As they walked into the auditorium, they were reminiscing the tastes they shared together. Yes, Alfred and Rachel were friends since more than two decades and it is a chance family reunion that brought them together. Alfred and Robert were friends and Rachel was married to Robert and the friendship between Alfred and Rachel bloomed gradually. Alfred liked Rachel’s disposition and introduced her as his female version to all.
In fact he always used to say ” We are soulmates. When we are together, the room seems to come to a standstill. Everything else stops and it is only our souls talking. I feel I am talking to myself when i see you.”
Today they were going to a music concert where amateurs were going to sing and Rachel had just got into the throes of exploring her voice and talent in singing.
The concert began and was hosted by a svelte looking girl who had blonde hair. However something about her irked Alfred and he instantly told Rachel that she should never be seen on stage in this manner. Rachel was also trying her stint with music and was at forty plus already a mother of two and was yearning to pursue her small dream of singing on stage . Alfred had always encouraged her to do things her way and secretly admired her spunk and adored her spirits.
Rachel was busy with her own life and her own small music sessions, one of which had Reginald as the director. Reginald’s troupe had performed many times and one such performance had the blonde haired girl who Alfred and Rachel had seen at the music concert. It was audition time and in Reginald’s troupe. The blonde haired beauty Dahlia was seated beside Reginald. As Rachel came up to the stage Dahlia whispered to Reginald “ Has she come for a wedding party or something? Oh she is so decked up aint she?” Reginald liked Rachel’s singing and soon selected her for his troupe.
As each performer came on stage, Alfred himself a connosieur of Western classical was very drawn towards the whole idea of singing to a beat. As one performer came on to stage, Alfred was transfixed and was completely mesmerized by his singing. He came back to the audience and to Alfred’s surprise sat next to both of them. One thing led to another and Alfred soon had befriended the performer. Nathaniel was the name of this guy and soon one found Nathaniel had come over to Alfred’s the weekend and very soon a small music session had begun.
Now all that Alfred wanted was a mike and he called Rachel when he had to buy one. Rachel did not have the time . Alfred and Rachel had a very casual friendship and there were days when Alfred used to drop into Rachel’s house just for a cup of coffee and lazed around doing nothing. He used to bring his terrier Luke over and Rachel never minded him messing around the place. There were days when Alfred used to take Luke for a walk and used to call Rachel down and they used to spend hours sitting on the steps outside their house and discuss everything under the sun.
Soon Alfred had made a music group on social media and it caught the attention of many. Alfred did not have the confidence to sing and he used to call Rachel over to practice so that they could have a few sessions of singing.
Time passed by and soon Alfred’s passion for a music group started growing on social media. Soon he had two, then three and then four and gradually a troupe of ten in his group. One day Alfred called Rachel and told her that Dahlia had joined his group and she was such a talented individual. Rachel was a little taken aback as she had distinctly remembered that Alfred had not liked Dahlia at the first instance. She wondered how could her friend change so suddenly. Well it takes everyone to make this world she thought to herself and did not bother much. On one such occassion in Alfred’s music meets she bumped into Dahlia and they met there first.
Reginald’s concert was nearing and Rachel wished to know what the attire should be. Reginald mentioned about Dahlia telling him that Rachel was over decked at times so asked her to go mellow on the clothes. Rachel was quite surprised that Dahlia had spoken behind her back. Reginald was in touch with Rachel for various issues and in one such instance Rachel happened to mention to him that his presenter Dahlia was in the music sessions run by Alfred. This took Reginald by surprise. A few days later Reginald had his concert coming up and he asked Rachel if she would run the show for him as his presenter had ditched him at the last moment. Rachel did not mind and agreed. Towards the noon Alfred called Rachel and asked her if she had agreed to do a concert for Reginald. Rachel was surprised and she said yes she did . To which Alfred said that it was because she had mentioned that Dahlia was in his music group that she was shorn off her role as presenter. Rachel was a little pushed to the corner and happened to mention to Alfred that Dahlia herself had spoken about Rachel to Reginald so it was like Dahlia had the habit of putting one against the other. The matter was sorted and Alfred did not mind it a bit.
Alfred soon arranged for a small music session and it was a great achievement for him. Rachel had free entry into Alfred’s house and could come and go as she wished. On one Sunday afternoon Alfred planned a music party in another place booked specially for this. Alfred was very excited about the whole thing and had publicized everyone in the group but did not speak much about his own friend Rachel. Rachel never minded all this and went to perform in the party. She did and was an instant hit amongst the people there. She was well appreciated by all and the web page soon got filled with praises of her. Rachel loved poetry and there was someone else in the group who also loved the same. They interacted with each other through poetic verses. Maybe Alfred did not like it as the group leader and objected to it. Rachel obliged and refrained from commenting. Alfred mentioned that people have to be serious about work and should speak only about work in the group. The very next morning there was lot of camaraderie talk going on in the group. This irked Rachel and she enquired if this kind of talk was acceptable. To which Alfred responded that camaraderie was allowed but flirting was not. Rachel wondered whenever did she flirt . This bothered her a lot and soon she saw that Allen had left the group. She asked Allen why he left the group and Allen said that he was not happy with the weird talk going on in the group. Rachel agreed that Alfred was weird and said maybe Dahlia was influencing him . Rachel knew that Dahlia loved to put one against the other. Allen was clear to say that it was not Dahlia and that Alfred himself was behaving very weird.
Rachel was upset that she was called a flirt by her two decade old friend and felt quite bad that he was not responding to her messages. So she decided to speak to Katie, Alfred’s wife. In an hour’s time Rachel found that Alfred had removed her from the group. Rachel was shocked! Was she so unreasonable, or unapproachable that she had to face removal from a group? She was shattered beyond worries as she felt the others in the group would feel that she had been removed because she was a flirt. A thousand thoughts raced through Rachel’s head and finally she decided to confront Alfred about it. In tears she went to his house and tried to sort out matters. Alfred accused her of saying that she had said extremely wrong things about him and Dahlia to Allen. Rachel’s mind was in a whirl. Why had Allen to spill out things to Alfred when she had just mentioned her feelings to him. Alfred was upset that Rachel spoke to Katie about it as Katie was just recovering from a nervous breakdown. All in all, Rachel requested to be put back in the group and promised to stay mum.
Alfred put her back in the group and Rachel refrained from saying anything in the group but was reading all the banter going on in the group. Soon Reginald had another concert and to Rachel’s surprise it was Dahlia hosting the show. Meanwhile Dahlia’s interaction in the group was lessened. Rachel wondered where Dahlia was. So she asked her on personal messaging system where she was and why the silence. In an hour’s time Dahlia said she was quite moved by Rachel’s question and was touched that Rachel missed her.
Meanwhile Rachel went to the parlour and looked at her phone while she was having her head massaged. She read a message “ You are removed from this group” . Alfred had removed her yet again.!
Rachel the cause of Alfred’s group to even begin, the cause of his passion to rise, was no longer needed and was stemmed from his life bluntly. Nothing changed for Dahlia, Alfred or Reginald but Rachel is left wondering where she went wrong and what is friendship all about. If Rachel was his soulmate, had Alfred removed himself out of his life??? Maybe…what say?