A FRIEND LIKE YOU
Shipping (per book) : 50
Genre : Romance
TARGET AUDIENCE: ADULTS, TEENAGERS
Pages : 120
A FRIEND LIKE YOU
“A Friend Like You” is a true story of Nithya, Nandhini and Santhosh. It’s their journey from school days to marriage day. The story not only reflects the lovey-dovey romance but practical attitude towards life and focuses on friendship which overcomes all the hurdles. We met so many people in our lives but there are only few with whom we have an instant connection which lasts forever. But what if the instant perspective about the person is negative? Probably, it could still last forever. As one should not judge a person in the first meet. The story highlights some of the mentioned aspects of lifethrough Santhosh and Nithya who turn out to be ‘A perfect match’ of not so perfect individuals.
Most people say failure in love is most painful thing, but I say failure in friendship is also a painful thing. Only the person who lost his or her best friend will understand that pain.This story is about a boy lost his best friend, what is the reason behind their break up? Why his best friend left him? What he done to get his best friend back? Did he succeed in his effort or he failed? What made him to feel so much about the loss of his friendship? To know the answersfor the above, please read...... A Friend Like You!
It was Monday morning, and I walked to my desk. The lights on my floorusually made me feel likeworking,but it failed todayas I had no interest in work. “Hi Santhosh!” Someone said from afar, but I didn’t respond to their greetings.Isat at my deskwithout talking to anyone, orloggingin to my system. My mind was juggling through so many different thoughtsthat I was frustrated, and unable to concentrate on my daily work. I got a call on my desk phonefrommy manager Mrs. Punitha.I picked up the call."Hi Santhosh! Howare you? And how was your journey?” Punitha asked.I politely answered that everything was fine. She asked me again whether everything was alright,but I didn’t utter a word. “Are you not feeling well, or something?” She asked.“No, I am fine.” I replied. “Okay,bye!” She hung up the phone and I rested my head on the table. “Santhosh! What happened?” Ramya askedme, afterseeing my condition.“Nothing Ramya! Just a little tired due to the bus journey.” I said, raising my head slowly from the table.“Why don’t you go home and take rest? Come to office tomorrow.” Ramya said. “Not required Ramya! I am fine!” I said.While I was talking to Ramya, she looked behindmeand greeted Punitha.I turned back and saw my manager standingthere. “Very good morning, Ramya!” She replied.Punitha looked very beautiful with her semi oily-curly hair. Usually girls from Kerala prefer the oiled hair style...“Good morning Punitha!” I greeted her in a low tone.“Very good morning Santhosh! Canyou come with me?”I walked behind her. She went into the pantry, and prepared two cups of coffee. I looked at my watch, itwas quarter to ten.She signaled with her beautiful eyesfor meto take the coffee cup from her. Girl’s eyes always speak more than their lips, I thought asI took the cup from her. I had always liked her eyes very much,from the very first day that I met her. She used eye lashes to make her eyes bold and beautiful.She walked towards the balcony; and I followed her with the coffee cup. Surprisingly there was no one in the balcony. She sensed that I was not well and asked me about it. “You don’t seem to be normal today. I know you too well, so you can’t lie to me.If you were normal,then you would have entered your cabin greeting everyone,and would have even sent a good morning message to me. But nothing like this happened.”I was numb and had no answer. I remained silent. “Is your friend alright?” Punitha asked,giving me a doubtful look.“Yes, she is fine.” I answered monotonously.“What about Nithya?”Punitha asked, trying to find if there was any problem with Nithya and me. Nithya is my fiance; we are going to get married soon.“She isalso fine!” I said.“Then, why are you looking so disappointed? Is there any problem at home?” Punitha said in a low voice as she sipped on her coffee. I understood that she was probing me to find out the reason behind my surly mood, but I didn’t feel like sharingthis with her.“No! It’sjust the jet lag.” I said,wiping the sweat off my forehead.Thereason that I gave didn’t convince herthough.