It should’ve been us!
Should’ve been a fire, should’ve been a perfect storm,
It should’ve been us!
Could’ve been the real thing,
Now we’ll never know for sure.
Diya bobbed her head along with the music as Tori Kelly sang about how she wished it was her and her companion till the end. Diya thought the situation was kind of ironic, with Rishaan sitting just a seat away from her. Her heart dropped each time Rishaan held Kiara’s hand in his. Diya closed her eyes and leaned back into her not-so comfortable seat, letting out a heavy sigh.
If it was her decision, she would’ve been sitting in her gallery, sipping hot chocolate and, laughing at how Joey can’t speak French. But instead she’s on her way to Goa with her friends. Actually it’s not them that bothers her, but the love that Rishaan and Kiara share.
If only it had been us!
She always mentally slaps herself whenever she thinks of stealing her best friend’s boyfriend. Only a bad person can think such a terrible thing. She knew too well then to even try. If only her heart would be as wise as her brain was. She and Kiara have been best friends since forever, until Rishaan joined the duet and since then the trio was inseparable. Diya always had a special place in her heart for Rishaan, but was too afraid to ever ask him out. Unlike Diya, Kiara was the confident one and she always gets what she wants, even Rishaan.
Rishaan, on the other hand, always thought that he and Diya shared some chemistry. It’s not that he never liked Kiara and still started going out with her. He liked Kiara. He loved how carefree and confident she was. Just as he loved Kiara’s carefree attitude, he respected Diya’s reserved nature. How she loved the indoors more than the outdoors, how she loved getting herself lost in the fictitious world of books, how she would bob her head while listening to her favorite track, he could go on about her.
When Kiara asked Rishaan out, he hesitated, but said yes eventually. He didn’t want to jeopardize their friendship. Kiara has dated guys before, but it never work out. She’d get bored and end things before they would get serious.
I’m too young to get serious, she’d always say.
It’s a surprise that she’s been with Rishaan for over a year now. He was different after all. He was her best friend first; and then her boyfriend. This trip was planned by Kiara, so that they all could have some fun. She snuggled closer to Rishaan and fell asleep, dreaming about all the things she’ll be able to do in Goa.
In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Rishaan’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa.
When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny…his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher.
The group checked in their respective rooms in the Bogmallo Beach Resort. They planned to meet at the beach in about an hour and half. Kiara and Diya were sharing the same room. Rishaan went in the room adjacent to them with his pal, Varun.
“I’m so tired! Is it okay if I skip the beach?” a tired Diya asked Kiara as they unpacked their bags.
“No, it’s not okay. We didn’t come all the way to Goa so that you can bury yourself in your books. Why did you even bring your novels?” Kiara asked.
“Hey! Don’t bring my novels into this. I’m just not in the mood for the beach right now.” Diya said as she flopped down on the bed.
“Well, you don’t have a choice. You’re either coming willingly, or forcefully. I’ll ask Rishaan to drag you with us.” Kiara said with a smirk.
Just then Rishaan entered the room, to ask if the girls needed anything.
“Diya is being stubborn about going to the beach. I told her if she didn’t come you’ll drag her with us.” Kiara complained to Rishaan.
Rishaan looked at Diya as she blushed out of embarrassment. As their eyes met, Diya looked away, remembering their encounter on the plane. As much as she liked Rishaan, she never wanted to be the reason why Kiara and Rishaan broke up.
Kiara excused herself and went to wash off all the sweat from the flight. It left Rishaan alone with Diya in the room. He was not ready for this.
“I better take a shower too. See you at the beach” and he left, leaving Diya with a throbbing heart, and an empty room.
It was about 5 in the evening when they gathered at the beach. The boys decided to have volleyball match with girls. Everyone joined in, except Diya.
“Now you know why I brought my novels?” Diya nudged Kiara when she was getting ready to play. Her copy of Pride and Prejudice lied in her lap. She didn’t plan on reading the book at all. But she needed a cover for when she watched Rishaan play, shirtless. Even the thought of it made her blush.
The girls weren’t so bad, but the boys had the upper hand. At one point when the ball came crawling to where Diya was sitting, Rishaan volunteered to bring it back. Diya was startled when Rishaan stood in front of her with a ball in his hand.
“How’s the book so far?” he asked her as he sat next to her and shouted at the guys for a water break.
“It’s going great. Lizzie just rejected her cousin in a rude yet lady-like way.” She replied the first thing that came in her mind.
Rishaan nodded his head at that. He knew that Diya had read Pride and Prejudice dozens of time before. He even tried reading it to see what the big hush about it was that Diya read it so many times. He had to drop it because Kiara thought it was funny.
“You know, I could teach you to play.” Rishaan added.
“Don’t you remember the last time you tried teaching me football? Seriously, I could do without the cast this time.” She said remembering how she broke her leg while learning to play football. Rishaan remembered it, nobody felt as bad as him for getting her hurt.
“Right, don’t want that to happen again.” He said. He needed to talk to Diya about what happened on the plane, but he knew that she’d avoid the talk on all cost. But he decided to give it a shot anyways.
“About what happened earlier…” he began but was cut by Diya.
“We don’t have to talk about it.”
“What? Of course we do.” He protested.
“Look Rishaan, it happened, won’t happen again. It’s best if we let it be.” She said while picking her book. Before Rishaan could say anything else, she left.
