She read me a note he left on her bed
Snuck in her room right after she left
And put petals on the ground
"Alya!" exclaims Nandini, running up to her friend and basically spinning her around.
Alya chuckles. "Okay Nandu, calm down."
Alya and Nandini certainly had a rocky start. Alya sending goons after her because she was being stupid, insecure, and jealous. Nandini falling in love with Manik, which wasn't really that big of a problem since technically there was really no cheating involved, but still. In the end, both girls eventually became great friends, bonding over their shared love of chocolate and the color pink.
"Oh my gosh, Manik is just the sweetest!" Nandini begins to gush about her boyfriend, turning slightly pink. "He put rose petals all over my room, like everywhere! And yes, they were pink and not red." She then pulls something out of her bag and shows it to Alya. "Look at this little note he left me. He honestly just said some of nicest things in here, and he's such a romantic!"
"That's great Nandu," says Alya, trying her best to seem like a supportive best friend.
Her head on his shoulder, they walk down the hall
I'm left to wonder, will I ever fall in love?
And where is he now?
"Oh, there's Manik! I'll see you later Alya."
"Bye," Alya says, attempting to smile, although Nandini was already out of earshot. She stares after her friend and her ex as they walk down the halls, Nandini's head on Manik's shoulder. They look so happy, as if they don't have a care in the world.
"Why can't I have that?" Alya wonders out loud. "When will it be my turn to fall in love?"
She sadly walks down the halls, lost in her thoughts.
She's with him, I'm in the backseat
Know it's not right, but it hurts when they're laughing
I've never been where they are
Alya knew that she shouldn't have agreed to a ride home from Manik. She sits in the backseat, not saying a word as she watches Nandini and Manik be all happy and lovey-dovey, realizing that she's never had that in her life before. She doesn't want to seem like a jealous ex-girlfriend, mainly because she isn't.
She created MaNan for crying out loud! And you're welcome Cabir, the so-called matchmaker who couldn't even manage to do that. I mean, what kind of fanboy can't even manage to create a ship name?
But she can't help let Manik and Nandini's happiness get to her. I guess when all your friends have someone, it's hard not to be bitter about your non-existent love-life.
I wanna be blown away, wanna be swept off my feet
I wanna meet the one who makes it hard for me to breathe
I wanna be lost in love, I wanna be your dream come true
Wanna be scared of how strong I feel for you
Just call me beautiful, call me beautiful
Call me beautiful, call me b-e-a-utiful
You could call Alya Saxena whatever you wanted: insecure, pathetic, a disgrace to women and girls everywhere for feeling like a man would make her life feel complete... but all she really wants is a nice guy, with no drama around him, that won't let her down like all the previous men in her life have.
Someone to sweep her off her feet like prince charming.
Someone to love.
Someone to call her own.
Someone who loves her back.
Someone to simply... call her beautiful.
Friday night, she wore his jersey to the game
In the front row, screaming out his name
As he turns to her and smiles
As Alya's pounding away on her keyboard during Fab5's latest performance, she notices Nandini standing in the front row, cheering at the top of her lungs, wearing Manik's blazer, which was humongous on her petite frame.
She tilts her head slightly, only to catch Manik smiling like an idiot as he's watching his girlfriend in the crowd. Alya can't help but wonder what it would be like to have someone smile like that at her.
Everywhere I look, people holding hands
When am I gonna get my chance at love?
My chance at love
"Alya, are you sure you're okay with us canceling girl's night like this?" Nandini asks her friend.
"Guys, it's Valentine's Day! We can hang any other day of the year. Today is special."
"Yeah, but -" Nandini begins to protest, but Alya cuts her off sharply.
"Butts are for sitting. Now go! Have fun, get some, and... don't do anything illegal."
"Yes mom," Mukti groans teasingly. "I'll even give you the play by play tomorrow of how my night goes."
"Ugh, ew, Mukti!" Alya, Nandini, and Navya all cry out at once, causing Mukti to roll her eyes.
"Well, that's Amar," says Mukti. "He's picking me up on his bike to go bowling."
"Edgy and cute," remarks Alya. "Love it!"
"Cabir and I are watching stupid romcoms while stuffing our faces and contemplating life," says Navya.
"You're welcome to join us," she adds, after a beat.
Alya simply smiles at her. "Nah, I'm good."
Cabir and Navya might be confused about their feelings towards each other right now, but they definitely have the same non-platonic feelings towards each other. She doesn't want to be a third wheel and stop this thing that they have from going somewhere. After all, they've been going somewhere for the past two years! Also, she created CaVya, and all she wants out of life right now is to see these two idiots happy. You're welcome Cabir and Nayva's crazy mothers!
"Fine. But just so you know, we're only watching movies with JLo in them. And we have pizza. With extra cheese. And super buttery popcorn."
