He was the naughtiest kid in class. A permanent smirk played on his lips – almost like his mind was constantly thinking up pranks to play on ‘innocent’ people like the rude teacher, the surly watchman, or the class bullies. He went by the name of ‘Rudie the Rowdie’. His real name? Rudraksh.
She was the reserved, charming, studious girl. Kind-hearted with just a twinkle of mischief in her eyes, she ruled the hearts of many. Though she was popular, she kept to herself and her tight group of friends. No she wasn’t snooty or vain, just shy. Everyone called her by a name she disliked ‘Pari’. Her real name? Aarya.
Incredibly, the two of them were close friends. They had grown up on the same street together and had shared adventures in their childhood that had bonded them for life. Their friends never understood how two such characteristically different people could be friends let alone share a unique friendship.
What was unique was that when they were together, their characteristics and personalities blended. She became more mischievous, and he more considerate. Together they were a lethal combination, unleashing their creative imaginations with bold pranks on the neighourhood, as well as bursting with innovative ideas for school and community events.
Predictably, they were the perfect fodder for gossip. They were always linked to one another by their classmates, and the neighbourhood aunties always speculated about their marriage. However, neither of them entertained such thoughts. For each other, they were simply besties for life.
Time went by and found Rudie pursuing his journalism course in New York while Pari delved into graphic designing. They still continued to chat with each other through mails. Strangely, the distance brought them even closer than before. Every small detail of the day was shared over their daily chat at 9pm. Both looked forward with great anticipation for this coveted time.
Pari mentioned one day about a guy asking her out on a date. She asked Rudie if she should go for it. Rudie said it was her choice entirely. If she felt the guy was good then no harm. Pari decided to give it a shot. She went out and to her surprise enjoyed the date. She told Rudie about all that happened at the date. Rudie listened as she chattered on endlessly about the guy. It was the first time he cut their chat early citing study pressure as a reason.
During the next few days he was not as communicative as before. Pari felt something amiss with him and tried asking him what the matter was but he just put it down to study stress. Pari knew that it wasn’t the truth but left it at that. Rudie didn’t know how to explain to Pari that the mere thought of her with another guy made him burn from inside.
Rudie came down twice a year for month-long vacations but never met up with Pari. She felt hurt and slighted that her best friend since childhood was ignoring her without giving any reason as to his behaviour.
When he returned to New York to complete his studies, all conversation between them had come to a stop. He soon finished his journalism course and returned to join one of the leading newspaper houses in the country. He invested all his time in building his career. Pari was a natural at designing. She had started her own graphic designing business and was occupied with the nitty-gritties of managing it 24×7.
Two years went by when they met at a common friend’s wedding ceremony. Time stood still. An inexplicable pull asserted itself between them. There was a tension that pulled in opposite directions. A need to be close again but a hesitation in letting it happen. They spoke to each other, haltingly at first and then in full abandon. The past years of missed conversations ceased to exist. They were back at where they had started. Best friends but… something more than that was present now. Something neither could explain.
They returned home together, casually chatting about their lives in general. There was a subtle tension in the air though. “It’s just because I’m seeing and talking to him/her after so long” they both thought to themselves.
Over the weeks they lunched together, went on hikes, parties, and spent time discussing every possible topic under the sun. It was like old times again. Only there was also something simmering between them just below the surface of their friendship.
Rudie had to head out of station for a few months to cover a social issue. The night before leaving, he and Pari sat at their favourite spot near the seashore. It was extremely tense between them. Both wanted to say something but didn’t know how or what exactly to say. Pari broke the tense silence.
“We can’t ignore this anymore Rudie” she said. “I… I like you… more than just a friend.” she completed bravely.
“I won’t deny it Ari, I like you too, more than a friend… but…” he halted.
“But less than a girlfriend. It’s like in between, you know?” he said.
“Hmm. Yes, I know what you’re saying, we’re not there yet, are we?”
“Not right now, no.” he said simply.
“So, what then? What now?” she asked.
“We.. we could… we could be… half girlfriend, half boyfriend?” he ventured.
She laughed. “What kind of term is that?”
“The most apt one for us, Ari. I love you too much as a friend, I respect you a lot as a friend, and I don’t want to venture into anything more and spoil our friendship until I’m sure. I’m still not there at the boyfriend girlfriend level” he completed.
Pari kept quiet, mulling it all in her head.
“What say?” he nudged her playfully on her shoulder.
She looked up at him, “Okay” she said smiling.
5 years later Rudie tells me that the term half girlfriend was a good one. “Know why?” he asks slyly, I shake my head and ask him “Why?”
He sits up straight and with a proud look on his face says, “It made her agree to my proposal.”
“Really? How come?” I asked
“I told her, that I loved her as a friend, loved her as a half-girlfriend, and now wanted to love her more… so…” he paused to chuckle.
“So??” I asked impatiently.
“So, I asked her, since you’re technically my half friend, and half girlfriend… would you like to marry me and be my half wife?” he smiled and winked.
“And she said yes to this proposal?” I ask.
“Ari” he calls out.
Aarya comes all smiles, greeting me warmly like she’s known me for years. “Ari, tell her you said yes to my charming proposal of half wife.” cuts in Rudie cheekily.
“I can’t believe I agreed to that lame, cheesy proposal” Ari answers laughing and pulling his ear.
“How is it cheesy? For me you are a friend, girlfriend and wife – all rolled into one!” he justifies, putting his arm around her. They go into a series of teasing and jokes, lost in a world of their own.
It’s endearing to watch them bicker playfully and laugh – half friends, half girlfriend, half boyfriend, half wife, and half husband – making them a whole.
They really are each others Better HALVES 😉
Watch the trailer of the upcoming movie Half Girlfriend for a look at this new type of relationship.
Have you ever encountered a relationship like this? I’m always a sucker for love stories, so share if you know anyone who had/has such a relationship!