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Just An Hour More

By Vasundhra Goyal

Flight to Houston via Chicago was an hour late. 
Off all the places in United States, why did you choose Houston?
Riya wasn’t trying to reason out with Avin as to why he only had got to go to Houston and not Chicago or New York or Boston. As it became evident, he would be going abroad, be it any place, far away from India. How does it even matter? She just wanted to break the silence that had become a part of their meetings in past five years. Living without Avin was something she was not ready to accept.

9:45 PM 
Mumbai Airport was stuffed with people, waiting for their flights. Hardly anyone had time to notice a young girl and a guy who must have been there for almost half an hour, sitting silently without uttering a word. Who knew what was going at the back of their heads. 
My aunt lives in Houston. Though I will be staying in hostel, but I guess it will be good to have someone from my family around.” 

It was the first time Avin and Riya were alone without anyone else tagging along. Avin’s best buddy Rishab was teased as his gay lover when they were in school. Fortunately, Rishab wasn’t there in Mumbai that day. Avin had already met him in Bangalore when he went back to his college to get his transcript.

Photo credit - Anoop Nagendra
Riya recalled the day Avin came back from Bangalore. He had called her that day.

Hey! ‘ssup? Still lost in my dreams?


Shut up! I am busy. I have joined Dad’s office, been working for a month.

Nice. Continue like that till you get hitched to a nice Punjabi Munda. Did someone approach you till date?

No. Not yet. And I am in no hurry.

Awww! Poor Riya. You will die a virgin I guess.

Please! I don’t want to end up getting HIV positive. Seriously, how many did you sleep with? You must have developed AIDS by now. Did you get your blood report recently? Riya teased.

Ever heard of a thing as CONDOM? I have got plenty. Get one from me if ever you happen to need it. My bribe in return will be, name of the guy, time, place along with details of what happened.

Get lost, you pervert. Gross. Sick. But seriously, how many have you slept with?

I have lost count, you know. But you don’t need to be jealous. You will get better than me.

Who told you I was jealous? Trust me, I have better options.

Awww. Can’t get enough of me, can you?

Even in worst case, I would rather end up with a girl than getting involved with you.

Okay, I got it. Oh! By the way, Rishab called. He said he is missing you.

Fuck Rishab. Tell me one girl he doesn’t miss?

I know one, you. But this time he genuinely seemed to be missing you. By the way, who is this Ambar chick? He was talking a lot about her.

She is one of my friends from college. And now I know exactly why he has been missing me. Creep.

To ab agar tumhara meri maarne ka quota pura hogaya ho to main jaun? Just came home, need a bath.

OoooooHhhhhh! I can just imagine you without shirt. I wish 3G was more common.

Now look who’s a pervert. Seriously girl, give your hormones a break. Get back to your work.

Yeah! Yeah! Bye.

Bubye.

Those memories of the past were disturbing her all the more. It was silent outside, but something was screaming inside her.

10:15 PM 
Half an hour more, still too many people around. And they both hear a voice. Oh my Romeo! I shall miss thy dick, penetrating the insides of my anus, Thy rosy tongue, moving all over my nipples.

Riya immediately recognizes the familiar voice Shut the fuck up Rishab. For the first time, she was glad Rishab was there.

Awww! We missed you so much. Just as Riya was about to hug him, Avin pushed her away and grabbed Rishab pretending to be teary eyed. Rishab was crushed in Avin’s tight embrace. Avin loosened his grip, still pretending to be teary eyed,My Juliet! Thy kiss, I shall always remember in my soul. Thy touch, as soft as a butterfly, thy...

Riya interrupts, Oh cut the crap. Seriously! You two have taken this Gay business quite convincingly.

They could almost imagine themselves back in school times when Rishab had been desperate to kiss Avin for the 500 bucks offered to him by a guy who came in their van. There was a time when the news had spread like fire that Avin and Rishab were possibly gay couples. Rishab and Avin had nearly ended their friendship because of that when they ultimately thought “screw people, who cares even if we are gay, let them assume so if they want to.”

How did you reach here? I thought you were in Bangalore. Avin was pumping with joy. He never expected Rishab to be there to see him off.

I just got here. I caught the evening flight. I was afraid I would miss you.

That, you would anyhow.

Chal na. I have a lot of chicks around to make me forget my grief. Rishab winked and turned to Riya, Oh by the way how is Ambar?

Rishab! Leave her alone. You are not worth her.

Ha ha! Big deal. Just give me her no.

No I won’t!

Avin snaps, See, if you don’t want us to have any wrong intentions for you, you should probably fix us with some of your hot female friends.

You better watch out for your firangi females. Those desi girls are just for me. Avin and Rishab started fighting again like they used to in school.

Flight 847 for Chicago is ready for is passengers. Passengers of flight 847 kindly proceed to gate no. 2.

Time to go, Avin looked demented.

Have a safe journey bro. Will miss you. Avin and Rishab hugged each other. He looked at Riya for a second and then hugged her tightly. This was the first time they hugged each other and probably the last time. Riya controlled the sudden outburst of emotions that broke inside by the warmth of his embrace. Cheer up fatso. I will stay in touch. 2 years atmost and then I will be back.

I know more about people who go abroad to expect you back in 2 years. Seriously! I am fine. Enjoy your life there. Make the best of this opportunity.

Avin waved Goodbye to his friends and proceeded for immigrations.

Rishab got the opportunity to talk to Riya alone.

So, did you say anything?

Say what?

Oh, come on. Anyone could have guessed that. You are madly in love with him, aren’t you?

Riya didn’t know what to say...

You thought I wouldn’t notice. All this time, I knew what you felt for him. It’s just that you lacked the confidence to express yourself. If only I knew you would be as dumb as not to say it even at the last few minutes, I would have disclosed that to him myself. Why do you think I came here on time?


Riya was welling with emotions. Tears rolled down and she felt helpless. What if he doesn’t want her? What if he still loved his ex-girlfriend? Her worst fear was rejection from her best friend and losing a hope to be with him someday.

Avin boarded the flight. He could picture his life in America. It was gonna be an all new experience for him. His life was going to take a 360 degree turn.

He got up to check his belongings. Something was missing and he couldn’t figure out what. He knew he was forgetting something. He checked his bag again and found a music CD of Mandy Moore songs given to him by Riya. He wondered how it came there. It must have been there for a long time, and the day he decided to take that bag along with him, he must have forgotten to take it out with the other stuff from that bag.

As if a lightning struck him that very moment and he instantly knew what was missing. Tears rolled down his cheeks...

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Vasundhara Goyal
I eat when I am bored and I live by the quotes that explain exactly what I am going through. I fancy reading Archie comics for the love of my favourite character Jughead Jones and I tend to get attracted to guys with a persona like him. I am a loner and at times I search for lonely spots where I can just sit and daydream.

 

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