It was the last lecture and I was engrossed in listening to the professor.
A crumpled paper hit me and startled me. I found all the girls staring at me and making faces. I wondered, what happened to them.
One of the girls signalled me to look at the window and I instantly shifted my gaze from her to the window, narrowing my brows in confusion.
My eyes glinted with surprise as I saw Manik. He waved at me with an adorable smile on his face.
“What are you doing here?” I asked him in sign language.
He was supposed to be in office right? As it’s afternoon.
“I was missing you.” He mouthed and pouted at me.
“Ten minutes more and then I’ll be in your arms,” I told him with the gesture of my hands.
He mouthed, “I love you” and gave me a flying kiss, making me blush.
“Miss Nandini, you’re disturbing the whole class. Just go outside and talk.” Professor Lily chided me, bringing me on the earth back.
“Sorry, Mam.” I apologised, standing up.
“Go out, Miss Nandini.” She said in a stern voice, clearly ignoring my apology.
I would have cried a lot if this had happened to me when I first entered this university, but now I don’t give a fuck.
Oh my God, I’m getting so smug.
“Okay.” I stuffed my books in my handbag and rushed out, gleeful and embarrassed both.
“Aww… baby. I missed you so much.” He pulled me into a hug, I felt so good like always after feeling his arms around me.
“But I got scolded because of you.” I made a sad pout, looking up at him, still, his arms are wrapped around my body.
“I’m sorry for that.” He lovingly tucked my hair behind my ears and continued, “I haven’t seen you from the night as I stayed with mom-dad yesterday because dad had to discuss some project with me and in the morning you had an early morning class and I had a meeting. So as soon as I got free, I couldn’t resist the urge to see you.” He kissed my forehead.
“You did the right thing.” I smiled, “And should I tell you a secret?” I asked, looking at him. He immediately bobbed his head, I chuckled at his antics.
I stood on my toes and moved closer to his face, wrapping my arms around his neck and then I said, “I loved it when you do efforts to meet me,” biting his earlobe.
I stepped back, grinning at him like a child.
“That wasn’t a secret because I already knew that.” I laughed as he stated, flicking my nose with his index finger.
I glanced at the classroom through the window and found all the girls staring at us and burning in envy.
“I think we should go from here,” I said, coming out of his arms.
“Why? Let me greet you properly first.” He murmured, pulling me by my waist and sucking my lips, which made me blush.
“Let’s go.” He clasped my hand and led me to the backstairs.
I sat there, resting my head on his shoulder while he was busy playing with my hair.
“What happened baby girl. Tell me what’s bothering you.” He asked, still playing with my hair. I smiled at his gestures and how easily he came to know about my feelings.
“Manik, there was only my one genuine friend in the class and now he was also not talking to me,” I told him, still resting my head on his shoulder, playing with his t-shirt’s collar.
“Who?” He asked, confused. I looked at him sadly, still keeping my head on his shoulder.
“Aryaman.” As I told him, he frowned at me.
“I just can’t believe that you’re upset because he isn’t talking to you. Nandini, please, stay away from him.” He said annoyingly, moving a little away from me and now I frowned.
“Manik, how could you say this, he was my only friend,” I replied.
“Let him do whatever he is doing, just don’t go behind him.” He stated sternly.
“Okay! Relax.” I agreed and rubbed his bicep to calm him down.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath to compose himself before standing up.
“I have some work, I have to go. I’ll drop you at the cafe.” He said without even glancing at me for once.
I stood up. “But my plans were different,” I said, encircling my arms around his neck with a mischief smile stained on my face.
He grabbed my waist and yanked me to himself. “What?”
My heart danced with joy as I succeeded to change his mood like always.
“First I plan to kiss you,” I whispered against his lips before kissing him softly and lovingly.
“Then?” He asked, gazing at me with anticipation.
“Then everything happens automatically.” I blushed, biting my lips and getting all shy looking into his eyes.
“What, everything?” He asked, acting innocent.
“Manik, you know that,” I replied shyly.
“What, Nandini? I don’t know.” He asked, caressing my arms.
“Manik…” I hit his chest and he laughed out.
Then suddenly he pinned me against the wall and kissed me passionately, grinding himself against my crotch, slipping his hands into my top, stroking up my belly and arousing my carnal desires.
I was in the loo of the college and heard a few girls gossiping to each other about Manik.
“You know Manik was interested in Hazel before Nandini.”
“What? Seriously? By the way, Hazel is far better than Nandini.”
“Yes, at least she has some class like Manik.”
“I don’t know what he has seen her.”
“Even we’re better than her.” They all laughed and tears brimmed in my eyes.
“Their words shouldn’t matter to me but why it’s hurting me. And who is Hazel? Manik never told me about her.” I wondered, tears trickling down my cheeks mechanically.
“Stop crying, Nandini and talk to Manik.”
I came outside of the washroom and called Manik, tears were rolling down my eyes mechanically. I was feeling insecure.
“Well it’s not insecurity, it’s you on your periods. Always high on emotions.” My subconscious mocked me, but I ignored it.
“Hello, baby girl.” He answered the call in a cheerful tone.
“Manik, I wanna meet you.” As I said, a sob escaped my mouth automatically.
“Are you crying, baby? What happened? Do you have a stomachache? I told you to rest at home but you never listen to me.” Hearing his concerned-filled voice, I cried more.
“No, it’s not that but-” I sobbed.
“Then what happened? Did anybody say you something?” He asked in an anxious tone.
“I just want to meet you.” I cried out.
I don’t know why I become a cry baby when it comes to him.
“Okay, okay, I’m coming to you. Where are you?” He immediately asked.
“Meet me at,” I hiccuped, “backstairs.”
