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The Reunion| SHRUJALA SHEKAR

We parted our ways about 10 years ago now. Every person I came across or dated were matching his vibes, but no one filled the void he left. The last conversation we had still kept replaying, and I'm dumbstruck by his memories and the moments we had ..


Who's this guy? The 'He' I keep referring to is the guy, short, rude, arrogant, full with attitude but beautifully charming as well,took my heart in the 7th grade. I spent my school years dreaming of being with this guy, and finally, the dream came true, and we created a beautiful illusion for ourselves . Due to certain turns of events,we left what we had,what I dreamt about for years."We tried, but we failed, I still loved , but he sailed."


And again, here I am, in the same setting, around the same people, changed, all grown up, settled. The school I spent my half of my childhood years and few years of teenage is still the same but a bit renovated. The feeling is the same, I guess. After 10 years of leaving school and my friends, this feels like we all never left. Meeting my friends and teachers is of course very over whelming but good at the same time.



I am just praying not to come across only one face, the face I have been avoiding, the face I'm running away from till now, and the beautiful face I fell for 10 years ago. That face walks into the room, leaving me startled. I get chills all over my body. I wasn't expecting Richie Crystal . Not to mention he's tall now, with his perfectly styled hair, pushed straight back, just some curls coming out. He's wearing a black t-shirt with ripped denim and a converse shoes to complete his casual look. I remember him in school, He used to always wear a shirt and never preferred a t-shirt. Until we started dating, I always asked him to wear a T-shirt and that too black t-shirt, because black is my favorite color and his fair skin always looks stunning in black colour . He looks perfect as always. My breath is taken away, and I squeak as he walks into the door.


The assembly hall where we all are gathered is beautifully decorated with balloons and warm lights and is a very cozy setting. The room was perfect until the arrival of the Charming Prince of the egoist land, but then it lit up even more when he came in. I tear my eyes apart from him and went on to talk to my back then best friends.


I knew this would happen the moment I decided to come here for our batch reunion party of 2030. I knew I would be forced not to look at him. I knew I'd have to ignore him the entire evening. Or I had to say an awkward Hi, Hello to him. But then, I also thought he won't come to this party. As per my memory, Richie didn't like to come to public or any social event. He didn't even like to celebrate his birthday. Things might have changed, maybe after so many years.


We haven't talked with each other for about 9 years now. I broke every tie with him. I dodged his calls, ignored his messages, blocked him from every social media platform, and made a vow not to fall back into his mantrap and not to look at his face till death parts us. He promised the same, he said he would never show his face to me, the last time we talked and after that he did keep the promise. The one and only, the last promise he kept and never tried to reach out to me. But now, here he is, showing his face, looking all dressed up and handsome.


Am lost in my world, in my thoughts, and my former best friend Valerie suddenly snaps her fingers in front of my eyes to bring me out of my world into the party again. Sienna, she says, "Where are you lost?Did you see who just walked into the party?" Yes, I saw , I say. Do you think he saw you in that sexy dress? She compliments me. 'I don't think so he did' , I say." It's okay, he will. You look damn hot in that dress and I'm sure he can't keep his eyes of you once he notices you",she says and I push her arm a little and say, "stop it" , 'I don't want to talk about him' and I tell her that I'll see her in a bit and walk towards the buffet table. Avoiding the awkwardness, I walkaway, checking my phone, outside the hall.As I enter the hall, I start walking towards the table, I see him, I see Richie and he sees me and drops his mouth open. I think it's the dress I'm wearing that made him drop his mouth so wide, I'm wearing a black dress with a deep neck and two cute bows on the shoulders.


I couldn't find Richie anywhere at the party, not that I was looking for him but he just disappeared. I was sitting on the railing outside the hall, and then my phone rang.


It's Sofia calling me about Val's birthday. Today is Valerie's birthday, and I was assigned to bring the cake, which I forgot. Sofia asks me where am I, I tell her I'm outside the hall and forgot the cake. I forgot my clutch on the buffet table, and I rushed back into the hall to get it. As I enter the hall, I start walking towards the starters section.


I see him standing near the starters talking to his friends.We both look into each other's eyes .Both are trying to escape from each other but can't help myself diving into those beautiful brown eyes and little tint of hazel green color. We both look away ,tearing apart the intensive eye contact between the two of us. I know I should ignore him, but I couldn't help myself not to look into those eyes once I fell in love with them. But anyhow ,I had to draw my attention away from him to show him his looks no more have control over me .So I ignored him and went to grab my clutch .And to my surprise, he did the same .As soon as I saw him doing it, I gave a look and rushed back to the exit.


