Finally it was my turn! I’ve got to give these guys their proper due though, I could see this was a true-to-each-other group of genuine friends. Am I starting to have second thoughts??? I like them but I just need to get the idea of Aara and I out of Riza and Laeekas head.
I could see that Nemo had something for her so why play a third wheel? Besides, I don’t want to get too attached to any of them, they are so goody goody I would be like the rotten apple out of the lot.
“So Aara”,I said “truth or dare?”
Please say dare please say dare, I said in my mind.
“Dare Zoheb” and she smiled. Hah! Good girl *wicked grin*
Me: this is what I dare you to do, you’re going to take off your sandals and walk across that stretch of tar (pointing out to the long tarred driveway that cut through the centre of the park and it was frikking boiling hot that day, so much so that it gleamed in a haze like up until a metre above the ground)
Me: you heard me, take off your shoes and go for a walk, not the whole road now, probably from there till there ( pointing out again from the bench at the far end till the spot we were sitting at-easily 1km atleast)
Nemo: are you out of your mind dude??? By the time she reaches here IF she does at all, she will have no skin left under her feet!!!
Riza: yeah Zoheb, this is too extreme
Zoheb: its okay Aara, I was just testing you I know you aren’t capable of carrying out a serious dare ( and I knew that would do it! Die hard Aara wooo I’m so scared)
Aara woke up, looked at me and took off her sandals.
Nemo: sit down! You aren’t going anywhere! This is just a game and this man is a psycho you don’t need to listen to him!
Aara: you know me better than that Nemo, a challenge that I can’t complete-never. I’d rather try than not do it at all
Nemo: listen to me?!!? If its so important to you, I’ll do it you sit down!
Aara: shush man I’ll be fine
And with that she walked away, along the grass until she reached the spot I had asked her to start from.
“I’m coming with you just incase you cheat”, I shouted as I ran behind her…not before I looked at Nemo as he shot me a killer look and said ” I told you not to make her do anything stupid!”
“Relax bro”,I said as I walked away from him.
Aara placed one foot onto the tar and pulled it back in pain. “Shit man!”,she screamed.
“Chicken much?”, I asked with a grin
She didn’t say a word and put her feet forward again. This time she walked a few steps before stepping back onto the grass. She winced in pain, the road was boiling hot, but she still didn’t say anything.
I turned back to look at the group, by now all of them were standing.
And she tried again and went a little further and ran back again.
I looked at her face as she turned around to try again and her eyes were full of tears…
What the f*** was I doing???
Aara tried again and again each time going a little further and each time coming back, her eyes filled with tears,clearly her feet were very sore..
Only now I wasn’t laughing or grinning, my head was down and I felt like kicking myself for thinking up something as stupid as this. I had no right to “punish” her or anyone else, who the hell was I? If my creator was putting people into my life, and good people too who was I to push them away? And especially this woman who has done nothing to me! How can I be so cruel???
“Aara its ok stop please you don’t have to do this I’m sorry”, I pleaded
But she acted as though she couldn’t hear me and tried again
“Aara please this was very very stupid of me please stop I’m begging you”
She still didn’t hear me out and I did something on impulse without even thinking…
I stood infront of her and held her hands “put your feet on my shoes” I whispered
“What?!” She said as she started to move her feet up and down to avoid the hot tar
“Quickly”I said as I pulled her towards me. And I started to walk backwards, balancing Aara on my shoes,holding her hands tightly.
“What are you doing?”,she asked
“Stupid me,stupid dare and stubborn Aara who won’t give up” I said with a guilty smile
She laughed and asked “So you won the battle?”
“Battle?”, I asked confused
“Yep the one you were fighting inside you” she whispered as we walked along
“Is it that obvious?”,I asked
“Well, maybe not to everyone, and well with me I guess its part of my job to have my sixth sense on all the time” she answered sweetly
I felt my guard falling…I felt that current again…
“your sixth sense is very good”, I said with a smile
“So, what is your story zoheb patel?”
“Hmmm is this part of the game and you picked “truth”for me on your own?”
“Ummm, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea” she said again smiling sweetly
“Doesn’t it feel and look as though we’re dancing?”, I asked her and moved my feet left and right with Aara still on them
She laughed. “Wooo yep it does…aren’t your feet sore by now?”
“Not as much as yours. I’m so sorry Aara”
“Its ok” she said
“Just like that?”, I asked as I stopped
“Just like that” she said as she motioned me to carry on and I did! And it felt surreal! Left,right,left,right..with the occasional arm stretching and me pretending as though I was going to twirl her around and Aara misbalancing and me holding her steady..I never let her fall off my shoes ..not once
After a few moments, she asked again..
“You still didn’t answer my question…”
“My story”, I answered softly…”Nothing fancy you know, rich kid,absent parents, cheating ex girlfriend,backstabbing best friend”
She squeezed my hand tightly. That current again…” I’m sorry”,she whispered
“It’s life”, I said honestly. But I was the biggest liar to myself. It wasn’t just “life”, it was unfair, I always lost what I loved, always got the raw end of the deal… a part of me wanted to tell this to her..and I was going to…but we were already so close to where everyone else was sitting.
“It will get better from here”she said reassuringly. I held back a strong urge to hug her as strands of her gorgeous hair fluttered across my face. It felt as though time stood still for a moment…I looked at our hands together, her soft feet on my shoes..would have been better if it were on my feet but then we wouldn’t have made it this far..ℓ☺ℓ ..her face so close to mine, her perfect sharp nose, long eyelashes…I could feel her breath… “Breathe zoheb breathe” I said in my head…and everything else just seemed to fall away…it was just me and her…a girl who I was trying to hurt just moments ago for no good reason…a girl who seemed to have a little more faith in me than I had in myself..a girl who I had wronged had instead taken my hand and accepted my apology. I would have been crushed if she hadn’t..and I think somewhere inside she knew it. A girl who didn’t just look at me with those big brown eyes, but she seemed to stare into my soul…
“Woo Zoheb you just pretended to want to torture Aara hey!” Zainab yelled as she clapped for us as we made our way onto the grass. Aara blushed in a very suttle way but I had noticed!
“Aara your turn to make him do something”, Nemo said with an angry look on his face.
“I already asked him, it was truth so his part is done”she said
Please don’t tell them what I told you….
“Soooo tell us”, Maariah said
“Its a secret” Aara smiled as she popped a cherry into her mouth. I couldn’t help but smile the full dimple smile.
“Ohhhh so its like that now”Laeeka chipped in..”Fine but one truth I really want to know…what was written in that note that you stuck onto Zoheb’s window?”
“Hey we forgot about that!”Riza jumped in
Before Aara could answer, I put my hand into my shirt pocket and took out a piece of paper
“Read it for yourself” I said as I handed it to Laeeka and turned to look at Aara who had a surprised look on her face.
“I thought you would have thrown it away!”She said in disbelief