The Surprise(s)

Chapter XXXVI
The Surprise(s): The Lunch Box Journal


Story so far: What happened to the perfect plan of theirs? How did the celebration go? When was Gautham going to travel? How far along is Akhil’s visa? And more importantly what was the other tatto explanation? Read on…


The plan was simple. Akhil along with Gautham, Aryan and Neil would take the office cab and go near Gautham’s place while Gautham could take his car out and meanwhile Likhita could join them near Gautham’s place. Simple. The guys got down from the bus and it was a short walk from the bus stop to Gautham’s place. Gautham could have gone himself and taken the car but in order to avoid being suspicious to his mom he asked one of them to accompany home. Since Aryan had been to Gautham’s house a couple too many times, he decided to accompany him while Akhil and Neil waited for Likhita who arrived a short while after Gautham was about to take his car out. By the time, Gautham and Aryan came out with the car to the meeting spot, they were no where to be seen. When Aryan called Neil, he was advised to park the car and come near the restaurant on the opposite side of the road. When they both arrived at the restaurant, they came to light another quick development in that short while they had gone to take the car. Likhita was apparently feeling hungry and as was everyone else, so she had decided to go to the restaurant and have something.

Their Midnight Café had the same facility to have something there as well. But since it was her word and it was Akhil’s pre-birthday, there was nothing much to argue. Also they had already ordered a round of drinks for themselves. Since the other two new people were teetotalers, Gautham stuck with what he knew was okay and also he was the designated driver and so no drinks whatsoever. Though, Aryan being too forward to trying new things, despite having them back firing all the time, he ordered something less alcohol-y but something different. He regretted it with the first sip he took but still he decided to down it acting all tough while that drink left a stale taste in his throat. After they had a good deal of drinks and something to eat they were deciding on whether to go to the Café or not. While they took a little time to come to a conclusion, Likhita insisted on taking selfies solely with the birthday boy.

The journey to the Midnight Café soon started after a lot of pondering over and mixed decisions. Meanwhile, Akhil’s sister had preordered him a cake to be delivered at the strike of 12, or close to it. And since he won’t be able to be present at home, he requested his roommate to take the cake. The clock struck 12 while they were still on the way to the Café. There were wishes and songs being sung in the car while they reached the Café a little over midnight. It wasn’t as crowded as they had hoped it to be. May be it was an off season or may be since it was the middle of the day, it might be the reason. This time they didn’t have as much good time as they had the first time. Perhaps it had something to do with those uncalled-for drinks that they had on the pretext of someone being hungry. Meanwhile, Aryan got a little high with the Hookah and he wasn’t feelin so good in his stomach. The case was same with Gautham as well. Neil was sort of the stronger one among and he can probably stand anything. This was nothing if compared.

They decided to retire for the day and head to Akhil’s home as there was a cake waiting sent dearly by his sister. By the time they arrived at Akhil’s place it was 4 and shortly after that they were busy with gobbling the cake. But they couldn’t eat much as they had too much that day and they had a funny feeling in their stomach after the drinking and the Hookah and the eating. After that short birthday party in a closed room of Akhil, Neil and Aryan decided to head to Gautham’s place where they could get some shut eye and go to office in a couple of hours while Akhil and Likhita were going to drop Likhita off at her place and then Akhil would head to the temple and then meet the others back at the office.


Neil, Aryan and Gautam  were at Gautham’s place by beak of dawn and were trying to get some sleep. While that seemed a bit difficult since the sun was already up and it was quite an unusual time to sleep. Either way they would have to sleep for just two hours after which they would have to get ready for office. Aryan has a bad habit of sleeping through the day though he could stay all night. Hence to help him wake up, he has a million alarms set up in his phone so that he could wake up atleast to one of them. This wasn’t disabled when they were at Gautham’s house. Aryan was able to sleep off after a couple of minutes, but as then the torture for Akhil began. There was no end to these alarms and they were coming one after another and Neil was struggling to keep it on the low while Aryan had dozed off happily. It took a few too many kicks and whatnot to get Aryan up and turn off that damn phone. After they had finally woken up and got ready for office, they decided to go to office an hour late than their usual time. They reached office an hour late but that were sort of okay since there wasn’t too much dependency on them and as they were passing Akhil’s desk, they saw a bright red box neatly packed. He had already received a surprise gift from someone special to him.

Meanwhile, someone somewhere else had taken a day off and arranging something grand…


(To be Continued …)

What was the other surprise? And who had planned that surprise? What was happening with Gautham’s overseas plan? And Akhil’s Visa, is it any close to being done? While Neil is embracing the new found interest for online messaging service, would he become part of the crowd that is too immersed in the virtual world than what’s in front?
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The Lunch Box Journal


ak, mmxviii