“You are hiding the truth and I can sense it. You can share it with me, or else take a leave.” She said.I just nodded, and she left. I walked out of the balcony,and sat on the stairs keeping my coffee cup aside. I took out my mobile and opened my inbox to see the message which was sent by Nandhini yesterday. “Don’t call me,and nevercome to my house again.”I tried to call her but she didn’t even attend the call.The customer you are trying to speak to is currently unavailable, please try again later.I wanted to speak to Nandhini badly and ask her what had happened.Why did she send such a message to me?Herwords had hurt me alot. While I was thinking about this, Ramya and the others came to the pantry for a tea break. On seeing them,I returned to my cabin.I anyhow wanted to talk to her and socalled her landline from my desk phone. Her mom picked up the call. "Hello!” Parvathi aunty answered from the other end.“Hello aunty! This is Santhosh here. How are you?” I said formally.“I am fine Santhosh! How are you?” She replied.“I am fine too aunty! Whereis Nandhini?”“Nandhini is not at home Santhosh. She has gone to... her uncle’s house.”“I had called her on her mobile,but she didn’t pick up.” I said.“Her mobile has some problem. It doesn’t ring sometimes.I had told her to give the cell phone to service centre, but she delayed it.” “Ok aunty!I will call her later.”I was about to disconnect the call, but my finger pressed the speaker button instead. The call was still active so I tried to disconnect,but heard Nandhini’s voice.‘I have already informed him not to call me, but he is not listening.’Said Nandhini,in a low voice.I was unable to believe it. I felt like someone was choking me. I went to therestroom,and locked myself. I looked at the message once more, and many questions popped up in my mind.Why did she say this? What I have done to her? I always treated her like family. Then whydid she send me this message? I didn’t find a single answer.I had completely forgottenthat I was in my office. I immediately came out of the restroom after washing my face.Iwent to my desk, andsaw the time when I logged intomy system. I was lost in my thoughtsfor more than half an hour. When I was thinking about this,I saw that the Canadian clients had arrived and were inspecting our floor. Our Project Manager Mrs. Punitha and Delivery Manager Mr. Shanmugam were also presentwith them.Seeing them, I pretended as if I wasworking. I opened my mail box and checked some mails. Ramya and Sajitha were passing comments, but I didn’t respond.“Why are these guys coming on Monday morning to irritate us?” Someone said to Ramya after they left. “Even if they would have come on Friday, you would have barked the same way.” Replied Ramya.I didn’t join their conversation. I called Punitha on her desk number,but it went unanswered. I called her mobile, buteven that went unanswered. I was restless. “What happened Santhosh?” Asked Ramya, onseeing my restlessness.“Nothing! I was trying to call Punitha, but she is not picking.”“She is in a meeting,Santhosh! Today is Monday, don’t you remember?” Shesaid,pointing at the calendar on her desk.I sent a message to Punitha that I am not feeling well,and need a leave. I informed Ramya,and leftoffice. When I reached the ground floor, Punitha called me.“Santhosh you can take a leave, how you are going?” Punitha asked me.“By auto or by bus.” I said.“No need to go by auto! Just wait at the reception, and I will arrange a cab for you.” said Punitha.I rested for a few minutes on the couch at the reception. I felt depressed. After few minutes,I received a call from Punitha that the cab was arranged and was waiting at the entrance of the building. She wasconcernedand requested me to take rest. Punitha is more of a friend than a manger; she treated all her teammates like family. It is very rare to get a manager like her.“Thank you Punitha!” I said.Iwalked out of the building,but found two Indicas waiting. I walked to the cab driver and verified which one was booked for me. The second cab driver pointed at me and called me by name. I got into the car confirming that I was Santhosh, by showing my ID card.