Maddy & Rajiv were the best… rivals. They always wanted the worst to happen to each other. During their college days, they used to plot elaborately to deny anything the other person wanted. The pleasure of denying something – especially to a rival – is unparalleled. Both of them had enough happiness (and misery) in their lives, over the four years they studied together in the same class.
But once college was over, their rivalry also came to an end. Or so they thought. They never guessed their paths would cross once again now, four years after they graduated. This time, only one person will win and they both knew it. The fire of the old days was still burning inside and both of them were eager to give this – hopefully last – parting shot to the other and claim victory. This trophy was more valuable than anything else they fought for, until now.
“Macha, Reema is in the beach. I have information that Rajiv just left to meet her. You can guess why he is getting involved between you two. I think you’ll want to be there before him and make sure he doesn’t do anything untoward.”
“Is he planning to propose to her today?”
“I think so. That’s what I understand from what his close friend told me. Go there, quickly.”
“O.K., I’ll take care of this.”
Maddy dropped the phone, grabbed his car keys and sped towards the beach. He reached the location in 10 minutes, 5 minutes earlier than what he would normally take to commute that distance. Once he parked the car on the road in front of the beach and got down, he saw Rajiv getting down from his car around 25 meters away. At the same moment, Rajiv noticed Maddy coming too.
Reema was standing – with her back facing them – on the shore midst the waves that kissed her feet, facing the vast ocean around 75 meters ahead of them. Today will decide an important event of their destinies and both Maddy and Rajiv knew they couldn’t take any chances. They started running towards Reema as fast as they could – as if their lives depended on it.
Reema knew this moment would arrive sooner or later. She was anticipating it and hence was not totally surprised when she heard two people running towards her and stop – breathing frantically – just 2 meters behind her. She didn’t have to turn behind to know who they were, but couldn’t get herself to face them. She knew they wanted an unambiguous answer from her today, but she couldn’t get herself to decide. Decide on one of them.
She spoke while still staring at the vast ocean before her, “Guys, I know this situation is awkward but both of you should understand that it’s a very difficult decision for me. I’ve been breaking my head to decide on which one of you to marry, for a long time. But the problem is – both of you are perfect for me. I just wish I never saw one of you, but… I am not able to come to a firm decision and I don’t know what to do.”
“Maybe you can toss a coin?”, Rajiv said.
This suggestion evoked a smile from her.
She said, “I might rather marry the person who opens their car door, last.” and smiled again at the absurdity of both the jokes.
She continued in a more serious tone, “I know both of you will stay right here and will wait for me until eternity. That is my problem – how can I decide between two people who adore me so much and are equally deserving of my Love?”
She turned back.
They were running frantically towards their cars and were already 20 meters ahead of her. They were running as if their lives depended on it.
She thought maybe they misunderstood her and shouted, “Guys, that meant I will not marry the person who opens their car door first.”
There was no sign of them slowing down. Her voice faded and she could muster enough strength to continue, “And it was a joke, I was not serious.” But this time, her voice was so feeble that she couldn’t hear it herself.
At last, the realization of their actions hit her hard and she was speechless.
Photo Credit: Copyright free image. By Paolo Neo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.