It was the festival day, when all our relatives came home and we were very happy chit chatting about the funny incidents we went through as a family until the chit chat moved on to my job issue. I told my uncle about me preparing for the IT bank special officers common written exam. He asked me all the details of where and how abouts of my preparation and exam center. Mean while my elder cousin brother voluntarily offered me that he would accompany me on that exam day. He said that he too had some work there to be done on that day.

It was the exam day and we were started really late from Kavali. We should have started much earlier than we did. It was almost 12:30 PM when we reached Tirupati and there is only half an hour to reach my exam center. For our surprise, it started raining at that time. Brother is trying his best to stop any means of transport that goes to my exam center. An autowala stopped and we got in. He told us that he would take us half the journey as he had to go another direction from there. That’s the best option we got in that rainy day and we thought that we could catch another vehicle from there and move on.

Autowala dropped us somewhere where he promised. Thank god another auto rickshaw came which goes to the same direction where we wanted to. Brother stopped the vehicle, asked me not to worry as there is enough time to reach the center by 2 o’clock. I argued with him that the exam would start at 1:00 PM. This argument made me check my admit card once again which proved us both wrong. The exam timings were clearly specified as 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM. I was shocked and my brother was totally disappointed to know the fact. Our hurry about reaching Tirupati earlier would have blind folded our vision while checking the timings at home. I wanted to reach the center by any cost of time any how. The autowala drove a few feet, brother stopped me, asked me to get down, apologized for the autowala. Autowala is a good man. He demanded the justified fair for the very little distance I’ve ever hired a vehicle for. I paid him and we started walking towards the bus stand with desperation.

It seems like my brother don’t want me bother about the missed exam, so he started acting naïve to see me happy. We came to a cross road where the whole distress turned into excitement. A girl got down from the auto rickshaw. Our both attention went on her. She was beautiful in her salwar, hanging a bag on her left shoulder opened her umbrella and started walking attractive. I have fallen for her and my brother has already started following her back. I followed my brother from a two feet back. I know my brother is very good at girls. I actually fear of doing things like following there by frightening girls, I don’t feel good doing so. After a short walk, she stopped at a door, took out keys from her bag and was trying hard to open the door. I stopped at a flag pole near by, sat there tying my shoe lases and was watching the scene with one eye as my brother proceeded very near hitting on her. She looked up, I stopped tying and paid attention to them. Then she said ‘brother! brother! could you please help me open the door?’ Brother is the only word I could hear clearly. My brother shocked but went on with a small conversation with her. The scene ended more sobbingly than the titanic. I couldn’t stop laughing like anything at that time and my brother was embarrassed.

We looked back our way home with two great failures noticeably because of our foolishness. The rain started pouring when we took few steps back to bus stand. A scorpio guy gave us lift, he drove across the street and the rain has become violent enough to stop the scorpio. That guy stopped the vehicle under a bridge and waited for the rain to stop.

Rain stopped after an hour. Brother got down, went to a shop near by to buy something to eat. The scorpio guy went to have a smoke. I stayed in the vehicle with the door opened thinking about the missed exam. Then I saw her again with the umbrella under the bridge wandering like she was searching for someone. She soliloquy walked here and there near our vehicle a couple of times. Then she stopped by and asked me where my brother was. I told her that he went to bring some snacks. She started talking with me,

“Can’t a girl and a guy be brother and sisters? Why would you boys always disguise ‘it’ with friendship?”

I don’t know what they talked about exactly. I didn’t understand their conversation clearly and why is she talking to me if I was the not the person she talked to earlier?

I thought she has fallen for my brother and came back looking for him. But she said with me “Let’s be friends like as a brother and sister.”

“Friends? like as a brother and sister? If you are afraid of making new friends, don’t disguise it with siblinghood.” I set her facts right.

“So what do you think? Any girl you wish for would come to romance with you or what?”

“I’m not asking for romance. If you like a person and want to make some friends, your trustiness should not depend on calling them brother or sister.”

She pulled back her hair over her forehead with her fingers and said “Why can’t?”

I got down from the vehicle, closed the door and said,

“Because friendship is trust and unrestricted. I have many friends and half of them are girls. We never feel embarrassed while we talk. We discuss about anything without hesitation. They help us hitting on girls and we tease them before their crushes. This strengthens our bond! Some find brothers and sisters in us, some find soulmates and some stay being thick friends regardless of the gender. We never promised one another to be like this or like that at first. It happens automatically! If you wanted to be a friend, be a friend. The time would decide where it takes.”

Brother returned by the time I finished my version. She smiled and stood silent. The scorpio guy also came back. He started to check out something and asked me to check out my files and documents as another guy who was there with him before we get into the vehicle was found to be a thief. The girl walked off when I was checking out my documents without saying a good bye after such a deep conversation. I noticed it and watched her going. She looked back blushed, walking a distance from us.

I took a step forward to call her. My brother stopped me with his hand and gave me a piece of paper with a phone number showing her going.