I looked for the nearest cake shop to get Valerie her favourite Dutch chocolate cake which I remember she mentioned when we had it the last time together in the farewell party I guess.I was lucky ,the cake shop was just 5 mins away from the school .I went and bought the best looking cake and all the birthday essentials things from the shop and returned back. It took me almost an hour to decide what all the things to buy and I was pretty late for the party too. Without wasting any time I came back to school. As I reached, I called Sophie to ask her, "Where are you guys celebrating?" She said they are in our 7th grade classroom, so I went upstairs, and I remember the feeling of being in the same corridors it was like I'm in 7th grade again .I enter the classroom and the room so beautifully decorated with warm lights and candles all over .Balloons dangling and running all around the floor. I see a beautiful mesh tent with Polaroids all over it and covered with lights. And to my surprise, there is no one in the room .I pulled out my phone from my clutch, and I was about to

dial Sophie's number, I hear some footsteps, so I thought they were here already, so I put my phone back and waited...


And when the door flies open, I see the face. I mean "the face" to my surprise, it's Richie, and he's followed by all my friends and, plus, Valerie. As I saw his face, my heart skipped a beat, and I was startled.

The only reaction I gave was , what the hell is he doing here?I see him standing with a cake in his hands and a knife with a bow on it .I asked Sophie why he has a cake and if he was bringing the cake then why you guys asked me to bring one too.I was so furious looking at him I started yelling at everyone that if he stays here I'll leave and everyone was shocked by my reaction.Valerie came to me first to calm me down .She said he's my friend too and all I can think about is ,then "Why not all other guys are present here.They are your friends too ,aren't they?" Nobody answers my question , I see Richie taking a step forward towards me. He didn't even say a word, but he is still walking towards me .Val and Sophie are standing right beside me, and I'm all confused .Sophie says Sienna, "This was a surprise." And I quickly say yes I know for Valerie ,isn't it?I receive finally an answer,No it's for you and the voice behind it was Richie. I was standing with all these questions flooding in my head .He takes a step forward again, and I see the cake in his hand. It's my favorite cake, and the message on the cake says " Sorry."I ask everyone what the hell is going on in here .Sophie tells me everything ..


Sienna , this surprise is for you, and this is all planned by Richie .As soon as I hear these words, I look at him . He's standing there holding the cake with nothing to say . He called us up, told his plan, and asked us to help him, to give you this surprise. He literally begged us to bring you here to this party . He planned it all,he came 2 hrs before the party started to get all the things ready for you. Richie, will you say something? now, she says looking at him.All he says is thanks for helping me guys , thank you for all this time and for making all this happen, but I just need some time alone is that okay with you guys ?Please, I want to talk to her and spend time with her .As he says this my sudden reaction is , And why would you think I'd say yes to that?Am sorry guys but I'm not going to be part of this drama or whatever it is I'm out of here! . I'm out of breath as I say all these heavy words .And I'm about to turn my heels to walk towards the door, but Richie comes between and stops me .No ,not this time , I'm not gonna let you walk away , "he says .He takes a pause ,I've let you walk away a lot of times now, but I won't let you this time .I'm already in tears now .I just want to get out of that damn classroom. The people around us are already leaving one by one .I just realized that it's just me and Richie left.He says if you don't want to talk, that's fine, but let me say all the things I've been keeping from you for all these years. I've dated a lot of girls since we broke up, but I never felt anything for them what I felt for you. Sienna, I'm sorry for what I did to you, I'm sorry for leaving you at your worst .I'm sorry I've hurt you a lot more than you deserve. You deserve something very bookish and too good to be true, kind of romance, which you've always dreamt and read about . And I'm sorry I couldn't give you that . But I regret it a lot.I don't know how to say this but I'll say it before it's too late .I just want you to know I love you a lot and I've always loved you and only you .All these years, I was miserable without you .I just want to be with you .I remember once you said, " Come, if you only want me and come with a calm, clear and stable mind." Here I am, Sienna ,all broken in front of you.Please, will you try and lift me again? I know I'm not perfect, and our relationship is perfectly messed up, too. Will you take me with all my imperfections and will you marry me ? My cheeks are flooded with tears .I don't know what to say that's what I literally say to him. He gets up and takes me into his embrace, and places a ring on my hand. And says only if you want?

SHRUJALA SHEKAR

Guidelines for the competition : https://www.fanatixxpublication.com/write-o-mania-2023

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May 14, 2023
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