Aarti was weak at math, but this year
she had to take a math course. She didn't know how she'd manage, because she
was an A+ student and she didn't want her GPA to drop because of math. The only
thing keeping her spirits up right now were her grades, and she couldn't lose
It was getting late, and the University
seemed deserted. But regardless, Aarti had to find her professor. She was sure
that her professor would be in her classroom since she always left the building
late. And she needed all the extra help she could get.
"Ma'am?" she called out, as she
opened the door to the classroom.
The lights were on. It was a big
lecture hall, filled with many long wooden desks arranged in three columns.
There were two seats per desk. The seats were quite far from each other, a good
meter away. Aarti always assumed it was to prevent cheating.
The desk at the very front in middle
column had a pile of books on top of it. But nobody was here. Aarti curiously
walked towards the books. Fourth Year Calculus,
she read. Surely it was from Ma'am's previous class. Someone must have left
their books here.
Aarti strolled around the class,
expecting Ma'am to return soon. She waited ten minutes but there was no sign of
her. Miffed, Aarti picked up her bag and went to leave the classroom, nearly
bumping into someone on the way out.
She looked up, only to come face to face with Yash Scindhia. Aarti nearly groaned. Why did she always have to meet him this way? They
both bent down to pick up her books and their heads collided once again.
"Sorry," she muttered.
She felt awkward to bump into Yash
like this, but she had to admit he looked really attractive. More attractive
"Uh it's no problem," he told her and
handed her books to her. "I just came to get my things."
He went to the desk and packed the
books in his bag.
Aarti's mouth dropped open. Yash was
taking Calculus? That meant he was good at math. Right now she was slightly
desperate because she didn't understand how to find derivatives at all. It was
all a confusing concept for her, and she knew that if she wanted to even pass
the class, she'd need to have a solid understanding of it.
"Um... Yashji," she said, trying to be polite.
She just needed him to explain the
concept to her for a few minutes. It wouldn't take too long. And tomorrow was a
weekend, so why would he be in a rush? She felt her palms start to sweat as she
"Can you... can you explain derivatives
Yash looked at her incredulously. "Derivatives?" he asked her. His tone
suggested that it was the easiest thing ever.
Embarrassed, Aarti felt a blush creep
up her cheeks. "Yeah, if you have time that is... I really don't want to
distract you if you're busy."
"It's no problem," he told her and
removed a sheet of paper and pencil from his bag. "What do you want to know
"Everything!" Aarti told him. "I'm so
confused. You don't even know... I feel like killing myself every time I look
Surprisingly, Yash chuckled. "Alright
then. Sit down."
Yash went around the desk and sat on
one of the chairs, while Aarti just hopped onto the desk. He raised his eyebrow
at her, and then simply shook his head.
She looked down at the paper as he
started to explain what derivatives meant. She nodded along to his words, he
was easy to follow but the concept was just so darn confusing.
"Do you get it?" he finally asked
She chewed on her lip, embarrassed.
God, he must think she was stupid. "No," she replied. "I can't grasp the idea
at all. I understand the power rule and the product rule... but the chain rule
is the most confusing!"
Yash sighed. "Let me explain it to
The next few hours flew by like this.
Aarti on top of the desk, Yash on the chair, one sheet in between them. He
tried to explain it to her, but she didn't get it.
"Okay Aarti, it's getting late," he
told her. "I'll explain it tomorrow."
She nodded and smiled at him, "Thank
She knew that it was most likely that
he was annoyed with her, but she tried to be cool about it. After all, she
didn't want to further annoy him by asking him if he was irritated.
Just as Yash finished packing his bag
and was about to get up, the light to the room turned off and they heard the
door close with a loud thud. Aarti shrieked and frantically reached out in
front of her, desperate to hold on to something, anything.
She felt herself fall off the desk
and into Yash's chair. She felt her cheeks turn red when she realized that Yash
was still seated there. Her hands were on his shoulder and she was sitting on
his lap. She got up quickly and smoothed out her clothes.
"S - sorry," she said under her
"Let's go," was all he said.
She picked up her bag and followed
him to the entrance, her eyes adjusting to the darkness.
"Crap," he muttered under his breath.
Aarti tried to open the door too, but
it indeed was locked.
"Hello?" she called out. "Is anyone
She took out her phone and looked at
the time. "It's ten," she told him, starting to panic. "Yash, it's ten! They
closed the building! We can't leave until the morning."
"Calm down," he told her. "We just
have to stay here until morning then."
"What do you mean by stay here? What
exactly do you mean by that?" she shrieked. "Yash, this is wrong. I can't stay
here with you all night. What will they think when they open the door? What
will the professors think? And the students? No Yash, imagine the rumours!"
