Chapter Nineteen


Jay turns downstairs after a nice bath. He had a bath in morning before going but the trek got him dirty and sweaty so he had to clean up. He sits down at the table for lunch. It seemed Khushi and Hitesh wanted to ask him something but they were just smiling at each other looking at him. “What?” Jay puts down the spoon raising an eyebrow. “Uhm nothing, how was your trek bhai?” Khushi looks at him as she pushes a spoonful rice into her mouth. “It was really fun. I had never imagined it’d be this much fun. Although I am tired and my back hurts as well.” Both Khushi and Hitesh burst out into laughter holding their stomachs.

Jay keeps staring at the as he wonders what’s wrong with them? “ I win, didn’t I tell ya that he won’t be able to stand long. I know him since hostel days. He needs some stamina for sure.” Hitesh continues to laugh as Khushi hands him a note of 500₹. “Yeah, I thought bhai would be better than you but it seems he’s not.” She gives Hitesh a high five as the continue to laugh. “You guys were betting on me? For what? Stamina? Better than him? What’s going on?” Bepuzzled Jay stares at them wide eyed hoping for an answer. “See, I told ya.” Hitesh gives Khushi another high five as the continue laughing like crazy.

It takes Jay a little longer to realise that it wasn’t the trek they’d been talking about. “You two are really mean and let me tell you it’s not at all what you’re thinking in your dirty minds.” Jay stands up putting his plate in sink for washing and heads back into his room. He pulls out the ringing phone from his pocket. The caller Id displayed “Anjani”. He picks up the call walking into his room closing the door behind.

“Hey! How’s you? Still tired?” She tries to make fun of him.

“Oh nah! I am fine, just this back hurts a little. You should’ve warned me about that slippery soil.” Jay drops on the bed with his legs hanging down while talking on the phone.

“Well usually it never slips for me. Maybe it was because of your weight. At times soil does slide off under your feet when it’s not able to hold your weight. You should carefully place your foot and test before putting full body weight on it to avoid such mishaps. You were lucky it wasn’t that inclined else this could’ve been last trek of your life”

“What?!” She laughs at his comment.

“You had me by surprise that’s all. You were the one in nice yoga pants and tee-shirt. I was in idiotic jeans.”

“You’re such a baby Jay!” She laughs as this sentence trigger his memories.

“Hello!? Are you there?” The voice startles him bringing him back from the thoughts.

“Oh yes, sorry. You just reminded me of someone who just used to say that often to me. Although I am not a baby. You can try me next time. I’d be better at it than you.” He smiles turning around on his bed.

“Ah! If you insist, wanna join me for dinner this evening? It’s my friend Garima’s birthday and she’s throwing a huge dinner party at some fancy restaurant tonight.” Her voice fades as she goes silent awaiting reply from Jay.

“Sure! But you’d have to help me choosing a gift for her. I don’t like going to parties empty handed.” she giggles at his reply.

“Okay sure, why don’t we buy something together? That way we could get something better collectively?” She suggests as Jay smiles and agrees.

“Okay then when should I pick you up?” Jay gets up and sits on the bed.

“So eager to pick me up, eh? In an hour? It will take some time to get a gift and get ready as well. So see you in an hour?” Jay imagines her having a cocky grin and smiles.

“Sure then, I’d see you in an hour.” Jay gets up as he notices someone giggling outside his door. He opens the door to see Khushi and Hitesh trying to listen what he had been talking for a while now.

“What are you two naughty ones doing here?” Jay narrows his eyes at them sliding his phone back in his pocket.”Oh, we thought you’d be mad at us with you teasing down at the table so we thought to check upon you. While we discovered a new face of Jay altogether.” Hitesh smirks wrapping his arm around khushi’s waist. They both once again start laughing looking at him.

“Well as I said before it’s not what you two dumbasses are cooking inside your heads.” He walks back inside followed by others. “Then what is it?” Khushi smirks sitting beside Jay. “Well the fort was up on the top so we had to trek in darkness and I slipped a few times. Not what you imagined inside your head.” Jay pokes finger at her temple. “Yeah, excuses. Anyway what’s up with this new gifting thing? Buying her gifts?” Khushi squeals in excitement. “No, you’re getting it all wrong. It’s her friend’s birthday and she invited me to accompany her. So we decided to collaborate and get a gift together. That way we can get something much better.” Khushi’s smirk wasn’t vanished instead grown into a full laughter. She shakes her head and taps on Hitesh’s shoulder, “This is just like you had said, it’s much harder than we thought. I have to say this but you know him better than me.” She leaves the room followed by Hitesh as Jay wonders what they had been talking about.

His eyes land upon the clock on the table and gets up to freshen up as he needed to head out to pick her up. These days he’s been smiling at her mention a lot. Khushi had a hint about what it was but she wanted to just observe him for a while and then try to play cupid between two of them. They just had a few days left as she had to leave for Canada soon. She wanted to see both of them together before she leaves.

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