Alya rolls her eyes, amused by Navya's antics. "Stop trying to tempt me."
"What about you and Manik, Nandini?" asks Mukti.
"Um, he's taking me out for a romantic dinner, as far as I know. I never know with him. He's always very secretive when it comes to planning our dates."
"Well, have fun you guys!" exclaims Alya, trying to seem as enthusiastic as possible.
"Bye Alya!" they all call out as they head outside.
Alya closes the door, wrapping her warm cardigan around herself, and sits down on the couch in the living room. She scrolls through her contacts list, looking for people to call. Dhruv and her best-friend Naina, Manik's sister, are both out of the question since they decided to go ice-skating. Something about Naina teasing Dhruv about being too big of a wimp to try ice-skating and Dhruv having a surprisingly large ego.
She saw this coming from the age of five. Manik owes her a car and a shopping spree.
And a lifetime supply of chocolate.
She's the reason NaiRuv is even a thing. You're welcome universe!
She tries Aryman but remembers that he's back in New York, hanging out with some old friends and spending some much-needed quality time with mom. His dad's kind of an ass.
She even considers calling Soha, but then recalls that she's out on a date with her brother of all people! Harshad had called Soha a crazy bitch, then Soha slapped him across the face, a first for her brother, and that is how their beautiful love story began.
Gag. It's like Manik and Nandini gone wrong... but at least Soha kind of straightened her brother out a bit. Plus, this is the happiest Alya's seen her brother, so she can't really complain.
Cause she's with him, I'm still hurting
Try to pretend but it's not working
I just wanna be where they are
Alya has no idea why she's still so sad. She's over Manik, right? So why does she feel like this whenever she sees Manik and Nandini together? Heck, why does she feel like this whenever she sees happy couples around her?!
She wipes away the tears that were beginning to fall. Getting up and walking over to her room, Alya heads straight for her closet. She finds her favorite dress and begins to get ready.
She's going to have some fun tonight!
My heart is waiting for your love
My hand is waiting for your touch
My lips just wanna be kissed by you
She calls up the most random people on her contact list.
But she first she checks their Facebook statuses to see if they're single or not.
She ends up with her closest friend from music school, her favorite cousin, some girl that she became friends with on a trek and... her old nemesis from high school? Man, she's desperate...
They all go out to a nightclub. Loud music, drinks and people she can relate to are just what she needs.
"Ugh, I really needed this you guys," says Alya.
"Trust me, you're not the only one," says Taani, her old friend from music school.
"Yeah... when all your friends are happy and in love and the one guy you liked turned into a total jerk, you really start to relate to people with lives as crappy as yours," Huma says in a bitter tone.
"Why did we even hate each other?" Alya asks Huma. "We have so much in common!"
"Trust me babes, I know the feeling!" groans Alya's favorite cousin Shanaya. "Try having an ex-roommate who's happily married to your ex-boyfriend's brother!"
"Try having your cousin be best-friends with the one guy you ever considered to be your one true love, and then also being friends with his girlfriend because she is an actual ray of sunshine," Taani and Saara say at the same time.
Alya and Shanaya raise their eyebrows at the two girls who seem to have rehearsed that sentence, only they didn't, as Huma explains, "They're talking about the same guy, so therefore also the same girl, but they have different cousins."
"Ah," says Alya, unsure as to what she should make of that.
"So, what's your story?" asks Huma, gaining Alya's attention.
"Yeah, I mean, we all spilled our guts," adds Saara.
"Now it's your turn cuz!" Shanaya says happily.
"I need to be drunk for this," groans Alya, reaching for another vodka shot.
Huma takes the shot away from her. "We were sober when we opened up, so you have to do the same."
Alya sneers at Huma. "I remember why I hate you now."
"Less sneering, more spilling." Huma waves off Alya's comment as if it were a fly, as she downs Alya's vodka shot.
"Okay, let's see… I've dated this guy named Manik ever since we were twelve -"
"Oh, I see where this is going," Saara cuts Alya off.
"Anyway," Alya completely ignores Saara, "we broke up about two years ago because this girl came into his life -"
"Manik cheated on you?!" demands Taani, getting her flamethrower ready. At least mentally since neither Manik nor her flamethrower was present at the moment.
"No! We were broken up before they started anything, except not really... it's complicated."
"Sign number two that your heart will be broken into a million pieces," remarks Saara.
"Okay, enough of you," says Huma, handing Saara a bag of trail mix to keep her occupied. "Please continue."
"Gladly. So in the process of Manik and Nandini, the girl who by the way is very sweet and I treated like crap except now we're best-friends, getting together, I fell for Dhruv. He's my friend and Manik's best friend. They're like brothers."
"Sign number three," Saara makes a point to add, causing Taani to groan, Shanaya to start rubbing her temple and Huma to shout, "Saara, seriously?!"
