Leaning her head on his shoulder Hasini slept soundly while Ishaan munched on popcorn watching a football game between the Patriots and the Jets. Jake sat on the floor next to the couch working on his laptop. It's been one week since Hasini was released from the hospital. Ishaan offered to let Hasini stay at his place for another month since NYU's just a block away from his apartment and Hasini shouldn't travel too much in the position she's in. Her parents agreed without hesitation. They watched how Ishaan took care of her the six days she was kept in the hospital after her surgery. They trusted him and took his word for it.

"WHOO!" Jake screamed as the Patriots won the game. Hasini flinched and clutched Ishaan's arm in fear unconsciously.

"Jake! Shut up. Hasini's scared." Ishaan slid his arm out of her grasp and curled it around her small form and tucked her into his side. "Shh. It's ok. It's just Jake being crazy." He comforted her drawing small circles on her arm. She relaxed her tense body believing Ishaan's every word. The doctor warned him of this fear. Due to the low estrogen levels in her blood her moods have been always toward the lower end recently. She would rarely smile and would flinch at every little sound or movement.

"Just a few weeks and she'll be back to normal." Dr. Leskov told him. "Until then, watch her and make sure her depression doesn't take over."

He glanced at the clock. 5 o'clock. She told him to wake her up in an hour at 3 o' clock. He looked down at her head resting on his chest, breathing evenly. She's been studying with little to no sleep all week trying to catch up with the work she missed the six days she was at the hospital. He just didn't have the heart to wake her up now. Suddenly, her phone went off with an annoying alarm. Hasini opened her eyes and got up with a start. "OW!" She yelped clutching her stomach. Stupid! She thought. Getting up quickly stretched her wounded area causing her to curl up into a ball to take the pain away.

"Hasini. Don't do that. You'll cramp up. Come on, get up." Ishaan held her shoulders and slowly pulled her into a sitting position. Ishaan reached over and shut the alarm off.

Once the pain subsided, Hasini looked at Ishaan, "Why didn't you wake me up at 4?"

"You need to sleep. School won't go anywhere. They gave you a lot of time to catch up so you don't have to over work yourself."

"I had a feeling you would do something like that, which is why I set an alarm in case." She recalled the times Vidhi would tell her to wake her up in two hours but Hasini would always forget to do so on purpose. The house was always so peaceful when she was asleep. I couldn't help it. She thought.

Hasini rose slowly and walked into Ishaan's bedroom. Her books were piled over his desk waiting for her to open them. She sighed and sat down with a highlighter in her hand. Just as she was about to begin her reading, her phone went off. Irritated, Hasini looked at the caller id. Shay. She smiled as she picked up.


"Hi Hasini. How's it going?"

"Good. How are you?"

"I'm doing good. How's Ishaan? Married and settled already?"

"Haha. No. Two more months. Didn't I send you an invite?"

"Oh yeah. But it's not like I can come. It's all the way in India. Unless… you wanna pay for my ticket?"

"Yeah sure. Cause I'm a billionaire and I can buy all my guests tickets to go to India. I just sent it as a formality. Don't worry. We'll have a party when we come back."

"You better. I just wanted to tell you that I got a job as an assistant to this really great architect in Paris."

"Really? That's great. Congrats!"


"Paris? Wow. You better bring back a souvenir."

Shay laughed. "I will. I don't know when I'll be back, but I just wanted to tell you so you can send all your good luck with me."

"I'll send you some. Not all of it. I'll need it when I write my medical tests. But good luck impressing this world famous architect."

"He's not a world famous architect, just a really good one. So… you want to go out for dinner before I leave? You and Ishaan."

Hasini was a little confused. "Sure, but wouldn't you rather spend your time with your other friends?" They were very close in high school, but they never talked afterwards until they accidentally met recently.

"Yeah… I could care less about them. They're just people I hang out with cause I have nothing better to do. Besides, we haven't talked in a while. Let's catch up."

"Ok. Hold on, Ishaan's right here, I'll ask him."


Holding the phone away, Hasini yelled with her small voice, "Ishaan!"

Ishaan walked into the room and looked around. "Did I hear a mouse squeak?"

Hasini glared at him before giving him the phone. "Shay."

"Hey! Sup?"

