SToRy TeLLeR: The Crush (Part 5)

Meanwhile, the others had decided to play a game of Spin The Bottle. I still had an hour and a half before the much dreaded Round Two, so I chose to join in the game. Shashank hadn’t yet made an appearance, and I needed something to take my mind off him. I didn’t want Raj to see me get restless again. The game was a good enough distraction, but my eyes still drifted around for any sign of Shashank. Finally, my pleas were answered when I saw him talking to a bunch of people on the dance floor. Now it was only a matter of time before he would come over and join us, and then my heart could start beating normally again. “Hey bookworm! Wake up!” Adi called out to me. I looked around to see everyone looking at me expectantly. “What happened?” I asked, a little taken aback by the stares I was getting. Ananya, who was sitting right next to me, pointed at the bottle, which had come to a stop in front of me with the other end pointing at Raj. “So what’s it gonna be?” asked Adi. “Truth or Dare?” Before I could say anything, Garima answered him for me. “She already chose Truth once. Now she has to choose Dare.” Everyone murmured in agreement. “Fine, Dare then.” I said, giving up. I was sure Raj would assign a simple enough task so I wasn’t nervous.

A number of things happened simultaneously. Adi spotted Shashank on the dance floor. The DJ began spinning a popular number, and the people on the dance floor began dancing, including Shashank. I stared at him and wondered if I was in some dream. I tore my eyes away from him as I didn’t want to embarrass myself by not paying attention once more. Raj was looking at me, a strange expression on his face. He called everyone to attention. “Guys, I have decided what she has to do. I dare her to go up to Shashank and tell him that she likes him. Simple enough.” Garima and a few other girls giggled and the guys roared with laughter. I was flabbergasted. What was he doing? I tried to catch his eye but he was determined to avoid looking at me. I wanted to kill him. Even if he was my best friend, I wanted to skin him alive. Best friends don’t do such things to each other! “I am not doing any of this, all right. I am outta here.”

I grabbed my bag and decided to stomp out but Garima pulled me back down to the floor. “You can’t leave like this. A Dare is a Dare! You have to do it!” I heard a few people agree. I was on the verge of tears. Why did Raj have to do this to me? Adi noticed my distress and intervened. “Come on, it’s just a stupid Dare. Go tell him you like him and later you can tell him it was a Dare. People do it all the time. It’s okay!” I looked pleadingly at Raj but he was determined to ignore me. He wasn’t going to budge from his decision.

(Contd. in the next post)

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