"Aarti just keep quiet," he told her
rudely and took out his phone.
She frowned at him as he dialed a
number and held the phone to his ear. "No service," he sighed.
She tried her own phone and was left
with the same result.
"I could have finished teaching you
but the lights are off," he told her. "What a waste of time."
Aarti groaned and went back to her
seat on the desk. "Now what?" she asked.
"Now we wait until the morning," he
told her. He followed her to the desk and sat beside her on it.
They just sat there, looking at their
phones for what seemed like forever until Aarti finally broke the silence.
"I'm sorry," she said, not looking at
"About what?" he asked her, sounding
"I - I was really... I understand I
was very annoying that day. I didn't even thank you. You took care of me, you
showed me reality, and I couldn't appreciate it. I'm sorry. And even today, you
didn't have to help me, but you did. I'm really grateful for it. I'm sorry if I
sound like I take everything for granted. I'm sorry if I annoy you," she said,
letting all that out without taking a breath.
"It's no problem," he simply said,
"Don't worry about it. You aren't annoying me."
They sat in silence for another few
moments. She didn't know why there were always moments of silences between
them. The truth behind these silences though was that they were completely
natural. They didn't seem out of place at all.
"Do you... do you still have feelings
for him?" he asked her softly.
She looked away from him and felt her
heart sink. Of course she still had feelings for him. There was no way that
those feelings were going to go away anytime soon. But she had definitely moved
on from him.
"No," she lied.
Yash nodded in response. It seemed
like he didn't know what to say.
"Did you and Arpita sort things out
yet?" she asked him, curiously.
He shook his head. "Nah," he said
casually. "Her parents didn't understand."
She could feel anger start to boil
inside of her.
"Why not? Why can't they understand
that their daughter is happy with someone else? And there's nothing wrong with
you, why can't they just accept you?" she said, completely frustrated with
When two people were in love, why couldn't they be together?
"They already spoke to his parent's
and fixed an engagement date," Yash said, looking down at his folded hands. "I - I can't do anything. Arpita can't either. She said her parent's refuse to be
convinced, they won't go back on their word to his parent's."
Aarti felt even more anger rise from
deep within her. "So they'll get her married off to someone she doesn't even
love?" she yelled. "This is ridiculous Yash! They can't. I'll talk to them.
They like me, they have to understand!"
Yash looked at her, and she thought
she saw a hopeful expression before it turned somber. "No Aarti, it won't work.
Arpita's already tried. We have to move on. I haven't talked to her in a
month... I let her go for her own good. And mine. We can't do this anymore."
Aarti blinked back frustrated tears.
"But Yash! You love her! She loves you too. You two want to be together, you
can't let each other go!"
"Maybe it isn't love," he told her.
"Maybe I just cared about her too much. Maybe we weren't meant to be. Aarti,
whatever is meant to be will happen in the end."
"That's ridiculous if you keep on
believing that," she screamed at him, her words echoing the anger she felt
inside her heart. "I know how much you care about her. At her insistence you
showed me the truth about my relationship! I'm sure you wouldn't care less if
it wasn't for her."
Yash ran his fingers through his hair
and looked away from her. "Please understand Aarti. I want to move on. I don't want to be stuck with her anymore. And I
am moving on. I think I am Aarti," he told her, sounding optimistic.
Aarti painfully smiled at him, her
anger starting to subside. "Whatever floats your boat Yash," she told him.
After some thought, she curiously asked him, "Is there someone else on your
Yash's eyes suddenly softened up.
"Well I haven't given it much thought until now," he told her honestly, "But
now that I think about it there is someone
who's very cute. She's beautiful actually. She really annoys me sometimes, but
I don't know why, I keep coming back to her, I can't help but wonder if she's doing
okay... I really care about her."
Aarti's eyes widened. She didn't know
why, but she felt slightly jealous at the thought. "Who?" she asked.
"Now that's a secret," he told her with
Aarti never noticed how cute he was
when he smiled until now. Her memory went back to that day at the club. She had
been attracted to him while they danced. When he came close to her, both her
mind and heart had started to go haywire; her knees had felt like jelly. She
didn't know why he did that to her that day. That day she blamed the alcohol,
but maybe there was another reason, a bigger reason.
Mansi always told her to imagine
being with the guy you might be attracted to. Imagine being in his arms, imagine
kissing him. If you could do that, then you're certainly into him. Was she,
Aarti Gupta, attracted to Yash Scindhia? If she was, it was just physically,
she told herself. Because she was emotionally attracted to Prashant and only
Aarti thought about being in his arms,
the idea was surprisingly pleasant. Then she closed her eyes and imagined
kissing him. Just the thought of kissing Yash made her shiver with excitement.
