Sabhi and Karthi walked into the hall and found themselves starring at Anand. In his shorts, he had squeezed himself to sleep in that tiny little sofa of his, although there was one much bigger right beside him, one that would allow him to actually lie down and sleep. His mouth was agape, and there was a sound of faint music. His iPod is still running.
“He does that all the time,” Sabhi said.
Karthi stood watching the bigger sofa with much intrigue. “Oh, this is his favorite,” Sabhi added, with a smile. Karthi followed suit. They sat on the large sofa. Sabhi realized that the sight of Anand squeezing and drooling on the small sofa was proving to be a huge distraction. She slammed a magazine right onto his shoulder, and he woke up in the startle.
“We have a visitor,” Sabhi said.
Anand slowly tried to recapture his consciousness. He noticed Karthi sitting beside Sabhi. He slowly realigned himself, and let go a foolish smile.
“Welcome to our world,” he said, sheepishly in his sleepy voice to Karthi.
“Yes, your world indeed,” she said, and looked around the messy house, which was completely disorganized in every way possible.
“So you stay here a lot?” Karthi asked to Sabhi.
Karthi opened her palms, revealing a house key. Anand grabbed another key from the table in front of him, hidden under a cluster of gadget magazines.
“I don’t stay here, my parents will go crazy, but I come out of my house every morning under the pretext of going to college. They think I’m headed to the library, but I’ll head right here, whenever I don’t have classes,” Sabhi said.
“Well, there needs to be someplace I can be myself. And Anand is the only one with whom I can be myself. And now, you the second person,” she added, with a smile.
There was a momentary glimpse between Sabhi and Karthi, and Anand caught the sight of it.
“Lovers,” he said. He wasn’t smiling. He had a confused face. Sabhi laughed at him.
“You see,” she said, mildly, softly.
“He still finds the idea of us very odd, the idea of homosexuals. But he never judges,” she had a warm smile on her face.
Anand just stayed quiet. He felt like he had just received a warm hug. Sabhi patted his arms.
“Thanks,” she added, and Anand saw something he had never seen in her eyes before- tears.
He didn’t know what to do. He looked at Karthi. She noticed what was happening, and moved closer to Sabhi, and placed her arms around Sabhi’s shoulders.
“There’s nothing to thank me for,” he said.
“You’ll only ever get one thanks. Since you were so generous, don’t ever call me ungrateful,” Sabhi said, wiping her tears with a teasing smile. Karthi still didn’t speak. She preferred to watch. She liked what she was seeing.
She thought the world if full of judgemental individuals and that people like her need can only live with their own kind if they don’t want anyone smirking at them; but she was wrong.
Here, in front of her eyes is a man who couldn’t understand how it feels to be a homosexual, but nevertheless he accepts them.
“Yeah, thanks, on behalf of her, for taking good care of her till she managed to find me,” Karthi said.
Anand smirked again. He was never a fan of sweet talks. Moreover when it’s a woman saying it to another woman.
“Anyways, I need to go the law firm now,” Karthi said.
“Where?” Anand asked.
“To meet her lawyer. She is fighting against the school which sacked her,” Sabhi said.
“You going too?” Anand asked, nodding in the meantime.
“Yeah, I’d like to meet the woman who made the cover of a magazine,” Sabhi exclaimed. Anand raised his eyebrows.
“Who is it?” he asked, intrigued.
“You tore the bloody magazine,” Sabhi raised her voice, picking a small piece of magazine cover below the table near the sofa.
“Well, I needed some papers for the stuff…and, and, you left it here…I thought..,” he started mumbling.
Sabhi ironed out the magazine cover with her palms, and held it up high to his view.
“This,” she said.
Anand starred at the picture of beautiful, young mature lady.
“That, is a lawyer?” he asked.
“Yeah, hot lawyer,” Sabhi said.
“I can’t believe you tore the magazine,” her tone suddenly changed to a girlish one.
“I’m coming,” he said.
“Hot lawyer factor?” Karthi asked, for the first time speaking out.
Anand did not answer, and gave a rather dumbfounded look.
“I’ll get ready,” he added, and went off to his room.
“That author called Nisha wrote a really good piece on this woman,” Sabhi said.
“…And he tore it,” she carved out a sad face, with a fake sobbing sound.
Karthi rested her chin on her hands, and looked at Sabhi.
“What?” Sabhi asked her sternly.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Sabhi retorted, blundering away into a blush.
Karthi pushed the entrance door and the three of them walked inside.
“There she is, your celebrity,” Karthi said. “I’ll go meet her,” she added.
Sabhi and Anand sat in the waiting room and waited for Karthi to finish the meet.
Once she was done, she walked into the waiting room accompanied by Geetha, who greeted the two of them.
“Karthi,” Anand said slowly as they were making their way out of the firm moments later. He had a mischievous look on his face.
“Can I like, ask her out for a date?” he asked. “Who?” Karthi asked, shocked by her own suspicion of what he is asking for.
“Geetha?” he asked.
“Smitten? So fast?” Sabhi asked excitedly.
“Do you know enough about her?” Karthi asked. “Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me,” she added.
“Why wouldn’t it?” he asked back.
“How old is she?” Karthi asked, stopping her tracks.
“I dunno, 25, 26?” he asked.
“30 freaking 4,” Karthi retorted.
“Ouh,” he said, with a blurred reaction.
“Listen, you guys, I want you guys to forget what I just asked about, alright?” he said. Sabhi giggled.
“Shut up,” he said.