyed doing all things Tina kept suggesting her to do. She decided its best she was honest with Tina.
“Tina, I really don’t enjoy clubbing and doing all those ‘fun’ things we used to do anymore. I am quite satisfied sitting here with you once in a while.”
Tina thought finally the cat is coming out of the bag, “I know how you have been feeling lately, I know how sometimes shutting out the rest of the world might seem like the best option. I used to be like that myself; all those times I had broken up or something else went wrong.” She noticed Nisha had not interrupted her this time, so she continued, “All those times when I just wanted to drown in my sorrowful dumb feelings, you were there to pull me out and looking back I am glad I had you in my corner.”
Tina thought impressed at herself she was able to shut Nisha up this long, using her opportunity she pressed further, “I know how satisfyingly easy it might feel to just be in your shell, but honey you need to break out of it, besides you haven’t lost any part of yourself, I see that bright joyful part each time you are around me. Whether it’s making a cake, eating chocolate, walking down the street noticing a puppy or just being with me.”
Nisha had to consider Tina’s words as she knew it was the truth, her words were hitting at doing some things that she was avoiding to do and it was eating her up, which was why staying indoors was suddenly a good thing for her. She had found new hobbies, that part was true, but what Tina was saying was not wrong either. She thought it best to accept this.
“Alright Tina…you have a point there, I will head out more often but dating is no solution either.”
“I am not asking you to date, just hang out once; if you like that then you can decide how to take it further. Just give it a chance.”
“Chance! Alright I will meet you both this Saturday.”
Nisha thought about chance, yeah she used to be taking chances that was what got her in this mess in the first place, she trusted the wrong people while selecting a team for a work assignment, team made mistakes, even leaked out her hard worked data to other people due to which she suffered not only financial but loss of goodwill too. “You know I don’t think risk taking is really my thing.”
Tine had hit the jackpot; she knew finally they were at the heart of the problem. “I know you made some bad choices, I know you regret them, but that doesn’t mean you stop living and stop taking risks. Give it a try, one thing at a time.”
Nisha thought about it, she wondered what could possibly go wrong in one night, Universe can’t be that focused on her.
Nisha did go out with Tina and met her colleague Aditya that weekend, turned out Aditya was pretty funny and they had a good time. After that they hung out a lot and she started finding his company soothing.
She kept taking chances one after the other, it has been 8 months after that day, and today is going to another risk taking day. She was at the same café, same table, and this time waiting for Aditya.
She was nervous, but she has been trying this taking chances thing a lot lately.
She looked up coming out of her thoughts facing the smile she has come to love so much. It was Aditya.
“Hey, I wanted to talk to you about something.”
Aditya got curious, but let her continue.
“I really feel at peace with you, for me I am my best when I am with you. I know we have only been seeing each other for last 8 months. But, life is short…”
Aditya was trying figure out what was all this about, while also noticing the café was empty this evening which was unusual as it was normally bustling with activity and people at this hour . He focussed back to Nisha…
And was baffled to find her kneeled down on the floor.
He thought she tripped while he was looking elsewhere. But, she stayed kneeled. Then she raised her hand with a box of his favourite brand of watch.
“Thanks, but its not my birthday!”
“Yeah, gifts need no occasion…come on. Check it out?”
He took the box opened it and was dumbfounded to find a ring in it, a simple ring in silver no less.
Aditya looked at her again to confirm if he was reading it right.
It was Nisha’s time to give it all in, “Like I was saying Life is short and I want to enjoy it with you…will you marry me?”
Just like that she proposed him. He hugged her in turn, kissed her until she asked “is that a yes or a No?”
“No chance of saying no to you. Yes!!”
She was elated and glad Tina had called her at this place all those months ago and made her take a chance of meeting him. Now life was blissful for her.
It’s been two years now, she continued taking chances; some worked some were mistakes to take lessons from. She never stopped taking chances as she knew if it was not for them she would never have the good fortune of meeting the love of her life. She would still be holed up in her house. May be Universe was just teaching her how to take chances back then!