Arun, Chaya, Nita, Binod, Reena, Gracy and Rohan. They call themselves ‘7 wings’ in the college campus. Like peas in a pod, they never separate except when they go back to their respective homes for dinner and sleep. Collectively, they were never sad, because when one of them felt sad, the others would cheer him or her up. That was the extent of their friendship.
Rohan, the darling of the group, was the cutest and most soft-spoken of them. Gracy was all-knowing and matured off the lot. Reena was the “queen”, being the most beautiful girl in the group; Binod, the shield because of his well-built body. Nita was the tomboy and next in command to Binod. Chaya was the bubble brain of the group and Arun, the most respected, the encourager, and the morale builder of the team. Being a heart patient from birth, he was a little slow yet most wise.
Binod and Gracy were seeing each other, as were Rohan and Chaya. Nita was not ready for any relationship; Arun loved Reena very much but never confessed it to her or anyone because of his own insecurities.
Today the ‘7 wings’ look sad and tense. They are sitting in the college canteen discussing a very serious matter. ‘What will we do after college?’ ‘How can we be separated from each other?’ ‘Where are we going to stay after today?’ These questions were killing their emotions as today was the farewell day of the graduating batch. The love birds were bit comforted to know that they will be at least with their lovers but other three Nita, Arun, and Reena, especially Arun who has not yet confessed his love for Reena were worried about their tomorrows.
But as usual, Arun broke the silence and cheered up all of them and said, “Guys we are definitely parting from each other; that’s life and we have to face it but why to waste the time given to us together now…” and he cracked a joke. They all smiled knowing he was right, as usual.
In the evening, the juniors gave speeches about their favorite seniors, there were gifts showered upon the seniors. The ‘7 wings’ were together, as usual, sitting together and having fun to play pranks on other batch mates. They had planned earlier that they will gift all their juniors one pen each, with ‘7 wings’ inscribed in each of those pens. Everybody was excited.
During the time, Arun went out with Nita to make an ISD call to Nita’s uncle regarding her further studies. The rest of the friends were talking with other, batchmates and juniors. Gracy, Reena, and Chaya were sitting close to each other and discussing something. Gracy asked, “Reena! We both chose our life partners already but what about you?” “You didn’t find anybody yet…?” Chaya giggled and Reena just smiled at them and said, “No…not yet…” Chaya innocently asked again, ‘Hey, what do you think about Arun, he is so good and close to you too…don’t you think about him…” and even Gracy nodded with Chaya, “yes…Arun is good…” Reena replied immediately, “hey girls…common…you’re too much…he is a heart patient…he himself is not sure of his own life…how I can dream of a life with him…!” “He can just be a sweet and adorable friend…that’s all”. And they were interrupted in the middle of this discussion by Binod and Rohan. They called them to come to the other corner of the room. They immediately got up and went towards Binod and Rohan without noticing Nita and Arun who were standing behind the pillar where the group was sitting and have listened to the conversation.
Arun went out again without giving others a hint. Nita went behind him. There were tears in his eyes. He was devastated. Nita was trying to console him but in vain. Nita was also in tears. She said in anger to tell everybody and ask Reena to ask forgiveness. But Arun caught hold of her hand and told her not to share anything about this matter to anyone ever. After regaining his inner strength he said, “Nita lets join the party…” and dragged her in side the room. Nita was just dumb founded looking at Arun’s will power and inner strength. Immediately the rest of the group members asked why both of them are looking so pale. Arun said, “it’s nothing..we are sad because Nita’s trip to the US is confirmed..” Nita just looked at Arun and amazed of his perseverance.
The party was over. Everybody went their homes. Nobody could really sleep at night because of the pain of departure. But Arun….! He had to suffer many; the pain of departure, a pain of insecurity, a pain of rejection, pain of heartbreak. He stopped calling anybody. He had so many questions in his mind for God to answer. His friends called his cell number. But it was switched off. They visited his house but he was not there. He went to his uncle’s house and told his parents not to inform anybody. The ‘7 wings’ was broken. Only Nita knew the reason but she was unable to repair the loss.
Arun spoke to Nita once before he left for Tuni, a small town in Andhra Pradesh. He changed his cell number. He joined an orphanage as an Accountant and counselor. He engaged himself with the children and work, to forget everything. But when he was alone he wept quietly. He decided in his mind that he will never ever marry. The pain and anger of rejection was heavy on his soft heart. But it never could erase his love for Reena. He was still deeply in love with his Reena. He just could not forget her. Years passed by like this.
To Be Continued…
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