Sanah and I have been friends ever since we were in kindergarten. We were in the same school, same class and section. The teachers called us Siamese Twins since we were inseparable. Both of us excelled at academics and extracurricular. The only difference between us was our financial status. My mother taught in the school where her father was a trustee.
We had no secrets between us: our first crush, the pimple that sprouted just before a special date, our heartbreaks, we shared every little and big event of our lives. I remember how we drank a bottle of wine while her parents were away and then puked through the night.
I was the first one to lose virginity and we laughed our guts over what a damp squib the entire act turned out to be. Nothing like we imagined through our young starry-eyed teenage fantasy.
Sanah was extremely generous and large-hearted. I was just four and her dad had got a new Barbie for her. I looked at the doll with fascination. She saw the longing in my eyes and said, “Rukmi you take it. This a gift from me to you. I have many more.”
What started with doll continued with lipsticks, shoes, dresses, accessories and the list goes on. Every time she gave me a gift, something died inside me. I felt like a beggar who was living off someone else’s generosity. I tried telling her that her generosity was stifling me but she would have none of it. Her generosity weighed like a heavy stone around my neck.
And today I am at her wedding wondering what do I gift this dear and large-hearted friend of mine.
Apratim looked at the handwritten note: “Midnight, on the bridge. Come alone.” “I am sure it’s a prank played by one of the girls at the wedding. What if Sarah wants to share something with me…. a night before the wedding…. Is she developing cold feet….” Lost in these thoughts he walked towards the bridge.
He saw Sanah standing at the bridge railing facing the river. Her lovely tresses flying gently by the breeze. He quietly tiptoed and hugged her tightly. She turned around to face him. “Rukmini!!!!”, He exclaimed with disbelief. “What the hell are you doing here !!!” Rukmini put her finger on his lips and gently let the dress slip. Her naked body glowed in the moonlight. She took Apratim’s hand pulled him close to her.
Sanah looked majestic in the bridal fineries. I hugged her tightly and said. “Sanah you are my soul sister. You have always been so generous and loving towards me. At your wedding, I have chosen a very special gift for you. There is a red mark on Apratim’s neck and that’s my gift to you. I am sure you will never ever be able to forget this gift of mine. This gift will last our collective lives.