“I’m just coming, don’t cut the call.” He said.
I cried, sitting on the stairs and he came back, running because he is breathing heavily and sweating.
I just hastily stood up and hugged him tightly, throwing my arms around his neck.
“I know I’m not perfect for you but I love you so much, Manik.” I whimpered, digging my face in his chest.
“Hey, baby, just relax and who said you aren’t perfect? You’re perfect for me.” He lovingly said, tried to calm me down by rubbing my back and hair.
“There are so many other girls in this college who are better than me.” I sobbed, coming out of his arms.
“So what? For me, you’re best.” He said, clasping my face.
I was about to say something but he cut me off and said, tucking my hair stand behind my ear, “The way you make my heart skip a beat, no one does.” And before placing his lips on my forehead, he murmured, “And I’m totally addicted to that feeling.” Tears slipped out of my eyes upon hearing his honest confession.
“What about Hazel?” but I don’t know why I still I asked him about her.
He left my face and asked, “What? Who told you about her?” I cloud see him getting shocked hearing her name.
“You were interested in her,” I stated, ignoring his questions.
“Remember I told you about my first kiss. It was with her and nothing serious. Nothing at all.” He stated sternly.
“But why did you never tell me about her? I got to know about this from someone else,”
He said, cutting my words, “because she doesn’t matter to me.”
“But still I want to know everything about you, Manik.” I looked at him with my sorrowful eyes, tears brimmed in them.
Periods made my emotions higher!
“Baby, relax and tell me properly what happened.” He said, wiping off my tears.
Then resting my head on his chest, I told him, “today when I was in the washroom, I heard a few girls gossiping about you. They were saying Hazel is better for you than me.”
“Baby Girl, just ignore them. You know very well who is important to me and who isn’t.” He stated, lovingly stroking my hair.
“I know but I just felt so bad after listening to them and I’m still not feeling okay.”
“But I know very well how to make my baby Girl feel okay.” He grinned at me.
I sobbed and asked, looking at him, “how?”
“Like this.” He captured my lips and kissed my lips softly with so much love that I instantly felt better. This was his way to make me feel better at any moment.
I was talking to Aryaman because he approached me himself after the last lecture.
“Hey, how are you, Nandini?”
“I’m great,” I told him cheerily.
“I’m sorry that I wasn’t talking to you. I was just caught up in some personal issue.”
“It’s okay. I understand. Now is everything alright?” Though I knew that he was lying but I didn’t show it because maybe he wasn’t feeling like sharing it, so I gave up.
“Yup.” He smiled at me.
Then only Manik came to us and wrapped his arm around my waist, yanking me to himself and shooting daggers at him.
I could see Aryaman getting scared seeing him beside me. “Why he is so scared of him? I mean I know my monster does not like him but still.” I wondered.
“Bye, Nandini, see you tomorrow.” He waved at me and turned to go.
“Nobody wants to see you tomorrow,” Manik said curtly, I glared at him.
“What?” He asked, shrugging his shoulders.
“Can’t you talk to him sweetly?” As I asked, he rolled his eyes. “Manik…”
“Nothing. Anyways I’m happy that he finally talked to me. He was my first friend. I don’t want him to ignore me.” He scowled at me and stormed out of the room without saying anything.
I ran after him and blocked his way by coming in front of him.
“Nandini, let me go and you just go and talk to your friend.” This time I rolled my eyes.
“Manik, why are flaring up?”
“Don’t you understand, I don’t like him.”
“But he’s my friend, Manik.”
“And I’m your boyfriend, Nandini.” I flinched at his tone.
“Manik, please, relax first.” I tried to calm him down by rubbing his biceps as I knew that it was useless to argue with him.
“Baby Girl, why aren’t you understanding. He’s not a good person.”
“How can you be so sure?”
He clasped my face. “I just know. Trust me. I can feel it.”
“I trust you, Manik but you can’t control my life.”
“I’m not controlling your life, I’m just trying to protect you.”
“You’re just overthinking about him.”
“And I just can’t believe that you’re fighting with me for him.” He shook his head in disbelief.
“I’m not fighting for him, Manik. I’m fighting for myself because I want to continue the friendship with him.”
“Do whatever you want, I won’t interfere, happy?” He asked and gave me a sullen look.
“Manik, please, don’t be angry at me.” I implored, clasping his face.
“Just leave me alone for some time, Nandini.” He slightly pushed me away and I felt a sharp pain in my heart.
“No, I won’t because I know, only I can calm you down.” I moved closer to him, again clasping his face.
“I just want you to promise me that you won’t talk to him.” He said in a grim tone.
“Okay! I won’t talk to him. You just calm down.” I gave up because I just don’t like to argue with him and deep inside I also know that whatever he does, he does for me.
I was gazing at him and stroking his stubble.
“I love you so much, Baby Girl and I’m sorry for shouting at you.”
“It’s okay! Even I shouted at you, I’m sorry.” Then I apologised too.
He kissed my forehead before embracing me in his warm arms.
Our fights always end so quickly as we both just can’t stay angry with each other.
“I wanted to confess something,” I said, still keeping my head on his chest.
“Tell me.” He asked.
I looked at him, still in a hug and replied, “I don’t like my name.” I pouted.
“What? Why?” He asked, confused.
“Because you only call me Nandini when you’re angry at me. So I don’t like it.” I complained and pouted while all he did was to laugh.
“Stop laughing,” I said, hitting him on the chest.
My eyes shined, “I love you Nan-” But I pouted as he stopped and said, “Baby girl.” I could see a teasing smile on his lips. He deliberately did that.
“Definitely I’m going to change my name!” I said, nodding my head in disbelief and he laughed.
“Such a kiddo you are.” He said, rubbing his nose with mine and making me giggle.