Shay filled Ishaan in on the news before asking him about the dinner.


"Great. What time is ok for you two?"

"Hold on. Hasini, when do you want to go?"
Hasini looked up from her textbook. "This Friday at 6 sound good?"

"Sounds good. I'll text you the place later. Alright see ya guys." Shay hung up.

"An architect huh?" Ishaan pondered out loud as he pulled over a chair.

"It's funny how I always pictured him as an architect and he always used to deny the possibility. And look where he is now."

"Why'd you see him as an architect?"

"I don't know. He just looked like one." She replied trying to concentrate on her reading.

"Oh." Ishaan got up and patted her head as if she was a little girl. Quietly he walked out of the room and joined Jake by the TV again.

Hasini stepped out of the car and followed Ishaan toward the colorful building. He opened the door for her and held it open for an elderly couple as well. Right behind the elderly couple, was a line of children following like little ducklings. Ishaan stood there patiently holding the door for them all. Hasini stood to the side inside trying to suppress a smile. Upon entering the actual restaurant, a strong smell of tacos hit Hasini and Ishaan. She looked around once and found Shay sitting on a high bar chair running a hand through his hair.

"Hey, congrats once again." She said taking a seat across from Shay.

Ishaan shook Shay's hand in acknowledgment. "Taco Bell? Really?" He asked light-heartedly.

"Yeah. It was our favorite place back then." Shay said looking at Hasini pointedly as she smiled remembering the olden days.

"You make us sound old Shay." Hasini complained.

"Well we are aren't we? In the mid 20's already." He shrugged. "So what are you guys up to?"

"Nothing. This one over here got herself into a crime scene."

"WHAT? Hasini! You're the last person on earth to commit a crime." Shay was appalled by this information.

"I didn't say she committed a crime. She just got into the middle of it unknowingly."

When Shay heard that someone stabbed her, he went tense as his eyes grew into a darker shade. "And you didn't tell me this till now, because?" He asked menacingly.

"See, you'll go all dark and scary like this, which is why I didn't tell you." Hasini said meekly.

Shay relaxed and returned to his usual self before apologizing.

They talked about the details of his new job in Paris and about Shay's expectations. Meanwhile, Hasini stared intently at a bubblegum machine by the entrance of the restaurant. The last time she ate those jumbo gum-balls was when she was five.

"Ishaan. Can I have two quarters?" She whispered.

"Why?" He whispered back.

"Because I need them." She pouted crossing her arms across her chest.

Ishaan took out his wallet and dropped two quarters into her eager hands. She examined the tails of the quarters before she went off satisfied with whatever she found.

"Were the quarters dirty?" Ishaan wondered out loud.

"No. She's just making sure they're not special quarters." Shay said nonchalantly as he watched her insert the coins in the coin slot. Ishaan watched Shay's face as he observed Hasini's every move with a wistful adoring look. Recognizing the look, Ishaan's face softened.

"How long?" He asked.

Startled, Shay looked at Ishaan confused. "How long what?" He asked.

"How long have you been in love with her?" He asked bluntly.

Shay sighed, "Since the first year of college, when we grew apart. Is it obvious?"

"Not to her. But anyone else would be able to tell." Ishaan replied. A moment later he added, "I'm sorry."

Shay shrugged. "She's happy and truly in love with you. That's all that matters. Hopefully, I'll get over her someday."

They ended their brief conversation as Hasini bounced back with a blue gum-ball in her hand.

"Look it's blue! I was afraid I was out of luck today and expected a purple one to roll out. There were so many purple ones in there." She smiled with glee as she plopped it in her mouth. She rolled it around in her mouth and shoved it to the side of her cheek. A big round lump formed on the side of her face making Shay laugh.

"Put another gum-ball in the other one and you'll really look like a squirrel." He laughed.

Hasini glared at him as she slapped his arm. Hearing their number, Ishaan got up to get the order. When he returned, Shay was still laughing while Hasini tried to hide the little smile that was starting creep up her face. She took her chalupa and began taking mini bites from the side, while the men on her table began devouring their food like carnivorous animals. By the time she finished her one taco, they had finished two burritos each. She shook her head amazed by their large appetites.