Rishaan knew that Diya didn’t want to come in between him and Kiara, but she was being irrational. They both knew they liked each other, and it killed him that he couldn’t do anything about it. He couldn’t ignore his feelings for Diya and he knew that the sooner he told Kiara, the better it will be for all of them.
After dinner, the couple went for a walk by the beach. Diya was in the balcony listening to music as she enjoyed the cool breeze. Kiara held Rishaan’s hand as she kicked seashells on the way. She looked so happy that Rishaan didn’t have the heart to break the news to her. He decided that he’ll tell her when they return home.
The next day the group went to explore the beauty that Goa possessed. They rented two jeeps for the purpose. The first on their list was the Butterfly beach. The lucid water and silver sand was all going to be worth it after the 2 hours trek through the woods.
Diya let out a sigh when she saved herself from slipping for the 20th time.
This is why I hate the outdoors, She said to herself.
“We are so behind the other guys. Hurry Up, Diya!” Kiara shouted from ahead.
“You go ahead I’m going to take a quick break.” She said as she sat on the rock nearby.
“Don’t be late!” Kiara shouted as she marched ahead.
“Having trouble?” said a voice that shook something inside Diya every time she heard it.
“Weren’t you ahead of us?” a confused Diya asked Rishaan.
“Forgot the cameras.” He said as he held the cameras high to show her.
“Perfect! You probably completed the route twice and here I am taking a break every 15 minutes.” She said as she rested her head between her hands.
“You’re not that bad.” Rishaan reassured her.
“Of course I am! I saw a 5 year old do better than me. You know this is why not everyone is meant to go outside. That’s why they have adventure and travel books. So that people like me can sit inside the safety of our homes and read about it.” she said as she tied her hair in a ponytail.
Rishaan burst out laughing, only to get a confused look from Diya. “You’re so hilarious when you ramble.” He said in between laughter. Diya rolled her eyes at him. That’s a first, she thought to herself.
“I am going to break up with Kiara.” He suddenly blurted out the words which have been killing him for weeks. He didn’t regret it though.
“What?” Diya was shocked.
“I was going to last night, but didn’t want to ruin the trip for all of us. I’ll do it when we go back home.” He added.
“You can’t do that Rishaan! Do you have any idea what that will do to her? Please, listen to me!” protested Diya.
“And what about what it is doing to us? You know very clearly that I like you and I know that the feeling is mutual. How long do you think you’re going to ignore it?” he asked her, he was so desperate now.
“As long as it takes to make these feelings go away, but I’m not letting you hurt Kiara, Rishaan.” She cried. She was so determined in protecting her best friend that she didn’t care if it broke her into pieces.
“What about me? Don’t you care the least about me?” he asked her. He would be lying if he said that it didn’t break his heart when she said that.
“I do. But I’m in no position to do anything about it.” Diya replied as she hid her tears from him.
“Diya, how longer are you going to put Kiara before you? It’s not doing you any good.” Rishaan tried explaining to her how unhealthy her habit was.
“You don’t get it, do you? Rishaan, even if we did get together after you broke up with Kiara; do you think it is going to work? Do you think we’ll ever be able to get the guilt away from us?”
Rishaan had no reply for this. So Diya continued;
“If you break up with Kiara, you’ll be losing both of us” with that last sentence she left. Rishaan just sat there for a few minutes before he could even move.
They both didn’t really talk much for the rest of the time they were in Goa. Rishaan respected Diya’s decision of staying by her friend’s side than the boy who loved her. It did make it much harder for him to stop loving her though.
After they returned from Goa, Rishaan couldn’t help but act distant, Kiara didn’t fail to notice his weird behavior. One day she’d had enough and she confronted him.
“I’m just having a hard time figuring out what I really want.” He replied.
Kiara’s heart broke in two, but she decided to be mature about the situation. It’s not like she wasn’t familiar with heartbreaks. There was a reason why she never got close to her other companions. She had a history that only Diya knew better, hence the reason why Diya was so persistent on saving Kiara from the heartache.
“It’s okay, Rishaan. If you think we should take a break, I understand.” She said with saddened eyes.
Rishaan had no idea she’d say something like this. He was shocked. But Kiara was not stupid, she noticed how Rishaan and Diya were all awkward with each other and they three never hung out together.
She told Rishaan she knew about him and Diya. Rishaan had to tell her everything that happened and so he did.
Kiara was silent for a few minutes before she smiled. “I knew this girl would be willing to die for me, but I didn’t think she’d be all about sisters before misters’ dilemma. And hey, if she could risk getting her heartbroken for me, I’m sure I can handle seeing you two together, right?”
Rishaan couldn’t express how proud he was of Kiara. The way she handled this was calling for applause. Rishaan visited Diya after Kiara, and once again confessed his love for her. Much to his surprise, she declined again. Diya knew even though Kiara said she had no problem with both of them dating, she knew better than that. Kiara was her best friend; it was her job to know.
That was the last time those three ever talked about it. And it didn’t take them long to go back to how things were before they got complicated. It’s probably right what people say, if some things are not meant to be, they’ll never happen. No matter how right or wrong the two souls are for each other. No right amount of time or effort will bring them together. But perhaps that’s a good thing. Some relations are too pure to be changed into something that may or may not last forever. After all, friendship is the purest form of relationship, isn’t it?
I know I know! I’m cheesy and a hopeless romantic 😉
Still hope you guys liked it!
Keep smiling fellas!☺