Like every morning, Rohan woke up at 5:00 a.m. and went for his morning run. Usually, he would run 7kms in total and then stretch a bit. But today before he could feel his sore muscles, he had already run 6kms, just one way. Yet the thoughts did not seem to leave him alone. He couldn’t help but feel the pain. Today is supposed to be a wonderful day. He thought of himself as a horrible person to be sad about it. He wasn’t really sad, he thought, he just wasn’t happy enough. He started to run back home and as every muscle of his leg burnt, he cursed himself for coming this far. His legs were shaking when he finally reached home. He sat on the sofa with his legs dipped in warm water. It did not really take the pain away but sort of eased it. He lay there for almost 15 minutes before his phone rang. It was a reminder tone.
Wedding at 6 P.M.
His eyes fell on the invitation card, which was lying on the center table. The card was of blue color and with beautiful font in silver color, all the details were written inside.
Tanya weds Dev,
Was embossed on the cover of the card. His heart sunk a little more every time he saw it. It was perfect, just like the person he loves. It killed him, to attend the wedding of someone he had loved so deeply and for so long. It is not like he did not try to divert his feelings. He had been in several relationships, before realizing whom he actually felt for.
‘You coming, na? Please don’t back out. You promised me.’ Tanya spoke over the phone.
‘Yes, dude. No excuses!’ Dev added.
‘Hello? Say something, yaar!’
‘Hellloooo? Rohan? Are you there?’
He clutched his hands tight and squeezed his eyes, gathering the courage to speak.
‘I know. I know. I remember I promised and don’t worry…I’m coming.’
‘I will see you both at 2.’ He added, before hanging up.
Just agreeing to be there was so hard for him, how will he ever make it there? Attend the whole wedding? And smile? How? He kept asking himself.
Finally, he tossed it away, the card he was holding and went to get ready. The time was 7:30 A.M., he had 5 hours to get himself together, he thought.
Submerging himself in the tub, he remembered the last time when Tanya and Dev fought. It was almost 10 months ago. It was he who came and made them sort it all out. It was him who gave them the very thought of getting married. They hadn’t even thought about doing it for like, coming2-3 years. There was no plan at all, until he asked them to give it a thought. He had no choice; he couldn’t see his love with anyone else. So, better his best friend than some stranger.
‘Are you crazy, Rohan? We are not ready for a marriage.’
‘So not ready, dude.’
‘It’s been 3 years you guys are dating and you have known each other for 8 years now! If you guys aren’t ready to marry each other, who do you wish to marry? A stranger you have known for what? 3 minutes?’
‘My parents would never do that.’
‘Fine. 3 months, then? Leave time, nobody knows you both better. You have literally grew up together.’
‘I hate when you make sense.’
‘Don’t you love each other?’
‘More than anything else.’ Tanya and Dev spoke in unison.
‘So? I am not suggesting you to get married tomorrow. Just think about it. Plus, then you wouldn’t fight on such petit issues.’
They both smiled.
‘I wish we could marry you, Rohan. What would we have done without you?’ Tanya spoke, smiling and holding his hands in hers.
Rohan did not say anything more; he just passed a smile.
What would have they done, if it was not for me? He thought. He had always been there go to person, whenever they couldn’t sort out a fight. Even though they knew each other before they knew him, it was he, who made them such close friends. He was their cupid.
He got out of the bathtub and decided to eat before getting dressed. While making him some sandwiches, his last girlfriend, Akira’s words, came flashing in.
‘You are in love with someone else, Rohan. I am sorry but I cannot over look that fact. I cannot pretend to not be hurt by it. I so wish I was that person but I am not and I don’t think I will ever be. You are an amazing boyfriend and I wish I could spend my life with you but…it’s been more than a year and you clearly aren’t over her…I guess…Whoever it is, that person is lucky to have you beside.’
Relationship with Akira was the longest one he ever had. She did try her best to make a place in Rohan’s heart and no matter how much he tried to loved her, he could never love her enough. He could never give her the place and that affection, she deserved. He had her love, all to him and it was only fair to let her go, to have that unshared love, which he couldn’t give her. Sipping his beer, tears rolled down his eyes. No matter what he did, tears always seemed to come to him silently. No matter how much he tried to cry it out, for once and for all. He would still find himself weeping. There was no point, so he wiped his face and went to get dressed. Standing in front of the mirror, wearing a tuxedo, he tried to make himself smile. They were his best friends; he had to be happy for them.
When he reached the venue, he saw Tanya’s parents standing in a corner and greeting the guests. Folding his hands together, he bent to greet them.
‘Ah! Rohan, beta. Where were you? Dev and Tanya have been waiting for you.’ Tanya’s father said.
‘I got lost in the way, sorry. I will just goad and meet them.’
He wasn’t lost. He was making himself realize that it was the happiest day, for the people who mattered to him so much. And he shouldn’t spoil it with his frown.
He entered the room, tagged as Dressing Room. There Tanya stood, looking absolutely gorgeous in her pink lehenga. She had light make-up on her face, nothing really over done. Her look was so subtle compared to how brides generally get ready in India. Yet she was looking so mesmerizing.
‘Rohan! Hey! You came.’
‘How couldn’t I?’ Rohan said, giving her a big smile.
‘You liked the decorations? I chose everything.’
‘I loved it. Especially that hoarding which says, Tanya weds Dev. I see, you kept your name first. Haha!’
‘How are you doing?’ Tanya asked in a concerned voice. Yes, she knew it. She knew his love all along and it killed her to know she couldn’t help it.
‘You don’t have to feel so worried about me, Tanya.’
‘I do. I will always worry, Rohan. ‘
‘You know what I read in that? My best friend weds my love.’
Tanya smiled, keeping her head on his shoulders.
‘You have done everything you could, Tanya. You fell in love with him, you getting married to him. He is with the best person I know. What more can I ask for?’
Rohan added, ‘Just…just keep him happy and keep him safe.’
‘You know, I love him too, Rohan. I would never hurt him.’
‘I am happy to know my love is going to be with my best friend.’ Rohan spoke taking Tanya in his arms.
They both smiled and he took her out to the mandap.
Dev was sitting there, waiting; a huge smile crossed his face when he saw Rohan. He got up and hugged him.
‘I wouldn’t have missed it for anything in the world.’
After a pause, Dev spoke, ‘By the way, I always meant to say this. Well, thank you for everything, Rohan. You always knew what is best for me, man! I wouldn’t have known my feelings for Tanya, had it not been for you. Neither would I be wearing this shaervaani, right now, Thank you so much.’
Rohan spoke nothing, he just stood there with a smile, looking at Dev, looking at his love, which he will never have.
‘I love you, man!’ Dev said, hugging him again.
‘I love you too.’ Only, I mean it to every bit, Rohan thought to himself.
Across the room Tanya, smiled back to both of them. And then Dev went to sit beside her.