They reached Cox’s Bazaar after Zuhr Azaan. A car arrived from the hotel to pick them up. The group didn’t fit in the car properly,but the image of them struggling to sit seemed perfect. There they were, the three best friends- Asif, Mahmud and Irfan. They needed to go someplace out of Dhaka city to have fun during the semester break. After refreshing up, they went to have lunch at a restaurant around the hotel. Shutki bhaja (Fried Stockfish), Indian dal, and palong shaak (Spinach) made the menu.

Asif’s eyes got locked into a girl sitting on the opposite table. He had never looked at a girl in that way after going into a relationship with Faria. It was not like that girl was really beautiful, but somehow she seemed to steal all of Asif’s attention. Just like a film scene, the girl’s orna touched Asif’s face when she got up to go to the restroom. Irfan noticed it.

The three Musketeers took a nap after lunch, and went out to the beach after it. While Mahmud got busy riding horses, Asif had a quick conversation with Irfan.

“Dude. I love that girl.”
“Even joking about stuff like this wrong man. You have Faria.”
“I know I do. But she stole my attention. Don’t you believe in love at first sight?”
“I believe in hate at first sight. Just like Faria used to hate you. If it wasn’t for me, you would have never gotten  her.”
“I know. You, my man, are the best wingman ever. Now help me get her.”

Irfan didn’t like about how Asif joked about it. Nobody would believe that Asif can cheat on Faria even though they have a long term relationship. But it really was true. Irfan was possibly the best wingman anyone can ever get.

That girl came at the beach too. She wore a red shirt and shorts. Asif watched the tides splashing all on her face as she giggled. As she looked back, Asif’s eyes met hers. A silent conversation took place.  Irfan needed to help his friend. He thought that Asif could never win the girl’s heart. So he went on to make this story funnier.

“This is for you. From Asif.” Irfan handed her a fist full of sea shells as Asif watched.

The girl looked at Asif. She thanked him, and send him something else in return.

“This is from Naila.” Irfan handed him a fist full of sand. Asif laughed. Naila came to him and said, “Sorry I didn’t know what to give in return.”
“You could give him some time this night. And have dinner with him.” Irfan said to her as Asif’s inane grin continued to shine.
“Ocean Paradise. Room 410. Pick me up.”

Irfan was confused. At times he thought that Asif is so dumb, he can never woo a girl on his own, so it didn’t matter. At times he thought that maybe things weren’t okay between him and Faria, so he should help his best friend.

“Where are you going?” Mahmud asked.
“He’s going to dinner with his cousin sister.” Irfan said.
“She pretty?”
“Yes. The prettiest of all.” said Asif.

Mahmud and Irfan watched a movie in the room. It was time for dinner, but Mahmud wasn’t in mood to get ready and get it.

“Is this the room service number?” said Irfan on the phone.
“Yes, sir. How can we help?”
“We need you to fetch us some dinner. Room 307.”
“Sure, sir. Would you like to come down and see the dishes for yourself, or do you want to order anyway?”
“Alright, I’m coming down.”

As Irfan stepped out of the room and went to the lobby, he saw Asif and Naila sitting together. The way they were looking at each other and talking surprised him. Even the longest relationship, couples don’t smile at each other the same way.

After having dinner, as Asif entered the room, there was an awkward silence. Mahmud had gone to sleep early, but Irfan ignored him.

“Anything wrong?”
“No, why would anything be wrong? It’s completely okay to cheat on your girlfriend right?”
“Don’t talk to me in that tone Irfan. You were the one to set us up.”
“That’s because you forced me to, you double timer!”

They looked at each other fiercely. As soon as Asif went to the restroom to change, his phone’s notification sound rang. Irfan took it and saw the message. He never felt more guilty in his life. Asif came out, and Irfan threw him the phone. Naila sent him pictures of them two kissing.

“I have the power to make any two people fall in love. Guess what? You misused that power.”
“You have bullshit. You are just jealous that you could not get Faria. Since you couldn’t win her heart, you helped me. Liar.”

Irfan smiled at Asif in a glance of hatred.

5 years later

The airplane landed. Irfan took his seatbelt off. Zafar was amazed after hearing the story of that trip. As they stood up to fetch the bags, Zafar asked him, “So after Faria got to know about that they broke up?”

“Yeah. There’s more. I’ll tell you the rest of the story later.”

Irfan’s phone vibrated as the signal came back on after landing. Somebody send him a picture via Snapchat.  It was Asif. He sent a picture of him with Faria, which captioned, ‘Honeymoon vibes’.

Zafar peeped and made his eyes bigger,“Wait, what? How?”

“What did I keep on telling you throughout the story? I am such a good wingman, I can make any two people fall in love.”
“Tell me about it on the way to the hotel.”


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Rafeed Elahi is a football lover, a movie adherent, and a writer by passion.