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Chapter 2 It Still Hurts

  • As soon as her mum left her room, Trisha sat on her bed and her eyes filled with tears again as she thought about what had just happened. Most of her life her cousins and aunts always taunted her and made her feel embarrassed about how she looked, but she had never felt such humiliation as she had felt today at the hands of Justin Walker. Justin Walker, whom she had known most of her life. He was her second brother, Rakesh’s, best friend. They have been friends since kindergarten, and he was more like part of the family. Trisha couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment when she stopped seeing him as an older brother and started seeing just why all the girls in school wanted to be his girlfriend. One moment, she was joking and talking to him like she would with one of her brothers and next she was looking at how soft his dark brown hair was and how it would feel if she touched it, how his blue eyes sparkled when he laughed and how good he looked in t-shirts and shorts. She started becoming uncomfortable in his presence as she was constantly starring at him and a few times he had caught her looking at him and gave her a funny look. She used to find any excuse to be near him, but recently she felt that he was looking at her weirdly and she was frightened that he might find out that she had a crush on him so she stopped hanging around him. She had never bothered about boys before unlike her sister, Anisa, who used to constantly flirti and always had a long line of admirers at any given time. But Trisha could not understand what it was about Justin that had butterflies dancing in her stomach and made her all breathless and her palms sweaty, whenever he was near her. The few times that he had mistakenly brushed against her, she had felt a tingling sensation similar to that of an electric shock. He had been the most popular boy in high school and the captain of the football team, but it was more than that. He was not just a pretty face. He was intelligent and a straight A student. He was always kind to her, and her parents loved him as if he was their son. He even stayed over some times and even attended their family functions. He was always invited to anything that they had at home.
  • For a while now he has been dating Trisha’s older cousin, Simran. Simran had always been popular with the boys. She was really beautiful. Simran’s father was a really rich businessman, but he was old school and had already picked out a rich Indian boy for Simran to marry when she turned eighteen. That was three years ago, and Simran managed to get her father to postpone his plans. This year on her twenty first birthday, her family was going to get her engaged. Her fiancé was currently in the UK setting up a branch of his family’s business there so Simran was free to date other guys while he was away. Justin was one of them. When Trisha asked Rakesh if Justin was aware that Simran was getting engaged, Rakesh said that Justin did not really care about her having a booyfriend as he was not interested in marrying her.
  • Trisha had been lounging by the pool, reading a book by one of her favourite authors, when Rakesh and his friends came out to the pool area and Simran was with them. She alsways seemed to be hanging around Justin these days. Trisha got up from the sun lounger and went to sit under a tree away from the pool area, so that she could read her book in peace and be invisible. She loved being invisible, that way no one noticed you and could not hurt you. But as usual, Simran had to be a real b****. She saw Trisha and with a smirk on her face, sauntered towards Trisha.
  • “Trish, what are you reading? Is it another one of your steamy novels? You know that you are never going to find a man that way,” Kavita Malhotra, Trisha’s best friend snorted. Kavita liked Trisha’s brother Rakesh so every time that Simran came over, Kavita was tagged along. She joined Simran in making Trisha miserable, but Kavita was too smart to do it in Rakesh’s presence. Simran continued with her taunts. She would only let up if she saw tears gather in Trisha's eyes.
  • “You know that you don’t have to worry about getting tips, your type will never find a man on your own. It will be a man that one of the aunties will bring home, and you will be forced to marry some old man or divorcee.” Kavita stood there laughing. Simran was clever enough not to let the guys hear her torture Trisha and she quickly changed her tune when she saw Justn approaching them.
  • “Trish, why don’t you come and join us, we have not spent any time together in such a long time,” Simran said it loud enough for Justin to hear. “Yeah, Trish, you should come hang out with us. We have not seen you in a while and now that you on vacation, you can come chill with us,” Justin chimed in as he caught the last part of what Simran said. Trisha could not bring herself to look at him, as she knew that she would start blushing and she did not want Simran to find about her crush on Justin.
  • “Oh Justin, sweetheart, you are making the child blush. I think she has a crush on you,” Trisha looked up in shock at Simran.
  • “Nnn…nnn..noo, I don’t," she stammered in embarrassment. Simran just laughed.
  • “Come on Simran, leave her alone. It’s too hot, let’s go cool off with a swim,” Justin pulled Simran away and Kavita followed giving Trisha a smirk. Trisha couldn’t believe that Simran and Kavita knew. She sat there wishing the ground would open up and swallow her. They were going to use this to make her life more miserable. She could not understand why Simran hated her. Their families have always been close and she and Simran had been close too.
  • If Trisha went inside right now, she would draw Simran’s attention. While Trisha sat there, thinking of how she could go back into the house without anyone seeing her, she heard shouting coming from the pool area.
  • “What the hell is wrong with you Simran, you are acting like I have asked you to elope with me. I am only asking why I can’t come to the party. Are you ashamed to be seen with me?” Justin sounded really angry.
  • “Oh, grow up Justin, you don’t know what Indian families are like. The moment you take a boy to a family function, then everyone assumes that you are getting married. I told you I don’t want to settle down yet, I just want to have fun. You have spoiled my mood now. I am leaving,” and with that Simran climbed out the pool, picked up her things and left, with Kavita running behind her. Justin, also got out of the pool, but instead of following Simran, he came to where Trisha was sitting and sat on the grass.
  • He looked really angry and hurt, and Trisha felt really bad for him. She wished she could go and put her arms around him and give him a hug, but she was not that brave.
  • She took a deep breath and asked, “Are you okay”. Justin turned his baby blue eyes in her direction and gave her a sad smile.
  • “Your cousin just drives me insane sometimes. You won’t understand.” Hearing the last part of his sentence, Trisha felt her heart wrench. He was another one that believed she wouldn’t understand matters of the heart.
  • Without thinking, she utttered, “You shouldn’t waste your time with her. You know that in a few months she is getting engaged to someone her dad has picked out for her.” Trisha quickly covered her mouth with her hand to stop any more words coming out. She couldn’t believe that she had said that. She looked at Justin from beneath her lashes and saw his expression change. She had never seen him look like that and in that moment, Trisha knew that she had just did something horrible and she wished that she could turn back time.