General Fiction posted November 14, 2019 Chapters:  ...29 30 -31- 32... 

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Saahil tries to lecture Vikram.

A chapter in the book Keep your standards high

Saahil and Vikram

by Anuradha Dev

Chapter 31

I texted Saahil in the evening.

Mishti: Hey! Did you talk to Vikram?

Saahil: Yeah but he was half asleep when I called in the morning. We didn't talk much. He just said he went to Broncos with his friends and didn't realize when he had too much to drink. Mishti, I didn't know Vikram drinks alcohol. Now I am realizing, I don't know Vikram at all and you were right. There is this rebellious side to him that does not let him respect rules and foresee how his actions can affect people close to him.

Mishti: He isn't that bad. He is a bit impulsive and doesn't think about the consequences of his actions but he is not a bad person. To be his friend you need to have a lot of patience. I respect Shivam for being his best friend.

Saahil: Shivam is a saint.

Mishti: Lol. Anyway, how is it going with your father?

Saahil: Not too bad. We are watching a movie.

Mishti: Which one?

Saahil: 'Kahaani'.

Mishti: Oooo... the one with Vidya Bala? That's intense. I won't distract you. It's interesting. Tell me what you think of the climax. Bye, enjoy your movie.

The next day at school, I wondered how Vikram would behave. So much has changed during this weekend. When I saw him, I waved to catch his attention. He smiled but not the careless Vikram smile, it was guarded and strained.

We didn't talk between classes. During the lunch break, I was hoping he would join us. But he didn't. I called him to join us.

Vikram came and sat with us but was not talking much. I tried avoiding the mention of Saturday night but Saahil didn't get the memo. He asked, "Vikram, what happened Saturday night? I still don't understand. We met in the afternoon. You were fine. Is that your normal Saturday night routine? "

Vikram acted nonchalantly, "Not all Saturdays but I do go with guys sometimes to relieve stress."

Saahil looked surprised, "Stress! What have you got to stress about?"

"You don't know me Saahil," Vikram was getting impatient with Saahil's interrogation.

"No, seriously. Help me understand. You have got a perfect life. You are rich. You have at least one attentive parent. You are good looking, intelligent, smart and athletic. You are one of the few students who are getting good grades in academics and physical. All the girls want to date you. What have you got to stress about?"

I tried to stop Saahil because I could see Vikram's temper rising but Saahil wouldn't look at me. I tried to calm Vikram by putting my hands on his hand because he was sitting near me. Vikram looked at my hand and then at me. I begged him to remain calm. Vikram nodded and replied, "Saahil, people who have perfect lives are the loneliest."

"Vikram, don't get me wrong but you should learn to count your blessings. You have got the ability, talent, and opportunities to make your life the best version of what you can ever dream of. Don't waste your time and energy on stupid and rebellious behavior, which will never do you any good."
Vikram moved his head closer to Saahil and said softly, "Saahil, tell me one thing. Who told you I need counseling for my rebellious ways? Even if I did, why would I come to you? We have a perfectly qualified counselor in the school. You can shove your shitty advice up your a**."

Vikram stood up and left the table. I looked at Saahil, who was shocked at Vikram's reaction.

"What happened? I was just trying to help."

"Saahil, you need to develop tact. Your tone was condescending. He thought you were trying to make him feel bad for what he did Saturday night."

"Someone has to tell him what he did was stupid and selfish."

"He already knows Saahil. We don't need to remind him again and again of his bad choices."

"Ah, I think you are right. I will talk to him again when he calms down."

"Uhh, I don't think that's a good idea. Just leave him alone for now. He will come around."

Saahil shrugged and we returned to our classes.

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