Varsh was ecstatic. He didn’t think she would be such a fool to fall the second time too. He had admittedly been scared as he pressed the dial key for Sahana’s number. But it turns out she was still the emotional fool he knew her to be. As he got ready for the party he so looked forward to, his thoughts reeled back.
He was never much of a looker but he was always the one who ended up charming women more than the other handsome guys. He was proud of that special talent of his. That which let him be casual and coolly distant which made women look back at him a second time. Once that happened, the rest was always easy. He would be the detached one, casually pitching in when he feels the ball might not be rolling in his direction. And always at the end, women seemed to take him for the true love they were searching for. Always! He had never failed once in his tactics, for he chose his victims carefully. He had met Sahana while doing his under-graduation. She was not the one who interested him initially. However, there was an air around her that intrigued him. He felt she was too bold and confident for a woman. He liked women being the timid ones, never daring. But Sahana was not the one to be tamed. She was raring to go in anything that came her way. Outspoken and strong in her words and clear in her actions, she stood out. And this made him decide that he would break her. Just like that. For fun.
He started with his usual tactics. It was hard because she didn’t give in that easily. But he stayed patient, after all he was trying to tame a lioness. There were times where he wanted to give up as he felt it was too much of an effort to do this. But this was his pastime and thought this woman would be the test to measure his capabilities in charming women. Call it luck on his side or emotional imbalance on her side, she did take his bait eventually. He saw it coming after a year of effort and stuck with it. It happened, she took him to be the one and relaxed her personality strength for him. She truly thought he was in love with her and reciprocated. He celebrated that he won the game. As usual all it took Varsh was a few days to get bored with Sahana and he ended it so that he can move on to a different game, a different prey. He knew that Sahana would be beyond words, she had never thought that there would be a person whom she would misjudge. That too to her own cost. It shattered her confidence, her inner strength, her heart, her emotions. He didn’t care. He had won and that’s all there’s to it.
He had forgotten all about her until a couple months back, he had chanced upon her Facebook profile and his jaw dropped. She was drop-dead gorgeous in her profile pic that he couldn’t take his eyes off her for minutes together. She was posing seated on the windowsill, with the window open. Her smile reached her eyes which displayed the strength that he saw before. Only that it seemed stronger now. But he thought he had broken that, exactly that which made her so intriguing and special. As he took in her pic, he thought maybe it was time for a second round of the old game. Although, this time he thought maybe let me stick it out. She looked awesome and was successful from what he gathered on the page. What more was he going to look in a wife when he decided to settle? If she is capable of bringing herself up after he, the charmer, had broken her to pieces,she sure was something. None of the other girls he left shattered had managed to do it.
He carefully charted out a plan to meet her under the pretense of a get-together party for the whole class. He took on the responsibility of calling up people and asking their time and venue preferences. He was literally shivering with an adrenaline rush when he dialed her number. She was cool throughout the call. She didn’t show any sign of the past as she replied that she was willing to attend the get-together. He realized he had to play more carefully that time. His inner self had decided that he could just win it all this time,by being the true love she once believed him to be. After all, that’s what she had wanted and that’s what he would give this time. So why would she refuse?
One month to go for the party, he called her more often under the pretense of needing some or the other help with organizing the party. To his surprise, she didn’t back off. In a few days, he felt it was like the old days. He thought he would clinch it by proposing with a diamond ring at the party. He spent all of his savings on the ring, carefully choosing the one she couldn’t, wouldn’t say no to. Of course, he would test the waters once more at the party before proposing. He could never fail with women, they were his area of expertise. He had built his entire way of life around women. His friends whom he had let in on the secret warned him,she would not be so easy the second time. He laughed at them and said, “I know her, okay? ”
The clock chimed and brought him back to the moment. He had arrived early and planned the evening. He was leaning casually on the bar with a drink in his hand. He knew he was too nervous to have a drink but he just held it so that he’d have something to hold to. In the past month, she had become an obsession. He stalked her Facebook profile, texted or called her every day with some reason. The battle between his heart and mind had raged fiercely all the while. He had finally decided to wing it, he just wanted to win the game once more. He would propose now and would decide whether to make it a permanent settlement or yet another hobby as it goes. He saw her as she entered, in a flowing cream colored sari with a green border decorated with stones. She didn’t wear any makeup. Yet it complimented her in so many ways that his mind couldn’t even process. As he had expected, she was even more beautiful in person. Throughout the party, he took care to keep her attention fixed on him. With great difficulty, he pretended to remain cool and charming, the old technique. And to his delight, she bought it.
As the party drew to an end, he thought that it’s time for action. His mind was telling him, it would be more fun to just make another game out of her and his heart was telling to just finish it with this glorious win. He shushed both and got down on his knee. He was determined to wing it until he figured out which game enthralled him more, the one where he could tame her forever or the one that lets him make a fool out of her the second time. He held the ring in one hand, his eyes silently beseeching her. Her eyes welled up and she smiled. As the onlookers gasped, he grinned his secret smile at his friends who looked disbelieving. As he took out the ring to place it on her finger, he felt the hard slap on his face shake the ground. He looked up and there she stood, like the lioness she was and is. He would never forget the last words he ever heard from her as she turned and left, “Sometimes all it takes to win a game is to play along.”
The next day, he vanished. Nobody ever heard of him for the rest of their lives. As for Sahana, she didn’t care. She had never cared since that day. The day she returned to being back to who she was, the lioness. After she had picked herself up. She knew that time will heal and she let time to do just that. But when he came back, the day he first called brought her first dilemma. Whether to end it on her own terms or to back off silently letting karma take its path. She chose the former. She never sought revenge on her own. She had buried her mistake and moved on. However when revenge came seeking itself, she didn’t want to miss out the show which didn’t take much effort too. She owed it to herself, to the Leo in her.
Until later 🙂
P.S: Sahana’s character is inspired by Soumya @ LOL:Life of Leo and myself. Sahana is kind of a combination of the common personalities I perceive in both of us. The entire piece is inspired by her poetry Master of the game