He tried hard to keep his hands away from the phone! Yet, his actions were mute and his hands took on a life of its own. The numbers were dialed. He waited with bated breath. He relied on the fact that all first calls would anyway yield a Network Busy on the phone…. He was satisfied with the predicted outcome. The phone blinked Network Busy – Retry [Yes | No]. He clicked on No and waited again. Somehow he knew that wait would only last for another couple of minutes, as he raced through the last calls list and went all the way down. He started dialing random numbers from the list, all the time cutting it, biding his time, until he could get the confidence to call her again, thinking about the day…
Dawn came after a sumptuous sleep he had been craving for. He indeed felt refreshed. He had slept off at 7 the previous night watching India dwindling the match against their opponents. Half way through the match he had dozed off feeling a bit woozy. He realised that this was the third time he was waking up in the morning. The first one had been a dream of her, watching him. The second one, was the blaring alarm, which he shut off to try and catch another glimpse of her. This time though, it was not his alarm, but his roommate's!
He woke up and rubbing his eyes of the image and switched on the geyser. A hot bath would top it off – the refreshing sleep. As the hot shower washed over him, he felt the little remaining sleep washing away from him. He felt happy. It was indeed a good morning. He started off for another bustling day at the office.
Office went on smoothly as usual! Time went swooshing by until he was organizing his inbox and saw her mail. It brought back memories, gushing, swarming! As he settled on to the chair, he thought about the lovely times he had!! Lost in this, by some instinct, he checked the time to realise that he should rush, if he is to catch the bus to reach home.
The bus was unusually unpacked. Usually, filled with his colleagues, and friends, this was unearthily empty. He walked the length of the bus, and settled into the last but one row. He would have preferred the last row, but the seats there were too cramped, with not enough leg room. On any other day, he would have had to take the last row – beggars not being choosers. Today, however, he practically had the whole bus to himself.
He missed the hustle bustle usually present in the bus. He would have been right at home, being the conversation king that he was. But, he was thankful at the same time for some leg room. He dropped his bag by his side and took out the standard book and walkman earphones! He had often wondered about why software engineers had been branded and stereotyped with this action. He smiled at the irony of the situation. He settled in, almost cozy for the hour long ride back home.
The city was getting warmer. The summer heat slowly making its presence felt. He tried opening the window, well aware that along with the soothing air will come dust, grime and on bad days even stones!! But, the heat was slowly becoming unbearable. He cursed the air conditioned, clean environment in office. A huge change, he felt. He was so used to the otherwise dusty roads of his town. No fan in the scorching heat of his home-town had almost zero effect on him. And now, Bangalore heat was becoming unbearable.
As the bus was moseying around the traffic jam, he settled down further into the book he was reading. Yet, he was only glazing through the lines. His mind was filled with the mail. How long had it been now? About 5 months since he last spoke to her. Both of their egos prevented them from calling each other. He wondered how she might be leading her life. How was she? Where was she?
He checked his bag and took out the sole photograph that he had of her. He gazed into the depths of the glossy print – the only memorabilia he had of her. He thought about how hard it was to get this outta her. Smiling, he put it back into his diary. He missed her, terribly. Yet, his ego played strong. No, he decided – he will not giver her a call. If she really wanted to keep in touch with me, then there were what – 150 odd days, when she could have made the call. That shocked him. It was only 150 odd days? It felt like ages since he talked to her. Ages, since he heard her cozy voice, her calling his name! Ages, since he dialed her number, one of the few he actually remembered without anyone telling him, especially not his phone!
Caught in a quandary, he pondered. Should he be the better person and call her? Maybe he will…
The bus went over a hump, and he was jolted back into reality. He looked around to see the change happening around the place that he knew now. He could place where he was in the long stretch home. It was really hard in the initial days when he had come to this town. He remembered the train journey to the town to take up his job – the first real test in life for him. He remembered her telling him, "You are gonna forget me, once you reach the new city.. You are gonna meet so many new people! You'll forget this girl!"
He smiled at how wrong she was and how right he was. He knew that no one could take her place in his life. He had met many people in the new city. Yet, he realised time and again that she was something else as far as he was concerned. He remembered her spontaneity, her gullible nature, her smile, her voice, her hazel eyes, her streaked hair, her nonchalance to the norms of the society, and how she used to take his breath away, everytime he saw her. He was right all along. No one could replace her in his life.
His mind started working overtime. How was he gonna tell her all this? Yet, he knew that what he wanted was not acceptable to a lot of people. He would have to break a lot of hearts to satisfy his! How unfair was this society, when you can't profess your love for someone. He realised that he had no clue of how life would be with her. Yet, he knew how life was without her. Courage and self confidence were his fortes and yet at this point, he thought he would indeed be the most confused person in life. Love vs loved ones was playing at one end. The other end was whether she herself would really accept him?
"She never loved you anyway yaar… She's not worth your love. She was playing you all the while. And I know that you are getting angry for me telling you this. That's why I know that you love her so much. Yet, she played you. So, I will hate her all my life! Nobody plays around with anyone that way, especially not with you! She's not worth it yaar!" – that statement had torn his heart. He knew all the while that probably she never harbored the same feelings he had for her. Yet, this had touched a raw nerve! In a moment of haste, he had decided that he will not have anything to do with her.
"Once you decide, you never look back"! He had concurred with his best pal. Yet, was it completely true! His love for her never took a backstep. He was only yearning for her more. It had for sure hurt him. But, thinking back, he knew he was also at fault. He never made it clear that he really liked her. He never told her that he adored her above everything else.
A waft of air brought with it some dust. It made him sneeze. He looked outside again to see that almost 3/4th of the journey was over. He looked back into the phone, more so just to get his thoughts away from her. Staring at him was her number in the last dialled list!
Tense, almost quivering, yet resolute, he punched Call….
The call went through…
He could hear the phone ring the other side…
Hello, said a voice he had known for so long.
He replied Hi… with a steady yet testing voice…
Hello she said again, trying to place the voice…
Hi there.. How have you been? he said as a cool night breeze slowly evaporated the beads of sweat that had formed on his forehead, unnoticed by anyone….
Dunno, why I wrote this, but this plot somehow came into my mind y'day night. Sorta had a dream about it, and so tried to pen it down. Lemme know what you think about it..