It was a pleasant evening. Party was indeed a splendid one. Every one had a smile on their face and eyes hunting for their prey. Girls were loving the attention they were getting. Music was loud and amazingly not hurting. There were few couples dancing in a corner and few buddy gangs moving their hips with the rhythm. The atmosphere was electrifying, yet Ansh was feeling lost in the crowd. It's not that he came to the party alone. He had his gang along with him, busy chit chatting. Amit was as usual oggling at all those slender legs and delicious figures. Ravi, well he thought it's better to give company to Amit rather than sit bored in a corner. Hansika, as usual was full chirpy and Radhika was giving tough competition to her. Ansh loved his gang like anything yet, he was feeling empty today. Sitting in a corner knowing nothing to do, with a glass of beer in his hand, he was staring like a zombie at the wall. He hasn't moved a muscle since last 15 minutes and his butt was fixed to the bag he was sitting on. Thank god, they had bean bags or else God knows what would have happened to his rear.
He wasn't always like this. He was social, jovial and a party animal. Suddenly everything seems to have changed. Worst, his friends have not been be able to notice it too. Was it something to do with his hiding skills or were they too busy in their own life? Whatever it be, Ansh is happy that they are unlike other friends who keep poking the person to know what is happening. He knows that they would wait for the right time when Ansh would speak up and spill it out, all by himself. They had the patience.
Ansh still staring at the wall, with his mouth closed was wondering how he could tell this to his friends, how he can share it with his friends? He knows he cannot hide it from them for long. They are his best friends. He want to say it but whenever he comes so damn close to speak, his throat dries up, he chokes and his eyes well up. He does not know how can this affect him so much. He has been a strong guy emotionally and physically. He never imagined anything like this would hurt him so badly and would leave him speechless. But he has to tell them, if not today then tomorrow. But he has to tell them.
Finally he gathered his courage and decided to speak up. He kept his beer mug down. Everyone shifted their focus. Hansika stopped whatever she was talking about, abruptly and looked into Ansh's eyes. Radhika was silent too. Realizing the silence, Ravi and Amit stopped their oggling and turned their head back to their friends. They knew something serious is going to happen. Ansh looked into the eyes of Radhika as his eyes started to become moist. Radhika knew this is going to be really bad. She has never seen Ansh so desperate and weak.
Ansh decided it has to be now. He raised his head and blurted it out finally. What followed was a shock for all.
He said - "Beth has died."
Everyone were puzzled and were trying to make sense of what Ansh has just said.
Realizing his friend's confusion he decided to speak further with his heavy heart and moisted eyes - "Beth is a thirteen year old girl, she loved her sisters very much. She loved her dolls so much. She was really attached to her sister Jo. I can't believe she is no longer alive. It's making me feel so sad."
Ansh's friends were all sad now. They figured out Beth must have been really important person in Ansh's life. But how come he never told them about her if she was so important? How come they never met her? Leaving every thought aside Radhika, got up from her seat and sat near to Ansh who was weeping in pain with his head held between his hands. She kept her hand on his shoulder and tried consoling him.
Radhika spoke how it must have been really difficult for him and everything would be fine.
Ravi asked when is the funeral? and Ansh raised his head. His eyes have become red with all those crying. With choking voice he said, I don't know. She hasn't wrote about her funeral. All were little confused. Hansika questioned with curiousity, what you mean by she hasn't wrote about her funeral?
He replied - "You see Louisa Alcott has mentioned how sick Beth has become and how she nearing to her death but hasn't reffered anything about her funeral in her book."
The expressions on the face of the friends were similar to what you have on your face now after reading this. If you guessed it by the mid of this post, well good for you. :D
Inspired from "F.R.I.E.N.D.S" where Rachel asks Joey to read a novel "Little Women" which is written by Louis May Alcott