“Sir! Please fill this.” Said the cab driver,giving me a printed sheet on the pad. I filled it and returned it to him.He started the car, whileI rested in the back seat of the car. I didn’t realizethat I had fallen asleep until the cab driver woke me up “Sorry sir! We have reached Yeswanthpura. Which way from here, sir?” The driver asked. Sitting on the edge of my seat,I instructedhimwhere to go. I reached my house. I felt very tired. After freshening up,I layon my bed. Nandhini’s words kept hammering my brain. I fell asleep, butthe worst nightmare woke me up. I had a severe headache, so I decided to take sleeping pills. Before that I decided to have somefood,as I hadn’t eatenanything since morning. I took the keys of my roommate Panchamoorthy’s bike and left. I drove the bike first to the medical shop to buy sleeping pills,but the owner refused to sellas I didn’t have adoctor’s prescription. I went to other shops, but got the same reply. Finally I gave up and decided to have a drink, to forget everything. I went to a nearby bar, and ordered two shots of vodka. But my depressed thoughts persisted, as I paid the bill and came out searching for the bike. It didn’t have a self-start,and it was getting on my nerves to kick-start the bike.Somehow I managed to start it. My anger was directly in proportion to the speed of thebike, as it was helping me in releasing my frustration.I felt a bit relaxed.I stopped on the corner of road topee, keeping the engine running. Once done, I sat on the bike again. Irestedmy head on the petrol tank for some time. I thought I may fall asleep here itself. In a fraction of a second,everything went blank. When I opened my eyes,I found some new faces around me. “Mr. Santhosh?” Aperson called me. “Are you all right,Mr. Santhosh?” He asked again.How did this guyknow my name?“Do you remember how the accident took place?” He asked another question.Accident? Whataccident? I was unable to recollect anything, and Ijust kept staring at him with a blank face. “If you had not used your helmet, you would have been dead. You were completely intoxicated.”“I don’t remember anything at all.” I said.But the most shocking thing was yet to hit me. I saw Nandhini standing near me.“You stupidfool!I ask you to drive safely every time.” Nandhini shouted and continued, “They said you were drunk. I never knew you drank so much. I don’t want you to do that again. It’s an order!”I kept cursing myself. She keptasking me questions,but I was unable to answer. I felt like I was in a different world altogether. “You maynow talk to him.” I opened my eyes and felt a hand touching my face. I thought it was Nandhini,but it was my Mom. She had tears in her eyes. Myeyes searched for Nandhini,but I couldn’t see her anywhere. It was thenthatI realized I had a dream that Nandhini was beside me and taking care of me. I was upset, andwanted to close my eyes again. “Do you remember what happened to you?” My dad asked,coming close to me.“I started the bike from the restaurant. After that,I don’t remember anything.”“You have been hospitalized for 9 days,Santhosh.” My dad said,holding my hand softly.“What?”“Don’t panic!” My dad said.In the evening, policeofficercame toinvestigatethe accidentas it was a drink and drive case. Technically I should have been penalized for my mistake,but Mr. Shanmugam used his influence to getme out of this issueas noone was injured in the accident. I had crashed the bike into a lorry. Punitha came to see me. “I know you were restless and upset when you came tothe office that day.” Said Punitha.I remained silent, but she insisted Ishare what was wrong,as a friend. ‘Sorry Punitha!You are my good friend,but I can’t share this with you.” I said.Later Panchamoorthy came to see me.“Are you alright,Santhosh?” Asked Panch.“I am very sorry Panch!I damaged your bike.” I apologized.“Don’t worry!I got my money back from theinsurance claim.”Just then, the doctor enteredthe room.“How are you, Mr. Santhosh?”He asked“I am fine, doctor.” I replied.The doctor sent Panchamoorthy outside,as I had to undergo some tests.Hechecked my case papersand informed me that I wasimproving each day.He then asked me if I had any tension that occupied my mind. I didn’t respond to his question. Nithya and herparents too came to visit, and inquire about my health. “There is a new problem at Nithya's house. Her parents are not willing to continue with the wedding plans.”My mom said.Nithya also came to ask about my health. She wanted to know why I drank so much on that day. “I know that there are some things you might not wantto share with your well-wishers, oryour friends. But you can share it with me. I am your future wife.” Nithya said,holding my hand.“I will tell you about itsome other time.” I said.After that,she didn’t raise the topic again.