The second letter too had illegible scribbles. Gur was baffled. Who would keep such a thing in their garden? Could it be one of the servants? Maybe someone was playing a silly prank! He tore the letter up and threw it in the dustbin nearby. He decided not to tell anyone about it. He didn’t want to be taken for a fool. Also, his mother could get unnecessarily paranoid. She had done so before. A few years back someone had left a flaming ball of cotton at their front door. Aarti had called the police for that. Gur knew how his mother would react and so, brushed the incident off. He wanted to take another look at the paper from the day before, but he had other important stuff lined up for the day.
That night he had to go to a party: The birthday party of his crush. He was going to tell her how he felt about her. From his memory, he’d painted a portrait of hers. It was a breathtaking, vibrant piece of art. He was going to gift it to her. He was excited and nervous. He got ready and not before long, he found himself in the party. He held the life-size portrait, his gaze fixed at the girl of his dreams as she descended the stairs to greet him. There were more than a hundred people present in the party, but both of them found each other within seconds. When you truly look for someone, you find them right beside you. They exchanged pleasantries. She was looking ravishing in a white one-piece gown with shoes to match. His heart skipped a beat. He had to compliment her. Before he could open his mouth, she spoke.
“Come with me.” Her expression was strange.
She took his hand and led him upstairs to her room. Some people paid attention but soon brushed it off as an adolescent escapade. As soon as they reached the room, she closed the door and turned toward him. Her face frowned. He couldn’t decipher her expression. Was she sad? Was it anger? Gur wasn’t a genius at reading people. He kept looking at her with the same puzzled expression.
“The letters, I know about them!” She said without breaking expression.
“Wha.. I don’t! What?” He struggled to say something.
“The letters you have, I know about them. I want to talk to you.”
He calmed himself, took a deep breath which seemed like a sigh.
“Talk about what?”
“First, tell me how many of those letters do you have?”
“I found two. I threw away one of them but have one with me. I tried to decipher them, but couldn’t. Were you in on it?”
“In on what?”
“The prank. It was a prank, right? Did you keep those letters out there for me?”