"Are you sure you don't want to have another smoke? " Giri asked for the third time to his friend Aaran. It was a cold rainy day and was still drizzling. The smoking zone in the lustrous acres of greenery of the famous Software giant at Bangalore was the life saver of many to beat the cold weather.
Aaran is the Project Lead of one of the major income generating projects and is known to be highly professional at his work place. He was 27, athletic, tall , very handsome and stole many glances from pretty ladies at every gathering. Still he was single so far and his friends usually teased him for that.
Today was an exceptionally busy day and he couldn't take a single break. So when he got a little breather , he rushed outside to the smoking room. As soon as he stepped out of the building he immediately regretted not wearing a jacket. But he was too lazy to get back to his desk to fetch it.
Now the heat from the puff was filling blood back to his frozen fingers. He felt relieved. He started admiring the plants in the lawn. He glanced at the beautiful flowers swaying softly to the rain. The weather badly wanted him to go for another smoke but suddenly he remembered something and stopped. Giri started tempting him a little but he didn't give in.
"But why? " asked Giri.
"You don't know that Ilakiya. She will make such a puppy face if she smells the smoke on me and starts lecturing. Also she is allergic to that smell. I don't want to trouble her. "
"Oh oh. So the real reason to avoid is to impress her, is it? So when are you planning to tell her? " asked Giri.
"Tell her what? " Aaran asked preparing to return back to his desk.
"That you love her. You know something, recent days you are bringing her name at every conversation. You want to be with her all the time. You have grown so much emotionally dependent on her. You know everything about her and to some extent she too knows everything about you. Both of you will make an ideal pair."...
Aaran looked stunned. He opened his mouth to reply but couldn't. Suddenly here is something he never gave a thought all these days but he started to think if it's all true in real. Ilakiya has been a new joiner to his team a year back and it was like she has been with him so many years. She knew exactly how to handle him when he was angry , sad, tensed or excited. She knew when he was hungry and what did he crave that moment.
He just remained expressionless for a couple more moments and chose to leave. He simply smiled at Giri and excused himself with some work. As he walked back to his cabin, he started to wonder if it's really true that he had fallen in love. As he reached his building , He flashed his ID and pushed the door open. Suddenly a cute little head sprang up with eager little black eyes and a sweet smile on the rosy lips.
"Oh finally you came. You left your mobile here. How many times I have told you not to forget your phone when you go for a break. It's raining and slippery. I got worried. Now tell me, did you get wet in the rain ? " asked Ilakiya.
She was 24, wheatish and a decent physique. She had pretty big doe eyes that always wandered like a kid. She was so fearing and very caring. Her sweet nature and behavior earned her many friends and brought Aaran a bit more closer in the circle. Same shift timings and the work to share made them interact all day. Initially they became good friends and now after conversing with Girl, suddenly he felt it's more than that.
He looked at her. Everything felt changed. He realized he was so happy just looking at her face. She will care for him if he catches cold. She will be there for him watching out if he is late. She will make sure he is comfortable at all places. So is this what Love is all About? He thought.
She started to say something but he didn't register anything. He was too busy admiring her. She came little closer. "Now tell me will this be sufficient or should I add anything? " He immediately came back to his senses. It was about the daily meeting with the onsite team and she was usually very tensed at every one.
"This will do. Don't worry. " He assured her. "Fine but be with me while I speak. I will feel better. " She asked. He promised to be with her. And the work continued. When she completed the call the clock chimed 9 PM, the cue to leave for the day. They logged off , bade good byes and started to walk towards the exit.
It was still drizzling. The already slippery floor was getting even slippery with every rain drop adding to it. She suddenly slipped. He was so lost in thoughts that he only saw her after after she hit the ground. "Oh my god" He panicked. The pain was so bad it showed up large on her face.
He tried to help her stand but she couldn't cooperate. Rain started to pour down heavily. She looked at him with tear filled eyes. He couldn't hesitate further. He lifted her like a baby and started walking. " Hey please let me down. I am getting embarrassed. If someone sees this I cannot face them at all. And people will start spinning tales too. Please." She literally begged him.
"I just care about your pain and nothing else. Will you care about others if I am in such a pain.? " She chose to be silent now.
He walked fast and reached the parking lot. He unlocked it opened the door and placed her gently on the seat. He sat in the driver seat and started the ignition. They rode the entire distance in silence. When he reached her door he offered to carry her back. She started laughing. She called her friend to help her walk back. " I will be out in a minute " Her friend replied.
"Now please go back straight home and no stopping on the way for a smoke. It's very late and raining too. You got drenched almost twice , so eat well and sleep soon. " He looked at her eyes. "How did I miss this all these days? " He was wondering dreamily as he saw a shade of his mom in her eyes.
"You too take care and don't strain. If it pains for you it will pain for me here" and put his fist on his chest. She started laughing hard. He took her hand in his and kissed it softly. She looked shocked. "I swear I will do everything to keep this laughter ring in your lips and heart forever. "
She continued to look shocked. He continued, " I should have told you this long back. "
"I love you"