The Captive of True Love: 5

This is the fifth part of ‘The Captive of True Love’. So, if you are new here. Please first read the previous chapters here.

Sunday Off

We haven’t had any vacation from the tuition yet. Not even once. But see the misfortune, that first vacation was on the very next day. A day before the first day of school.
On that languorous Sunday, I found myself lost in reverie, reminiscing about my conversation with Priya. How her beautiful smile had illuminated the ice cream parlour when I told her of my endless search for her on Facebook, and the joy I felt when she finally gave me her phone number. Her strict dad had finally given her, her own personal phone. While a comparatively poor boy like me, had bought a touchscreen phone (by spending all his savings), Her rich dad had bought her a bar phone with no internet facility.

I also got to know more about her father in our brief chat in the ice cream parlour. Her family had moved to their old apartment as her dad had lost a hell of a lot of money in gambling. The weight of their misfortune weighed heavily on Priya’s shoulders. And yet she bore it all with a grace and resilience that only made me admire her more.

Even though it was going to be the first day of the last year of school life and my mind was wandering far away, it was busy pondering to find a good excuse to call Priya.

I longed to hear the dulcet tones of her voice and bask in the warmth of her presence. And yet, I knew not what excuse to use. In the end, I settled for a simple goodnight text, hoping against hope that it would elicit a response.

To my delight, it did. “Hi, still awake?” came her reply, and from there, we chatted for hours. It was the first of many late-night conversations, a nightly ritual that quickly became the highlight of my day.

The first day of the school

“Mahesh, Can you help me?”

It took a minute for me to finally spot Vaidehi after hearing her voice. She was on the floor with a stack of books lying next to her. Gently placing dusty books on the shelf, I turned to face her and allowed an idiotic grin to spread across my lips.

“Anything for the new hottie in the school” I quipped with a wink. “You’re looking pretty in that new haircut, short hair suits you!”

She laughed as a speck of dust landed on her cheek.

“Shut up,” she said, pointing at one of the shelves. “Check if there’s any non-fiction book there.”
Without missing a beat, I made my way towards the indicated shelf, dusting as I went.

Sorry to say, but it looks like the top student is being punished on her very first day,” I said, watching as Vaidehi’s eyes darted around nervously. “Looks like you’ll be cleaning and rearranging a few shelves.”

I had come to the library to see if there are any new books available in the ‘Space’ section. But here I was, cleaning this section of the library, almost relieving Vaidehi of her punishment.

For a while, we worked in silence, the only sounds being the soft rustling of pages and the occasional cough from a distant corner of the library. It wasn’t until some time had passed that I remembered to ask what had led to Vaidehi’s punishment.

“So, what did you do to earn an entire section of the library to clean alone?” I asked, genuinely curious.

I mean she was the last person I thought who could contravene any rule.

“I…” she hesitated, fidgeting with a nearby book. “I whistled during Mr Ranade’s lecture.”

“Ohh… so that was you!? I thought it was Pooja, she loves doing stuff like that. But he hadn’t recognized who did it so how he discovered that it was you?” I bit my lip and inhaled deeply to stop myself from bombarding questions.

“I confessed. Just 10 minutes before” Vaidehi admitted.

“So, he made you clean an entire section of the library?” when she seemed a bit more uneasy, I added, “It’s okay. At least you have got a fun-type punishment”

She laughed a little, “Yeah, yeah, I got a usual visit to the library”

It didn’t take a long time for us to complete the task as both of us were regular visitors of the library, we were cognizant of the books, shelves, and the pattern in which they were arranged.

The library was the place where Prapti and I used to spend every lunch recess, discussing the lives of great scientists, sometimes just gazing into each other’s eyes while pretending to study. Prapti left the school but my visits to the library didn’t stop, In fact, those were now increased. In the last few months, A loquacious me, who used to hang out with every clique had now become the reticent boy who prefers to stay alone in the library re-reading his favourite books.

“Why you did that? Why did you get yourself in trouble on the very first day?” I asked her as we left the library and began walking toward our classroom.

“This might sound stupid but I’m trying to have fun as others do. I don’t want to remain a boring geek. Hence the new look and new way of life” She said as her soft hand brushed mine while walking.

I pulled my hands closer to the body. And continued to walk beside her, processing what she had just said. I had gone through a similar phase. There was a time when I was called a nerd. Because there was nothing other than studies and chess I was good at. I started trying everything and anything I could. And just in a few years, I had become a jack of all.

But I also knew that change isn’t always a good thing. I mean I had gone through a lot of changes last year. I was formerly known as a shy boy who stays away from girls, and had been in a relationship with a couple of girls in a year. But in between managing those flings, and trying to get over Prapti, My academic record had fallen to the new bottom; someone like me who had never scored less than 90 had scored just 72% in 9th std.

“Hey,” Vaidehi’s voice broke through my thoughts. “I was about to tell you my secret list of things I want to do, but it seems like you have more important thoughts to attend to.”

We had reached our classroom by then, and Vaidehi quickly made her way to her usual bench in the third row.

After that, I didn’t get any chance to ask her about the list she was talking about it.

To be continued…


Published by Mahesh Mali

Author of 'Reflections of My Youth' | Student @ SPPU | Former Fellow @BeingVolunteer | Freelancer @PlayoApp | Tennis Player

28 thoughts on “The Captive of True Love: 5

      1. Oh.. As you like it cause I cannot anyway read it before Friday.. I am on my Board Examinations so Friday is the only relax day.. 😅

        That’s the exact reason I want all the days to be Fridays..

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Whattttt? New girl in the story? 🙀🙀 OMG! What’s going to happen next? Will she make our guy forget all the other girls? Is she the heart-stealer? I’m excited to know more. 😹 This one is very well written, ji. Bohot bohot achha. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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