She bit down on her lip and avoided his gaze.
She didn't think that she'd ever
think of a guy who wasn't Prashant like this, but she just did. She thought of
Yash this way, physically.
"I see," she told him, crossing her
Once again, they sat in silence.
"Do you ever think about Prashant
now?" he asked her, curiously.
Aarti squeezed her eyes shut again,
feeling the same painful feeling in her chest.
"No," she lied. "I told you I'm
through with him."
Yash strangely looked satisfied.
"How about Arpita?" she questioned,
trying to maintain a balance in their conversation. It sounded stupid, but she
didn't want to let him free if he kept on bringing up her past.
"Same," he told her coolly. "I've
Aarti couldn't help but feel content
with that answer. She didn't let it show up on her face though.
"What are we going to do all night?"
she asked him. Then she realized how inappropriate that sounded to her.
Yash shrugged his shoulders and
turned around to face her. "Want to play a game?" he asked.
"What kind of game?" she inquired
"21 questions," he told her.
"Yes!" she said happily. 21 questions
was one of her favorite games. It really helped you get to know somebody. "But
you have to be completely honest! No cheating!"
"So do you," he said, grinning at
Aarti smiled back at him and said,
"Fine," he said resignedly. "You first."
"Uhh... where do you live?" she asked
She knew his brother Prateek lived at
home, but did Yash have a residence here? Yash didn't seem to be too worried
that his family would be concerned about him.
"Home," he simply said. "I live close
by. There's no reason for me to live on campus."
"Then your parent's..." she started.
"I can't answer, you've used up your
question," he said, cutting her off.
"Fine, your turn," she told him.
"Where do your parents live?" he
Aarti looked down at her hands and
with her voice barely above a whisper, said, "They're dead."
"I'm sorry," he said, sounding like
he regretted asking her that.
"No, it's okay. I've gotten used to
it. After all, it's been a long time. I'm over it."
Of course it hurt when she thought
about her parent's, but what would she get by thinking about it? She was very small
when she lost them.
"Why aren't you worried about what
your parent's think about you being out this late?" she asked him what she was
going to ask him earlier.
He shrugged. "I'm normally out late
at night, and they don't really care because they know I'm out for the whole
night sometimes. If I disappear for a whole day, then they'll start to worry."
"Why are you normally out late at -"
she started, but was once again interrupted by Yash.
"One question per turn," he reminded
"Fine," she whined. "Go ahead."
"Why were you with Prashant of all
people?" he asked her.
Aarti looked down again and meekly
told him the truth. "I loved him. I didn't have anyone else so he became my
world. I really loved him."
It hurt to say that, but all the
same, it felt nice to tell him the truth. There was something comforting about
being in Yash's presence and talking to him. She really felt like sharing
everything with him.
"I understand," he replied softly.
"Yeah... so why do you go out late at
night?" she asked.
Yash looked away from her. "Arpita."
"What? I don't understand," she questioned,
"I mean, Arpita and I used to hang
out at night."
She didn't know why the thought made
her heart sink inside her chest. "But Yash... she has someone in her life," she
reasoned with him, "How could you do that? I mean you didn't do anything right?"
"Too many questions in one turn," he
Aarti sighed and bit her tongue. She
really wanted to know why he would see her at night. Why would they be
unfaithful to her boyfriend? She never thought Yash was the kind of guy, nor
did she think Arpita was the kind of girl.
"Are there any other guys in your
life?" Yash asked. "I mean, really close to you."
Aarti thought about it. There had
been Prashant, and she really wanted there to be Yash, but she couldn't deny
that she was scared to let him in. There was also Aman, but Aman had gone to a
different university and she didn't ever tell him about Prashant. Aman would
"There's Aman," she told Yash. "He's
my old friend, but he doesn't come here. He's like a brother to me."
"So now answer me, have you and
Arpita done anything while she was in a relationship?"
She saw Yash stiffen at the question,
a painful expression flickering across his face. He rolled his hands into
fists. "I... I didn't know," he said, looking hurt. "I didn't know."
Aarti put her hand on his shoulder
"I - Aarti, I didn't know. When we
first got to know each other, she never told me. She never did. So... so I
kissed her. And she still didn't say anything. When she told me, I felt bad. I
told her it was wrong. I told her we had done her boyfriend wrong. Then she
told me that she'd made her boyfriend understand. She assured me that she told
him she loved me and not him. She told me that they'd broken up Aarti, and I
went further than I intended to. We almost... we almost made love," he said,
cringing. "We didn't though, she stopped me in time. I don't know what I would
have done if she didn't stop me."
