Unable to read her mind, I asked, How do you feel?

Insanely perfect, she said, not looking at me. I couldn’t make out if she was serious or just funny. Just then, she turned to look at me and with a slight smile playing on her lips, she added, It feels special.

My mother always says, when you try to make someone happy some of it sticks to you. I have ever since tried to keep people around me happy and I realised it’s one of the easiest things to do. The upside is, there’s immense satisfaction. The downside, you become The People Pleaser, for outsiders, on-watchers, whatever you call them. But it hardly matters, right?

I sometimes wonder what the world must be like for those who do not have a best friend. Just like Sarah Dessen said in her book Someone Like You,

“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.” 

Because one of the best things in the world is having a crazy awesome friend who walks the way with you, no matter the pits and potholes.

I and Shreya come a long way. Long enough to care what the world thinks about what we do. We come from a time when the world was not engulfed with the social media madness. There weren’t so many mobile phones around the time we graduated from college unlike now, when even school going kids can’t make through a day without the damn thing.

New friendships require lot of nurturing.  A relationship, like ours, that has stood the test of time, needs a lot more than just that. Although, I never miss a chance to tell her how much she means to me, I knew it wasn’t enough. So, with her wedding just around the corner and her mind boggled with the forth-marching changes, when I told her that I wanted to take her out on a date, she could barely suppress her grin.

Now, as crazy as it may sound, I was doing this for the first time. Planning a date, I mean. I am not someone who goes out on dates, so this was hell lot of organizing as I realised.

A checklist of things to do, places to take her, listing down things she likes and hates. And trust me, even after more than a decade of us being together, I was surprised that there were so many things I yet did not know about her. This only got me shitty nervous and suddenly I wasn’t sure if it was such a good idea after all. I may end up screwing everything. I mean it’s one thing if things don’t turn out well when you are going out with someone for the first time, someone you are only just starting to know. I did not want to jeopardize a most treasured relation.

Yeah, tell me that I was overthinking, fretting unnecessarily. But really, when nervousness creeps into your system, the fear of failure, somehow, is amplified tenfold.

So, then I made up my mind to keep it simple and sweet. It doesn’t have to be grand to be great, right?

A stupid hilarious movie that got your stomach hurting due to laughing hard, dinner at a cozy place with exactly the kind of taste she prefers, chrysanthemums white, exactly what she loves with dives in the past and tales to recount which filled the evening with sparkles of fun.

I am not sure if people really plan dates for their best friends.
I am not sure if I stood true to what she probably had expected out of our evening together or if she had expected anything at all.
I am also not sure if I could see her as much happy had I gone on with my initial plans coated with magnificence and dripping with lavishness.

But I know one thing – I wouldn’t have been as happier had I stumbled across a magic lamp. I knew I was successful at making the evening memorable, if not perfect. There are really countable few who, I would stake my life for, and this girl who’s stood tall right by my side even at my ugliest is one of the few. Seeing her smile knowing she is really happy, is one of those magical moments that I can’t begin to describe.

Marriage, for a girl, is the time, when she is happy and sad. Happy for new beginnings, sad for what she has now to leave behind her; people, routines, fun, freedom that defined life until that age.

While she was looking to take her mind off of the eminent mayhem, I decided I wanted to make it easier, simpler, add some fun and bring a wave of unanticipated excitement and happiness. And somehow, all my insecurities and apprehensions were wiped off when she quite simply said, it feels special.

-Asha Seth