"You guys wanna go to the movies?" Shay asked as he threw his trash away.

Ishaan looked at Hasini and said, "Sure."

"We forgot about Jake. He's going to have to cook for himself today." Hasini mused.

"Nah. He went on a date with our boss's new secretary. He won't be alone tonight."

The three reached the movie theater situated a few miles away from Taco Bell.

Parking the car, Shay asked, "So which movie?"

Getting down from the car, Hasini's eyes roamed a poster of the Disney movie, Brave. Shay followed her line of visions and interjected before she could even say it. "Oh no. Nothing that has to do with Disney please."

"But but but… I heard it was really good!"

"No." Ishaan and Shay said together with a good dose of finality.

"Well, I'm not going to go to some Iron Man or Spiderman movie."

"We won't we'll see a Batman movie." Shay said.

Her face brightened up at the mention of Batman. Her favorite superhero. Even though she hated action, she would endure it just see Batman on the go.

"Three tickets for The Dark Night Rises please." Shay told the woman behind the ticket booth. Ishaan put an arm around Hasini's shoulders and led her toward screen 5 with Shay at their heels. The three walked into the dimly lit theatre and sat in the back right under the projector where they could see everything. Hasini sat in between the two and adjusted herself in her seat. She slid her feet out of her flip flops and sat cross legged her knees poking out of her seat a little. She put both her elbows on the armrests on both sides and supported her head with her intertwined hands.

"Comfortable yet?" Shay asked sarcastically. Hasini nodded ignoring his tone. While Ishaan was busy checking his e-mails on his iphone, Shay and Hasini had a brief elbow war in which Hasini won. Shay gave up frustrated that he couldn't keep the armrest that was rightfully his. "Didn't your mother ever teach you how to share?" He asked.

"Didn't your mother teach you how to act like a gentleman?" Hasini retaliated sticking her face in his.

"Guys. Quit it. This is a public area. Act like adults for once." Ishaan reprimanded, quietly enjoying their act. Both Hasini and Shay stuck their tongues out toward Ishaan and continued bickering until the lights went out.

"Z-z-z-z-z-z-z…" A fourth of the movie later, Hasini heard a light buzz to her left. Slowly she turned her head and had to cover her mouth from laughing out loud. Shay slid halfway down his seat and was peacefully sleeping. Turning left, Hasini asked Ishaan for a piece of popcorn.

"I thought you didn't want any." He said, his eyes glued to the screen.

"I just want one piece." She said. Take the popcorn, she gently placed it under Shay's nose in the dip above his lips. She took two more popcorn pieces and gently put them in his ears covering it with his silky hair. Giggling to herself she turned back toward the screen and became mesmerized with the movie once more.

The lights turned on at the interval creating some ruckus around the room. Shay stirred a little and jerked awake when Ishaan called him. He fumbled for a while with the popcorn that fell when he sat up. Something tickled the inside of his ears. He felt his ears with his fingers and found two more popcorns. Shay turned and glared at Ishaan. Ishaan smirked and lifted his hands up. "Not me."

Just then, Hasini walked back and sat in her seat. Shay immediately assaulted her with the popcorn. "HEY!" Hasini screamed. "I only did that cause you deserved it. You don't come to a movie and fall asleep. That's forbidden unless you're an old man, which you clearly are not." Shay stuck his tongue out and threw one more popcorn at her which she caught and ate.

Yawning, she curved her back to stretch it and leaned on Ishaan. He put his arm around her and murmured in her hair. "Sleepy?"

Hasini nodded closing her eyes. "But I'll stay awake, just for Christopher Nolan."

"Alright guys. Thanks for coming." Shay said standing next to his car in the parking lot.

"No problem. When are you leaving anyway?" Ishaan asked.

"In two days." He replied.

"Have fun in Paris!" Hasini said happily through her tired eyes.

"Gosh Hasini, I feel so loved. At least pretend to be a little sad since I'm leaving."

Hasini straightened up and furrowed her eyebrows together making a sad depressed face. She wiped away an invisible tear and moved toward Shay. "I'll miss you so much Shay! I can't believe you're going to be a whole ocean away from me. But whatever makes you happy. Go. Be safe. Don't worry about me." She bawled dramatically into his shoulder while giving him a light hug.