Chapter 2Mature

28th May, 2008
12:00 a.m.
The phone vibrates beside me and, “Hello!”
“Heyy!!! Happy 18……!!!”, it’s one of those voices which I’ll never forget Vrishalli Bhat, my best friend and part of ‘The Gang’!
Pretty soon it’s mayhem as the rest of the gang calls up! Aakriti, Milee and finally Zayan, my brother, who found it more convenient to call rather than walk in from the next room!
Early next morning, I wake up to a party atmosphere. The Gang shows up for breakfast with a couple of other friends and settles in.
“So I called up first huh!”, Vrishalli gushes.
And a squabble breaks out as everyone justifies how and why they were the first ones to wish. It’s a game we played on everyone’s birthday… it had sort of become a tradition. And if you were upset with anyone, you underlined the point by not wishing until much later in the day!
I chide them about my birthday gift, speaking of which, not giving one till about six months later had become another notorious tradition with us!
It’s bliss… my best buddies! 
December, 2007
It’s one of those boring winter days with nothing to do. The four of us girls find ourselves lazing around in Aakriti’s house. It’s one of those things we seem to always end up doing, and the fact that Aakriti’s mother happens to be an amazing cook doesn’t hurt either.
“K, let’s just call Nzoo up! … Or Frido… anybody! I’m really bored.”, I say, helping myself to another handful of chocolates.
“Noo … are you nuts?”, an agitated Vrishalli jumps up. 
I throw another couple of chocolates at her, this calms her down sufficiently.
And in case I forgot, Aakriti’s house was a chocolate haven! Her refrigerator had never seen a day minus the chocolates, and the irony of it all, she ‘hated’ chocolates!
“Listen, are you people ever… like ‘ever’ going to propose to your guys? I mean, Bhat you’ve liked Nzoo since before I could spell ‘doctor’? So unless you intend to become a nun, you should make a move soon! ”
“Yeah, but it’s just that chick, Neha! I’m soo sure he likes her.”, is the reply.
“But Nzoo…”
“Sshh!”, Vrishalli cuts in, “Your mom will hear, don’t yell .”, drowning the rest of what Aakriti had to say.
“Hey, but I wasn’t really loud!”, an indignant Aakriti says.
“You were soft enough for it to be heard to the whole of Thippasandra! When will you ever learn to speak softly?”, Vrishalli moans.
“ Ok! Chill out guys … we were using code names and nobody but us knows Nzoo refers to Nitin!”, Milee the calming factor amongst us says.
“Oh, ya no! Why didn’t I think of that?!”, the all too familiar phrase issues from Vrishalli.
“That’s coz it’s you Bhat!”, I reply.
Vrishalli was sort of slow when it came to such things, and thus was the ‘Bhat’ of all my jokes! 
We still loved her, all the same. 

The End

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