"Alright, she is to be ignored!" declares Alya, finally moving forward with her story. "So, Dhruv had these self-esteem and insecurity issues because he thought I was still in love with Manik, but that was actually not the case because his issues have always been there, I just helped bring them to the surface, which kind of ruined Manik and Dhruv's friendship for a while, but it's all good again."
"Girl, your life's disaster," snorts Saara, only to be ignored.
"And then I finally started to move on. I met this really sweet guy named Aryman, and I finally thought that I had put all this drama behind me, but it turned out that Aryman had an agenda of his own. Revenge. Which he assured me I was not a part of, and that his feelings for me were genuine, but I just couldn't take it anymore!
And on top of that, I have been used, manipulated, betrayed and hurt by my big brother more times than I can count on both my fingers and my toes... god, I just- No, you know what? I actually don't hate men. I just can't trust them, any of them! Honestly, this entire week I've been thinking about how I just really need a new guy in my life. A new, refreshing, drama-free guy. But the more that I think about it, the more I realize that it's just not possible for me."
The other four girls look at her sympathetically, having gone through similar situations in their lives.
Taani is the first to speak up. "Maybe what you need is a couple of pathetic gal pals in the same situation as you who you can relate to?" she suggests, giving Alya a reassuring smile as she holds her hand, lightly squeezing to just the point where she knows Alya finds comfort in.
"She's right cuz," says Shanaya, giving her cousin a sympathetic smile. "Maybe you don't need a guy. Maybe all you need are a couple of friends who are in the same mindset as you right about now."
Alya looks at all four of her friends and exclaims, "You know what, you guys are absolutely right!"
"Of course we are," says Saara, getting up as she takes Alya's hand. "Now let's go dance!"
Saara drags Alya onto the dance floor, with Taani, Shanaya, and Huma in tow. As the girls start to dance, they get lost in the music. So lost, that it causes Alya to become separated from them and bump into some guy.
"Hi!" she squeals, cringing as she keeps on dancing, not wanting to make things any more awkward.
"Huh, so I turn around, and there's a beautiful girl right in front me," the guy jokes. "Must be my lucky day."
Alya raises an eyebrow. "How many girls have you tried that one on today?"
He playfully wiggles his eyebrows at her. "You're the only beautiful one, so I guess only you."
Instead of taking it as a compliment, Alya's first instinct is to get defensive. "What, the rest of them too ugly for you?"
"Nope, just plain hot. Like I said, you're the only beautiful one."
Alya rolls her eyes in disbelief, although her face does soften. "You are just the gift that keeps on giving!"
"I'm a generous person. I'm also a lonely guy on Valentine's Day who happens to love danceversing with you."
"Dancing and conversing."
He winks at her. "I try."
As fun as it was to talk to this guy, Alya decided that she should probably get back to her friends. "I should probably go."
"Come on, what's another two minutes? You know you want to."
"Then what's stopping you?" he asks, leaning in.
Alya looks at him, and then looks to where her friends are, having the time of their lives. She turns her attention back to him. "Listen, you seem really sweet, and if you'd asked me any other day this week instead of today, I would've said yes to you in a heartbeat."
"What's so different about today?" he asks, curious.
Alya looks back at her friends once again before answering.
"It's girl's night."
The guy throws his arms up in the air in surrender. "Understood! Have fun with your friends."
"Thanks," says Alya, surprised with how chill he is about this situation, as she watches him turn around to dance with some other people. Alya somehow manages to make it to where her friends are, despite this crazy crowd.
"What happened with the cutie over there?" asks Huma.
"He said that he liked dancing with me and talking to me and that I'm beautiful. He also wanted me to stay and keep dancing with him."
"And you said no?" demands Shanaya, raising an eyebrow.
"Why?" asks Saara.
"Because what kind of a lonely heart would I be if I left my fellow lonely hearts all alone?"
"That is both sweet and insulting," remarks Taani. "Only you Alya, only you."
"I also said no because I have everything I need right here," she says, putting one arm around Taani, and the other around Shanaya.
"Aw, now that's sweet!" gushes Taani, her head resting on Alya's shoulder.
"I guess even though I thought that I needed a guy in my life, I really just needed some friends who actually understood what I was going through."
"And who better to understand what you're going through than us?" Saara says jokingly.
"That is the greatest thing that has come out of your mouth all night," says Shanaya, causing Saara to lightly smack her on the arm.
As Shanaya and Saara become immersed in their own little world, consisting of a dance battle which Saara was totally winning, Huma says to Alya, "By the way, the cute guy you talked to wasn't the only one who that you were beautiful."
"What?" says Alya, scrunching her eyebrows in confusion.
"Other than half the male population here," Taani begins to explain, "we also think that you're beautiful."
"Thanks," says Alya, grinning from ear to ear. Maybe she wasn't looking for a guy to call her beautiful either. Just someone who mattered to her.