Of course Aarti felt bad while he
said all of this, but she couldn't blame him. He made himself sound like a
monster, but she knew he was nothing like that.
"On that same day, she told me her
parents were not ready for her and her boyfriend to separate. I can't believe
we went that far. I was so frustrated. I loved her a lot, and he was the only
one in my way of getting her. I really wanted her parent's to understand. And
then two months ago, she told me that we should carry on with our lives and her
parents weren't ready to let their relationship go. It hurt a lot Aarti. It
Aarti took his hand and squeezed it. "Don't
worry about it," she told him, her heart aching for him. She really wanted to
wrap her arms around him and hold him. She wanted to comfort him and provide
him all the happiness she could. She didn't know why she wanted to do that, but
she knew that he deserved it.
"You lied to me that day," she said
light-heartedly, "You told me you two didn't do anything."
"I didn't think you should know," he
told her darkly. "And I was honestly ashamed of it myself."
Aarti smiled warmly at him. "It
happened in the past. Don't think about it now, you can't change it. Just carry
on with the future," she said soothingly.
He kindly returned her smile. "So
tell me, how far have you and Prashant gone?"
"We haven't gone all the way," Aarti
told him, feeling sick to her stomach. What if she had gone all the way with
him? Would he have still left her for Nida?
"I figured that much myself," he said
She smiled at him. "Well, there have
been times where we both got into each other and we wanted to do it. But we haven't
ever. I mean... I didn't let him. I stopped him all the time before the clothes
came off," she said, smiling with difficulty.
"That's good," he responded. "You
didn't give yourself away to someone you didn't deserve."
It was hard to tell this to Yash, but
at the bottom of her heart she still felt like she deserved Prashant.
"I guess," she mumbled in response.
"Was Arpita the farthest you've gone
with any girl?" she asked him.
"And Prashant?" he asked her.
They looked at each other in silence before
they edged closer together. Their hands overlapped on the desk at first. Yash
turned his hand around to intertwine his fingers with hers. Then they moved even
closer, not removing their gaze from the other one's eyes. Without breaking the
silence they leaned towards each other simultaneously. Aarti felt her breathing
get heavier and a strange kind of panic started to set in, but she didn't want
to back away. It felt too good right now. Her heart was beating hard inside her
chest and the heat had crept up her cheeks.
When they were a mere inch away from
each other, his eyes searched hers as if they were looking for a hint of hesitance.
They both instinctively shut their eyes and moved closer, allowing their lips
to brush together. She turned her body towards him and awkwardly rested a hand
on his shoulder, as his hands slithered around her back. Without really
kissing, they broke the closeness. The position was awkward.
"Come here," he said, opening his
She looked into his eyes again,
feeling her heart beating even faster. He grabbed her under her arms and pulled
her onto his lap. She sat sideways, facing the wall, wondering if what they
were doing was right. No Aarti, stop
thinking. You went wrong when you thought too much about Prashant... just live
freely, she thought to herself. Shoving her thoughts aside, she wrapped an
arm around his shoulders and looked at Yash.
"This won't work," he sighed. "Turn
"What?" she squealed, feeling her
blush get heavier.
"Legs around me," he murmured.
She let her sandals fall off her
feet, and then turned around to wrap her legs around Yash's body. She felt
nervous about doing this - she'd sat on Prashant's lap before, in ways more
inappropriate than this, but that she was used to. She was more worried about
what Yash would think about her than anything right now. But she couldn't stop herself;
she wasn't able to get off. She strangely felt really content on his lap like
She saw him lick his lips, and it
strangely turned her on. She closed her eyes, leaned closer to him and cupped
his cheeks in her hands. "Please don't think of me badly," she whispered.
"I wouldn't ever," he replied
sincerely, and wrapped his arms around her waist. She quivered with pleasure as
she felt her body react to his touch.
Then he shut his eyes and closed the
distance between them. Their lips moved rhythmically with each others. The kiss
was perfect, just how she had envisioned it to be. Once their lips got familiar
with each other's, they deepened the kiss, clutching onto each other tightly,
pressing their bodies closer together.
Each kiss made them crave for more,
they never wanted to let go, they never wanted to remove themselves from the
other. Once they got tired, they both lay down on the desk together, Yash
holding her in his arms.
She couldn't help but feel blissful
like this. She closed her eyes and let him bring her body closer to his. It was
like this that she easily drifted off to sleep that night.