. . .
The weeks that followed were quite a blur for Aryan. He was amid work and no work and the confusion was sort of tectonic on his mind. While that was getting sorted out, his usual daily Badminton ritual was going at full-fledged. With that much playing, he should be in some sort of a league, but with his out of the world performance and disciplined play, he has become even more worse at it than he ever was. While on the other hand, Siri was getting better than ever. So, one of those badminton matches was graced by Rhea. Rhea was the same person who Siri, Aryan and Neil met a week earlier at the badminton court and also whom Aryan came across her that very evening. Due to the shift timings, they never came across each other. Until that day, when her shift started a little late than usual. And the time that Aryan and Siri picked out was just perfect for her. However, that wasn’t enough, but she could squeeze a game or two in that frame. This time they managed to exchange names, but they it meant Siri and Rhea, while Aryan was playing too coy and not at all interested, but his face was saying something else completely. It was a lucky day for him because she would be dropping by in that time frame. No one knew what angle was he playing at, but it was high time he broke the bubble around him and made an effort to at least have a conversation. But if only, he did, if only.
Gautham was back in India, but for a short while. He had certain things to take care of, after which he was set to travel back again. He had hoped that this could be an official trip, which would save a lot of money for him, but that idea wasn’t entertained. He went to the office a week later to meet his teammates. However, he had already met with Aryan and Siri a little after he had arrived. They had thought that he might be jetlagged and hence travelling won’t be possible for him a week ago. A week later he was still busy and he barely made it to the office, that to in the evening. Aryan was neck deep with a new project he had no idea what it was about and on top of that, he was given some work. Since it was evening, when the others consisting of Neil, Siri and Gautham went to have a coffee break, he had told them that he has too much of work to do before the evening scheduled a call and as a result of which he won’t be joining them for coffee. But a couple minutes later, when Siri texted him about Rhea, who was in the canteen as well, Aryan was in the canteen the next moment. To put others’ suspicion at bay he had told them he was taking a break, but he was clearly not because he didn’t even get coffee.
The later that followed was a little more interesting. One of Gautham’s teammate was quite impressed by his work which he did before he had travelled. Because after she replaced him, she had been seeing his name everywhere on the work that she was doing and was all praises for Gautham. It was a no-brainer that she might as well have had a crush on him as she was talking to him at length and the same was being reciprocated by him as well. That very evening, a treat was planned by a teammate which needed a timely attendance as the reservations had already been made. First, it was Gautham’s new crush who had kept him busy for a while longer than he had anticipated. Then he got busy into telling the tales beyond the seas. Neil and Aryan were waiting for him to finish up, while Siri was also waiting because she was dropping them at the restaurant. This was a special kind of meetup.
Manohar was travelling and he was sharing the happy moment with his family and he had invited some of his friends and their family. He had also made reservations at a restaurant which was close to Siri’s home. Upon request, she had agreed to drop the people at the restaurant. But Gautham was in a completely different world and he did appear completely zoned out from the outside world besides his team. While all this was happening, the rain had graced the city they were in, which only made the traffic more and that meant they might get even more late than they already were. And after what felt like an eternity, the meeting ended but he had finally come back to the normal universe. And then thanks to another gentleman, they completely missed the reservation time by a whole half an hour and it would easily take them another half an hour to make it there. The evening was fairly well spent at a nearby restaurant, while the retired home soon after.
That very weekend Gautham travelled back to his new home, Manohar followed him a few weeks later to find a new home for his family, and Neil was completely engrossed in multiple works while Siri and Aryan were back to playing badminton. And when Rhea graced the court one fine day, Aryan was in for a spectacle. They had already exchanged names, by they Siri and Rhea, while he had been a little too shy, as usual. But after a few of these meetings at the badminton court, they did get to know each other minus the talking. The most talking he had ever done was was a “Hi” with a big ‘creepy’ smile while trying to be completely coy. But that day she referred to him with some other name, “Arnav” and that was an ouch-moment for him. Aryan felt that pinch but all was forgotten when she was playing on his side.
However, that passed on with too little of a drama, little did he know that there were more ouch-moments lined up for him.
. . .