“I wouldn’t want to disturb your life. I love you, you know that, but love does not always accomplish by acquiring someone. Love coexists with friendship.”
Kriti had everything a woman could dream of. At 35, she was the Managing Director of a software firm and had unmatched business acumen. Married to the love of her life, with two beautiful kids, her personal life was great too! What else could she have asked for?
One day, she was called in early to be part of an interview of an extraordinary candidate. Or at least, that’s what the HR manager indicated on the phone. She walked in five minutes late and such was her aura that everyone noticed her. With her black shift dress and nude stilettos, she made heads turn.
She called in the candidate and walked in Aditya Sehgal, a young 30-year old. He was energetic, and suave but Kriti was not someone who would be impressed by mere looks and persona. She tested minds.
Kriti started by asking him about his academics and experience. Finally, she asked him his view on their current project ‘Metro Lines’ that was in news for its speed, efficiency, and technology.
Aditya didn’t mince his words and said, “I think it’s overrated, ma’am. Such wastage of time, energy, human resource, and capital in this age of technology and digitisation. Simply by reformatting your current software, you could save 20 percent of your revenue and the metro line would be ready by 2025 as compared to the proposed timeline of 2028.”
Kriti was taken aback and asked him to explain the logic. Aditya did so with full competency, backing it with rationale and reasoning. To no-one’s surprise, he was on board the next day.
In less than six months, Aditya led the company to great profitability and Kriti was happy to promote him as a partner and shareholder of the firm. If she had business acumen and leadership as key attributes, Aditya had a strategic mind, up to date IT skills and was so convincing that he could get a queen to marry a frog.
Kriti relaxed in a lot of ways since Aditya was totally trustworthy. She had found a great friend in him and they started spending a lot of time together. While, she was not attracted to him, she did grow fond of him day by day.
After all, Aditya’s charisma was such. If he was competitive in the workplace, he was also the highlight of every office get-together. People in the office loved him as he was approachable and friendly, unlike Kriti who always donned the Boss’ hat. But it was true, she had changed as well in his company and the office atmosphere was much healthier and lighter.
It was the cold month of December and a certain project had kept the whole team working tirelessly 24/7 for weeks. Kriti and Aditya hadn’t been home for days. He would ease her load by making coffee for her and even cracking a few jokes.
Kriti felt herself slowly drawn towards him and in one such weak moment, they ended up kissing passionately. She could not believe herself and left the office immediately. For the next few days, she did not turn up for the and ignored all of his WhatsApp messages assuring her it was a mistake which would never happen again.
Kriti joined back, she tried to maintain a distance from Aditya and would converse only on work-related matters. But her eyes would only search for him. Finally, after a few days, they decided to speak about it and move on. They decided that they would be friends no matter what, because they loved each other’s company.
She really longed for his company, he would take her out for coffee, drop her home, and do ridiculous things like book her a spa appointment. Or simply pick her daughters from school and get them to the office so she didn’t miss them during those month-long projects.
He cared for her like nobody ever did, not even Amit – her husband. She felt miserable comparing Amit with Aditya because Amit was the man she had loved. Then what changed? Why was Aditya so endearing? Kriti tried hard to hide her feelings – from Aditya and from herself. Aditya, on the other hand, was chilled out.
Years passed and one day when she reached office, she was surprised to see people cheering for Aditya and distributing sweets. He was getting married. Kriti was hurt beyond words, she congratulated him and trying to conceal her tears, she excused herself.
She felt cheated. But why? Aditya never made any promises to her and she was not ready for a relationship either. Then how could she call it betrayal?
That night, she cried profusely. “He can’t do this to me, he can’t belong to anyone else, he is only mine. And he didn’t even bother to speak to me before saying yes for marriage. I will never forgive him.”
The next day, when Aditya asked her the reason for being upset, she ignored him. Knowing her, Aditya knew something was wrong. He took her by her arm in one corner and said, “Why are you behaving like a stranger?” Kriti retorted, “Get lost. You have broken my trust, my friendship. Everything. You are such a liar.”
Aditya hugged her and said, “Kriti, we tend to get close with other people in life, it’s natural. But I would never want to disturb your married life. I love you and you know that, but love does not always accomplish by acquiring someone. Love coexists with friendship. You think and introspect – you are hurt because you think my time and attention for you will get divided or will reduce.
“But will you ever be able to leave Amit and your family for me? I don’t think so and I would never want that either. Friendship is beyond all relationships and I am glad I have found a great friend in you. Let us not spoil that.” As Aditya explained to Kriti the essence of friendship and marriage in his simple style she wept inconsolably at something that she hadn’t understood.
She was at peace and when she reached home, she hugged Amit and her daughters for long as if she had missed them because of the turmoil of her heart and mind.
Picture credits: YouTube
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