Crossing the Mirage:Passing Through Youth (Chapter 8, page 1 of 2)

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Chapter 8

While Chandra lay there snubbed, Nithya walked away in consternation.

‘What madness!’ she thought in vexation. ‘And who is he by the way? Poor chap, he seems to be suffering. But how can I help him? Am I not bellyful with trouble already? I’m more in need of help than anyone I can think of.’

As she walked aimlessly, she insensibly focused her thoughts on Chandra.

‘Since he loves me,’ the stray thought snowballed into a solution for her problem, ‘won’t he help me?’

Weighing the pros and cons, she reinvigorated herself and reversed her direction. And as she returned to the nook, she found him lying like a corpse.

“Excuse me,” she said sweetly.

“I apologize,” he gesticulated even as he sprang up to his feet.

“I know love is no blame,” she said with empathy. “But I’m sorry that I can’t reciprocate.”

“It is my fault really,’ he said in reconciliation. “I got carried away.”

“If you like,” she said invitingly, “we can be friends.”

“If only I’m not in love with you,” he said with mixed feelings, “I would’ve grabbed your friendly hand with both hands. Now, I’m afraid I can’t be content being just your friend.”

“I appreciate your frankness,” she said admiring his admission. “What I need now is a friend more than a lover. Good bye.”

Seeing her depart in disappointment, he felt dejected.

‘How mean I refused to be her friend,’ he thought in dejection, ‘Of what avail my love if it fails to provide succor to my beloved! Shameful, isn’t it? I shall stake everything for her sake.’

And he ran up to her in love.

“Forgive your friend,” he said extending his hand.

“Oh, thank you,” she said grabbing his hand.

“I'll forever remain your friend in need,” he said pressing her hand.

“I need your help,” she said lowering her eyes, “right now.”

“Tell me then,” he said, shaking her hand. “I'll do my best.”

“Oh, I’m relieved really,” she said as it showed on her face. “But still I need time to think how to talk about that odd errand. Will you please come tomorrow?”

“Same time if you please.”

“Let’s make it by four,” she said.

“Bye,” he waved her goodbye.

“Thank you, bye,” she said and walked away in relief even as he watched her with love.

‘Oh, how he invokes sympathy with his empathy!’ Nithya thought on her way back home. ‘And he’s so agreeable. But how come I was so rude to him? Anyway, I’ll make up for that now, won’t I? See we haven’t even introduced ourselves in that confusion? Unlike Vasu, hope he would be true to his word.’

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