Ashima followed Aarav to a place, he claimed to be a serenity of lifetime.
The place they were standing on, was like an empty ground, with dark forest on their behind, and a wonderful water fall in front of them. Aarav took her to a big stone, and they sat there, facing the mountain valley.
‘Look at the height!’ Aarav signalled Ashima to look down.
‘I’m not afraid of heights!’
‘Just wait, I got something.’ Aarav rushed towards his cycle, which was standing on the support of a rock. He held his backpack and ran towards Ashima. He opened the bag and took out a box that contained aluminium-wraps.
‘What is inside?’
Ashima opened the foils. There were cheese and tomato sandwiches.
‘Don’t tell me you made them?’
‘No! I didn’t. But the friend, who lend me this cycle, got these for me from the hostel mess. The breakfast at mess is not bad! We eat these sandwiches many times, especially when we are late for the class!’
Ashima took a big bite.
‘Not bad!’ she spoke with a stuffed mouth.
‘I know!’ Aarav was staring at Ashima who was looking so cute, taking giant bites of sandwich and eating them like a hungry cat!
‘Want some more?’ Aarav offered her the entire box.
‘Umm…not now. Let’s save it for some time! It took us almost 2 hours to get here, see, it’s 11am!’ Ashima looked at her pink Gucci watch.
‘Thanks! My dad got it for me on my last birthday!’
‘Haha, not really! But I don’t mind expensive gifts.’ Ashima winked. Aarav smiled faintly.
‘What? What happened?’
‘Nothing…I, actually don’t belong from a very rich family. I’m sorry for making you travel by a cycle.’
‘Hey…’ Ashima held him from his shoulders.
‘This is the first time, someone has done so much for me! Spending money is nothing, compared to what you did! Rode the cycle for 2 hours, carried me to this far off place. It’s something, nobody has ever given me. More than money, time is a precious gift, and you’ve done something, I can’t repay ever! Nobody has made me feel the way you did today, it’s like I’m falling in love with you and I can’t control it…’
The truth slipped out from Ashima’s mouth. She immediately looked on the other side, cursing herself for what she spoke. Aarav also knew that it was a sudden slip of tongue. He tried behaving normal, ignoring what she said.
‘Want to see something else?’ Aarav changed the topic.
‘Yeah, why not?’
They both got up and Aarav took her from a rocky path, to the back side of the water fall. She could see it from nearest, without getting wet.
‘This is spectacular!’ Ashima stared at the waterfall. She looked up, the sun was just overhead. It seemed like water was falling down from the sun.
‘This is the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited, and this is the most gorgeous gift anyone has ever given me. Thank you, Aarav…’ Ashima hugged him tightly.
The noise of waterfall was too much and Aarav could hardly hear what she said. But he managed to read her lips. He knew she said ‘thank-you’. He hugged her back. She looked at him, he was already staring at her. She leaned towards his face, some force struck her, her inner sense knew she was doing a wrong thing, but she listened to her heart and pressed her lips against his. Some electric shock struck Aarav, and he couldn’t understand what just happened. He held her face and kissed her back. They kissed for another few seconds, and Ashima pulled herself back and ran away. Aarav himself ran and held a rock firmly.
‘Oh God! What have I done!’ he was speaking to himself. He thought that by kissing her back, he upset her.
After a few minutes apart, Ashima called Aarav who was still hiding behind the water fall. He slowly walked towards her, mentally preparing himself for a tight slap.
‘Ma’am…I’m really sorry…’
‘I love you, Aarav!’
Aarav couldn’t believe his ears. His whole world came crashing down on him. This was a dream, definitely! This couldn’t be possible, not even in the parallel universe, that the most admired girl of the college, first kissed him, and then said those three magical words to him. This was definitely not happening.
‘What?’ he thought he heard something else in the noisy waterfall.
‘I said, I love you!’ Ashima screamed loudly, and her voice echoed.
This time he was sure of what she said, but still he couldn’t believe it.
‘What now? Aren’t you supposed to say anything?’ Ashima folded her hands, and stood in front of him.
Aarav walked to Ashima, held her face and kissed her. Their lips were locked for another two minutes.
‘I love you too…and you have no idea, how much!’ Aarav said, and kissed her forehead.
Ashima hugged him. They had lunch together, it was again those cheese and tomato sandwiches. The whole afternoon was spent behind that waterfall, escaping from the heat. Aarav told her about his crush on her and his planning to indulge her into a project. They talked the whole afternoon, hugged and kissed each other at intervals.
‘I think we should leave, it’s 6pm!’
‘No, if we’ll leave now, we’ll miss the best part…’
After an hour, Aarav took her to that rock again, where they sat in the morning. The sun was dying into the mountains, sinking into that deep valley. It was the most romantic and serene visual of the day! They were sitting on the rock, hugging, watching the sunset together.
They had the best times of their lives…