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5:45 am Boston

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5:45 am Boston

The cool morning breeze brushed Nirav's face. His mind was totally messed up throughout the journey being tensed about Anika. It was then when he realized how much he hated Aaron. His mind was not at all ready to accept the fact that he simply helped Anika by bringing her home. He feared that Aaron had something to do with the accident. Aaron never seemed to be trustworthy to Nirav and hence Nirav kept warning Anika occasionally to be careful around him.

He was literally panting by the moment he reached Anika's apartment. He ran all the way upstairs not wanting to waste any more minutes to see Anika. He fiercely banged the door totally forgetting about the thing called 'doorbell'. After almost a minute, which seemed like ages for Nirav, the door opened revealing half sleepy Anika who was rubbing her eyes with a yawn. Before she could clearly see, who was at the door, she was engulfed in a tight hug and it needed no time for her to recognize who that person was. She hugged him back with equal intensity, rubbing his back trying to calm him.

Breaking the hug, Nirav stared at Anika from top to bottom with so much concern in his eyes. "A-Anu, are you alright? I am sorry I was not there for you when you needed me the most. Are there too many injuries? Is it hurting you?", he bombarded her with the questions.

"Nirav! Nirav! Nirav! Calm down and come inside first and then we will talk.", Anika said and Nirav followed as she said. She made him sit on the couch and brought him a glass of water. "Here, take this and calm yourself first, please.", she said. He gave her a doubted look but took the glass from her. They sat in silence for a few minutes when he finally decided to break the silence.

"So are you going to say anything?", he asked.

She kept quiet, continuously staring at the floor as if it was the most beautiful thing.

"Anu?", he called. Still no response. He raised her head by her chin so that she was staring directly into his eyes. As soon as his eyes met hers, her eyes welled up with tears. She removed his hand which was holding her chin, covered her face with her hands and started cried uncontrollably.

Nirav sat beside in total confusion thinking for the possible reasons behind her crying. He thought it must be the pain that she is going through which made her cry. He rubbed her back trying to calm her.

"Anu, what's the matter? Are the injuries hurting you a lot?", Nirav asked softly. Without responding to his questions, she continued weeping. He removed her hands from her face and wiped the tears. She looked directly into his eyes with so much guilt in her eyes.

"I... I am.. I am sorry Nirav.", she cried.

"Huh? Sorry for what dear?", he asked and took her hand in his and intertwined their fingers.

"I lied to you.", she said between her sobs.

"You what?", he asked raising an eyebrow.

"I lied to you about my accident.", she said and immediately looked back at the floor due to guilt. Hearing her words, Nirav stood up immediately removing his hand from hers and stared at her shockingly. He never expected her to do so.

"Anika, why did you lie? If you would have just asked, I would have come all the way up to here just to see you. Do you have any bit of idea how much tensed I was? I literally left for the airport the moment I got a call from Myra. All my mind could think of, was you. I was so much worried about you. I prayed each and every moment for you to be safe. And after all this, what are you telling me? That you lied? Seriously Anu? Do you have any idea about my state of mind? Even the thought of losing of you breaks me down into numerous pieces. You are my life and even the idea of you getting hurt troubles me.", he said in a louder voice but with slightly teary eyes.

By the time Nirav completed his words, Anika had already stood up and took his hand in hers, looked into his eyes with so many emotions and said, "Give me a chance to explain, will you?"

Nirav nodded and Anika continued, "Nirav, I love you a lot, I really do. I want to see you happy. You have done so much for me, you went against your parents and now going through their hatred just for me, for my happiness. You actually helped me to reach my dream." Nirav gave her a confused look. She continued speaking, "And now, it's my turn to help you, to motivate you to reach your dreams. Yes, I lied to you but there is a reason behind it. You remember George, the member of 'Rock Heaven' band who was impressed by your voice and had offered you to join that band?" Nirav nodded. "You must also be knowing that the lead singer of that band died a few months back because of which that band is going through really bad days. They are in search of a lead singer who would be a perfect replacement for the old one. So far, no candidate has reached up to their expectations." Again Nirav nodded in agreement. "Aaron knows...."

Before she could complete her words, Nirav raged with anger on the mention of Aaron. He said furiously, "I knew it. I just knew it. Aaron has to do something with all this. He asked you to lie to me, didn't he?"

Anika rubbed her forehead in search of appropriate words to explain everything to Nirav and said, "Nirav, before jumping to any conclusions, listen to me first please." Nirav didn't respond on it and kept staring at her with a blank face. Anika continued with her explanation, "So, Aaron is friends with the guitarist. Aaron found your old videos on youtube and showed them to the band members where George recognized you and wanted you to give their auditions. Now tell me, if I would have simply called you here to give that audition, you think you would have agreed to that?"

"Um...", Nirav thought.

"Of course not Nirav. I know you wouldn't have come here for the auditions. And I totally understand it. You don't want to hurt your parents more. You have already hurt them a lot for me. And that's why I had to lie to you and I am really sorry for that. I felt terrible while doing all this. But the sole reason behind all this was to see you happy. That's it. You have the right to pursue your dream and be happy. Speaking about our parents, trust me Nirav, they will surely be angry with us at first, but later they will melt down seeing their kids being happy. Seriously.", Anika said.

Nirav felt a lack of words. He was touched by the fact that she was so determined to help him reach his dreams. His voice softened and said, "But Anu, your method to call me here was very wrong. Can you even imagine what my state of mind was until I saw you safe with my own eyes?"

"I know Nirav. I can totally understand that's why I felt terrible.", Anika justified.

"But this surely can't be your idea. I am pretty sure this is that bastard Aaron's idea.", he fussed.

"Nirav, trust me, Aaron is not a bad guy. Just interact with him and you will understand it. Also, he offered to help me with all this. And yes, it was his idea. I am really sorry.", she replied.

"I still don't trust him.", he concluded.

Anika gave up and said, "I have to get ready for college now. You also need sleep. I'll see you in the evening after my work. Just calm down and take rest. And call me if you need anything. Myra will be waking up anytime now."


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