Nivi watched Viren standing in a patch of moonlight and was happy she'd come; it was perfect and she had to admit he looked kind of perfect standing there too; the purple would add some colour and she was glad she had the right shade with her. She sketched out a couple of pillars and a hanging plant that was behind him as she waited for him to start playing...except he wasn't. She looked up 'What's wrong? It's ok Viren; you just play as you normally would.' She smiled encouragingly as he lifted the flute to his lips still looking a bit uncertain.
He closed his eyes and started playing and Nivi felt herself smile as the first notes sounded. He first played a few twisting notes and then started playing a full melody. She watched him for a while, forgetting to draw; he looked like he'd forgotten about everything around him as he played. She shook herself and started drawing the lines of his face, his closed eyes and the flute in his hands. He was really good, better than she'd expected and she could feel the emotion in each of the notes he was playing; for a while she lost herself too in both the sound of his flute and in her drawings.
After a while, Viren brought the song to a close and opened his eyes to see Nivi was looking down with a smile on her face as she drew and he realised he'd forgotten she was drawing him. She looked unreal in the moonlight and he thought she should be the one getting drawn rather than him. She looked up, still smiling and broke into his thoughts by saying, 'Wow Viren, that was amazing!' and Viren couldn't help smiling back at her happily.
Viren suddenly felt really curious and took a couple of steps forward and said 'Thanks Moti, are you done? Can I see now?!' but Nivi stopped him and carried on drawing. 'Wait! Wait there; no actually sit on that chair!' Viren sighed and went and sat where she told him to, thinking she was such a slave driver...
'Viren...stop looking so bored, can't you at least smile or something?' Nivi wasn't even looking at him as she spoke and Viren felt himself getting annoyed; how did she know he wasn't smiling?! He frowned at her but before he could say anything Nivi looked up quickly and said 'Perfect! You're easy to annoy too you know!' as she quickly sketched out a few lines with some charcoal. She looked up with a cheeky smile and laughed at his expression as she said 'Finished! NOW you can see...'
Viren had half a mind to tell her to keep her pictures but he was too curious so he went over and sat next to her as he looked over them. He looked at the drawings and for once had no words. She'd drawn 4 or 5 sketches in that little time, a few in pencil with splashes of bright purple charcoal and some in just black charcoal and all of them were as good as the next with the moonlight casting weird shadows over everything; he'd never seen himself playing the flute so it was a little strange to see but she'd managed to draw him perfectly in such a short time.
Nivi pointed out a larger black and white head and shoulders sketch of him sitting backwards on a chair with his arms resting on the back of it and he laughed as he saw the angry frown on his face. 'That's my favourite' Nivi said, 'Bilkul tumhari tarah diktha hai, hai naa?' she started laughing and Viren shook his head at her; she'd purposely annoyed him to get him to look like that!
'These are all really good Nivi, can I have one?' Nivi looked surprised but she said he could have any apart from the one where he looked angry. He picked out a smaller one where he'd just finished playing and was looking straight on with a hard to read look on his face. He remembered what he'd been thinking as he'd looked at her and said he'd keep that one so Nivi signed it with a flourish and said, 'There you go...and now I have to go!!'
She started putting her things away and Viren helped her. He passed her the box of charcoal and remembered something suddenly, 'Divya didn't give me your number Nivi, I got it off Yash when I saw him this morning. That's ok right?' He looked at Nivi a little uncertainly and Nivi suddenly felt embarrassed; she didn't want to tell Viren that she'd never given a guy her number, she didn't have many male friends and none that she met outside of Uni. 'Nahi Viren, it's fine, we're friends right? I was just surprised that's all.' She carried on packing quietly; she didn't mind Viren having it; she was actually really surprised at how comfortable she felt with him and the thought made her feel nervous for some reason. She looked up to see Viren watching her curiously and she wondered what she must look like.
Viren suddenly reached forward and brushed her cheek lightly with his thumb and Nivi blinked and felt herself jump a little as he then brushed her cheek again with the sleeve of his top. 'Charcoal' he said quietly, showing her the darker purple smudge on his sleeve and Nivi just about managed a tiny 'Oh...thanks' in response as Viren kept looking at her.
Nivi let out a breath and her heart was beating fast as she got up to gather her things as well as her thoughts. 'Thanks for this Viren' she said, indicating towards the folder in her arms and then quickly said goodnight. Viren smiled and stood up too, picking up his packed up flute case and his drawing. 'Goodnight Nivi,' he watched as Nivi left and then went home too, still thinking about Nivi's expression as he'd brushed the charcoal off her face.
Nivi let herself in quietly and was relieved to find that there was no one waiting for her. She went to her room, still thinking about Viren and wondering if she'd made the right decision by going tonight. She put everything away and got ready for bed and had just lay down when she heard her phone beep. She reached for it and couldn't help smiling as she read Viren's simple message which read, 'Thanks for the sketch Nivi,' Nivi sent a quick goodnight back and then closed her eyes, hoping sleep came quickly because there were too many things she didn't want to think about right now.