Joined: 24 June 2007
"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked" ~Bernard Meltzer
Angad seems to relax, becoming his somewhat normal self, after I take him to Dave and Busters. I really can't understand what the big deal is about the stupid Tarzan costume. He looks good in the outfit and doesn't have a huge-a** beer gut to embarrass him.
I swear… I nearly fell over when he walked out of the dressing room, finally allowing me to get a good look. Of course, I've seen Angad countless times in swim trunks and probably less. The sight of him in the loin cloth, trying to cover himself up and being so uncomfortably shy, made me feel good about myself. I know it sounds strange, but it did.
Since meeting Angad back in high school, I always felt like I was in his shadow. I was known as his friend—"Oh, you're Angad's best friend", "You're that Sharma girl, Angad's friend", "You must be Kripa, Angad's friend"—I heard it every day.
I guess, at first, I didn't mind being in his shadow. Let him have the entire spotlight, was my motto, but as I got older, it got tiring to only be known as, "Angad's best friend." I wanted to be known for me. Thankfully, college gave me that opportunity.
We both attended Northwestern, but since our majors were the complete opposite, we rarely had classes together. Slowly, but surely, I started hearing things like—"Hey, you're Kripa. You made a great point in class", "I know Kripa Sharma. She's the girl with the long hair…it's to die for." My all-time favorite was— "You're Angad? Oh, right…you're Kripa's friend."
I wanted to be that outgoing girl in high school so much. Joining a sorority, which is so unlike me, helped me step out of his shadow and grow out of my shyness. I met Aaliya when I pledged, and other than Angad, she's one of my closest friends.
She's helped me leave behind that shy, awkward girl I once was, although at times she makes an appearance. I honestly think Angad still sees me that way.
Angad is oblivious to it all—then and now—I am just his best friend. Honesty, I don't want it any other way. Angad has been the constant in my life, since I had abandoned my little "high school" crush. He's been there through every hard time, fantastic moment, clumsy bout, and boring occasion. He was there when Josh broke my heart at prom. He was there when I tripped over my own two feet and broke my leg. He was there when my dad got really sick, and I thought I was going to lose him. Angad has always been there…I can't imagine him not being there—ever. And like he's been there for me, I'm going to be there for him. I am going to wear this ridiculous and hot costume at the Halloween party tomorrow night, as proof.
I know Mishti isn't the girl for him. She meets the requirements—tall, leggy, beautiful, and smart—but has zero sense of humor, and her personality doesn't shine. Angad needs the exact opposite of Mishti; someone who is funny like him and shines like he does. I have kept my opinion to myself, for once, because he seems to like her a lot. It changed when she began having issues with my relationship with Angad. Besides, the last time I said something about one of his girlfriends, he told me to keep my opinions to myself. So, this time I did…against my better judgment. I would do anything for Angad, even dress up in a ludicrous costume and be his date on Halloween.
"So, Aaliya, who's throwing this party again?"
"Don't you ever listen to anything I say? Armaan, from work…he's one of the fashion editors at the magazine."
I simply shrug and take a sip of my drink as she continues to torture me while styling my hair. She tugs a little too hard, and the straightener comes dangerously close to burning my scalp. I smell burnt hair…I know it. My hand immediately shoots up and smacks her, as well as the damn straightener, out of the way.
"Damn it, Aaliya. That freaking hurt."
I continue to rub the almost bald spot. If I lose hair due to flambing, I am going to kill her.
"Calm down, Kripa. No pain, no gain, right?" Aaliya teases, smirking.
"If I was playing football, okay, but shit-you're torturing me and my head. Enough." I warn her, giving her my "I will kick your ass" look.
"Kripa, this will complete the look. Just leave it to me." Aaliya promises.
Does she really know what she's doing? I don't think Jane is tortured like this, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't have access to a straightener or other hair essentials in the jungle. Why was all this necessary? My hair was just fine before the torture ensued. Aaliya.
"Um, Aaliya? Not that I actually know about any of this, but why does my hair have to go through all this, really?"
"Oh, I'm going for that One Million Years BC look," she says, like I have a clue what she's talking about.
"One million-what?" I ask.
"One Million Years BC? That '60's movie with Raquel Welch? She was totally hot in it as a cavewoman. Totally my inspiration, when I saw it on TV a few weeks ago. Why do you think I suggested you two go as Tarzan and Jane?" Aaliya tries to clue me in.
"Oh, I don't know—to torture the heck out of me?" I sarcastically respond.
"You know I don't need an excuse to torture you, Kripa. It just comes naturally." Aaliya smirks.
"So, can I finish and Loana you instead of Jane-ing you?"
"Loana?" I ask, even more confused.
"That was her character in the movie. You so have to see that movie. I mean, it is a bit cheesy, but she looks amazing in it. Now, just let me finish, and then you can totally thank me."
"Fine, whatever. But I'm warning you; if I smell my hair burning again, you're done. Caput. Finito. Got it?" I give her my bitch brow.
"Oh, silly Kripa. Beauty is pain… just deal with it." Aaliya sticks her tongue out at me and picks up the straightener.
Against my better judgment, the torture continues.
After another hour of-what did Aaliya call it-Loana-ing me, she is finished. When I stare in the mirror, it is worth a few singed hairs and an aching scalp. I look freaking hot. Angad just might have to assume that role as my bodyguard, after all.
I can't stop smiling as I stare at myself in the mirror.
"Told ya it would be worth it."
"Once again, you're right, Aaliya. Why did I ever doubt you?"
"Because it's what you do. I wish you could see the future, and then we wouldn't have to have all the drama and theatrics in between. Remember this next time." She points a finger at me.
"I'm not making any promises."
"Fine. I'll just have to remind you, then. Let me just change into my costume, and we can go or is Angad picking us up?"
"It's not a date-date, Aaliya. I'm just gonna meet him there."
"If you say so," she retorts as she locks herself in my bathroom.
Aaliya has always been under the impression there is something more between Edward and myself—something just below the surface neither one of us is afraid to really acknowledge. I've told her nothing is there, but of course, she still thinks differently. She seems to think we are perfect for each other and wonders why we continue to torture ourselves by dating other people when we should just date each other. Again, I remind her that we are just friends, and that's the way it has and will always be.
Aaliya emerges out of the bathroom, and my jaw hits the floor.
"Aaliya…" I couldn't get the words out.
"I know, right? I look totally hot."
"That's an understatement."
She is a cowgirl…a very sexy cowgirl. Much like my costume, it doesn't leave much to the imagination. The fringed skirt rides low on her hips and barely covers her legs. It is possible she'll need Angad's bodyguard services more than I will tonight. Too bad those guns strapped to her hips aren't real. She might have to put them to good use.
"So, are you ready?" Aaliya is bouncing out of her skin.
I grab my winter coat and my purse. "Yep, let's go."
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