“You don’t worry about anything, just focus on gettingwell soon.I will talk to my parents and convince them.” Nithya said,and left. She gave me a kiss on my cheek before she left.I wanted to know how my parents were informed about the accident. I asked my Dadabout it, to which he politely answered, “The police informed us that you had met with an accident and are admitted in thehospital. You were lying on the road, someone nearby called the ambulance and admitted you in the hospital. Then I called your friend Panchamoorthy to look after you tillwe come.” Dad said.“When we came here, you were in the ICU. You werejust lying on the bedlike butchered meat, your body covered in gauze.I think your chain and ring were stolen after the accident. You got multiple fractures in your legs, a dislocatedshoulder,brokenribs, and asmall head injury. But doctors said it’s nothing to worryafter your scan report, that you are safe because you used a helmet. The truck ramped over the bike, draggingyou.”Appa said I was safe and out of the ICU on the 6thday. Nithya used to call daily to check on my condition.A few days later,a priestfromthe nearby church came to see me. He seemed to bein his mid-forties, and was wearing rimless glasses, was clean shaved, with a rosary aroundhis neck.“Good morning son! How is your health?” Asked the priest.“Good morning father! I am getting better now.” I said.“Your name is Santhosh,right?”I nodded, trying to recollect who he was. He introduced himself as Father Francis from St. Xavier’s church, andI remembered that I had met him once when I had visited the church with Nithyaand Punitha, who had introduced him. “Mary Punitha wanted me to meet with you,son.” said FatherFrancis, “I checked with the doctor and he said your health is very weak. It’s the patient’s responsibility to respond to the doctor’s hard work, but the doctorcomplainsthatyou are not even taking medicines properly. Something is killing you from the inside, for unsolvedproblems are like slow poison.”“It’s better to pull it out of your mind, and throw it away or destroy it. Write everything on a piece of paperand burn it,or else share it with your trusted ones. Sharing happiness will give you more happiness, but sharing sorrows will reduce your sadness and give you peace of mind.” Father Francis said in a calm voice.“Sharing my sorrows will hurt my loved ones, and I don’t want to hurt them. Let me keep it to myself.” I said, staring out the window.“If you feel so, then share it with an unknown person.” He said, folding his hands.I looked at him, confused.“I swear, I won’t tell this to anyone.” He said,swearing on the holy bible in his hands.I was still hesitant.“What happened,son?” Father Francis asked, holding my hand gently.“Do you always ride a bike rashly?” Father asked, probingfor some answers.I remember how rashly I had driventhe bike that night.“I heard that youare about to get engaged soon, so failure in loveis out of question.” Father guessed.He was provoking me.“I’m not a regular drinker,but the situation made me drink that night.” I shouted. “And who said that only failure in love makes you drink? Even failure in true friendship will do that.”“Aah! A failed friendship.” Father exclaimed.“Who is she? I hadheard from Punitha that you were upset on Monday after you came from Chennai, what happened in Chennai?” father asked.He pulled up achair, and sat next to me to listen to my story.
About the Author:
Lokeshwar Raj is a new writer from Chennai; he finished his Graduation in B.A. English in University of Madras. He worked in Airtel, Wipro Technologies and Visa Prepaid in the past years.Travelling, trekking, exploring and participating in social activities are his other interests. Also he formed an organization with his friends called â€œThe Ultimate Riders Leagueâ€ to promote the above activities.And he is also interested in food and fitness. After all he completedhis diploma in cateringtechnology.Lokeshis very much passionatedin writing, he sayswriting is his companionand he was never been without his imaginationand writings.But one of his real life incidentsmade him a writer. As he says, he wrote this story just to throw out his bitter moments out of his mind. Later he thought that his sorrows should be addressed, he want his best friend should read this and understand how bad he felt losing his best friend.That is the reason, why he wrote the book â€œA Friend Like Youâ€.